Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Hiatus? No, God knows us!

So it seems I have taken a hiatus from blogging! Just haven't been able to complete those posts! I have one started about my delightful anniversary and another I think! None finished though! I'm not sure why? Maybe it is time for another dose of realism. You know the nitty, gritty in life! The confession that I am not Super Woman, or Wonder Woman! I know, I know your shocked! However, realizing that yet once again and having Steve's fabulous reminder to 'go easy on myself' I remember that I am amazing just the way I am and God knows me. On that note I'm pasting in my personal journal entry from November 3rd. It's long, so make some hot cocoa and enjoy a glimpse into my inner thoughts! It made me feel better re-reading it!

God Know Us
A week ago Sunday I taught an awesome lesson for my laurels. It was about forgiving yourself. I am after all the hardest person that I have to forgive. The supplemental article was, "The Great and Wonderful Love" by Anthony D. Perkins. It was an awesome article. He spoke about children and how completely they accept Christ and his love, and then as we become adults we have a more difficult time believing. My favorite quote was, "You will experience greater joy in life as you eradicate adult-onset pessimism and substitute childlike optimism. Optimism is a virtue that allows us to see God’s loving hand in the details of our life. A favorite hymn counsels, “Count your many blessings; see what God hath done.”
It seems I know all about adult-onset pessimism, and I have forgotten my childlike optimism. So I challenged myself this past week to remember my childlike optimism. 
On Wednesday night Karalee and I were running to Wal-Mart. For me, a last ditch effort to find Byron a Spiderman costume for Halloween and pick up a couple of things. I was also going to pick up a couple of frozen lasagnas, because I was taking dinner to a family in the ward on Thursday who just had a baby. Well lets just say that the adult-onset pessimism started kicking in as it took me forever to get out the door. Byron came with me to pick out his costume. Karalee was painting at their old house for Savannah, so we ended up bringing both her children too so Todd could keep painting. Not what either of us had planned.
As we were getting out of my truck a young girl, I'm guessing just 18, walked up to us with a tear-stained face. As she spoke she began to cry openly, "I'm not looking for a hand out, but I need $13.00 to have enough for a hotel room tonight. My dad kicked me out of my house and I don't have anywhere to go." Karalee and I told her we didn't have any cash. She said, "God Bless You" and started to walk away. Karalee and I looked at each other. I said, "I can run in and get some cash out." We stopped her and she came back and hung out while Byron and I ran in for some cash. We had to wait for a very slow couple who were getting a money order, but finally made it back outside. When the money came out of the machine Byron asked if he could take it to her. So he carried the $20.00 the whole way back to the truck. On the way he said, "you and dad have never kicked me out of the house!" I replied, "you are right we have never kicked you out of the house and we never will! We are so blessed because we have such a great family. That is why we help other people when we get the chance." It was touching to see him process that.
It turns out this girls name was Ashley. Her dad's girlfriend had told him just that day that Ashley was 18 and had a job and she should be taking care of herself. The girlfriend said that one of them had to go. So her dad asked her to move out. She has one brother, but he lives in Salt Lake City and wouldn't be able to help fly her up for a week or so. Karalee gave Ashley her cell phone number, but as far as I know she hasn't called. She was going to work the next day, so I'm hoping people there helped her out too. It is just so sad that people get treated that way, especially by family! The very ones who are supposed to protect and care for you.
The story continues as Karalee and I are a little more leisurely than we needed to be, and Byron and Tyler ran amuck in the store. On our way to drop Karalee and crew off at their home we remembered that I didn't buy the canned pumpkin that we needed to make pumpkin cookies with for Byron's Halloween party the next morning, or the lasagnas! I decided to run by Fresh & Easy and pick it up. Well they didn't have any canned pumpkin, so another stop was necessary at Albertson's. Byron and I picked up the pumpkin and some ice cream, just buying it was a comfort.
As I'm checking myself out and letting Byron help me I felt a tap on my shoulder. It took a moment to recognize Winter Henrie as her hair color had changed, again! She gave me a big hug! 
Ok, Winter is one of my girls! My laurels! I teach the 16-18 year old girls in the Young Women's program in my ward. I love my girls! I hadn't seen Winter in over two months!
Winter had a cell phone in her hand! 
Now to truly appreciate the significance of her cell phone you must understand that texting is one of the prime ways, possibly the only way that I can communicate with my dear laurels! She was the only laurel who didn't have a cell phone, so she didn't receive any of the activity reminders, etc. that I send out. I hadn't been good about writing her letters or calling her in the past couple of months either and it had been about that long since I had seen her at church! You know you feel responsible for any girl going less active on your watch! Especially when you aren't doing much to prevent it or remedy the situation! It was so good to see her!
So as I climbed in my truck I teared up. I realized that God's hand had been in my life, pushing back our arrival at Wal-Mart and causing the forgetfulness that made my stop at Albertson's necessary. He was orchestrating help on behalf of two of his precious daughters. I had a sudden and overwhelming patience for life and myself. I knew in that moment that Heavenly Father knows Ashley and Winter, and for that matter me! My adult-onset pessimism that provided only frustration gave way to the perfection of childlike optimism as I saw the beauty in the perfectly orchestrated events of my evening. Then it didn't really matter that Byron wasn't getting to bed until 10:15! Heavenly Father loves him too! Life is beautiful and so worth LIVING!

P.S. Byron beautifully acquiesced to being a fire man when that was the costume we did find!


Larae Merritt said...

Janelle, thanks so much for sharing. He really does love us and is so aware of us!

Steph said...

Thank you for sharing that. I try very hard to look back afterward all the time to see what was to purpose of the string of events. God bless Steve too who helps keep you grounded and centered! You are amazing :)

Kristin said...

What an awesome experience! Thank goodness for blogs--6 months ago, we would've had time for that on the phone. I'm glad I'm not missing out on all the good stories now that my phone time has been considerably and necessarily reduced. Love you lots!

Farnsworth Family said...

WOW! What a great post. Sometimes we need those lessons from God to help us stop and smell the roses and to be grateful for the situations we are in....thanks for sharing!