My Family

My Family

Friday, February 26, 2010


Tomorrow I go to my first writer's conference.
It conflicts with our Stake Relief Society conference, which, had I known before I paid for the writer's conference, I would have attended.
I don't particularly like those good, better, best decisions when they involve personal choice and accountability.  

I don't wonder if I'm attending the right conference.
I am at peace with my decision to go be with my writing sisters...
but I wonder...
what is my purpose in attending a writing conference when I struggle to find time to write?
What do I need to do to continue to find my story?
What would the Lord have me do with this talent that I feel so strongly about, but do so little with?
Is my job simply to be a vocal voice and strength to other writers around me?
am i, am I, AM I, truly to contribute something to the world through this writing, this passion, this calling, I feel compelled to (if nothing else) acknowledge?

I have no doubt the answers will come.
I just have to put myself in places where they will come without so much of a struggle.
Which is precisely why I will be at the ANWA conference all day tomorrow.

(Is burying this talent still optional?)

Friday, February 19, 2010

On Being the {Gracious?} Receiver

Earlier this week when I got a call that I needed to "help" with Enrichment night, it was easy for me to say yes.
That is, until my friend on the other end of the phone explained how they wanted me to help this month.
She very kindly explained that she needed me to open my home to sisters who could come and serve me for about 2 hours on Thursday night (last night).

That's not an easy way to help.
I admitted that to Karolee, and she and I chatted for a few minutes about how it IS hard to be served...and then she started throwing ideas out for me to consider.
It only took about 3 suggestions before my mind started jumping from project to project, thinking about how great this opportunity was!

The 2 hardest things for me were 1) settling on the project to get done, and 2) choosing not to clean up excessively because *gasp* sisters were coming over.  (I did make the kids do their chores before scouts, but that's pretty normal.)

Time and budget constraints made our final decision on what service would be rendered...we've had things purchased for a garden with a dripper system since last Nov. or so, and although I debated more shelving for the pantry, or painting a room, or even hanging noise-reducing curtains in the dining room, the ultimate decision was made because we had the gardening items in hand and unused out in the backyard.  All of the other projects would require a run to the hardware store and at least some out of pocket expense.   (I literally had no clue about what to do with the garden though...that's always been Pat's forte...and I knew I'd be busy for the first little while with the scouts).

So, last night, I had 3 sisters come to my home and loaned us a circular saw to cut the wood for the garden boxes, helped dig a small trench for the dripper hose, and filled our 2 garden boxes with the soil we had on hand.  We have 2 more garden boxes to put together, and we will need to buy more dirt and SEEDS to plant...but I'm looking out at a backyard with a space that WILL BE our garden.  Seriously, so cool.  (And as an added side note, I got some walls washed in the process too!)

Now, I just need to figure out what I want to plant.  :)

Refreshments came in kids loved those this morning!
Awesome idea...and I am SUPER excited, because next time Sister Swaps happen, I WILL get to help someone else...and not have to be {gracious} about being the recipient.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

My Current Motto

Have you ever desired that things were different for you than they currently are?  
Yes, you don't really have to answer that, for I know that EVERY one of you feel that way or have felt that way at some point in your life. 

I find that I struggle with shyness.  
For those of you who know me here in Arizona, you may find that a bit shocking. 
Even those of you who knew me in New Mexico may be surprised by that revelation.  
However, it was a defining characteristic that influenced many of my growing up years.  
I regret some of the limits I placed on myself, and find myself striving to push my children to try things outside of their comfort zone.  
That being said, I am also pushing myself to do things and creating opportunities for myself that are beyond my "safe place".  

To say that I am a hermit would be overstating the situation a little, but I find it VERY easy to justify the need I have to be in my home...which will never be as clean as my perfectionistic nature desires...especially in light of the fact that I have 7 children to help keep on track with their chores and laundry.  
There are always errands to run, groceries to be purchased, spills to be wiped up, dusting to look at and put on my "I'll get to that tomorrow list".  
Meals not only need to be cooked, but the dishwasher consistently needs loaded or reloaded, and while the kids are quite thorough at taking care of that, often there is a second or even third load that needs to be run while they are at school.

I could go on...but I know any woman reading this will understand the ongoing list I keep in my head and strive to accomplish on a regular basis. 

Essentially, any socializing that I do comes down to making a conscious choice to ensure it happens.
I have mulled over the idea of knocking on a neighbors door multiple times, desiring to build that friendship.  
Every time, I have found a reason why I shouldn't extend myself.  
And you know what?  
Last week I found out she was moving, and I was selfishly sad.  
Sad at the missed opportunity to learn and grow from her. 
Sad that I had chosen, repeatedly, not to step out of my comfort zone and make an effort to be more open.
Sad that I had not strengthened a friendship when I had the chance. 

I can't change what is past, but as I have dwelt on what I could have/should have/would have done differently, the thought that repeatedly comes to my mind is this, 

And so, that has become my current motto. 
Even when it's not easy, I'm working to have people over to my home, even when it's not perfectly clean (which it never truly is...that's why doors are shut and I don't invite people upstairs too often).  
I'm pushing my boundaries by inviting friends here to stamp with me...create cards and enjoy others company.  
I'm calling and setting times for get-togethers that I've always pushed off in the past for whatever reason.
I'm making the effort to create and send out "good mail"...trusting that more than just me wants to receive something other than a bill in the mail.  

I know this motto, this mantra, this new way of living my life is not just random happenstance.  
It is a prompting...a gift from God.  
And I thank Him for the change it is creating in me. 

Do you have a current personal motto?
If not, will you find one?


Monday, February 01, 2010

Do You or Don't You?

*Get frustrated with yourself when you make mistakes about money?  I do.
*Enjoy planning dinner?  I don't.
*Wish you had a way to communicate how much you miss certain people instantaneously?  I do.
*Debate with yourself (and change your mind) about what you should do during any given day?  I do.
*Get excited about gathering tax information together so that you can submit your taxes?  I do.
*Wish you understood the Lord's plan for your life?  I do.
*Get your laundry done in one day?  I don't.
*Look for positives amid the struggles?  Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.
*Want to sleep, uninterrupted for at least 8 hours one night?  I do.

What do you, or don't you?