Thursday, June 26, 2008

New Beginnings

Last night was the first night I've spent in our new home. We only moved the beds over so the rooms are still sparkling clean and empty. It was wonderful to have that new carpet smell around you with every corner in perfect order. I got up this morning and did sit ups and stretched, showered, read scriptures and came downstairs to my shiny kitchen (empty) where I opened the cupboards to fresh grapes, ham and whole grain bread. I ate on the back porch as the birds sang around me.

As I sat there I had to be grateful for new beginnings. It is so awesome that Heavenly Father set up this earth so that every night we end the day and every morning we get a fresh start. There is something about our natures that thrives on subtle change- that relishes the new. Every new year I set goals that usually last until the doldrums of February. At the start of summer we have new focus on the family. With the autumn comes the start of more routine and with the Christmas season we awaken a sense of tradition.

So yesterday when we had finished unpacking the first load off the trailer I sat in a circle with my children and asked what new element they wanted to add to their lives with this new beginning. One was going to keep their room cleaner, another wanted to read more, Sarah wanted nobody to go in HER room. We'll see how we do but it is a wonderful thing. I'm going to plan my days and live my plan. At least for the month of June- well, what's left of it anyway.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

You Get the Right Answers, When You Ask the Right Questions

Funny, my eyes are opening again. I wrote yesterday for the first time in three weeks and its like I'm coming out of a thick fog. Good stuff! Maybe that's because taxes are done, my papers are all in to the loan officer, no big events are looming in the future and I've given up dragging my emotions behind me as I make this move. I'm just going to do it and capture the joy along the way

So church today was WONDERFUL!!! Bro. Brooksby spoke. He is a vital, elderly man who knew my grandparents and parents very well. He serves on a number of executive boards and travels extensively despite the fact that he is probably into his eighties. He told the story of a friend who went into a convenience store with him who suddenly said they had to go. When Bro. Brooksby asked why, he shrugged and they got in the car. Before long they came across an accident and his friend was the first to come to the aid of a young woman, perhaps saving her life. As they left he said to Bro. Brooksby that it was a good thing he had listened to the Spirit or he might have missed that assignment.

We have all read in the scriptures where Nephi went back to get the gold plates the last time "not knowing before hand what he should do." But Bro. Brooksby said that it was really important that we are where we need to be so that the Lord can use us as his instruments. My husband and I both know we need to be in this other house, although we don't know the reason and so we are going. I'm looking forward to the adventure- it just took me a while. We move next Saturday and the first three days of the week I'm spending as George's chauffeur. He is supposed to get his license on Thursday- yahoo! The week is going to be stuffed full but hopefully we'll make it through.

Smiling Through the Yuckiness

Yuckiness is a part of life. We all face situations that just don't turn out the way we have planned or dreamed. Recently we moved to Oregon where the housing prices are insane. After the closing of our beautiful home in Minnesota, we were feeling antsy so my husband and I looked at a few properties. One stuck with us but it wasn't what either of us wanted. It is on a lot the size of a postage stamp, has a ton of bedrooms that no one with less than seven kids would even consider and is in a mixed, cramped neighborhood. It's been vacant for over a year but both of us couldn't stop thinking about it- it was even in the other ward- sad.In the next few days I prayed and went over the hill to where Greg works to look in neighborhoods in that area (gas prices) but felt gray inside all day and when I crested the mountain back to Newberg, I suddenly felt this huge lift like I was coming home and I started to cry. Not out of joy- I did not want that house! But my husband and I figured the market was going down so we didn't do anything about, hoping that maybe we were both imagining it.The next Sunday my Bishop called me in and released me. I looked at him in disbelief and asked who told him about the house. Nobody, he said, he had just felt inspired that there were other things I needed to be doing. I was shocked because I was YW's pres. for only one year. We went to the temple and then agreed to put in a low-ball offer, still hoping for some reprieve, but we got it. (Can you say "bad attitude"?)For the last two weeks I've been up to my elbows in contracts and financial statements (Yuck!), my husband's project has been delayed at work and he's a grumpy bear, my graduated son is trying to get his eagle project done and a job amid my encouragement (ahhh!) and with all the children home from school, I'm feeling like I'm drowning. (My the unrest at CFI and my mother's passing hasn't helped much.) In short, it has been no fun.So this morning I went swimming with a friend who told me frankly that I had been a "poo-poo monster" for the last few weeks. She said she was tired of watching me always look at the worst and live by pulling my hair out. Funny, once she said it I had to agree (I'm usually the wise-cracker on the back row or the silly woman laughing till her sides split) and as I walked away, I decided that I was going to shift. I know I am greatly blessed but maybe the greatest blessing of all is that I get to feel inspired to do something even if it wasn't what I thought I wanted to do. Faith is believing that Heavenly Father knows more than me about what's around the corner and trusting in his inspiration rather than grumbling about it. Our family motto is "Yes, Lord, I'd be happy to." It's time to buck up and live by it. See, I'm smiling.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Pent-up Emotions Can Explode at Awkward Places

Not good.

Last night was my son's graduation. I was sitting in my seat, minding my own business and trying to focus on the endless trite cliche's being toted as advice from the pulpit from the eight valedictorians, four principles and other's who were added to the endless program. I had spent the day driving back from my mother's funeral, alone with three bored children who screamed and fought in the back seat most of the fourteen hour drive home. We had arrived just hours before but were there trying to listen.

So as I sat, somewhat frustrated with the program which was far longer than any other graduation I had ever attended and feeling exhausted from the long drive and residual grief of my mother's death and the dissolution of the estate which was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life, I noticed these three small boys wrestling beside me on the grass. They were about ten or eleven years old and making a lot of noise. The ceremony was held in front of the bleachers by the football field with chairs laid in rows on the ground. The PA system was difficult to hear and the children had totally ignored my evil eye so I started looking to their parents who were totally ignoring the situation.

When one of the boys kneed another in the privates, I had it and stood, planning to encourage them to sit with their families. As I approached them, they looked back at me with defiant stares and something inside of me cracked. Maybe it was the long car ride or my mother's funeral or just the fact that this was my son's graduation and they were selfishly ruining it but I pointed my finger at them and hissed with vehemence, "You boys make me sick with your disrespect. This is my son's graduation. How dare you ruin it? Go sit with your parents now!" One of the boys tried to delay and I stepped behind him ready to scoot him towards the chair of people but he sprinted to his parents in fear and I sat down as several people stared at me in shock. The rest of the ceremony continued without any children within the area misbehaving.

I sat back with my heart racing, surprised at my feelings. Perhaps the old ways of covering our windows and wearing black during a period of mourning isn't a bad idea. It certainly would not expose you to embarassing emotional outbreaks.