I edited this post from an email I wrote to Savannah sometime this weekend...I don't even know when.. It's been an unbelievably long week, but there's SO much to write about and so little available time to do it. And I can't do anything small or without...what's that word...verbosity? so I apologize in advance for the stream of consciousness...it's seriously, like one long sentence...but I wrote it like I was talking to her, so just pause and insert a breath for me when you need one. :)
There are also a few references to things I haven't mentioned on the blog yet (the recliner, the camping trip and Stake Conference,) so just know that you haven't missed them, I just haven't posted them yet. I have a lot of back posting to do next week...
Holy Cow! what a weekend it's been, and oh, how grateful I am that tomorrow is finally Sunday, although I feel a tiny bit like I still have "miles to go before I sleep..."
So, the house is back on the market and we eased into this holiday weekend with one showing on Thursday night and then EIGHT on Friday! 😳 Yup, EIGHT! They started early and were sprinkled throughout the day, and since they each are scheduled in one hour blocks, the girls and I pretty much just stayed out of the house from 10-7 on Friday. Somewhere around 4:30 (ok, it might have been earlier...) I started getting a tiny bit grumpy about it. I was grumpy about being banished from the house and grumpy that I had been cleaning and perfecting and rearranging and decluttering for weeks, and who even knew if anyone was even going to like it this time or if we were just going to do the same thing we did last fall...a lot of people looking and no one making any offers? And as more and more texts came throughout the day Friday for appointments on Saturday, and the girls and I kept wandering around doing stupid things with our whole day on Friday, I kept talking myself into being more and more frustrated about it. (See what my head does when it's left alone for too long?)
We got home at 7:00 and the girls had a party to go to at a friend's, so I was totally alone in the house from 7:30-10:30. It was way too quiet and way too dark to do anything productive, and I was still mad, so I just went in my room and cried and prayed and seriously just stayed in there on my knees for like the first hour that the girls were gone. And then I went out and just sat in the dark living room and thought, "Well, this was a total waste of a day and I can't even get it back," and then all of a sudden this whole other thought occurred to me that it was Good Friday and then I thought about exactly what that meant and what the Savior had been doing on this very day a long time ago, and why He even did all that stuff. And the little voice in my head said, "Days like this are the whole reason He did that for you...so that the dark, lonely, crappy feeling at the end of a long, frustrating, useless day doesn't have to last forever, but instead it goes away and is replaced with a sunrise and a new start in the morning." Amazing huh!? The atonement isn't just for the big stuff. It is for that, for sure. It is for repentance. And for forgiveness. And pain. And death. And the HUGE things. But it is for the everyday little things, too. The weaknesses, the insecurities, the frustrations, the loneliness, the trivial, the mundane, the crappy. And He wants and expects us to use it everyday, too.
So then, this morning I woke up and saw the sun and had a new, happier attitude. I prayed first, and after apologizing for being so selfish and grumpy on Friday, and thanking Heavenly Father for about a million things, I also asked Him for some specific things:
1. To do that thing where He makes what we have enough and to make this house enough for some cute little family. Because I KNOW there is a cute little family who would just LOVE this neighborhood and this area and especially this street and this house. And maybe even this amazing WARD...!
2. To finalize all this house stuff quickly so that we can be Under Contract and watch conference next weekend in our own house uninterrupted by showings. (I know, that's bold, but It's been a weight on my mind this weekend. I really don't want to house-hop to watch Conference with friends. I just want to have one last Conference in our house, in jammies, with breakfast casserole and cinnamon rolls and President Monson in my living room.)
3. To help me recognize His hand in the day because I'm pretty sure I missed it yesterday.
And then I got up and started stuff. The girls both had places to be early so I dropped them off and then ran a few errands and got some things done before Craig and McKay got home from their camping trip.
Tender Mercy #1
I sort of had in the back of my head all weekend that I wanted to get a picture of those spring tulips that are always out at this time of year, but I couldn't find them anywhere. In fact, I must have missed all the spring flowers because I haven't seen a single one in the usual places. So even though I've had my camera with me all weekend, it hasn't gotten much use.Yesterday afternoon we had run out of errands, and the stores were way too crowded with Easter shoppers anyway, so we just stopped at Celebration Park to walk around a little, and guess what! Around one of the corners, there were all these little colorful eggs sprinkled in the woods! A little family was having an egg hunt with their kids and they had no idea that they were also providing that spring color I had been looking for all day.
Tender Mercy #2
By 6:00, when the sixth and final showing was out and the house was finally free to come home to, the absolute last thing I wanted to do was put on a skirt and go to the church for the women's session of Conference. (And I totally knew I would feel that way earlier in the day, but I had forgotten to pray for help with that...poop! 💩) But as we were pulling in the driveway, another text came for a showing at 7:00. So Emma and I put on skirts and went to the church because now we had no excuse to stay home. Megan had gone to a babysitting job, and Craig and McKay loaded that ugly recliner into the van and hauled it off to the Salvation Army...yay, for strong 12 year olds!
Just because we got to the church and were sitting in the place where the Spirit should have been, don't be fooled into thinking that we just automatically felt it. We didn't. Emma was in a mood 👿and she was so impatient and as tired and grumpy as I had been on Friday, and she only had me to take it out on. She was snippy at me about everything. It was way too warm in the chapel. The loudest, most distracting people managed to sit right in front of us even though we got there late. The sound on the broadcast was just a little bit too soft so we had to try extra hard to hear...especially over the loud people in front of us. And I was already tired, so with everything else happening, I just really wanted to cry, but I held it together. And then Sister Marriott spoke. I love her. And her voice made me relax. And I thought, "Ok, just stop worrying about everyone else and just focus on Conference. This is why you're here. If Emma is grumpy and misses it, then she misses it, but you don't have to miss it, too." And I started to let myself love being there. I started to let the Spirit of what Sis Marriott was saying sink into my head and my heart...
and then my phone rang.
It was the schedulers.
I ran into the hallway to answer it and they were calling to tell me that the 7:00 appointment was going to be 30 minutes late and would that be ok? I said sure, hung up the phone, and sank into one of those chairs in the lobby, realizing I had missed the whole middle of Sis Marriott's talk. There were so few people in the chapel for the broadcast that there was no speaker on piping the sound into the hallway.
Tender Mercy #3
I'm quite sure I was alone in that foyer. But all of a sudden, someone turned on the speaker because I could hear Sister Marriott's voice in the hallway, and it was right at the part where she quoted Julie B Beck, "the ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the greatest skill that we can acquire in this life." That happens to be my all time favorite quote in the entire world! And then I started thinking that probably Savannah had heard that quote, too, and she knows I love that one because I say it ALL the time. And then I thought about how she was listening to that very same Conference on the other side of the world, at that very moment and I was so grateful to be there in that meeting because it was kind of like being with her (yeah, it didn't occur to me until I got home that she probably didn't get to watch until later because she would have been sleeping during the time of the actual live broadcast...but it was still a really good thought.) And then in the hallway all by myself, I was totally just crying and crying because I was so grateful for this worldwide sisterhood that I love and that connects me to so many women who I also love so much. And I was crying because of this tiny bit of monumental evidence that Heavenly Father knows me, and He knows that I love Sis Marriott and Sis Beck and that hearing those words would be meaningful especially on a day when I needed to know that He was aware of me.
Tender Mercy #4
After all that crying, I just really needed to get myself together, so I went outside to walk around the building for a second and breathe. And there was this amazing sunset out there! Unfortunately, this picture doesn't even show all the pinks and the oranges. I literally gasped when I came around the corner of the building, it was so beautiful.
Tender Mercy #5
The sunset and the air pulled me together and I walked back into the chapel and sat down next to Emma. She had stopped being grumpy by then. We listened to the last sister speak and we sang the hymn, and then Sister Wixom announced that the very last speaker would be President Eyring, and Emma reached over and patted my arm and said, "oh, Mommy you love him!" and I started crying again. (It was just one of those days...)
His talk was wonderful, as always, and his voice was calming and familiar and patriarchal just like it always is. And then he said the craziest thing right in the middle of his talk. I think I told you about the General Authorities who came to Stake Conference last week and the very last one who spoke about the "cloud of witnesses" and quoted Hebrews 12:1 which is just like 2 Ne 4:16-30 only more! Well, Pres Eyring talked about "a cloud of witnesses" briefly in his talk, too. Seriously, I don't even know why he said that, but I was writing something else and I heard him say it and I just stopped and looked at the screen and tried to figure out if I was the only one who had heard it. I'll have to wait and see what the transcript says on lds.org 😊 So his talk was actually like Tender Mercies #5-10 ✨
(There are a couple of others, but I'm going to wait and post them later...)
Tomorrow is Fast Sunday for us. Which is weird on Easter, but I'm so grateful to get to fast because there is much to be grateful for and I can't think of a better way to acknowledge my gratitude. How grateful I am for a loving Heavenly Father whose hand is in all the details of my life, and who makes the long days more bearable and the enduring more joyous.