i think of myself as a sponge. it takes me a while to let things sink in so that i can clean my mess up.
this last weekend, all of us latter day saints gathered together in one giant slumber party to view our semi-annual general conference. ok, it wasn't really a giant slumber party...but i like to think of it that way as i imagine so many saints across the world gathered with tired hearts, ready to be rejuvenated by the words of the prophets. and so it was general conference. my spongey self was in full capoot (well, as much as it could be between feedings, and a few shut-eyes here and there due to the previous nights' midnight feedings). as usual, it has taken me a few days to really let everything sink in. there were so many uplifting words spoken. so many "goose-bumpers," as i call them (the ones that give you the chills all over- and make you feel fuzzy).
one, however, continues to stick out in my mind.
Elder Wirthlin's talk.
it's funny, because, Elder Wirthlin often isn't the most charismatic of the bunch. however, he always speaks to my heart. he always answers a quiet prayer that i didn't even realize i had said or thought aloud.
he shared a phrase his mother often used to share with him as a child: come what may and love it. what a powerful collection of words! i feel the goose-bumps rising just typing them. so what does it mean? he shared the following explanation:
"I think she meant that every day has peaks and shadows, and times when it seems that the birds don’t sing and bells don’t ring. But in spite of discouragement and adversity, those that are happy seem to have a way of learning from difficult times, becoming stronger and wiser and happier as a result."
isn't this the truth? life can be hard. so hard. double dog hard. it can be frustrating. and exasperating. but i love how he said also that "the way we react to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be. if we approach adversities wisely, our hardest times can be of greatest growth, which in turn can lead towards times of greatest happiness."
seems impossible, right? how can you be happy, when life can be so double dog hard?
then he shared how. one of my favorite ways that he shared was through laughter. now, i love to laugh. so much. i think of my favorite memories and they often involve me being extremely silly, with someone i love, and a stomach ache from laughing so hard. it's true, laughing has a magical, healing power.
he shared a story of his daughter that is hilarious. i'd like to relate that story in his words:
"Our daughter went on a blind date of which we didn’t approve. In walked a man who seemed a little old, but she tried to be polite. She introduced him to me and my wife and the other children. We watched as she got in the car- but it didn’t move. Eventually the daughter got out of the car, red faced and ran back into the house. The man she thought was her blind date, had actually come to pick up another one of our daughters who had agreed to be a babysitter for him and his wife. We all had a good laugh over that. In fact we couldn’t stop laughing. Later, when our daughter’s real blind date showed up, I couldn’t come out to meet him because I was still in the kitchen laughing. Now, I realize that our daughter could have felt humiliated and embarrassed, but she laughed with us, and as a result, we still laugh about it to this day. The next time you're tempted to groan, you might try to laugh instead."
it made me think of the things in my life that are hard. yes, there are things that are too serious to laugh about. but then there are things that i take too seriously that could be laughed about. my spongy self realized i had a mess to clean up. i need to smile more. i need to enjoy the small moments more. i need to remember that life is always going to throw curve balls and rainstorms and lemons. but i can choose to have a lemonade stand, enjoy the rainbow after the storm...and hit a home-run out of that curve ball...smiling all the while. so, till the next mega LDS slumber party, i'm going to try my best to remember the phrase, come what may and love it.
to kick off "come what may and love it," i thought i'd share this little video that my family and i think is hilarious. little charlie knows how to laugh! i hope you get a laugh, too.