"...but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer." 3 Nephi 22:8

Monday, September 29, 2014

Technology: a Blessing for My Family

The first official day of fall has passed and I am wondering where the summer went. Much of it was fairly normal life with work to be done and weariness at the end of the day. But during it all, we had one really sweet week with our family. It was all completely wonderful and it went way to fast. It seemed that in a the blink of an eye it was over.

It seemed like a nearly perfect week to me, only nearly because we had one family who was far away. We wanted them to be here and they wanted to come. But sometimes things just do not work out that way. But thanks to technology, we had a really good opportunity to connect over Facetime. It was so fun to see the cousins talking to each other, showing each other things and sharing lives. We hope next year it will be all face to face instead, but Facetime and Skype connected us when we needed to be together.

I am always green with envy of families who live closer together, so they can see each other often and be a big part of each other's lives. Some families are together once a week for visiting, games, and food. Some families travel on vacations together. They never miss being together for the big life events. When crisis and sickness arrive, family is immediately there to pick up the slack and help carry the load. When sickness hits in our family, I am far away and often never know.

It makes me so sad!

There are moments when I want to shout, "Not Fair!" But then I remember that we are really still very blessed. We are not pioneering families who leave each other behind, never knowing if we will see or hear from each other again. We are so blessed with technology that we can connect quickly and easily. I take it for granted because it has become such a big part of my life.

I frequently carry a cell phone in my pocket. It does not ring very often, but it sure comes in handy!  It rang yesterday when I was in a situation that made it difficult to answer. I returned the call from my car, learned how important that call was, and blessed the invention of cell phones. It came in handy the day before as the bearer of other important information. I am a lousy texter!  I am slow and my fingers crawl across the keys. But in many a circumstance it has been not only the best means of communication; it has been the only means. Though our phone is ancient and worn, it has saved us from many a difficult moment and carried much good news.

Email is a great means of communication!  I check my email frequently. I am always delighted to receive an email from a friend. But an email from family is a priceless treasure. I love to receive not only the latest news but the latest pictures!

We are still tied to our landline phone as well. They too spend hours in silence. There are days however when we run the batteries completely dry. What a blessing to talk with far away family and catch up on life. It is wonderful to hear their voices and their stories and be part of their lives for a small moment. I love to talk to my children and their spouses, but also with my grandchildren. Lately it does not seem like any of that has happened nearly enough.

Occasionally we even send and receive snail mail among our family. Though it is slow, it is delicious to receive. I savor each card, picture, and note.

We can also drive or fly to see our family and they can do the same. We do not have to climb aboard a buckboard,  covered wagon, or a stage coach to jostle across the miles to be together.

Today, I am profoundly grateful for the many ways that technology blesses my life as it allows me to spend time with my family. I am grateful for the goodness of my family and how they live their lives. We can and do cross the miles with our faith and prayers, uniting to ask for blessings on each other. We join together in a common cause to create a world of peace and righteousness. When trials come, help is just a click or a phone call away.

Together we pray for miracles!  And they come!