Monday, March 29, 2010

Kevin's Work (Or Lack Thereof)

Kevin's been home since, um October, I think. I can't even remember the date of the last time he was out at work. This is a really bad time for everyone, I know, and his industry has not been excepted. But we still feel confident that this is the direction he's supposed to go careerwise, so we persevere. This means he has not been looking for full-time employment elsewhere, but we are ever looking for temporary or handyman type work to suplement our income.

Just thought everyone might like to know how we are doing. And I am desperately grateful for the Sister and Brother-In-Law that let us live in their house.

I forgot

That when you save a post instead of publishing it, and then go back and publish it later, it posts under the date you originally started it (does anyone know a way to change this?) So Go back and read the one that is now on Feb. 11th.

I love my Maiden Name

I just noticed that the one of the tabs I am not currently looking at on the top of this browser window says "Facebook/Carol Elaine Crap..." Yay!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Experience is the Greatest Teacher

I went to the temple the other day. As I sat in the endowment room waiting for the session to start, I prayed to see through the example of how our Heavenly Father interacts with His children how I can be a better parent to my children. I have been feeling like a disconnected mom recently. I know that it is largely in connection with not being consistent with my own personal devotions—prayers, scripture study, time for pondering, good sleeping habits, etc, but I have found myself getting frustrated very quickly and always feeling like I’m trying to push a waterbed mattress uphill whenever I try to get my daughter to do anything.

I eagerly and alertly awaited the beginning of the presentation, ready to be impressed with all sorts of new insight that I had never perceived before. However, as the lights went down for the video portion to start, so did my eyelids. I was never aware of falling asleep, only of waking up. I would pray as hard as I could, please, please to stay awake. I would open my eyes very wide and concentrate on what was being presented, sit forward in my seat, furiously suck a breathmint, repeat everything that was said over to myself in my head, and then wake up just in time for the next part I had to participate in. I was despairing and frustrated that I felt like I had prepared myself as best as I could, I had invited and petitioned the Lord for his help, I had a real issue that I was looking for help with, and all I could do was wake up again just in time to perform the necessary forms of this sacred ordinance, forget about getting anything deeper out of it.

Finally, about halfway through, I woke up, and stayed awake. I couldn’t pinpoint anything different in what I was or was not doing, but the sleeping spell had been broken, and I was finally awake. But I soon found that my mind was uncharacteristically flighty. It would flit from unrelated topic to unrelated topic, even as I tried desperately to pay attention to what was being presented to me. A random thought would come into my mind, as is not unusually, but instead of letting it back out as quickly as it had come so I could return my focus to the more important matters at hand, I would find myself turning to the thought and dwelling on it for a while before realizing, oops! I’m not supposed to be focused on that right now. I would refocus on the presentation, then find that I had drifted off daydreaming again. The worst was at the very end where I actually have to repeat something aloud to someone. The sentences I am supposed to say usually rolls off my tongue with hardly any concentration, but I found myself speaking in fits and starts as if I didn’t know what I was supposed to say, simply because I was constantly trying to reign my mind back in to the fact that I was engaged in the middle of something very important. It was off in la-la land, and it was taking my mouth with it.

I finally stumbled my way through the whole thing, and as I met my husband afterward I started to tell him about this absurd experience. So that he could fully appreciate the frustration I felt at the lack of focus I endured, I prefaced the experience with the goal and desire I had at the beginning of the session. And then I was struck with an insight that gave me an entirely new perspective on the whole affair. The mental disruption I was operating under mirrored exactly the limitations of a toddler’s mind. They are incapable of focusing or persevering through physical adversity. If they are tired, they will fall asleep no matter what is going on. And when they are alert, they can’t help their inability to focus. It is not on purpose that they obediently enter the bathroom to use the potty and you find them ten minutes later still fully dressed sitting in the dry bathtub playing with the foam bath letters. These distractions just happen to them, and they are all but powerless to refocus through them. This was me—powerless. And yet I was trying. I was trying my hardest to do good despite the mental constraints I was under. And my Heavenly Father was very patient with me. He tenderly persisted in prodding me toward the good goal. And in the end, he accepted my offering, weak and small as it was. As silly as going through the experience seemed at first, it was a very powerful and personal lesson in parenting young children given by observing Heavenly Father’s interaction with his child: me.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Gospel According to Facebook

No, this won't actually be as irreverent as it may sound. I just wanted to comment that I have been praying for years to be able to share the gospel with my friends and acquaintances, and have as yet had very little opportunity or success. Then just this week I have had a person I have been thinking about and praying about, wondering how I would be able to get to know her better, or be in better contact with her because I was feeling like she was wanting what we have suddenly Friend me on Facebook (we have 0 mutual friends), and at the same time a very old friend from high school send me a Facebook message to let me know she started talking to missionaries from our church. All I know is that the Lord uses every tool available to spread his word. And if Facebook will be my tool as I am trying to be His tool, I will use it, and gladly!