In sitting down to look at my last year, I have to admit, it has been one of my most incredible. It started with watching my oldest son leave on his mission to Tennessee in February. We bought him Wal-mart suits for $50 and found a cheap used bike from another missionary that was on his way home who gave it away for next to nothing. Brian got out there for a bargain and has been serving faithfully- which has been awesome.
Two months later we moved from Minnesota to Oregon. My husband had been Branch President but was incredibly unhappy at work. When the opportunity for a transfer presented itself, he leapt at it with both feet. We were concerned about selling the house in such a slow market, but as luck would have it, a friend unexpectedly sold her house and asked if they could rent for a year if they could take possession in three weeks. In a blur we were packed and out the door, headed to the great Northwest.
Once here, I was BORED! All the children started school, and my empty days were driving me crazy. I found a part-time job at the local university in the Psychology department and was excited to begin working there. (They really wanted me and the money was good.) After a year, I would even qualify for free tuition. I have a secret dream of working with women who are struggling with depression, so it seemed like the perfect answer to the doldrums and I accepted just two weeks after the move. But the day before I was to begin work, I went to the temple and felt black inside. I cried all the way home because I knew the job was the wrong thing for me and my family, but I didn't have anything else and couldn't see just being HOME ALONE for hours on end, feeling like a scullery maid. (OK, I have issues.)
Well, a few weeks later after moping, crying and finally deciding to either start working in the temple or family history center, my sister called to tell me her publisher had fallen through. She was speaking at Education Week in a few months and was hoping to have her first book out on "Alfred Edersheim," a Biblical scholar quoted generously by Talmage and McConkie. She decided to self-publish and asked me to read through her manuscript. It was fascinating stuff but seemed heavy to my light-hearted brain. After I gave her my suggestions she was thrilled and together we organized the manuscript to publish it. Marianna was so pleased with the end result she decided, almost as an afterthought, to send it off to Cedarfort before having it printed. They loved it and not only wanted to publish that one, but an entire series of books on non-LDS authors quoted by church authorities. My brilliant sister asked if I would co-author them with her. It was like an answer to prayer. Now I had something fun to do!
The next week the Bishop called and I was asked to be YW president in the ward. I thought the Bishop was crazy but oddly I knew right away who my counselors should be eventhough I barely knew these women at all. The wierdest thing was that in every case they had been given the feeling that I was going to be President and they would be my counselors weeks before I had any clue that anything was up- and I'd only been in the ward a few months. AHHH!
So now my days were full (over-full)- right? The summer whizzed by and my youngest son was baptized. I sat in the bleachers at the pool watching the kids swim with my laptop in my lap, finishing the last of the editting on Edersheim and with my newfound 'success' (not mine at all but my ambitious sister's) I decided at the end of the summer on a lark to rewrite a story I had written about a women given the worst visiting teaching route ever and how it became her greatest blessing. Well, four weeks after sending it in I got two large envelopes back in the mail. I opened the first and my daughters, Anna and Sarah, grabbed the second. Deseret had sent their form rejection letter, which I am very familiar with, and I wadded it up as Sarah read, "We loved your manuscript and want to publish it." I glared at her, "Very funny," and went back to making dinner, thinking she was pulling my leg. My girls were jumping around and screaming, showing the letter to their brothers and their dad and I was getting mad that they were carrying this joke WAY too far, when they handed me the letter. It was real!
They say when it rains, it pours--- or that scripture about the windows of heaven opening so wide that "there will not be room enough to receive it." I am so grateful but so busy I don't have time to go to the bathroom-- and it is only going to get better.