Expecting the Best

Things had not gone smoothly that morning. Getting my fifteen-month-old and my new baby ready to go anywhere was still an adjustment for me. I was relieved to see a parking space right across the street from the clinic. With a little luck I would still be on time for the baby’s first check-up.

It wasn’t easy to climb out of our small car and cross the street with a diaper bag, a baby in an infant seat, and a toddler who was just taking her first steps alone. As we prepared to cross the street I noticed our car was very close to the driveway of the house we had parked in front of. I saw a curtain move and a face peering out, but I quickly turned away. “It’s not fair,” I reasoned; “I’ve had to rush around all morning-and all she’s had to do is look out the window daring someone to park too close to her driveway.”

The long wait in the waiting room, my fussy baby, and my restless toddler all made me feel even more frustrated when I emerged from the clinic an hour later. Just as I was about to cross the street, the woman, about seventy years old, came rushing out of her house. All my morning’s frustration came to the surface; expecting harsh words from her, I felt I would either burst into tears or explode in anger.

Then it happened. Her words astonished me. “You poor little dear,” she said. “I’ve been watching for you. I was mad at myself for not coming out to help you when you drove up. Let me help you to your car. You’ve really got your hands full.”

Tears filled my eyes as I realized how quickly and how wrongly I had judged her. I had let my unhappy attitude determine the way I viewed her.

Since then, when tempted to judge someone’s motives, I remember that woman’s actions and try to expect the best. Lynette Morrill, Denver, Colorado

He Had Confidence in Me

As I sat contemplating an upcoming Church assignment, I became more and more apprehensive about my ability to do well. I needed help, so I began to pray. Much to my surprise, tears began to flow as I remembered an incident that had happened many years before.

I was in the ninth grade. School—and math—had always been easy for me. But at the end of the first term, I was getting a C in algebra. And to make matters worse, I still didn’t have any idea what it was all about.

With tears of frustration, I sought out Daddy and blubbered out my problem. He quietly and patiently said, “Let’s see if we can’t figure this out.” Even though he had never taken algebra as a boy, I felt confident he could help me. He did, explaining it so logically that I received A’s the rest of the term.

But he taught me another great lesson, too. “You have a good head on your shoulders,” he would say. “You’ll figure this out.” He let me know that he was certain, even if I wasn’t, that I could master anything I put my mind to—if I didn’t allow my emotions to get in the way.

The memory of that experience calmed me with the assurance that, like Daddy, Heavenly Father felt I had great ability and would do just fine. If I would stay calm and not worry about failure, he would be able to inspire me.

Confident once more, I thanked Him for giving me a father whose love and concern has helped me begin to comprehend our Heavenly Father’s love. Maureen McCullough, Roseburg, Oregon

[photo] Photography by Michael McConkie

Cream Puffs and Patience

My mother really knows how to reach those who need help. She knows how to show others she cares. One sister in the ward describes her by saying, “Everyone thinks she is their best friend.”

I didn’t realize what her friendship and compassion had meant to others until I needed help myself. I had given up hope dealing with my rebellious teenager. Prayer had given me some comfort, but I still felt I had failed. I was lonely and discouraged.

Returning from one more incident with my child, I paced the kitchen, growling angrily. Then I saw a plate loaded with cream puffs as only my mother makes them. Those golden brown morsels held more than delectable, smooth filling: each one was filled with my mother’s love—each one said she cared. I cried as I sat down with the plate, and as I slowly ate I marveled at my mother’s insight. Reaching for a second cream puff, I stopped, deciding to save them—and my new-found patience—for my teenager. Ann H. Banks, Spanish Fork, Utah