Day 138: Lehi, Patient Father

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Lehi was a Jewish man who is spoken of in the Book of Mormon. He lived in Jerusalem around 600 BC. This corresponds to about the time of the prophet Jeremiah in the Bible. At that time, the people of Jerusalem had become wicked and so the Lord sent his servants to go call them to repentance. Lehi raised his voice and received constant threats to his life because of it.

While he was pondering what to do, God came to Lehi in a dream and instructed him to leave his home with his family to travel into the wilderness. God promised him that he would lead Lehi into a land of promise where they all could settle peacefully. Lehi trusted the Lord and made the difficult journey out into the wilderness with his family. Although it took many years for the Lord’s promised to be fulfilled, Lehi’s family eventually settled in the Promised Land, where they would be free from their enemies and the Babylonian captivity that would soon come to Jerusalem.

If we are in tune with God, he will sometimes ask us to do difficult things, without giving us all of the reasons why. From the text of the Book of Mormon, it appears that Lehi was a wealthy man who had a nice house with many find possessions. He had to give all of these up in order to follow the Lord’s command. Lehi, however, showed where his true priorities were: his God and his family. By following this difficult commandment, he was blessed and preserved his family from being taken captive into Babylon.

Day 137: The Love of a Parent

We never know the love of a parent until we become parents ourselves. – Henry Ward Beecher

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When I was growing up, I always knew that my parents loved me. They were the kind of parents that right out and told me quite often. They were both affectionate and showed it. They also worked hard for us children and provided us nice things with memorable experiences and with words of encouragement. All of these things together combined to let me know that my parents really did love me. This was a wonderful gift as I grew up.

I did not, however, fully understand. I became a father at a relatively young age, and when I saw my little son the first time, a lot of things became clear.

I knew not just that my parents loved me, but I also knew why and how deep. I felt that my son was a true gift from  our Heavenly Father who gave my wife and me the ability to bring this little person in the world. He was literally a part of me given new life. Not only did I feel like this little boy’s existence was a miracle, but also that the depth of the love that I felt for him was miraculous.

Now I am doing all that I can show my sons that I love them much in the same ways that my parents showed me. Someday, however, I hope that they too will understand why it is I love them just how deeply.

Day 136: The Shock of Seizures

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Watching a child having a seizure is a terrifying experience. They will flail about and be generally unresponsive. This condition is caused by a variety of factors that make electrical impulses in the brain misfire at random. Though a seizure can be an indication of a deeper problem, the seizure itself is usually not a great threat.

One of the most common causes of seizures and children are high fevers. These are known as febrile seizures and can occur when a child has a high fever over an extended period. If your child is experiencing a high fever, try to cool him or her by using damp cloths on the skin and a children’s fever reducer as recommended by your pediatrician.
If your child is already experiencing a seizure, try to remain calm. The child will flop and flail about so make sure that there is nothing in the area that he or she could knock over and harm him or herself. Do not attempt to stick anything, especially your fingers, in the mouth of the child who is having a seizure, as the jaw can clamp and unclamp involuntarily, and it is the strongest muscle in the body.

After the child is done seizing, place him or her in a lukewarm bath of shallow water. Seek medical attention to make sure the seizures are not a result of some other condition. Some children are more prone to these kinds of seizures, but they will typically grow out of them as time goes on.

I had several such episodes as a child as did my brothers and sisters, but none of us have had one since we were very young children. My own son experienced one once during a high fever but also has not had any for years.

Day 135: Time Capsule

The time capsule is the ultimate in delayed gratification. Many of them aren’t opened for five, ten or even 20 years or longer. But the effect we are truly amazing. They capture a snapshot in time and make it apparent just how much changes over the years and how some things never do.

Different community groups, school groups and businesses create time capsules, but growing up we also created one for our family. We made it a 10-year time capsule, and put all sorts of things in it. The first things were photos, one that had been taken recently and showed us at the age we were at the time capsule was placed.

Next, we each wrote a letter to ourselves in 10 years, guessing what our life would be like then and adding anything else I might find interesting. I remember I included some advice to my future self. Looks got a funny looking back on it now.

Finally, we included newspaper articles and other things that matched the time. There was even a sheet that put listed all the prices of what basic things like milk and gasoline cost at the time. It almost brings me to tears how cheap gas was back then.

Day 134: The Humility of Joseph

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We learn from the Scriptures that Joseph, the earthly guardian of Jesus Christ, went to great lengths to serve his family and never gave up on them.

An excellent example of this occurred after he and his wife arrived in Bethlehem. The city was swollen with travelers, having all arrived to take part in the Roman census. Surely, traveling with a woman in the advanced stages of pregnancy could not have been quick. They likely arrived after many of the other travelers for this reason.

From the Scriptures, we can see that Joseph tried inn after inn, but found them all full. This did not discourage him as he kept on trying until he found a solution. Though it was not the solution they had likely hoped for, it did work, and we hear no record of complaint.

The fact that Jesus Christ was born in a stable provides beautiful contrast. Though He is King over all the earth, the beginnings of this mortal life are were humble, though so compassionate at the same time. If He came to earth in such a humble way, shouldn’t we as fallible human beings, learn to be humble?

Day 133: Mummy Wrap

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One fun Halloween the game that you can do is called mummy wrap. In this game, you divide the contestants up into groups of at least two apiece. One person for each group is selected to become the mummy. The other person or people on the team are given rolls of toilet paper and when they’re told to start, try to wrap up the person being mummified as quickly as possible. The first person to wrap their mummy from head to foot is the winner. What you do with all that extra toilet paper, is up to you.

Day 132: Couple’s Costumes

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Though you and your spouse may not go trick-or-treating anymore, it still sometimes fun to dress up for Halloween. If your spouse thinks it’s a good idea, which she may or may not, it is sometimes fun to do a couples costume in which were two characters that fit together: Superman and Wonder Woman, Bonnie and Clyde, Mario and Peach, Popeye and Olive Oyl…

Here is a list of possible couple costumes that you could pull off. There are probably many more, but this should get the gears turning.

http://www.pinterest.com/gailfrazier/couples-costumes/

Day 131: Nephi, Faithful Father

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Nephi a person whose story is told in the Book of Mormon. He lived in ancient Jerusalem about 600 BC and took a journey with this family into the wilderness after God warned his father, Lehi, in a dream that they should flee.

The family spent the next eight years roaming the wilderness until they came to the ocean. They constructed a ship and sailed across the ocean to what is now Southern and Central America. There they established a new people that was divided into two groups: the Nephites, who were the descendants and followers of Nephi and the Lamanites, who were the descendants of followers of Nephi’s older brother Laman.

From what we can read of Nephi’s life, we can gathered that it was difficult one. He spent many years without a home and in those years his jealous older brothers constantly sought to do him harm or even to take his life. In one particularly grueling endeavor while they were crossing the sea, they tied him to the mast during the storm and left him to die.

A person in these circumstances might have grown bitter and hard, wanting to exact revenge on his tormentors and cursing the Almighty.

Instead, he forgave his brothers, married, and had children to whom he taught the ways of God. He founded a great city and built a temple to God there. He was so beloved of those who followed him that his people named all the leaders that came after him “Nephi”.

He might have easily turned out to be a horrible, abusive father, but instead became a righteous and industrious one. In our lives, we can take courage from Nephi, despite his circumstances, he became the better man. Despite his hardships, he trusted in God and passed his faith to his children.

Day 130: “Daddy”

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No word makes me happier than the word “daddy” when it’s directed to me. – Michael Josephson

The word “daddy” is one of the very first words that both of my children uttered. One of the great satisfactions of my life is that the vast majority of the times that my children use that word, it is with delight. It is wonderful to hear it when I open the door after a long day at work or the morning after a long night of rehearsal. I heard this word when my children need me. It’s also what I hear when my children are sad and need to be comforted.

I always hope that I will be good enough father to my children so that this is a word they will never say in anger.

Day 129: Packing an Emergency Kit

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Chances are that sometime and you will forget to bring the diaper bag. This can be a stressful experience, especially when you are in a restaurant with the baby who just exceeded the capacity of his diaper. That is what the emergency kit is for. In addition to carrying around the diaper bag, put together an emergency kit that always stays in our car.

Our emergency kit fits inside a plastic bin with a lid and has a permanent residence in our trunk. It contains many of the same things as a diaper bag, such as diapers baby wipes, but also a few things for me and my wife such as a little cash, a razor, and spare batteries.

There are plenty of times that we were so busy, and running late that we forgot the diaper bag. In these instances, having an emergency kit that is always in the car has really saved our bacon. Kids don’t wait for a convenient time to make a mess or need a change of clothes. If you have this always on hand, you do not need to worry about these unexpected situations.