“Are we children of God?” I asked the children in Primary. Vigorously and unanimously they responded affirmatively. The answer was clear to them; we are children of God. (Acts 17:27-29; Romans 8:16, Hebrews 12:9)
“How do you know you are a child of God?” I queried further. Answers to this question varied. Some of the younger children gave me heartfelt but irrelevant responses…. “My dog likes peanut butter” and “I am going to Grandma’s for Christmas”. Others gave answers that were more thoughtful and more thought-provoking…. “I know I am a child of God because I have a mommy” and “I know I am a child of God because He loves me.” [YES, He does!!]
Answers from the older Primary children varied as well, not so much in range as in depth. Several gave superficial, rote responses, correct in content but lacking in conviction. Many others offered general answers… “because the scriptures tell us” and “we learned it in Primary”. Yes, the scriptures do tell us that we are God’s children and we teach you this truth in Primary but how do YOU know? How do YOU know that YOU are a child of God? I wanted them to reach deep, to touch their centers, to really find out if they truly knew they are God’s children….
Gene (age 10) reached deep. When I posed the question to him, he paused. There were seconds of silence (which is a long time to be quiet in Primary!). “Prayer,” he said finally. “He answers my prayers.”
WOW! And YES!!!!!!! He does answer prayers. He answers prayers as a loving father would because He is a loving father. He is our loving Heavenly Father and His answers to our prayers are a divine manifestation both of His love and His fatherhood.
“Or what man is there of you, who, if his son ask bread, will give him a stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?” (3 Nephi 14:9-11)
Heavenly Father certainly gives good things to them that ask……….and to them that don’t! I did not ask for most of the things I received this week but I certainly received many, many good things.
I am an avid non-shopper. My girls do not share my feelings. Michelle Drago likes to shop. Her three children, all of them boys, share my feelings. Michelle took my girls shopping and I stayed home, which was a very good thing.
Cymbalta, a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI), went generic last week. This week I spent $10 for a 90 day supply of the medication. Last week I would have had to pay $1200. Good thing!
Sports victories are a good thing, especially when your team is on the winning side. In Grace’s last basketball game her team (SAA) trailed 22-16 with about 4 minutes to go. With less than a minute on the clock, the score was 23-22, SAA still trailing. SAA had possession and, with one second remaining, their forward was fouled. Given a one and one, the little, lithe SAA player stepped to line…..and sunk both shots, giving SAA a 24-23 victory. Grace thought it was a SUPER good thing, even though she did not get to play.
The Green Bay Packers have won a few crucial games lately—recovering from a 26-3 halftime deficit to win 37-36 two weeks ago and then last night Rodgers, who missed 7 games with a broken collar bone, found a wide open Cobb on fourth-and-8 at the 48 to wipe out a one-point deficit with 38 seconds left, giving the Packers a 33-28 point win—and Miles thinks the victories were a SUPER good thing, even though he did not get to play.
I was loving on Miles after one of the games and he called me for “unnecessary mom-ness”. Mom-ness, my dear boy, is a good thing….and it is never unnecessary!
We are using Sean Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens as the basis for our Family Home Evening (FHE) lessons and for the past few weeks have focused on the first habit—being proactive—discussing the difference between being proactive and being reactive. On the way home from church Miles began telling us about one of the boys in his class. “He is just mean Mom. He is mean to me and he is mean to everyone else too.” Attempting to implement the principles we’d practiced in FHE, I asserted that there was a proactive way to solve the problem; we just had to find it. “Being proactive works,” I testified. “It has worked for me multiple times.” I took in a breath, preparing to relate stories about times when being proactive had yielded spectacular results but, before I could continue, Miles interrupted me.
“I know Mom,” he said. “I know that you are proactive because you have never flipped anyone off.” Pleased that he had been listening in FHE and really pleased that he recognized the connection between being reactive and showing people the middle finger, I said, “True….I have never flipped anyone off….” and then I thought more about his comment…….. “Have you?” I asked. Silence………….. (Oh dear!)
Children are a good thing (even those who have flipped people off). They are answers to prayers, they are catalysts for prayers, and they are certainly a manifestation that Heavenly Father loves us.
Tanah has been planning on and saving for a Roy High sponsored, 2015 summer trip to Europe. She was so excited to go. She received a backpack for Christmas and her two-week structured trip with friends has morphed into a four-week free-lance European backpacking trip with her mom. Now we both are so excited to go. WHAAA-WHOO!
Chick said to me, “Is it a bad thing that I am more excited for the clam chowder that you make for Christmas Eve dinner than I am for the presents I may get on Christmas Day?” Either he really likes my clam chowder or he hadn’t much faith in my ability to find gifts he’d like….
Christmas Eve is definitely a good thing. As is tradition, Parents Noel and the Stoffer family joined us for dinner and a program. This year, as part of the program, we wrote and performed (but did not choreograph) “The Twelve Days of Gratitude” (sung to the tune of the Twelve Days of Christmas). Some of the lines included:
- “seven cussing cousins” (from Lance….only 7?)
- “two wonderful daughters” (from Linda….TRUE!)
- “five fingers on my hand” (from Sara….VERY grateful for five fingers, even though my youngest son may have used one of them inappropriately)
- “eleven players on the offence” (from Miles, of course!)
- “6 x 7 is my favorite number” (from Grace the math nerd)
- “twelve Dr.’s so far” (from Chick, referring to Dr. Who)
- “nine family members” (from Scott Jackson. We’re grateful he joined us AND grateful for family members, his and ours)
I am grateful for family members………….all of them (even the cussing cousins!). I am grateful for the knowledge that I am part of an eternal family and that God is THE Father, the Heavenly Father of our vast eternal family. I know that I am a child of God and I know you are too!