As this Sunday comes to a close, I have a moment to reflect back on a wonderful weekend. It's been busy, fun, fulfilling, edifying. Combining the warm weather with Easter, family dinners and General Conference, I am wanting to linger a little longer in this holiday.
First, General Conference. What an inspiring 10 hours of talks! This is the first year I've ever given real heed to the counsel to prepare my mind before the conference starts. I didn't get a whole lot of time, but I did reflect Friday night in bed on some of the things I have going on in my life and areas that I thought needed some guidance. There were two big areas that came to mind: mothering, and scripture study. Both sessions on Saturday were overflowing with inspiration in exactly these two areas. I was amazed. Saturday morning was a little crazy, because it always overlaps lunch and naptime. But Julie Beck, the General Relief Society President, spoke right to my heart as a young mother, struggling to find time to get everything done. I've already re-listened to her talk again, and I know when the text comes in the Ensign magazine next month I'll have my highlighter out before I even open the pages. Saturday afternoon I went by myself to the chapel to listen to the afternoon session without the distraction of children. I was riveted. I don't think my mind wandered from the speakers for a single second. Every word was speaking to something I needed to hear. Inspiration was flowing through me; sometimes the words the speaker spoke were answers to questions, and othertimes they triggered a thought chain in my mind that led to an answer. In both cases it was as if I was in a university lecture with the Holy Spirit: I could barely keep up scribbling in my notebook all that I needed to remember!
Sunday morning session again fell during lunch and nap, and so I'll have to catch up with it again later. Many of the speakers spoke about Easter, the Saviour, and His resurrection. I can't remember the last time General Conference fell on Easter, although I'm sure it has many times. Although I missed having a traditional Easter church service, certainly the testimonies I heard at conference spoke with even more authority and conviction about the life and importance of Jesus. James is tucking the boys into bed right now, and then we'll catch the last session this evening.
This morning we showed the boys a short film about the life and death and resurrection of Jesus. Colin, his usual inquisitive self, asked a question every ten seconds or so. We encourage this in him, and so we were busy answering lots of questions. Because of the subject matter, we were a little wary at first on how much to explain. But in the end I figured if he was mature enough to process what he was seeing into a mature question, it deserved an honest answer. (We covered questions like "why are they hitting him?" "how does he die on the cross?" and "what is adultery?")
After the movie, Colin asked if we could make paper cutouts of Jesus and the cross. One of his favourite games of late is to draw characters from the movies he sees and then play with them, like paper dolls. I told him it wasn't appropriate to play with a cutout of Jesus and the cross. So he amended his request by saying that we could just draw it and then hang it as decoration. I agreed to this, but asked him to wait until I had finished making lunch. He disappeared to the playroom. When he emerged 10 minutes later, he presented to me a Lego creation. On a large green square, he had built a cross and added a little Lego man to the front. All around the square he had built a little fence, just like the scene in the film he saw. It was immediately recognizable as Jesus on the cross at Calvary. James and I were completely amazed that he had processed the scene in the movie and then recreated it so well.
This weekend also saw us playing host to both the Gawthroupe and the Martin family dinners. I got to try out my new table, sitting up to 12 people around it comfortably. Both meals were a giant success, without being so much work that I was worn out beyond the ability to enjoy the company. Friday weather was so beautiful and warm it actually begged for a barbecue, but the planned turkey dinner was thoroughly enjoyed by all. This afternoon I had a fantastic ham, pre-cooked and it came with its own glaze. There are some times when taking advantage of modern conveniences are totally worth it! (I am also grateful for a dishwasher this weekend!)
And so the weekend comes to a close. And yet, the more I ponder on it, although I won't likely experience these moments all crammed into one weekend again for a while, I will be able to recapture bits and pieces here. When my Ensign magazine comes with the conference talks, I want to study them closer, deeper, really pick them apart and apply the lessons I learn into my life. And now that the good weather has arrived, we hope to entertain friends and family more often.