Sunday, March 28, 2010

Home Teaching

In our church, we have a "program" known as home teaching. Every family is assigned two home teachers. The purpose of home teaching is to watch over the members of the church--make sure their needs are being met, care for them when they are sick or going through trials, leave a blessing in their home on a regular basis, etc. It's a way to alleviate an overwhelming responsibility for the leadership of the congregation and provides an opportunity for everyone to serve as Jesus did. It's an inspired program.

My companion was not able to come with me this afternoon. And on those rare occasions, my boys get to fill in and join me during the visits. Both Mark and James wanted to come today.

Now...I'll be honest. Home teaching visits can be particularly challenging for me. For me, I'd prefer a few minutes of being cordial and just chatting about what's been going on, a few minutes with a spiritual message, and a prayer. 15 minutes would be perfect. But for a reason I'm sure is considered a "learning opportunity" for me, I am generally given elderly couples who don't mind shooting the breeze for a good hour or so. About 20 minutes in, I start to feel anxious...trying to figure out how to politely interrupt so we can wrap things up. And then after an hour, I have an out-of-body experience where I see myself screaming at the situation and running out of the house. It's a good comic relief for what is otherwise painful and stressful. Don't get me wrong--I love the families I visit and watch over. The visits can just be physiologically challenging.

Why did I share all of that? Because today was no different...until the car ride home. And the car ride home helped me put everything in perspective.

Sure, I would have preferred a shorter visit. Yes, it was still challenging for me and I went through all of the emotional and mental struggles I experience month-to-month.

But these are the topics that Mark and James brought up as we were driving home: challenges and trials of this life; physical hardships and the fact that Heavenly Father is always mindful of us and watching over us; death; the spirit world; the Second Coming of Jesus Christ; resurrection; final judgment; heaven; the Celestial Kingdom and how we need to live our lives to qualify for it; eternal families; baptism; repentance; the sacrament; the Savior.

Yes, each of those topics was discussed in a matter of 15 minutes on the drive home. And if that wasn't good enough, here's what my boys said as they were getting out of the car and walking into the house:

James - "I like these kinds of conversations."
Mark - "Me too."

Those kinds of statements make everything else totally worth it.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Snow is Gone

I am thrilled that the snow is gone and the weather is starting to get nice again. Anya has been quoted as saying that she "has had enough snow to last the rest of my life, or at least for two years." Aside from that things have been very unexciting, and yet busy here. Since I can't bear the shame of how long it has been since I/we blogged, here is a tidbit.
Luke is 2. To anyone with children, you understand that that means he does what he wants, when he wants, how he wants and the rest of us be hanged. So basically he stopped taking official naps a few months ago. Now he naps in the car and every couple of days somewhere like this. The poor little bean just runs until he drops somewhere, anywhere. He really is deceptively angelic when he is asleep.

Every now and then, usually following the entertainment of a Jane Austen type film, I think, hey I could roll my hair in rags and it could look like the actresses who have paid hairstylists on call. Yeah, well, this time I actually learned something. I did try the rag curlers a few weeks back and through my own blunders ended up with a white girl afro, like I always manage to create. However, I have figured out what I was doing wrong and I am looking forward to trying it again. The hair in this picture was done with a curling iron, but I think I can get the same basic thing with the rags. After all it is much easier to style hair in 9 hours on my back than the 2 hours on my feet that this took. It's movie star or anything, but I was pretty happy with the results.