Sunday, August 23, 2009

Coming Home (Subtitle: Peace)

Ever gone somewhere and had it feel like you'd come home? You just felt content, calm, happy, peaceful....I had that experience twice today. First I attended the Oquirrh Mountain Temple Dedication. Being part of that experience felt like coming home. It helped me review where I'm headed and how I can better get there. And I learned some things and above all felt loved, peaceful, and happy. Margaret Lifferth spoke about listening. Three things she said really made a lot of sense and have been echoing in my head today. First, that God really loves us and wants what will bring us safety, joy and peace. So when he asks us to obey, that is his reason (just like when I ask my kids to obey it is for their safety and to bring them joy and peace.) Second, she talked about listening and it just really struck me that listening is ACTIVE, not passive. Listening requires work, but it also brings great dividends in what you are able to learn when you listen and then obey. I want to better teach this to my children and my students (obviously, in different contexts and different ways). Third, her father wrote her a letter that said that if she made poor choices it would hurt them, but it would hurt her more. She said that she'd always thought obedience was a gift she gave her parents, but after reading that letter, she realized obedience is actually a gift you give yourself. This really made so much sense to me, but was not quite how I'd ever thought about things. But it's true. When you make poor choices, it often does hurt others, but ultimately the consequences fall mostly on you. And, conversely, when you make good choices, you reap the rewards.

This afternoon, I decided to take my kids to my favorite spot in Provo Canyon. Again, it felt much like coming home. When I was in college, I could drive up Provo Canyon in about 15 minutes. I'd often drive up there, then get out and walk and sort through my thoughts, pray about questions, or even bring my books and study. Provo Canyon was a place of peace and comfort and I spent many hours there while at BYU. It is beautiful. It is fairly busy, so you aren't necessarily alone, but there are still quiet spots and you are in the outdoors with a waterfall, a river, trees and canyons and wildflowers surrounding you. It is beautiful. So today I took my girls there. I haven't been for quite some time and it really did feel like coming home. Like sharing a piece of my spiritual journey with my girls. It is so nice to have a special place that is especially peaceful where you can sort through thoughts and feelings and pour out your heart and soul in prayer. While I can certainly do that in my home, I miss having a special spot that just seemed created especially for that purpose. There is something about being outside, especially in nature, that seems to draw you closer to our Creator and Father.

I am so grateful for this peaceful, happy day. I am grateful to know (at least sort of) who I am... to know that the primary song is true. I am a child of God. I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father who loves me and I love Him.