Monday, September 24, 2012

The Catch-up.

In the interest of quieting my conscience, I am finally going to give blogging another try. Kudos to my friends who inspire me by their consistent and brilliant posts. Herein shall lie a summer recap and then on to writing the good stuff- my outlet for all the great stuff life has taught me lately.

Summer ROCKED. Kate, Zach and I traveled our tushies off and are quite content to chill out for awhile. We went to Colorado, South Carolina, Idaho twice (West Yellowstone and up by Coeur D'Alane), and who can forget THE BAHAMAS to see our dear friends the Loboschefsky's seal the deal with style. Congrats to them on their marriage. They are the best God-parents our little squirt could ask for. She just turned one (!!???) last week and they gave her a Kindle Fire because no god-child of Paul Loboschefsky's is going to be a dummy. :) Get this girl reading momma! So far all she likes are the Baby Einstein videos (has anyone ever watched those? I feel like I now know how the world would look on drugs!) and the app where you can draw in neon lights. I'll take it. Oh and we took her to the zoo to celebrate her birthday. It was adorable to see her little fingers pointing at everything that moved. She was as interested in the kids running around as the animals. Which of course is guilt tripping me as I continually procrastinate the fact that someday we will have to give her siblings. That thought is still a little too intimidating so we will procrastinate some more and move onto what life has been teaching me.

Who can say it better than the apostle of the LDS church, Elder Jeffery Holland?

"On this upward and sometimes hazardous journey, each of us meets our share of daily challenges. If we are not careful, as we peer through the narrow lens of self-interest, we may feel that life is bringing us more than our fair share of trials- that somehow others seem to be getting off more lightly.

But the tests of life are tailored for our own best interests, and all will face the burdens best suited to their own mortal experience. In the end we will realize that God is merciful as well as just and that all the rules are fair. We can be reassured that our challenges will be the ones we needed, and conquering them will bring blessings we could have received in no other way."

Zach and I have not been getting pummeled with a long list of large trials. Just the little pokey darts that sting just enough to make you want to be a grumpy, selfish person instead of an awesome, selfless one. The ones that tempt you to compare your life to others and make sure you find your own wanting. It is terrible when you put on your grateful glasses and realize how blessed you are, but I'm pretty sure everyone suffers from this syndrome. I have found this "mild" time of life very educational, because it has been as hard to be unoccupied and feel directionless as it would be to have two million things to do and no time to do them. I will write this from the perspective of a new mother in training but I know it can be applied to any pleateau we find ourselves on- WAITING. Waiting for the next big change or next answered prayer or next adventure to start. Those times in life where you feel restless and unsteady and yucky trying to remember who you are and what direction you are going.

I love spending time with Kate all day. I love watching her grow. Somehow this is just not enough to make the aforementioned blah-dom to go away. No matter the number of walks to the park or naps or new hobby attempts or whatever--I still had a serious case of directionless unhappiness and knew I was missing something. I discussed this at length with my wonderful sisters and sisters in law, with my husband, with anyone who would listen basically and still yielded no real answers. LIGHTBULB-- maybe I should discuss it with He who makes the seasons change?

Here is what he has taught me. "It may not be on the battle front the Lord will have need of me." This is prime-time in many of my friends lives- they're finally getting secure in their careers, they are writing books, they are traveling extensively...and here I sit like like a bird in a cage trying to be content cooking, then cleaning, then cleaning, then cooking, then changing diapers, then wiping noses, you get the picture- just living everyday life with no change in sight. I was drowning in the little things, trying to make those things run perfectly and smoothly so that I would *magically* find time to do the big things my bird-heart wanted to secretly fly away and do. It was affecting my family- the Mom and Wife just have too big an impact on the happiness of the family to be stuck in a rut like this. So I tried to make some changes and so far they are totally working. Here are the new-found (yet familiar) little secrets to my new found happiness and purpose.

1. Pray. A LOT.
2. Plan. As in- make things happen. I love to read and wasn't finding time. It's because as soon as Kate went down for a nap I would clean up (which of course she will destroy as soon as she wakes up, so just let it be Nikki!) and then somehow swim around pointless activities like facebook, pinterest, texting, etc with the excuse that I was relaxing, and suddenly she is awake and I'm frustrated because I still am not showered and haven't gotten anything done. SO. Plan- put my priorities in line and stick to them in order when I find free time. For me that means reading the Good Book first, exercising, getting ready for the day. Different days have different priorities, just make sure you actually know what they are for you.
3. Stop getting in my own way. Accept that there are things about me that are weak and only the Savior can make up for them, so I need to rely on him and not solely on myself. This was stressing my out.
4. The biggest secret of all- SERVE. If I plan and read the Good Book early in the day, the Lord always helps me find time and people to serve. This makes my day feel fulfilled. I didn't realize how selfish I had become and the unhappiness that yields.  
5. Simplify.
6. Look around what I would call spiritual eyes- meaning look deeper than the surface at the life happening around you. Look deeper into the heart of your friends, your neighbors, you family, and see what needs of theirs are screaming for help and perhaps things you can help with.

Love conquers all, and it has conquered my slump. No circumstances in my life have changed but I feel changed. I feel in control of my life, I feel hope for an exciting future again. I forgot that God has a plan for me, and that it's probably a dang good one. I forgot that He really has every intention of making every one of our dreams come true, just in His way and His time. In the meantime, I wasn't doing what I was supposed to and *duh* that was not making me the person I want to be.

Thanks to all that make my life so full and the examples I look to for guidance on who I want to become. Life lesson #35548757948: "our challenges will be the ones we needed, and conquering them will bring blessings we could have received in no other way."

Kate just woke up and is quite loudly asking for lunch so here I go to put all this good stuff into practice...