|photo credit: bloggingpainters.com|
|nap time in the big boy bed|
Drew and I were both down at the same time with the illness. Luckily for me, my sweetheart felt so bad that he didn't want me cooking either, so he rearranged our budget so I could buy cereal for breakfast and several dinners that didn't require much preparation. I have felt so SPOILED! We must have definitely changed our life style if I feel pampered by cold cereal and prepared meals! (Those were just part of our normal life early on...) What has been really funny is that although the little kids have been in hog-heaven because of the menu, the baby won't eat it. He just looked at his cold cereal, moved the spoon around a little, put his fingers in it, let it get soggy and then wanted out. He asked for eggs, and crackers. So funny.
I was well enough to pull off our Visiting Teaching Conference/RS birthday brunch...thanks for asking :-) For part of the program, our Relief Society President wanted us to participate in 'mock' visiting teaching. I visited Michaels (Arts and Crafts store), found some stickers, handed them out randomly as participants came through the door, then told them they would 'need this later'. At the appointed time, I turned the group loose to find the two other people who had their exact sticker. Viola! Random groups of three. Then we spent 20 minutes in our random groups visiting. I think this was the favorite part of our morning. When it was time to get everyone's attention, they were so busy visiting, I had to tap on the microphone for two solid minutes before the conversations died down. (One sister even turned around and said, 'You told us to visit. Stop interrupting us!' Luckily, she is one of my best friends :-) See??? Visiting teaching isn't hard, even when we don't know each other. We just have to stick ourselves out there and do it! We are all women. We have things in common. We have hearts to serve! Now we just need to serve those the Lord has given us stewardship over. Not hard---Be Brave!
Then, this morning, for my scripture study, I read THIS, amazing talk by Elder Holland. I really, really appreciated Elder Holland's personal interpretation of the conversation between Peter and the Savior. I could really sense where Peter was (not that I really know, but Elder Holland's interpretation made the conversation more real to me and more personally applicable), in his doctrinal development and understanding of the experiences they had just been through. I think we all go through that to a degree....we go through the motions of what we think the gospel is asking of us. We really are making effort and making changes. Then something happens and we kind of fall off of the wagon. We stop continuing the change we were making, because it is hard, or it doesn't make sense, or it should be finished by now, we have done it long enough and we cannot see a difference, or whatever. Then I feel the hand of the Lord calling after me, Carin....Do you love me?
(Elder Holland's words....) "did not my life and my love touch your hearts more deeply than this?.......Then Peter, [Carin]why are you here? Why are we back on this same shore, by these same nets, having this same conversation? Wasn’t it obvious then and isn’t it obvious now that if I want fish, I can get fish? What I need, Peter, [Carin] are disciples—and I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do. Ours is not a feeble message. It is not a fleeting task. It is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is not to be consigned to the ash heap of history. It is the work of Almighty God, and it is to change the world. So, Peter, [Carin] for the second and presumably the last time, I am asking you to leave all this and to go teach and testify, labor and serve loyally ....."
Then I couple those thoughts with my visiting teaching conference. When our sisters were visiting (we combined the two wards that meet in our building for this activity), we shared our hearts, our struggles, our trials, our joys, our hopes. We have each other. Each of us knew there were a few sister in that room that we could call on if we had trouble.......any trouble. Most of the sisters we (or at least, I) visit, do not have that because they are not currently actively participating in the ward family. They still have struggles, trials, hopes, joys, but they don't have, or they don't know they have the same support system that the rest of us do. They need to know someone is out there who will help, who will lift them when they are down and support them when they struggle. The gospel is a gospel of inclusion, not exclusion. We say, come, you will find help, support and friends here. We will love you. Join our circle of sisters. Be a part of us, regardless of your bad habits, tattered clothes, broken hearts.....come, join, share, love. We will include you. And the Lord asks us to do it, to reach out, even if today our sisters are not interested. They may be tomorrow. We must be about our Father's business. Feed the Savior's sheep is our mandate too.
|Photo credit: Del Parson's studio Delparson.com|