Thursday, April 4, 2013

Love, Growth, Gratitude

I've remarked a few times lately, including tonight, that I'd happily go back to teaching Sunbeams or that I'd love to work in the nursery. And there is a great deal of truth in that. I truly love little children and little children are so eager to love you back and have such open hearts. I definitely think I gained more from my sweet Sunbeams than they did from me. And I'm better with kids than I am with grownups. I can be silly and playful and I'm not as shy with kids as I am with adults.

Yet, lest I neglect to show gratitude for the blessings I am receiving, there is a big part of me that would be heartbroken to be released as Relief Society President right now. I'm sure that the time will come when I will be ready and/or it will be time for me to have new opportunities to serve in a different capacity, but I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to serve and to learn and to try hard things and to feel the spirit and to love the sisters in my ward. And I do love them. I don't know that loving adults or at least interacting with adults comes quite as naturally to me as does interacting with kids. And there are days when I feel so very inexperienced and feel like I can't possibly do enough to ease the burdens that so many people face. But there are also so many moments when my heart swells with love for these amazing women in my ward. I watch them serve one another, and my heart is touched. I watch them begin to make changes in their lives and return to activity and I just want to hug them and grab them by the hand and lead them along. And I spend some sleepless moments worrying for them and praying for them and admiring the strength that they show. I also worry that I may say something dumb that may offend or that I may not know how to "lift up the hands which hang down and strengthen the feeble knees."

I am grateful for the whisperings of the Holy Ghost. I have felt prompted on several ocassions to say something or visit someone or make a specific change. I don't always say or do the right thing, but I'm grateful for the times where I can pinpoint that I was being led by the Spirit. It seems a little miraculous to me. A year ago, I remember feeling quite discouraged because I felt like while I often felt the spirit at church or as I read the scriptures, I remember feeling like I was rarely led by the spirit to do specific things. As I prayed about that, I realized a couple of things. First, the spirit taught me of several instances where I thought I was just following my own idea and it really had been the spirit prompting me. Second, I realized that I needed to more carefully listen for the spirit, recognize it and follow it if I wanted to receive more guidance. I know that I am receiving more guidance right now for two because I am actively seeking it and recognizing it and even recording it in my personal journal most of the time (I haven't actually kept a journal since I started this blog...but since this call, I've started one again for things that are too personal to share here.) and second because I have a responsibility that requires me to be led by the spirit so that I can serve others. However, we each have the opportunity to have the Holy Ghost lead us and guide us and teach us on a daily basis if we live worthily of that blessing.

I am so excited for General Conference. There are always talks that speak directly to me. But this time, I am following the advice I've seen in several places to have some specific questions in mind that I'm seeking answers to. As I listen to conference I will be listening to hear answers to these questions. Tomorrow, I am going to have my children write down questions that they are wanting to have answers for. Then we will listen for answers to each of our questions. I'm also excited because we were able to get tickets to the Sat. AM session, so Alfredo and Michelle and I will be able to be there in the conference center for conference. And I'm so grateful to my sister who will stay here with Gabby and Ella (who is ALMOST old enough to go, but not quite...26 more days from Sat. until her 8th bday!)