Where was this sign yesterday? I had a little "side trip" on my spiritual journey last evening. As a Young Women's leader, I was assigned to go the the temple with the youth last night. I had four girls in my car as we headed up Mission Boulevard towards the freeway. Now, I've been to the temple at least a handful of times. I should know how to get there. But I always get confused at the part where Mission, the 238, and the 580 meet. So I planned on following Joe Winmill. Unfortunately, I got caught at the first red light, and he was long gone. As we came up on the interchange, I got nervous. I'm never sure which way to go, but I've always chosen the right path. Until last night, when my choice really mattered. I ended up getting on the 580 East toward Stockton, when I should have gotten on the 238 (I think). Twenty minutes later, as we were entering Pleasanton, the girls and I realized that we had gone the wrong way. And that we were supposed to be at the temple in less than ten minutes! A string of expletives quickly shot their way from my brain to my tongue, but luckily my lips had the sense not to utter them. After all, I had my darling, impressionable young women in the car with me. So, I admitted defeat and finally turned on the GPS, which I should have done in the first place. It told me that from where we were, it would take 26 minutes to reach our destination. I got there in 15, thanks to a strange frenzy amongst the girls over some "scenery." Sigh. I forgot all about the code words 17-year-old girls use for cute guys. I must be getting old. Anyway, we got our temple work done, and made it back home, with only one teeny, tiny wrong turn. (How pathetic am I?) But the point is, the girls got home, safe and sound. And we did have a good time together, or at least I did, aside from the humiliation. However, I am 98% sure that they will never get into a car with me ever again!
It was a typical day, spiritually speaking. I had a few encounters with both my angels, and my demons (otherwise known as Jason and Hayden). They took turns with each of the roles. While at the garden center, Jason stayed close, while Hayden took pleasure in running away from me at every opportunity. She then proceeded to pick up the rocks off the ground and strategically place them all over the lovely stone benches for people to sit on. That'll leave a mark! While we did our grocery shopping, they were divine. Hayden actually stayed seated in the shopping cart, while Jason didn't rant when I continued to turn him down when he asked for brownies, then Goldfish, then Star Wars toys. By the time we'd climbed into the car, though, the tables had turned. They fought over Jason's Icee, despite the fact that they each had their own beverage. Hayden has rediscovered the joy of screeching as if she were a cross between a tea kettle and a pteradactyl. Believe me. In close quarters, it's mind-numbing! When we arrived home, however, finding Jared out in the yard, the angel faces were back, just for him. Mommy was left to unload the groceries alone while they tackled him. But at least it was QUIET! Sigh. It's the little moments in life we treasure most. ;)
As for my attempts at my spiritual tasks, I'm doing okay. I've been diligent about reading my scriptures and saying prayers at bedtime. I really need to work on getting it done in the morning, as well. At least I'm making progress.
Okay, so who knows if it was really the Spirit, or not. But I was prompted no less than three times this morning to get off my desperately-wanting-to-be-lazy backside, and get over to the park to go walking with my friends. First, Amy called at 9:00 to ask if I'd be joining them in half an hour. "I don't think so," I told her, "I'm just so tired." She accepted my rejection with grace and hung up. Not two minutes later, my phone was ringing again. It was Kristen, this time. Same question. Was I coming to the park? I sighed. "Okay, I'll start getting ready, but I'm tired, so if I'm not going to make it, I'll call you." Click. I sauntered back to my bathroom to start the hot water in the shower. As soon as I get there, the phone rings again. "Seriously?" I thought out loud. This time, it was Sharman. "Hey, Suzanne, are you going to come walking with us?" I laughed. "I guess I have to now, you're the third one to call in the last five minutes. I don't think I've got any no's left in me!" So, we hung up, and I raced through a shower, quickly got both myself and Hayden dressed, and made it to the park by 9:34. It was a lovely walk, I got in great exercise, great conversation, and even some playtime at the park with Hayden. I feel like a good mom today. What's more, it probably kept me off the couch today. Instead, I actually got things done! The laundry is complete! So, whether it was the Spirit working or not, I really can't say, but I do think I had a better day thanks to my RELENTLESS friends!
I never thought it was possible, but as I read my scriptures tonight, the tale being told actually made me laugh. That's right. I laughed out loud at the scriptures. That's it. I've probably got a one-way ticket to the devil's home sweet home. Before I tell you what it was I found so humorous, let me preface it with a little background. My son Jason is a total chatterbox. He talks and talks and talks, and if you don't respond to whatever it is he is saying, he will continue to say it over and over and over again, until you do. So many times, after he's run on about Super Mario Brothers for over half an hour, I have found myself saying anything, just to get him to shut up. (I know. I'm a stellar mom, what can I say?) So, back to my scripture reading. I was reading in the Book of Mormon tonight, particularly the Book of Enos, and about his "wrestle with God." So, to sum up, Enos goes out into the middle of nowhere and decides he needs to find out for himself whether the doctrine he's been taught for years by his father is true. So he starts to pray. And he prays. And he prays. This guy prays all day long, and when the night comes along, he's still praying. I mean, really? There's only so much you can say before you have to start repeating yourself... again... and again. You get the idea. Or maybe that's why this guy was a prophet and I'm not. Anyway, at last, he hears the voice of God telling him that his sins are forgiven, and to "go to." This is when I burst out laughing. I laughed, because in my head, I read the tone to be something like my own experience with my son. Something like this: "Enos! Enough already. I forgive you, okay? Now shut up a second, and go home!" See how far I've fallen? It's been raining here all day, and now I'm terrified it's about to turn into a lightning storm, all on my account. So if this is my last post ever, you'll know why!
Well, I've gotten off to a pretty good start today, at least on accomplishing some of the tasks to encourage a greater relationship with God. I said my prayers, read my scriptures, and as it is Monday night, we had Family Home Evening. Because we've got small kids, we usually keep it pretty simple. We don't always follow the typical structure, and sometimes we don't even have a lesson. Like tonight. We opened with a prayer, then got to work planting new seeds for our garden. It was lots of fun, and even Hayden helped out. We filled Dixie cups with dirt, dropped in a few seeds, watered them, then put the cups into plastic shoeboxes with lids. We filled 4 boxes: Cucumbers, Radishes, Peppers, and Oregano. We let Jason do a lot of the work, so that he can learn how to plant a garden. I think he had a pretty good time, and I know Hayden did. So maybe it wasn't the most spiritual Family Home Evening, but it was done. And I kind of feel that the content isn't as important as the quality time spent together. Maybe I'm wrong, I mean after all, I am accountable for Jason's foundation in the gospel. But I think we'll get into the heavy stuff another night. We're just starting to get back on the horse, so we'll take it one step at a time. Obviously, it is my first day, so I can't tell you that already I feel so much closer to my Savior or anything. But I can tell you that I at least feel good about the effort I made, and the things that I actually did accomplish. Let's see how the rest of the week goes!
I've been tossing ideas for my next week's focus for a few days now, unable to really settle on something until today. As I mentioned earlier, my brother just returned from a mission in Ghana. Today at church, he gave a talk describing some of his experiences while there. He totally blew me away! I was deeply impressed by the way he spoke with conviction and humble enthusiasm. I was amazed at how the words just seemed to spill out of him. Whenever I have to give a talk, I've got notes in hand, and pretty much have to read verbatim because I can never keep a clear train of thought. I also teased him about all the big words he used, because I never knew he had such a great vocabulary. I still don't think he can spell half those words, but he used them. And he used them appropriately. Finally, I was awed by the charisma he had. His words truly made my heart want to sing, he was so obviously filled with the spirit of God. Because he was so clearly in tune, it made me realize just how completely out of sync I am, spiritually speaking. It made me really crave that warm, peaceful feeling you get when you are close to your Father in Heaven. So this week, I want to focus on my spirituality. Obviously, I won't be able to duplicate the 2-year-mission experience my brother has had, but I can at least begin by doing the things that I should be doing, but haven't been, to strengthen my own testimony and to invite the spirit back into my life. I'll keep ya'll posted!
Last night's date was pretty awesome. Of course, it wasn't at home, as we were in SoCal visiting family, but it was pre-meditated and minus kids! Because their house is bursting with people at the moment, my parents got Jared and I a hotel room. Score! But then they offered to keep the kids with them so we could have a night alone. We felt like we'd just won the Super Bowl! So, we stopped at the store to pick up some goodies, headed to the hotel, and spent the night feeding each other chocolate-dipped strawberries, fancy French cheese, and washing it all down with sparkling cider. We just relaxed and talked... and got carried away once or twice.... It was the best date we've had in a long time! To top it all off, we each got a pretty good night's sleep, which is a rarity, so we were rested and ready to make the long drive home today.
In summary, this week has been a pretty good one. I don't know if I feel closer to Jared, but I have enjoyed spending more time together. I believe our marriage is a pretty healthy one to begin with, and if we continue working at it, especially keeping up with the date night thing, I think that we'll keep growing and discovering new and interesting things about each other.
I'm a stay-at-home mother of 2, a lover of all things creative, and an admitted perfectionist. I enjoy spending time with my family, hanging out with my girlfriends, and most things domestic (I hate the cleaning up part).