Sunday, December 19, 2010

Whatever It Takes

Our kids have been sick for so many days that I've lost track now of how many.  We've missed school.  We've stayed holed up in the house.  We've watched lots of TV.  We've taken medicine.  We've seen the doctor.  We've tried muscling through it.  We've done crafts.  We've done nothing.  We've left the house.  We've stayed home.  But it hasn't made much of a difference.  They've still been miserable: sick half the day and hyper with cabin fever the other half.

We had planned to take the kids to see the Festival of Lights at the DC Temple this weekend, but with the sickness and the sleep deprivation, we weren't sure it was doable or even advisable.  Thankfully, the Spirit gave me a nudge of inspiration to change our weekend into a day trip, and as a result, we were able to spend time enjoying the beauty of the temple together as a family today.

The main point of the trip was to help our children enjoy the temple during this holiday season and begin to establish their own relationship with this sacred place.  We wanted them to begin to understand that the temple is a special place where we experience the love of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and learn of Him.  It is a place where we learn a lot about how to return home to our Heavenly Father together as families, united eternally. It is the place where Steve and I were married, where we found each other, where we found ourselves, where we each individually have a lot of precious memories.

Today, teaching this to my family meant not letting anything stand in the way of us getting to the temple with our precious children.  Not the fact that we're on the mend from being sick, not the fact that it's cold, not the fact that there are still presents left to make or that the car was a mess or that it would require six hours of driving.  Not the fact that some of us were too hyper for a long drive, and some of us put gum in his sister's hair, and she just laughed, so it was ok (until I had to pull it out), and some of us cried a lot, and a few of us spoke at an elevated level (ahem...) and some of us wouldn't let other people sing Rudolph-the-Red-nosed Reindeer in the car, because it is her favorite song and only she can sing it "the right way".    

None of that was going to keep me from getting my family were we needed to be today.  As a parent, it feels good to see past the muck of life and take care of what matters most.  In my mind, this is my calling.  This is my job in my family.  This is what I am here to do.  Hopefully, with the Lord's help, we can continue to make moments like this happen for our family in the future.


  1. How beautiful! Tell me how I can find out more about the Festival of Lights. We are in Rochester, NY, near Palymra so it would be a bit of a drive for us as well, but we would love to go, if not this year, then next. Thanks so much!

  2. what a great attitude you have as a parent and mommy...that temple is just gorgeous-I have to see it sometime, inside and out. sounds like a lovely field trip despite the gum in hair-ever tried peanut better to get it out, I hear it works wonders but your hair ends up smelling like a pb sandwich. lol!

  3. I love the DC temple. It is so pretty. Good for you to trek it out in the cold with the cold to go. You've got gumption.

  4. Oh, how beautiful. We still need to go down to the Mesa Temple to see all the lights and the Nativity display. There is nothing quite like it. I love the feeling of peace, hope and happiness that I experience each time I enter the grounds.

  5. I love seeing these pictures of your family at the beautiful temple there. What fun to see it!

    Glad you followed the promptings and made it happen...


    PS. Next time, put peanut butter on the gum in her hair. It makes it slide right out.

  6. We are currently in the "watching lots of TV phase."

    Hang in there girl!

    Love your pictures!

  7. I'm glad to know getting to the temple is a struggle for you too! This month it was just one thing after another. I'm so glad we went because it made all the difference in the world, but it was hard to get there.

    Good on you for introducing your kids to it at such a young age. We lived in Utah when I was growing up and only went to Temple Square ONCE in the 10 years we were there. I wish my parents had taken me more often. Now when we visit for Christmas I insist we go to temple square to see the lights, and I can't wait to show them to my own little ones.

  8. The Washington DC temple is "Nana's temple" as my kids say, the one closest to my in-laws. I love when it is their year to host us for Christmas, because we get to go to the temple and see the lights and concerts and nativities. My children love it as well. I wish our temple was larger with more to see and do at Christmas! Good for you for going ahead and making the trip!