Monday, September 29, 2008

** sigh **

I have way too much to post and no time to post it. I'm falling too far behind and I'm losing the will power to catch up. So for those of you 'anxiously awaiting' my next rant, soon enough. I promise.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Ah, the ramblings of me.

Usually I think a little ahead of time what I'm planning to post prior to doing so. Tonight, I haven't at all. Totally impromptu. We'll see how this works out.

Random ramble #1) Today, I decided I want some one on one time with my sweet little girl. This desire came after I realized there was nothing in the house that sounded appetizing and it was lunch time. I wanted to go out. I had just put Jack down for a nap. My mom was home and not planning on going anywhere. So I bribed her to listen out for Jack with a promise of bringing her home something delicious to eat. I mentioned Kneaders, Payson wanted Los Hermanos. It was her special date, so we went with Los. She was hilarious the entire time. She talked my ear off and I just smiled and thought about how I'm the luckiest mommy in the world. Then we ran a few errands, grabbed something delicious at Kneaders for my mom, and came home. I have now decided that this will be a monthly tradition (monthly for now; I'm sure as life gets busier, it will have to be less frequent). And as soon as Jack is old enough to really appreciate it, he will be added to the mix. Spending time special time with her was meant to be for her. But it turned out to be a reminder to me of just how grateful I should be that even when she isn't behaving so sweetly I really do have the best three and a half year old out there!

Random ramble #2) Last week I packed up the kids Tuesday afternoon and headed to Wyoming. We drove three hours in the POURING rain. Jack slept for the first half of the trip (then we stopped to eat, which woke him up) and was silent and happy the rest. Payson watched the Wiggles on the portable DVD player the whole time. I think I reached back once to hand Jack his binki. No screaming, whining, grumpy children to be found in that car! Does anyone else find this to be ASTOUNDING?! I mean, my kids are unusually good (at least I think so) but on a three hour car ride?? I was BEYOND amazed! We then spent Tuesday evening, all day Wednesday, and most of Thursday with our WONDERFUL daddy! (He had Wednesday and Thursday off. His schedule is really weird right now, and he wasn't going to be able to come down, so we went to him). We didn't do much. We looked for housing, we saw daddy's work, we rented a movie one night, we ate out a lot. But mostly, we just enjoyed being together as a family! That's something I need to remember never to take advantage of!! When Jason's not around, we're just not whole. For those of you who have asked how I'm doing with him gone, I've generally responded that I'm doing REALLY well. And that has been the truth. Things have gone really smoothly. Then we saw Jason for those two days. I spent most of Thursday crying like a little baby. It was pathetic! Every time I thought to myself, "We have ___ hours left", the floodgates opened. The whole time he's been gone, I have kept myself busy enough that I hadn't even realized how TERRIBLY I missed that man! Leaving felt like someone was tearing my heart out! I hated it. I couldn't see for the first fifteen minutes of our drive home. When I stopped to get gas, I ran in to pre pay and I'm sure the cashier was wondering what was wrong with me. Swollen, red, puffy eyes, smeared mascara. I was such a wreck. I finally called a friend who talked to me for a while and got my mind off of Jason and I was okay for the rest of the drive...mostly. (Thank you, Shauna. You probably saved us from dying in a fiery car crash). But I really do have the most wonderful husband and he is making such a sacrifice right now to provide for our family. Only until November 8th (ish)!! Then things will get back to normal. (That's when we'll be moving). I spent Friday and Saturday in my pajamas ALL DAY moping. It was pretty pathetic. I'm sure everyone was wishing I would get up from my book and take a shower. Sorry. Anyway, I'm good now. Back into busy mode and missing my husband with a reasonable amount of hormones and emotion. :)

Random ramble #3) I finished the afore mentioned book late Saturday night (the one listed on my sidebar). It's definitely a new favorite! I cried like a little tiny baby at the end!! Really, it was pathetic. I was in bed at two a.m. sobbing, hoping my kids wouldn't wake up from my sniffling. SO GOOD!! I recommend it to you all! But now I'm done and I need a new suggestion. I like just about anything. I used to say anything but sci-fi or fantasy stuff. Then I met Harry Potter and Edward Cullen. So I guess from now on I'll have to just say, I'll try anything once!! So please leave your recommendations below!!

And final ramble of the evening) I don't have many enemies (that I'm aware of). Okay, as far as I know I don't have any. But I do recognize that I can be snippy and judgemental and critical of people at times, even if it is only in my head. This is something I've decided to make a serious conscious effort to work on. I was reading about having virtuous thoughts the other day and found so many wonderful scriptures and counsels on the subject. I believe that will make a significant difference. However, I need some help. There is a certain group of people who I have a VERY, VERY difficult time with. I don't think they know how I feel. But I am very aware that I do not love these people. I am extremely critical and judgemental towards them, and if you knew the whole story, I believe it's fairly justified...if not for the fact that it is NOT my place to judge them. And because of my relationship to these people I feel it is absolutely necessary that I learn not only to interact with them civilly, but to actually love them. Not knowing the circumstances, I'm sure this sounds silly and childish. Maybe it is. I don't really know. I'm not entirely objective. But I do know that this will be one of the hardest things I will ever have to do. It will take all of my effort to erase my previous habits and thoughts and learn to actually sincerely LOVE these people the way Christ would. So I'm wondering if any of you out there can relate. Is there anything you can share with me? Any advice? I honestly feel like it would be easier for me to jump out of an airplane or climb a mountain than to do this. So your thoughts are super appreciated!!

Anyway, now that all of my rambling is out of my head and into cyber space, I think I may be able to sleep soundly for the night!! Sweet dreams, fellow bloggers!!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Whistle While You Work...

Ode to Generation LAZY!!

Well, I'm much too lazy to write an actual 'ode', so this post will have to do. I've thought about this a bazillions times in the last several years, but lately, especially. And I'm allowed to be critical about this subject, because let's face it: I'm in desperate need of this criticism.

To what do I allude, you ask? Work. REAL, HARD, WORK. My grandparents and great grandparents worked their tails off daily. Just to get by. They had to. The cows had to be milked, the gardens had to be planted and weeded and watered. The sewing had to be done. The laundry had to hang dry. The butter had to be churned. I'm sure this list could go on and on. You get the idea.

So now I come to me. My life today. I am so grateful for the luxuries that I have that make life a little easier. I'm glad I'm not out shoveling manure or hand stitching all of my children's clothing or anything like that. I feel overwhelmed enough with my modern day work load. But lately I've realized that I may be the laziest person I know.

Growing up, we had chores around the house. We dusted and vacuumed daily. My poor mother had to nag us to death to get it done, but eventually (most of the time) we did. We did dishes, scooped up the dog droppings in the backyard, helped in the yard, cleaned our own rooms and toys. The usual.

Then one day, we had a bigger house, a bigger yard, more to clean, more to weed. We griped and groaned and eventually my parents got sick of trying to make us and hired help. My parents themselves continued to work, but paid others to come in and help where we children would not. I don't blame them.

Now I'm a grown up with a husband and a family and a home (soon!!) and responsibility. And although my parents gave it their honest BEST effort, I have not learned how to work. I was a lazy kid. Now I am a lazy adult.

I do dishes and laundry and I cook and my kids are always dressed and bathed and their teeth are brushed. We stick to our routine pretty closely and the kids are generally in bed on time. We always make beds first thing in the morning. My house is USUALLY straightened. I'm good at the basics.

But when it comes to cleaning...I'm a disaster!! When guests are coming over, I clean it...usually. When there are things sticking to my feet on the floor, I clean it...usually. When you can barely see yourself in the mirror, I clean it...usually. When the car is full of crumbs and gunk and I can no longer see out the windows, I clean it...usually. When it gets really disgusting, I clean it...usually. When you can see a black ring starting to form in the toilet bowl, I clean it...unless Jason is home. Then I make him clean it. Get the idea?

So what am I thinking with wanting to get my own house?! I'll just run it down!!

I DREAD cleaning. I have a really hard time getting myself to start. Then once I get going I realize that I'm just fine. And I feel so great when it's done.

Lately I'm trying to be better. I think, especially since having Payson, I've been in a rut. I get ready...when I have to. I clean...when I have to. I go out...when I have to. It's been depressing.

So I've been making an effort to get ready, whether I have somewhere to go or not. I'm calling friends and making plans to get out of the house, just to get out of the house. I'm trying to read my scriptures more and really search. I'm trying to pray more sincerely. I'm trying to work out and eat more appropriate portions and more healthfully. I'm trying to make little efforts to make BIG changes.

So far, so good. Everything is working. I'm happier. I feel SO MUCH BETTER! Getting my behind out of bed in the morning is hard. Getting to bed early is also hard. Getting myself onto the treadmill is hard. Ignoring the goldfish crackers and choosing a celery stick instead is hard. But I'm doing it. And I feel so great when it's done!!

Twas the lesson I (re) learned yesterday. I got up early, got everyone fed and ready, got Payson off to preschool, came home and worked out, picked Payson up, ran some errands, fed the kids again, put Jack down for his nap, and realized that I didn't have anything to do for a while.

Turns out, Jack didn't actually want to take a nap yesterday. So instead, Payson threw on her swimming suit and I put Jack in his stroller with some toys outside and we decided to wash the car!! That's right, I decided to wash it myself. No automatic car wash here, folks!! I cleaned out the car, vacuumed and wiped down the inside, cleaned the windows, busted out the soap and hose and bucket and rags and got that sucker SPARKLY CLEAN!! And it felt SO GREAT when it was done!!

I just kept thinking to myself, it's just a silly car wash. Most people wash their own cars. Why am I so darn proud of myself? But the answer I came up with is: I DON'T CARE!! I worked hard, with no nagging mom on my tail, and got the job done. AND IT FELT GOOD.

Light bulb moment: I LIKE to work!! I like the feeling of being productive. I like looking at my work when it's done and feeling that pride. I like sitting in a clean car, or house, or whatever it may be, and not having the thought floating around in the back of my mind that I have to do that (and a million other things) later.

I guess that's why the Lord says, "Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;" D&C 109:8.

And that one scripture could take me off on SO MANY tangents that have run through my mind the last few days, but I'll save those for another time, another day. But for now, my latest revelation:


(Mom and Dad, I hope if you're reading this, I don't give you an actual heart attack).

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Standing in Holy Places

I've been wanting to go to the temple for a few weeks now. Jason and I try (not hard enough) to go as a couple, but it's gotten harder with each child. Finally we decided that, if necessary, we would just go separately. One would stay behind with the kids, while the other went. At least this way, we were going. Well, Jason went once. And I still haven't been for quite some time. Honest reason: I haven't put in enough effort.

I'm now realizing that I've taken for granted that I live near so many temples. In just a couple short months I will be three hours from a temple. Each visit will need to be carefully planned. A babysitter will be necessary most of the day. We will even need to budget gas money!! :)

Today I finally made it. I put Jack down for a nap and got Payson entertained so that my mom would have minimal work to do. Payson would keep herself occupied (hopefully) and Jack would stay asleep until I returned (hopefully).

I left at about a quarter after eleven. I assumed the temple wouldn't be too busy. It's the middle of a work day. I generally do evening sessions with Jason. Very busy. And we usually have to hurry back to relieve the sitter and get kids to sleep. I was really looking forward to a few peaceful hours for just myself.

As I turned onto the road the temple sits on, I could see the spire in the distance, the Angel Moroni. I can't explain the feelings I had, the warmth I immediately felt, just seeing the temple.

As soon as I pulled up, I noticed a very full parking lot. I worried for a minute and then saw a BEAUTIFUL bride and groom outside. Yes, the temple was busy. But everyone was attending sealings. Sessions would be small, giving me more time to reflect.

I had realized on the way that I forgot everything but my purse. Oh well. At least I had some cash and my recommend. I rented my clothing, changed quickly, then entered the chapel, sitting on the front row.

Quiet. Peace. Calm. Warmth. It had been far too long. This was so very needed.

I pulled the scriptures from under the pew and picked up where I left off in my personal scripture study. Charity. Attributes of the Savior.

But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

Moroni 7: 47-48

I've been reading this chapter in Preach My Gospel about the Attributes of Jesus Christ. I've loved reading about becoming more like Him. The way is so simply outlined. But does not always seem simple. How do I find charity in myself?

The promise at the end of verse 48 made me stop. That we may be purified even as he is pure. Pure. How must that feel? Clean. Some words found in a thesaurus are absolute, complete, fresh, guiltless, innocent, refined, ...and simple.

Having charity is simple. Pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love. Simple. Ask. Okay. I can do that. Simple.

After the endowment session, I walked, alone, into the Celestial Room. Quiet. Peace. Calm. Warmth. It had been far too long. This was so very needed.

I sat, alone, praying to my Heavenly Father. Wanting so much to stay here. Wanting to feel this close to Him always. Wanting to feel this pure forever.

We unavoidably stand in so many unholy places and are subjected to so much that is vulgar, profane, and destructive of the Spirit of the Lord that I encourage our Saints all over the world, wherever possible, to strive to stand more often in holy places. Our most holy places are our sacred temples. Within them is a feeling of sacred comfort. We should seek to be worthy to take our families to the temple to be sealed together for eternity...We must strive for holiness by being “an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity"...In this way we can maintain and strengthen our own individual relationship with our God...Holiness is the strength of the soul. (James E. Faust, “Standing in Holy Places,” Ensign, May 2005, 62)

My soul was strengthened this afternoon. I feel it inside me. I want to be able to share this feeling with everyone I love. And just with everyone. I want to seek for this feeling more often. Even on days when I can't stand in that Holy place. I want to make my home a holy place. I want to feel that charity, that pure love of Christ, always.

I am so grateful for temples and the eternal blessings my family has because of them. I testify that these beautiful buildings are so much more! They are sanctuaries, havens from the vulgar, profane, and destruction. They strengthen me when I stand even near their walls. I feel so much closer to my Heavenly Father when I am there. They are truly Holy Places.