The rest of the stories…

In the last month or so, there have been a few items that I’ve thrown out there for your advice and input, so I wanted to let you know how it’s all turned out.

1.  Appliances. Remember you all had 1,000 different opinions about the must-have items and features in my up-and-coming appliance collection?  Well, today is delivery day and I am so excited.  I rented appliances for almost a month– partially to give myself time to pick out what I wanted, and partially because I was afraid all this short-sale title-transfer business at the new house might not work itself out and we’d find ourselves out on the street with our brand-new appliances.  (We’ve been paying rent in the meantime, but the title was finally all cleared and we now have an official closing date to own the house.)  Anyway, go here if you even care about the final purchases.  I started to post it all, but then I felt dumb because it might come across as bragging or something  (Hey, wow, look at my awesome new fridge!), but I thought some of you might be curious about what I finally decided.  If I did not buy your very favorite item in the whole world, I hope you’ll forgive me.  I do have a budget, you know.

2.  Grant’s school. I had to channel the “mother lion” inside of me so I could hold my ground when I met with Grant’s principal and teacher. The kid is a year ahead of their curriculum and it has been a struggle to figure out what’s going to help him have a good learning experience.  My biggest fear is that he would become lazy and lose the attitude that he has to work and try when he goes to school.  We ended up with 3 options: clearance from the principal to (1) move him into another classroom with a teacher who’s much more equipped for “enrichment” or (2) have him tested to skip a grade, which he’d probably pass, but I’m just not sure about it, OR (3) put him in a brand-new charter school that just opened last week, but it feels kind of like a gamble because there’s no history or reputation to rely on.  We discussed all our options with Grant and let him pray about it. He chose to go to the charter school and started there on Monday. I’m still pretty nervous about it all, since the school is so new and still seems pretty unorganized. When I expressed my apprehension, he got frustrated with me: “Mom, God said (the charter school) will be fine.”  I figure that I need to let it play itself out, if for no other reason, to let him know we honor the answers he gets to his prayers.  Hopefully it will all work out okay. I guess the worse case scenario is he could learn nothing new this year, but then he’d at least be on schedule again for 3rd grade. Maybe. 🙂  By the way, I left Clark in his first grade class where he already was because he has a good teacher and seems to be doing well.

3.  The move in general. It’s gone much better than I feared.  Our neighborhood is nice, the neighbors are kind, the views out my windows are lovely, and the gospel is still true and all.  Things like Facebook and the phone have let me stay in touch with people I love and miss, and I’m beginning to feel more confident that I’ll be able to form some new friendships here.  The Lord has blessed us so much through this transition that I keep looking over my shoulder waiting for something terrible to happen, but I need to let it go and just be grateful.  This past weekend, we were able to attend a Regional Conference where Sister Beck, Elder Holland, and President Packer all spoke.  You can’t complain about opportunities like that.  (By the way, Sister Beck basically told young moms to stop spending so much time on the computer and to turn our attention to our children.  She reminded us –who am I kidding?  She reminded me— that the computer is simply a tool, just like a dishwasher or washing machine, and should not be a distraction.  It was one of those aha! moments for me– rebuking enough to be a little uncomfortable, but encouraging enough that I felt inspired by the counsel.)  Anyway, life is good at the moment and we’re starting to fall into routines and feel comfortable on our new journey.  There’s been stress, yes, but I know we’ve been blessed.

It is human nature, I suppose, to seek elsewhere for our happiness. Pursuit of career goals, wealth, and material rewards can cloud our perspective and often leads to a lack of appreciation for the bounteous blessings of our present circumstances. It is precarious to dwell on why we have not been given more. It is, however, beneficial and humbling to dwell on why we have been given so much. An old proverb states, “The greater wealth is contentment with a little.”

In his letter to the Philippians, Paul wrote, “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philip. 4:11).

Alma instructed his son Helaman, giving him counsel that all fathers should teach their children: “Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day” (Alma 37:37). Alma says, “Let thy heart be full of thanks unto God.” The Lord desires that we give thanks. In Thessalonians we read, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thes. 5:18).

… We should constantly strive to increase our gratitude. Gratitude may be increased by constantly reflecting on our blessings and giving thanks for them in our daily prayers.”  ~Steven E. Snow, “Gratitude,” Liahona, Jan 2002, 49–51