Sunday, September 9, 2012

Day 14 Peaches and Naps

I am writing tonight in hopes of bringing myself back to "center".  So much has been going on this week that I feel a little bit in a whirlwind.  Today being the Sabbath gives me time to regroup.  It's obvious to me now that writing daily is a bit overzealous for the life I lead right now.  But it doesn't mean I don't spend time daily recognizing how the Lord has blessed me.  Here are a few highlights from this week.

After a stressful day riddled with panic attacks and frustrations (and conquering my fear of driving in bigger cities), I drove home feeling spent.  Then I remembered it was time to do peaches and I had yet to find any.  I thought about stopping at the nearest fruit stand but kept getting the impression to head straight home.  The kids were already out of school and I needed to be there.  Trusting the impression I had, I more calmly drove home.  Not five minutes after walking in the door a sweet neighbor called to see if I wanted her left over peaches.  Turned out she didn't have just a few leftover.  I was able to get all that I really wanted to can and still had extra.  Thank you Heavenly Father for knowing that the money I almost spent on peaches would be better used elsewhere.  And thank you dear neighbor for also following a prompting and thinking of me!

Today just getting ready for church was a battle.  You know those days when you remember last minute you were in charge of something big and dropped the ball.  Yep, seems like the last two Sundays have been doozies for me.  Well, that alone can pretty much push me over the edge.  This was coming off a really busy and stress filled weekend, lots of driving, late nights, and colds all the way around.  Everyone woke up sluggish (doesn't help that the house was trashed).  By the time we actually made it to church (early-believe it or not) I was a basket case.  Half way through Sacrament meeting daughter #2 and I made our way to the bathroom with upset stomachs and incessant running noses.  While taking care of things my little one said "Mom, if I am sick will I have to go home?"  Notice the "have to" not "get to".  Amidst all the things I am doing wrong I must be doing at least a little something right.  She was able to stay and actually begged that we have choir practice so she could stay longer.  

Naps.  Need I say more?  Um, yep, I will.  It's not often that we actually get to "rest" on our Sabbath.  Who does that with three little ones that still need to be taken care of.  But today I got the prompting that if we didn't we wouldn't make it through the week.  So following a late lunch we all headed to our rooms for a little quiet time.  And all five of us slept.  At the same time.  For at least 2 hours.  Holy cow!  Heavenly Father knew that Jimmy and I needed rest desperately and the only way to get it was to have everyone fall asleep.  We all slept right through dinner but who cares.  We needed it.  Once again God proves he is a God of mercy!

How did God show you His mercy this week?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Day 13 Laughter

Okay, so I'm obviously not perfect and missed several days between blog posts.  But it doesn't mean I haven't still been trying to see the tender mercies in my life.  Over this last weekend I have had quite a few...laughter (which hasn't happened in way toooo long), reconnecting with a friend, being there for a family member when they needed help, having prayers answered in the form of conversations, websites, facebook posts, and even pinterest, an awesome swimming day with my girls, safe travel, projects going smoother and quicker than planned, and a huge release of guilt!  Maybe more on the guilt thing later, since most of us ladies really need to let it go!!!!  I am way to tired to go into detail right now about any of these things...maybe tomorrow...maybe not.  But know that in my quest for being my best grateful and happy self, I am making progress.  I felt and said things this weekend I didn't think I would ever be able to say out loud and it felt awesome!  I feel a burden off my shoulders and God's love all around me.  He truly is mindful of me and my needs.  He is guiding me down some very different paths right now, but I know he won't leave me.  And by golly, things are just getting fun!

Changed my mind...more on laughter!

I recognized this last weekend that it's been a really long time since my husband, kids, and I actually did something fun.  Just sitting there laughing our heads off fun!  I had been wondering why things seemed so gloomy in our home, why we just weren't coping with regular life.  Then it donned on me!  When was the last time we quit talking about how hard life is, and just did something fun?  Something that made us laugh?  Ummmm...if I have to think that hard, it's really been tooooo long!  So I told my husband that we needed to do something about it.  A few days later a friend came into town whom I dearly love and admire (and whose husband can make me laugh at the drop of a hat) and I laughed all night long-till 4:30 in the morning.  I felt like a giddy school girl (essential oils had a little do to with it).  The next morning-once I dragged my sorry self out of bed-I felt energized and motivated to do something I was scared to do-rip out a wall.  We had so much fun!  And we laughed some more.  I couldn't believe how much it changed my outlook on life.  By darn it...I have to find something everyday to laugh at!

At church on Sunday the Relief Society lesson was on being happy.  I was taking copious notes!  The teacher gave some references to some talks that made me laugh.  She quoted (mistakingly) President James E. Faust as saying "If you want or need to laugh and you don’t—if you suppress laughter—it goes to your hips and spreads out."  I was busting up.  To imagine that man saying that...ha ha ha.  I had to find the quote.  I looked all over, in the talk she referenced.  Couldn't find it.  What I did find was a talk by Mary Ellen Edmunds that she gave at Women's Conference in 2004 entitled "If thou are merry, praise the Lord".  It's all about humor.  It's a great one... absolutely worth reading.  She said that she had heard the thought about suppressed laughter going to your hips.  In her talk it was right after a quote from President Faust and appeared to be from the same reference, although it wasn't.  Either way, I love the thought (it's going in my kitchen) and I got a great kick out of imaging President Faust saying it.  One other quote I loved from this talk was...

"Sister Hinckley had (and I’m sure still has) a delightful sense of humor. She said: “The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it. You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. Crying gives me a headache” (Virginia H. Pearce, ed., Glimpses into the Life and Heart of Marjorie Pay Hinckley [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1999], 107)..."

Love that lady!  Crying gives me a headache too.  

So my question to you is...When was the last time you laughed and what did you laugh about?  Let me hear it!  Maybe we can all get a good laugh today!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Day 12 Daddy saves the day!

Today I panicked.  I spent the morning exercising and visiting with a friend.  It was great!  I lost track of time and forgot my kindergartner had homework.  She was supposed to glue or draw pictures of things that are important to her.  We had less than an hour to get home, do homework, eat lunch and do hair.  It should have been enough time...but it wasn't.  I panicked.  I called my sweet husband, who was entirely swamped at work, and asked if he could find and print a picture of our family that my little one could glue.  Then I ran to Wendy's, grabbed some nugs and fries, used my friends mirror to do hair and headed to our business.  As we ate in the back room my little one glued the fabulous picture and ate her nugs.  We were only 2 minutes late to school.  I am so grateful that my husband recognizes when I am "crazy" and is willing to help.  He truly saved the day, and my sanity (or what little of it is left)!

Day 11

Tender Mercy today:   Ibuprofen.  What did the pioneers do without painkillers.  Last night I stressed myself into a migraine.  I do that quite often.  I tried essential oils, de-stressing, and everything else I could think of.  In the end, I was so grateful I had another option.  This morning when I woke up I felt soooo much better.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Day 10 Dr. Seuss

I am sure there must be something wrong with me...I've never really cared that much for Dr. Seuss.  But when you have a little darling who has been really struggling with reading for two years and you have all but given up on it, to come into her room and hear her working through Cat in the Hat...brings tears to you eyes!  Thank you Heavenly Father, I needed that today!  I think we're gonna make it!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Day 9 Frozen Tuna

Sometimes our blessings are so obvious.  My goal with this blog and challenge for myself is to find something every day for the next year to be grateful for.  Yesterday was more of a challenge to recognize the Lord's hand.  I was grouchy!  I felt overwhelmed!  I was truly tired!  When I finally went to bed I couldn't sleep!  So this morning I wasn't too optimistic.  I tried something a little new today.

 A friend told me about a conference they were at where Sister Julie B. Beck was the speaker.  She invited the sisters in the meeting to pray when they first wake up, while all things are still quiet (her kids must be grown).  She invited them to ask the Lord what he would have them do that day and to ponder for a few minutes before facing the day.  So this morning I gave it a try.  I asked the Lord to direct me.  A few minutes later I made my "to do" list.  Guess what?  I didn't do anything on my list.  I started a few of the items...but along the way things came up.  A friend called and wanted to visit...My 5 year old wanted to get ready for the first day of school...the girls actually wanted to eat dinner (can't imagine why)...well, life got in the way of my to do list.  But I was so grateful that I listened! It was great connecting with that friend this morning, it was fun to see how excited my little darling is for school, and the kids loved dinner (which they've never eaten when I made it before).  All of these were less obvious blessings.  I had to dig a little to see them.  But after all this, our dear neighbor who is moving very far away dropped by.  "Could you use some food?  Our freezer is full and we can't take it with us.  While you are at it, why don't you use this freezer while we are gone."  Um....ya.  An obvious tender mercy!  Now I just have to figure out what to do with frozen tuna.  The food was an addition to a trampoline her sons brought over yesterday and a really great headboard and foot board they brought over this morning.  The Lord knows our needs, even when we don't ask!

One more thing...not knowing how many school clothes we would be able to purchase and knowing how exciting it is to wear new clothes on the first day of school, I let the girls pick out a pattern and fabric from my stash and was making them an outfit for the first day of school.  I finished one dress last week and had half of another shirt done.  Finishing it was on my "to do" list today.  And quite frankly I was wondering if I would find time today to get it done.  I was determined to sew after the girls went to bed, but I needed to get my exercise in for my challenge and knew I wouldn't be worth much after that.  The girls were getting their pajamas on and were talking about what they wanted to wear.  I asked them about the clothes I had been making.  My newly turned 7 year old looked me in the eye and said "Mom, I don't want you to have to worry about my shirt tonight.  I can just wear something else.  You finish it when you have time."  She didn't know how stressed I was about getting it done.  But I thought it was really sweet and super intuitive that she would realize the pressure I was under.  How does a 7 year old recognize such things?  Did I mention she's pretty close to the Spirit?  Oh, how I love her!  Another HUGE tender mercy!  And though I was a little sad that they won't get to wear what I made them, my husband said "at least you are making them something."  I guess I take for granted the wonderful things my mom created for me as a kid and the things she taught me to do for my own kids.

Do you take time to ask the Lord "What would you have me do today?"  What has been the outcome?

Monday, August 20, 2012

Day 8 Motivation

I don't know about you, but I have a hard time staying motivated to exercise, eat better, and take care of my spirit.  Our relief society started a wellness challenge today in hopes that we could help push each other to be just a little better.  We get points for personal prayer and scripture study, 20 minutes of exercise, drinking out 64 oz of water, and eating 5 fruits and veggies.  I have found a new friend here in my small town (that is a tender mercy in and of itself) and she wanted to take the challenge with me.  But we decided to step it up a few notches.  We added a few more things, such as no sugary sweets or treats for the day, and losing points for raising our voices to our kids.  And we gave ourselves 1 point for every minute we exercise.

Like most people, I exercise better when someone else is expecting me to show up, and if they will talk to me while I am working out-you know so that I don't think about what I am doing.  So this morning to kick off our challenge we decided to walk.  For the past year I have been struggling with an adrenal gland problem and it has been really difficult for me to exercise.  So needless to say, I am really out of shape.  After about 30 minutes I wasn't sure how long I would make it.  But we kept going. I kept going because SHE kept going.  And I am so grateful!  Yep, it pretty much wiped me out for the rest of the day, but I know it will all be worth it.  My tender mercy for today is a friend who accepts me for who I am, but knows I can be better and pushes and encourages me to improve and reach my goals.  I know a loving Heavenly Father sent someone my way to help me achieve my goals.  And I think He's doing the same for her.  We said today that we felt we were being guided by the Spirit, and that gives us the strength to do what we need to do to be better mothers, wives, daughters, and servants.

Has the Lord placed someone in your life that has helped or is helping you reach your potential?  Tell me about it.