Pure Happiness. My Cup Runneth Over. Four Cups of Grape Juice. Dayenu.
These were all possible titles I considered naming this post. You see, yesterday I woke up thinking I would have a typical day. It started off great. I woke up around 6 and wrote a paper for Old Testament while sitting on my balcony looking at the city as it became light. The weather is heavenly right now. Then after a morning of (really insightful) classes a small group of us walked to the Russian Church of the Ascension on the Mount of Olives near us. The wildflowers and almond blossoms were in bloom, there was a beautiful male peacock walking around, a field of olive trees, and the bell tower in the middle of it all. We took some beautiful photos and ate sack lunches in the grass. It was another of those moments where I had to ask myself, “Does life get better than this?”
Then, after an afternoon of Old Testament reading and Arabic class, we had our Seder meal! It is what you do on Passover (the day is called Passover, not the meal). Our Judaism teacher Ophir Yarden led us through it. We did it all very authentically-- with the nicest white tablecloths, absolutely delicious food, all four cups of grape juice (instead of wine. The four cups represent the four different verbs used in Exodus referring the God’s deliverance of the Israelites. And yes, we poured a cup for Elijah, too). I was a narrator and was part of a group that sang a song in Hebrew. We did all the readings and rituals. One of my favorite songs of Passover is called Dayenu. It means, “that would have been enough.” It names all the times God delivered Israel and after each time, it says how that would have been enough, and yet they were blessed again and again. Isn’t it the same in our lives? Anyway, all three hours were very interesting and fun. I plan on doing Passover with my future kids and family. They will love it (at least, I will love it…). Everything said meant so much to me now, after studying the Old Testament and Judaism so intensely. I could write three blog posts on the Sedar alone but time is of the essence.
Neal, Martin and I at the Seder meal.
Ophir breaking the matza.
Then, to top off my night I got an email from my sister Hope who just got accepted to BYU and is planning on going this summer term! I live vicariously through her, but I was probably more excited than she is...ha. It made me think of the day I got accepted to BYU two whole years ago, and the tremendous blessing it has been in my life every single day since. I am so proud of and excited for her!! I called and talked to my parents and that made my day (for about the 5th time).
I’ve been thinking lately about the peace the gospel brings. Yes, it brings peace in hard times. While I’ve had hard days here, I’ve also felt so much peace during the happy days, like today. I am so thankful for the large doses of the spirit that I’m spoon-fed on a regular basis. Someone in Church this week quoted President Hinckley who said, “You will have peace and happiness as you live the gospel.” How simple it is. We don’t have to be perfect, just righteous. I know that as we live the gospel we will find peace, no matter what comes our way!
To summarize, I’m so happy and blessed I can’t even begin to express it. Heavenly Father has given me more than I could ever ask for. If He had given me only a fraction of what I have, that would have been enough.