Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Never Give Up

My oldest son just ran for the position of Treasurer at school.  I never really understood what my mom meant when she said "It is way harder for me than it is for you," that is until now.  I have been so worried about if he would get votes, if he would win and how he would handle it when he found out.

I was so proud of him, he wanted to run all on his own.  He went and got the paperwork he needed and he picked what he wanted to run for and everything.  It was awesome.  He even made his own advertising.  Seriously, talk about proud mama.

Then he came home yesterday and told me, "You know who won?"
Me: "Did you?"
Him: "No."

I expected tears, frustration, pouting for days.  I was a royal mess on the inside, I hurt so bad for him.  But he just wrinkled his little nose and told me who won and that he was sad and frustrated it was mostly girls elected because that wasn't fair.  I got a laugh out of that one.  White males, the neglected majority for sure.

But he took it like a champ.  And then he said, "next year, I am going to run again, or maybe I will run for Vice President."  And when Tyson got home, they bonded for a few minutes on how it feels to run for something and work hard, and someone else gets elected, and then you get back and try again.  What an amazing example Tyson has set for our boys.  You don't stop trying.

And then today Josh proudly told me he had been selected to be his class representative.  He was really happy and proud, as he should be.  I am so grateful the Lord helps to keep us strong and then rewards us, maybe not in the way we expect, but the blessings surely come.  And I am so thankful for my son's example of not giving up.

That Picture on the Wall

Have you ever had something around you for so long, you kind of forget it exists?  Like you walk by that picture in your house so many times that you don't even know it is there.  But if it goes missing it is like there is a vast hole in your universe, but you aren't even sure why for a minute?  Sometimes I wonder if I get like that about my Tyson.  He is always there, well, technically, he is gone a lot, but his presence is a sure thing.  I know he will come home everyday.  I know he loves me.  I count on him for so much.

But do I really notice him?

So I am sitting here, on the couch opposite from him, and I am looking at him and thinking, "I haven't REALLY looked at him in a long time."  I mean, don't get me wrong, I check the guy out on a regular basis, I hooked a good one.  But I haven't studied him in a long time, really enjoyed who he is, wondered what he is thinking or how he thinks.

I think it is good for us to take a step back every now and again, or every day if we can, and enjoy all the things that surround us.  Enjoy that view out your window, even if it is just of a dirt lot.  Appreciate your flooring, because at least you have a floor and it holds up your feet every day.  But especially take a few minutes to appreciate the people in your life.

I get it, they aren't perfect.  Your coworkers may drive you batty, your roommate may snore, your kid may throw tantrums or constantly stain every article of clothing you own, and your spouse may know your flaws and quirks so well they know just how to get under your skin.  But man, those people are wonderful aren't they?  How empty and off-center your life would be without them.

I would so miss how Tyson talks to himself or teases me for hoarding my candy and/or eating it so quickly no one else can.  I know I am really lucky that I have a husband that endlessly cherishes me and wants to make me happy.

Tyson, don't worry, I don't think you are just some artwork on the walls and I really do notice you.  I just don't stare at you enough and I know I don't appreciate you enough.  So thank you and I love you, crazy amounts.

I would say sorry for the ramblings, but I'm pretty sure you are used to that now.  So I'm not sorry.  I really like my husband, I want the world to know it, and I hope you all take a few extra minutes to think about and be grateful for the people in your life today.

Friday, September 2, 2016

"They did not cease to praise the Lord"

There is a story in the Book of Mormon about a man named Jared and his brother and their families and friends.  Everyone else around them was quite wicked, so the Lord commands them to leave and travel for a long time.  Then they get to the sea and the Lord tells them to build boats...well barges.  They were like really big, hollow, wooden footballs, basically.  They had no way to steer, they just trusted the Lord to get them to the land He promised to take them to.

The Lord also commanded them to take lots of food, water and animals on these boats.  Can you imagine?  You are stuck in a totally enclosed wooden room, tossed all around by the waves?  I'm sure I would throw up.  Like I pretty much guarantee it.  And all those animals, I bet they did too.  At least for sure they pooped.  I know what it is like to be in an enclosed space with a poopy toddler, I can imagine a ton of poopy cows, birds and people.  Gross.  So gross.

Most of the time, they couldn't go get a breath of fresh air.  They couldn't go for a walk to their neighbor's house.  They couldn't go to the grocery store.  There was no local library to give them a reprieve from cabin fever.  Talk about feeling trapped.

And yet, get this, they were happy!  They were constantly praising the Lord, so grateful that He was taking care of them.  That He loved them, saved them from the wicked people, gave them a way to escape and was taking them to an amazing land.  They thanked Him for the little things.

"And they did sing praises unto the Lord; yea, the brother of Jared did sing praises unto the Lord, and he did thank and praise the Lord all the day long; and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord."  -Ether 6:9

For some reason it really hit me today, just how incredible these people were.  I could be like that.  I could.  But I complain about the stupidest things.  "Man, I really wish I could have a milkshake without gaining weight," and "I am so tired of picking up all these toys that so many people have been so kind to give us," and "I wish I didn't have to do the dishes yet again today, even though that means I have been blessed with food to eat, dishes to wash, running water, my own sink, a healthy body that can stand and wash them."  Oh yeah, I could totally be like the people of Jared's time.

We read this story today as a family and I was shocked with the realization of how uneasy that journey must have been.  It lasted for a whole YEAR, did I mention that?  A year!  And how good and gracious they were to God.

I think I have a lot more praising to do, and a lot less complaining.  So I'm praying for help with that tonight.

Click HERE if you want to read the full chapter.  Maybe it will hit you like it hit me.  God is good...all the time.