Yesterday was the first official day of summer vacation for the kids. They have been counting down for at least 3 weeks…not for the last day of school, but for the first day of our volunteering. Every day it was one step closer to their favorite summer activity.
The kids and I spend the summer volunteering at a living museum called This Is The Place. It is an amazing place to spend one day a week. It is a village that represents the pioneer history of Utah. For a kid, it is a magical place to do everything they want to do…ride horses, climb fences ride trains, play in the dirt and mud, make arrowhead necklaces, pan for ‘gold’ and sing with talented, amazing people (there is a lot more that they do). For me it is a place where my kids are unplugged, happy and safe.
It never fails, every year that we step into the village for the first time, I get an overwhelming sensation of coming home. It is beautiful there. It is simple. Walking to the home we have volunteered at for 4 years, brings feelings of happiness, service, love and familiarity.
As I wandered around our pioneer home yesterday, I wondered if that is how it will feel when we return home to our Heavenly Father. I imagine that we would feel that sense of familiarity, because we were there before. Even though we have forgotten our time and experiences there, our spirit has not.
I envisioned seeing familiar sites and people that will be waiting there with open arms and a big smile. This was brought deep into my soul as my wonderful parents (who volunteer with us) walked up the road to our house. I was so excited to see them and embrace them.
I also imagined that we would feel some, if not more of the same feelings as I feel there…happiness, love and safety. Returning to heaven has been my goal from the time I could remember. There are times I long to feel, see and experience what is waiting for us there. Understanding that we will finally feel safe in the love of our Savior keeps me going some days.
Heaven became a little more real yesterday. It is a beautiful place.