Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Dan's More Dramatic First Day of School

Dan and Jake are both awesome -- but Dan is definitely more dramatic.  Add to that the fact that Dan fell off the high bar at the elementary school playground an hour before school got out and broke his arm, and you have a day that is a bit more dramatic than Jake's.  Dan didn't really get the cast until today (See last picture).  Naturally he broke hi left arm (more his wrist), and Dan is left handed. Happy 5th grade to Dan.  I hope we are getting the drama all out of the way so we don't need to have more.

Jake's First Day of School

This is Jake on the first day of 9th grade.  He came home cheerful, and I very much enjoyed talking to him when he got home.  He had a break, did his homework while I did mine (signing all the papers), and then went to play at a friend's house.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

I Stand All Amazed

Artwork by Luigi Santucci
This past fast Sunday we sang the Hymn I Stand All Amazed to help us prepare to take the Sacrament.  This has been one of my favorite hymns since my youth, and I have it memorized, including the alto part, and so it is one of those few hymns that I can sing with my eyes closed.  So, as I sang, I closed my eyes and thought of Jesus.  I tried to picture Him in my mind because this often helps me to understand things better, or to make them more real.  I pictured Him in the Garden of Gethsemane.

As I viewed Jesus in the garden, the lesson I learned many years ago from Elder Maxwell came to mind.  He taught that Jesus loves us so much as individuals, that even if only one of us needed the atonement then Jesus would have done it. That means Jesus loves me so much that He would have suffered and died, just to save me.  Next I thought of all of the pain Jesus endured, and I remembered the pain I have had in my life, and how much I wanted to get away from it.  I know that Jesus did not like the pain He felt, which was much worse than any pain I have had. I imagined Him desperately wanting to run away, and then calling my face to mind, and deciding to stay.  How can I even comprehend a love as great as that?

What does Jesus ask of me?  To come to Him, to remember Him.  Why?  It is not because He has a big ego.  It is not so I will compare myself to Him and find myself lacking.  I believe it is because He never wants me to be alone, especially when things are hard.  He knows me.  He knows the good parts, and all of the dark hidden parts I don't want anyone to see.  He knew those things when He was in the Garden (as incomprehensible as that is) and He stayed.  Everything He asks of me is to help me.

I left that meeting hoping that I really would always remember Jesus and that wonderful love He has for me.

"Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me enough to die for me!  Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me."
words by Charles H. Gabriel