"We seldom get into trouble when we speak softly. It is only when we raise our voices that the sparks fly and tiny molehills become great mountains of contention."
- - Gordon B. Hinckley
June 7, 2012
Seeing Whom We Seek
by Hannah Bird

We used to live down the hill from a large university.  Every afternoon we saw hundreds of college students streaming past our house on their way home.  

At about this same time, I would take my youngest daughter outside to watch for my husband's bus.  We would watch from our sidewalk as the bus would arrive two blocks away and drop off its load of work weary men.  

My daughter, Sophie, was a little over a year old then.  She would watch this stream of people anxiously until she could pick out her daddy.  As soon as she spotted him she would shriek "He, more" and excitedly do the ASL sign for more.  We watched the people together.  We saw the bus pull up together.  We looked for him together.  But she always saw him first.

I had spent 12 years of married life seeing his long legs and distinctive bouncing step.  I had bought the coat he wore.  I knew him as well as I knew myself.  But still she would see him first.  Or worse, I would cheerfully announce that I saw Daddy only to be corrected by the baby in my arms.

Because she was the one that was really looking.

I was happy for my husband to come home.  But as I stood on the sidewalk I was thinking of so many things.  Had I turned the burner off?  Were the children in the house fighting?  What had I forgotten?  I was worried about bills and kids and suspicious aches.  I was a little cross at the car that had just gone whizzing past in open defiance of the posted speed limit.  I was a little cross that dinner had not turned out well.  I was wondering what I had the energy left to accomplish that evening.

Sophie, on the other hand, was focused like a laser.  She waited for her daddy to get home all day.  Sometimes he hid Smarties in his pocket.  Sometimes she would sit on his lap and eat ice cream.  Sometimes they would play dinosaur chase in the living room.  Sometimes she fell asleep in his arms.  But every day when Daddy came home, wonderful things happened to Sophie.  She looked with the intensity of someone anticipating one of the greatest moments in a lifetime.  

In the scriptures we are commanded to give thanks.  We are reminded twice a year in general conference.  We are promised stunning blessings by honoring the principle of gratitude.  

It is not because the Lord needs our attention.  It is not because our Heavenly Father needs or gratitude and praise.  It is because a grateful people are a happy people. I think it might be because it teaches us to look.  Knowing my husband was coming was not enough to help me find him on the crowded sidewalks.  Knowing that the Lord is there is not enough to help us see His presence in our daily lives.  We have to teach ourselves to look.

When we are truly grateful even in the difficult times we are focused on finding our Father in Heaven.  We have to look hard.  Some days it takes a tremendous amount of effort.  But it teaches us to look.  It teaches us to see Him.  He teaches us to recognize Him moving through our lives.  We learn to watch like a child, with wonder and joyful anticipation before we know what the gifts will be.  

Like my Sophie we will focus like a laser on seeing Him who we seek and we will come to know that whatever it is, it will be wonderful.


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About Hannah Bird

I am me. I live at my house with my husband and kids. Mostly because I have found that people get really touchy if you try to live at their house. Even after you explain that their towels are fluffier and none of the cheddar in their fridge is green.

I teach Relief Society and most of the sisters in the ward are still nice enough to come.

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