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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

My good friend, Jelaire, wrote the music and lyrics to this song. It is too beautiful not to share, especially on a day like today.

"He's not waiting for us to be perfect. Perfect people don't need a Savior. He came to save us in our imperfections. He is the Lord of the living, and the living make mistakes. He's not embarrassed by us, angry at us, or shocked. He wants us in our brokenness, in our unhappiness, in our guilt and our grief." - Chieko Okazaki

For the rest of this quote and more background on the song and how it came about, go here. It's definitely worth your time.

Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Life changes and eating an elephant

We spent all day Friday moving into our new home. Fortunately we had lots of strong and able men with big trucks who helped make it just a two-trip move, which was completed within three hours. We had a small group of women who helped me make everything sparkle at the old place, making it look pretty darn fantastic. We also had two doting grandparents who were happy to entertain the boys at their place for the day, so as to shield them a bit from as much of the chaos and confusion that can come with a big change like this.

By the end of our very long Friday and coming home to boxes stacked so high that it felt like we could have opened it up to the public as a cardboard maze and charged a small fee for entrance, I had come to the end of my frazzled rope and declared with more gusto than I knew was in me - "I hate our new place."

I didn't, really.

I was just exhausted. I was telling Marc later that I had never felt more tired than I did by the end of that day... except for maybe the day I labored to bring Hugh into the world. And, I felt even more exhausted just thinking about the task of unpacking everything, while still taking care of my little family. But, I think I was mostly overwhelmed with fears of how I would help my little boys adjust to their new environment when I felt so sapped of all energy and optimism myself.

I had to remind myself of the answer to that silly riddle - How do you eat an elephant?

I'm guessing you probably know the answer.

So, that was exactly what I did. I focused first on the most important priority - getting my boys settled safely and peacefully in their new (shared) bedroom for the night. Then, I tackled the boxes. One at a time. I couldn't look at the entire house filled with boxes. It just made me want to cry, if I did. I had to force myself to focus on the one box in front of me. One at a time.

And, before the end of the night on Friday our cardboard maze was completely unrecognizable and I was slowly seeing our home becoming more recognizable.

We went to bed much too late, which turned out to be a bad idea since Hugh ended up having a really rough night. He was up three times and ended up asleep on my chest twice when I got the feeling his lack of sleep had more to do with not feeling well than anything else. My intuition turned out to be correct when all day Saturday he was fighting a fever.

But, last night went so smoothly. Both boys went down for bed so easily - in bed by 6:30pm - AND they both slept through the night, though 5:30am will probably always feel just a bit too early for me.

Today I found myself thinking of all the things I like about our new home - the sound of the morning doves and other birds singing throughout the day, the park across the street where kids today were out playing baseball with their dads, the random cat wandering the very quiet neighborhood, the secluded feeling of living on the outskirts of town, the view from our kitchen of the hills. I really liked our other place and had felt quite sad about leaving it, until I realized what we were getting in its place.

(Our other place was smack-dab-in-the-middle of downtown, with the near-constant sound of traffic, sirens, airplanes, with the "drug-dealing" park down the street and the random transient wandering our neighborhood. Not to mention our neighbor's raging outdoor parties during the summer that commonly started at midnight and ended about four hours later. Definitely won't miss those.)

We're not completely settled in yet, but we're getting there. And, after a weekend of General Conference, I'm feeling encouraged and renewed. I'm anxious to go back and, in my studies, gather my own list of little personal prophetic epistles, as referred to by Elder Holland. Lots of gems that I want to hang on to and live by. Sometimes it can feel overwhelming to work on areas of weakness and inabilities, but I suppose personal improvements, just like settling from our move, require the same answer to that silly elephant riddle.

Taking just one day at a time. And, that's exactly what I'll do.