We went to see the floats for the Days of '47 parade. It's a tradition for our family because we don't go to the parade. I had planned to do a lovely photo essay of all the floats we saw and our personal favorites. I even remembered to put the camera in the car, which, if you know me, is quite an accomplishment. However . . .by the time we got there, I was impatient with my DH and just jumped out of the car without grabbing the camera. He didn't know if I had it or not so he got out without it also. So, there are no pretty pictures for you to see. Here is a nice article with good pictures of the floats though.
And then I got food poisoning.
So in the interest of just getting this blog published. . . We had a wonderful time as usual looking at the floats. We all had different favorites and voted for different floats. I had three favorites and I just had to end up picking one to vote for. I finally picked number 30 with the caterpillars.
I was going to do this post on Thursday so it was a week from my last General Conference post, but I probably won't be able to get to the computer on Thursday so I figured while I was home sick from church, I would post it now. I'm not a lot sick, don't worry. I just have a little cold and Chicklette and Turtle still have some spots from the hand-foot-mouth we picked up so we thought we should keep them home too.
On to our talk for the week. When I was going through the index of the Conference Ensign to pick which talks to focus on, I saw the title of this talk and it really struck me. It is the talk by Elder Scott entitled "For Peace at Home." As you know, we have six kids and some days our home does not feel very peaceful. I don't mean to say that we have a lot of arguing going on, although we do have those days. I mean that there simply is a lot of activity and noise happening at any given moment. As I read the title I also thought about how the world needs peace. We need the inside assurance that all will be well, even if it is not well at the moment. So I decided to put this talk on my list and I've been able to learn from it. And now, I'd like to share what I have learned and what portions of it struck me. He starts out by saying:
Many voices from the world in which we live tell us we should live at a frantic pace. There is always more to do and more to accomplish.
So, as I posted a little while ago, I have felt like my spiritual life, my testimony, has been waning. I really haven't been nourishing it like I need to. After last General Conference I thought I would study one conference talk a week. They matched up fairly exactly because there was almost the same number of talks as weeks till next
General Conference. For my friends who are not LDS, General Conference happens twice a year, in April and October, and we get to listen to our prophet, the Twelve Apostles, and other church leaders talk to the whole church. Anyways, that didn't happen. Every once in a while I kept having the thought that I needed to study these conference talks. But, as you know, there are so many interesting books to read, Facebooking to do, household chores, bickering to break up, that those thoughts just fell by the wayside.
Then I had these past few weeks where I was asked to talk in church (see here) and I was asked a couple weeks later to teach a lesson in Relief Society (our women's meeting). And I realized just how low my testimony level had gotten. So, I've decided that I am going to take one conference talk per week and read and report on it. I won't get through all the talks, but I will get through quite a few. And you lucky readers get to come along on this journey with me.
Without further ado, on to today's talk. I am reporting on Sis. Elaine Dalton's talk We Are Daughters of our Heavenly Father.
Last night was so not a good night. Here's the story of my night.
10:30 PM We were doing fireworks and I came in to get the videocamera. I heard one of the Bubbers crying so I took the camera out, shot a minute or two of sparklers and then came in to nurse. It ended up being Bubbers #2. After he finished I debated waking Bubbers #1 to nurse but decided against it because he's getting to the age where he just might sleep through the night.
11:42 PM DH and I had been laying in bed discussing whether or not to sell the "big van" and whether we should try going to a government service vehicle auction to possibly get a good deal on a different "big van" or if we should just bank the money from the sale of the "big van" and wait a while. (No results yet on that discussion.) I heard a Bubbers cry and went to feed Bubbers #1. After I finished Bubbers #1 and laid him down, Bubbers #2 started up with a fairly demanding cry. Now remember, I had just fed him about an hour ago and I knew he was not hungry. He smelled pretty stinky though so I decided to change him and keep any diaper rash he had from getting worse. I changed him and rocked him for a little bit before laying him down. That was not what he wanted. But, I felt that he just needed to learn to fall asleep again. I couldn't lay in the same room with him crying though so I went downstairs and read until he fell asleep.
1 AM or so. Bubbers #2 fell asleep.
2:12 AM I heard crying in the bathroom and Turtle saying, "My nose. My nose." I rocketed out of bed thinking he had a bloody nose. Thank goodness he didn't and I helped him with his nose and sent him back to bed.
2:20 AM Turtle is still crying in his bed. I go in wondering if he has leg cramps again. He hasn't had them for a while but he used to have them often. I turn on the light dimly and ask him if he is okay. "Are you sick? Do you hurt?" Through his sobs he tells me he is not hurt but he wants a bear or something to snuggle with. I pointed him to a selection of animals on Sunshine's bed and suggest Clifford. He picks up Clifford, gets back into bed, and I cover him up.
2:22 AM Turtle is still crying. I go in again and explain that Mommy is very tired and that if he needs something I can give him, I will give it to him. Otherwise he needs to go back to bed. He tells me that he wants to sleep in another room because Sunshine always wakes him up. Keep in mind Sunshine at this time is deep asleep and not waking anyone up right now. I tell him we will talk about that in the morning and for right now he needs to go to sleep. He sobs that he will and turns over, still crying.
I go back to bed and listen to Turtle cry for maybe 10 more minutes knowing that there is really nothing I can give him. I half want DH to wake up because maybe he can console him (and maybe he can experience the joy of being awake in the middle of the night) and I half don't want him to because DH does not handle lack of sleep very well.
Finally, peace. Until around 5:something in the morning when one of the Bubbers wakes up again. At this point I don't even know who it is. I pull them into bed to nurse, put them back and grab the other Bubbers (I think) and nurse him. Yeah, I'm not even sure if I nursed both of them and how long they nursed. I know at some point in time in the morning I put a toy in each of the Bubbers beds. I guess they were awake and I was trying to grab a little more sleep.
7:55 AM Turtle comes into my room asking me to cut his "doughnut" (bagel) in half. (I had put out granola, bagels and bowls for those who wanted breakfast in the morning.) And I'm up for another day.
In church yesterday we had a lesson about service. It was a big check on my pride.
I felt like I was doing great (okay, not great, but fine) spiritually and everything was fine. (I'm not sure why I thought that given that: scripture study is helping the kids do a page in their religious study, my prayers are perfunctory, and going to church feels like more of a duty than something I look forward to. And don't even ask me about visiting teaching. Literally, don't ask.) I've been drifting along, stagnant and not growing. Anyways, I was listening to the women in my ward talk about how and when they have experienced service or given service to others.
And I was convicted.
I have used the twins as an excuse to not get out of my comfort zone. It's easy to say that someone else will take care of the service. Or, I'm needed too much at home. Or, I can't take the kids with me. Or, no one would want to watch six kids so that I can help. It's too difficult. It's not my thing. I don't know how or where to serve. Or, I can handle life and I've got all these kids and responsibilities, so why can't someone handle their own life. (Yeah, I can be just a bit judgmental. It's a fault I know and have to guard against closely.) Those are my excuses.
Yes, I am busy, but not so busy that I can't finish four books a week. It might be difficult for me to find someone to watch all the kids, but maybe I could find things that they could do with me. The point is, I haven't looked for someone to serve. I haven't been asking everyone to serve me, but I haven't looked outside of my own house either. I listened to a friend tell how she had an impression that someone in our ward needed service. And I thought, "I've never had an impression like that and I am not very good at receiving or accepting impressions from the Spirit." I also haven't prayed to ask who I could serve. I haven't lived up to what I am capable of and I haven't been teaching my children the value of service or the joy of service.
That's another thing. I really need to show more joy in my life. I am exactly where I want to be in life so why don't I share more joy in it. That's a topic for another post though. . .
Back to the joy of service though. There's more to service and charity than something I have to do or a principle I have to live up to. There's joy in a job well done and someone helped. I know about the joy of service. I've experienced it. I need to do more than just talk about it with the kids. They need to see it and experience it for themselves. I really have to sit down and calendar it though so it will get done.
So, today I end this very honest post with a prayer that I can find, and will be open to, serving someone outside the home this week. Even if it gets me out of my comfort zone where I am the ruler over all.