As I sit in an uncomfortable camping chair—in a million-dollar home—watching the dawning of a new year through titanic tandem windows, I feel an urge to write rather than speak my morning prayer. A prayer for the New Year. Here it goes.
Dear Heavenly Father,
I am incredibly thankful for a new year. For family. For friends. For the promise of tithable income. For my published and soon-to-be-published books. For those we’ve had the privilege to serve and be served by. For forgiving me yet again. For showing me my weaknesses that they may one day become strengths. For giving us hard things to tackle.
Thank You for always helping us to find a place to live as we settle into this lifestyle of house sitting, publishing, worldschooling—and now, showcasing a two-and-a-half-weeks-away furnished home (hopefully sooner, Father, but not complaining. The camping chairs aren’t that bad. Just glad You introduced us to the mattress and furniture business as a means to continue funding our dream. Wasn’t expecting that one).
Thank You for bringing new siblings into my life. I love, love, love all three (and the four from before, and nieces and nephews galore)!
And a BIG THANK YOU for allowing us to go and be baptized in the temple for thousands of our dear ancestors, especially Denielle’s adopted mom! The temple was indeed overflowing with overjoyed kin from the other side.
And although I’ve already fallen, Father, to the safety net of my Eldest Brother’s atonement (for it’s not even 6:30 am and I have already lost my cool with one of my kids), I am thankful for the command to get up and keep climbing (see The Net Effect: Life’s a Circus, So What).
Father, I pray that this is a year of forgiveness for all past, present, and future transgression.
A year for finding more ancestorial records than ever before and performing the sacred ordinances of salvation, on their behalf, in Your Holy House.
For finding and bumping more people into the gospel of Jesus Christ than years past.
A year for writing and publishing more children, young adult, and adult books that better our world one word at a time.
For renewing old friendships and finding new.
A year for introducing and ordaining my twelve-year-old son to the holy priesthood of God. For sharing my most limited commodity, time, with my limitless relationships, family.
For healing the physical and spiritual hurts currently robbing certain members of our family from a life of free movement and expression.
A year of deep scripture study and meaningful service.
For remaining worthy of a temple recommend, worthy to take the sacrament each week, worthy of my wife’s love and devotion, worthy to be called father, worthy to be loved by the Father, You.
In short, I pray that this is the year for practicing fully the principles I love, love, love to preach! The principles I’ve been taught by scripture. The principles I wish to teach more by deed than by word.
The kids get up. I close my prayer in Christ’s name. I get up and make egg burritos for breakfast. We eat them in our camping chairs. Little Lydia chooses the cold, tile floor. I spill a little salsa on my shirt. She gets sour cream all over her face. We all laugh a bit between a murmur here and a friendly bicker there. I think it’s gonna be a good year.