New Calling

Jun
2013
05

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So….Sunday I was released as the Primary president and called as the RS president of my Ward. I’m not so sure about how this is gonna go, but should be a fun ride! Just had the scripture Jacob 4:7 sent to me – very timely!!

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Tonight, just before scriptures, my five and six-year-old were having their own little conversation:

Five-Year-Old: I want to go first. And it came to life….
Six-Year-Old: ______ (name of five-year-old), we’re in helium!

I love how children interpret the scriptures!!

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President Hinkley challenged everyone in the church several years ago to pray for an missionary experience. I prayed. Nothing happened. I prayed. Nothing happened. Over two years ago I was reminded of this challenge and decided to start praying for one again. I could feel that Heavenly Father was preparing someone to be baptized and I felt I was supposed to be involved somehow. The Spirit impressed upon my mind at this time that I had lots of missionary experiences and I just couldn’t see them so I started to change my prayers from “please bless me with an opportunity to share the gospel” to “please help me to recognize when to share the gospel”.

Enter my neighbor, Kevin. We just started having conversations. He would come over and talk to me while I was sitting in the yard watching the kids play and we’d just visit for an hour or so. He did this with a lot of the neighbors. We talked about all sorts of things and I always paid attention to the promptings of the Spirit so I would know what to say when it came to the Gospel. I would find opportunities to tell Kevin that he was a child of God or that Heavenly Father knows him and loves him. Those kind of comments were far and few between.

BUT….the conversation that changed it all was when he wanted to know if there were any girls in the neighborhood that his daughter could get to know better. She goes to a different school than the children in our neighborhood so she wasn’t really meeting anyone. I happened to know about the activity days program and I knew who the leaders were and I could put him in contact with all of them. This slowly led to more conversations about the church and one day the sister missionaries stopped by his home and he let them in.

He took the discussions in two phases. The first phase was with his daughter and he really wanted this for her. He seemed to want her to get baptized and then he would follow. His daughter wasn’t really excited about the idea and then the discussions just completely fizzled out. The second phase happened when Kevin chose to just come to church and decided he needed this in his life. He called the missionaries and started taking the discussions for himself and then was baptized – all within a month. Apparently he was ready!

I’m so excited for him and our family loves him and Savannah. We look forward to getting to know him and his daughter. Just had to share. This is my first experience (from beginning to end) and I look forward to many more.

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My husband and I decided some time ago that due to the Priesthood responsibilities our three oldest boys have we wanted our family to be 20-30 minutes early to church every week. We live very close to our church, so when it’s time to leave we take who is ready in the car with us and everyone else gets to walk.

This last Sunday, when it was time to go, our youngest of six children (and our only daughter) was the only one ready to go so she got to ride over to the church in 17 degree weather.  The meeting started and there the three of us sat. It was a lonely feeling for a mother who was used to being surrounded by at least three other children before Sacrament meeting begins. Even though I already knew the answer, about every 10 minutes I kept looking over to my husband and would ask, “Do you think I should go check on them?  Do you think we should call them?”  He would just shake his head and say, “We need to let them ‘fail’.”  (Fail translates into let them be late…you have NO IDEA how hard it was to leave my children behind!)

The Sacrament came and went. You can imagine how I felt when our oldest came and plopped himself right next to me 35 minutes into the meeting. 🙂 Ten minutes later another two joined us and about two minutes after that the last two finally came trailing in.

Once everyone had arrived I felt a wave of relief come over me.  Relieved that I didn’t need to worry about where they were anymore.  Relieved that they were in out of the cold.  Relieved that we were all together.  At one time I remember thinking, “Ah, together at last.” I later found out that a neighbor saw my children walking to church and gave them a ride and I think my children were very grateful…I know I was.  Grateful that I could let the lesson sink in that they needed to be prepared and that they were responsible for their own choices and grateful for the tender mercy shown on a cold, winter day.

I reflected for a few minutes on how I felt at the beginning of the meeting and how much I missed my children and how that contrasted with the joy I felt seeing all of us together.   I was happy when each child, one by one, joined us, but the feeling of absence I felt from those who had not yet arrived was undeniable and the joy I felt from all of us being together was unspeakable.  It was difficult not to notice the parallels this story offered to every day and eternal life.

But the biggest lesson for me that day was even though we might not all be traveling at the same speed, as we do our best to lead our children down correct paths, and with help we receive from people who care, we’ll all get there…eventually.

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Today I made a comment on a social website about an issue that is dividing people and in some cases even members of the Church.  I then read through my comment and realized that what I said needed a follow up comment because it could be viewed as offensive.  Then after reading that comment I realized that my clarification statement could be viewed as offensive to someone else.  Realizing that saying anything at all put me on either side of the issue I now found myself smack dab in the middle of a debate I originally wanted no part of and that making a comment literally dirtied my hands.  In this case, I had strong feelings about people who had strong feelings, but after making my comment I realized there was no place for it and I just made myself a part of the  ugliness of the issue. It would have been good for me to do a little research/studying so I knew where I stood on the issue, but it didn’t mean that I needed to say anything about it.  The insight on my hands being dirtied by saying something lent me new information I had never considered before and I literally witnessed a paradigm shift – and I’m grateful for that!

So, since this little experience I have found myself wondering when it would be appropriate to say something or not to say something.  Here’s a couple of things I learned for myself.

  1. Determine what the issue is even about and how big of a role does the advesary have in it (if it’s a lot then stay FAR AWAY!)
  2. Do I know anything about this subject?  (i.e. what do General Authorities or the scriptures have to say about it)
  3. Will saying anything help?  (Filters: Does this need to be said?  Does it need to be said by me?  Does it need to be said right now?)
  4. I would say that most of the time I would best serve my fellow men by not saying anything at all.  This does not mean however, that I shouldn’t say anything to my children.  If there is an issue I feel strongly about I do need to let them know how I feel (and not always with words) and that is probably about as far as that needs to go.

I am really going to work hard on this.  I am grateful for gentle corrections from the Spirit and the opportunities I am given every day to change for the better.