The Watchman

The Watchman

Friday, September 6, 2013

Another blessing

Isn't it funny how your mind works sometimes?  About a month ago, Hunter was asked by one of his mission companions if they could still log into their LDS email accounts.  Hunter didn't know the answer, so he decided to check it out.  Much to his dismay, he learned that his account had been deactivated and so he no longer had access to any of the emails he had sent home during his two years in Montana.  He bounced back with: That's okay, because you should still have them in your account mom.

So we checked.  And found that for whatever reason is there in the world of gmail, there are no letters.  Still okay Hunter said, there is the blog you kept for me while I was gone.  Nope, because I didn't start posting to the blog until his mission was about half over.  That is still okay he said.  I have pictures and memories.  I on the other hand was heartbroken for my son.

Now here is a confession, after our house fire which resulted in the loss of our computer, all the letters Hunter had sent previously were gone from my internet account.  So just after that first Christmas, he sent me his log in information and I spent part of a day going back in to his account and forwarding those letters to myself.  But it appeared that even those had been lost along with everything else.

But isn't it funny how your mind works sometimes?  Last night as I was sitting checking email, paying bills, stalking my friends on Facebook and all those other things I do on a daily basis on the computer, it came in to my mind to check my other email account, the one I now use solely for paying bills.  Sure enough, there they all were, including all the emails I had forwarded that covered the first part of his mission, the part that was pre-blog.

Since it was about ten at night, I immediately sent Hunter an email letting him know what I had found.  The response I received this morning was a resounding: EXCELLENT!

Happy day!!  We are so blessed! :)

Thursday, September 5, 2013


I have been thinking a lot about choices lately.  Everyday we make choices; good or bad.  I think for most people, making choices is easy.  In fact, there are many choices we make every day without even thinking.  The hard part comes after the choice is made when we are asked to be accountable for those choices.  When a good choice is made, it is easy to take the credit and reap the rewards.  When the choice was a poor one, too often we look for justification that includes trying to deflect the attention on to someone else.

In my life I have made what I feel are good choices.  These choices have brought me much joy.  I feel overall I am a good person and I try to think through my actions and let my faith guide me.  But because I am human, I have also made poor choices.  Unfortunately at times those poor choices have hurt others and I have had to work to repair the damage I have caused.  But even as I have had to accept responsibility for my choices and where necessary work through the process of repentance, I know that I am the person I am today because of the lessons I learned and the growth I have experienced.  Real growth is only experienced when we accept responsibility for our choices, both good and bad.

Now I sit here as a parent with children that I can no longer control and direct as I once did.  This is a good thing.  This is what I wanted.  Rick and I have worked hard to raise responsible adults who can take care of themselves and be a benefit to the community where they reside.  I thrill when I read letters from my son telling me of the service he is providing the people in California.  I am overjoyed when my son calls and asks my opinion on a project or activity he is planning for the dorm he supervises.  I am in awe at the change in priorities my son has experienced as he has chosen to put God first in his life.  I still face trepidation as I watch my daughters begin to spread their wings and take their first steps on the road to independence.

For me, the hardest part of this shift is watching these precious children that I love more than anything make poor choices and face the resulting consequences.  In my heart, I know that these are what will help build their character.  They need to face their own struggles, but I still want to pick them up, hold them, and kiss them till it is all better.  I know I can't don my armor and fight the dragon for them anymore.  I will not be there with them forever, they need to stand on their own.  So this is the lesson I am learning now: I need to let my children grow on their own.  Hopefully I have provided them the skills and the foundation of faith they need to lead happy, productive and righteous lives.

One of my sons shared with me that this is one of his favorite paintings of the Savior.  I find myself being drawn to it again and again trying to figure out why this picture has had such an impact on my son.  As I have pondered how it has touched his soul, it has found meaning for me in my life.

Christ Walking on Water - Julius von Klever
I have thought how calm Jesus appears as He walks.  Even as the waves toss and tumble around Him, throwing the boat to and fro, there is no sense of panic, just an image of quiet contemplation.  I have thought of the account of this scene from the scriptures and how the apostles in the boat at first thought they were seeing a ghost and were afraid.  When they realized it was the Master, Peter began to go out across the waves to meet Him.  But Peter soon let the tumultuous seas cause him to falter and he began to sink.  It was only when the Lord took Peter by the hand that Peter's faith returned and he was able to complete the journey.

As I have continued to ponder how this story applies to my life, I think back to choices.  Everyday I make choices.  When I look to the principles of my faith for direction in my choices, they are inevitably good.  It is when I try to rely on myself and my own understanding that I struggle in my choices.  Just as I do not want my children to fail, my Heavenly Father does not want me to fail.  This is why He provided a Savior for His children.  I know that it is only through applying His example and His teachings to guide my choices that I will be able to be at peace as the storms of life rage around me.