Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fruit and Wild Honey in My Wilderness

Things have been kinda tough this week. It all sort of came to a head today...broken dishwasher, piles of dishes that I'm too weary to clean (diagnosed w/ strep), no energy to rally the troops to clean....[ok I lied, I do care enough to edit out some of my ramblings which I did here]

As I lay on the floor in the midst of the mess tonite trying to get my weary body and soul some rest, I listened to my precious little girl read one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon. This verse -- not usually one that I notice -- grabbed my attention.

I Nephi 17:4
And we did sojourn for the space of many years, yea, even eight years in the wilderness.

Tears immediately sprang to my eyes as I realized it's been eight years. Eight years this month since my chronic health stuff started. It was hard not to feel that this was a little nod from heaven with an accompanying message:

"I know. It's been eight years. And I know. It's hard."

The next verse also spoke to me.

"And we did come to the land which we called Bountiful, because of its much fruit and also wild honey; and all these things were prepared of the Lord that we might not perish."

There's more than one reason this verse is meaningful, but I was struck by the phrase about things being "prepared of the Lord that we might not perish."

And I thought about some of the things in the last week that may be my fruit and wild honey.

I think of the prompting (now I know it was a prompting because of my positive strep test) that I got last Friday to get a doctor's appointment. I really wasn't sick enough to do that on my own; I really didn't feel that much different (if at all) than I feel on just a bad health day.

As I became concerned that maybe I had argued with that prompting too long, and maybe something terrible will go wrong because I delayed, I listened to the words of the blessing my husband gave me as he laid his hands on my head. He spoke a message of peace. I have to hold onto that, and hope that God knew me well enough to know that going to a doctor without symptoms was not going to happen in a day. I hope He prepared against my weakness. Nephi and his arguing with the Spirit about Laban also came to mind. Sometimes promptings just don't "make sense."

But I feel I learned a little better what a prompting feels like for me (I'm always working to refine my ear to hear God's voice). It was a quiet, out-of-the-blue thought, one I would not have come up with myself, not in a moment of worry or fear. It was in pondering that that I finally decided I needed to act on it, even if nothing were to come of it.

Another tender mercy in all of the mess is that because of the crazy leak, I finally called to make some claims on our homeowner's insurance -- and found out about that fact that our premium had not been paid. We would have found out anyway, but it got the ball rolling and also got me to make the other claims for water problems we've had elsewhere.

And the broken dishwasher? Well, it's just made me grateful for dishwashers. And for the counsel to have food storage. My storage includes a supply of paper and plastic goods that are now stocked where clean dishes usually go.

I know I'm rambling, but I'm too tired to do much about it. I just wanted to record some of the blessings I am seeing in the midst of my little wilderness right now.

Falling Apart


Drip. Drip. I was finally going to get to bed a little earlier (which isn't saying much, I know) when I heard it. Drip. Drip.

"How long has that been there?" I wondered, as I felt underneath my bathroom sink.

After several minutes of fiddling, I realized one of the parts of the cold water fixture had corroded. The more I fiddled, the worse things got.



It's not like I could do much in the early hours of a Sunday morning. I cleaned out the garbage that was under the sink (uh, am I the only one who never looks under their sinks?), put a little container under the leak, showered, and got ready for bed.

Plop. Plop.

The container was a third of the way full after an hour.


More panic. I switched the little container out for a little garbage can. It was 3/4 full in a couple of days.


I looked at the pile of dishes last nite, debating about whether to just put them off. I can't do it, I realized. I can't leave that mess for the fam to wake up to. For me to wake up to. Ignoring the deep pain in my head, I quickly emptied and reloaded the dishwasher, loaded the soap, closed the door, and pushed the button.



Even an hour or two before my appointment, I still at war with myself. But I don't feel that bad. I've never had strep. This is stupid. I need the rest anyway. I mean, really, when don't I have a sore throat lurking and a headache creeping into yet another day? They just sort of come with the territory with this whatever-it-is-that-I-have thing. But I figured I'd get the stupid strep test, get another 'normal' result, and be on my way (to get a new dishwasher, grumblegrumblegrumble). At least I could say that I did something, even if that little idea that popped into my head out of nowhere really was the Spirit. But I still felt like a fool as I sat in the doctor's office as I waited for the result.

The test was positive.

The quick email from the claims department really impressed me, but the message they sent sent my mind reeling. Your homeowner's insurance has expired. I checked with the underwriting department and they confirmed that no payment has been received. This will affect your claim of 1/9/2011. (That would be the possible lake effect we have sitting under my bathroom vanity from part I above.)

- - - - - - - -

Needless to say, it's been a long week. It started with the leak (and with me consequently not being able to get out of bed to make it even to my later schedule's sacrament meeting), was mixed in with a sick child (yet another reason why going to the doc for myself wasn't really on the radar screen), is complicated by a disaster zone in my house that has been exacerbated by the sickness we've had going on (now with piles of dishes I don't have the strength to do...and now hubby feels sick).... It just feels like things are falling apart around here. [Update: I forgot about the car repairs that hubby found out we needed this week, and I'll add the fact that hubby got a positive strep test on Friday.]

Truth be told, they kinda are.

(But here, I try to sort through some of the little tender mercies in the midst of the craziness.)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My favorite things

I have a goal to post more of the little day-to-day things of my life, so I can remember and cherish them. (My children are just growing too fast! I want to savor it all.)

It's already tomorrow (Wed) as I write this, but for me it's still today (Tues) so, today, some precious moments included:

Hearing my baby (age 9 now) singing some happy song. Can't even remember now (see why I need to write things down?)

Finally being able to take #2 to school. She's been sick. But wow, she's maturing a lot with how she deals with hard things. I'm so proud of her.

Watching #2 and #3 throw a bday party for their Build-a-Bears.

Making dinner according to what #3's Build-a-Bear's favorite food is. (Tacos, in case you were wondering.)

Bagging the Easy-Bake cake idea (why did I buy that thing in the first place?) and instead giving the girls each a little cup of fondue chocolate with some pretzels and mini-marshmallows. OH THE JOY that was on their faces.

Curling up with #2 to read her Revolutionary War stories. Really amazing to read about youths who did some amazing things. (Consequently, she couldn't sleep. Ah, well. I then got to cuddle with her while she read The Friend to get her mind off of the war track.)

Lest you think I forgot #1, I didn't. It was just one of those days when he was pretty much in his own world working on homework. But I was proud of him for the way he focused on it.

Sometimes I hate the whole homework thing, to be honest.

Fave other little thing -- at the store, hearing a child in the other aisle singing, the smiley-frowny face song from Primary.

And getting lots of healthy food from the bulk bins at WinCo. (WinCo, where have you been all of my life?)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

One day at a time. Manna. Daily Bread. = Truth from heaven for me today

The recent CES fireside talk by Elder Christofferson was fan.tas.tic. I always like listening to these, but this post by "Gay Mormon Guy" inspired me to watch it tonite: "One Today at a Time."

I encourage you to find the time to listen. Be sure to read the post, too -- such perspective, whatever our challenges may be.

I'll never hear about manna or the line in the Lord's prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread" without thinking of the perspective Elder Christofferson brought to these scriptural experiences and teachings.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Happy New Year!

I'm back to blogging, I think. I've had so much swimming through my brain and life as of late. So much that I want to capture but haven't taken the time to write in my journal (yes, I'm still in pen-and-paper mode with my personal journal). So I may be doing more here again.

These past few months have been really hard in some ways. We had some unexpected things happen that threw our lives for a loop, drained our financial reserve, and sapped my physical and mental and spiritual energy as well. I look back and still am sort of befuddled about it all. I like it when I can make sense of things that happen, but this one? Just doesn't make sense. But strangely, I'm still at peace (at least most of the time), and life has gone on. Here's some of my Mormon life as of late:

-#1 turned 12. In the world of Mormon life, that is a big deal. (Read more about my reflections here.) He received the Aaronic Priesthood. He now gets to pass the sacrament. He was in the temple doing baptisms for the dead the first day he could go. He went around last week to help collect fast offerings. He is beaming with joy about doing these things. He came home from church on Sunday ready to share all that he had learned and thought about. This weekend, he goes on his first winter campout (oh, heaven help my mother heart).

(While I'm on the topic of scouts, I have to say for all the world to hear that I think I'm finally getting how scouts works. It only took me four years, but I no longer feel so much like a fish out of water, and I am enjoying working with my boy to help him work through his merit badges. You have to understand as a woman coming from a family of all girls where my mom did not have a scout calling that I can recall, I had zerozilchonada in terms of exposure to scouting. And it felt like learning a whole new language. But now, I speak Scoutish.)

-I got a new calling at church. I get to help with the Activity Days for the 10-11-year-old girls, which includes one of my darling daughters. It looks like it will likely be temporary until the other leader can get back into it all -- she just had a baby. I love the chance to serve in this way and to be involved with my girl.

-My other calling presents a challenge -- the new presents much for me to navigate and learn as the ward congregation website manager. But I really like where the new tools are going.

-We're nearing the third birthday of this project. I'm really excited about the new series that we just started, called "Forward with Faith." It was perfectly summarized on Mormon Times, as a "series about how faith helps people get through trials and overcome challenges." The first piece seemed to really resonate with a lot of people. It's so interesting to watch how things unfold and work together. I have definitely felt tender mercies with this particular series. Next week, we'll be featuring the story of an elderly Mormon woman who is legally blind and who does more family history work than just about anyone I know. She's been an inspiration to me and I can't wait for people to meet her!

And now for the most important parts of my life:

-I cannot express how much I love my children. Being LDS has given me an even deeper appreciation for my role as a mother than I think I ever would have had on my own. A mother loves her children -- it's almost a biological fact for most moms. But to understand the doctrine of motherhood and, over time, to feel that doctrine distill on my's life-changing. I remember when they were little and I was so. very. frazzled and struggling with post-partum yuck and who knows what else, and then dealing with the chronic physical illness that hit -- I felt like they deserved better. And I still feel that way sometimes, but through all of that, I have felt God's Spirit remind me that this matters. *I* matter, because I am *their* mother. And what's more -- being their mother has changed ME. The process of growing into this role has changed me, and they and their amazing spirits have blessed my life in countless ways.

-Hubby and I celebrated the unlucky number 13 this past year. But we don't feel it's an unlucky number for us. I have a feeling 2011 will be our best year yet.

Here's to hoping it will be yours, too.

I'm baaaaaack.

Well, maybe.

Life these past months came with enough of the usual and the unusual that blogging just sort of took a back seat. But I'm sort of feeling the bug again, so I may be back.

Holidays were good, but still busier than I would have liked. My health took a downturn during the break so that was a bummer (but it was going better before then, so that is good -- I just think I overdid it).

#3 got strep on Christmas day, which was a bummer, but truth be told, being able to lay low and take it slow on Christmas was good.We love being together. We had a fun make-up day with my side of the family last week, too.

Church schedule for our fam is back to the early schedule, which means I am back to not going to church with my family. Definitely a bummer. But I get to worship with some of my dear friends from our former ward, which is so very good. I call it a compensatory blessing in my life to have this strange opportunity to expand my circle of friends and associates at church. This will be the fourth ward I have attended in the last four years.

And since I'm on this bummer/good theme, just flip the two around in order and then go read this post. It may very well be my favorite post on motherhood. Ever. (Doesn't matter if you aren't a mother. You should read it.)

That's all for now. (Bummer? Or good?)