Saturday, October 19, 2013


This month is always busy for me as a teacher in the public schools.  Parent-Teacher conferences, or meetings with my students’ parents are scheduled for this week in October following the end of the first quarter of school.  Sometimes I am meeting parents or guardians for the first time, and Report Cards are printed and given to them in an attempt to sum up this kid’s educational performance.   It is a difficult meeting in that we have to squeeze a quarter’s worth of information into just a few minutes of time.  In an attempt to aid this process, I sent home a paper that could be filled out in advance and returned to me before the meeting, so that I could be better prepared and informed. The paper had questions listed on it like:  “How does your child feel about school?”  “What do you feel are your child’s strengths and weaknesses?”  “What questions do you have in particular about his/her progress?”etc.  I was hoping to receive them back with a few notes jotted down, but the result went beyond that.  It was fascinating and inspiring to see how parents approached these questions and how definitely positive they were in sharing their kids’ strengths. Many of the comments mentioned math or reading, but not all of the comments were strictly academic related.  Several took the time to write down how nice the child was, or what a good example they were at home.   Some expressed anxiety about friendships and social interactions.  One in particular expressed a wish to have their child realize how important all the choices they make in life are, and how they will add up in the future to become their character.  I was amazed at the adoration and admiration these parents have for their children.  I loved seeing the look of pride in their eyes as we visited about the accomplishments and goals for their futures. 

Today being Saturday, I finally felt like I had the chance to catch my breath as well as catch up on many other things at home.  As I was scrubbing my shower, I started thinking about being on my knees, which eventually got me thinking about praying…and ultimately pondering my current relationship with my Heavenly Father.  Crazy as it sounds, I was struck with the thought of, “what if Heavenly Father was scheduled for a “conference” about my progress here on Earth?  Suppose He had to fill out one on those question sheets about my strengths and weaknesses… or explain to a teacher my attitudes and beliefs about my lessons…What questions might He have about me…Have I checked in with him lately to ask for his help with my goals?” 

  Three years ago, this very week, my husband Spence was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor next to his brain.  Within that week’s time, he was scheduled and sent to surgery to have it removed.  I can’t even begin to explain the fear, humility, and shock we went through in those few days, but on the flipside I also can’t begin to express the power of prayer, peace and miracles that were sent our way either.  It was a rollercoaster of emotions to say the least, and all has worked out for us thus far.  My point in bringing it up, however, is that during those days in the hospital, while waiting and preparing for the surgery, my heart and soul were praying and pleading with God for his strength and healing power.  Most every minute, and hour I was praying to Him and seeking his guidance and comfort.  It just seemed that I needed the peace and assurance that only a Father can give. By the end of the week, we got to bring Spence home, and our prayers continued faithfully.  Our hearts and lives were filled with gratitude for the gift of life that had been restored.  I firmly resolved that not a day would go by that I would not eagerly and mindfully thank my Father in Heaven for my family and for each day I have with them…

Well here I am 3 years later, and although my prayer habit is not as frequent as it was that dreary week in October, my resolve and gratitude are still as strong.  I do know that I am a daughter of God and that he hears and answers prayers!  I know that He gave me life, and the power to direct my life.  I believe that He knows and understands my strengths and weaknesses, and that I am stronger when I struggle through trials. I know he rejoices with me in the good times and grieves with me during the bad.  I know he loves me and He is there for any of his children, and will be there as soon as He is invited in from the prayer in a heart.

 It is my hope that my report card/progress is always pleasing to my Father in Heaven.  I know he wants to be included in all of his children’s lives.   So if you haven’t conferenced with him lately, He is as close as a prayer…
Kirstin Udall


  1. Yikes! I shudder to think what my conference would be like. :) Thank you for sharing your thoughts. This caused me to reflect on many things and to be grateful for the great parents in our community who love and support their children so well.

  2. Ah Kir, thank you so much for that reminder. One of my greatest goals is to learn to rely on our Heavenly Father in all things, not just when circumstances bring me to my knees. Thanks for that extra boost this morning!