Sunday, February 20, 2011


We celebrated Josh's birthday on Friday. The kids were so excited and had big plans of how they wanted to decorate, the type of cake they wanted to help make, the gifts they wanted to give, etc. They sure love their Dad, and it was touching to see all the thought and preparation they wanted to put into his party.

They set to work on Thursday afternoon making birthday cards for Dad. In typical character, each child approached this task uniquely. Yaks made his signature rainbow, signed his name with a flourish, and was done in minutes. Boo had in her mind exactly how she wanted her card to look, what she wanted to say, and the order it was to be created. After several failed attempts at her birthday card, she fell apart into desperate tears. Sobbing. She felt like time was running out before Dad came home, and she couldn't get her card looking "perfect".

I tried to offer suggestions. We tried switching to pencil so we could erase mistakes. Nothing was working. Finally out of desperation, I dialed Josh's number at work. He answered, and I told him Boo was having a hard time and needed to speak to him. He said he was in a meeting at the moment, but asked that Boo write him an email. So, Boo spoke and I typed exactly what she said.

Dear Dad,

I kept making mistakes. I made a mistake by writing my name. I wrote my name too big. I wish it was just three letters! I was making a birthday card. I feel sad. I just want to tell you about it when you come home.
Ps we are going to have to make him one tomorrow when he is sleeping!

And then several minutes later, our Dad wrote back:


I’m so sorry! I am so proud of you just for trying to make me a birthday card – that is so sweet. Whether your name was spelled with two letters or 100, it doesn’t matter to me—I just love that you made it. You are my sweet little girl and
an absolute jewel. I can’t wait to spend the whole day with you tomorrow. Thank you for thinking of me. Don’t worry, we all make mistakes.



And then Boo smiled. She dried her tears. She sat back down at the kitchen table and happily finished that birthday card to her Dad.

I couldn't help but think how often I am like Boo. Wanting the things in my life to turn out "perfectly". Trying again and again in vain and willing things to go my way. But, life isn't perfect, and neither am I! I'm grateful we have a loving Heavenly Father who loves me for who I am, and where I am right NOW.

Elder Wirthlin said it well:

“We don’t have to be fast; we simply have to be steady and move in the right direction. We have to do the best we can, one step after another. …

“The only thing you need to worry about is striving to be the best you can be. And how do you do that? You keep your eye on the goals that matter most in life, and you move towards them step by step. …

“That is easy enough. We don’t have to be perfect today. We don’t have to be better than someone else. All we have to do is to be the very best we can.


Isaac Paulsen said...

I love this one amy, once again children make us realize the most important lessons in life.

Lissaloo said...

What a beautiful post Amy, so many things that I needed to hear. Your daughter is such a sweetie <3

Plowgian Page said...

I loved this post. It is so easy to get caught up in our imperfections. It was a good reminder to me that we have to be kind to ourselves. We are children of our Heavenly Father and we are all a work in progress. A sort of funny quote also came to mind. It's from a YW lesson a while back and says: "God don't make no junk." The sweet note from Josh to Boo made me tear up. Hope Josh's birthday was special. Sending our love,

Angie and family

Tim said...

Excellent. You can also tell your kids that I still have the pictures they drew for me following my surgery. Those simple little things mean a lot.

Dianna said...

Wonderful reminder! Thanks for sharing this. I am definitely one of those who keeps throwing away my homemade birthday card attempts, telling myself it isn't good enough.

Megan said...

Great story! I love Elder Wirthlin. He puts things so simply, in way our souls can understand. Hope you had fun celebrating Josh's birthday!

Cara and Steve said...

GREAT post Amy :) Thank you, that is just what I needed to hear today. You are a great example to me and I really look up to you as a mother, wife, and a WONDERFUL sister-in-law. Love you :) P.S.- Grace says thank you for the sweet Valentine that arrived in the mail!