Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lifes little lessons

So maybe you noticed that I took a break from my blog for two or three weeks. That is a long time in blogging days, I know. Well, here is why.

This past month I have just felt overwhelmed and a little stressed out. I don't want this to be a whoa is me post because I know that everyone is busy but I have been frustrated that I can't get everything done. Before the semester started I knew my load was heavy and I would need to exercise a great deal of faith, but I expected to see miracles. Now, I think this semester is not so much providing me an opportunity to just exercise faith but is also a lesson of priorities. The fact is, sometimes things just don't get done. The trick is making sure the most important things do. I expected the miracle to be getting everything done, but instead I think the miracle is learning what is most important to me.

A couple Sunday's ago, I had an epiphany. When Joseph Smith got the revelation contained in D&C 128 he said that the topic of baptism for the dead seemed to occupy his mind and press upon his feelings. This was a feeling given to him by the Holy Ghost. Like Joseph, I have had a few things occupy my mind and press upon my feelings. I believe these are the things that are most important for me to accomplish. Needless to say my grades (and the blog) have not been on the top of that list. This might be surprising to those who know me well. It certainly is surprising to me.

So, with that said, these are the things that have occupied my mind...
1. ) Maddie and I have started a habit of reading scriptures out loud in the morning and saying prayers morning, night and meal time. A few days ago, I almost forgot prayer before breakfast and she quietly reminded me with folded arms. Maddie occupies my mind quite regularly and often presses upon my feelings. We are starting to do more organized activities like coloring, painting, visiting the library and swimming. These are some pictures we took today. Temprance came over to pudding paint with us.

2.) I absolutely love my calling and am constantly trying to think of ways I can get to know the sisters better. Growing up, I had a hard time making friends and a part of me is so scared to let others in. Mostly I am scared that others will see my weaknesses. But I have come to the point now where I know everyone knows I have them and there is no need to pretend I don't. I am so thankful for the programs of the church that encourage me to grow and get out of my bubble. I need that or I might end up a hermit. I think this calling does more for me than I do for the sisters.

3.) I have not been a regular Temple attender for a while now. I think sporatic is more descriptive of my Temple attendance. I have been working on some of my own genealogy and I am determined to be a weekly Temple attender. I have a date with the Temple on Friday. Yeah! I don't care if I have to go by myself. Our family needs the blessings that come from the Temple as well as the families we do the proxy work for.

4.) I am on a committee for the school making new pamphlets for the dress and grooming standards. I have learned a lot about the importance of how I present myself. I am a disciple of Christ and I want to show that in the way I act, dress and in my countenance. It is not a vain thing to take care of yourself and take time to look presentable. We have done some photo shoots for the pamphlet and I think the most awkward feeling in the world must be to stand in front of a camera and be asked to pose. I feel awkward and I am not the one posing.

5.) My good friend, Valena has encouraged me to take some time and exercise. And I tell you what, it is amazing what a little exercise can do to combat stress. I started getting up at 5am and working out and I love love love starting my day with a little extra energy. I get so much more done in the mornings now. I actually make breakfast instead of just cereal. Endorphins are a pretty amazing little miracle.

6.) I had a little spat with one of my very tough teachers. I made a comment critiquing her teaching style and immediately regretted it. Today she approached me and said that 5 of the other 7 students in our class have come to her with the same complaint and she actually thanked me for my boldness. She is still pretty tough on us but at least my relationship with her has improved. I didn't leave class today wanting to cry.

7.) I have also been altering for pay. I altered a suit coat for a professor on campus and 2 of his sons have called and asked me to alter for them. I also have another faculty member who has some altering projects for me after the end of the semester. Not to mention the pile of projects I have of my own that I need to start working on. I am pretty excited to make an Easter dress for Maddie. I found the perfect fabric and the dress will only cost me $6.


Joanne said...

All very good things to have pressing on your mind. Looks like you definitely have your priorities straight! I just blogged the other week about a very similar matter; it's so easy for life to fall out of balance.
It's nice to take the time to realign. Thanks for the fabulous post!

The Hymas' said...

Jen, You are such a jem! Thank you for such a great post, and for your awesome example! I miss seeing your smiling face at Church, and really appreciated your friendship while we were in the ward. Sometimes it is so hard to make friends, but you made it really easy:)

Zac & Chelsea said...

You know, that was the exact scripture that really hit me in that lesson too. I had something that was occupying my mind that I kept trying to ignore. Its been a huge blessing and that lesson really helped me. Ever since we have moved into the ward, I have thought that you are amazing. Every Sunday, I think how beautiful you are, and I so admire your testimony. I really look up to you in every way. Sometimes Heavenly Father has to humble us a little bit, and other things become more important. But there are always blessings/miracles in store, even if we don't realize it. Thanks for sharing.

Cassott Kinghorn said...

Jen! Thanks so much for your thoughts. It was so enlightening! :) I so appreciate your testimony. Thanks friend!

vandi said...

I'm sure it didn't help your stress level to up and have a baby and leave you with all the RS responsibilities. I hope it wasn't too completely overwhelming. I appreciate you so much. Plus, what you said about your calling is just how I feel too. It has taught me so much and the girls in the ward have taught me so much, far more than I have offered them. I am so grateful for the way Heavenly Father has helped me stretch and grow this last year. It's a pretty amazing thing.

Thanks for your example Jen. I'm so glad I have you by my side!

middledavis said...

Jen, it sounds like your friends have you pegged correctly. You're such a great example to me, and I love it when your testimony of the gospel comes through in your postings. This post has been a good reminder to me to step back and evaluate my own priorities, so thanks.
Your comment about the temple warmed my heart. I know for a fact that when you attend the temple, that one of the blessings is this: God sort of extends time for you when you need it, so you can often get MORE done than you thought you could. Whether he makes you more organized or helps you sort your priorities or whatever, I don't know, but I've experienced this personally.
So, if you need more time than you have...attend the temple. :)

The video of Maddie signing is adorable. I'm so glad your parents suggested more videos.

Bill and I sure do miss you guys. And we are so grateful to have you for a daughter-in-law. You're awesome!

middledavis said...

By the way, Maddie's pony tail and bangs are so cute. Of course.