Sunday, October 31, 2010

From a Pint Size Perspective

One of the advantages of my job is hearing things from kids perspective almost daily. The following two happened this week:

One boy looked right at me and in perfect English said, "I only speak Spanish."

One day this week, I ended up on the playground with just my own students for a bit of time. I started swinging with some of the kids and they started talking. I've noticed that many times kids this age (8-10) will bring up religion on their own. They are curious or want to share what have learned and it is very interesting to 'see' from their perspective. One little guy shared with me as we were swinging that his previous church (they just moved to the area) had showed him a picture of God. "Did you know Ms. Mills, that they took God and put him on a plus sign and put thumbtacks in his hands and feet?"

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Nauvoo, Sunday, July 4

Sun. July 4

A day of rest! We slept in and it was wonderful. When I did wake up, I spent a couple of hours recording these memories in my journal and then leisurely got ready for church. Today was Fast and testimony meeting – I loved seeing the chapel and overflow areas filled to overflowing. I loved how the members of the Nauvoo ward welcomed us with outstretched arms even though we are so many. There was such a feeling of welcome, joy, and excitement. The testimonies were sweet and tender, powerful and uplifting. One of those meetings that could go on for hours until everyone had a chance to share. But it didn’t. The Sunday School lesson was on David and Bathsheba’s story – again, I wished that the lesson could go on. So many made brief comments that I would like to have followed up on. The Relief Society lesson was on mercy and the atonement. A few sisters shared some personal experiences where they felt the tender mercies of the Lord.  My step- mom Sandy said that it was one of the best Relief Society meetings she had ever attended. I concur.

The core cast has another show that they do as an outreach to the outlying communities. Each Sunday they travel a few hours and share the show – “Our Story Goes On”. The very first Sunday in July they perform the show in Nauvoo. Tonight it was held in the outdoor theater and it was wonderful. It is a sweet show of the circle of life and love. Afterward, I visited with a few people and then spent some time alone. Ryan went with the Birdsalls and I took the time to walk through the Relief Society Gardens. The Relief Society gardens are one of my favorite places in Nauvoo. The gardens have circle paths surrounded by tall trees making them private and secluded from the bustle of life. There are a dozen or so bronze life size sculptures reflecting women and their lives. Late at night, all of the sculptures were lit and the gardens deserted. I walked from bronze to bronze, touching them, learning from them, applying them to my life. I could have stayed forever soaking up the beauty of the night, the smell of the flowers and summer evening, the faint sounds of life drifting by on the breeze.


I ended the evening by meeting up with Ryan and the Birdsall family where Parley Street meets the Mississippi as we watched the fireworks from two cities across the river. As good as the fireworks were, they could match the magnificent lighting show that we could see in the distance.

The Dripping of the Sponge

They say that kids are sponges and absorb everything around them. Case in point: The other day one of the teachers heard the students talking about a game their were playing at recess. None of us had ever heard of it before, so we made a point to observe and learn the rules. What is it you ask? Border Patrol Tag. 

The participants are divided up into two groups, Border Patrol and Wetbacks. The goal for the Wetbacks is to get to the safety zone behind the border patrol. The Border Patrol team shout "Get back! Get back!" and can tag the Wetbacks as they are running toward the safety zone. Once tagged, the Wetbacks have to put their hands behind their back and are escorted to a tagged zone. Any Wetback that has made it to the safety zone can come back into the game and free Wetbacks from the tagged zone and then both try to make it the safety zone.

Never say that recess is not educational. It is when we fit in current events...

The Rest of the Story

After reading my friend Kim's comment on my previous post, I asked Ryan a bit more about the "say ur prayers" message on his cell phone. Turns out that the YM first counselor/Scoutmaster mentioned it to the boys and they took him up on the idea and programed the message into their phones. I am profoundly grateful for inspired leaders who love my son. My mother's heart is so grateful when they can see past his 12 yr. old antics and love the young man that I know. Especially since the divorce, I pray for the men in Ryan's life almost daily, that the Lord will provide the inspired testimonies to be the second witness now missing in his life.

For all of you working with youth, Thank you! Thank you for making choices to keep the spirit close and for following promptings. Thank you for your testimonies in action. Thank you for loving kids not your own.
A Grateful Mother

Step by Step

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