I've had this post - or at least the concept of this post - on my mind for months now. I actually had a half written one on answered prayers several months ago. And then there were what seemed to just be so many challenges surrounding selling our van that I just deleted it and threw a little tantrum in my heart. Part of that post was about throwing tantrums, oddly enough. I think it's funny that I get so frustrated at my kids for their tantrums when I know it's such a dumb thing to be flipping out about. And yet I do the same thing on a different level all the time. I want something. It makes sense to me why I should have what I want. It doesn't make sense why it can't just happen. And then it doesn't. And I throw my adult version of a spiritual tantrum with God. And I'm sure He gets a little frustrated with me because He sees the big picture and knows perfectly what's good for me and what I need and it's a dumb thing to be flipping out about. And EVERY single time in the course of my 35 years, things have worked out. That's a lot of time to have "things" happen. Why have I not figured out the trust thing better yet??? By the way, despite the stress and chaos and fiasco and financial burden that selling our van happened to be, it worked out. Would it have been nicer to never have it break down and get $10k more for it? Ya. But, other things and other blessings occurred in those specific places I was requesting. If that makes sense. I'm mad I didn't write this down better because now I don't remember it verbatim and it was powerful to me verbatim. Kind of in the middle of all of that and just other dumb things, I was in the temple and the Brother saying the prayer in the prayer circle said a couple things that just seemed very atypical. Not that it's a scripted prayer ever, but the one thing that I remember is that he asked that we in the temple would trust God to work out our problems. It was poignant for me at that time. And I want it to continue being at the forefront of my mind. But I still feel like it is SO hard to really let go and really TRUST. It's so scary. Why is it? It shouldn't be. Like noted above, it always does work out and I do KNOW that God cares about me and WANTS to bless me and help me and take care of me. And that He does actually know what's best for me. And I know it does always work out in the end. So this is something I'm really trying to make more a part of my character. I know I'll have to have it tested though and I worry I won't pass. In the last week, a family of close friends to Tanner's family found out one of them has a really horrible form of brain cancer and probably won't live much longer than a year. He's mid 40s and has 6 kids. And his wife has been battling ovarian cancer for some time as well. Mason has been forwarding texts he receives. I'm going to include the one he sent after Casey got his diagnosis.
"...Please don't feel the need to say sorry or apologize. We're really in a great place. Do not know how much time I'll have, but will to God I have years! We each have our custom curriculum of trials and challenges that I honestly believe we were aware of before we came to Earth. We have been strengthened and carried by the Lord in so many wonderful ways so far. Make sure your family and kids know how much you love and care for them. This trial has brought so much clarity and focus to the things that matter most. It's been so beautiful..."
Wow. That's some serious trust and faith in God's plan. And today on a LDS ish Instagram feed I read this quote. It's kind of long but goes along with it and I want to have it here.
If it is true that a picture paints a thousand words, then there was a Roman centurion who got a dictionary full. All he did was see Jesus suffer. He never heard him preach or saw Him heal or followed Him through the crowds. He never witnessed Him still the wind; he only witnessed the way He died. But that was all it took to cause this weather-worn soldier to take a giant step in faith; "Surely this was a righteous man." That says a lot, doesn't it. It says the rubber of faith meets the road of reality under hardship. It says the trueness of one's belief is revealed in pain. Genuineness and character are unveiled in misfortune. Faith is at its best, not in three-piece suits on Sunday mornings or a vacation bible school on summer days, but at hospital bedsides, cancer wards and cemeteries. Maybe that's what moved this old crusty soldier. Serenity in suffering is a stirring testimony. Anybody can preach a sermon on a mount surrounded by daisies. But only one with a gut full of faith can live a sermon on a mountain of pain. - Max Lucado, No Wonder They Call Him the Savior.
I love that so much. Especially that last line. Wow. I feel like I'm a pretty "faithful" person and I want to be and to do what's right and be obedient. It makes me embarrassed and ashamed of myself when I think of what I've grumped about by way of challenges. People endure so much more with so much more faith. It makes me want some challenges so I can prove I do TRUST God and I want that character that can only be built by those challenges. But then I don't really want any challenges. Ha. Perspective is key. And without the perspective of "what matters most" like Casey was talking about, life would be unbearable I think. This life is just a blip and the point of it is not to get a job and have money and travel and buy stuff and check of bucket lists and eat ice cream. All those things are great and I do believe God is awesome for letting that be a part of the ride. But preparing for the much longer eternity that comes next is THE most important thing. Always remembering that should help keep the challenges that come along in perspective and enable us to endure with faith and trust.
I'm not all the way there. I'm grateful God lets us repent. I have to of my tantruming often. I hope He lets me live a lot longer because I think I'm going to need that time to figure it out. I'm going to remember Casey. And pray for him and to be like him. And I'll read that quote by Max Lucado often, and hopefully I can trust God to work out my problems and know that "all these things shall give me experience and shall be for my good." I want my testimony to be unshakeable. Where it couldn't be squashed by cancer or death or pain or poverty or anything. Because I do know that there is significant and crucial purpose to this life and that Jesus is my Savior and that His gospel IS true. I know without a single doubt that God answers my prayers. The insignificant ones. The important ones. The ones I don't deserve. Oh there's so many wonderful little and big times He has answered in positive, affirmative ways. And there have been plenty answered in a way contrary to my will. But I know He's there. Listening. Helping. Answering. In the best way that I NEED. And ultimately, that's really actually what I WANT too!
Sunday, July 8, 2018
We got a good solid 3 days worth of celebrating for the 4th of July. Monday the 2nd we went to the Eaglewood golf course for a car show and food from food trucks and running around with cousins. There were way more cars, and way more cool cars than I was expecting. I guess I don't go to car shows that often. I had a lot of fun. I think everyone did.
Saturday, June 30, 2018
We didn't buy Cherry Hill passes this year because I knew there was no way I was going to be able handle that place and all 3 kids by myself. I kind of thought swimming would be minimal this year, but turns out we've had tons of water fun this month! The kids got invited to Remi and Hadley's going away party at a park and splash pad. That was fun! Both of them enjoyed it a lot more than they did last year.
Greta was a good sport mostly. The first one she was so sad she couldn't get in. Then did okay the next couple. Then Heather took him once for me and let her get her toes in the water so we did that the last few times and she was happy as a clam. And usually got more than her toes wet.
And to finish up the month, Harvey got invited to his first birthday party! Madi's the girl from his preschool that came to our house invited him and they have this cool blow up slide/pool that is super cool and he had a blast playing on. My kid gets invited to birthday parties now!? Again - how is he this big!?