Archive for the 'Faith' Category

I’m a Mormon

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014
I’m a Mormon, but I don’t always put it out there on social media.

So I’m a Mormon, and my children attend the Mormon church, but are not baptized, or are not formally Mormon. Jon’s name is on the records of the church, but he’s really not a Mormon. Jon is an Atheist. He keeps his name on the records for me.

My life is one confused bag of religion.

Recently during a sacrament meeting, a woman was receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. Lilah made a sniffling noise, and I thought it was strange. I think I patted her arm, or gave her a hug after the prayer was complete. Then after the meeting was over, she looked up to me and said, “I want to be baptized.” The words I’ve longed to hear from one of my children, but we both knew it meant telling her dad, and just as it brought joy to my heart, it also brought some sorrow.

On the car ride home I asked her about it. If she wanted to tell her dad right away. Tears flowed from our faces, us both knowing it’s not something her father would really want to hear. I waited a day or so, I had to ask her she wanted to be there when I told her dad, she didn’t. So in the still of one of our nightly cuddles, I told Jon his eldest daughter wanted to be baptized. We had a discussion. One that was probably frustrating for both of us. We have different ideas on how to approach this religious thing with our children, and we’ve been avoiding it for a long time.

But here is it.

Jon is supporting Lilah. The biggest part was making sure it was her decision, and not because of outside pressure, or a desire to belong, or just fit in. From Lilah’s response, I believe it is her decision.

Since Lilah is no longer in her eighth year, she will have to take the missionary discussions, and we have to go through the baptism as if she is a convert.

I am happy for my daughter. I hope she is happy with her choice too.

November 18, 2013.

Saturday, November 30th, 2013
Around noon I received a phone call from my mother-in-law. The nurse told her Dad’s body was starting to shut down, and  it looked like he would soon pass. I asked her if she wanted to be taken to see him, but she wasn’t sure at that point. She was wanting to remember him as he was. She was very distraught, so I asked if she wanted me to call Annie and Elana, so they could see him before he passed. She said yes.
I called Jon and his sisters. Annie was actually on her way to see him. She had decided to make a quick visit on her lunch hour. Dad was in a lot of pain, and was moaning and wailing when she  first arrived, so the nurses gave him more pain and anxiety medicine. He calmed down, and stayed sedated for the rest of the evening.

I was at our homeschooling co-op, so I gave the girls the option of coming to the hospital, or staying. I wasn’t sure if I was going to let them see him, depending on his state, and felt like it was best for them to stay and finish their classes. They were torn, and sad, but decided to stay. I arranged for my mom to get them, so Jon and I could stay as long as we needed. When I left, Eden was crying, but she was in kind hands with one of the moms. I was torn about leaving her, but I only had a short time to comfort her before I said goodbye.

I picked Jon up from work, and then we went to his mom’s house. We didn’t know if she would be going at this point, but when we got there she was nearly ready to go.

We met Annie at the hospice around 1:45. We held Dad’s hand, and conversed.

Annie eventually had to return to work due to a deadline, and shortly after she left Elana showed up.

More holding of his hands, and conversing. It was peaceful to be there.

Elana then needed to pick up her son, and so she returned later in the night for a little while.

We had just returned from a trip to the cafeteria when I got the call from Conrad wondering where to go.Conrad  had flown in from Missouri, and arrived around 5:30 pm.

After talking for a while, Conrad asked if Mom wanted him to give Dad a blessing. It seemed like he needed to progress, and pass away, but was holding on. She said yes, so Conrad gave Dad a blessing and told him it would be OK to leave this earthly body, and return to our Savior. He may have even commanded him to, my brain is a little fuzzy on what was said.

We watched intently at first, but then we got to chatting. I was watching Dad, and saw him draw his last two breaths. Mom was holding his left hand, and I was holding his right. I said, “I think he’s gone,” and got the others attention. Mom later told me that she had heard that last breath, and then realized there was silence. It happened within just a few minutes of the blessing.

The nurse was called, and confirmed his death. It seemed like it took him forever to listen to his heart and tell us. Dad’s coloring had changed, and it was obvious that he was gone.

He passed away at 7:01 pm.
Mom was grateful to have been there. She was worried to face the death of her husband, but having those 5 hours to sit and be there, and watch the natural progression seemed to help, and provide closure.
I’m thankful we were able to be there. Dad had family  with him when he passed. Jon and I were worried  he would pass late in the night, while no one was there.
Fernard has been a kind and loving father-in-law and grandpa. He was so happy to see the girls the last few times they saw him. I’m happy the last time they saw him, on Sunday, he was able to give them each a big hug. I think sitting and waiting would have been hard, and instead they have a pleasant memory.
Fernard was 84 years old, and just 6 days shy of being married to Sandra for 60 years. We’ve decided those last few days don’t matter, they’ve been together much longer than their marriage, so 60 years it is.


New Calling

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

We’ve been adjusting to our new ward nicely. Overall, the girls like their teachers and classmates, and are excited to meet new friends. We’ve had one girl Lilah’s age over, and they all got along great, and they were invited to the house of a girl Eden’s age, which they also loved.

I knew several people in the ward already, and have met many. Since my friend Heidi Spencer had moved in earlier in the year, many people knew I was coming, and about me. I’m trying to balance the whole, being new, letting them know  our situation, and trying to not let it completely define me. It’s hard, and I’m not sure I’m doing well, but I am meeting people and being open.

A couple Sundays ago I was called in to meet with the bishop, and they gave me a calling. I’ll be teaching the 12-13 year old Sunday School class.  EEK!
They sustained me on the 10th, but I was at a mission farewell, and unable to get information on the lesson materials, so I asked the old teacher to teach one more week for me, also because his explanation of the new material kinda scared me, and I was not ready to jump in and teach just yet.
I sat in on his lesson this past Sunday, and saw his teaching methods. He’s a little lax on rules, and so I’m trying to decide how to nicely state my expectations, without being totally mean sounding. (Eating and talking during class, not sitting with all four chair legs on the floor. I am such a mean teacher.) The kids did talk, and answer questions.

I am still nervous with the new lesson materials, and trying to get to know the needs of the students in my class, which also kinda big, at 12 kids! (I know this is small compared to some wards, but this is large for me.)
They all seem very nice, and I have connections to a couple of the kids and their families already.
I taught Gospel Principles for 4 1/2 years in my old ward, so this is a change. I’m hoping I can do this calling well, and with the Spirit.

The house on Chipotle

Monday, December 10th, 2012

(Disclaimer, the house is really not on a street called Chipotle, but that’s the nickname Jon gave the street it is on when we first looked at it. This was also written in January, when we first put our offer in. I didn’t want to post this until I knew we were getting the house. I’ve tried to fix it to past tense, but we’ll see if I caught everything. )

Jon and I have been saving for a second house for a long time. It seems like forever, though I’m sure it’s only been closer to 3-4 years, which is still forever when you’ve only been married for 10.

Last year we went an amazing family vacation and and afterwards decided we wanted to go on an Alaskan Cruise in June 2012 to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. We would continue to save for a home, but we’d also have fun traveling because once we got a home, it might be a while before we could do any expensive vacations and I wanted to really celebrate our 10th year married, which was this past February. (We can now not afford any expensive vacations.)

So we had been discussing and talking about going on an Alaskan cruise since around July of 2011. It would be the honeymoon we didn’t get to have, because we had a honeymoon, but it only last two days, in Mesquite, NV. What can I say, we were poor college students and the money we would have spent on a honeymoon, we actually saved and it’s what got us through some unemployment just 5 months after getting married.

Jon and I were both looking forward to the Alaskan cruise, but he wasn’t so sure about leaving the girls behind. So while he wanted to go on it, he also had his reservations.

As we looked over finances one day we realized we were really close to being able to buy a house and have the down payment we needed. So close that Jon was a little upset that we had paid tithing, because it meant we’d have to wait around a year to start looking.

I was OK with paying tithing, but then I started thinking, “What if we don’t go to Alaska, and just bought a house?” Now, Jon and I had made a decision way back in July and knew that going on big trips meant we would not get our house as soon, but it was a sacrifice we were willing to make….

Then one night I decided to look over I found a 4 bedroom house, in the neighborhood I wanted to live. It was close to our price range, with no pool. This no pool thing was big. Jon and I did not want a pool, and he had threatened that if we did buy a house with a pool, he’d make it into a fish pond and catch fish from it to eat. I fully believe he would try to do such a thing. I did not want a fish pond in my back yard. As strange as it sounds, finding a house with no pool and in our price range was huge. Everything was too expensive, like we’d have to wait another 2-3 years to have enough money for the down payment, or things were too small, or too icky, or not in a good area at all, or they have the dreaded pool. It seemed like 75% of the houses in our ideal area had pools.

So here I had found a house that might work for us, but we were planning a big trip to Alaska. Jon and I had chosen the dates, were checking out costs for flights, beginning to look at what activities we wanted to do in our ports, such as whale watching and riding a historic train. We had done everything but book the cruise, because we hadn’t decided if we wanted to use a travel agent or not.

Then my brain started going crazy.

I would look at Alaska stuff, but then I’d also think about this house on Chipotle.

I’d looked at our finances to see if we could buy the house, but I’d also be looking at the prices for whale watching.

My brain was confused and I was unsettled about everything.

So while sitting in Sacrament meeting one Sunday I prayed.
I was a little vague in my first prayer. “Heavenly Father let me know if I should go on the cruise or if we should try to buy this house on Chipotle?”
Nothing but more confusion and the Holy Ghost telling me I knew what I needed to ask and I needed to be specific.
I didn’t want to be specific.
I wanted to go on a cruise.
“Heavenly Father, I’ve decided we should go on the cruise, I mean, buy the house on Chipotle is that what we should do?”
Wait, did I just ask to go on the cruise or buy a house?
My brain was still flipping back and forth, and I was still getting a sense that I knew what I needed to ask.
“Heavenly Father, I’ve decided we should try to buy this house on Chipotle, is that what we should do?”
Then my brain went calm.
It was silent.
I felt peace.
We were suppose to try to buy this house on Chipotle.

I had already e-mailed my sister Carolyn about the Chipotle house and we had decided to look at it for fun. (She was my realtor, and she is awesome. Read awesome in a singing voice to get the full affect.)
I set up an appointment and we checked it out.

The house had much to be desired aesthetically. The paint was terrible, the floors wrre hideous, the bathroom and kitchens were not what I would choose, but it had what I needed. Four rooms, a formal living, a dining room, and a family room. The formal living could be our regular living room, we could have a dining room and the back family room would be our homeschooling room. Jon could have his library/office and I could have my sewing/guest room because of the 4 rooms. (We’d continue to have the girls share a room because we are evil, selfish parents.)
It also had a nice sized yard and no pool!

So I decided Jon should go see it and we made an appointment.

Between me seeing the home and Jon seeing it, something miraculous happened. They lowered their price. This was huge, because their asking price was a bit much, but also because it was lowered to exactly what we needed. I had looked over the finances and realized with some other expenses we’d probably not be able to buy the house at the higher costs, but with the price being lowered, it was doable, and it was exactly what we needed.

So we took Jon to see the house. He didn’t mind the tile, the paint was a little too much, and the yard wasn’t as large as he hoped, but still big enough.

We talked it over and debated. It was the only house we’d looked at. It had kinda an odd floor plan, but it still worked and was very functional for our needs. If it closed soon, we’d have to move in as is, and that would stink, but we could make it work.

We put an offer in January of 2012, and then we closed 10 1/2 months later. Closing later stunk, but in the end it was the best for our finances. We are now fixing the house on Chipotle and will move in the beginning of the new year. We are really excited. Over this whole time there has only been one other house that we’ve wanted to buy, and that helped my realtor feel a little better about us putting an offer in on the first and only house we had seen. I really feel we are suppose to have this house and am so excited for the many years ahead.

Ways to feel better about ourselves, and to make others feel bad.

Monday, October 17th, 2011

I initially wrote this for my blog, but since I was seeing the quote on Facebook, I decided to put it as a note on there also. I wanted my friends who had been posting the quote to possibly see it, but not hijack their comment thread. A friend gave me a link to a wonderful blog post, who said it much more eloquently than me. I suggest you read mine, then hers, because then mine just sounds really lame if you read it second, where if you read mine first, it just sounds less lame once you read the other one.

I’ve been seeing this quote on Facebook:

Girls are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of the tree. The boys don’t want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they just get the rotten apples from the ground that aren’t as good, but easy. So the apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when in reality, they’re amazing. They just have to wait for the right boy to come along. The one who’s brave enough to climb all the way to the top of the tree.

First, there are two ways to ways to look at this quote.

I’ll go with the more shallow interpretation first. For some girls it takes longer to be picked, or married, so easy lying apples, get married first.

So I’m an easy apple because I was married young, like super young, at 18.

I would never say I know what it’s like to be single for a long time, because I was single for all of 3 months of marrying age before I was dating someone, then engaged 1 month later and married 5 months after that, but I would say I’m sure being single stinks at times, and is hard, but I’m sure it also has it’s fun times. To every situation there are bads and there are goods. To every quote that lifts one group of people, there are some it hurts, or offends.

The second interpretation is more deep and I’ll give credit to Jon, who pointed out how unChrist-like the quote really is.

So who are the easy or rotten apples? Are these apples not really children of God who deserve our love and compassion? Should we judge the easy picked apples, or should we still love them? Can’t these rotten apples become new apples again through repentance?

I know the point of this metaphor is probably to make sure girls stay chaste before marriage and to feel good when they’re finally picked, but it mostly sounds like. “Don’t be a rotten or easy apple, no one will want to pick you once they bit into you and see a worm, or once you start decaying because you were picked early.” It also makes the girls who are higher on the tree, look down their noses to those who are lower, or have been easy pickings.

Then what about these boys who pick the easy apples? Are they some jerk, or deserve our condemnation because they didn’t reach higher? Do they have any accountability? So often we leave chastity to the girls, but boys play a part in chastity also.

It’s like the object lesson of ABC gum, no one whats a piece of gum that’s already been chewed. I hate this object lesson because it completely leaves out repentance. We have repentance because we sin, and don’t we all have need to repent, and we are not here to judge, but to show love and compassion?

I think we can help young people make choices because they’re right choices, not because they fear they’ll be judged as some easy apple, or ABC gum. I also think we need to be more compassionate to the feelings of those who have made poor choices, because they are also children of God.

Family Size

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

My family gets together for Family Home Evening once a month. This year my mom decided to get the lesson topics from some LDS book and some are a little odd, like that there is a lesson on Family Size in the first place, which is what I had to teach this month. I think a did an alright job, but nerves and having a room full of adults and kids, who probably could care less, and having all but one family who have decided to not have any more kids, made it seem like an odd lesson to teach. I know I said it much better on a Face Book post when my friend asked me how I thought a person should choose their family size, so I’ll post that here.
A few things, like financial situation, mental and physical health of the mother, for example, and then after a couple decides, they take it to the Lord and see if he agrees. 🙂 Some know right away, others have to ponder and pray.

“The decision as to how many children to have and when to have them is extremely intimate and private and should be left between the couple and the Lord. Church members should not judge one another in this matter.”
From the Celestial Marriage institute manual:

The topics for this years FHE came from some LDS book, that I don’t have, nor have to use to give the lesson.

I’m approaching it from the standpoint that we’ve been commanded to multiply and replenish the Earth, but there’s more to it than just having a lot of kids. Ultimately, we should look to the Lord for guidance, but just as in some of other life situations, we have to search and ponder, and come to our own conclusions before we ask the Lord’s opinion, and he will grant us an answer, and what I listed before are good things to think about when deciding how large a family should be. The Church asks us not to go into debt, should we for one more child? If the mental or physical health of the mother is stretched, should she have another baby? Some know right away, but for others they have to go to the Lord for more guidance. Ultimately, we should not judge others choices, because it’s not our place, nor do we know the full circumstances.

Well, I’m pretty sure I’ve written about this sometime, but I’m also not sure I have either, I have 1,008 posts on this blog, now 1,009, and to do search on it seems tedious. So, I just wanted to maybe once again write about how we prayed for guidance to have Eden, since I shared it with my lesson. I do feel like both our girls were suppose to happen, and Heavenly Father provided a way for us, but especially for Eden.

When we were first married, and after we had Lilah we were pretty poor. Jon graduated right before Lilah was born, and was not able to find any jobs. He was a student worker, which had been a huge blessing, but then had to be let go by July, due to not being a student any longer. It was really hard to have a new baby, and no work. He did do some odd jobs working on websites, but we still had very little money and lived of savings. Eventually he got a job at Computer Ed Institute, I would say around September 2003. He worked there till March 2004, and was then laid off because he only had one student. We were once again unemployed. We prayed and prayed for work. Jon went in for lots of interviews, and got some odd and end type jobs, but the best he had was a job creating e-mails for businesses, basically spam, but it didn’t really pay all the bills. We made it by because of savings, grant money, and maybe even a student loan at this time, since I was still going to school.

Lilah turned one in June 2004, and things were still not looking good. It was hard to live off so little, but we did it. We had one car, so I stayed home all day long, and we ate on like $25, or less, per week. I remember being so careful each time we went grocery shopping. Soon after Lilah turned one we started thinking about when we would have another child. We had wanted them two years apart, and needed to have them in the summer, so I could attend school in the Fall. As the summer went by we realized that in order to have another baby, we needed a job. We changed our prayers from “Help Jon find a job,” to “We want another baby, help us find a way to have another baby.” In August Jon got a call from UNLV asking him to come in for an interview. Earlier in the year he had applied for a position in DARS, as did my sister Andrea since there were multiple openings, but hadn’t been hired, Andrea had. Rather then advertise for another needed position and get numerous of applicants, they went through those who had previously applied. Jon and one other person qualified, and so he was asked to come in and interview once more. This position was a little more web based, and slightly different than the previous one.

I remember feeling really good about the interview. I remember having my hopes so high. I also remember rocking Lilah before putting her down to bed, and praying in my mind that Jon would receive the job at UNLV. Then the thought came into my head that we could have another child, and he would get the job. I know it was the Holy Ghost who had told me this.

Jon did receive the job, and began working there in September, or maybe it was the very end of August also, we immediately had insurance coverage because of his classification as a professional, and on Thanksgiving of 2004 we found out we were pregnant.

That position at UNLV has lead to Jon’s 4 other positions that he’s held. It allowed us to buy our house, and then meet all the wonderful people who have been in our lives the past 6 years. I’m eternally grateful that the Lord provided a way for us to have Eden and answered our prayers.

Showing confidence

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Eden had been in primary for 1 year and 8 months and had given the prayer and scripture twice but no talk. Lilah gave two talks, at least, in her first year of primary, partially because there were only 2 to 3 kids in her class, including her. Since then Lilah’s given at least one talk a year. I was beginning to think Eden would never give a talk, but yesterday Eden gave her first talk in primary.

To prepare we talked about the subject, “Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and he is a God of Miracles.” We flipped through the gospel pictures book Grandma Blake had given her and discussed what miracles Jesus had performed and I asked her to choose one to talk about in her talk. She choose the story of Jairus and Jesus raising his daughter from the dead. We wrote some things down and then discussed how she thought Jesus helped us today and then we had her talk. I typed it up and then had her read it a couple times. She felt pretty good about it so we put it away for Sunday, we did this Saturday afternoon by the way. Sunday morning came and Eden wanted to read her talk one more time to make sure she knew it. I think she was feeling a little nervous and she wanted to make sure she knew most of the words. She did, so she then felt pretty confident. All Sunday morning Eden was talking about her talk and how it would be her first one and how she wasn’t nervous and wasn’t going to be shy. She said how she thought people would really love her talk and ask her to do another one. (She was thinking a little like her mother use to at this point I must admit.)

She went to class and after I taught my lesson I waited in the primary room for the children to file in for sharing time. Lilah saw me, but I’m not sure Eden did when she went to sit down for this group time. The leaders did their thing and then it was time for the talk. The leader who was conducting the meeting was new, so she just asked if Eden was here to give her talk. I had started to go to the front and I watched as Eden timidly nodded her head as she stood and then witnessed her face light up when she saw I was there to help her.

She spoke quickly into the microphone and read each word. There were a couple words I had to correct her on, but overall she read it by herself. Eden doesn’t know just yet to pause at the end of a sentence or how to emphasize different words, but she was so cute as she read. I held up a the picture depicting Jesus raising the girl from dead and stood by her side for support.

She was so happy to give her talk and apparently they discussed the same story of Jairus and used the same picture later that day in primary, which Eden got a kick out of.

Here is the talk we put together:

Jesus Christ is the son of God. Because he is the only begotten son he can perform miracles. Once there was a little girl who had died. Her parents were very sad. Her dad Jairus went to Jesus and and asked him to bless her. Jesus said “Damsel, I say unto thee, arise.” and she then got up and was healed.

We may not see Jesus raise someone from the dead but he can perform simple miracles in our lives. If we need help we can pray to Jesus and Heavenly Father and ask for help. Jesus can perform miracles in our lives if we have faith.

In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I think there are a few reasons why Eden hadn’t been asked to give a talk just yet. One: There are a lot if kids in her class. Two: She’s not always there with being with Jon on Daddy Sunday’s and our traveling. Three: She’s very reserved and not one to volunteer. After how she acted yesterday, I know she was so happy to show her potential and confident to be up there speaking in front of her peers. I think she was a little nervous, but really enjoyed it.

Elder Holland comes to Vegas

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

This is the second time I’ve been able to listen to an Apostle speak at a Stake Conference. The last time I think we had Lilah, though I don’t remember, and I think it was Elder Neal A. Maxwell, which tells you how good I was at keeping a journal and how bad my memory is.

This time is different. (Only I started it a week ago and am now finishing it.)

On Sunday February 2, they released our current Stake President and called a new one, hence the wonderful visit from Elder Holland, though an apostle is not sent for each time a new Stake President is called, I think we lucked out because a grandson of his was passing the Sacrament for the first time on Sunday, so I think there was a mix of business with pleasure, either way, we had an apostle of the Lord speak to us.

I went by myself to Stake Conference. I was torn between having the girls go with me and then miss three weeks of Primary in a row because of how we do Daddy Sundays, or to have them be with Jon and only miss two weeks of church. I also debated on how much they would get out of it, and now I wish I had brought them, but only because they would have been able to shake an apostles hand, which this was the first time for me.

Elder Holland directed most of his talk to the youth between ages 12 and 22. He’s become a very animated speaker in the past few years and was very fervent in his plea that the youth prepare themselves now and make important decisions now to follow the Lord and decide to go on missions. He said how most of the choices we make in our youth shape us into who we are as adults, and are the most crucial ones of our lives. He made an interesting remark that he is not someone to go to if you’re wondering if you should serve a mission, because he’ll take you by your coattails and drag you to the MTC, then he said how it wasn’t a very apostolic remark, but that he sure wouldn’t sympathize for you if you were on the fence about going on a mission. Every young man should go on a mission and every young woman who feels the desire.

He also bore testimony of The Church and of Joseph Smith as a prophet. He spoke about how he is an intelligent man and if The Church was untrue he sure wouldn’t be wasting his time going around the world on church business. It is true and he is an Apostle of the Lord.

In closing he gave a wonderful Apostles blessing on the congregation.

I was in awe of this wonderful man. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go up and shake his hand, but in the end how could I pass up such a wonderful opportunity.

I believe Elder Holland to be an apostle of the Lord and I am so happy that I was able to hear him speak.

Sunday School 101

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

I am a Gospel Principles teacher for my ward. In this calling I teach investigators, new members, and returning members of my church. This year we got a new manual, or really revised one, and the class right after mine is also teaching from it. It’s not too bad because they teach from it only twice a month, the second and third week, and we teach from it every week. The problem we encountered was I was sick the very first week and asked a brother in our ward to teach for me. He wanted to leave the lessons for me so he did a discussion on the Articles of Faith the first week.

So I taught lesson one in my class the second week of January, and my friend’s husband also taught lesson one the second week in his class, which is directly after mine. I taught lesson two the third week and lesson two was taught directly after my class once more. I knew this might happen, but it was interesting to see how the sister taught the same lesson as me, only different.

So the fourth week of January we were set to have lesson three taught. Our Sunday school presidency is offering other classes, one about marriage the other about teaching, along with the regular Gospel Doctrine and my class, Gospel Principles. The Sunday school president called me up and said he would teach lesson three for me and I could then go to the class about teaching, being taught by Brother M.  So I didn’t prepare my lesson and enjoyed the week off.

Fast foreward to this past Sunday, or the week I was suppose to have off.

The girls and I got to sacrament meeting a little late. Partially because my neighbor got pulled over by a police officer right in front of our house  and blocked my driveway and I had to ask the police officer if my neighbor could move his car so I could go to church. As I’m sitting in sacrament meeting I do not see the Sunday school president so I read the lesson, just in case I need to wing it. After the sacrament is passed and finished I see the the Sunday school president come in with his family. I’m relieved and I enjoy the rest of sacrament meeting.

Then after sacrament meeting I start talking to the Sunday school president.

SSP: So Brother M’s wife had her baby this week so I’m showing a movie in your class.
Me: My class, as in the one I’m going to today?
SSP: No your class.
Me: My class? The one your teaching?
SSP: No, I’m showing a movie in your class.
Me: Which class? The one I’m going to or the one I teach?
SSP: The one you teach.

After this very fuzzy conversation I get a little nervous. He hadn’t prepared a lesson because Brother M was going to help him, since our own Sunday school president doesn’t teach. Bro. M’s wife had her baby last week and due to the chaos Bro. M hadn’t been able to help him prepare and thus gave him one of those  Living Scripture movies to show in my class.

I was slightly annoyed, but mostly just worried. I needed to stay on schedule so the lessons could start being farther a part between the two hours where we use the same manual. I also didn’t want to miss a lesson since we have exactly the number we need to teach for the year, minus one, but since we started on the second week we need to stay on track.

When explaining why I was there, yet we would be  watching a movie anyways, one of the elders jokingly mentioned how he would even teach the class because having the same lesson twice in a row on the same day was “boring”.

I decided to man up and teach the lesson.

Then the Stake President walks in.

My stomach starts to shake and I get as nervous as I get when I need to give a talk in Sacrament Meeting. Those symptoms include, but are not limited to: a rapidly beating heart, butterflies in my stomach, noodle legs, shortness of breath, unclear mind, and my whole body shaking so hard that those sitting behind me think I will literally shake out of my boots since my knees are knocking so loudly that I lose my balance while speaking.

I explain the situation,  apologize, try to hide my wildly shaking hands as I read from the book, and get on with the lesson.

At one point we read a scripture and I get the doctrine completely wrong. Well not completely wrong, just mixed up. The stake president then raises his hand and I call on him “I believe in that scripture our first estate is pre-mortal existence and our second estate is our earthly bodies. If I’m wrong someone can feel free to correct me doctrinely.” (I had said the first estate was our earthly bodies and the second was everlasting life. What a great teacher I am.)

The Stake President also called me Lacey throughout the lesson, which in turn my new teaching partner, who just got called and this was her first time in the class, started calling me Lacey, and our relief society president who also attends my class, and it happened last week when I was asked to give the prayer in relief society by one of the counselors. Why can’t I just be Sister Blake !?!

Jon says I should start calling myself Sister Lacey, then I said what happens when someone asks me my first name and I say it’s Lacey and then they ask “Your name is Lacey Lacey?”

Sorry, family joke. Your parents named you Harvey Harvey?

So class ended and I didn’t do too bad of a job teaching a lesson I hadn’t prepared. The elders said I did a great job and our Sunday school president said I bailed him out big time. (Can you imagine putting on some scripture movie because you hadn’t prepared your lesson and then the Stake President coming into your class? And the scripture movie isn’t approved church teaching material and you’re the Sunday School president so you should know this, and so should your counselor who gave you the movie because he was just in the bishopric?)

Anyways, I think the class went pretty well, despite not preparing the lesson a head of time and I saved myself and those in my class from watching a movie from a company whos business I think is run in a very annoying matter.

It’s all about the principles and the lesson.

The path I’ve made with the burdens I carry.

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

I hate to say Jon leaving The Church is a burden, but it is. It makes things a little more difficult and life that much harder. We’ve learned to handle it and deal with it and I hope we continue to deal with it as the girls grow.

It’s been three years since I’ve known and nearly three years since Jon made it public. It’s not necessarily an anniversary I like to remember exactly to the day each year, so I just leave it at the month it happened, or the end of November. It seems funny that it happened three years ago, when three years doesn’t seem that far away. The feelings I felt three years ago have mostly faded. The anger, the hurt, the wondering if our marriage could survive such a change of heart.  It seems funny that I’m mostly OK with it, or I guess have come to terms with how things are. We’ve discussed many things since it’s happened and I’m sure will continue to discuss.

On Sunday our combined priesthood and relief society meeting dealt with helping others with their burdens because we’ve born them before, or had similar burdens. Really they were talking about unemployment or underemployment in this difficult economical times, but it took on a very different meaning that day.

Just moments before that meeting a sister had come to me to talk about dealing with a spouse leaving the church. Her husband has not been coming to church with her and he gives one excuse, not feeling comfortable in the ward, as 80% of the reason and 20% being up in the air. She worries about him leaving the church and was wondering and asking advice on how to deal with it.

Her and I don’t have a close relationship, though we have a friendly one, and for obvious reasons she was asking me for advice and solace. It was hard to give and it made me sad to hear her story, but I was happy that I could be there to help her. Luckily she has options and can take actions for him not feeling comfortable, but that 20% doubt will always be there for both her and him until things are resolved.

I hope I gave her words of advice and I hope I was able to help her, but I don’t really know and may not since they’ll be leaving the ward soon.

This is not the first time someone has asked me on how to deal with a spouses disbelief, and I wish it would be the last, but I fear it won’t.

I’m not happy for my “burdens” but I’m happy that I can help others and that Jon and I have come to some compromises. I had no one to personally turn to who had been through anything like what I was going through. I only had many friends with open ears and hearts, and that I am grateful for.

I know I have made a path for those I might meet who may have similar burdens as me. I hope it’s a path of love and compassion towards a wayward spouse and not bitterness at the betrayal, though I was very bitter for a time.  I hope others are able to see light in their marriage, even when everything seems so dark.

I know I’m also following the path of others I just haven’t encountered personally.

I hope I can follow my Savior as I walk this path and I hope I can serve others no matter the path they are on.