Sunday, March 18, 2007

the street we often park on a block from the church
It seems every Sunday we learn some big life lessons that must be common to most, but for us are becoming new and fresh.

We had a short Sunday with no meetings before church and nothing afterward. Our 5 1/2 hour day seemed like somewhat of a vacation and almost like we would not know what to do with our extra time. We feel like what we are learning is that once you make yourself available to serve you don't worry about how long or short it takes.

Jeff and I both spoke in Church today. Annie Kate and her primary class sang "Dearest Children God is Near You" They were all excited and did a great job.

For my talk I started with a quote I got form Sheri

"God does not begin by asking us about our ability, but only about our availability, and if we prove our dependability, he will increase our capability!" -Neal A. Maxwell

It seemed to fit perfectly with my talk on learning to learn and learning to teach. I had recently discovered the Worldwide Leadership Training online one night while sewing. (I am such the multi tasker, I usually watch old conference talks while sewing) We each picked our own subject for our talks and I chose this recent address.
I was surprised at what anxiety I felt the night before and up to the moment of speaking. This was so rare for me as I usually never get nervous. It was g
ood for me to be a little anxious as to "stretch" myself and do my very best.
The girls were crazy! Jeff was in the hallway with them screaming during my talk and I got off the stand and switched with him so he could talk. The tough thing is there is no real hallway the chapel doors stay open and are 25 feet from the front door of the building, so there is no place to hide with noisy kids without going to the basement. We are definitely being given the opportunity to learn patience with these little ones, I just hope we hurry up and learn it.

Jeff gave such a great talk and used this great story about bees
and wasps that he had seen on PBS. (turns out one of the girls in the meeting is the one who had edited it for PBS) He talked about protecting our families and finding Peace in the Easter Season.

Primary continues to be a challenge with Reverence. The extreme situation some of the kids are coming from - between home and church - remind me to be patient but at the same time I don't want to be indulgent either. It is just going to take time for sure.
The older boys class did sharing time and it was amazing. The teacher did
such a good job of having them do it. She had them each write down their testimony and read it. Chad gave me his, I thought it was so sweet!

We were thrilled to make it home by 5:30 yet still very tired from the day. My visiting teacher called me to see if I want to go with her to the Stake Relief Society Fireside (devotional). I would have to leave at 6:30 and knew I would probably not be home until 9:30pm. My mind quickly talked myself out of it by thinking I had been at the Stake Center the week before for a Stake Primary meeting and I had already had a long day, but because I love my visiting teacher so much I could not pass up the 20 min each way conversation I was going to get with her. I don't see her as much and so I am not going to pass up any chance I get spending time with her. (see my selfish motives)
flyer for fireside with my little note pad to take notes

The Fireside was INCREDIBLE! Our Stake President is getting released in a few weeks so it was timely that they had his wife on the schedule to speak.
They had a musical number by 3 women in my new ward and it wa
s wonderful. It was something in D minor and just gave me such an appreciation for skilled musicians. I must admit I felt a little pride being associated with my new downtown friends.

The Stake President introduced his wife by reading a little something by her 8 children. (7 boys and 1 girl) it was amazing to hear. One of her sons referenced this amazing talk "A Mother Heart". It is a must read for any woman having a bad day! Here is the highlight for me.

"Who can find a . . . woman [with a mother heart]? for her price is far above rubies. . . . She . . . worketh willingly with her hands. . . . With the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard. . . . She stretcheth out her hand to the poor. . . . Strength and honour are her clothing. . . . She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness" (Proverbs 31:10, 13, 16, 20, 25–27). A woman with a mother heart has a testimony of the restored gospel, and she teaches the principles of the gospel without equivocation. She is keeping sacred covenants made in holy temples. Her talents and skills are shared unselfishly. She gains as much education as her circumstances will allow, improving her mind and spirit with the desire to teach what she learns to the generations who follow her.

Margaret was a wonderful speaker and put a face and a reality to what I want to accomplish as a woman. A few things I wrote in my notes that she said,

"You did not come to this earth to get your worth, you came with it"
"We should care more about life forever than life today"

There were a few other things that I could not write down fast enough. So I have written her a note along with returned self addressed stamped envelope in hopes she will send me one quote that was amazing. I will post it when I get it.
She spoke of her struggle with Cancer and losing her father at 16 years old and how those trials have made her the stronger. I was grateful that I had a visiting teacher call me and encourage me to go and not get a long day get in the way of my decisions.

This Stake does not disappoint when doing anything. The flowers were gorgeous.
They had sugar cookies in the shape of women.
Then they had tubes of white and pink icing so that you could make each sugar cookie unique and special just like we are. (i wanted to just pick up the icing and squirt it in my mouth, but didn't see anyone else doing it so I resisted)

It was really a great night and so fun to see all my friends from both wards and feel so fortunate for the short time we have lived here how many wonderful people I have met.

One of the most wonderful things is coming out of the meeting to see the large D.C. Temple it just puts everything in perspective. The stake center is next door to the temple


Jill said...

Wow, your Sundays are anything but restful and yet you always sound invigorated and refreshed after them, I love that feeling.

I'm so glad you went to that Stake Meeting with your visiting teacher (she sounds wonderful). Meetings like that always end up being so inspiring. I get such strength from women who have survived motherhood and lived to tell the tale with love.

Jill said...

Did you see that I was first to comment? Hee.

Elizabeth said...

I look forward to your Sunday posts.
Thank you!

Michelle Alley said...

There you go putting pictures of our old stomping ground! I just loved the DC temple! I'm glad you had such a wonderful time at the stake meeting. It's always wonderful to get out without the kids, and be able to listen to intently to a lesson or talk. Have a great day!

Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Isn't the Relief Society organization the greatest? I love the opportunities that belonging to this incredible group of sisters brings.

Funny about the frosting--if it had coconut in it I'd have talked us both into sucking it out of the tubes.

Amanda :-) said...

Wow, another great Sunday post, Kristi! You really do come across as a sponge, soaking each Sunday up to the last drop.

I was a bit startled by you describing the great talk Jeff did, and then seeing Chad's testimony pictured beneath. I thought, for a second, those were Jeff's notes! Oopsy!

Great that Chad wrote that and gave it to you. V.encouraging.

Barb said...

I'm going to have to check out that PBS bees/wasps thing. I liked your (individual) worth quote from the stake president's wife and I love the woman cookies and paper chain. Very usable for YW's and makes me think that the transition can be/hopefully for most girls is very smooth from YW to RS.

*natalie* said...

what an awesome Sunday you had. I am jealous of your time in the city. I miss the East coast. The DC temple is beautiful.

melanie said...

Oh my goodness the frosting comment has me cracking up. Really it is the only reason I'll go through the trouble of making sugar cookies, the frosting at the end!

I love when a meeting doesn't disappoint and you feel uplifted. We all need that. What a fabulous talk. I need it on my nightstand!

Betina said...

I served my mission in DC and LOVE that temple. The sugar cookie activity iis a great one, it could easily be used for a Youg Women in Excellence theme...

Anonymous said...

How awesome of a sunday! lLove the quote by Neal A Maxwell. Gorgeous pic of the temple too!