I had the neatest experience today that I felt inclined to share. It's kind of a personal and sacred experience, so I hope you read it as such.
Tonight Sean and I were planning on going to the Mormon Temple in Newport Beach. For those of you who are not familiar with what our temple is let me first explain that it is not where we go to church on Sundays. We actually have a regular building and chapel for that. I looked on the official LDS website to see how they explained what exactly the purpose of our temples are and here is how it's explained: To members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the temple is the "House of the Lord." It is a sacred building, and after its dedication only faithful members of the Church may enter. Inside, members learn more about the purpose of life and make covenants to serve Jesus Christ and their fellow man. In addition, they participate in religious ceremonies that reach beyond mortality, such as baptisms on behalf of deceased ancestors and eternal marriage. Hopefully that will help you understand a little of what it is, but if you have further questions about our temples you can also find more info on our official website and at the following link: http://www.lds.org/temples/faq/0,11264,1904-1,00.html.
Now back to my story. I decided that I wanted to fast (abstain from food and drink) for the day so that I would feel closer to the Lord and my little Hailey while in the temple. (Fasting and prayer is something we use to help prepare ourselves for more spiritual experiences, help bring us closer to God, and help us prepare to receive blessings from the Lord.) Since we weren't going to the Temple until 8:30pm, I wasn't sure I could go without eating until that late at night and then still be able to focus. So...instead, and this may sound very weird to a lot of people, but I decided to fast from Diet Coke for the day. Okay...stop laughing and just go with me here. Diet Coke is my major vice and I drink quite a bit of it a day. (I've already heard all the lectures!) Anyways, I felt like it really would be a big sacrifice for me to go without it for the entire day. So I prayed about it the night before and told the Lord that I really hoped He didn't feel like I was mocking Him by using this as a fast, but it seriously was a sincere sacrifice on my part.
Well, of course I ended up getting a major headache, but I stuck it out. Around 6:30, I called one of the lady's we were going with to see if they just wanted to meet there and was informed that the dates got mixed up and it's actually next Friday that we're supposed to go!!! WHAT?? You mean I seriously went without a Diet Coke ALL the live long day for NO reason! OMG! So as soon as I found that out I ran upstairs to say a prayer, break my fast, and crack open that cold, fizzy, caffeinated piece of heaven! While I was praying though, I did ask Heavenly Father to still help me feel my little Hailey's spirit nearby me tonight since that was my intention all day and I was really looking forward to being there tonight.
Now, since I was all showered, dressed nicely, with my hair done and makeup on (a rare occasion lately!) I decided to see if my hubby wanted to go out to dinner with me! Of course, he was all for it. Not that he really had a choice because if he said no, he knew it would be Hamburger Helper for dinner! So with my head literally pounding beyond belief, we made it off to dinner. As we were waiting to be seated, I went to the bathroom (yes, this part has a point!). I was kind of talking to Hailey in my head telling her how I wished I could have gone to the temple and felt her presence close to me there. (Since we do believe it is the House of the Lord, the atmosphere is so reverent and spiritual and many miracles occur there.) I also reminded the Lord that I had "fasted" for that purpose and asked that He would let me know that He was proud of me and not offended at my choice of Diet Coke! So as I was walking out of the bathroom here is what happened: Me (in my head), "I really wish I'd find a dime so that I know that Hailey..." Me (physically), I look down and before I even finish my sentence there on the ground in between two bar stools is none other than a dime!!! No kidding!!! I immediately knelt down and picked it up with the hugest smile ever on my face. (Sometimes I wonder if people look at me when they see the excitement upon my face at the sight of a dime and think, "Wow this recession must really be hitting her hard!") Anyways, my point is...The Lord blessed me for my "sacrifice" and sincerity in it. And Hailey was there with me in spirit. It was the neatest experience! He is so full of those tender mercies. We just need to be willing to have faith and believe.
Just thought I'd share.