Archive for June, 2009

I’m thinking of…

Posted in Daily Bread, Tales of Yore on June 19, 2009 by dunnthat

Sometimes people say things just because they’ve been said before.  And sometimes these things make absolutely no sense.

The funniest phrases come from parenting, don’t you think? 

My parents:  “I’m sick and tired of…”  Sick AND tired?  Not just sick.  Not just tired.  Sick AND tired.

Husband’s parents:  “And I don’t mean maybe …”  I don’t even know where to go with that.

Praying sometimes is really funny to me.  Not only have I heard this phrase in prayer, I’ve used this phrase in prayer:  “Please bless that we’ll be safe as we attend the rest of our meetings today.”

Now how often has any of us been attacked by robbers in the hallways at church?  Hazardous corridors…oooo.  Perhaps we might trip and fall.  That would be bad.  And dangerous. 

But mostly, it’s pretty safe.

“Please bless this food that it will nourish and strengthen our bodies and do us the good that we need.”

Who talks like that?  Brigham Young?  I like to pray over the refreshments that they won’t make me fat.  Now that’s a valuable blessing right there.

J. Golden Kimball is, for obvious reasons, my favorite historical church leader.  Probably because he was clearly himself and he didn’t let anyone change him.  Once in a sacrament meeting he was presiding over as a stake leader, he noticed many of the congregation dozing off.  (Believe me, if I were in a sacrament meeting with J. Golden Kimball, I would have been on the edge of my seat and had a pencil and paper handy.)

He stood up to the pulpit and tested his theory:  “All those in favor of moving Mt. Nebo across the valley, please indicate by raising your right hand.”

Hands were raised to the square.

Long pause.

“Now how the hell are you gonna do that??”

Of course, I paraphrase.  I wasn’t there.  But you get the idea.

And then, there are the heartfelt, original prayers, such as our oldest boy’s first prayer in Primary.  He was three.

We tried to prime him a little bit beforehand.  Tried to tell him, “Now you know we don’t pray for personal things in a church prayer.  Like, we don’t pray for Lady…” 

He interrupted us.  Impatient.  “I know!”  As in, DUH.  I’m certainly capable of a prayer in Primary for crying out loud.

Time for the prayer.  Husband and I are sitting in the back, tense but proud.  And the prayer begins.

Things are going well.  He’s really thought about what he wanted to say, and he was covering all his bases.

Until the final thought:

“Please bless that we won’t dink around.  Because this is Primary.

So proud.  So very very proud.

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Returning with Honor

Posted in Daily Bread on June 17, 2009 by dunnthat

Today I received the very last email I will get from my son who is serving a two-year religious mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Porto Alegre Brazil (North).  Because…

HE’S COMING HOME!!

Not only is he coming home, but my husband, my oldest son, my fourth son and I are traveling to Brazil to experience the final days of his mission with him. 

(Explanation:  As long as we’re able, we hope to retrieve our missionary sons in this manner.  It is our plan to take the next missionary in line on these trips – hence son number four’s chance to come.  Son number one missed out on this trip because he was first.  Just clarifying in case it looks like we’re playing favorites on who gets to go.)

When he left us two years ago to serve this great people, it was sad.  Sad for us to say goodbye to him for two years, but also sad for him to miss out on two years of his brothers’ lives as well as two years of school, of dating, of hanging with his buddies.   He missed his brother’s wedding and his Papa’s funeral.

But this was a sweet sacrifice he has always been willing to make, since he was little, because he loves his Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ.  And it’s a sacrifice we, his family, have been willing to make because we know that by no other means will he grow as exponentially as a person and child of God.  We are pleased with his willingness to serve.

As sad as it was for him to leave, he always knew he’d see us again.

When he leaves this people he’s come to love so deeply, it will be exceptionally difficult for him to say goodbye to them.  Because he will not likely see them again in this life.

When we arrive in Brazil, we will get to witness the power of the love he has for this people as well as their love for him. We are honored to be able to share this experience with him.

What prompted this post was not just the idea of him coming home.  I actually wasn’t going to write about this at all.  First of all, it’s quite revealing about my family.  And I don’t really do that here.  Additionally, a serious post such as this isn’t what my blogging has traditionally been about.

But his email, in such a small and subtle way, demonstrated one of the many great and mighty changes in him over the last two years.  And I was moved.

I had to laugh when he mentioned today, for the very first time, that he’d like my oldest son and I to sing in church on Sunday.  My son and I have sung together before.  This is not the big deal.  The big deal is the timing…as in, not very much.  Maybe two days to try to figure out what, how, what language, what accompaniment.  I have no idea what we’re going to sing. 

But this is not the revelation.

The revelation of his email was when he said, “I could even sing with you guys if you wanted.”

Um…WHAT?

This boy does not sing.  I’ve never heard him sing even in church, with the congregation all around him.  I think he always thought singing was stupid.

But now…he sings.  And he sings enough to be ready, willing, and able to sing in front of the people he loves, without a mass of voices behind him drowning him out.  He sings to show his love and honor for his Father in Heaven.

I could not be more pleased.

And I realize, this is just one of the many things about my son that I do not know. 

And I have to wonder, will I recognize him? 

Of course I will recognize what he looks like.  But what about who he IS?  His soul.  His thoughts.  His desires for himself and his family, now and in his future.

I am beside myself with joy.  Joy because I get to see him again, but exceeding joy in the knowledge that this boy has grown and changed and become a man that I can’t wait to get to know again and in many ways, for the first time.

Slippery slope

Posted in Daily Bread on June 16, 2009 by dunnthat

Today I ate so many brownies (filled with chunks of chocolate) that I got sick and had to eat toast with REAL BUTTER to calm my stomach.

I NEVER eat real butter.  Well, except when it’s embedded in baked goods, like say, brownies.  For example.

I always use “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” spray (to which my middle son says that he finds it very easy to believe it’s not butter, since you spray it).

So how low have I gone when I need carbs and fat to settle my stomach from more carbs and more fat??

I have got to get a handle on this eating thing.  Gross.

Miss Lasso Nevada

Posted in Daily Bread on June 15, 2009 by dunnthat

I am so proud of the outfit I put together for church yesterday.  SO PROUD.

Was it church appropriate?  Probably not.  Not skanky, just casual-ish.

See here’s the thing…I work with the young women of my church.  So I think it’s important that I do my best to look hip. 

And I did.  Oh yes I did.

But the funniest thing happened.  I met a dad for the first time after the main meeting.  I am the youth leader of some of his daughters.  

So he says to me, “Are you a rodeo queen?”

Oh… my… gosh.  Hysterical.

I’ve never actually read the back of the shirt I wore, but let me tell you something.  It’s AWESOME.  I love this shirt.  It’s a Lucky brand shirt and has always been one of my favorites.  It’s stretchy.  And freakin’ cute.

Here is the back of my shirt:

Miss Lasso Nevada

I know, right?  Super cute.

Now, go with me on this…I also wore a cute denim skirt and RED cowboy boots.  Oh yes I did. 

red boots

These are my actual red boots. Actually.

The funniest part about this man’s comment was, uh, let’s say I WAS Miss Lasso Nevada.  Would I really wear my prize-winning shirt to church? 

And if I really did wear it, shouldn’t I have worn my red bedazzled cowboy hat as well?

Facial tension

Posted in Daily Bread on June 14, 2009 by dunnthat

When I lie down at night for bed, I’m usually still pretty wound up from the day.  I don’t go right to sleep. 

While I’m lying there (still don’t know if it’s lay or lie…just go with me on it and don’t judge) I find that my body is often quite tense.  I deliberately and methodically focus on different parts of my body and concentrate on relaxing each area individually.

I breathe the stress out of my shoulders, my neck, my arms, my legs.  I feel myself getting heavier on the bed.  (This is also probably because of the masses of chocolate I ate all day, but I digress.)  I feel my body sink into the mattress.

Lately I’ve discovered something odd.  My face holds tension.  How stressed does one need to be to have a tense face??

I actually have to consciously relax my face.  And when I do relax it, it feels significant.  Like it changed a lot.

This is my tense face:

bitter face

And this is my face after I practice my relaxation exercises.  See how thoroughly I am able to let the stress go:

face let it go

Perspective and Interpretation

Posted in Daily Bread, Tales of Yore on June 11, 2009 by dunnthat

I know what I mean when I say it.  As it comes out of my head and out of my mouth, and as my body language adds to its meaning, I have a clear concept of what message I am delivering. 

But quite often something happens to my message once it leaves my mouth.

A NEW perspective is added to it as it reaches the ears and brain of the receiver.  And if there’s more than one receiver, there is undoubtedly more than one perception.

So what was in the beginning a very clear intended message has the potential of becoming altered to create a varied and sometimes entirely new meaning.

Isn’t that weird?

Let me give you an example.  When my second son was about eight years old, he wanted to ride his bike to a friend’s house.  Even though the friend lived just six houses away, I told my son that he had to wear a helmet if he was going to ride his bike.

That had always been the rule.

He argued with me.  He absolutely did NOT want to wear his helmet for such a short ride.  I calmly (I’m so sure of it) told him that it didn’t matter what his wants were.  This was a rule I wasn’t willing to negotiate.  I required that he wear his helmet every time he rode his bike regardless of distance.

Part of his argument was, “But I’m a good and safe rider.”

I said, “It’s not you I’m worried about.  It’s the cars.”

Argument ended.  He wore his helmet, though he was none too happy about it.

Several days later, we were disagreeing about something else (I spent a lot of time disagreeing with this boy, whose calling in life I was sure was to be an attorney) when he blurted out, “You don’t care about me!   I know you don’t!  You even said it yourself.  You care more about cars than you do about me!”

Um…WHAT??

How had what I’d said and meant been altered so much that my sweet son thought that I was more worried that his body might damage a car than that he might get hurt??

I have to wonder…

Where is the glitch in communication?

Is it a matter of trust?  Did he not trust that I loved him enough to know without a doubt that I value his life above everything…and especially a stupid car?

I’ve seen this phenomenon repeated throughout my life.  The same situation can have as many interpretations as there are people experiencing it.  And then when someone close to the situation tells another person about the situation, the potential for variance increases exponentially.

You have the situation.  Then you have the person’s interpretation of the situation.  Then the person shares their perspective of the situation with another person, who interprets what is being said to them and pulls their own perspective into the situation.

It gets to the point that it’s hard to know truth.

This is a major ramble inspired by a recent event that quite frankly puzzled me.  And caused me to wonder:  what is the truth?  And whose truth is it?

And I just wanted you to know that I actually do have deep thoughts. 

But you’ve now taken what I’m saying and put your interpretive skills into play, and who the heck knows what the true meaning of this post is??

I would make a handsome man

Posted in Daily Bread on June 10, 2009 by dunnthat
  • First of all, I have that way cool silver/gray at my temples.  Not cool for women.  Way cool for men.
  • I don’t like wearing makeup.
  • If I were a man, my hair would be super short and easy.
  • If I were a man, I’d certainly not have pierced ears.  They’re a pain.
  • My husband says I walk like my dad (ouch).
  • I am kind of a spazz in heels.
  • I look awesome in ties.  What?  It’s true.
  • In general, men’s clothes are more comfortable.
  • And don’t get me started on shoes.  My husband calls my comfortable shoes “lesbian shoes.”
  • I enjoy sitting with my ankle resting on my knee.

Reasons it wouldn’t work:

  • I have big boobs.  What?  I do.  Not bragging.  Just saying.
  • My butt is too big.
  • My thighs rub together.  I don’t want to talk about it.
  • My hands are too soft, small and wimpy for man work.
  • I haven’t lifted and carried anything since my boys grew up (this is on purpose – as the mother of five boys lifting and carrying is completely off my job description). 
  • I don’t enjoy driving or even riding in a big pickup truck.
  • I can’t back up a trailer.
  • I hate yard work.
  • I work six hours a week at the office and it exhausts me.
  • Mean people in the workplace make me cry.

I tried to just focus on the physical reasons I would make a handsome man or I wouldn’t, but then stuff just tumbled out. 

I have no direction.  No direction at all.