I have remarkable children and grandchildren. This evening we had a video chat, then a story followed in an e-mail I eagerly share with all of you:
My children have a mild obsession with the reenactment of ordinances. They can be found almost daily, filling their tool boxes with little bits of bread to gingerly pass to each member of the family. Then last week I found them "baptizing" each other on the front lawn. I don't know where the fixation started, but I'll take it over playing war or any other number of less-desirable make-believe games, so I have yet to discourage their rituals.
This week has been hard on me. Last week I was an unshakable pillar of strength and patience. It seemed that nothing could get me down in the midst of lots of circumstances that could have. I don't know what changed, but this week my patience and coping are nil. I don't understand why sometimes we cope so much better than other times, but whatever the reasons, I have been running on empty for several days. By the time afternoon hit here I was tied in knots and my fuse was incredibly short. I couldn't cope with the incessant crying of my one-year-old, and the toddlers were doing their best to ensure I blew a gasket by dinnertime. My nerves were shot and I was officially spent. In a frustrated swoop, I grabbed my crying baby from the floor for the umpteenth time and put him on the counter so he could look right into my eyes. "I cannot handle you crying all day long every day, Gideon!" I said to him and yet to no one all at the same time.
And then, in my hour of frustration and exhaustion, the sacrament arrived. Three-year-old Noah quietly walked into the kitchen and held out the offering. "Just one piece, mommy," he gently reminded me. The irony wasn't lost on me. It was Thursday, the day before Good Friday, and the anniversary of Christ's original introduction of the sacrament in that sacred upper room. In that moment I accepted my son's emblem, I was reminded of what I'd covenanted to do just last Sunday. I had covenanted to always remember my Savior, and yet in those hours and days of exhaustion and weariness, how easily do I forget? How easily do I forget that He died for me? He gave His life so I don't have to carry the burdens and responsibilities of life alone. His atoning sacrifice is not just for the big challenges and trials of life, but for my seemingly insignificant challenges that chip away at my spirit and my peace daily. The crying baby, the fighting toddlers, and the unswept floor are all swept up in Him and His precious gift.
That is what I remember as I celebrate His life and His death - that His precious offerings matter in every moment and every detail of my life. It is in those simple moments that I need to accept His sacrificial gift with gratitude, and strive to always remember Him.