In September, I got a new assignment, or what we call callings, in my ward. For three years, I taught once a month in Relief Society, with the adult women in our ward. Now, I get to teach Gospel Doctrine, rotating with two other teachers and teaching right from the scriptures. It's been a great experience. During one of my lessons, I asked class members to share what some of their trials and challenges are. One of my older neighbors, who is a bit of a tease, turned it back around and asked me, "Well, why don't you tell us what your big challenges are?" I replied that my biggest one right now is always having more to do than I can possibly get done. Along with that comes hard choices about what good things have to be put aside for more important or urgent ones.
I think it's a common challenge, and while not as difficult as some, such as acute health challenges, grief and the death of a loved one, it is still one to wrestle with. During this crazy busy summer, with ten children going in every direction, I really looked forward to fall, when I would be home most of the day with just two kids and would therefore have time to do all the things! I knew I wouldn't fit in everything, but I did hope I would be blogging more, catching up on scrapbooks, and even taking little field trips with the two little minions.
Instead, during the last three months I have found that each week has plenty to fill up all of my time and then some. We've hosted friends from Arizona, Hawaii, and Brazil.
|Watching our Hawaiian friends experience snow for the first time is one of my favorite memories from this fall|
|Introducing our Brazilian friends to American Halloween -- "It's like Carnival without the sin!" -- was another.|
We traveled to Yellowstone and Park City as a family. My daughter Harmony was baptized! My son completed the first phase of his Eagle Project. We celebrated Halloween and hosted a big group for Thanksgiving.
|Not to brag, but my son is now a master of the jackhammer!|
I had over a dozen photo shoots. I took photos at happy times, as my friends send off their children to do missionary work. I took Lillian's senior pictures along with some of her best friends. I also captured memories at sad times, as I've mourned with two friends this fall and brought my camera to two funerals.
And somehow, the kitchen still has to get clean every day and the clothes washed and the dinner made and the piano practiced and the chores done.
A friend of mine, a nurse as well as the mother of a large family, posted a beautiful goodbye tribute to her ten year job at a hospital as she moves on to the pursuit of becoming a nurse practitioner. Among other things, she spoke of how tonight, "I will say my usual prayer to God, asking that He help me to take care of “these His children as He would”" I was so touched by the thought of the countless little acts of service she has done over the years after saying that simple prayer.
I have prayed daily for years to ask to know where best to put my efforts, and these are never "vain repetitions" but sincere pleading. In the last few years, I have also added a plea that I would know who and how I could serve that day, and I've been blessed with many small and tender experiences as I've been given insight on the needs of those both within and without my family and have turned my heart to show love and concern. I don't do big and amazing things, but I'm grateful for my little corner of the world and my little circle of influence and I hope that like my friend I can learn to better take care of God's children as He would.