Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A scripture from Dad, about Dad

This past Sunday, Father's Day, I was thinking about a scripture that my Dad sent me when I was on a mission for the Church in Argentina. It's Jacob 3:1-2 in the Book of Mormon:

"But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down justice upon those who seek your destruction.

"O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever. "

My Dad said this scripture had given him comfort at various times throughout his life, and I can say it's done the same for me. I feel blessed to have a father on this earth that worked hard for me and consoled me as a child when I needed it. At the same time, I know that if I did not have a father, or if my father were not available (as happened on the mission), I have a Heavenly Father who can plead my cause and send me comfort when I "pray unto him with exceeding faith".

A teaching of Mormonism that I feel very strongly to be true is that God is literally our father. When Jesus addressed "Our Father, who art in heaven," it wasn't just a figurative expression. He was representing all of us and talking to a real being. I think many people believe this deep inside, regardless of whether they subscribe to organized Christianity.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Our own patch of mud (Does the Honey Bucket stay?)

In the past few weeks my wife and I have forayed into the complex new world of home shopping. There's a lot to learn and decide. Although we hit the market at a good time, we want to make sure we don't get duped. We're also looking for a home that will fit our family after a few more children (heaven willing), while still being affordable in the not-so-cheap Puget Sound home market.

Interestingly, we found our best prospect for square footage on the dollar was to buy new. It seemed like the only other way to get a house meeting our size and price requirements was to purchase a fixer-upper. That may be the right decision for some folks, but we currently don't have the skill set or time to invest in a home that has fallen apart, especially when new ones are available at the same price.

So yesterday we found ourselves trekking out past the row of model homes (the interior of which will look nothing like our house) to affix the "SOLD" sticker on our own lot sign. You'll notice that this lot has already been partially developed, but I think we would get charged for an upgrade to keep the Honey Bucket.

The same afternoon we hit the showroom to start choosing the interior and exterior details. Our builder boasted that we could make over 700 free choices to customize our home. I didn't exactly think that was a selling point with two young children who barely kept it together during the paper-signing process (and are currently howling downstairs as I write this). How could we make 700 choices with them clinging on us? Luckily we learned that the showroom has a kids area with surround-sound, big screen Curious George. This gives me confidence that my wife will be able to peacefully make all our selections as I lounge in a beanbag chair with the little ones and watch that naughty little monkey fly, fly away with his bundle of balloons.

I think this process has brought our family closer together.