Friday, February 20, 2015

Gospel Doctrine

Have you ever sat in Gospel Doctrine class on Sunday and thought, "I am so glad I don't have to teach this class. What a nightmare!" 

Well, I've thought that. Numerous times. In fact, I've often thought if I ever got that calling that I would probably die and that would be the end of me. 

As it turns out, I got the calling. And I did not die. 

Interesting note: Not only did I NOT die, I realized pretty immediately that the calling was a direct answer to my prayers and would be a major blessing in my life. 

I've only taught one lesson so far. That lesson was pretty funny. The first half was me just blazing through material. This wasn't happening because I needed to get through the lesson, it was happening because I was so incredibly nervous. Once I calmed down a bit I was able to enjoy the lesson more and listen to comments and incorporate the comments into the lesson better. 

I teach my second lesson in two days and I'm super excited. The lesson is about Matthew 5; The Sermon on the Mount. What a goldmine! I mean, the Savior really dropped a massive gift with this chapter. And, the importance of it was emphasized when he repeated the same things to the Nephites in 3 Nephi. 

Even though I am quite nervous to teach again, I cannot being to explain how grateful I am and how excited I am. 

Heavenly Father knows each of us. He knows our struggles. And he wants us to be successful in this life. He aids us by giving us scriptures, prophets, apostles, the priesthood, church programs, the Holy Ghost. I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church of God on the earth. I know because when I study the gospel and truly apply the principles in my life, I am happier. I feel more at peace. I have more joy. And I know that the gospel gives me the tools needed to protect my children. They have the ability to make their own decisions and may walk away from all I've taught, but I will know that I did all I could by teaching them what I know to be true. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Christ and enhances and illuminates the Bible. 

I am loving my calling. I'll probably need reminding of this every time I get crazy nervous to teach. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

The Sun on my Face

Do you ever worry about things you cannot control? I do this ALL the time. And to be perfectly honest, I am completely sick of it.

Currently I am worried about a myriad of people, situations and problems. And there is nothing I can do about any of it. So I wake up worried, go to sleep worried, worry in the middle of the day. Worry while I'm driving, while I'm eating. Currently Christmas worries plague my mind...are we still in budget? Did we get everything we need? What about this person or that person? What about that handcrafted idea I had and am in the middle of...will I finish on time?

It's no wonder that I find solace in mindless activities like television and dumb game apps on the iPad when I'm home at night.

I'd like to quit worrying, if only for a moment.

So I headed on over to lds.org. This is my go-to place when I'm feeling introspective, have a question, or just need some peace. Today the answer came in the form of a hymn,

Ere you left your room this morning,
Did you think to pray? … 
When your soul was full of sorrow,
Balm of Gilead did you borrow
At the gates of day?
O how praying rests the weary!
Prayer will change the night to day;
So when life gets dark and dreary,
Don’t forget to pray.

It's time for me to remember to pray every morning, every night. I need the Balm of Gilead it brings to my soul. While my life is not dark or dreary, it could use more sunshine and currently I am the only person blocking the light by turning my back to the sun rather than turning my face to catch the light. 

Love to all during this season. There have been moments of profound spiritual blessing in my life lately and those have come in the form of videos, FHEs and talks with my little family about beliefs and testimony. I love the Lord and his gospel. 

Today's blog has done it's job, I can feel the sun on my face again. 

Friday, October 17, 2014

Playing Catch Up

I've never been good at journaling. When I was younger I would sit down to (finally) write in my journal and I would have this feeling that I needed to write about everything that had happened in my life since the last time I wrote. Unfortunately, so much had usually happened that I couldn't possibly remember or write it all and I would get frustrated. Then I wouldn't bother writing much at all.

I feel that way about this blog. I've let it lapse. Social media and a full-time job drew me away from my precious blog. I'm not going to promise that I'm back, but I would like to get a few thoughts and events written down for posterity.

Thoughts/Events:
1. I quit Facebook. I'm not sure when it happened, some time earlier this summer. At first I quit for a week to get me out of my bad habit of checking statuses every few seconds. We had discussed bad habits during Family Home Evening one night and I pledged to stay off FB for the week. After the week was over I went back but I definitely did not check FB as often as I had before. Then I decided to try another week or two. The next thing I knew I was having this realization that FB wasn't any good for me. I like being in touch with family and I especially love seeing pictures. But FB had become a.) an addiction, b.) a detraction from my real life, and c.) a place of frustration and sometimes full blown anger. So I dropped FB, for good. They do have a cool feature on FB where you can have them send you a link to download all your pics and statuses, so before I left for good I got my download and filed it in my computer. Then I left. Honestly, I miss it sometimes. But other times, I don't miss it one single bit. I'm lucky to have friends and family that keep me informed of events that are important.

2. Savannah started college. What? I had someone tell me yesterday that I don't look old enough to have a college freshman. How sweet! And how true! Ha! And I wasn't even young when I had her, I was 26. Anyway....this #2 is supposed to be about Savannah. She is loving BYU. She loves her professors, her classes and her job. She doesn't have any crazy roommates, which we consider a plus. She has been doing well on most tests and assignments but had her first bump in the road yesterday when she realized that the time spent studying for a major test just was not enough. The transition from HS to university is HUGE. We are very proud of her and know she will succeed!

3. Mackson is a sophomore in HS. He is a good kid and tries very hard to Choose The Right. He's fairly quiet, but will be open about most things if we just ask. Which proves the point that kids really do want to have a relationship with their parents. Thankfully, when we ask, he will give us information. And he is quite funny, which we enjoy.

4. I serve in Nursery in my ward. I love it. The children are so fun, so full of energy, and have such a variety of personalities. Nursery is a great place for me right now. Currently I am trying to figure out how to serve the children during the week, not just on Sunday for two hours. I was reminded of a really great quote, which was attributed to Maya Angelou,

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” I want those children to FEEL good in my class and FEEL good around me. I know that involves striving for the spirit in my life so that I SHINE. I'm working on this.


Looking forward to hearing from long lost blog-reading friends. Love to all!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Yep, It's Over

My prediction has now come to pass. It is over. Savannah has agreed to be "friends."

Problem #1: She is still going to prom with him.
Problem #2: She is heartbroken.
Problem #3: People are still talking and assuming and judging. Unkind assumptions. 
Problem #4: I want to use social media to either be a.) passive aggressive or b.) downright nasty.
Problem #5: He pursued, pursued, pursued, and when things got hard, he bolted.....right back to Sav's ex-best-friend.....He is "confused." (His word, not mine.)

which leads to....

Problem #6: She now has no best friend. There are kind friendly people, but no best friend.
Problem #7: The ex-best-friend's mom is texting me about trying to resolve the problem.
Problem #8 (Which I really do NOT see as a real problem): Sav has no interest in mending the friendship when the ex-best-friend has been mean and flaunting it in Sav's face that she (the former BFF) has woo'd the boy back to her.

Sound like High School? Well it is, except it's MY daughter who is friendless and still has five weeks left of school. This should be the funnest time of her life thus far and it has turned into the worst time of her life so far. 

Read the For The Strength of Youth Pamphlet lately? Do not take it for granted, do not dismiss the recommendations because they are really more like hard and fast rules. Follow, obey and you will find peace and joy. Think they don't apply to you and regret and sadness will be part of your life. Teach your children. We did teach our children. I'm not sure what went wrong. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Monday Mourning-Spring Break

I watched conference, all sessions. I would like to share that during the final session I started to really lose all ability to concentrate. I really enjoy conference, usually I find the measure of peace I seek, but I do have a hard time listening the entire time. I feel like I'm the only adult on the planet with this problem. Other adults seem to really have this one in the bag, they watch, take notes, make yummy food, take cute pictures, tweet and instagram and come out fully uplifted and elevated. 

I should take my own advice and stop worrying about what other people are doing or thinking. My conference experience is mine alone and it really doesn't matter what anyone else does. 

Remember my last post? Remember how I said I think about this (Sav) all the time? Yep, it's still true. I go to bed thinking about it, I wake up thinking about it. I make myself sick as I'm driving thinking about it. I put on music to distract myself, I stream scriptures, I read books. And still I perseverate. 

The one thing my mind is really hyper focused on is that she has one friend. The boy. He's great, he really is. But when the time comes that he's done, and we all know that time will come eventually, then what? She has been so hurt she doesn't trust anymore. She isn't even excited to start college in the fall, it gives her such anxiety I can see her physical self deflate as she thinks about it. 

We are talking to her about this quite often, I just don't know if it's helping her. Any thoughts? I'd love to hear what my three readers have to say. :)

And today my family is all home for spring break while I labor at work. Phooey! I'm so jealous. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Friday Musings

I have to admit, my kids don't really know about this blog so I feel kind of free to write whatever I want about them. On the other hand, they could discover the blog fairly easily if they were to check out my google account, which could happen.

I liked this blog better when I felt more incognito. Sounds silly, right? I mean, there are a few people out there who read the blog. Not a ton, but a few. So I've never really been incognito, have I?

Things seem to have calmed down with Savannah. It's been a week since the last big outburst/problem. Do I get comfortable? Do I get complacent? I want to! I want to so badly! After three solid months of trouble, this reprieve is nice.

Sav has a friend that's a boy. The kids at school say she has a boyfriend, but I prefer the other wording. I know, it's just semantics, but it helps me deal, ok?

I want to be supportive because she is at an age where she really could start dating one-on-one and pairing off and deciding her eternal future. But dang....just because she's of age doesn't mean she SHOULD be making those kinds of decisions. In fact, I really don't want her to do that just yet. In my mind, I'd like her to go to college, meet lots of boys, date a bunch, weed out unsuitables, and settle on a great guy....but definitely not a moment before the age of 23. (And I know that age sounds young to some.)

I digress.

What I'm struggling with and what I really want to explore is this: Savannah has a friend that's a boy and she wants to spend time with him. I like the boy. He's a good kid. He is also a junior so he isn't exactly leaving on his mission any time soon. I don't feel like I can't tell her to stop seeing this boy, nor do I feel I should, so I have to set rules and then be kind of neutral. Or at least seem neutral. And this boy is really her only good friend right now. So how do I be supportive without being encouraging? How do I let her have this experience?

I want to provide safe places for the two of them to interact and be friends, but if I let this kid come over to my house all the time am I sending the wrong message? (I haven't done this, I'm just wondering.)

And if I may whine just a bit, why is parenting so hard?

Anyone out there have any personal experience with this? Parents that were too lenient or not lenient enough? Did you have rules that helped your eternal progression and not hinder it? Did you rebel? Did your parents find the perfect balance between expectations and support?

I think about this constantly.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pinpoint

You know when you look back on your life and you think about the highlights and lowlights? Times when things in life were super smooth, fun, interesting....or times when they really were awful? Funny thing is, I can almost exactly pinpoint the bad stuff, but the good times are more blurry.

It's like this. When I think about my 20s, I think about saving for my mission, serving my mission, going to college, getting married, having two babies. Loved my 20s, really loved them. They were amazing. But it's all a bit blurry, a haze of happiness I guess.

But then there's dates like November 11, 2006, when I was diagnosed with cancer. A pinpoint in time.

In a few years I will look back on this year, 2014, at least the beginning and be able to tell you that time in my life was one of the hardest times I've ever been through. And I'm not done yet. Every time I think things will calm down, they just don't.

Last night as Harold and I were discussing events he actually asked me to stop talking about what was going on because he simply could not take it any more. I was irritated by this, but I still understood.

I won't go into nitty gritty details. There are too many and there are people to protect.

Let me start here: It's Savannah's senior year. At the beginning of the school year I distinctly remember thinking that we were almost done with her high school career and we had escaped any drama that I was sure would accompany a girl through high school.

Now we all know what happens when you think things in your life are easy, right? Yep, all of a sudden you hit a wall....hard.

Savannah is a great girl, this isn't about her. This is not about her choices. She got a bit overwhelmed and overbooked and that played into this year. But the biggest thing is that she was betrayed by a person she trusted, a best friend. The best friend turned on her and then others followed the best friend. Now my daughter has no best friend. And her peripheral friends aren't really speaking to her either.

Can you imagine being a senior in high school, supposedly the best time in your life, and you have no friends?

If you can't remember what it was like, let me help you out. It's devastating.

And if you think a mother can sit by and watch this kind of thing happening and just take it.....well, that's exactly what I have to do, "take it." I do everything I can to help, support, love, embrace, hold, and empower. But I pretty much have to sit back and take it.

And I have to take it from people who live really close, who go to my church, my schools, my neighborhood stores. I have to smile, tell them I'm sure the girls will work it out, when I'm not sure at all. In fact, my daughter says she is through with this friend. Savannah feels betrayed and unloved. She feels used and walked on. She doesn't want this friend back. But she doesn't want to be friendless either.

She's lonely.

She will graduate in two months, actually 9 weeks from today. I will rejoice that she no longer has to face the people who wronged her every.single.day.

She deserves to walk with her head held high, yet she skulks around school like she has something to hide. This is NOT my girl.

I want my girl back. I want her to feel empowered and lovely and beautiful and strong and peaceful and spiritually bold.

I will look back on my daughter's senior year as one of the worst of my life. Because my daughter was betrayed and I had to take it.

She makes me proud to be a mother and my heart hasn't stopped aching for oh so long.

I love you my darling, wonderful, brilliant, lovely girl.

If thou art aaccused with all manner of false accusations; if thine enemies fall upon thee;.....  if thou be cast into the bdeep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to chedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of dhell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give theeeexperience, and shall be for thy good.
The aSon of Man hath bdescended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
D&C 122: 6, 7

I love you my girl. Love, love, love, love you.