Our son is a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He is currently serving his mission in Riverside, California, and will be until October, 2022. We get to talk to him a couple times a week, but I miss him all the same.
As part of his outreach he posts messages on Facebook. These messages are evidence that he is growing up and into a man of God. That’s exactly what a parent hopes for when they deliver their child to the mission field.
Bryce posted this on Facebook the other day:
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
When I read this it made me think of an experience that I had a few years ago with my family. We visited a place called the Carlsbad Caverns located in New Mexico. As the name suggests, this is a giant and I truly mean ginormous cave. You can take a guided tour which is what my family and I did, in this tour you are eventually taken to a part of the cave where it is so deep underground that absolutely no natural light can get in. The tour guide stopped our group and turned off all the lights, we were in complete and total darkness the guide then turned on a very small flashlight, and just the small light made a huge difference and we were able to somewhat see again. Jesus Christ was a light to the world and by being his disciples we all carry a little bit of his light with us. When we go out performing acts of good for others we let our light shine. It is this light that has the power to shine even in the darkest of depths and change lives for the better, I can testify that I have seen this light change my life and I know that it can help others as we let our light shine.
The darkness was almost suffocating. I had never experienced darkness like that. I’m so grateful that my boy could reflect back on that experience and liken it to the scripture in Matthew 5. That experience gave him something tangible with which to anchor the scripture to his testimony.
I have struggled to write this article, getting stuck at a certain point. Homeschooling, cooking, cleaning, (selling our Winnebego), and packing for our next trip hasn’t left me much time for Mon’s Musings. When I read my missionary’s post I knew this was WHY I have gotten stuck, and it completed this funny, disjointed article.
In our family, we talk about “shining bright”. Well, I talk about it and hope they are listening. Apparently, one of them does listen. This is Why.
Why would we put our family out there for the world to see, warts and all? Embarrassing stories and all? Because of Matthew 5:16. This is Why.
The idea of taking our family on the road fills me with excitement and anxiety all at the same time. Since this is my musings page, I will muse about this aspect of traveling with my family. You did click on Mon’s musings, so hopefully your expectations are sufficiently tempered and you are bored enough in your own life to want to read about my mine. It’s not all splashy and beautiful all the time. There are moments, though.
From some of our other articles, you’ve gathered that I’m a special needs mom of four kids. Motherhood has been challenging. I’m sure it is for everyone in various aspects. Putting your needs on the back burner to focus on the needs of someone else goes against the “doctrine” preached by our world. Mothers are marginalized. It’s sad, but true.
The “special needs mom” piece is difficult because few others understand the challenges that we face while navigating uncharted waters raising atypical children. And adding to that, mitigating the effects the world has on my misunderstood babies is hard. Heck, I barely understand them sometimes! So is it fair for me to expect someone in a store who gets a five minute glance at my trainwreck to understand us? Probably not. And why do I care? To be honest, I care less and less these days. Which is why we can take our kiddos on the road!
This brings me to road trips. Why would I take these kids out in public if the odds are in the favor of having a bad, memorable experience? Maybe because I’m dumb? Maybe because I have that classic mom memory of “never again”, and then I find myself pregnant 15 months later, or finishing another brutal marathon, or waxing my eye brows even though I know it will rip the top layer of skin off and will look horrendous while it scabs over for the next five days? I’m not alone, here, am I? Sorry, back to roadtrips.
The sweetness of the experiences we have on the road makes it worth it. Those long days at a campground, the nights playing board games in the rig, the restlessness my littles feel that catapults them into finding ways to get un-bored that doesn’t involve a video game. The incredible pictures we take. Showing them what God has made and how it anchors in them a sense that He is real. It all makes it worth it.
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