"No obstacles are insurmountable when God commands and we obey"
- - Heber J. Grant
March 10, 2015
Space and Time Enough
by Daryl Hoole

“Welcome to the land of space and time enough,” was the greeting my family and I received as we met with American Indian leaders of the Navajo Nation in Tsaile (near Window Rock), Arizona.

The year was about 1975. I had been invited to speak to a group of native, LDS parents living on the reservation about effective child-rearing methods. Hank and the children had been invited to come along to experience the beauty of the land and the culture of the people.

There in that enchanting desert, all one could see in any direction were sand and sky, with occasional gigantic red rock formations pointing to the clouds. When I asked what time the meeting would start I was told, “When they all get here.” Truly it was the land space and time enough.

Just this month I turned 81, and I am blessed to be in an era of life where there is space and time enough, relatively speaking, for my needs and even my wants. The children have moved on and I, a widow, am alone in a home that once housed ten of us.

There is lots of space. One might refer to it as “wiggle” room. I have things to do; in fact my life is full, but there is plenty of time to attend to them.

As a beginning columnist for Nauvoo Times, I’m writing this first month for my fellow senior citizen readers (and anyone else who wants to read along) about the fact that most of us now, at our ages, have the space in our homes and the time in our lives we’ve always wanted.

I feel that during these “golden” years we can be highly selective in how we use our space and time.

The space, for me, has increased gradually over the years. Early on my “office” was a card table and folding chair next to the furnace in our basement. Then, as the children married, I claimed a vacant bedroom and turned it into a den with a typewriter (later a computer), bookshelves, filing cabinet, family photos and various keepsake items.

There is a large window that allows natural light and vistas of my neighborhood where gigantic Modesto Ash tree branches touch in the middle of the street. I love that “space!” It has become an inspiration point with my mind “clicking on” as I enter the door, the setting for hours of study and volumes of written material.

As for the time issue, many of us seniors have come to realize that if a project doesn’t have merit or isn’t of lasting, even eternal value, we can skip it. By this I mean we can focus on what matters most. I would think that enjoying and serving family and friends and strengthening our faith in the gospel are the priorities.

Each of us undoubtedly has a system for staying close to our families. In my case, modern technology has enhanced my methods for reaching out to my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. For an immediate response, I text them.

IPads and IPhones facilitate further communication and remind me of birthdays and other special occasions. Skype or Face Time allow me to “visit” members of our large posterity who live away any time I choose to do so.

I have a love/hate relationship with technology — love it when my computer is behaving well, hate it when it isn’t.

If you’re like me, then you are not the family genealogical researcher, but you may be like me by being a family recorder. Thank goodness there are those in my family who know how to trace our ancestry back generations, but I find success and joy in keeping family records current and writing personal histories.

Serving weekly in the Salt Lake Temple as a sealing assistant reassures me of the importance of maintaining these records and sharing my testimony with our posterity.

Even though our situations and opportunities vary, each of us can give and serve in some way even with challenges and limitations. President Gordon B. Hinckley, talking about circumstances when life is difficult, told us: “Do the best you can.”

My beloved late husband, Hank (Hendricus), passed away in November of 2013, after suffering several years with Parkinson’s disease. As the disease advanced his body grew weaker, but his influence in our family became stronger.

He was a stellar example of consistent good cheer and unfaltering faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The effect in the family was powerful, never to be forgotten.

We seniors can develop an extensive personal gospel study program. Instead of just a “meal,” we can now set up a spiritual “feast” for ourselves with time to search the scriptures, learn from the study guides and manuals, and read edifying material every day. There is digitized material and much online and via the media that is worthwhile.

And if disabilities such as poor eyesight or loss of hearing hinder us, there are clever devices and qualified services available for overcoming these challenges, at least partially.

Over our lifetimes each one of us has created a reservoir of learning, wisdom, love, and faith. From it we can draw generously to enrich our space and time — for the benefit and blessing of ourselves and those we love, even from a wheelchair or a hospital bed.

When Hank and I were serving a welfare/humanitarian mission in Asia, based in Hong Kong, from 1999-2001, our area president, Elder Cree-L Kofford, counseled us senior missionaries by saying:

We’re approaching the time of life when we do less, but we can be more — it’s a time of becoming, not of doing.

Instead of just doing kind things, we can endeavor to be kind; instead of just providing service, we can strive to be a servant; instead of just sharing wisdom, we can try to be wise; instead of just doing exemplary things, we can be an example; instead of just being a member of the Church we can become a disciple of Christ.

It’s okay to grow old and thereby “inhabit” a land of space and time enough. There are benefits and blessings as a result when we seek the Spirit in dealing with our circumstances wisely.

Please see next month for “How to Do Right Things Right”

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About Daryl Hoole

A native of Salt Lake City, Daryl Hoole has written and lectured extensively on home management and family living. She has served on the ward, stake, regional, and general levels of the Church. It has also been her privilege to fulfill three missions -- once to the Netherlands when she was young and single; another time as companion to her husband as he presided over the Netherlands Amsterdam Mission; and the third time with two other senior couples as Asia Area Welfare/Humanitarian Administrators, headquartered in Hong Kong.

She and her husband Hank and are the parents of eight living children, the grandparents of thirty-six, and the great-grandparents of a rapidly increasing number.

Her website is www.theartofhomemaking.com.

She currently serves in the Salt Lake Temple as a sealing assistant.

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