Well, here we are at the end of September. I have to say, I'm a little disappointed in this month. i don't think I typically feel that way at this time of year, but this particular September I will not be sad to say goodbye to.
I have been shockingly unmotivated, unproductive, and unhealthy.
It is September 30th and my air conditioner has not stopped running round the clock with 90 degree temperatures outside.
Craig has been struggling with the major decision of whether or not to relocate our family to Birmingham.
Savannah's birthday month has been riddled with boy challenges, friend challenges, and overloaded schedules.
Megan is testing out a new "edgy" style, complete with combat boots, lots of black leather, and a less than compassionate attitude toward her friends and family.
Emma made it into the musical at school. That's a great thing, but it comes with 10 weeks of intensely busy, 12-hour days, which makes for a tired, grumpy, impatient Emma.
McKay is fine. He is remarkably untroubled by the chaos that surrounds him.
Yesterday in church, a friend commented that his family had had an exceptionally challenging few weeks. His exact words were "wonderfully miserable." He didn't elaborate on the details of their trials, but it was obvious that their whole family had felt the weight of the difficulties, both large and small. But instead of complaining (like I just did up there) he said that even though they had experienced a lot of the "miserable" this week, it had been sprinkled with so much intermittent joy that they could not help but stand back at the end of it and be completely grateful for all of their blessings. They have a son who is about to leave on a two-year mission to California. They have the blessings of a temple marriage and an eternal family. And they have immovable testimonies in the Savior and His divine love for them. I loved what he said and his attitude was contagious.
It's been hard to look at these last few weeks and not just see wreckage. But I can also look back and see that we've learned lessons, we've grown closer as a family, and we've gained more fervent individual testimonies of the love that Heavenly Father has for each one of us.
Savannah, who has had the most difficult month of all of us, I think, stood up yesterday in Sacrament and talked about the power of prayer. She said that she prayed about all these difficult things that are currently happening in her life and she asked for help with them, and then she waited and listened for an answer. She was frustrated when she didn't hear an audible voice or see any angels or feel immediately different. But then, throughout the month, intermittent joy has been sprinkled around her and her prayers have been answered through other people. Her seminary teachers are wonderful this year and are able to make the scriptures applicable to her life. Her sweet birthday buddy (who also happens to be having his own lion's share of challenges) brought over a bouquet of flowers at 7:00 in the morning for her birthday. Oh, and the guitar. That was a big hit! BUT...more than all of those awesome little things, the big giant thing that she realized this week was that she has a family who loves her and she has a safe little place within her home to escape from all the storms that happen at school and at work. All those things were specific answers to her prayers for help this month. Not only did she feel that and recognize it, but she felt inspired to SHARE it with everyone at church.
So, while I'm very grateful that a new month is on it's way in (and hopefully with it, a cooler fall season) I'm also pretty grateful that our September challenges have left us with a lot of miraculous blessings, too. It's been a "miserably wonderful" month.