Long, long ago I lived in a place where it regularly snowed each winter. I don’t know what I was thinking. I’m not a big fan of cold. I must really love my husband. Anyway, one winter it had snowed and thawed and snowed and thawed repeatedly and in all of that time we had not shoveled our driveway. One slightly warmer afternoon our new baby was sleeping and the children were all happily distracted and I decided to go tackle the driveway. I started out with a snow shovel. I ended up with a pick. After hours in the rocking chair, the hard physical work felt wonderful. I’m sure there are better ways to attack ice. I had covered the area with salt, hoping it would help melt the ice. A neighbor boy and his friend joined me in the slow process of chipping away at the layers of ice. After two hours we had a small portion of driveway cleared. Four little faces were looking out my window wondering why I was still playing outside. I needed to go inside and mother.
The rest of the afternoon and evening passed by quickly. Dinner and bedtime is always a rush with young children around. The next day reminded me of why I hadn’t shoveled sooner. It was filled with child “emergencies.” Glasses of milk were spilled, epic diapers were changed and recovered from, books were reread, and owies were kissed and bandaged. The day was warm. I was eager for more exercise and determined to continue to make progress on what I now figured would be a week-long project. When I stepped onto the porch I was surprised. The driveway was completely clear. It had melted. What would have taken me hours and hour of labor had been swept away in a brief afternoon of sunshine.
I sometimes feel like New Year’s resolutions are like me taking a pick ax to my life or my heart. I do make progress. It is slow. It always takes a lot longer than I anticipate and it seldom goes how I think it will. What if, instead of New Year’s resolutions, we vowed to spend more time in the presence of the Son of God? What if, instead of opening each day with resolve to be perfect and ending each day with regret (or perhaps that regret is felt as early as breakfast!)…what if we began each day with a desire to seek the presence of the Son? Little choices like what music we listen to, adding a scripture, or a conference talk to our day…choosing to look those we love in the eye and be with them. What if we walked outside to just be among His creations more?
No matter what our circumstances, no matter if we are sick or busy or tired or poor or rich or overwhelmed, we could find one little way, even right before we go to bed, to seek the presence of the Son. No matter what else we have done that day the Savior still welcomes us into His presence. He invites us, He pleads for us, He died for us so that we could come back to His presence. Even our tiniest efforts are welcomed. What if we skip a day or weeks, but return to seek Him regularly through the year?
What would change? What would melt out of our lives? Would we find ourselves changed, or would we find ourselves revealed? How would we heal?
I know it isn’t specific and measurable like a goal should be. I know there is no deadline. There isn’t really a check mark we could make at the end of the day or year. But some of the best things in life aren’t on any to do list and would never be a resolution.
Britt grew up in a family of six brothers and one sister and gained a bonus sister later. She camped in the High Sierras, canoed down the Colorado, and played volleyball at Brigham Young University. She then served a mission to South Africa. With all of her time in the gym and the mountains and South Africa, she was totally prepared to become the mother of 2 sons and soon to be 9 daughters. By totally prepared she means willing to love them and muddle through everything else in a partially sleepless state. She is mostly successful at figuring out how to keep the baby clothed, or at least diapered, though her current toddler is challenging this skill. She feels children naturally love to learn and didn’t want to disrupt childhood curiosity with worksheets and school bells. She loves to play in the dirt, read books, go on adventures, watch her children discover new things, and mentor her children. Her oldest child is currently at a community college and her oldest son is going to high school at a public school. She loves to follow her children in their unique paths and interests. She loves to write because, unlike the laundry and the dishes, writing stays done. Whenever someone asks her how she does it all she wonders what in the world they think she’s doing.