Friday, February 24, 2012

In the Company of Greatness

On Sunday we had the opportunity to have Tyler and all his roommates and two girlfriends come for dinner. We had been told they were awesome but I had no idea! We knew 2 of the roommates, Paul and Abe, and absolutely love them. April, Abe's girlfriend is so sweet and kind.  Now we totally love the other three, Ben, Grant and Hugh. Ressa and her new friend Mike joined us with Ressa's roommate Tristin.  Mike has a good spirit about him and did great considering it was his first time meeting the family. Tristin is a God send.  She has been just what Ressa needed. And I can't leave out Jessica, Tyler's girlfriend.  This girl is amazing in so many ways but I love how smiley and happy she is. When Sereen heard about the gathering she wanted to come too.  In her words "What's two more?"  In all there were 28 people for dinner.  We had a great time getting to know each other. 

We had dinner with home made rolls baked in my new oven.  I'm still trying to figure it out so the rolls were a little dark but still very good. After dinner we cleaned up the 3 banquet tables and vacuumed the rice that was stuck in the carpet.  Come to find out every one of our guests are gifted musicians. We gathered in the living room around the piano and they took their turns playing and singing.  We were in heaven.  It is always amazing to be in the company of very talented people. How is it that we can have 9 guests and ALL of them are so gifted?

I stood looking around and I was overtaken by the power within my home.  I'm not sure how to say this. I felt like I was in the presence of greatness.  I was surrounded by some of our Father's most valiant children.  His greatest warriors and most dedicated servants. Their spirit was so clear and strong, emanating goodness and strength. How blessed we were to have them in our home and become acquainted with these awesome friends.

In the moments since then that I have struggled feeling like a good enough mother, I go back to this time and remind myself that these are my children's friends. If the adage is true that we surround ourselves with those we are like then I must be doing something good.

Partial view from one end of the table.  It really is a very long table and room. When we bought the house we could not understand why the living room was so long and skinny.  We been able to put it to good use though.
View from the other end.

April with Emma.  Everyone was so good with the kids.  I kept trying to tell the children to calm down but realized the fun was being initiated by the young adults. :))

Paul, who is holding Hyrum, went to Nauvoo with Tyler the first time.  They became good friends there and by the grace of God they became roommates this year.
Tyler, Hannah, and Mike, (Ressa's friend ;) joined in a large game everyone had learned at EFY.

Grant writes and sings beautifully.  Tristin sitting on the other side of the couch was studying violin
 at the UofU when she transfered to BYU.

Jessica surprised me by playing hymns as we talked.  She is awesome.  We are lucky enough to have her as Tyler's girlfriend.
After Ben played and sang Hyrum was insistent that it was his turn.  He jumped up to the piano and started singing.  He was too cute. No doubt he came to the right family.
And to save the best for last.  Our little Preston.  He is getting so cute and smiles a lot.  He is very precious.

On another note. Don't put squeaky shoes on little ones when you are going to the library.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Words of Hope

This video was sent as a Tender Mercy from the Lord. The timing was perfect.  I was also reminded of my favorite poem as a youth.  I read it so many times that I had it memorized.  Sadly time has passed and I had forgotten it.  Without knowing the challenges that I was facing my  brother sent this reminder to me. Our Father truly is mindful of our needs.  I just hope that I can be counted as one to lift and inspire.

                                        The Race
       attributed to Dr. D.H. "Dee" Groberg
Whenever I start to hang my head in front of failure’s face,
    my downward fall is broken by the memory of a race.
A children’s race, young boys, young men; how I remember well,
    excitement sure, but also fear, it wasn’t hard to tell.
They all lined up so full of hope, each thought to win that race
    or tie for first, or if not that, at least take second place.
Their parents watched from off the side, each cheering for their son,
    and each boy hoped to show his folks that he would be the one.
The whistle blew and off they flew, like chariots of fire,
    to win, to be the hero there, was each young boy’s desire.
One boy in particular, whose dad was in the crowd,
    was running in the lead and thought “My dad will be so proud.”
But as he speeded down the field and crossed a shallow dip,
    the little boy who thought he’d win, lost his step and slipped.
Trying hard to catch himself, his arms flew everyplace,
    and midst the laughter of the crowd he fell flat on his face.
As he fell, his hope fell too; he couldn’t win it now.
    Humiliated, he just wished to disappear somehow.
But as he fell his dad stood up and showed his anxious face,
    which to the boy so clearly said, “Get up and win that race!”
He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit that’s all,
    and ran with all his mind and might to make up for his fall.
So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and to win,
    his mind went faster than his legs. He slipped and fell again.
He wished that he had quit before with only one disgrace.
    “I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race.”
But through the laughing crowd he searched and found his father’s face
    with a steady look that said again, “Get up and win that race!”
So he jumped up to try again, ten yards behind the last.
    “If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to run real fast!”
Exceeding everything he had, he regained eight, then ten...
    but trying hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.
Defeat! He lay there silently. A tear dropped from his eye.
    “There’s no sense running anymore! Three strikes I’m out! Why try?
I’ve lost, so what’s the use?” he thought. “I’ll live with my disgrace.”
    But then he thought about his dad, who soon he’d have to face.
“Get up,” an echo sounded low, “you haven’t lost at all,
    for all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
Get up!” the echo urged him on, “Get up and take your place!
    You were not meant for failure here! Get up and win that race!”
So, up he rose to run once more, refusing to forfeit,
    and he resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit.
So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been,
    still he gave it all he had and ran like he could win.
Three times he’d fallen stumbling, three times he rose again.
    Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.
They cheered another boy who crossed the line and won first place,
    head high and proud and happy -- no falling, no disgrace.
But, when the fallen youngster crossed the line, in last place,
    the crowd gave him a greater cheer for finishing the race.
And even though he came in last with head bowed low, unproud,
    you would have thought he’d won the race, to listen to the crowd.
And to his dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”
    “To me, you won,” his father said. “You rose each time you fell.”
And now when things seem dark and bleak and difficult to face,
    the memory of that little boy helps me in my own race.
For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all.
    And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
And when depression and despair shout loudly in my face,
    another voice within me says, “Get up and win that race!”