Testimony meeting today focused on baptism and basic gospel principles, gratitude for the gospel and temple. We had a convert baptism yesterday, confirmation today. There was also a family in the ward that baptized a child yesterday.
I left the chapel right after the sacrament to go to the "mother's" room to feed the baby. It was the perfect seat for the meeting: a cushy rocker, Sebastian snuggled against me asleep, no other children to distract me, clear sound from the microphone piped into the room. The words of each testimony touched me and lifted me up.
My current bishop spoke of a time when he was not active, of leaders coming to his home and inviting him to church. He had attended as a child, but then he wanted nothing to do with it. A miracle occurred, and he suddenly saw the light that everyone was trying to tell him of, that he had never seen before. And somehow everything came together and made sense and had to be true. And now he rejoices in seeing others find that same light and truth.
The stake patriarch (our bishop when we first moved in this ward) spoke of spending the day in the temple yesterday, filling gaps in his and his wife's families (aka sealings) that should have been done long ago. He spoke of a temple worker that said Satan likes to see us worrying. We will do much better if we can stop worrying and put everything in God's hands and have faith that things will work out.
Many spoke of Gods love, how he loves each of us so much individually. He is aware of our struggles and everything going on in our lives. He loves us no matter what we've done or where we are in our journeys.
A child spoke of attending a friend's baptism yesterday. I thought about the child. He is usually happy and always helpful. My boys and nephew walk home from school with him. When I pick them up, while my boys are fighting over who gets to sit where, this child gives up his seat to make someone else happy. When my nephew was having a bad day and decided to walk, this neighbor child volunteered to walk with him to let him through the shortcut in his yard. He carried the nephew's science fair project home for him this past week. At age 9, he is an amazing example of kindness and service.
My heart is full of gratitude today for my neighbors and friends in our ward. Not all of them handled Scott's coming out very well. But they are inherently good people, and I think many of them have learned from the experience with Scott and are better because of it.
In Sunday school we talked about Christ's example and teachings about loving and serving others.
We discussed how God works with bad things in our lives to make us or our circumstances actually better in the long run, whether the bad things are results of our choices or just things that happen.
The bishop commented about how far ahead he thought he would be if he had come back to church sooner. But we discussed how having that experience made him the understanding man that he is, because he's been there.
My brother and his wife went through a tough time a few years back, and they are struggling with their children now, which I feel is at least somewhat a result of the other thing. But my sister-in-law says that she now has the husband she had always wanted as a result of their trial.
Days like today make me feel like there is hope that someday Scott will come back to the church and/or me and our marriage. I've told him that, and he cannot see that ever happening. I mentioned it to one of our friends, and he also became concerned that I was putting hope in something that is very unlikely. But for some reason, the spirit keeps putting it in my head, whether for some sort of comfort that I need right now (and that my children need), or because God knows all things from beginning to end.
All I can do is remember that my life is in God's hands, and that He will help me make the best of what I've got.
I've been dreading the upcoming holiday, "single-awareness day," some call it. But I am trying to think of it as "children appreciation day," and I'm working on obtaining the perfect gift for each of them. I love to doorbell-ditch gifts for them on the porch, the same way my mother did for me. Maybe I will take them all to dinner, too. The spaghetti factory would be great. And since it's Monday, and Scott has not yet found his special someone with whom to share the day, maybe he will join us, and it will be perfect.
I made a wish list before Christmas, and one item was a "mother's ring" to replace my wedding ring. So that is what Scott gave me for my birthday last month. It required resizing, and I just got it back yesterday, so today is the first day I've been able to enjoy wearing it. I found myself staring at it at church, showing it to some of my friends (same way I did with my engagement ring almost 16 years ago), and while doing so feeling extremely grateful for my five precious children, and so many other incredible blessings in my life.
5 weeks ago