by Kari Diane Pike
I've been trying to write this post all morning. I got up before the kids and showered and set out bowls and a variety of cold cereal on the table. I toasted english muffins and pulled two kinds of juice out of the refrigerator because choices keep children happy. Having happy children is a good thing when you want to write. I felt very pleased with myself for such clever planning. After all, I am a veteran mom. I've been in the business for more than thirty years. After the prayer, I helped four-year-old Enoch pour his cereal.
"Are you ready for the mi....Oh no! I forgot to get more milk!" Giggles erupted all around the table.
"I guess I better run and get more milk. It will only take me 15 minutes. Can everybody hang tight until I get back?"
Everyone smiled and assured me that they could wait. I assigned my twelve-year-old to finish toasting the muffins for his nieces and nephews. I bolted out the door and headed my tired Durango towards the local grocery. A large hand-painted sign in the store window announced a sale price on milk. Another sign beckoned me towards the fresh doughnuts. I figured the kids wouldn't mind waiting an extra minute or two if they knew that the wait meant a treat. Silly me. Upon returning home, I opened the door to spilled cereal, hurt feelings and lots of tears.
Okay, so we'll start over. I served them their breakfast, tidied the kitchen and settled everyone into their activities for the rest of the morning. I opened my scriptures and read Alma 51 and 52. I thought about the role contention played in the destruction of an entire nation and how Satan used contention and pride and stubbornness to distract the Nephites from more important matters like freedom and family. I thought about how those same tactics distract me from being the kind of parent, friend, spouse and writer I want to be.
After my study, I opened my computer to log on ANWA Founder and Friends. I noticed several ANWA social messages and decided to check them first. Yikes! Someone had hacked into a member's account and sent a scam message. At first glance, the message seemed to be a plea for help from a friend in trouble. Several replies had been made to the thread, either notes of sympathy or alerts to the scam. The problem with replying to a scam like this is that the scam artist now knows the email address is a valid one, and they can continue with their destructive behavior. Fortunately, several members recognized the fraudulent message and gave the alert. Experience had taught them how to recognize the signs of deception. Hopefully, the damage is contained and we have all learned a valuable lesson that protect us in the future.
After helping a grandchild negotiate her way through another meltdown, I have a renewed gratitude for the lessons taught in the scriptures. The thought crossed my mind to just swat her behind and tell her to knock it off, but a whispering from the Spirit caused me to think again. While my first impression painted a picture of a disobedient and whiny child, my second look showed me a child who was just plain tired and missing her mom and dad. She didn't need an overbearing, "do as I say or else" grandma. She simply needed some loving direction and quiet time.
How many times have I fallen for the misdirection and deception Satan uses to get us to choose less important paths? I am grateful for the direction found in the scriptures and writings of modern day prophets. I am grateful for loving friends who share their own wisdom from life lessons in order to make my path easier. Hopefully, I can do the same for my family and those with whom I share a path as I strive to fulfill the mission for which I was created.