Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Calling Thoughts

I'm not sure if you know this about me, but I don't do change well at all.  Not in any area of my life, really.

One place I'm almost always resistant ​to change is in my calling at church.  Even when I feel like I've had plenty of warning from the spirit that a change is coming (which, interestingly, has happened when I've had callings that I've loved--isn't it nice of Heavenly Father to have given me a heads up?) I've still struggled with the change.  And even when I've had a calling I haven't loved (bored behind the piano much???) I haven't handled change well.

Some of my less graceful responses to callings have included "no one cares about that calling" and "you want me to do what??" But despite my issues with change in general and with being asked to do something I don't want to do, I have a multifaceted testimony of callings.

I remember when I was called to be the Laurel advisor many years ago.  It was the first time I really saw that there was power in being set apart. I walked into the Bishop's office, was set apart, and walked out loving Brandi Butler.  And not because Brandi was easy to love, but because the spirit changed my heart.

Last year when I was called to play the piano in primary I wasn't thrilled about it.  It turned out to be a good experience in several ways, though. Yes, I was bored a good amount of the time.  (I'm not really good at doing a mediocre job of something while watching someone else do a mediocre job of something I'm terrific at!) But I was surprised at how often the primary songs would be in my mind, bringing peace though a difficult time in my life.  Best of all, being the pianist occasionally meant I got to sub as the chorister, including teaching one of my all-time favorite Christmas songs to the primary kids last year. 

At the beginning of this year I was asked to be the assistant Mia Maid advisor.  The calling was presented in the least attractive way possible and I responded with my usual lack of graciousness.  I was especially unhappy about having to go to YM/YW on Wednesday nights since I work on Wednesdays.  And it's true, I am tired and have to take a nap between work and YW and we often eat leftovers that night.  But it's also amazingly true that I'm actually enjoying myself, and loving these sweet girls who I had mostly never noticed before. 

We have a terrific home teacher.  He's retired now but has been a super successful businessman, a stake president, and a mission president.  I noticed recently that he must have a new calling, probably something like Webelos.  Every week when I get to the church (a few minutes late, of course) I see him in a room with the boys. Maybe he loves doing it.  But really there's every chance he doesn't, or that he didn't when he was called.  I'm inspired by his service at what is a far more taxing calling than either playing the piano or being the assistant Mia Maid advisor. 

So this is my goal, for next time.  To do a better job of keeping the "I hate change and am sure I will hate this calling" freak out inside my head, and give the Lord a chance to show me how wrong I am yet again.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Best and worst of 2016

In the category of "better late than never."

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Band and letting go


When we moved to Oregon and the kids could go part time to school and the 6th grade had a band it was like a long time dream come true for me.  I have loved their band experience.  The two flutes of my fantasies and a fun saxaphone as well.
  


They all enjoyed band in middle school.  Especially in 7th grade when their band director was a lot of fun.  I loved it when I could see them during a concert.  



They all played their freshman year at Glencoe.  What's not to like about teens in formal attire, right?  


But that's where the one-band-path stopped.  Jenna wanted to play her flute again this year.  (Yay!)  Jared (who had hated marching band with a passion) chose to be in 0 period Jazz band instead of regular band, so that the marching band issue wouldn't be raised.  And Rachel wanted to take other classes, so she dropped band altogether.  

It hurt my heart, but I knew she needed to make her own decisions.  As great as released time seminary is (and it *is* great!) it takes the place of one elective.  I could understand that Rachel wanted to have another elective class instead of having both of her electives taken by seminary and band.

Now Jared is talking about not taking jazz band next year.  He's really enjoyed it, but it does mean that he has an early start 4 days a week.  And once wrestling and lacrosse start, he's so busy every afternoon and evening.  I can tell that the schedule is wearing on him.

It's not like they were ever going to be professional musicians, I need to remember that.  It's provided them experiences and memories that they will always have.  I just need to keep remembering that it's their lives, not mine, and be grateful for the years of band we've had.  

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Reading the Book of Mormon

Four years ago I wrote about my super slow scripture study program.  At the beginning of 2016 I felt like I should read the entire Book of Mormon during the year, so I abandoned my slow study somewhere in 2nd Nephi and embarked on a different experience for the year.  On December 30th that I finished the "Read the Book of Mormon in 1 year" challenge. That is much faster than my typical scripture reading, but it was a good experience. It reminded me that over the last few years when I've felt like I've known few things, I've known that I love the Book of Mormon, that it helps me feel the spirit, and that my life is better when I read it.

The interesting effect of having just pushed through and read the assigned amount every day (almost) for the year is that by the end I was desperate to be able to slow down and read more about different verses, figure out what they meant or how they were meaningful.  2016 made me excited to go back to reading slowly again.  Back to 2nd Nephi I go!