Before I turn my blog over for two weeks of celebrating The Family Proclamation's 20th anniversary, I thought I'd share a little something we did as a family today.
Earlier this summer, we were doing tons of crafts. For one of our crafts, we made paper mache "hot air balloons"! These hot air balloons have been hanging in our kitchen (and Steve and I are always knocking our heads on them, but we love them. Well, I love them!)
Just before we made these hot air balloons together, my kids and I witnessed something pretty dreadful together, which we have tried hard to forget about. I didn't blog about it here, but perhaps I will at some point. It was hard thing to go through, but I know it will prepare them to stand for right and for virtue every day of their lives.
Making the hot air balloons together was just a fun way to make a memory together, but for me those hot air balloons came to symbolize our summer together, if for no other reason than that they were cheerful and happy-looking, and they made me smile whenever I saw them.
At some point, I remembered that there is a hot air balloon near where we live, which we have never attended. So, I secretly put it on our family calendar, and told the children that I had a surprise for them.
As school started, we made important choices to continue to prioritize family time over other activities...and as hard as it was to make that choice over and over again...this is what allowed us to spend the morning together today at this local hot air balloon festival.
Even as late (or early?) as 5am this morning, the kids had no idea where we were going.
But it all became evident pretty quickly when the balloon trailers arrived. It was interesting that we were all just as impressed with the morning sky as we were with the balloons, but both were very much worth the early wake-up call! Magnificent!
Neither the children nor I had been to a hot air balloon event like this. It was fun to get up-close and personal with these spectacular balloons.
And as I type this I realize what a perfect symbol the hot air balloons are for the experiences that we had together this summer.
Although we had an unpleasant experience, thanks to "the World", early on in the summer, the Lord provided us with an escape. He gave us a wonderful/unexpected front-row experience at the Palmyra Pageant and a VIP tour of a brand new, beautiful temple...AND a more recent special experience at the Priesthood Restoration site, not to mention many peaceful hours spent together as a family at home.
The Lord didn't leave us to feel helpless and to wallow in our difficult, but formative, experience.
Instead, He showed us a way out. He showed us that no matter what the world chooses, we can always rise above, reach new heights, and see the world in all its beauty from a totally new perspective...from His perspective.
We don't always get to be lifted out of our circumstances in life, but this summer the Lord truly taught us that He is more than willing to come to the rescue at a moment's notice, to make our burdens light.
What a splendid lesson!
There is a God in Heaven. He is powerful and His influence in our lives can be felt and is real. I'm so grateful for this knowledge.
And because of Him, families are forever and the downsides of this mortal life are only temporary.
I'm so happy and thankful to the Lord for teaching me all of these lessons again.
Now here are some more pictures of our balloon fun from this morning. We hope to go again next year!
Ok, stay tuned! I'll be back with a new post about The Family Proclamation every day for the next two weeks.
We'll be sharing testimonies of the family under the hashtag #ILovetheFamilyProclamation on social media! Join us!