From 2002-2004, I was a missionary serving in the LDS Florida Jacksonville mission. An incredible and priceless experience.
I spent 6 months in Lake City. My companions and I lived in a small guest house on a big acreage, where some other families lived up the road from us.
One family up the road has four daughters, and at the time I was there, they were very young and full of energy, like my kids now. I remember the girls running down the road, yelling ‘missionaries!’ to us. They were the cutest girls ever, and full of love. On the long and emotionally hard days that all missionaries experience, these girls brought rays of sunshine into our hearts, and lifted us up.
I love keeping up with their Mom and some of them on FB now. Somehow, time flew quickly, and they have grown into beautiful young women, accomplishing wonderful goals. I remember exactly how they looked when they were little, and now they’ve grown up.
It makes me think of my young kids now. Soon, they will be older kids like these girls, and will not be young anymore. I’ve got to take better hold of these days, of this stage and time they are in now. The excitement of catching a frog yesterday, of riding bikes through mountains of leaves, and of constant nerf wars.
Lately, I’ve been taking hold of some good tools to bring peace into our home. Reading the recent general conference talks, reading more of the Power of Moms blog, a fantastic place, and reading about Amy Mcready’s positive parenting solutions. This week, our goal is trying to use a calm voice. Much easier said than done, but a work in progress:) this week has been teaching me a lot if good things, and I’m grateful to learn.
Another thing I’ve thought about is that we came here to earth to learn how to become like our Heavenly Father. Part of that training is being a parent ourselves. All these trials and crazy hard days of parenting are for a purpose, to teach us the empathy and pure love for a child, the way He feels about us. When I try to remember this, the eternal perspective comes back that Satan tries so hard to make us forget.
Time to go make breakfast. Just had to write these thoughts down to share.
Here’s some shots from yesterday. Got to see some of my family who I haven’t seen since 1997. It was a fun reunion.