Friday, June 17, 2016

Lessons from my Children: Miranda: The Little Things are Important

Lessons from my Children: Miranda; The Little Things are Important

Miranda was the quickest of our babies in coming. We were only at the hospital a couple of hours before she was born. Hers was also the most natural childbirth—there was not time for an epidural. It was a surprise to everyone at home when I called to report Miranda had been born. It seemed Sheri and I had barely left home to go to the hospital. The Fazzinos, who lived around the corner, watched the kids for us while Miranda was born. They were surprised as well, as I was home by ten to relieve them.
    Miranda is a stickler for detail.  It is she who remembers important things, and important dates.  A couple years ago, an February 8, she remembered it was Tony's birthday.  Tony had been our foster child who had come to us as a beautiful preemie baby.  We loved him and were proud of him.  But at two months he went to live with a relative foster home.  Miranda remembered him, and helped us remember him on his birthday.  Better yet, within a couple weeks after his birthday, Tony was returned to us, and he's still with us and we love him.
   But for better or worse I don't always see the little things that Miranda does that makes out family a Heaven on earth.  It is Miranda who fixes dinner when we are all to busy.  It is Miranda who will watch a baby at the last minute, even when she would rather not.
    Miranda and Caleb have recently become dog owners.  Miranda is particular to take care of the little things with the dog, making sure he has water and food, baths and flea medicine.  She gets mad at me if I feed him scraps from the table, as they are not good for his health.
    And that is the lesson Miranda is teaching me--how to be more sensitive to the little things.  I must admit this blog is the hardest for me to write.  I have not learned Miranda's lesson very well.  I am generally the laid back person, and as a result I miss important keys.  Consequently it seems too often I offend Miranda.  She has to put up with a lot living with her "old man."  My philosophy has always been that love would smooth over my faults, and everything would be OK.  However I am learning that sometimes the little things count; sometimes paying attention to them is how love is shown.
    I have a bad habit, especially where Miranda is concerned, of accentuating the negative.  I know better.  As Bing Crosby use to sing:
You've got to accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between

You've got to spread joy up to the maximum
Bring gloom down to the minimum
Have faith or pandemonium
Liable to walk upon the scene

(To illustrate his last remark
Jonah in the whale, Noah in the ark
What did they do
Just when everything looked so dark)

Man, they said we better
Accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between
No, do not mess with Mister In-Between
Do you hear me, hmm?

(Oh, listen to me children and-a you will hear
About the elininatin' of the negative
And the accent on the positive)
And gather 'round me children if you're willin'
And sit tight while I start reviewin'
The attitude of doin' right

(You've gotta accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between)

You've got to spread joy (up to the maximum)
Bring gloom (down) down to the minimum
Otherwise (otherwise) pandemonium
Liable to walk upon the scene

To illustrate (well illustrate) my last remark (you got the floor)
Jonah in the whale, Noah in the ark
What did they say (what did they say)
Say when everything looked so dark

Man, they said we better
Accentuate the positive
Eliminate the negative
Latch on to the affirmative
Don't mess with Mister In-Between
No! Don't mess with Mister In-Between

Elder M. Russel Ballard quoted different young people about how they follow Christ at the  CES fireside November 2010.  “I show faith in Christ by being consistent and doing the little things that matter most. By reading my scriptures, praying, and trying to love others as Christ would, my faith grows.”  He had asked a series of questions, which are worthy to help us remember to do the little things:

1. Are you happy with the direction of your life and the depth of your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?
2. Do you love God with all of your heart, soul, strength, and mind? (See Luke 10:27.)
3. Are you doing the simple things in your everyday life?
a. Are you saying your prayers every morning and every night?
b. Are you reading every day from the holy scriptures?
c. Are you using appropriate language?
d. Are you being honest?
e. Are you living the Word of Wisdom?
4. Are you being kind and thoughtful of the needs of those around you?
5. Are you following the counsel of the Brethren … to avoid completely any kind of pornography?
6. Are you living worthy of a temple recommend?
7. Are you actively participating in your Sunday meetings, especially sacrament meeting—partaking of the sacrament worthily and renewing your covenants with the Lord?

This is a good lesson in looking at whether or not you are doing the things you should be doing.  In doing these things, one will find greater joy.  I have tried to live a Five-star life as presented by Bishop Betts in Ballard Ward—daily prayer, daily scripture study, family and individual; weekly family home evening and journal writing.  That is really six things but makes a good list.  Unfortunately I have come short, but Miranda is on her way to making these habits part of her life.  I need to better follow her example.

   So let me end this blog with an apology.  Miranda, I am sorry sometimes I miss the little things that you do that help our family.  I am sorry I come home, and the first thing I do is point out something I think you should have done.  I will do better.  I appreciate your pointing out that little things are important.  I will be more aware of your contribution.

No comments:

Post a Comment