Ever After
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  • January5th

    Atop Tad’s Christmas wish list was an item that made this muggle mother’s heart sink: Invisibility Blanket.

    I can quilt.

    I can sew.

    I can applique, knit, crochet, and even tat.

    But I can’t make an invisibility blanket.

    Or can I???

    As I sat today where I have sat almost every Sunday for the past three years–on the piano bench in Primary–it occurred to me that I, and other Primary pianists like me around the globe, are often shrouded by invisibility blankets. Few people ever give a moment’s thought to the person laboring behind the piano, a smile on her face while sweat drips down her pits, transparent to all except when she makes a mistake.

    Thankfully, I am not in it for the glory, and heaven knows that I don’t deserve nor have I earned any accolades for my bumbling, fumbling, however well-intentioned efforts.  But I know other Primary pianists, or those in other “low-profile” callings, may not be as content with invisibility.

    No. No one will miss me when the new pianist starts next Sunday. Like a good scout on a camping trip, I’ve left no trace that I was ever there. But in many important ways, I’VE been changed by the calling from which I was released this morning.

    I’ve learned . . .

    I can do really, really, really hard things . . . like playing the piano in front people.

    Practice does not always make perfect.

    If I’m ever in a leadership role, I will strive to do my calling and not anyone else’s.

    And perhaps most importantly, I will be more mindful of and demonstratively thankful for the efforts of fellow foot soldiers. Great effort, love and sacrifice is often behind even the quietest, most “invisible” service.

  • January5th

    Even though I know it’s my job to teach and nurture my kids, on most days I feel like I learn more from them than they from me. For example, Tad often reminds me of the power of simple, heartfelt prayer.

    “Dear Heavenly Father, this is Tad. I hope that my Grandpa Tad is feeling better after his fall and that he is eating his oatmeal because I really love him.” When I talked to my dad that morning, he reported that, indeed, he had eaten oatmeal for breakfast and that he has no lasting effects from his fall this past summer.

    On another occasion, Grandpa Tad’s dust collector system wasn’t working. My dad struggled mightily for a few of days to get it up and running but to no avail. I explained the problem to Tad, and he and I knelt as Tad offered a simple little prayer that Grandpa Tad would be able to fix his dust collector system. “Heavenly Father, this is is Tad . . .”

    No more than 10 minutes after Tad finished his prayer, my dad called with happy news: With heaven’s help, he had fixed the problem. A loose wire in the switch that he had previously found but had not hooked back up correctly.  Young Tad’s response to having his prayer answered so quickly and directly: “That was cool and weird.”

    When Tad earnestly prays for Ariana and Vivian in our family prayer as they head off to school, it’s easy for them to forgive his impishness: “Please bless Vivi that she will have someone to play with at recess, and please bless Guppy that the mean girls at school won’t mess with her any more. She is not ugly, she is pretty and nice because that’s what she is.”

    I’m sure that Heavenly Father smiles when Tad wishes Him a good day: “I hope my dad has a good day and that my mom accomplishes everything that she needs to. And I hope You have a good day, too.”

    Encouraged by his faith, I’m trying to adopt Tad’s sweet salutation in my own personal prayers. “Heavenly Father, this is Lori . . .”

    My prayer is that I will find joy in motherhood as I try really hard to teach my kids to have grateful hearts, helpful hands, and quick, creative minds.