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
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
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.
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.