Sunday, September 11, 2016

One last thing

I forgot the hardest part about accepting the primary calling.
Remember how my husband spoke on putting your spouse first?
I hate that my husband's and my callings never line up.  When he is teaching primary I am in Sunday school without him and vise versa. I never get to sit in 5th Sunday 3rd hour meetings with him because he's normally with young men's. Before the callings were issued Brent asked, are we going to be primary team teachers?
The answer of course was no.
We just want to hang out together during church. But apparently the a Lord wants us to be busy not on date night. 
Also I know this is unusual but we have really amazing gospel doctrine teachers.

Heavy and Humble

I've been walking around with a very heavy heart this week.
After today its humbled.
A week ago I sneaked into primary to watch my sunbeam be the spotlight. It was overflowing with cuteness. His favorite temple.... D----- the one closest to us
Favorite scripture story... the Nephites (rolling on the floor emoji, I love his answer)
Favorite thing to do... a pile of matchbox cars and a toy screwdriver, no explanation needed.

As I stood in the back I thought I got to stop showing up to support my kids in primary, they are going to recruit me. Then I thought nah, not me.

Later in the day we met with the Bishopric member, he was going to give my husband a calling. For some reason I didn't really expect to get one the same day. He asked me to serve in Primary, as a CTR 5 teacher. (You probably don't know this but I have spent more time with CTR 5s then any other age in the church.) I hesitantly said yes, then mumbled something about it being a while since I was in Primary because of anxiety and depression. More mumbling. He then said, I think you should know, both of these callings came from the Lord while we were kneeling as a bishopric and praying.

*facepalm, glass shattered, etc*

You see four years ago I was a primary teacher and I had been a primary teacher in various wards for about 5 years. They released me because I was big pregnant and grumpy. And they needed a Relief Society Meetings Coordinator. I spent the next few years in Relief Society with babies, sickness, RSV, depression, anxiety and my various RS callings. 15 months ago or so I was released from my Relief Society calling. It took a few weeks to get a new calling. I told many of friends, I will try to accept any calling they give me, but if they call me to Primary I will say, I'm not saying no, I'm just saying you and I will both go home this week and pray about it on our kneels and meet back together next week to see what the Lord wants. There is no way Brother Key could have known I said that 15 months ago, when he told me we prayed about this on our knees.

I then spent the next 6 days searching the Lord for peace on this calling. There were a lot of desperate pleas uttered as prayer. Things I realized
1.
Not quite the same message, but what I was referring to in my earlier post, the Lord prepares a way for those he calls.
2. My husband helped me see the primary is probably most in need of a master teacher. (a reference I'm sure you won't know.)
3. I don't know, its hard to relate spiritual prompting to English. so count this one for the next 15

Today my husband spoke in Sacrament meeting. We got there and apparently I was panicked, because my daughter got chastised for complaining she never sits by me. (She spent 40 minutes sitting on my lap last week.) Then we realized we forgot her talk, so I jumped up and said, I'll go get it. I really enjoyed my next 10 minutes in the car. I also put on anti-anxiety essential oils when I grabbed the talk. I didn't really enjoy my time, I more sat that wanting to bang my head against the steering wheel. I silently screamed I can't do it, I can't do, I can't do! Alternated with stop thinking about it, obsessing won't make it better. So I get back during the opening Hymn and my husband whispers, "I need to sit on the stand." "Ok" "Will you be ok?" "Nope" and I smile while he stands up to get on the stand. 

I intermittently offered silent prayers of I can't do it! While my husband smiled at me for the stand. Did I tell you what his talk was about? Putting your spouse first, and eternal marriage. The talks on eternal marriage were more about helping your spouse with children. My youngest either threw fits in the aisle, or he asked to go potty. I took him to go potty 3 times during sacrament meeting, he went potty all three times. (We potty trained him this week.) He wanted to go a fourth, but I really doubted he was on the verge of an accident where he already had emptied SO much. I'm sure my constant parade was quite entertaining for the ward since my husband was speaking on eternal families. 

After church I realized it was good my husband couldn't sit with us. If he was there to help I probably would have had a panic attack. I was so close to leaving all my children on the pew by themselves and going to sit in the hall on the couch. 
The bishopric guy who called me, was released today, he was asked to bare his testimony he talked about callings being given by the Lord while they were on their knees and praying. Just in case I forgot, the Lord told me again.
The Sunday school teacher said, in the sight of the Lord a sunbeam teacher is just as important as the prophet because those sunbeams are so important to the Lord. (I had one last week in Gospel Doctrine and Relief Society.) 

I talked with the Primary president a few times today, I think she is seeing some hesitancy from me, I keep telling her its fine. I wonder should I mention, its nothing against primary, its just been a lot of years of depression and anxiety. In the past when I taught primary I wouldn't let my children touch me or sit on my lap during sacrament meeting, or for a couple of hours of church. Its been less then a year I've actually been able to help my husband in sacrament meeting with my children. I'm just not sure I'm ready to go down all these paths again. 

Over and over, I thought "the Lord is more concerned with our progress than our comfort." (Which is a heck of a lot better than I can't do this.) Being a lazy millenia makes me think, I wish he was more concerned with my comfort, because he never lets me get comfortable, with every milestone I gain he sends a curve ball. I'm pretty sure he does in fact want me in Primary, but I'm not actually sure why. If you are Mormon and reading this you, probably can see the writing on the wall, but I am missing it. Please DO NOT contact me, I don't need you to tell me what I'm missing. I'll see it one day, or at least in eternity. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Understanding why

I've thought it was weird that we prepared to move internationally twice and didn't go though twice. (We've actually tried more) Brent's said well it helped get us ready for this move.  True but I'm sure I could have gotten ready other ways.
The only thing that's really rung true to me is when Colombia fell through. We found out while on vacation at my parents house and my brother was there at the same time.  He said to me maybe Brent just needed to know you'd follow him.
Today I read a blog post from a marriage therapist that rang true:
"That’s what dialogue is. It’s a conversation with one another – rather than at one another – that is designed to reveal the deeper meaning of a particular conflict. Dr. Gottman refers to this as the “dream within conflict.” Whenever the dream or hope or aspiration for the relationship is ignored, problems arise. But when those dreams are revealed and understood and respected, it creates space for the relationship to become more meaningful than the problem."
https://www.gottman.com/blog/p-is-for-problems/
At the time the time I did not know how to respect his dream without buying into it. I knew it was destroying our relationship. As I've mentioned I went into general conference with one question.  Who has got to give because our relationship can't sustain this disagreement.

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.
.
.
.
and embarrassed
.
.
.
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.