Monday, July 19, 2010

We took these pictures at Temple Square after our family reunion in July. I love them. For some reason, it really touches my heart to see the children as they look at the temple and the reflecting pond with their cousins.

As usual, the idealism portrayed in the pictures is far from what really happened. It looks so peaceful but it was crazy. We had 14 children with us that night. I kept thinking someone was going to fall in as they ran from one place to another and leaned in as far as they could to reach the money in the reflecting pond. In fact, we decided not to take a family picture. It felt like we were pushing our luck as it was.

Just like life. You get snap shot moments, just like the photo of the kids with the sun and the temple in the background, that remind you what you are doing this for and what the goal is. The rest of the time it's busy and crazy. It feels like we have had a lot of those happy, snap shot moments lately.

I love this picture, too, because the Evans' family minus Nancy (one of Rich's step-sisters) went with us to the temple. I love having them in the picture, too.

My big goal in life, the whole purpose of just about every thing I do every day is to get my children into the temple all together one day. The family reunion made me realize, more than ever, that I want not just my children, but the Evans children and the Snyder children and the Keables children and the Walker children (Idaho and California) and the Arellano children and on and on to be there, too.

I guess it's just really being part of the Father's work, 'to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life' of our family. And everyone's family.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Spiritual Food

Katie and I attended Girls' Camp together this summer. I went as a counselor group leader and Katie went as my YCL (Youth Camp Leader). Together with another YCL, we were over eight 2nd year campers. This was my first experience at Girls' Camp as a member of the church.

The YCLs had their own tent, but I was stayed with the eight girls in a tiny cabin. We slept together, ate together, hiked together, and attended all the activities, other than free time, together. Because of this, all my regular personal habits, like kneeling prayer and scripture reading, didn't happen.

I loved being a counselor, but one challenging thing was the lack of sleep. It took until nearly midnight every night to get everyone settled and in bed before I could finally fall asleep. Then, one of the girls was determined to get a hot shower every morning, which meant she and her friends next to us were up at 5:30 am every morning.

I need more sleep than that or I start to get really crabby.

Then, on Thursday morning, one of the girls thought it was funny to pretend she was talking in her sleep. She pretended that she was swimming with Justin Bieber and that he was drowing. She would scream, "Justin! Justin! No, no, no, no, no, no, no!" in a high-pitched voice, over and over again. The other girls believed her and kept trying to wake her up. She would pause for a minute, and then she would start all over again. She did this from 6 to 6:30 am. All I wanted to do was sleep. The camp alarm wouldn't go off until 7 am, and I was desperate for just another few minutes, but I never could go back to sleep.

I was very crabby that morning. I was wondering how I would talk to her about this so it didn't happen again. I was not feeling like using my nice, kind leader voice.

After breakfast, we had what they call Sacred Grove time. We had to find a place as a group, and we had 45 minutes to read our scriptures and write in our journals.

The camp we attend is built on a mountain, and the lodge overlooks the lake below. You can see the view in the picture above.

We settled ourselves on a rock behind the lodge, with the trees and rocks around us, and a clear view of the lake below. A Stake leader had challenged us to read three specific sections of the D&C, so in this gorgeous setting, I settled in to read for 30 completely uninterrupted minutes.

It was as if I had been hungry and sat down to a great, big dinner. I felt spiritually fed. I felt my heart soften, and my mind fill with love for our Father in Heaven and His Son, and for my camp girls. Suddenly, I remembered how the Savior wants us to treat one another and I felt like being kind and patient with the girls, even though I was tired.

That 30 minutes kept me going for the rest of the week.

I was reminded by this experience that my spirit needs to be fed just as badly my body needs to be fed.