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Archive for the ‘life lessons’ Category

It’s never what I expect, and today is no exception.  I miss 2nd ward traditions, I wanted to see our little Primary singing, etc.  Our new ward is starting to feel less strange, but I still miss our old ward.  It’s apparently about a 4 year long recovery time and we are 4 weeks in.  I’ll make it.

They did something today that I liked and have been thinking about all week, trying to gather my thoughts.  Sharing our favorite hymn with a short why.  Like many of my other favorites, context matters but all week I’ve been thinking of “A Child’s Prayer”

Rules were simple, a 1 minute “why” and from the hymn book.  I had managed to write down a why that was condensed and photocopied the song from the Children’s Song Book.  Both rules circumvented, but it was very busy and I still feel a bit guarded {unless I’m spilling all of my inner thoughts on here} so I didn’t get a chance to share, hence being here.  The song is above, with scenes from Cokeville Miracle {great movie by the way} Here is my “why”

Spring of 2013 I was dealing with The Very Hardest of Hard Things and was very traumatized.  Up didn’t seem like up and for a week or so I was surprised each morning when the sun came up.  I had no grasp on reality, but I knew that Christ knew me personally and believe that his heart ached with mine.  I’d had a priesthood blessing from my Bishop and I know he cared, but I felt very alone and very scared.  My prayers had very few words, lots of sobs and tears filled with emotions that there aren’t words in the English language to describe.  I’m not certain how that week ever ended, but it did as the Hard Things continued to pour forth.  I acutely felt the lack of priesthood guidance in my home, as well as a partner or helpmate to get me through.

A few weeks after that very first night was General Conference.  I remember so many details of that conference, the feeling of the blanket on my lap, my snacks, the smell of breakfast, my little TV with crappy signal, the pajamas I was wearing.  Boyd K Packer gave his talk These Things I Know and in that talk are two great truths I needed to understand.

I have come to know that faith is a real power, not just an expression of belief. There are few things more powerful than the faithful prayers of a righteous mother.

Up until then I’d thought of faith as a feeling or emotion, not a power in itself and I discredited the power behind my wordless prayers that went straight from my heart towards heaven bypassing my mouth entirely. I knew God didn’t answer my prayers how I had planned but I believed that yes, he does answer every child’s prayer.  I don’t remember anything else that conference, just that I was going to be okay.  I was fine on my own {fine is a relative term} and that my faith had power behind it, not just warm feel goods.  We were going to get through

Things are different now, We are dealing with Hard Things 3: Cancer, Again. instead of  Hard Things 2:  The Very Hardest of Hard Things  The kids are older (easier and harder all at the same time) and I’m not alone (but at times I still feel very lonely and afraid) and in some ways they are the same.  That first week feels like an alternative reality, and I’m not certain how it ended.  I’m not sure what I’m suppose to learn this time, but I’d like to learn it so we can move on to a chapter I’d like to call After Hard Things Life is Grand but I don’t know that my life gets that chapter, so I’m working on finding grand things in the midst of Hard Things.  Life feels very uncertain for me right now, but I know Christ understands me, and he knows what it’s like when I’m paralyzed with fear and uncertainty.  God does answer every child’s prayer, and not just all those other prayers but my prayers too.  I believe in the power of believing.  What I wish I knew is where all of that is going to leave me, but for tonight I pray in sobs of uncertainty and fear knowing that there is power in that prayer.

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Our printer is out of ink, has been for a while. Kaede has the share fair coming up and because of the no printing problem she was hand writing the answers to her questions. She was overwhelmed and near meltdown over it needing to be written neatly. 

I told her that yes she could do it. No one expected it to be perfect just that she did her very best, even though it was hard. Her best would be good enough and no one would require more. 
Then came the lightbulb moment with the strength of flipping on the over head lights in a patient room at 3 am while they are sleeping. No one requires me to be perfect, just to do my best and try my hardest, even when it’s difficult and I’m overwhelmed. Kaede’s handwritten answers aren’t as perfect as a typed copy and that’s okay. She took her situation, her mountain and did her best. She pushed herself to do more than she thought she could. 
I can see it being easy to blur the line between complacent and accepting less than perfection, but I believe if we are always doing our best and trying our hardest that complacency won’t be a problem because hard things done repeatedly become easier and the bar for ‘hard’ is set a little higher. 

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Before I begin this is the second time I’ve typed this up, phone posting even!  Grrrr!!
I played city league co-Ed softball tonight, first time I’ve played anything besides church ball in over a decade. Don’t get me wrong, church ball is awesome its just a bit different. 
Main lesson I learned tonight is if you don’t use it you lose it. My throwing arm?  It’s gone, a distant memory I’m now wondering how much of it was a little enhanced since I was 20. I can consistently connect with the ball, it just doesn’t go as far as I’d like and my rough ability to place the ball is now tied up in theory and physics lessons. I didn’t get a chance to test my ability to field a fly ball but the test will come, hopefully with a little more skill. I won’t even discuss my inability to run the bases. I was never a wonderful softball player earning scholarships to wherever I wanted to go with loyal fans besides Mom but I love the game, tried my best {usually}, was dedicated and loyal to the team and I consistently improved until I stopped playing. 
If you don’t use it you lose it applies to far more than softball skills. Math {have you tried to help with high school math homework recently?  Nothing us even named the same!} to gardening and faith. 
Over the last few years I’ve learned that faith is a verb, and as a verb if you don’t use that skill set it can atrophy the same way my softball skills have. 
It’s a different skill set, this one consists of regularly studying the scriptures. Not just reading a chapter a night, but contemplating the words and taking it beyond the stories and personalizing the messages. I’m not knocking the chapter a night, that’s what we do as a family. I just need more. Praying not just out of habit before crawling into bed but praying like Enos. Attending meetings not just physically but with heart and mind.  Gratitude, service, and humility have become my trifecta for strengthening my faith when things are difficult. 
With regular use the faith skill set can become a strong foundation able to withstand the trials and darkness that will come. There has been a lot of discussion lately about only needing a twig of faith to act on.  Today I have that twig. 
I don’t know how but I do know that everything will be okay — eventually. I can’t let myself focus on the how because there is no answer for that right now. It’s not going to be easy and there may be times I wish I could give up but we will be okay. 

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