Monday, January 24, 2011

Me? An instrument?

There are numerous people mentioned in the scriptures that were said to be instruments in the hands of God. Who are these people? Well clearly more righteous and incredible than I am. But I have been told since I was young that I could be an instrument in His hands. Me? Really? No way. And what does that mean anyway?

I had two specific experiences this past year in a half that makes me think maybe at the age of 35 I finally have a glimpse of what it means.

The first experience started in August 2009 when I was called to be the Young Women’s president. My oldest child was 10 years old. I didn’t know anything about teenagers. I didn’t know the girls well and many I had never met. I didn’t know anything about the YW’s program. I had totally forgotten how the Personal Progress program worked and really didn’t know how the entire Young Women’s program was supposed to work. Immediately thoughts came to mind. Loud and clear. Strong thoughts and impressions that I knew weren’t coming from me. I knew. How could they be? I didn’t know enough to think those thoughts and have those ideas. I was told exactly what to do and I acted. At one point I felt that others were trying to tell me what to do that was contrary to what I felt the Spirit was telling me to do. I was bold and stood my ground. I knew that over time the Spirit would back off a bit allowing me to rely on others and myself to figure things out, but for the moment He was the one that would tell me everything. True enough, a few months later when it seemed we were in a miraculous groove, that gift of the Spirit was gone. I didn’t wish it back because the YW girls were on the right track. That’s not to say that I don’t feel the Spirit now or that I don’t feel guidance, inspiration, and revelation pertaining to those girls. It’s just back to being a quiet Spirit that allows me to think for myself and intervenes when necessary.

The second experience started on October 9th 2010. As I was driving home from the gym I thought I should call my sister. Immediately I learned she had just experienced a very severe and heart wrenching tribulation. I had never gone through this experience myself. I didn’t know anything about it or how it would feel or how to deal with it or what to do about it. I knew nothing. Immediately thoughts came to my mind of what to do. Words came to my mouths of what to say. These impressions were loud and clear. I knew they were not coming from me. I knew. How could they be? I didn’t know enough to have those thoughts. I was told exactly what to do and I acted. I was told exactly what to say and I spoke it. I was bold and stood my ground. After two months my sister was strong and able to move forward. I felt the absence of that almost tangible Spirit when it left. I didn’t wish it back because I knew she was on the right track. She was ready to stand on her own and feel the Spirit for herself.

Mosiah 27:36 “And thus they were instruments in the hands of God in bringing many to the knowledge of truth, yea to the knowledge of their Redeemer.”

Maybe it is possible that I can be an instrument in His hands. And if I can be, no doubt anyone can be.

This quote hit me strong when I heard it a few weeks ago. I hope to never forget it.

“Never ever ever doubt yourself. Never ever ever have somebody tell you, “That’s Crazy!” Crazy things happen to those who apply themselves and believe in themselves. When you know, you know. Just keep moving forward no matter how dark things are, no matter how on the edge you are. It will all work out. Good and bad will happen but it will all work out. Believe in yourself.”

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

That's so typical

It seems like each of my children have been quite independent from the time they were born. Separation anxiety was never an issue. They loved nursery from the get go and were never upset to get a babysitter. At the age of three, when they grew out of nap time, we implemented “quiet time”. Quiet time was a 2 to 3 hour block time after lunch where mommy slept and the kids could do anything they wanted that was quiet. That break in the day was my saving grace when I had a 1, 3, and 4 year old. My ears were always open for emergency sounds but I was never disturbed.

My kids have consistently showed signs of independence from a young age. For example, when Chandler was 2 years old he wanted to open an Otter-pop. Instead of crying for help he brought me a steak knife and the Otter-pop. When Morgan was two she wanted a helium balloon that was on our ceiling. Again, instead of crying for help she solved the problem by placing a kitchen stool under the balloon, stood on the stool, and got the balloon. Ashtyn is a momma's girl for sure. She has never liked it when I’m gone but as long as she knows I’m around and available she’s good to go. I worked a lot when Chandler, Ashtyn, and Morgan were young so I wasn’t surprised with their behavior. However I’m a stay at home mom with Ethan so his independence surprises me. Even though he’s been my little shadow his entire life, he has never had a problem with me leaving him. He never once cried when left at the gym daycare, nursery, or preschool. Ethan is the only kid in the house during the day and loves his “quiet time”.

A year and a half ago Jason and I both needed to attend a church meeting on Sunday from 7 a.m. until 8:30 a.m. once a month. We wondered how we would get our 3, 7, 9 and 10 year old ready and back to church on time at 9 a.m. No fear. We set their alarms for 7:45 a.m. and prepped them the night before about what needed to get done in the morning. When we got home the kids were mostly ready and we were out the door in no time. This year Jason and I will be in that same meeting twice a month. No problem.

Today was a typical Wednesday for my family. It was so typical that I realized unless I write it down I’ll probably forget what a blessing my independent and “typical” kids are.

Jason will be working 32 hours straight today. Typical. He woke up the kids at 6:45 a.m. before he went to work. They got up, got dressed, took the dog out, ate breakfast, and brushed their teeth. I woke up at 7:45 and had Chandler start the car. At 8:00 a.m. I got into a warm car and took Chandler to school. When I got home at 8:17 a.m. Ashtyn and Morgan were ready for school. We said morning prayer together as they headed out the door for school. Independent. Typical.

After school there was homework, piano, and guitar to do. We had four Young Women girls over for dinner. At 6:30 p.m. I left my kids and went to Young Women’s. Chandler went to the Rec Center to ice skate. Before leaving I set the oven timer to go off at 8:00 p.m. I instructed the kids that when the timer went off they were to get their PJ's on, read books, and go to bed. After YW’s I picked up Chandler and got home at 9:15 p.m. Ethan was in his bed, pajamas and diaper on, sleeping. Morgan was in bed sleeping. Ashtyn was sick, watching TV in my room. Independent. Typical.