Well, one person is praying. The other is trying to keep the baby away from the lamp.
We have recently introduced a third tradition to our nighttime routine. Sort of a Favorite Moments Part II. It's called: "How did you remember Christ today?"
After starting this new tradition, I was left a little discomforted after that question. Because I couldn't really think of anything I did specifically for Him that day. This happened for three days in a row.
Sure, there were good things I did do. I picked up littered paper and put it in my pocket. I wished a friend happy birthday on his Facebook wall. I said thank you to the cashier. I read my scriptures for 15 minutes. I said a quick morning prayer before jumping into the shower.
Those things are good. They certainly make a difference to not do any of those things.
But I didn't do it for Him.
I started to realize over the period of these three days that I was in a habit of routine, and that routine was getting to be a little dry. I was doing things because I was "supposed" to, not because I had the desire to do them. I know the scriptures say that whatever we do unto another, we also do unto Christ. I believe that. In fact, that's why I don't want my actions to reflect I did good things only because they were the right thing to do. That's not the kind of person I want to be. I want my actions to have real intent in them, especially if they come back to affecting Christ.
Sadly though, my resolution to do better during those days would slip away into the recess of my mind when I would get busy and react out of habit. Every night, when was my turn to answer the question, I would say, "Dang it. I forgot to think about Him again."
There is hope on the horizon my friends. This week we had some missionaries from our church come over for dinner. It's way fun to feed them. They bring light into our home, and they're about the nicest people I think I've ever met. They are also homecooked-starved young men who have yet to learn how to really cook on their own. I don't think I've ever been told "thank you" so much in one evening.
Taylor and I were both bustling in the kitchen, juggling different parts of the meal to prepare. We were cutting it close on time, and we still had the kitchen to clean up to make presentable for guests. As we danced around each other with brooms, pots, and uncooked dinner portions, little Arrow was tugging on our legs and crying for us. She's not usually a whining baby, unless she wants to play or sleep. Her desires for either of those were coming at the wrong time, because we didn't have time to play. She couldn't nap right then, because her cot only fit in the kitchen.
Whining drains me like no other, so I picked her up, mostly out of annoyance. I carried her into the other room. She stopped her crying, and was happy to sit in my lap and play with her toes. I was torn then to leave her alone in the room and continue helping Taylor with dinner. I knew however that would only make her cry again. Which would only become more annoying.
Right about then I had a little change of heart. I didn't get any warm feelings in my chest, nor did I see any flashes of lightnings to spark this change. Instead, the memory of our new nighttime tradition came to mind, and I literally asked myself, "What would Jesus do right now?"
The answer was obvious. Christ, of course, would turn to the little baby who needed love and attention. He's taught to love countless times. (One particular example that relates a lot to this experience is found in Luke 10: 38-42) I realized that the dinner Taylor and I were making would turn out fine, even if it took an extra ten minutes to be set on the table. Right now, choosing the good part was giving my baby some love.
Arrow and I played our hearts out in a game of tag and unrolling a ball of toilet paper. She laughed and I laughed. I let go of some tension that had been filling me up. I felt more at peace. When Arrow was able to entertain herself alone, I returned to the kitchen to help Taylor finish up dinner prep. When the missionaries did come, I was still washing forks, but that had no lasting effect on our evening. In fact, that entire dinner turned out to be the "Favorite Moment" for both Taylor and me. Even better, Arrow was still able to be reassured in the love of her parents. We got the best of both worlds.
It was also a relief, of sorts, for me to finally give credit to my Savior by thinking about Him that day.
To help us keep better at our goals to remember Him, we printed off a picture of a painting of Christ. (It's not as a good as real painting, but it's a start :) ) This is what we have hanging across from our bed.
Above the couch we now have some family pictures hanging...
... with a variety more decorating other walls, to remind us of what matters most.
Since we are human, we will probably forget here and there to remember Him. Which is unfortunate, considering all He has done for us, and how involved we are in general with our religion. But that's okay. We are here to to make mistake, to learn, and then to improve. I am grateful for the Atonement that Christ did for us, to help us change and become better.
I am grateful for His love that forgives me when I have forgotten Him.
God is good, my friends. He is good.