Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Seek the Good

Last weekend I did something I've never done before: I went out of town, overnight, without my husband or my children. That may seem silly. But, in the ten and a half years of marriage and almost seven years of motherhood, I've never gone away by myself. And it was great. I was glad to be home when it was time to go home. But what I did while I was away was unbelievable. I had the chance to go to Springfield Massachusetts for a women's conference called Time Out For Women, sponsored by the Deseret Book Company. It was geared toward women of faith, particularly LDS women. Deseret Book brings several of their authors and a couple of the musicians on their music label to speak and sing/perform for two wonderful days. The theme for this year's tour was "Seek the Good." And boy was there much good to be seen over that weekend.

The very last speaker, Emily Freeman, had some especially poignant words for me personally about really seeing the goodness of God. Afterwards I had a chance to visit with her. I wanted to tell her how much I appreciated her ability to seamlessly weave scripture stories and real life experience together. I wanted to pick her brain and ask her how she does it. She's written 10 books and does these TOFW tours and I also found out she teaches early morning seminary just like me! So I asked her about her writing--when she does it, how, etc. The one thing that feels like it was just branded into my brain was this comment: "My audience is my children. I write exclusively for my children." What? Wow! For all those popular books and speaking engagements, every single thing she writes is written expressly for her children. She told me that many years ago she had a friend who had cancer and she wanted her children to know certain things about her. That left an impression on Emily and she decided to follow that lead. Everything she writes is with the intent to share her thoughts, ideas, feelings, testimony, advice, experiences, growth, joy with her children. Her children are mostly grown now. But she has followed this pattern for many years.

That experience feels like it has changed me. I have so many things that float around in my head and my heart. My husband sometimes teases me that my brain is just always racing and never shuts down. I've thought over and over in the last many years that a long time ago, God gave me gift for words and if I'm not going to use it, I'm going to loose it. I've already started making lists of the things I want my children to know and feel and understand. I hope over the next long while I'll be able to commit those things to paper (or computer!) and use that same energy I saw in Emily to write for my audience of one: my family. Everyone else may enjoy the read as well.

I had tons of great experiences at TOFW and I think that might be where I start. So check back now and again if you'd like, and see what I'm writing for my children. Also on the agenda is a request from my friend Sarah to write about how I got into running. Since this has become such a big hobby for all of us, my three boys included, that seems absolutely a great idea to write about my journey to becoming a runner.

So, to my children: I love you. You make me giggle and tare out my hair, sometimes simultaneously  But I wouldn't trade you three busy boys for anything. Thanks for letting your mom go hang out with a bunch of ladies for a long weekend. I think the things I learned will make me a better mom, a better wife, a better friend, and most importantly a better disciple of Jesus Christ.