Friday, August 17, 2012

By Brigham's Beard

When I was young I used my mother's eyeliner to draw a goatee on my face. Why? Because my heroes- General Custer, Walker Texas Ranger, every character from scripturedom, and many others had facial hair. Even as a small child I made the connection that facial hair meant true manhood.                         As I grew I waited for a beard like a youngster waits for Santa. However, my beard proved to be less real than the legendary arctic-dwelling bearded philanthropist. My beard never came. My sideburns did (what a blessing), but no beard.
This summer I tried an experiment. I lived my facial fantasy through another. Yes, I convinced Bryan to grow a beard. At first it was exhilarating, but soon it was depressing. It didn't help that we live in a college town whose mascot is a lumberjack, the most stereotypically bearded icon of all time. My dream soon became a relentless nightmare.
Feeling down I began to ponder why God didn't give me a beard. Surely He must understand this longing of my heart....or chin. Then, in a revelatory moment, it dawned on me. I don't have a beard because I am supposed to be at BYU-I. Beards are banned at BYU-I (which is ironic since the school is the namesake of a great bearded leader). God knows that if I had the choice between a beard and BYU-I, I would probably choose the beard (Don't judge me). I suppose this is an application of 1 Corinthians 10:13 which says that God "will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able." 
So now I sit here, stroking my stubbleless chin in a pensive fashion, feeling as if one of life's greatest mysteries has been unfolded to me. Though the seemingly endless opportunities provided by well groomed facial hair may not be mine, maybe, just maybe, there is something more for me because of it. 

"I have a beard and I've never been happier." -Bryan Fleming. 



Thursday, August 9, 2012

Gilliland Kids Say the Darndest Things

Here is a list of gems taken from my mom's journal that she kept for us when we were kids:

Mom: "Dax, do you have a dirty diaper?"
Dax (age 2): "Nooooo! Tanner did it!"

Tanner: These covers are so warm and cozy. It's made out of coze right?

Mom: Is Mommy's baby a boy or a girl?
Jade: A grandma!

Ronnie (age 3): Mommy....for some reason I went to Grandma's house.

Mason: When is Jesus coming down? I want him to tell us. How come he's not going to tell us? He can't stay up there forever!

Tess (when asked to take her diaper off and throw it away): But mom, then I'll have a bum!

Dax: Whatcha doin?
Dad: Shooting my bow
Dax: Why?
Dad: So I can shoot a deer
Dax: Why?
Dad: We eat the deer. We make hamburgers and steaks and other good things from deer.
Dax: Do you shoot trees?
Dad: No. Why?
Dax: Cause we eat apples

Tanner: Do you know who I love most in this family? Heavenly Father, Jesus, the Holy Ghost, and Ronnie.

Ronnie: I know what these are.....[taps the side of her head as she tries to remember].....ummm... I skipped my thing.
Dad [laughing]: Yeah, I've skipped my thing lots of times.

Jade: If you didn't have bones you would be skinny, huh?

Mason: Police aren't bad...they just put us in jail if we are screaming loud.

Dax: Dad this frog is talking to me!
Dad: What is he saying?
Dax (rolling his eyes): Ribbit!

Ronnie: Can I change my birthday?

Dax: We wear shoes so our socks don't get dirty

Mason: Does everybody love their right hand? I just love my right hand. My left hand can't do anything.

Mom: How will you remember that?
Dax: I'll tape it in my head!

Tess (talking to Brent in his crib): Remember when this was my bed when I was two? Then Jesus helped me turn three.

Dax: If the Book of Mormon is about people who lived in America, then the Bible is about people who lived in where? Florida?

Dax (to Mom and Dad): Stop the kissing and the hugging! Why do boys always have to fall in love with girls?! I hate that! I hate that situation!

Dax: Do you know why legs are important? So we can climb trees.
Tanner: Yeah, and get fruit. We couldn't get none fruit if we didn't have any legs.