Sunday, April 24, 2011

There Was a Book on the Snooze Button

It all started when my alarm didn't go off. I wanted to get to the temple for the 0600 session because I have such a long to-do list today. We wanted to leave by 0520- which is when I woke up. I grumbled my annoyance at my alarm (thanks to the book I accidentally set on top of the snooze button, the alarm started and turned off in the same moment. Oops.) and wondered if I should even go since now my schedule would be so far off.

I went upstairs and found my mom had slept in too, but she was almost ready. Okay, I thought to myself. I'll be faithful. I'll go. I hurried and got dressed and we were on our way.

The Jordan River temple has sessions every 20 minutes, and we got to the chapel just at 0640, so the next session would be at 0700. When we walked in, I noticed the organist was seated at the organ, but wasn't playing. There were just a few people sitting in the front benches, then 10 or so rows back was an entire congregation of Tongan members. Gorgeous dark hair, beautiful skin, all dressed in white- and they were singing.

It was amazing. I didn't recognize any of the songs they sang, but it was so powerful I just sat there and wept. Their voices were clear and strong and so rich- I cannot imagine any choir of angels could be more satisfying to hear. At times their harmony was more than four parts, and the rise and swell of the melodies that this beautiful people must have sung for generations was indescribably moving.

They sang several songs, and after the last was finished, it was announced that the session in Tongan would begin next, and there was room for about 10 more people if they wanted to attend and listen with headsets. I was the 10th person. My mom and I opted not to have headsets, but just to listen and feel the spirit of the words and the inherent warmth and peace being in the temple brings.

I knew everything that was being said, although I didn't understand the words. But still, I have never been so focused on listening during an endowment. It was incredible. I had so many new realizations, things that became clearer because the language itself was unfamiliar.

As I knew it would, the spirit bore witness of the truth and power of the covenants. The wonderful thing about the spirit is that it knows no bounds as to language, culture or race. If there is truth spoken, the spirit bears witness of it to our hearts if we can just be in tune. And even without comprehensible words, my heart was so filled and my soul so refreshed. The best part for me was the simple fact that I was so intent on listening to and soaking in the sweet, new experience I was having- I completely forgot to worry about and fuss over all the problems I came to ponder on and seeks answers to. For two whole hours, I just left everything else behind and focused on the truly important things that are not of this world.

It was possibly the most powerful temple experience I have ever had. My perspective has completely changed, my attitude adequately adjusted- and my heart feels healed. Granted, I still have work to do and much to accomplish, but somehow it all fits into its own place now. I have always loved the talk Elder Bednar gave on the tender mercies of our Father in Heaven, because it made me able to recognize them in my own life. My heart is so full of gratitude for the short yet life-changing tender mercy I was granted today.

Never in my life have I been so glad my alarm didn't go off.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Big Mess

I'm hiding today. Hiding on my blog so I can pretend that there isn't a big mess on every surface I see away from my computer screen. There are also big messes on all the proverbial surfaces, too.

My fitness is a mess, I am genuinely annoyed at how hard I have to work to get rid of 10 pounds and how quickly and easily they sneak back.

My emotions are a mess. I went out to lunch with, and then hugged and said goodbye to, a very dear friend and realized it was the first of a lot of difficult goodbyes I have looming in the next few days. I can't even think about it without crying.

My finances are a mess. What a can of worms (more like a barrel of snakes), let's not even go there.

My spirit feels like a mess. I am striving to read my scriptures each morning and start the day with a smile and it literally takes 2 minutes before I'm barking at the kids and setting the perfect example of all the things I DON'T want them to be.

My parenting is a mess. Lately I am such a wad of inconsistencies and short-tempered selfishness that I can only hope my kids aren't paying attention, although doing just that is something they get in trouble for. There's no way for any of us to win.

And clearly, my attitude is a mess.


I'm so happy and excited to embark on our big adventure and to have my little family together again, don't get me wrong. It's just that these past few days have been more difficult than I can manage because of all my inner turmoil (and outer turmoil, I'm not gonna lie. I HATE packing).

I have developed this bad attitude, too. I have always tried hard to see the blessings hidden amidst my trials. For some reason these days all I can see is the trials amidst my blessings. Sure I get to move to this great location close to so many awesome historical sites, have a cute little house that the military is paying for, have a better paycheck, be in the Washington DC temple district, get to try a whole new lifestyle, get my honey and father of my children back... You'd think I'd be thrilled. Instead I'm just upset, and I don't even know what about.

*another sigh*

I have always noticed that when I am on the verge of doing something very important that is right for me, Satan works extra hard to keep me from getting there. And with my great job of driving the spirit away with my anger and faithless whining, I am as good as inviting that negative influence into my life.

My friend and I were talking over lunch today about some of our funny parenting stories, and we discussed the habit we all have of asking our kids, "Why did you do that?" (You dumped Fruity Pebbles all over the carpet and DANCED on them?! WHY?!?) In the parenting class Lee and I taught in Rexburg, the manual specifically said not to do that, because there is really no satisfactory answer the child can provide.

But I am not a child- I am a grown woman who is accountable for her actions, and I can't help but ask that question of myself. WHY I am acting and feeling this way? Not surprisingly, there is no satisfactory short answer.

Before anyone reading this decides that I am losing it, don't worry. Normally I do better than I have been doing lately, and I know with divine help I can find my way back. So here's what I have been repeating and seeing over and over in my head the last couple of days:

I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it.

Sometimes from the mud at the bottom of the trenches it's hard to see. But I know that if I just keep climbing and keep trying, at some point I'll be able to look back and see more clearly. And if there's one thing I know how to do, it's how to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I never thought it would be easy, and I know it will be worth it.

Time to go work on my messes.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


So much to celebrate!
- Daddy is officially a commissioned 2nd Lieutenant!
- I survived the flights to and from Georgia with the munchkins!
- Jana is using the big girl potty- Huzzah!
- By the middle of next week, we'll be a FAMILY again! *Eeeeeeeeeee!* (think Leisl's Sound of Music post-kiss squeal, that's what I'm going for there)

I look forward to celebrating our finding a place to live, successfully packing in the next week, and the achievement of the big move. I don't want to get ahead of myself, so I'm celebrating the small victories as we go- today I thought about going out to the garage and finding some boxes. Yay!

Now for some hot chocolate on this chilly, rainy night. Tomorrow I plan to GO out to the garage and find the boxes, and maybe Wednesday I'll bring them inside, and MAYBE Thursday I can go get some boxing tape... Yes, I better get some hot chocolate and go to bed.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Find-A-Friend Friday

Whee! I am so excited, this week I was picked for the Find-A-Friend Friday at one of my very most favorite blogs. If this blog isn't in your favorites already, put it in. Now! Not just because of the little bit about me, but because Stephanie's posts are funny, insightful, clever and make me want to be a better mommy- while realizing that there are so many other women in my same boat and it's okay to have some self-perfecting left to do.

I love this blog, and hope you will too!