Tuesday, April 28, 2015

That's wack. And not wiggety-wack, just the regular kind.

Today started out fine ...

Got up, showered, dressed.
Had devotional with the kids, dropped Bruise off to track club.
Bucket got on the bus. I finished getting ready ...

Then, when Bubbles and I got into the car to go into town/shopping ... I go to plug in my iPod ... and then the car won't start. When I press on the brake, the dashboard clock fades away to nothing.

I don't know my neighbors well enough to feel like I can just go ask them for a jump.
Okay, I was going to say that Michael isn't picking up his phone (so I also emailed AND shot him a text), but he just called back.
And he'll come home at his lunch break, figure out stuff and we'll figure out what all needs to be done.
If nothing else, he'll stay home long enough to pick up the kids from strings (which means he'll just be staying home for the rest of the day) ... and we can either walk to pick Bucket up from her after-school running tomorrow. We'll see.

I'm hoping it's just that either I shorted out something that's easily fixable OR that Bucket just didn't close the stupid door quite well enough (it has a crappy sensor anyways) and the battery was just run down a bit.

Okay. I'm going to figure out dinner and read a book and go soak my head or something.

EDIT: And watch a bazillion episodes of Teen Girl Squad. And read my scriptures for the day. And probably do my Duolingo. Distractions galore!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Crazy Dream Chronicles - Part 1,493 (or thereabouts)

This morning was a two-fer!

I woke up this morning (and was back in bed JUST in time for the 4:30 alarm to go off) after this first dream ...

I went to pick Bruise and Bucket up from school (no idea where Bubbles was in this dream), but instead of picking them up at their real-life school, I was at the school that my mom taught at for ages (where it would be about a fifteen-minute drive home to my childhood home, as opposed to a five-minute drive to our house ... BUT, as in dreams, we still had our current house).

And, Bruise and Bucket had, for some reason, taken the bus (which normally wouldn't go to my childhood home, not on the bus route from THAT school ... but, again, DREAMS). And I didn't realize it, so I was out of the car and inside the school, since one of the office ladies (from their IRL school) needed a ride home, and I was asked to do that.

So, I'm hanging in the office of my mom's old school (-ish), writing notes to two male teachers that don't exist at EITHER school, when I realize that it's 4:19 PM. This office lady STILL isn't ready AND my kids took the bus nearly an HOUR ago and they're probably sitting around outside, freaking out.

Then I recall that, no, we have that cool button-lock so they can get inside (which is true), so they're probably fine and CPS won't be waiting for me.

And I race to the car, just in case, and there's my phone so that I can call the house and check in on them.
I try to use speed dial and end up calling Oliver Sacks' voicemail, somehow. And I feel bad for hanging up right away, rationalizing that I'll redial THAT number later to wish him the best of luck with his brain cancer (which he DOES have IRL, but I don't have any direct contact info as much as I adore his writing).

Then, I can't get past this LONG, rambling voicemail from my stepdad where he's telling me (as I'm turning the corner by the I-Mart, down highway 99) about how he and Mom are sorry that I'm sick and they'll come bring me medicine/cough syrup tomorrow.

FINALLY, as I'm turning onto the ramp for I-5, I get through to the house number and Bruise answers and his voice is FULL of tears because he DIDN'T KNOW WHERE I WAS and, there's a three-way call with my mom, censuring me for being irresponsible ...

Oh ... actually there was ANOTHER dream stuck in there ... so THREE dreams total ...
Michael, I, and some other people were spying or something. And we had to go to this resort/club/thing. We'd leave the room after the dance performances (because then the dancers would do stripping ... and we're not into that). I don't remember who we were working for or what the goal of this reconnaissance mission was ... but, I ended up (to throw off suspicion), kissing a male dancer and going out to his car to talk. Yeah, I had to full-on kiss another guy in front of my husband. Awkward and not at all fun, really. (If I had been an unmarried woman, it would have been fine.)
I don't remember much more about that dream. Besides trying to apologize non-verbally to Michael while sucking another man's face, and trying to sell THAT to the dancer. (I haz conflictz az spy ... which is yet ANOTHER reason why I don't work in espionage. Can't lie. Don't have any desire for infidelity. Yeah, I'd be the worst spy ever. It's not like one can be, "Oh, I'd totally be throwing myself at you, sans clothing, but I JUST got out of a [mythological] relationship and you'd be my rebound." Because, really, I doubt that some Russian drug lord or whatever would be all, "Oh, you're so sensitive and vulnerable. I respect that. Here, let me tell you all my secrets." ... I mean, that'd be awesome if it worked. I could be the best spy ever (besides being unable to lie convincingly)!)

OKAY, so THIRD (and FINAL) dream!

In this one, I must have been back in high school or something (SOMETHING, thinking on it. Because I was worried that we couldn't find the appropriate technology, that's right) ... and we had a project in theater to do karaoke.
(Truly, it wouldn't have been too terribly off from some of our real-life projects. Just a simpler version of those, really.)

BUT, I was helping my Roxy-sis to have a song and music. And, for some reason, I had a karaoke cassette that had some tracks on it. And she was going to sing Coolio's "Gangster Paradise."
Yeah. Not really her type of song, especially while we were in high school.

So, I was making sure that I had the cassette ready for her, all rewound ... and it got caught a little in the player, so I had to CAREFULLY remove the tape from the player and grab a pencil to wind it all back in JUST SO ...

And I worried that we might not have a cassette player at the school for her to use ...

And then I was trying to go through whatever instrumental CDs we had so that I could choose some song to sing ... and trying not to freak out because I couldn't use the cassette, since I didn't know any of the other (rap) songs on there and I didn't have any other karaoke tapes ...
(Which, IRL, I had ONE karaoke tape. We didn't have a karaoke machine or anything, but I had ONE karaoke tape ... of some of the songs from Les Miserables. Yeah, I was THAT KID in middle school. Is it any wonder that I was NOT in the cool-kid bunch? ... Yup, I really don't miss the social scene in middle school. I miss a handful of people (mostly teachers, really. Again, THAT KID).)

But, yup. That's about what all went on in my dreams -- being a crap, disorganized mother; being an apologetic spy who won't watch strippers; and making sure that my friend is taken care of ... so that I can run about like a muppet when it's time for me to cover my bases.

I'm sure this all means something ... and not just (as in that spy dream) that I should get a feminine-cut suit ... though I did cut a nice figure in it.

My brain is a strange place.

Monday, April 20, 2015

It's make-up-your-own-title day! (No, not REALLY)

I know, I know, it's been a few days. But not SO terribly many as it COULD have been ...

Let's see.
Michael's done with his CRAZYHUGEEXPENSIVELONG test. In a couple months, we should learn if he's passed it. (Just FYI, this test only has a 42% pass rate. Yowch, right?)

Bubbles is in the middle of potty-training. She's doing pretty well ... Mistakes are still happening, but nothing horrendous.

Last week, one of my "baby" cousins turned 22. And she's THISCLOSE to graduating college.
I also got to have a lunch date with one of my friends that I hadn't seen (in person) for what feels like ages and ages. We had a great time. I've missed her bunches.

We cleaned the church (we had traded our assignment last week to this week).
I have to say that cleaning WITH kids takes a LOT longer ... but Bruise and Bucket are learning (bit by bit) how to clean the church bathrooms decently.
Yes, we opt for cleaning the bathrooms and the drinking fountains instead of the kitchen and vacuuming classrooms.
(Now, July-December, we'll have the other jobs to choose from -- washing the windows, vacuuming/sweeping the chapel, cultural hall, hallways ... and some other things. But, as for me and my house, we prefer the bathrooms.)

SO ... Michael can actually clean the bathrooms, kitchen, vacuum the classrooms assigned, AND clean the drinking fountains (that's the BEST one, really) in around an hour by himself, so he says ...
It took me, coaching Bruise and Bucket, on the wiping down the sinks and toilets (Michael was in charge of refilling toilet paper and paper towel dispensers and, for the most part, mopping), it took us almost EXACTLY one hour.

On Sunday, when we were walking into church, we ran into Brother D--. He made such a point of thanking us for COMING and CLEANING at the church (it's a nearly random assignment given to at least two families each week. Our family might be assigned to help clean maybe four times a year?) ... but it was pretty apparent that folks aren't showing up or doing their work.

I could rather tell that, since in the Nursery, we have PILES of sawdust where ants burrowed through earlier this month. (I should just take Michael's key and give that room a DECENT vacuuming sometime during the week) And, when I was scrubbing the toilets, they were hosting quite a pink ring of mineral-sediment in each and every one of them.
(When you have someone in the other ward remark on how good the toilets look ... I mean it's flattering, but it's also rather irritating. This is the Lord's HOUSE ... it SHOULD be taken care of.)

So ... yeah. And Michael got home from a meeting last night feeling frustrated.

Pretty much all of it really boils down to the fact that a good majority of folk in the ward (and don't get me wrong, I love my church. I love my ward. But we're none of us perfect. Apparently, here's an area in which a LOT of us can aspire to show HUUUUUUUUGE improvements. Just sayin'.) are not taking their responsibilities/duties seriously.

I mean, yes, sometimes there are times when a teacher just WON'T SHOW UP for church, leaving either the Sunday School presidency or the Primary Presidency skedaddling to find someone to take his/her place OR squeezing two classes together.
It's understandable when it's an emergency ... but just NOT showing up for a calling that you agreed to do (and it's not like there's NO ONE who could pitch in and sub. Heck, I just typed up the list of Primary substitutes into a pdf for my Nursery co-leaders.), it's not responsible.
(And I say this as a woman who LOVES to sleep in.)

I see Michael busting his butt to TRY and be a good steward (as called for, being an Elders Quorum president) to all the families assigned to his care (Not all the families come under the stewardship of EQ. Some are assigned to the High Priests' group in the ward). And ... well, he can't do it. Even when I'm at my most supportive, there simply aren't enough hours in the day/week/month/year/century for him to administer to each family on his own.

And, well, he tells me that there are three brethren in Elders Quorum who are consistently doing their Home Teaching.

Yes, you heard me.
A SINGLE DIGIT ... yeah.

I've offered that, if I'm asked to speak in church in the near future, to issue a call to repentance.
(I can do that, since I do strive to do my Visiting Teaching. I feel intense guilt if I haven't reached out to my Visiting Teachees each month. Because, dang it, they DESERVE to know that Heavenly Father loves them, Jesus loves them, and they have at LEAST two sisters in the ward who know and love them and are willing to help out. Besides, Home/Visiting Teaching also is a great act of service to the High Priest Group Leader/EQ President/ Relief Society President, since THEY need to be able to know how we can best serve those in our ward's boundaries ... and, if they don't have the time/ability to visit each and every family/sister, how can they have ANY chance of knowing about those needs?

It just irks me.
And maybe it's got something to do with the fact that we haven't been home taught since before my friend Kim died (her husband, who's since moved out of the ward, was one of our home teachers. Our other home teacher is ... in legal trouble/having a crisis of faith. So, yeah, it's been a few months since we've had a visit. I GET that people are busy. But, when you're putting other priorities before serving the Lord, I have a bit of a problem with that.

Right now, I don't really know who my Visiting Teachers are.
And I get that whoever I've been assigned to are probably just really busy ladies ... but, at the same time, it's sad that they feel that I don't even rate a call/text/email/Facebook message/whatever.
I mean, sure, I'm doing okay. For the most part.
But, well, what if I weren't? Who would I call?
(Okay, I'd call my mom. But, when my mom passes, I'm going to be UP. A. CREEK.)
And I do have some friends in the ward, too. Like our RS president ... she'd make sure that I was taken care of.

But what of the families/sisters who DON'T have a friendship established with the RS President or someone, anyone else? That's RIGHT THERE what Visiting Teaching is all about (and Home Teaching, too). It's helping the good shepherd by going after and checking on all His wandering (and not-so-wandering) lambs.

And, from my experience of Visiting Teaching, I KNOW that it's not always easy. There will be sisters who don't WANT visits (or even ANY contact from the church). When that happens, you just write letters or send texts (if they're cool with that) and let them know that you're there for them, that you care, that they're not alone or forgotten.

One gal (who I met by being assigned as her Visiting Teacher) was rather flabberghasted when I visited, Michael in tow as my VT companion, since I couldn't get hold of my assigned companion. We had a lovely visit, which started a friendship. ... She was flabberghasted because, when she asked if we had any fun plans for the coming weekend/spring break (in a couple days), I told her that Michael and I were getting married the next day. (It was true. And it was a HUGE reason why I wanted to be SURE to visit her before we went on our honeymoon. Because VT is a priority to me. Not just because of numbers ... but because I'd feel AWFUL if any sister assigned to me felt lonely, forgotten, or neglected. That's NOT how Heavenly Father would want her to feel.)

So, yeah, I can't really wrap my head around why so many folks in the ward aren't reaching out to those they've been assigned stewardship over. Even if you're only able to make contact once every couple months, it's SOMETHING.
If I had more time, I'd be about ready to just print out cards saying "If you need anything, please give your Home Teachers ________ & ________ a call at, respectively ___-___-____ or ___-___-____. Or contact your Visiting Teachers ________ & ________  at ___-___-____ or ___-___-____. They'd love an opportunity to get to know, love, and serve you! ... And if they don't, give me a call at ___-___-____ or email me at ____@_____.___ and I'll set them straight at what a wonderful opportunity they're selfishly neglecting. Because you're awesome! And they should know that!"

But that might be a little, oh, passive-aggressive and overly forward, I suppose.

But, yeah. It's irritating that things like this happen.
(Since, in regards to the cleaning the Stake Center, Brother D-- is no spring chicken. Nor is he in the best of help. He shouldn't have to pick up the slack for all the people who aren't pitching in their share. *SIGH*)

But, well, it's sucky. Because I love these people ... but I also, at the same time, want to give them a GIANT kick in the bedonk-a-donk to get them into gear.

Yeah, I shouldn't talk about this aloud. Or else you're going to hear me bellow that "If we'd just GET IN GEAR and DO STUFF, we'd get blessings, y'all! And I FREAKING NEED blessings! If we'd just DO our CRAP, we'd receive more! THIS is the reason why we DON'T HAVE the SEALED SECTION of the GOLDEN PLATES! I'M TRYING to get my CRAP DONE! I'VE STARTED READING MY SCRIPTURES DAILY! NOW YOU GUYS NEED TO STEP IT UP!!!!!"

And, well, that's not the most Christlike way to address people.
Regardless of whether or not it might be true.

But, yeah ... that's about where it stands.

So ... besides that, I am toning my hair with my awesome purple shampoo. I left it in for, like, 25 minutes the other day. And Michael was impressed at how much blonder/more-platinum my hair looked. So I'm leaving it in longer today. Worst case scenario -- my hair will be a little on the lavender side. Oh, boo. (Honestly? I'd be kinda thrilled.) And I FINALLY got around to giving myself a manicure. Most of my nails (fingers and toes) are a deep nude. But my big toes and my ring fingers are sporting nail strips. Mint green with a cream/dusty rose floral print. The nude ties in with the shadows on the pinkest parts. If you care. Which you might not.

Oh, I've been talking to Bruise and Bucket about puberty.
The other day (Friday morning, before school), I was telling them about their (soon-to-develop) secondary sex characteristics [e.g., body hair, Adam's apple, breasts ...] but I also mentioned menarche and (Bruise was HORRIFIED at this) nocturnal emissions.

But, hey, at least they're aware of what fresh hell their bodies have in store for them.
I did tell them that they really didn't need to discuss this with their school chums or anything ... since it's really something that families should discuss. BUT, with all the fun-fun-fun of upcoming Sex-Ed classes, I figure that I should cover my bases as to human development and gospel doctrines and morality and expectations NOW, while they still listen to me, right?

So, that's most of our week in a nutshell.

And, from discussing with the kids this morning (about accepting God's will, even when we DO have righteous desires ... we have to learn that He does know more and will give us all what's best for us to learn. And I mentioned how we prayed [and fasted] that Kim would get better and come home to her family and us ... and that it ... ... didn't happen.
Bucket crawled into my lap and gave me a big hug. Which was nice, even though she's solid for her size (that girl, I swear, is all bones and muscle. Good for her, right?).

But, yeah. It's not fun when I drive by the road that Kim's family's old apartment is on. Or I watch some clip from Jimmy Kimmel and think that I should share that with her ... and I .... can't. But I'll deal.

I just, you know, I thought I'd be older. A LOT older. ... when I started losing friends this way.

I know it makes me sound all petulant and childish, but I don't LIKE it. Not at all.

Well, I'm going to go load the dishwasher or something. And wash this application of purple shampoo out of my hair.

THEN maybe I'll enlist Bruise and Bubbles to help me build a blanket fort where we'll eat ice cream until it's time to go pick up Bucket.
Though I'll probably be DONE with effort after I load the dishwasher and do some laundry. Or something. They house will wait another day for cleaning, I guess.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

In which I am ... something

So, I'm in a little funk.
Which might be a bit of an understatement, really.
But, regardless, ...

So, I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but my Nana (my dad's mom) has dementia.
I used to be able to say that "She's been diagnosed with dementia." But now, really, it's not just a diagnosis. It's not something that I can just wave away ... as much as I wish that I could.

She's not able to live alone anymore. She lives with one of my uncles and his wife (She really didn't ever have to worry about where to live. If she had rather lived with my dad and his girlfriend, they [or, what really counts, my "stepmom"] were more than willing to have her come live with them, too).

Part of this is just sad ... and life ...

Of course, I'm a rather sentimental idiot person. And it hits me a bit harder at times.

My kids have no memory at all of Nana and Pop-pop's house by the creek and one of the parks in my hometown. Because they've never been there. Ever.
(By the time Bruise and Bucket were even conceived, Nana had sold that [lonely, to her, after Pop-pop's death] place and had moved into her own place in the main city. Bubbles will barely ever even remember THAT house.)

Whereas, so MANY of my childhood memories (especially Christmas Eve memories) revolve around that house.
I mean, it could be worse. Nana promised my cousin, S, that she'd get the house ... and, well, that's obviously not going to be a reality. But I think that S is able to deal with that ... at least, a lot better than I would.

I can be honest that, as much as I LOVE Christmas, since Grandma Darlene passed, it's been different. THEN, after Pop-pop passed (and Nana sold that house), it was even more different. I still love it ... but ... it's just not the same. And I miss that sameness, that consistency of opening presents on the burnt-orange carpeting with a fire in the fireplace, with my dad's-side cousins FINALLY getting there. And racing to the bathroom with Cousin S to try on our new clothes ... and the old green corded telephone ... and ... all these little things.

And it reduces me to tears, missing these times that I took for granted far too much.
I wish that I had thought to take (and develop) pictures of each room, of the outside of the house, of Pop-pop's garden ... and I am so disappointed that I never did.

Though, in my mom's shop/garage, I do have the original kitchen door to Nana's old kitchen (before the remodel). Someday (and Michael is aware of this), I will have a house around it again.
I love that door. It's one of those Dutch-style ones ... where you can open just the top half.
Everyone thought that I was silly/crazy for asking for that door ... but, well, I do love it. ... If it would fit in our house here, I'd have installed it ages ago. ... But it takes me back, just thinking of that door. Nana would open it and check the laundry running on the (enclosed) porch. Or go put the bowls of custard out to cool, sprinkling nutmeg on the tops ...

So, even though my family was quite amused/bemused by my request/demand, I have no regrets at all about it.

But there are things that I wish that I could have done differently or could just have the chance to do again because I miss those times ...

  • When my parents separated, I wish that I had visited Nana and Pop-pop more. Especially when my dad wasn't in town. I avoided him when he visited for a bit, telling him that I had plans or was busy (when it wasn't really true. But, when you're eleven/twelve, how else do you really punish someone who's made it apparent that the effort to be a family with you and your mom isn't worth it? ... So, yeah. But I should have visited Nana and Pop-pop more when he wasn't at their place).
  • I miss going out shopping with Nana. Even just browsing at The Emporium or The Bon Marche or Sears or J.C. Penney ... and most of those stores are getting to the point where they no longer even exist. 
  • I miss being able to talk to Nana and knowing that she'd recall that we even had a conversation the next day/week/month.
  • I miss being able to talk to Nana on the phone and that she'd be able to hear me/recognize my voice. Now, even though my kids and I are the only folks who call her "Nana," she can't hear me well enough. But she does love to get a phone call. So I call my Aunt I, talk to HER and give her any pertinent information, and then chat at Nana ... who can't really hear me at all. So now I work hard to send her cards and letters ... so that she can KNOW who's sending her things and what all IS happening.
  • I miss going to the movies or musicals with Nana.
  • I miss going over to play at Nana and Pop-pop's. Riding the tractor/riding lawnmower and helping Pop-pop "drive" (then actually mowing Mrs. Weatherbee's property for Pop-pop) [True story: When I was little, I wanted to get a riding lawnmower so that I could ride it to school. This was before I saw "Can't Buy Me Love." I just really loved driving the riding lawnmower. Way cooler than a bike.], having dinner (always at 6:00pm) with Nana and Pop-pop. Sitting down at their kitchen table on a summer afternoon when Nana would put out a bowl of strawberries, fresh from the garden, sprinkled with sugar, and then pour some cream on top and hand me a spoon.
  • I miss Nana being such a lady so often (dressing up to go out shopping. Getting a wet set every Saturday. Touching up her lipstick) and yet using phrases like, "I've got to use THE POT!" when she needed to answer the call of nature. 
I wore my pair of silver patent-leather Sketchers to bits, really, because my Nana loved me enough to buy them for me. Mostly because, when I unwrapped them (either for my birthday or Christmas), she told me how she'd gone up to Eugene to buy them ... and, since she and I wore the same size shoes, everyone watched as "this old lady tried on all the crazy sneakers."

So, even though they got old and scuffed-up and dirty, I wore them and smile whenever I looked at my feet. Even when one of the girls I considered a friend mocked them. (My answer to her less-than-favorable opinion of my shoes? "My Nana gave them to me.")

Because those shoes were total physical proof of how much my Nana loves me.

Yesterday, while out with Mom, I bought an earring display ... thing. But now I can display both my dangling AND post earrings (I wear a lot of stud-type earrings) ... and I spent around an hour or so putting my earrings on it. At first, I worried that I'd lost one of a favorite pair from Nana ... but, thankfully, I found it in a baggie that I'd had to sweep a lot of the-disaster-that-is-my-make-up-counter into.

Maybe one reason that I'm taking this hard is that, as I've realized, dementia is horrible in the fact that it makes you mourn the person who has it BEFORE they've died. And I don't like that.

Another reason could be that, even though I was sealed to my parents when I was little, my dad left the church totally. Had his records removed and all. And my mom's sealed to my stepdad now. I don't know exactly how things will end up working out. I mean, I have faith that they WILL ... but I'm not so concrete as to the HOW of things ... but, when I sing, as in the Primary song, that "Families can be together forever" and "I always want to be with my own family," I've never considered NOT being sealed to my Nana and Pop-pop. But with my dad having removed himself from the situation ... well, things will work out. I know, I KNOW, that Heavenly Father wants me to be happy. And I can't see a way that I would be happy without maintaining those family links. So I KNOW that something will work out. And that's a definite reason to keep on working on my family history and making sure that all the other temple work gets done ... so that, when the time comes that there IS an answer, I'll be ready. And I can be sealed to Nana and Pop-pop and their families.

So ... yeah. I'm ... yeah.

I'm just living by faith in this. Having the answers NOW (or years ago) would be nice. But, well, it's an opportunity to live by faith, right?

Monday, April 13, 2015

BOMTC - Still Making Progress!

So far, I haven't missed a day. But it's not been an easy thing.

Like Michael says, I really need to SCHEDULE a time to do my reading.
And I've noticed that I do a LOT better when I do my reading aloud.
AND I need to follow President Eyring's counsel to pray BEFORE I read.

But, well, at least there's some progress ... in that I've stayed on schedule. Even if it means grabbing my tablet before I fall asleep in order to DO what I've put off earlier.

So, yeah. It's going. And I'm feeling good about it.

Now, my mom's here, so I'm going to write more later.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Goal: BOMTC - Day 2

Okay, I didn't get my reading done until after I put Bubbles to bed.
(Michael took Bruise and Bucket to Cub Scouts/Activity Days ... so the house is quiet ... and I spent Vesper's naptime taking a bath and reading a library book [Happy early birthday present to me! However, the house really could use cleaning ... so we all know what I'll be doing tomorrow, right?])

I read 1 Nephi, chapters 4-6.

I don't know that anything totally stood out to me ... but I do like that Nephi felt prompted to include the story/vignette of how their mother, Sariah, fared while her sons returned to Jerusalem to retrieve the Brass Plates.

She, the wife of a prophet, had issues with her testimony. She feared that her sons perished and that she and Lehi would die in the wilderness.

Lehi worked, lovingly, to assuage her fears. He didn't tell her that she was wrong ... but he worked to listen and assure her.

And, when their sons (with the addition of Zoram) returned, she and Lehi rejoiced together.

I don't know why I like/appreciate this inclusion ... but I do.

Maybe because it demonstrates a good/healthy husband and wife dynamic (e.g., helping each other through trials, easing fears, responding mildly to rebukes if/when they occur ...) or maybe because it does help to demonstrate that these are real people, not just some characters in some wild epic.

Because, truly, Joseph Smith could NOT have managed to WRITE this on his own.
There is no possible way. He did not have the schooling, the ability to research, the knowledge or wisdom, or even the TIME to create this himself.

There's too much detail that he wouldn't have known ... that the world is only realizing IS factual and verified NOW. He couldn't have known many of these things at all.

And that's not even considering that, as Emma, his wife who loved him dearly, stated that he could barely manage to dictate a coherent letter ... so writing an EPIC is something far beyond his mortal abilities. It could ONLY be done through the power of God.

... But, hey, I've made it though two days (82 left, if I've counted correctly)!
Now to keep on it.

I did almost feel like breezing through some more chapters ... but, this is a schedule. I'm going to stick to it. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Goal: Scripture Study

Okay, confession: I still haven't really been able to successfully develop a daily scripture study/reading habit. And I'm almost 34.

However, it's times like these when it's really nice/cool that I have Facebook friends who are inspired to share things.
One friend shared that she's doing "The Book of Mormon Translation Challenge."
In short, read The Book of Mormon during the time frame that it took Joseph Smith to translate it (84 days).

I'm not worried about being able to finish it in the time frame ... I AM worried that I will sluff off and give up. So I'm telling y'all about it so you can keep me accountable.

AND, as Brother Simon (who runs the blog site for it) points out, one great thing about this challenge is that, by the end, one should have gotten a good start at having developed a habit of reading the scriptures daily.

Which, as I've pointed out, I need help doing.

So, instead of rubbing my nose in how many times I've attempted to make a habit and failed  ... or how many years I've lived without cultivating that habit in the first place, I'm going to focus on STARTING and developing this habit.

I'm happy to report that today, I did my first steps. I read the introduction to The Book of Mormon (which was yesterday's pre-challenge-starting assignment) and I read chapters 1-3 of 1 Nephi. It feels good to make that (small, but definite) progress.

What stood out to me today was at the end of 1 Nephi 2, verses 23-24:
23 For behold, in that day that [the descendants of Laman and Lemuel] shall rebel against me, I will curse them even with a sore curse, and they shall have no power over thy seed except they shall rebel against me also.
 24 And if it so be that they rebel against me, they shall be a scourge unto thy seed, to stir them up in the ways of remembrance.
          (Emphasis mine)
As I read that, it did strike me (as Michael had already observed) that those who chose to make a vocal spectacle during the sustaining of our church leaders could be considered to be doing just that -- stirring us to remember WHY we sustain these leaders, giving us an opportunity to reflect on our testimonies of our prophets and other leaders, deciding who we will choose to follow ...

And ... well, it just stood out to me. And it made me think.

If you read the post for today over at The Book of Mormon Challenge, Brother Simon came away with a different overall impression. It doesn't mean that he or I am more correct or wrong than each other. It just means that, at this time, these are the (different) things that we needed to learn/realize for ourselves.

And I love that about the scriptures ... as we learn more, we are more able to see more in these holy writings. We will receive answers to our own questions. And, even when we read a passage/verse/chapter/book that we've read before, we can gain new insights and inspiration as we study.

That's one thing that I miss while I'm serving in Nursery on Sundays; the opportunity to attend Sunday School and Relief Society, where our lessons are discussed by lots of people with very different life situations, experiences, viewpoints. Sometimes, I would be able to learn, from my brothers and sisters in the gospel, to look at a story/lesson/quote/experience from a completely new point of view.
(One of our Sunday School teachers, who was a single mother through very lean times, shared that as she counseled with her Bishop, she learned that "It's easier to live by money than live by faith," while stressing that living by faith does have many more rewards.)

But, I'm optimistic that this challenge that I just happened to stumble upon thanks to a Facebook friend might JUST be the ticket to starting a successful scripture-study habit for me.

Counting ...

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