On Monday my parents went into the MTC in Provo... for all y'all who don't know Mormon lingo, they entered into the Missionary Training Center in advance to heading off for the Washington DC South Mission, where they will serve in various places (mostly VA) for the next 18 months.
They gonna be doing a full-on Proselyting Mission. Dude. My 'rents are hard CORE. I feel something trembling on the cusp of amazing.... something momentous, at their making this commitment. The sight of them in their name tags at the restaurant on Friday night as they had just left the MTC and were yet to begin their drive to the East Coast, I swear that I could see... something. Something not quite of this mortal realm, something of eternity in them, or around them. Was kind of like sitting down to have a steak dinner with my parents, and maybe some angels.
I have a lot more to pray about these days. I have been more regular about saying my personal prayers, and put more of my heart into each prayer than I have in years.
Among other thing, I have a baby sister doing some work overseas right now. In one of those places, those scary places that I will be glad to have her back from. Not directly in harms way, but not far enough away that I rest easy.
I have learned a few things that I had learned before. Guess I will have to relearn them again next month or next year... 'cause apparently I learn like some kind of sieve. One lesson that I want to talk about, but may be redacted later for Birdie's sake:
Lilac's birthday was yesterday, Valentine's Day. But since this year it fell on Sunday, we decided to celebrate it on Saturday. I try to let the kids have a "friend" party on the odd number birthdays, and reserve the evens for "family" parties. Hopefully it keeps them from getting inflated expectations... we'll see. She turned six this year, so it was to be a cousin party. Anyway, I did not entirely have my act together and we had to hit a couple of stores Saturday morning to pick up some last minute items for the party that afternoon. I couldn't leave anyone home because Dadguy is taking every spare minute he can to put into programming an app for the release of Apple's new iPad, so he was long gone working. Birdie was having a rough time of it. Actually, she was being downright ugly about having to come along to the store, about Lilac's birthday, about not being the center of the excitement. Although, to be fair, Birdie really hates going on shopping trips in general.
I got pretty fed up with it pretty fast. She was really raining on Lilacs parade, and I was also feeling pretty outraged that she would be so nasty about someone else getting to have a special day so soon after such a lovely fuss had been made over her. I felt like she was being very ungrateful and very selfish and very shortsighted.
"Why," I thought, "couldn't she just enjoy the moment for someone else? Why couldn't she be happy to think that her sister was about to get lovely gifts that she would probably share with her sisters? She was about to attend a party, eat cake and generally make merry even if the party was not all about her?" I finally got in her face and informed her that I was not about to let her be so nasty about this, not going to allow her to attend the party if she couldn't find a way to turn it around and help make this a special day for Lilac. It is to her credit that it took her maybe three minutes of silence before she chimed in with an idea for the party.
Sigh. Gratitude. How must I offend my Father in Heaven with my shortsightedness and nastiness, my unwillingness to be happy for others having so much. My ingratitude and insistence that being invited to the party is not enough. That I must be the star or I will be ugly about it.
I pray that I can be like my Birdie, that I can turn it around so quickly. Dang, I cringe to think of how I must hurt and offend my God when I turn a blind eye to my blessings.
Anyway... speaking of blessings! Look at this glorious six year old !
And a close-up of the cake. Feast yer eyes, cuz this will the last super-fancy cake I make for quite a while. Took six-seven hours to make all told, I started making it the day before and I was still up against it time-wise at the very last... to say nothing of my helpers "helping." Too much time and too frustrating, and all I can see is how sloppy it looks. I know I know, it's fine, it looks great. But I am thinking that the time investment is not worth it. Really. The kid woulda been thrilled for a bakery cake from Wally World.