These People I Live With: Monday

November 1st.


When did that happen?

Okay, anyway - I know I've said plenty about how we've moved and how we're executing this crazy PLAN and what we've left behind and etc. and yadda. But I the thing I HAVEN'T said anything about, yet, is the place we are living now. The house I lived in from the time I was 9 years old to the time I moved to Washington to find my destiny (dramatic, right?). It is a fantastic, wonderland of a home. And I'm going to give you the complete tour.

But even more important than the PLACE we are now living in are the PEOPLE we are now living with.

Namely: My amazing Mom and incredible Dad.

You have wonderful parents, I know, but you are still sad that you don't have mine. Trust me.

To introduce you to these people I now live with, I give you an email that my dad wrote to all of his daughters and their husbands last week. Just because.

(posted here with his permission)

Some Thoughts on the Little Things (by Russ Card)

Now and then I get these feelings about a certain topic of discussion - feelings that I need to share my thoughts. And since my girls are compelled to love me no matter what, and you adoptive sons have to at least pretend to be polite to avoid having my daughters burn your dinners or dent your cars or find some other way to let you know they are displeased, I'm sending this to all of you. But I do hope you'll give these things some thought. Perhaps they will prove to be of some value as you navigate your way through life.
Often we've heard local and general church authorities talk about how important the little things are, how they are what helps keep us on the straight and narrow path that will lead us to eternal happiness. Yet sometimes, those little things prove the hardest to do, precisely because they are so little, so seemingly unimportant amidst the day-to-day worries and tasks of life. Through the years I've been involved with a good many church disciplinary councils to help members work through the repentence process. It is a beautiful thing to see a brother or sister reaching upward from the depths and tragedies associated with the kinds of sin that require such church disciplinary action, to see the hope and desire to turn away from errant behavior and again walk the path prepared for us by our loving Father in Heaven. There is no shame in such repentence - just love, hope and ultimately the peace that can come of being cleansed by the atoning sacrifice of our Savior. Why do I bring this up? Because in each and every case the sinful behavior didn't happen suddenly, it was the result of many choices made through a period of time. And the earliest of those choices were regarding the little things. In each case these brothers and sisters humbly acknowledged that they could have avoided all the pain they experienced and caused others that they love if they had simply stuck to doing the little things. Why? Because ignoring the little things, or failing to do them, makes bigger things seem smaller. And then we wander from the iron rod, thinking we're still okay, farther and farther away, until we unwittingly become lost in mists and have a difficult time finding our way back.
None of us are perfect. All of us fall short. If it weren't so, the Savior's atonement would not have been needed. With the ability to choose our actions and thoughts, we can make mistakes and have to endure the consequences. Consequences cannot be escaped for long. Someone once said that when facing death no one ever says things like: "I wish I'd watched more television" or "If only I'd worked longer hours and stayed away from my home and family more." Quite to the contrary, regrets always take the form of wishing more time had been spent in the company of loved ones, doing worthwhile things. I believe and testify that such it is with the little things. They are the solid foundation for a life that can be lived without deep regret or painful repentence. That is what is meant by holding to iron rod - doing the little things.
So what are those little things? They are, and I believe I've put them in order of importance: personal prayer, family prayer, making time with family more important than with work and recreational activities, family home evening, personal and family scripture reading and study, attendance at all church meetings, honorably fulfilling and magnifying church callings, and serving others. I will be the first to admit that in many of these things I am far from the stellar example. But I can testify that when I've tried to be valiant in these little things are when I've felt the most at peace and happy, and my family has been the most blessed. As I see you in your families making the sacrifices to faithfully do these little things, most often being far more faithful and successful at doing so than I ever have been, my heart fills with joy because I know you and your families will be blessed beyond measure. Maybe not right this minute. It may take years before you see the marvelous results of doing the little things in your families now. But I testify that blessed you will be. I honor you and commend you for making the correct choices with the little things. I believe that your reward will come well before final judgment, because you'll have peace as you see your children following your good example and remaining true and faithful to the gospel, the Savior and the church. Hard times are coming, so hard that prophesies tell us even the elect (meaning church members) will fall away. We need the spiritual anchor of these little things, and as you do them, you will see your children clinging to the iron rod, and you'll be at peace knowing you showed them the way with your proper example.
I love you girls with all my heart. Sorry I can't stop sharing my thoughts and feelings with you even though you are now grown and in your own family units, tied for eternity to faithful priesthood holders. And so, through those ties, you men that are now partnered with my daughters become by adoption my sons, and I love you without reservation. But even though I'm rapidly attaining unfathomable levels of general decrepitude, I will forever and always be your loving father. That means that now and then you have to tolerate reading or hearing messages like this one. As patriarch of our extended family unit, I invoke the blessings of heaven on you and your families as you strive to follow the Savior and do the little things.
I love you,


That Girl said...

Is your dad up for adoption?