It happened again.
Every six months we gather as a church around the world in our homes, where possible, and church buildings to listen to some of the leaders of our church testify of Christ. They chasten, warn, and plead with us change those parts of our lives that need correction. They provide instruction, encouragement, and hope. I look forward to each conference because questions that I need answers to either get answered immediately or the way to find the answers is shown. I anticipate the profound spirit of peace that comes as I listen to their inspired messages.
We always spend time with family and the children love to be with their cousins.
Sometimes the children do the sweetest things. Tank and Brick just rocked and rocked for the longest time, quietly listening. Of course, they quickly started to torture Andrew while he was taking his nap.
The conference folders were helpful again. However, Loaf has learned how to work the system and gets her brothers or dad to help her more than is necessary. Still, she played quietly for most of the sessions.
Rock was sick so he stayed home during Priesthood session. John took Tank and watched with his father. It's their tradition. I love traditions. I had the pleasure of watching with Rock. I tried to get him to let me snuggle (that sounds creepy, but it was in a motherly sort of way), but he assured me he was too old for that and didn't need me hovering.
He is growing into a man.
The tradition with the girls is to always go to Women's conference together and after we go out and get dinner and talk. It's a wonderful evening. We had Thai food from our favorite place and ran into my cousin Jessica. I love her! We were able to attend at the conference center this year and it was lovely, but there are far too many people for our introverted personalities.
One thing I always love in such gatherings is when the prophet walks into the room. As you can imagine thousands of people, if only whispering, together create a great deal of noise, but the second the prophet walks into the room a hushed reverence happens. It's lovely to behold.
President Monson is moving more slowly as his body is aging, but that did not diminish the profound spirit and testimony I felt seeing him. He is truly a man of God.
Everyone, well the girls at least works on a project during conference. I had my applique; Samantha is making a blanket for Loaf. The yarn so soft and Loaf is excited. Brick loved helping wind the large ball of extra thick yarn. My sweet mother in law is making a loom hat. Fred finished knitting her scarf with darling fringe.
Fred and Gus were trying to get Samantha to go grocery shopping with them, and she was torturing them. They loved it, and it was fun to watch them sit and play and laugh. Laughter is something I am appreciating more and more. It is a balm.
With cousins in town, Fred and Gus had a glorious weekend. Fred was introducing A to sushi. Fred loves sushi, and A was so patient and darling to try it all. She's not a fan yet.
I thought they were both asleep, but the second I pulled out the camera, they both got little grins. These two are such wonderful patient men.
There was a terrible tank accident that resulted in a very sad young man. He has finally put it back together, but it was touch and go for a little bit.
There were so many talks that I loved, and I can't wait to read them and ponder them more closely. I adore conference, but I can hardly take it all in and remember so much goodness. But one talk stands out as I'm writing because Tank was listening to the story.
Elder Nattress began by talking about how he was a difficult child with an overabundance of energy. He disliked listening in the mornings while his mother read the scriptures. I think Tank felt an immediate kinship to Elder Nattress for he was describing all of our boys. In fact when Elder Nattress said that is mother had one goal written, and it was 'Patience with Brett!' I knew his mother, and I would have been fast friends.
As he continued recounting his story of finally telling his mother he was not listening to scripture study and why did she bother, her response is something that I have given countless times it seems. She said, 'Son, I was at a meeting where President Marion G. Romney taught about the blessings of scripture reading. During this meeting, I received a promise that if I would read the Book of Mormon to my children every day, I would not lose them.'
Elder Nattress then said that she him in the eyes and, with determination, said, 'And I will not lose you!' (K. Brett Nattress, "No Greater Joy Than to Know," General Conference, October 2016)
I have said those same words over and over again. I will not lose you to drugs. I will not lose you pornography. I will not lose you to lies. I am here to battle for you. The boys always smirk, the girls are more patient, but I will do all that I can to keep my children safe. No that doesn't mean that I'm going to take away the consequences of wrong choices. We have recently had some difficult consequences that resulted in some trying times. But I held hands that needed to be held. Cried and expressed my disappointment, but hugged and kissed and promised always to support and help where I could.
I can't take away pain or make things better for my children all the time. I can fight for them, love and teach them that the only person able to save them is their Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the master healer and great advocate. I can pray with them and for them, but ultimately they have to learn for themselves and rely on the Lord. He is the master teacher.