Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Focus on Forever

Helpful Hints from Harmony

Life is Good When You Live in Harmony

 Hint #11:  Focus on Forever

How quickly time flies!  Here we are — yet again — at the end of another year.  It’s been an eventful 12 months.  I’ve found much to celebrate.

Our seventh grandchild was born in August, Matthew Nathaniel Farnsworth.  He and his family live on the other side of the country, so we didn’t get to see him until October.  It was sweet to hold him and hug his older sisters and brother, but bittersweet to know that by the time we see them again, they’ll already be so much bigger.  The words to “Turn Around” come to mind:

Turn around and you’re two,
Turn around and you’re four,
Turn around and you’re a young girl [or boy]
Going out of the door.

We had a grand and joyous Thanksgiving in North Carolina with lots of our East-coast family, including four children, three grandchildren, a son-in-law, a sister, a brother-in-law, and a host of cousins.  And of course, lots of good food.

Turn around and you’re tiny.
Turn around and you’re grown.
Turn around and you’re a young wife
With babes of your own

This Christmas, however, only one of our six children will be with us.  Three will be in other states with their families and two will be overseas, in Turkey and Chile.  In their absence, we’ll relive our Christmas traditions from when they were small and close to us, and we’ll marvel at what wonderful grown-ups they’ve become.  All six are pursuing their chosen paths and we’re happy for them.  We just hope they never forget the path that brings them home.

Turn around and they’re young.
Turn around and they’re old.
Turn around and they’re gone
And we’ve no one to hold.

I’m now 61 and I’ve done my share of “turning around” and seeing my children go from young to old to gone.  Fortunately, even though they are away, they are still ours to hold. We trust that will always be so.

With all of life’s changes, we must not lose sight of forever.  Some things in life have lasting value while others are merely transient.  Success depends on knowing the difference and acting accordingly.

I have a list of things that to me are and must remain “Forever.”  Faith, Family, and Friends are at the top of that list.

Faith:  I believe in God the Eternal Father and in His Son Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost. I honor and respect others’ beliefs.  Life is a gift from God, a journey of faith that ultimately leads back to our heavenly home.

Family:  I believe families can be forever and are not designed merely for mortality.  Indeed, my view of heaven is a continuation of the ideal family, based on our Heavenly Father’s principles of love, respect, compassion, forgiveness, service, and faith.  It wouldn’t be heaven without having those I most love close to me.

Friends:  I believe friendships are lasting, and the same sociality that we enjoy here will be enjoyed in the hereafter.  Quality friends are a treasure beyond measure.  Serving them is a source of great joy to me.  Love is eternal.

There are other things on my list such as Learning, Giving, and Growing, but nothing tops the big three.

It’s important during the holidays, in the midst of all the parties and tinsel and sparking lights, to not lose sight of the things that last forever.  Indeed, celebrating and reinforcing our “Forever List” is one of the best ways I know to honor the true spirit of this season.

So what’s on your “Forever List?”