This morning I woke up to glorious snow!!
Mr. Nielson and I carefully drove to the my favorite park
with Angus so we could wander through the trees and hear the
quiet snow fall (it really does makes a sound!).
Chapel Hill has shut down.
We didn't see cars driving on any roads and businesses are closed.
It's kind of cozy.
On the other hand, the Little Nies are a bit stir crazy-
especially Lottie and the boys.
As the snow piled up outside our home I rummaged through
our meager snow gear to outfit Lottie, Ollie, and Gigs.
All of our snow/ski gear is in the storage unit in New Mexico,
which made playing in the cold fluffy stuff a little tricky.
I found our gloves, hats, and coats, but we used plastic
sacks and duct tape to help aid in our bad snow gear dilemma.
It worked for like 5 minutes then wet bodies marched back inside
for reinforcement, (Lottie sobbing).
I was a little bit out of patience the third time this scene played out,
and out of dry gear.
Inside my house, snow was in watery puddles all over the floor and
wet gear strewn throughout the hallways.
Then I got a phone call: school cancelled for Tuesday.
I should have been happy, but instead I felt exhausted.
Visions of the boys kicking Angus's fetch ball around the tiny kitchen,
the girls yelling at them to stop, and
Lottie crying and through her tears blubbering:
"Everyone has someone, but me.....
Claire has Jane, Ollie has Gigs, and you have dad,
who do I have?"
Around 5:00 I prepared dinner and we had a
lovely Family night and lesson.
We talked about our family Christmas promise to:
make others happy first, and a game plan to make our Tuesday
a little more pleasant for everyone.
I also summarized this beautiful talk by M. Joseph Brough,
and as a family we discussed what obedience means,
and how "strict obedience" to God's laws and commandments can bless us.
I shared with my children the experience I had when our Prophet
President Gordon B. Hinckley counseled the women in the Church:
“We discourage tattoos and also ‘the piercing of the body
for other than medical purposes.’
We do not, however, take any position
‘on the minimal piercing of the ears by women
for one pair of earrings’—one pair.”
I was 19 years old when I heard this and engaged to be married.
I remember coming home from the conference with my mom and sisters
to find Christian on the couch in the living room waiting for me.
I remember the excitement that I felt as I retold him what I had learned,
and better yet; what I was going to do with this knowledge.
Right there in front of him I took out my extra piercings.
I remember feeling excited that I go to follow the prophet in
this very specific way.
I could show the Lord obedience right then and there.
I didn't need to think about it, and I wasn't even sad.
Then Brother Brough shared his wife Emily's experience
when she too heard President Hinckley's counsel almost 20 years ago.
"To some of us, that may seem insignificant because it is such a small thing.
That is true. However, I do not remember the Savior saying,
“If ye love me, keep my commandments that appear important” (see John 14:15).
One clear voice of warning we must always heed comes from
the Lord’s chosen apostles and prophets.
It might not be popular by the world’s standards,
just like that small thing requested by President Hinckley.
But you can—you must—trust that it comes from Heavenly Father.
I know my experience was small, and perhaps insignificant to my children,
but I know that when God promises miracles and blessings,
those miracles and blessings are NEVER small and insignificant.
“Obedience brings success; exact obedience brings miracles.”