I recently read an article about the importance of keeping a dairy, or journal if you will. I came across this gem while preparing for an early morning seminary lesson, it was written in August of 1976 by Don Hemingway for the LDS magazine New Era.
“There will be many special occasions that will arise, and a record of them will be invaluable (NewEraArticle).”
My sister Klara and her husband Ryan had a wedding to attend earlier this month, out of state, so Dan and I had the special occasion to stay with their four oldest children aged 7 1/2 through 2 years.
Five kids, four days, two adults. We had plans to take them to the splash pad and to Market Street, when all else fails there is a TV, so shouldn’t be a problem.
“If you look closely, there is something special every day that needs writing about, for you and for those who follow. A few minutes should be set aside to quietly evaluate and record those things that have personal meaning. Is there not some precious moment, some sacred thought, a dream, an acknowledgement of the hand of the Lord, some personal blessing, the beauty of earth or heaven, some eternal decision, or someone’s kind word that might well be recorded? (NewEraArticle)”
Here were some of the not so precious moments:
bedding needing to be laundered every morning
cereal and milk bowls poured on the carpet
two year old constantly taking diaper off and leaving booby-trapes in some hidden out of the way place – but not to worry, you can often smell them out
the seven year old telling Dan that he is not in charge
poop. poop and more poop….waiting in a toilet bowl, on the carpet, on the bed, on the toy gun my son has in his hand
liquid soap covering the bathroom floor
Cleaning, lots of cleaning.
I decided to take a field trip to The Woodlands, TX Market Street and visit Hubbell and Hudson.
I told the kids they could each pick out some candy.
I was to hold onto their candy and if there were any problems before we got home, they would have to wait longer to receive the candy. I also threated to eat the candy myself. Bwahahaha.
It didn’t take long before one child ran into another leading to heads colliding and then fists being thrown.
“why would anyone have five kids?!?!” I asked myself, “this is nuts!”
There was some weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth on the way back to the car and in the car.
FINALLY, I turned on some classical music and told them all to be quiet and listen to the story.
“what story?” they asked.
The music tells a story, you have to listen to the music to hear the story.
“I can’t hear a story..” says the 7 1/2 year old with her face frowning.
I started making up a story that seemed to go along with the music. It was genius how it came out and flowed with the music perfectly.
With each new song came a plot twist – the kids hung on every word – I couldn’t believe how much they were eating this up.
I ate some of the kids candy later that day because the kids were being so disobedient – oh yeah I did and I don’t feel bad either.
My husband took the three oldest kids to the pool for four or five hours around 2 o’clock and let me have some quiet time with the two little guys.
Quiet time helps me remember:
“One of the most valuable of all journal-keeping experiences is recording the day-by-day confirmation that God is your personal Father who has concern about your well being. The recognition and acknowledgement of his hand in your life gives added assurance and faith (thatNewEraArticleAgain).”
So with all the trials in our life, the Lord bribes us with candy from time to time to get us to do the things we need to do (like pick up toys in the living room – yeah, totally bribed those kids with candy)….okay, maybe He doesn’t bribe us.
But I did realize that God must look at me, the way I look at little children.
There is something to that.
Bless you mothers and fathers of multiple children – you’re doing something great, even if it feels difficult some days.
Things will work out, it’s not as bad as it seems
Five children is fives times the work and five times the joy
candy tastes good
What goes around, comes around