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

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17 thoughts on “The rest of the stories…

  1. I hope the charter school thing works out. You’ll have to let us know how it turns out. I am still playing with the idea of my son going to one when the time rolls around. Also, love that you had him pray about it and went with his answer.

    Also, my Mom was at that regional conference and mentioned the few lines that Sis. Beck gave about too much computer time. Just in my Mom telling me I thought, yep need to work on that. I think I’ll go work on it right now. Logging off. 🙂

  2. I too was nervous about sending my children to a new Charter School. Unfortunately, I waited several years before finally sending them. I love it! We have been there for three years now. I wish I had taken the leap and did it when they first opened. I hope that you have a positive experience with your charter school as well! Good luck!

  3. I’m just in awe of letting Grant pray for his own answer…and kind of ashamed to realize that probably never would have occurred to me. I love how resolute his is being, having faith in the answer her received.

    Good luck settling in and building new friendships. Hope you fall into the company of women who uplift you, accept you, and skip all the silly small talk and become real friends.

  4. I love how you had Grant pray for the answer. Bria went to a charter for Kindergarten, and I loved it. I just felt it was so much more personalized. I’m sure he’ll have a wonderful experience. Besides…God told him he would, right?

    I’m curious about your washer. I haven’t heard of that type and I think I like that idea better than the front loaders. (Mine is on its last leg…we’ll probably get a new one within the year.)

  5. Yeah, I agree — I never would’ve thought to have HIM do it on his own.
    What a good mom you are.
    BTW. the teachers at our school are GREAT at letting each kid work at their own level and enjoy doing it. I hope you find something that works!

  6. We attended the same regional conference! I loved Sister Beck’s talk, too. I’m sure her words weren’t for you alone…..it’s the main thing I took from the conference, as well.

    Love that you let Grant make his own decision and encouraged him to pray. With faith like his, he can’t go wrong!

  7. WOW! What a mom you are!!! It blows my mind that you 1. suggested your SON pray over it, 2. he DID it, 3. you went with his decision and 4. he has so much faith! You are quite an amazing mom to have a 2nd grader that is so confident in the Lord. I guess that shouldn’t hard to see – especially because the children of this generation tend to be smarter and closer to our Heavenly Father – but still. Kudos to you.
    And congrats on the move and the finding things going well. Seriously you inspire me. I LOVE that every one of your posts references a prophet or scripture. It makes me want to do the same thing. I want to be able to look at a problem and, instead of venting about it to everyone I know AND on my blog, look for an answer in the gospel. Thank you for all you do for me.

  8. So glad things are looking sunnier.

    And I have to disagree a bit on the computer thing. My dishwasher does nothing for my feeling of solitude here at home; the computer, however, gives me a tiny feeling that I’m not the only adult in the world.

  9. Okay, so I know I missed out on the last three or four (or five?) months of your life, but holy cow, I didn’t know you were going through all of THIS!! The only thing that never changes in life is… change. You can count on it happening every day, every week, month, year, etc. The trick is responding to it in a positive way, and it sounds like you’ve got that down! Especially when prayer enters the equation!

  10. Wasn’t that a beautiful regional conference? My Stake also had an evening session that was wonderful. My stake president (who has nine kids, now grown) talked about how he had always wanted to have a family, but how providing for and nurturing his family had taken everything he had, and consumed his whole life. And how it was worth it. He encouraged everyone in that stage of life to seriously consider having a family, and for those not in that stage of life to promote and support families. Then when we sang the song “More Holiness Give Me,” the line “More used would I be” really touched my heart. I’d just spent two weeks stuck home with sick kids, with no opportunities to pursue my own interests, byt his talk and that line of the song both reminded me that my current sacrifices–the losing of my life–will become the saving of my life.

    I did have a similar reaction as Amber did to Sister Beck’s wording, because while I definitely would not want to give up my dishwasher or other tools of a homemaker’s trade, the internet is different in that it has often provided me friendship and even inspiration when I otherwise might have felt very isolated. But even so, it’s still definitely true that the internet is addictive and frequently threatens to take over my life. I do intend to try to take Sister Beck’s counsel, and not miss out on these precious-if-challenging years by constantly seeking an (always available) escape from my kids.

  11. I’m glad that things are settling down and starting to feel like home. And what a brilliant way to handle Grant’s school dilemma.

    And I love Sister Beck and any and all things she has ever said. I say good for her for reminding us… I’ve been trying really hard to cut back on my screen time as of late. My blog, in general, has suffered, if you are measuring by what the interwebs deem a successful blog, but me? I’m feeling pretty good! Nothing is worse than standing up from a computer and not having anything to show for the past hour. Or four.

  12. Good luck with the school, I tried hard to make sure my son got what he needed without skipping grades, too. I totally looked at the appliances, as we are about to buy all new ones ourselves.

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