The faith and fear theory: I beg to differ.

We moved two weeks ago.  Two weeks seems like nothing and forever at the same time.  Matt is at his new job; he likes it.  My boys will be home from school soon.  Natalie is watching Maggie and the Ferocious Beast (it’s a preschool cartoon), and I’ve been hanging out at the computer desk for longer than I should have today.  The last 12 days or so have been a frenzy of unpacking boxes and putting every thing in its new place.  Somehow during this same time, the boys convinced Matt that they needed to buy some guinea pigs since they had to leave their beloved fish, Colors, behind in Minnesota.  Don’t ask me how I feel about the new pets.

My bedroom is the last room to unpack, except for some “storage” boxes in the basement.  I can’t bring myself to do it; I’ve been avoiding those last dozen boxes or so for about 3 days.  At first I thought it was because I was just feeling tired and a little bit lazy, and who likes to organize a closet anyway? (I know some of you might actually like that kind of thing, and all I can say about that is:  How much do you charge?)  However, after a little bit of gloom today and a little bit of reflection, it dawned on me:

I don’t want to finish unpacking because then I live here.  Really live here.

And then I realized that the thought terrifies me a little bit.  That seems ridiculous because, hello, I’m already here, but everything happened so fast.  I’m not sure I ever really got a chance to process it all.  I think I might be afraid. Continue reading

GCBC Week 19: Mother Told Me, Things Pertaining to Righteousness

I’m back-dating this to Sunday.  (I’m a little slow lately.  Moving bites. Thanks for being patient.)  We’re going to study two talks this week:

“Mother Told Me” by Elder Bradley D. Foster of the Seventy

“Things Pertaining to Righteousness” by Elder Francisco J. Vinas of the Seventy

Only 4 more weeks and 4 more talks (after this) until a new General Conference and new messages from heaven.  Both of these talks give great insights into motherhood and parenthood.  The first honors the role of motherhood and the second reminds us of our great responsibility to teach our children the things that matter most.

As you study these talks, please share in the comments any insights you have about the role of mothers.

Go here to find the media versions of the talks (audio, video, mp3, etc.).  If this is your first visit to the General Conference Book Club,  click here to learn more about it.

Girl humor

Today Natalie (age 3) referred to this movie:

as “Lady and the Cramp.”  Does anyone else find this as funny as I do?

I’m thinking it would be a great rewrite/parody.  Remember the song the hootchie girl dog sings in the dog pound prison?  Maybe she could sing it like this:  “It’s a Cramp, and I hate it …”  And after Lady gets out of the clink, can you imagine the PMS-induced wrath that Mr. Street Dog would get?  I don’t think it would be a spaghetti kiss, put it that way.

What would you write into the story if  you were the screenwriter for Lady and the Cramp?

GCBC Week 18: Generations

“Generations Linked in Love” by Elder Russell M. Nelson

“Our Duty to God: The Mission of Parents and Leaders to the Rising Generation” by Elder Robert D. Hales

Because of the missed weeks, we’re doubling up a little in an attempt to catch up.  These two talks (links above) kick off our return to GCBC.  Thanks for being patient.

In the Sunday afternoon session of General Conference, Elder Nelson and Elder Scott spoke consecutively about our responsibility to our families; Elder Nelson referred to our ancestors, and Elder Scott spoke of our children.  The two talks together provide a great context of the eternal nature of our families.  They remind us of the blessings and duties that come from being part of an eternal unit in a great plan of salvation.

What stands out to you as you study these talks?

Go here to find the media versions of the talks (audio, video, mp3, etc.).  If this is your first visit to the General Conference Book Club,  click here to learn more about it.

Here she is… Miss I-crossed-America

I made it.

I am alive.  And I finally have Internet access.

Here is a little time-line to point out the whirlwind the last two months have been (and to record this insanity for my posterity):

June 21:  Matt gets his new job offer.  We negotiate and ponder for a few days and decide to accept it, contingent upon selling our home in Minnesota.  I begrudgingly accept the possibility of moving to Utah, but only if our house is sold first.

Beginning of July:  Contacted by relocation team with realtors, inspectors, movers, etc.  All a little overwhelming, but things get rolling.  We work like crazy to get our house in great shape to go on the market, including painting, packing, garage sales, storage unit, landscaping, small repairs throughout, etc.

July 16:  FOR SALE sign goes up and house is officially on the market.  I take the kids over to my mother-in-law’s house to sleep (so our house stays CLEAN).

July 17:  Drove two 11-hour days to get to Atlanta (where my parents live) so that we could spend time with them and the house would stay clean for showings.  Matt drove with us, we got a flat tire and had to replace all our tires.  He flew back to return to work (which he was not allowed to quit until our house sold).

July 23:  Our house sold.  What?!!  The first people that came through for a showing put in an offer.  Negotiations made and accepted by both parties.  I was shocked.  I probably need not describe the current market conditions and what a miracle it was.  This is the part where I realized that God was totally in charge, and He had plans completely independent of mine.

July 28:  I leave the children with my parents and fly to Utah to house hunt.  I look for 3 days and then Matt joins me.  We find a house in an area I had not considered at all.  (Matt found it online and I finally consented to go see it after crossing it off the list several times and being annoyed at his lack of focus in the housing search.)

July 31:  Put an offer on the house.  A few days of negotiations, then accepted by both parties.  We feel really blessed that we were able to find something we both liked at a really great deal. I went back to Atlanta, and Matt went back to Minnesota.

Week of August 1:  House inspections, mortgage initiation, lots of paperwork, more negotiations, hundreds of cell phone minutes logged.  Matt puts in his notice at work.

August 6:  Matt flies to Atlanta, and we all begin the drive back to Minnesota.  Two more long days in the car.

August 11:  Moving company arrives and packing begins.  (Yes, that quickly.  And no, I could not have done it without packers.  Thank heavens.)

August 13:  Moving company loads up the van with all our items.  The house is left empty, and we head out of town by 8 pm.

August 16: We finally roll into the Salt Lake Valley after 4 days of travel that included all of the following:  3 children, two cars, a trailer in tow, 3 nights in hotels, thousands of Sturgis bikers on the roads and in the hotels, loading and unloading all the contents of our 2 vehicles every night (except for Matt’s toolbox which I accidentally left in the hotel closet in Rapid City, SD), altitude sickness at the Continental Divide and pulling over several times because I thought I was going to faint, children with short tempers and leg cramps and even some fever, and finally, an overheated truck resulting in 2 hours at a truck stop and the rest of the journey with no air conditioning.  Bet you wish you could have joined us.  Next two nights spent sleeping on the floor in sleeping bags at our new house waiting for our stuff to arrive.  I also registered the kids for school.

August 18:  Moving truck arrives with our stuff.  Hallelujah.  Next few days spent unpacking box after box after box.

Today:  Still unpacking, starting to feel settled in the house.  Haven’t ventured out much yet because there’s still so much to do here.  The children are all irritable and naughty, which given the circumstances is no big surprise.  I’ve been pretty darn irritable and tired myself.  Matt starts work next week and the boys start school.  Hopefully we’ll fall into a nice routine soon.  And hopefully that routine involves naps for me.

Lessons learned:  Even in a world full of billions of people and turmoil and mind-numbing events, Heavenly Father is still aware of us as individuals and families, and somehow manages to find the time to put His hand in the details of our simple lives and make things as they should be.  And though insignificant by comparison, He lifts us through our trials and struggles and helps us survive them all.  Maybe even better off than we were before, but that remains to be seen.  Trusting Him goes a long way.

(I’ll slowly fall back into the blogging routine, maybe at a new pace.  I’m so sorry about the neglected GCBC; I’ll try to pick up where I left off soon.)

Jumping in

Sometimes, even when you know something is the right thing to do, it’s hard to step forward.  Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in anxieties and the possibility of worst-case scenarios.  Sometimes you can start a journey with confidence, but a few steps in, you find yourself dragging your feet and looking back over your shoulder.  Sometimes faith and courage don’t come as easy as you thought they would.

Sometimes you’ve got to close your eyes, feel it deep, and just jump in.

“Somewhere in your quest for spiritual knowledge, there is that ‘leap of faith,’ as the philosophers call it. It is the moment when you have gone to the edge of the light and stepped into the darkness to discover that the way is lighted ahead for just a footstep or two.”  ~ Elder Boyd K. Packer

“Beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now…  Face your doubts. Master your fears. ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence.’ Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you.” ~ Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

I can do this.

Right?