Everything about the situation screamed, “This should be miserable”.
Here I was, up in the mountains of Southern Utah, with three crying kids. Each one on edge from the rain as well as our 24 hour cross-country drive to visit my family earlier that week.
My husband couldn’t help me since he was 1500 miles away at home in Indiana while I was in Utah. And as willing as my family was, my children did not want to sit on anyone else’s lap except mine that particular moment.
Our intent was to have one last big hurrah with each other before my sister left on her mission and my brother left for an Air Force assignment. We wanted to enjoy each other’s company and do something to celebrate so we had gone up the canyon for a hot dog roast.
What should have been an exciting and enjoyable activity, was soon turning sour with yet another day of rain.
But determined to continue our adventure, my dad and brothers got the fire started while my mother and I sat in camp chairs huddled under tablecloths to try to keep the rain off the children on our laps.
I couldn’t help but think as I sat there, “Is this really worth it? Should we maybe call it quits and just go home?”
As we sat there, my grandpa drove up in his pick-up truck. He had driven over an hour to come spend this time with us up the canyon… in the rain.
He sat down, with a grin on his face and wearing a life jacket (because he had forgotten a coat and that was all he had found in his truck to keep himself warm). He didn’t have to say much, but just sat down, enjoying everyone’s company.
Soon the fire was big enough that we could feel the heat and we all sat around the fire talking.
Not too long into our conversation, my dear old grandpa leaned back in his chair and stated, “Boy, this is fun. Isn’t this mountain just gorgeous?”
Instantly, my negative thoughts were stopped in their tracks. I took one look at my grandfather with his withering face, knowing all the trials and hardships he has endured throughout his life, and realized… this WAS fun.
Life isn’t meant to be simple. Life isn’t supposed to be comfortable.
Yes, it was raining, but the creek we were next to was flowing and gorgeous.
Yes, my kids were crying, but I was with my family that I hadn’t seen for months and I LOVE being with them.
Yes, it was a little bit cold, but we had a fire and food (and tablecloths to keep us dry).
We weren’t comfortable. But we were happy. We were choosing to have fun.
I realized that being comfortable, was NOT the same as being happy and having fun.
I chose to step away from my children’s emotions and instead choose to take advantage of all the blessings I did have.
And all of a sudden it was clear to me, why I drove the 24 hours across the country without my husband…
Because, when I go home, I feel grounded.
When I step into my parents house, I’m reminded of so many things that I hold dear and want to implement in my own home, but that I had forgotten about.
When I talk to my siblings, my grandparents, my aunts and uncles and cousins, I remember the strong legacy I come from and how special those strong bonds and relationships are.
When my grandpa leaned back and his chair and so nonchalantly stated “This is fun”, I was so incredibly grateful for a family legacy and enthusiasm and enjoying things even when they’re hard. I was grateful for a legacy that teaches me that life is not about being comfortable.
When my mom and brother drove 2 hours from Richfield to Provo, just to turn right back around and drive home with me so I wouldn’t have to drive the last couple hours of my long trip alone after I dropped my Indiana friend off at her family’s house, I was so incredibly grateful for a family legacy of sacrifice and love where we are willing to do crazy things to spend time with and help each other.
When my dad insisted on taking my six year old for a four wheeler ride up a mountain that was a little too steep for my daughter’s liking, I was incredibly grateful for a family legacy of pushing each other to do and become better than we had before.
As hard as my trip was… it was worth every minute, because it reminded me that…
- The life that my grandparents have lived impacts me and my choices and abilities still today.
- The life that my parents have lived impacts me and my choices and abilities still today.
- The life that I choose to live, will impact my children and their choices and their abilities for generations to come.
- I don’t want to squander that responsibility. I cannot squander that responsibility. I want to do all I can to teach them, lead them, and walk beside them, to give them the best chance of returning to Heavenly Father having lived a full and joyful life.
So… I want to hear from you… hit the comment button below and tell me…
What is one legacy that your parents or grandparents left for you that you want to continue?
What is a legacy that you are working hard at leaving for your children now?
I’d love to hear from you!