Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Life is like a wheel

I am  really enjoying the MORMON CHANNEL.    Especially,  I like a segment called "conversations" which is a collection of inspirational, well....conversations with general authorities and their wives and amazing members of the church that have overcome great obstacles.  Today I heard a quote that resonated with me. 

(I'm paraphrasing ): Joseph Smith made a statement once that life was like a wheel.

  There are going to be times when we are at the top of the wheel and in a position to give someone at the bottom of the wheel a hand up and there are going to be times we are at the bottom of the wheel in NEED of a helping hand.  Regardless, EVERYONE,  EVERYWHERE is going to have bottom of the wheel moments during their lifetime.

The last few years have been bottom-of-the-wheel years.  Whether it be health issues Brent was dealing with, financial trials, overwhelming medical bills, or just life feeling out of balance.  We have leaned on friends and family and their prayers and fasting a great deal.  We have , most importantly, felt the helping hand of our Savior.
I think our place on the wheel is about to change. 
I feel it.  Maybe it is just my new attempt to have a positive state of mind but I feel like the wheel is slowly turning and we are heading toward a better view.  Hopefully, a view that will allow us to lend others a helping hand.
Brent started a new job and he is really excited about it. 
 They seem like a company that takes good care of their employees.  The salary and benefits are such that it puts us in a better position to build our savings back up. 
We have alot of ground to cover.
He also turned over a company he started last year over to some investors. 
It has done really well  but he just doesn't have the band width to keep growing it, work full time, develop the non-profit he started, and spend time with us, his family.  He is keeping a  percentage of ownership but the investors think they can make it into a very lucrative company in the next few years with the connections that they have.  They want to build it and sell it in about three years. 
He also was put in touch with a surgeon
at UT Southwest (by our friend, Dr. Rich Thrasher) that he met with yesterday.  This Dr. comes highly credentialed and recommended and is interested in looking at doing a revolutionary surgery to help him get rid of his headache.  There are so many variables still to be decided.  He has to peruse over all of Bren't tests, read the study from the surgeon that pioneered this surgery in Phoenix, talk to his round table on rare diseases and get their ideas, and of course there is the awesome hurdle of talking to insurance about paying for it.

But I choose hope. 
I choose hope because I can. 
It feels better than choosing despair.
 I have had many moments of despair in the last few years and I don't like it very much. 
Financially, things are on the mend.  Physically, I think Brent is in a place right now that he can handle whatever comes his way: healed or not healed.  Atleast for now.  That is enough.
I admit, I am anxious to enjoy the view from the top of the wheel. 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

We have adopted

Brady has suffered the loss of two great grandfathers in the last few years.  Men that he was especially close to.  It has been a hard adjustment for a young boy who is strangely drawn toward the elderly.  He was by far the kid -at;east of the 5  Argyles- that seemed most comfortable mingling with the residents at the assisted living center that my grandmother lived at.  He looked forward to it. 

Many times when we are out and about he notices white haired seniors and just can't refrain from going up and striking up a conversation.  

It is no surprise then, that he found a grandfather to adopt in our ward.  He has the most awesome of names.  HERC (short for Hercules) Rainey.  Every Sunday,  Brady saves a seat in the pew  for Brother Rainey and his sweet wife (Janette).  He has been doing this for almost a year.  Brother Rainey texts us when he or Janette are sick or out of town because he knows there is a very disappointed six year old waiting for him when he is not there.

a few factoids:
We have had them over for Sunday dinner. 
They have had us over for Family Home Evening.
Herc makes THE MOST AMAZING brownies.  Seriously.  Probably the best I have ever tasted.
Janette is a maniac on the Wii sports ski board.  (I kid you not!)
Herc can out hula hoop all of the Argyles.

People comment to us how wonderful it is that we live in the same ward as our parents.  Then I explain to them that the Raineys are our adopted grandparents.   

This Christmas Brady asked if we could find a matching bow tie that he could give to Brother Rainey and then they could wear them and be matching.  (Brady is REALLY into bow ties and wears them often to church).   

Brother Rainey had a big smile on his face and suggested that every fast sunday they could wear their bow ties together. 

This relationship obviously helps fill a void for this little boy.   I think it fills one for the Raineys too. Their grandchildren are scattered all over the country and they don't get to see them as much as they like. 

Ward families are a beautiful thing that way.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

the parable of the red gerber daisy :O)

As I was pulling out of my driveway this weekend, I noticed this sweet little flower, doing it's best to push through and
 amid all the deadness and debris it was growing amidst and way before it' season. 
In a weird way, I think it is beautiful. 
My kids thought I was a little crazy when I jumped out of the car, camera in hand, and took this picture.  :O)
I was actually thinking earlier in the week, I wanted to go cut all my gerber daisy plants down to the soil because they looked so bad.  Now I kinda smile every time I back out and see this
cute little red trooper.
Have you ever felt like you were in the crummiest of situations and
 yet you realized (after the fact) it made you bloom and grow and BLOSSOM?
I have.
One time, many moons ago.  Like ten years or so ago, my best friend was called to be the RS president. She decided to change the visiting teaching routes.
Unbeknownst to her, she assigned me to visit teach a sister in the ward that
-(and I am not over stating this)-
Pretty much hated everything about me, even the ground I walked on.
I was horrified at the thought of having to call her every week, schedule an appointment, not to mention take her a spirit filled message!
I wanted SO badly to go to my friend (the RS president) and explain the situation to her and ask to be moved to someone else.  I'm sure she would have.  I think in my mind I thought it would be best for Sister Hater, not just me. 
(I still have no idea why Sister Hater didn't call and have it switched herself.)

And believe me, I prayed about it ALMOST every month- 
the answer came back, "NO."
"That is not what you are supposed to do."
So I did it. 
 Every month I visited and taught her. 
Every single month without fail. 
It was painful.  It was uncomfortable.   

Over the course of that two years, she suffered some sadness and trial.  Her grandparents (who also lived in the ward) passed away within months of each other.  She was very close to them.  It was heartbeaking for her.  At one point she had a high risk pregnancy that forced her on bed rest for a long time.

Of course, she was not in a place where she was going to ever let me help her.  But I found ways to help "behind the scenes".  I made lots of food for the family dinner after both funerals. (She never knew).   I suggested a midweek activity for my laurels (I was in yw at the time) to go over and clean her house top to bottom when she was on bedrest.  The Laurel President made all the arrangements so she was none the wiser.   
It felt like the right thing to do.
It felt good to serve her, even if she didn't know.
I think I even felt love for her at that point. I KNOW I felt some of the love that Heavenly Father had for her anyway.
That was one of the biggest growing experiences of my life. 
I learned about turning the other cheek AND SMILING, and loving people when they don't really like you very much, and charity, and the true love of Christ.
And I will carry that experience and what I learned from it forever.
And Visiting teaching has felt like a breeze no matter what the situation since then.  :O)
I love this scripture:
Matthew 5:46, 47
46 For if ye alove them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?  47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

They are the Savior's words from the Sermon on the Mount.  He is saying, it is easy to love people who love you (or are nice to you or who having sunny dispositions).  Pretty much anyone can do that!  (Even Publicans)  It is the other people that we come across that are a challenge to be kind to and love that make us better people (thus the reward part). 

I am so grateful Heavenly Father told me "no".
Over and over and over again.
and for inspired RS Presidents. 
I don't think for a minute that was a coincidence.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The rules

 Zeus is our beloved great dane.  He is about as ferocious as a mouse.  But he is rather large.  And he does get excited sometimes when he is eating his favorite snack or playing with his ball.  We had a small incident over the break and had to remind the little kids of the "Zeus rules".  Brady asked if he could write them down so that he would not forget.  They are as follows:

"List of Rools for Zoos"
No llying on him
no playing  with him (rough housing)
no tricking him with treats (teasing)
win somebody is givieng him a treat dont run towos him
Dont put yor face in his face

Getting a little crabby on his birthday

 We celebrated Tanner's sixteenth birthday at his favorite place, Joe's Crab shack. 
He couldn't have been happier.

 Jensen was a good sport.  She doesn't particularly like fish or crab.

Fun times!  I can't believe he is SIXTEEN!