Lottie does the same thing every day after I pick her up from school.
She runs through the door, drops her bag, rips off her shoes
(and sometimes socks), flings open the backdoor and enjoys
the feelings of solitude in the backyard.
She talks to herself, builds fairy houses with pine cones, and sticks,
and now with the newly blossomed gardenia flowers while dodging Angus poop
spread out in the yard. (The boys are slacking on their job!)
Sometimes Angus follows her around, and I think they enjoy each other's company.
Today after I picked up her backpack and shoes,
I began making chocolate chip cookies.
Just as I shut the oven door with a dozen baking, Lottie ran inside
"Mom, oh my gosh, mom! Come see what I found. Come on!"
She reached for my hand, and together, we walked to one of our backyard trees.
"Look," she whispered to me while pointing up at the tree.
"What? I don't see anything. What am I looking at?" I asked.
"You'll see it, mom, just keep looking."
I sat there for a few minutes staring up at branches and leaves
while Lotties stared at me to see me discover what she had found.
Then I saw it. A robin flew into the tree and sat on a nest.
Inside the nest, I could see three little birdies with mouths wide open.
"Oh my goodness, Lod! I see them! How many are there?"
I asked, shocked that she had discovered this spring nest.
"Three. Bunny, George, Ruth".
We watched for a few minutes while the mommy, robin, fed her little
awkward-looking babies. I got the binoculars for a better view.
I watched as the mama robin fed each baby and then fluffed up her nest
making sure they were safe inside. Then she'd fly off looking for more food.
I thought a lot about that.
It's been a little uneasy around my nest lately.
Moving again is uncomfortable and scary- especially since we don't
have a concrete plan as to where we're going. Yet.
But we'll stay somewhere here in the same area. I really like it here!
I've been trying to study and understand the plan the Lord has for our family
and why the nests in my life have changed frequently.
I still don't know.
Perhaps one day, I will look back on my life and know the answers.
I will understand the plan for our family and why it was often challenging.
I was raised and grew up in the same house until age 19, when I was married.
Moving was never something I did as a kid,
and it just seems so unsettling and often embarrassing,
and in a way, I felt that moving oftentimes equates to failing.
Claire went to four different high schools!
But I have to believe the Lord has a plan for our family.
I have to trust him because I am trying my best to make choices
for my family based on His teachings.
If we do that, I know that we cannot fail. I know that!
President Eyering shared in his most recent conference talk:
"...when I was married in the Logan Utah Temple.
President Spencer W. Kimball performed the sealing. In the few words he spoke,
he gave this counsel: “Hal and Kathy, live so that when the call comes,
you can walk away easily.”
As he said those few words, I saw clearly in my mind, in full color,
a steep hill and a road leading up to the top.
A white fence ran on the left side of the road and disappeared into
a row of trees at the top of the hill. A white house was barely visible through the trees.
One year later, I recognized that hill as my father-in-law drove us up that road.
It was in detail what I saw when President Kimball gave his counsel in the temple.
When we got to the top of the hill, my father-in-law stopped by the white house.
He told us that he and his wife were buying the property
and that he wanted his daughter and me to live in the guesthouse.
They would live in the main house, just a few feet away.
So, during the 10 years we lived in that lovely family setting, my wife
and I would say almost every day,
“We had better enjoy this because we aren’t going to be here long.”"
Christian and I are trying to live that way, too.
We want to be able to walk away easily and be ready to serve the Lord
in any capacity and in any shape.
It's hard, and I'm trying to understand the hows and whys.
We just want to serve Him, no matter what that looks like.
I was mailing a letter the other day and opened the
mailbox and found a letter inside.
It said: "To the mailman or mailwoman"
It was from Charlotte.
I brought it inside, and my heart broke as I read it:
"Dear mailman of mailwoman,
I've never really seen you, but my name is Lottie.
I just wanted to write you a letter because
I wanted to thank you for sending me mail
like my new smartwatch or all my letters. Thanks for sending those.
I hope you can read this. My handwriting is not too good.
Well, we only rented this house and now it's for sale!
Now my family is worried cause we don't have much money
to get a new house. I hope we can figure something out.
So I just wanted to say how kind you are to send things.
It must be hard to be a mailman because you have to send things
even on Christmas because the toys need to be delivered...besides
the ones that Santa gives you.
Thank you so much
Our good friend told us that this was just a"blip" in our lives
and the lessons we'd learn from this bumpy road will
bless us and those we love and minister to forever.
I hope so.
And when I think about it, that mama bird will raise her little babies
in that nest, kick them out, and move on.
It's what happens inside the nest for however long she stays there
to raise those birdies that truly matter.
Will they be ready? Will they find their wings and fly?
Those are the questions I should be pondering as I raise my children
in whatever house or situation we live in.
And the answer to everything in my life has universally been:
It's what's inside that counts.
Inside my heart, inside my body, and inside my nest.
And as long as I can make chocolate chip cookies
after school, we're good.