Saving the Wildflowers

I sometimes feel overwhelmed at the number of things I think I need to do to be an effective wife, mother, homemaker, Church member, and citizen. I find myself so anxious to accomplish what needs to be done that I do not feel calm and relaxed with my children. I’m always saying, “Hurry!” and I go to bed at night feeling a bit like a massive truck that has rolled over mountain roads, crushing delicate wildflowers in a dogged determination to reach a certain destination by nightfall.

So today I decided to gather a few “wildflowers”—those special, wonderful moments when the rush of doing melts away in the joy of being. I took a walk with my five-year-old son. Leaving the telephone, the laundry, and some dusty furniture behind for awhile, we held hands as we walked, sharing the smell of freshly plowed dirt and the sounds of birds welcoming spring. We stretched out on the grass beside the canal and wrote poems together.

Afterward, considering all I needed to do, I wondered if that time were wisely spent. Yet the pure joy of this afternoon warmed my heart and gave me incentive to be a better mother. My dad has always told me, “You can do anything you want, but not everything.” My decision to spend some time with my son today necessarily eliminated a myriad of other ways I could have spent it. But that particular time will never come again.

Somehow, that thought makes me even more glad for this afternoon.Rebecca Merrill, Lehi, Utah

If Two Agree

For many weeks I prayed fervently for the Lord to grant me a particular blessing on a family matter. Then one day I read in the New Testament: “If two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven” (Matt. 18:19).

The notion that two people praying for the same thing could add weight to a request intrigued me. Two of us? Who would be willing to pray with me about my personal concern?

A flash of insight made the answer suddenly clear. I had not counseled with my husband, the patriarch of the family, about this matter. I had circumvented an important step, and a loving Father was gently teaching me through the Holy Ghost.

I consulted my husband, together we prayed, and the desires of my heart were realized.Betty Jan Murphy, Tucson, Arizona

Harvest: A Time of Fulfillment

The air is calmer today outside my study window, a relief from last week’s wind. The Virginia creeper is turning red and gold, the crab apples are yellow, and the yard is trimmed and ready for winter. I have always loved fall.

The past few weeks I have been preoccupied with my Relief Society lesson on “life stages”—our growth from childhood through old age, and our feelings toward each stage. I fall into the category of middle years. Fall reminds me of this stage—calm, aware of life and color, appreciating the beauty and miracle around me. It is a harvest, in a way, of the earlier years, with wonderful children, grandchildren, and friends to enjoy, more time for reflection, more time for self.

Now what do I say about it to all those ladies? Can I share my love and appreciation for life without exposing delicate feelings? Should I do a brave performance, or can I just be me? I do not want to be analyzed or judged, but I have finally come to the conclusion that being me is okay. I am not perfect, but I do not expect others to be perfect either. I find I am now less critical and more loving.

I like being where I am. I am thankful for all the blessings of fall—the golden leaf, the last rose, and especially family and friends.Colleen Poulson, Salt Lake City, Utah

The Best Preparation

We asked a recently returned mission president how we could prepare our children to be good missionaries. “Hold family home evening,” he said. “That is the best possible preparation.”

His advice has made me more aware of the skills our children can learn in family home evening: how to plan, conduct a meeting, lead music, pray, give lessons, keep records (we now have a secretary and a notebook), lead and participate in discussion, get along with others—even cooking skills. We have the children take turns planning and cooking dinner on Mondays, including the refreshments for later in the evening.Ruth N. Dickson, Salt Lake City, Utah