Archive for July, 2012

Just like heaven

I’ve just returned from an epic family reunion. Forget about old people pinching your cheeks and feigning friendliness with third cousins twice removed. Try not to picture pink marshmallow salad and dozens of crying children for a minute. This particular reunion didn’t really resemble that.

Instead, 30 grandchildren, six siblings and their spouses, and two sweet grandparents spent three days being reminded of what matters most.  
Without access to wi-fi or cell phones, we spent time playing volleyball, throwing water balloons, participating in talent shows and watching movies. We ate obscene amounts of cameral popcorn, licorice and Rice Krispies treats. We told jokes and swapped dating sob stories. We discussed classes, careers, dreams and summer highlights. 
We also made room for some less common vacation activities. Family home evenings, scripture study and prayer were just as much a part of our weekend as the Sour Patch Kids and crafts. 
As we sat together by the pond outside the lodge and sang “Families Can Be Together Forever” on Saturday afternoon, I had a wonderfully rare glimpse of what heaven must be like. 
This was a much-needed perspective check for me. As I try to navigate the wildly complicated waters of the Salt Lake dating scene, I too often get caught up in the minutia of height, hair color and all that superficial jazz. It’s easy to forget why Lizzy and I spend weekends at massive Mormon parties looking for Mr. Rights. Sometimes all we seem to get out of these awkward events is a tightness in our chests that comes more from the feelings of “Will I ever get married?” than the chips-and-salsa-induced heartburn. 
Yes, being young and single has its glamorous moments, but it’s served up right alongside a disappointing dose of heartbreak and dating burnout. 
But it’s moments like I had with my family this weekend that put it all back into perspective. We date, and we mingle, and we search because we understand that it’s about so much more than height or hair color. It’s about finding a boy and building a family that will help us catch a glimpse of heaven every single day.