"Antes de tudo," or before everything, I must say that part of the reason I haven't blogged these past few days is because the cord I use to download pictures to the computer has play dough in it. Well, HAD play dough in it is more correct - I cleaned it out. But my computer tells me that it still does not recognize the device. Grrrrrrrrrrr. Very aggravating, as I have many things to say that I WANT to be accompanied by pictures. Plus I want y'all to see how cute Jordan is.
But today I am blogging without visual imagery because I had an experience today I'd like to share with you.
As you know, I have two rather demanding callings in our church. I am Young Women's president of 20 very TIME-CONSUMING girls (if I do it right!) as well as stake camp director (which takes up an incredible amount of time YEAR ROUND). Not to mention mother-of-three, visiting teacher (which I take extremely seriously - I have three semi-actives who need a lot of help), and the dreaded BISHOP'S WIFE.
So. I ... have been having a hard time of late. Especially with the YW prez. I've been feeling very ... spent. Tired. DONE. Like I have nothing else to offer. I feel that I've done a good job til now - helped give birth to a lot of testimonies and started all the programs - mutual, class presidencies, seminary, etc. , which were all non-existent before I came. We've split into the three separate classes, each with their own teacher (we're the only ones in the stake that do that!) and I've done a TON of leadership training. It's been ... exhausting. And I've just been feeling lately that it was time for someone else to take the lead. I've been running on empty for a month or two now. I've been stressed out to the max - snapping at the kids continually and ornery to everyone else. Tired.
So I did what I've never done before - I asked to be released. That's hard to do when your husband is your bishop.
I asked him several weeks ago and he told me he'd pray about it. And I've been continually on him since then (yes, I nagged.) But he kept telling me that he didn't feel like it was time yet.
I cried. I prayed. I begged. I explained. I told him I was TIRED, gall darn it, and I wanted a BREAK. I didn't think the Lord wanted all this for me. I thought the Lord would know better than to ask so much of one person. I played the "mother card," too. I haven't been feeling like the best mommy of late, mostly because I'm so stressed out. I'm always rushing to do visits or go to meetings or trainings and I never feel like I have sufficient time with my kids. I want to BE HOME and be the best mommy I can be. It's especially hard with trying to coordinate my meetings with Steve's. Some weekends we just play "pass the kids" like some insane game of hot-potato.
So yesterday Steve and I had a long talk. I laid it all out there for him. Cried some more. And being the wonderful man that he is, he listened and comforted and understood. We agreed to fast about it together and ask the Lord if He really wanted me to stay in my callings.
Friends, He does.
I didn't go to church today (I wanted Jordan to have at least one more week at home before taking him out in public), but sent my other three men. Steve came home with a bounce in his step and told me he received an answer. My stomach just DROPPED, I was so nervous. But before he told me what it was, he asked me to pray.
As soon as I opened my prayer, I was so overwhelmed with the Spirit that I had difficulty speaking. I KNEW right then that Steve's answer wasn't Steve's - it was from my Heavenly Father. I had utmost faith that whatever he was about to say was directly from the Lord.
And then Steve proceeded to tell me that I AM the Young Women's president - that I still had much to give. He reminded me of Acts 5 - how Paul rejoiced in his sufferings for the Savior. Also in Alma - that only AFTER he was physically and spiritually exhausted did he receive his greatest missionary miracles.
I know that this is a highly personal experience to post on the internet. But I also know that everyone who reads my blog is my nearest and dearest - and I believe that what I say may help some of you. I also know that this post may seem unremarkable to you - frankly, nothing's changed. But the way I FEEL about it has.
Because it all comes down to this. Are we doing what the Lord wants us to do? That's really the biggest question. Do we KNOW what He thinks of us? I think all of us have the right and the obligation to ask Him whether He is satisfied with our "callings" - in church, as spouses and parents, as friends and family members, in our jobs and in our communities. Is He happy with what we're doing? And most of all - do we know for ourselves that this is where He wants us to be? Because it doesn't matter what He asks you to do - whether it's to be somewhere visible and "important" or the humblest, quietest place on earth. Just as long as you know that He sent you there - and that you do your best.