Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Chocolate Cupcakes

This story has been in and out of my head for 6 months now, as I reflect and wonder what I was suppose to learn.
(I hope its not a repeat if it is, now you know what my mind is like.)
Back in February my second busiest time of the year, when I have 3 birthdays in 2 and half weeks and a holiday, I knew my visiting teaching sister also had a birthday. I couldn't exactly remember when it was in the month but I had been her visiting teacher for three years so I knew it was sometime.
We went and visited our other sister in the morning, and it was a heavy conversation, she mentioned some not pleasant parts of her childhood. And since the point of visiting teaching is to bare one another's burdens I was glad she was sharing with us. But I went home exhausted. I had about an hour and half before the next visit.
The spirit plainly told me take out the chocolate cupcakes from the freezer and frost them. For the last day or two the spirit had been gently nudging me to defrost them and to have supplies for frosting. But let us recall I had already made 3 birthday deserts in the last three weeks (my baby's birthday is 2 weeks before my husband). I had addressed a good 45 valentines for school. Each dessert and holiday prep was a monumental accomplishment of love will beat the anxiety. (And let us not forget I mean mental illness anxiety, not I'm negatively excited, I mean I can barely leave my house, crippling anxiety.)
So all these promptings fell on exhausted ears. I wanted to listen and act I really did, but I just didn't quite get there. My heart was heavy like a sandbag and my feet felt like stones. When I drove home from my first visit I thought go buy chocolate frosting, I drove right past the store, I two tired and hungry toddlers in my car, and I could barely walk through a parking lot with them on a good day because my anxiety had flared up so much.
Six months later I honestly can't remember if I had frosting stuff at home, I think I did but I can't remember now. I think I at least had cool whip, we like chocolate cake and cool whip in our house.
I remember a few times hearing take out the chocolate cupcakes.
I never listened, I got distracted with caring for my babies, with feeding them, and myself. I was so exhausted surely the Lord must know that. Of course he did.
Well it was time to get to our next visit, my two toddlers and I were late, and it was during naptime. But it was the only time that fit for my partner and my sister we were visiting. While we were there, our sister said today was her husband's birthday.

And he always complains that she never has time to make him a chocolate cake. And this year was no different, she was so busy all morning. She had an afternoon of getting her high schoolers to various needs.
.
.
.
.
*Head held in shame* Except it wasn't, I played cool. I didn't want those other two ladies to know the spirit told me multiple times to bring chocolate cupcakes.
.
.
I felt awful though.
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and embarrassed
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After a few days of shame I finally told my husband about it. He was very sympathetic to my regret.

I spent weeks wondering how did the Lord expect me to run faster than I had strength?

He knew of all people how tired I was. How overwhelmed.


Then the answer came, I don't remember the reference but it said when the Lord prompts you he will always give you strength to accomplish what he asks.

Looking back I wish I had the faith to complete a miracle.
But I didn't and sometimes we don't.
We can't beat ourselves up.
We can only move forward with faith.

Saying next time I will be better. Next time I will be able to morn with one sister and lighten the burdens on another all in one day, and care of my family. But if I had the strength for all that, my family would probably have had cold cereal for dinner, and I would have had take out. And we would all be happy and tired.

Other days I think how is her procrastination my fault? Its not. Plain and simple, if she truly cared about making a chocolate cake she would have made it happen. But she didn't and that isn't my fault, but we all would have felt the love of the Lord that day if I would have shown up with chocolate cupcakes. The spirit would have been strong and we all would have been blessed. It wasn't my fault, but I missed the opportunity to bless.

Instead I learned a hard lesson.

As I keep reflecting on this experience I think I've learned far more since I missed my opportunity then if I would have listened.

Part of me says, doesn't all the other treats I dropped off at her house over the years count for something? All the times she said oh thank you so much, I was so busy that day, so my kids ate those for dinner.
Apparently I should have been dropping off dinner all those years.

They did count. And the righteous desires of our hearts also count. But it was a hard lesson to learn, one I will probably think about for years, but not out of shame, instead out of hope. I will always wish I listened to the spirit, and taken out those frozen cupcakes. I will always wished I didn't miss the opportunity to bless a family but at least I've learned a lesson from it.

Now when I'm in the store instead of thinking I'm too tired to be friendly I can be a listening ear. I can have the faith that the Lord gives strength to those who listen.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Madrid Spain

A few weeks ago on the 5th Sunday of July before our last lesson started the teacher had a slide show of LDS temples playing. I honestly wasn't paying attention to it, I was slightly paying attention to my husband's conversation with the guy next to him. When I looked up to the screen and saw the Madrid Spain LDS temple. Immediately it was a confirmation that we where we suppose to be. Even if it wasn't foreign. Even if I don't see an opportunity for my 3rd child to become a polygot.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Thinking about the North Pole

Last night at dinner my 10 year old said to his little sister, during the summer at the North pole the sun never sets, and in the winter its always dark. She replied I know.

A few weeks ago my sister told me about a conversation she had with her daughter about fairies. I was thinking about that North Pole fact. The South Pole is same, except the summer is during the North's winter. I know that fact is true. I know people/scientists have experienced it. I have been to latitudes that have long summer days and short winter days so I know it gets more extreme the farther north you are. I have been to places near the equator where 365 days a year the day is exactly 12 hours. The sun rises at 7 And sets at 7. There is no deviation. But yet I have a hard believing that the North Pole has times during the year that the sun never sets. I know its true but I can't believe it.

How many times in life do we ignore something because we can't make sense of it, even though it is indeed true? There is absolute truth even if our brain cannot comprehend, even if it confuses our heart.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Ratification

We close in 10 days so on Sunday we checked out our new ward. It's in the building I attended senior primary in. I remember my brother's baptism in that building. It's a little odd. A lot.
When we pulled up I thought its not to late to turn around now. My 10 year old from the backseat turned to the 2 year old and whispered are you nervous or excited?
I knew before I moved down here I'd recognize a few old timers in my ward. (It was the Lord preparing me, a gift of the spirit so I don't freak out.) During first hour, I noticed my stake president from when I was a teenager. He signed my ecclesiastical form for my BYU application. (The stake split has twice since then.) During the choir's musical number I recognized a woman from girls camp, turns out she in the Stake YW presidency. (Now mind you they aren't old, I grew up with their oldest children at stake youth activities, I mean old timers like they have been here for 20 years.) I eventually recognized my youngest son's Nursery leaders as leaders of YW in my old stake.
This ward is where we are suppose to be but by the end of the day I felt panicked.
My husband wrote on FB:
"I had an interesting moment of homesickness/ nostalgia at our new ward building today.  I had a very distinct impression that reminded me of the first time attending in monument Colorado.  Basically it was a spiritual confirmation that my family was in the right place. I was then flooded with memories of all the great people I met while living in Colorado and how great that period of life was for us. It is good to know that our first time showing up to our actual ward here is off to an equally memorable start."
He was so confident when he walked out of church. Which was a good reminded to me of the spiritual ratification I felt through my meetings. All through the lessons someone would say something and it would remind me of something that happened over the last two years to get me to where I am today. Some gospel principle that would remind me of a spiritual impression. Or some conference talk or reference.
For me moving back home hasn't been the easiest thing. But I do know its where the Lord wants my family. I can't deny that. Although in my insecurities I keep trying. I need more faith. More courage.
That's why I keep blogging, my family needs this history, I need it. I can't forget the feeling I got when the realtor brought me to Allen. Its interesting that I prayed for weeks to know where we should be. The spirit didn't tell me right away, instead we were left spiritual bread crumbs, we were able to cross off places on our list, look at we thought we wanted. Slowly the Lord tested our faith before he gave us the answer. He didn't give me an address right off that bat, I wouldn't have believed that without the Work.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Primary

Since I'm living at my parents house this summer my records were transferred to their ward. They gave us callings for our 2 months here. They called me to be the team teacher in Valiant 11 year old girls. Bizarrely ironic since this building is about to have a 20th anniversary and 20 years ago I was a Valiant 11 year old girl. Except then we were called Merrie Miss. By the time we moved into the building I was too cool for primary. I was a strong willed child in class with other strong willed girls. Mighty miss would have been a better name. The boys were very quiet the girls couldn't be shushed, stereotypically  it opposite. As I became an adult I realized I was not in the right. But at the time I felt like they were babying me. I had adult siblings, teenaged siblings, and I had senioritis for primary. Good teachers teach the gospel, great teachers teach the gospel and never under estimate their students.
As I've come across past teachers from my childhood I've apologized to them for some of my behaviors. The general response was its fine you were 14, that's how they act, or whatever age I was at the time. (I don't think I was constantly disrespectful but I definitely had multiple phases.)
I've often been given the challenging class when I'm a primary teacher. When ward members ask what class and I say it the general response is oh, that's the hard class right? My response is yes, but I was a challenging child in primary so what comes around goes around. I get them, these are my people. (ok, I haven't always had hard classes but I've had plenty. I once had more than 10 5 year old boys in my class and that wasn't even one of the top contenders.)
Yesterday I said to my team teacher this is my penitence. Then I immediately followed up with nah, it's probably the Lord saying it's fine, you are forgiven. I was surprised by what was said, I've never once thought that about my primary teaching. It was definitely the Holy Ghost talking. I have to admit its a freeing feeling.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Hope not quite Faith

Last week I was listening to conference when President Utchdorf's talk He will place you on your shoulders and carry you home" came on.
In the end of his talk He says,
If mortal hands can transform rubble and ruins into a beautiful house of worship, then we can have confidence and trust that our loving Heavenly Father can and will rebuild us. His plan is to build us into something far greater than what we were—far greater than what we can ever imagine. With each step of faith on the path of discipleship, we grow into the beings of eternal glory and infinite joy we were designed to become."
The spirit whispered that's an answer to prayers. I didn't know exactly what was the answer so I have been studying it.
I realize maybe what it is now.
Some how over the years I bought in to Satan's lies. I started to believe as a stay at home mother I wasn't capable of more. I worry about my children growing up because what do I have in my life other than them? If they grow up I won't have anything left. I started to believe I need the chaos in my life. So when he says, "If mortal hands can transform rubble and ruins into a beautiful house of worship, then we can have confidence and trust that our loving Heavenly Father can and will rebuild us. His plan is to build us into something far greater than what we were—far greater than what we can ever imagine."
I have hope that he will take me full of scars and turn me into something more than I can imagine but right now I'm not sure I believe.
Right now in my mind I'm a pile of rubble and I'm not sure how I'll one day a beautiful cathedral.
For pictures go here:
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/04/he-will-place-you-on-his-shoulders-and-carry-you-home?lang=eng&_r=1
Lastly I'll add its embarrassing to admit this. I think, shouldn't I have the faith it takes to believe this? But I don't its only a hope. (Satan is ruthless he kicks you while you're down. The Lord would never make me feel guilty that I have hope in a concept. But Satan does, he doesn't even want me to have faith but yet he tells me I'm inadequate for not having it because he knows how to mock faith from every level.)

A house

Just so you know. We bought a house, we close in exactly a month.
The Lord works in mysterious ways. I didn't want a large home, my husband didn't want spend more than a $1200 a month, but like I said the Lord works in mysterious ways.
As I said I had the distinct impression you don't have to buy a small house to prove your spirituality.
We put an offer on a second home and ours was not chosen. There were literally no homes on the market we were interested in, we had seen everything. So I decided we should go to the temple since there were no listings to see. Afterward Brent said he had the impression: you should up your budget you know you can afford more. (If you know us you know we're very frugal.)
And now we are under contract to buy a house more expensive then he wanted and about 1000 sq ft more than I wanted. But it feels like the right choice.
I'm now struggling to remain patient.
The house has great bones the only thing the inspector found was it needs new windows. But cosmetically it could use some work but we hardly have any furniture. So now I've been praying to know what we need to be comfortable and what would be frivolous. Both furniture and cosmetic. Luckily enough all the bathrooms are updated.