So tomorrow is mine and Jared's 12th anniversary! Yeah! Jared really likes to celebrate in a memorable way and this year I am in charge of coming up with what we are going to do to celebrate; well in years past we have celebrated by going to a Yankees game at the Yankees stadium, we have spent the night at Anniversary Inn, bought new bedroom furniture and a new TV, had dinner at five star restaurants and last year we stayed at Grand America and spent the day at City Creek and Temple Square, they have all been wonderful, some better than others, but they have set a precedent that is hard to follow and this is my first official year to be in charge. I have procrastinated coming up with something fun to do, and I also inflicted a budget that I had to work with this year. Well I finally came up with a day at Lagoon, we haven't been for many years so hopefully it will be fun. I wanted to make it a bit more special so the boys and I put together a gift to put in Jared's car while he was at work, the gift was a little decorative can filled with Tootsie Rolls and Banana Laffy Taffy's that had a note saying Hey "Tootsie", We've been on a "Roll" for 12 years now. I'd go "Banana's" if you go celebrate the ups and downs of the past 12 years with me by going to Lagoon and riding the "Roll"ercoasters. We'll have a great time "Laffy"ing the day away." Something like that.
So Brandon, Grant and I set off to put the gift in his car and to color on his windows with window markers. The boys had so much fun making cards for Jared and coloring the car windows, and it was so fun to be sneaky. When we were done Brandon announced that he needed to go potty, and could not wait one more minute, UG! Well I wasn't about to take him to Jared's office, that would spoil the surprise, so we went next door to 7-11. When they were finished they of course wanted a treat. (you have to understand my history with 7-11, it's a big deal in my family, because of my dad who would treat us to one small treat every Saturday that we "worked" with him at his office, my boys know the stories and have been begging to go to 7-11 so here we were, what was I to do?) I agreed and they both chose donuts, not surprising, that is what I would always choose too. Well I got them each a donut and a nice lady commented and how fun it was for me to do this for them. Then we go to the check out line and I begin looking for my wallet - IT'S NOT THERE - I left it at home when I was buying the Lagoon tickets. What was I to do, I couldn't put the donuts back, I had touched them with my hands, but I couldn't buy them either. Brandon suggested that we just sneak out then we can have them without paying, I explained the serious error in his thought, and wouldn't you know it the very same lady who had chatted with me a few minutes before was behind me in the line offering to buy them for me. I was still mortified, but also so very grateful! How do you thank someone enough when they do something like that for you? The boys and I left and got in the car and my boys pined for a whole box of donuts, so I explained the significance of what had just happen, of how thoughtful and kind this stranger had been to us, and how grateful we should be for the donuts we got. I wonder if she still thought it was a fun idea, when she had to pay for it?
As I was explain this to my boys I realized how similar this experience was to the Atonement. Here we are on earth frequently succumbing to temptations of the natural man (taking donuts that we can not pay for). Heavenly Father is a just God and has said that no man who has sinned can enter his kingdom (can't leave the store with purchased donuts). Satan is ready to claim us for himself, demanding payment for our sins (the store clerk). We are stuck, nothing for us to do, and then comes Jesus Christ, perfect, the Son of God, ready and so willing to suffer and pay for our sins, if we will just repent, accept His gift, and show gratitude for His gift (the kind lady behind me offering to pay for the donuts, a gift which allows me freedom to leave the store).
I am so very grateful for good people who do things out of the goodness of their heart. I am even more grateful for the grace of Jesus Christ, my Savior and for His Atonement. Again I wonder, How do you thank someone when they do something like that for you - there was nothing I could give this lady, but a sincere thank you (although I did consider offering fruit snacks for a minute), and in truth, there is nothing I can give or do to thank Jesus Christ for His gift, but to accept the gift, be sincerely grateful, and try harder every day to submit my will to His will.
2 days ago