“To accomplish something you have not accomplished before, you must do something you have not done before.”
This past weekend we had General Conference, and I had a very interesting experience. I went into it with a very specific question I was hoping to hear an answer to (or more precisely, I was hoping I would hear a speaker say something, and the Spirit would impress me powerfully with an answer, as it has done many times before). And in fact, because of something my patriarchal blessing said (along the lines that I should listen closely to the words of the prophet), I had specifically prayed that President Monson would say something that would help me know what I needed to do.
Neither his Priesthood talk nor his Sunday morning talk said anything about what I was hoping to hear. Elder Oaks’ talk yesterday, however, strongly impressed me that I must never put my own selfish needs above the needs of my children. It wasn’t a direct answer to anything, but it was a strong impression about priorities. Then today, I was deeply touched by Pres. Eyring’s talk, and especially the story about his daughter-in-law who prayed for years to have another child. And only when she prayed instead, “Lord, give me an errand,” did He respond with a feeling of peace. Then she had two more children, which is exactly what she was hoping for. Again, it wasn’t the direct answer I was hoping for, but I felt that perhaps I was asking the wrong question. I was asking for the Lord to tell me something I wanted to know (for what I felt were very good reasons), instead of what He needed me to know.
Then I started feeling like, “Maybe this is a silly thing to stress over so much. Maybe the answer is the Lord just doesn’t care. It’s not important.” President Monson’s talk did not give me the direct answer I sought, but I was powerfully impressed with his statement, “The Lord is in the details of your life.” It made me think about my own little son. He was so frustrated the other day by a balance game on the Wii. He was crying because he could never get the giant yellow bead with his face on it in the yellow bucket. It wasn’t a serious problem in the scheme of life. But I was so happy to help him do it because it mattered to him. It pained me to see him so distressed—even over something I knew didn’t matter—and it truly lifted my heart to see him get so excited when that silly yellow bead went in the yellow bucket.
In the eternal scheme, my distress over this question is about as important as getting a yellow bead in the right bucket. But I realized it was important to God because it’s important to me. He chose not to directly give me the answer I was seeking, but I think He gave me enough to know that there is an answer I can find, and that He really does care that I find it. It’s important to Him because it’s important to me, even if I look to him like a 5-year-old crying tears of frustration over a yellow bead.
I attended a Priesthood Leadership Meeting this evening, and one of the speakers was our Area Authority Seventy. He shared an insight about the miracle recorded in Mark 4:36 — 41, where Jesus calmed the stormy seas.
This miracle has always been immensely meaningful for me, hopefully for obvious reasons. There are many times when I have felt tossed by stormy seas, and in those times, I have had to rely on the Master, who has power over the storms. But our Area Seventy pointed out something about this story I’d never thought of before.
I have always loved the Apostle Peter. I have especially been impressed with his almost reckless faith. When the Lord said “Come, follow me,” Peter dropped his fishing nets where he stood and immediately followed the Master, with no thought of how he would provide for himself or his family. It was enough that the Master had commanded him to follow. He obeyed.
It’s been a very, very long time since I’ve put up a new post. But Jamie left a comment on the “My Story” page, and my response got so long and involved, I thought it deserved its own post. So Jamie, here are my thoughts:
So… as a result of paying Uncle Sam too much in taxes this year, I received an artificial windfall this month (see, it’s artificial because it was my money all along, and if I’d figured my taxes more precisely, I could have stuck the same amount in the bank and earned interest myself instead of donating it to government pork; whether I actually would have done so is a topic we will leave for another day). Anyway, we got some extra money, and I’d been wanting to get one of these little Eee PCs for months. So Mrs. Sweet relented, and I ordered it.
With the exception of the funky right shift key, I am extremely pleased with this ultra-portable little wonder. It’s just the right size to pull out and use on the short bus ride to work (the ride is short, not the bus). Does that mean I will be posting more frequently, since now I can type up my posts while I pontificate on the bus? Well, theoretically it does. Even with the annoying right shift key, it’s certainly easier to use than the Blackberry. Of course, even the two or three regular readers I had seem to have dropped off as my blogging became very irregular. So I don’t know that anybody will read this. But I’m fairly certain I still have some things to say. In any case, I know that I still struggle with gender issues, so my “journey” is not over yet. So here we go…
I made my first post on Jan. 11, 2008, exactly one year ago yesterday. And now, exactly 1 year, 1 week, and 2 days after my first post, we will be inaugurating our first black president. Coincidence? I think not, and here’s why. For something to be a “coincidence,” there has to be at least some apparent connection. In this case, there is nothing that even has the least hint of a connection. So I cannot take (blame/credit) for the election of Barack Obama, or really any other important event of the past year, such as the invention (finally) of the memristor.