Thursday, July 14, 2016

Divine Intervention

The craziest thing happened last Sunday at church...stuff like this always happens to me, and I'm convinced it's because I would otherwise never, ever choose to climb out of my safe little box...and apparently there's some meaningful stuff outside this box.

...first, I have to do that thing where I give you ten times more backstory than you actually need...

On the very first Sunday we arrived at our new ward, we were literally thronged by people.  Everyone in the building introduced themselves to us.  I was completely overwhelmed just with the length of time it took to get to the building, so meeting people and processing things like Girls' Camp was not really falling into my radar that day.  Someone nice, and very focused on her calling, introduced herself to me with the intent of confirming 1) that I knew about Girls Camp, 2) that my girls would be attending, and 3) that I would be willing to help if she needed me to.  

Um...yes, yes, and sure...

I think she asked me if I was planning on going to Girls Camp, and of course you're laughing that she would even ask that question, but she didn't know me at all, so she couldn't have known that in any kind of universe where there is a choice about that sort of thing, I would NEVER choose to go to Girls' Alabama.  Has she seen the size of the bugs in this state??  I did not ask her that.  I just politely told her I was not planning to go to Girls Camp, but I would be happy to help with preliminary things, or even a mid-week drive up to camp with ice cream to save the girls from the heat.    

That was the last time I talked to her.  

Girls' Camp is next week.  

Flash forward to this Sunday which was a really, really great day.  I was feeling super confident.  I looked pretty good in whatever I was wearing, although I can't think right now what that was.  And I was tanked up pretty heavily on the Spirit.  So just before Sunday School, I saw that same sister sitting across the room and thought, "I haven't even crossed paths with her since 6 weeks ago, and since I'm responsible for 20% of the girls going to camp, I should probably see if she needs any last minute help."  I had in my head that she might need food, or supplies, an extra driver, a mid week ice cream mom (I really like that job...)

Well, the good thing was she was thrilled that I offered, which made me happy.  Lately, it feels like most of my efforts to act on inspiration and do nice things have fallen a bit flat... After her initial glee, though, I'm not sure exactly what happened...

She did indeed need help with something.  

It turns out, though, she isn't the WARD Camp Director like I thought.  She's the STAKE Camp Director.  So when she started talking about "pillow presents" for the girls, and a spiritual thought, and how she had the contents of the goodie bag but not the actual "spiritual" part of it yet, and that's where she could really use my help because she knew nothing about how to use Power Point...I was totally lost.  Power Point??  She mentioned that so far she had collected mini flash lights, Q-tips, and some other little things that I can't remember, and she wanted to tie all of those into something related to the Holy Ghost and how the girls needed to have their eyes and ears open so they could see the gifts of the Spirit??...or something like that.  She was a little hurried and vague.  So I came away from our five minutes together understanding that she needed me to find a quote related to all of her stuff, make it cute, and print it out to be inserted in little bags...for 100 girls! by next Sunday!

Seriously...I do not know how these things find me.  When I walked across the room to talk to her, I was prepared to volunteer to go to the store later this week and buy ice cream sandwiches and Otter Pops for the 10 girls in my ward...

I did have the presence of mind to ask if there was a budget for this project, which I typically would never think to do.  I still don't know what it is, though, because she just told me to print them out and then she would pay for them.  ???

Sunday night, I was too busy agonizing over a kindness talk and then going to a fireside.  Monday I was a mess.  And Tuesday I spent the day trying to get kids registered for school (which still has not happened) and Craig and McKay ready for their fishing trip (more on that later...)  And then yesterday, I started to feel the weight of this responsibility. 

I procrastinated in bed for a few hours in the morning, and then finally made myself go for a late morning walk.  And somewhere in the middle of a hill in the blazing 10:00am Birmingham heat and humidity, listening to Sister Marriott's lovely, honey-coated, southern voice, I got a tiny bit of inspiration.

First, it occurred to me that the Camp Director didn't mean she needed a Power Point presentation.  She just meant she didn't know how to do graphic stuff on her computer.  Well, I don't really know how to do those cute printable things either.  I could make some cute scrapbook thing, but for 100 girls that would take FOREVER!  Nope...that wouldn't work.  What I DO have handy, though, is an arsenal of General Conference quotes and an equally huge gallery of pictures I've taken.  So...all I needed to do was find a quote and match it with a relevant picture!  Brilliant, huh?!  Um...have you met my IG?  I do that every day of my life!  

Just instead of using the quote as the caption under the picture, I needed to figure out how to add it as the text on the picture itself.  I have a million editing apps, how hard could it be??  Guess what.  It's not hard at all.  I tried it in PhotoShop, but the fonts aren't as cute, and they don't wrap themselves, so I gave up and found another app and just did the whole thing ON MY PHONE!  

I struggled for awhile trying to find an exact quote that would cover all those obscure items that sister had already purchased.  I couldn't find anything.  I also couldn't reach her this week because her work schedule is quite hectic.  So, I just stopped trying to do it on my own, and decided to say a prayer.  I didn't know what that Camp Director envisioned for this handout, but the Spirit did.  So I asked him to tell me.  And then as soon as I got up and went back to my Mac, I found the perfect Conference talk with the perfect quote...
“If we will open our hearts to the refining influence of the unspeakable gift of the Holy Ghost, a glorious new spiritual dimension will come to light.  Our eyes will gaze upon a vista scarcely imaginable.  We can know for ourselves things of the Spirit that are choice, precious, and capable of enlarging the soul, expanding the mind, and filling the heart with inexpressible joy.”  - Joseph B Wirthlin
And the perfect picture came instantly to my memory because it just looks like a glorious and scarcely imaginable vista, don't you think?...

And then a few minutes of editing...and POOF!  Done!'s the best part.  At Sam's, the first time you order prints, the first 50 are FREE, so I ordered 100 prints of that picture up there, picked them up two hours later, and it cost...

wait for it...

$7.50!!  Amazing, huh?  

Who even cares if there's a budget or not.  I'm not even going to tell her.  I'm just going to hand her 100 finished handouts on Sunday that she can add to her little goodie bags and hopefully she can check one more thing off her Girls Camp list.

I hope they're what she wants.  I could spend a lot of time between now and Sunday worrying about that part of this exercise a whole lot, and I could do that perfectionist thing where I think of a million things that aren't perfect about those handouts, and try to fix them.  

But they're done.

Emma, who is always more practical than emotional reminded me that most of the girls are just going to throw them away anyway.  Sad, but true.  Something about knowing that little detail makes me so happy I didn't sit around all day cutting and gluing tiny little flashlights onto cardstock.  And it will remind me not to try and fix 100 handouts that are already finished!  Perspective is a good thing.  

Since everything was done in a fraction of the time I thought I would be spending on it, the girls and I went to all those little stores I've wanted to visit for weeks to look for furniture!  And then we grabbed dinner and came home to watch movies.  Lord the Rings/Hobbit marathon!

Hooray for the Spirit expediting my time!  Hooray for big things becoming so much easier than I expected!  Hooray for editing apps!  And hooray for the beginning of a responsibility-free weekend with my girls!  

I can do harder things than I ever think I can do.  

1 comment:

  1. Such a great experience, and I LOVE the finished product. Your ward and stake are so blessed that your family moved in! Enjoy girls camp.