Sunday, February 15, 2009

Wish List

My little grandson, who I've pet-named "Biscuit", pulled himself up onto the low stone wall surrounding the fountain with speed and agility. I held his waist as a precaution, visualizing his headfirst tumble into the clear water, which, now that I think of it, wouldn’t have been so bad on a February day in Florida. It was 80 degrees yesterday.

I love Florida winters. For 13 years I loved rolling down the car window, letting my bare arm ride the wind, gloating at the top of my lungs: “Hello Buffalo! Hello Minnesota! I live in Orrrrlllaaandooo!” My little riders would giggle as they imitated me, which must have been a sight for the car behind us. By a fluke, our daddy’s career had transferred us from aspens to palm trees and I was determined to make the best of this foreign environment, which in truth, I was not all that fond of. There was something wonderful to be said however, for routinely spending family home evening at Disney World.

Home is now in the Douglas firs, on the opposite corner of the map, so this weekend I am not Resident, but Tourist in this world of “Worlds” (did you know there’s even a “Sock World” here???) It’s Biscuit’s fourth birthday, he still lives here, so Grandma’s back, and we’re doin’ Disney, perched on the fountain at the entrance to Epcot…

“Here’s a penny Biscuit. Throw it into the water and make a wish.”

He grinned and looked at me quizzically.

“A wish is something you would like to have - or to happen.”

He looked through the bubbles at the coins on the bottom of the fountain. “See? Other people made wishes here too.”

He still hesitated. I took another penny out of my wallet and squeezed my eyes shut. “I wish Biscuit will grow very tall.”

My penny flew through the air and splashed into the waterfall.

His eyes lit up. With a fling that surprised even me, his penny sailed to the very top of the tiered fountain. He was joyful. The whole tossing business proved great fun for the next ten cents, but he never did enjoin a “wish” upon his pennies. He didn’t get it and I couldn’t explain it.

Somehow, when I very young, I knew all about wishes. Clear summer nights in the Pacific Northwest are perfect for outdoor sleep-over’s and my brothers and I often toted our pillows and blankets into the yard. There I thought deep thoughts (for a little person) and wondered at the universe just out of reach. And I always made wishes. My Disney-inspired conversation with Biscuit made me realize that it’s a practice I’ve never outgrown.

As recently as last week, straightening my “writing” desk, I wished once again that I could find the time to finish my book. The dust was pretty thick. No one had touched that desk, that keyboard, that stack of books and notes for a long time. Of course, no one would, but me. Funny that I thought the auspicious moving of the table to the front room would make any difference. Just because it’s in plain sight doesn’t mean I’ll have any more time than normal to write.

I felt hopeless and was tempted to put all the dust-collecting paraphernalia away until a little cricket appeared on my shoulder and whispered:

Make a list. Take inventory of every wish you can ever remember making.

Exercising a rusty brain took some doing, but I finally had my list. I starred at those thirty wishes with amazement, including the first few which were made under the stars by a little girl with lots of faith. Twenty-five of the thirty had materialized and there was every possibility that the other five still might.

The first wish I ever made reflects a child’s priorities, but it was real and sustained and added-upon every time we took a family vacation. I had forgotten it altogether until I made my list. There must be at least fifty stars bearing the innocent aspiration:

I wish I lived next to Disneyland.

Just tonight, my sweet friend Dana shared with me a Meridian article written by H. Wallace Goddard entitled: “You Can Write Your Blessings—If You Do Right” which I strongly recommend for a fuller treatment of this subject. I quote the opening paragraph:

“Heber C. Kimball made an extraordinary invitation: “I have said often, you may write blessings for yourselves and insert every good thing you can think of, and it will all come to pass on your heads, if you do right.” (From an address in the Old Tabernacle, August 1853.)

I have loved “the right” all my life. I believe that God delights in my happiness, the way I delight in giving my grandbaby happiness. In the eternal scheme of things, among stars and comets and nebula, I am my Heavenly Father’s little girl. If a dream is a wish your heart makes, only He can know it and only He can fill it. And since compiling my "wish list" I BELIEVE more than ever that He will.

What do you think a wish is? I hope you'll share one or two... or if you make your own "wish list" I'd love to hear about it.

"When You Wish Upon a Star"
Video by Mona and Grant. Music by N'Sync. Photos by NASA.


Sue said...

We wish you'd come home!
-Cole & Grant

Grant said...

I wish I could've been FIRST to comment on the blog! :)

But really, I used to wish on every star that I could marry someone who was a tenth the man your son is... and then I met your son. :) Just shows that our Father in Heaven is willing to bless us with MUCH more than we could ever dream of.

- Bri

In The Doghouse said...

Wishing...upon stars, candles or simply the passing hay truck is such fun, especially when shared with those you love.
I love the fact that you pointed out you can make it happen. God is law, and by law you can choose your blessings! He is bound to bless us when we do what He says...Obedience makes dreams come true!

Rebecca said...

wishing--takes faith. sometimes i find my childlike faith is less than where it used to be. how do you get that back?

Olivia said...

I made a wish to be a voice for a Disney Cartoon/Movie. I realized some of my dream by working at Disney World almost 10 years ago. And in June, I will go back...this time not alone, but with a hubbie and 2 kids in tow. What a blessed life. I KNOW that I will achieve the ultimate dream soon. It's just around the corner where Mickey's arms are open...waiting! :)

Shauna said...

I am new here! What a great blog :)

Mallory said...

I received your CD yesterday! It is wonderful! Thank you!

Also, another great post!

Hannah Banana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hannah Banana said...

Wishes are so important! It's like hope! Hope brings faith! And such wishes and hope, can be a powerful motivator in our life. They can lift us from low places and put us on a path that brings joy. They can be big or little, but the Lord is mindful of all of them. They usually come as "tender mercies of the Lord." Each righteous wish he knows. And the secret desires and wishes of our heart (that our not always critical to our eternal exaltation, or that we pray about on a daily basis) usually come to us as blessings from righteous living. Little bonuses sometimes! :)
One of my past wishes as a kid, every time I dropped one of those little pennies into a big fountain was to some day have a dog. Now I have THE best! Another was to be in a youth dance festival - our family moved to Vancouver 2 weeks before their regional one!

Know one of my greatest wishes is be a stay home mom one day and raise a righteous family. Then I can pass on the legacy of hope in our wishes, as you did mommy to me.

Oh, and P.S. I still want to go to France one day. (That's the latest penny dropper wish) ;)

Mother Smith said...

I hadn't thought about "wishes" for awhile....Yet, I know Father has granted GREATEST wishes...In my late teens, I fell in LOVE with the COUNTRY...Always wanted to have LAND and live a "country" style life...I met Garvin and the FIRST home we lived in...was a small farm in the COUNTRY...I have been a "country" girl ever since...(smile) Since our first home, Father has made sure...I lived in homes with a "country-like" setting...One of my other "wishes" was I wanted to be a I wanted to be a MOTHER...I was "29" when that WISH CAME TRUE...Over a SHORT period of time, Father ended up blessing me with "8" children...YES...DREAMS REALLY DO COME TRUE!!!

Kim said...

Hello..I found your blog via another blog and read your "Angels" post. I too am the mother of a special needs child and he truly is an angel sent here to bring joy to others. I look forward to reading your blog.


pcNut said...

I was encouraged to write such a list by the same source twelve years ago. I felt special thinking that if Father would aid one woman to achieve her dreams, He would aid another. I felt hopeful and a bit excited the day I wrote that list.

I look back at some of those dreams, fulfilled in one way or another. It surprised me how quickly certain dreams became realities. It surprised me to rewrite some of them and that was okay; I like(d) them even better.

Mostly I am surprised at the dreams I have added to that somewhat provincial list, for I did not see all the steep climbs, plains and vistas that would leave me wanting more. I only saw the end destination far out on the horizon.

I have three wishes today. Looking on the path I am on, where there is some growing and stretching ahead, if I am only meant to have my needs met for awhile, I wish, I pray I will be okay with that. If there are angels promised, I wish, I pray they will not fail me in my hour of ascent. And as I look back to see where Father has led me, and where I have yet to travel, I wish, I pray to never forget Father has certain dreams He's waiting to share with me.

Thanks for encouraging me to dream so long ago!

Mona said...

Here's another comment I received via email that's lots of fun:

I enjoyed your recent article. One of the wishes I remember making as a child, was for a Go-Kart. (I wanted one so bad because I wanted to drive a real car, but since I was too young a Go-Kart was my best option.) So, I worked hard to save up my money and later on my wish came true! I still have that same Go-Kart, though it's out of commission now.

Mona said...

And yet another I've received via email:

I have been thinking about my wishes. I don't know if I would call them wishes. I think of wishes as something I want to come true that will just happen on its own. Goals are what I want to have happen but there is effort and measurable progress (in most cases) on my part. I have had several goals in my life and they have changed with age and situations. When I was in high school I wanted to do a backhandspring until the age of 30. This was some type of barometer of getting old and out of shape in my mind. I then moved up my goal to 35 then it was 40 because those ages were never "old." I did meet all those goals plus one year. I am satisfied at age 41 that if I don't do another backhandspring I am okay with it and I have accomplished what I set out to do and then some. One other goal/hope/wish I have is to have all my children active in the Gospel and as a family (spouses included) attend the Temple together. Oh how I hope for that! Other goals: run in a 5K this spring (doing it this Sat!)-- my first one ever!, get up early to prepare for the day, be a good in-law where the wives want to come visit, be a fun grandma, continue to have lots of energy- I have also been blessed with what my husband likes to call the "energizer bunny" syndrome.