Monday, March 31, 2014

march 2014 according to my iphone

We started off the month right with a wedding.  My little brother's to be exact.  Haven't gotten any wedding photos back yet but here are a couple I took before the ceremony with my girls.  
 This bearded guy, in case you didn't recognize him, is my hubby of almost 25 years. :O)
 With my favorite Aunt and favorite Sister.  Okay she is my ONLY aunt and my ONLY sister.
  Of course March was filled with lots and lots of TREK planning and prep-iIncluding one day I spent babysitting 56 handcarts in a parking lot as they were being delivered.
 Jerilyn and I took a goofy photo while helping to deliver a porta pottie.  I love the people I got to know through that memorable experience.  Jerilyn is one of those people I am so grateful I got to work with.
 Kiki turned in her $250 bucks here for cheer.  I will post about that at a later date.
 Tanner has been spending time with this cute gal he met at Trek.  Bre was in his trek family.  This was one morning at seminary.  He asked her to Mormon Prom.
 We celebrated this girl's 12th birthday with a big surprise.  We are taking a road trip in August with several of her friends to Houston to see ONE DIRECTION in concert.  She was a tad bit excited.
 This cute 7th grader got inducted into the National Junior Honor Society.  
 NJHS induction night with friends, Lizzie and Xander.  We couldn't ask for better friends for McKinley and these are two of her besties.
 Started spring basketball with ALMOST a whole new team.  After winning the 3rd grade championship last season, we are being humbled a little bit with our record so far.  But that is okay.  We're learning alot and improving basketball skills over here.
 Emails aren't really the best way to communicate with Tanner, apparantly.
And speaking of Tanner, I am going through the very bittersweet experience of watching him prepare to turn in his missionary paperwork.  One of the hardest things I will ever do as a parent!  He has done everything at this point but his last interview with the Stake President.  Unknown to us, we were eager to get that done and found out today that President Alleman is out of town for the next two weeks so he won't be pushing "send" on his papers as soon as we had hoped.  Just don't know how I will survive without this boy under our roof for two years.  Love him so much. Heaven help me.  He truly is one of my favorite people on the planet and one of my very best friends.
This time next month we will probably know where we will be shipping him off to spend the next two years of his life.  Holy Cow!  That is pretty unbelievable.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

In Need of a Do Over

I need a do over.  We all have those days.

It started with being a little too sensitive about a situation at church today. ( I am RARELY sensitive about things.) Most days I think I am actually hard to offend.  But I must have woken up on the wrong side of the bed. 
I had to come home and reread this for the upteenth time.  Gratefully, no one knew I was hurt.  I kept it to myself.  Nonetheless, there are a few hours of my life that I was upset about something that I didn't need to be upset about and I wasted on stupid stuff.  Elder Bednar always makes me feel better and helps me turn the other cheek.

But then I feel like a situation that popped up at home could have been handled better.  And the person who could have handled it better was me.  I was being a grouch.  

And then I was having a conversation with a sweet friend while we were out on the Lord's errand and I stuck my foot in my mouth.  Sometimes I don't articulate things very well.  

Ugh.  I need a do over.

Thankfully, tomorrow is a new day.

Monday, March 24, 2014

What Andy Taught Me at Trek

This is Andy.  He is a big, strapping LDS boy.  He is here with his "Ma" at trek.  My friend, Anne.
Anne has a bad back.  She had surgery on her back about 6 months ago.  She exercised a lot of faith by going to trek.  There was some concern that all the walking. pushing, and sleeping on the hard ground would make it worse.

At one point in the trek trail, the families came upon a river they had to cross with their handcarts.  Andy carried Anne across.  He didn't want her to slip and fall.

Immediately after that was a VERY STEEP ascent up a hill. 
 Everyone looked at it and thought, "we have to go up that?"    
It was overwhelming.  
It was hard.  
Super hard.

Here is a picture of it but it really doesn't do it justice.

Andy helped his family up the steep ascent and then sent them on their way.  
Because the rest of the trail that day was going to be easier.
He went back.  
He went back  to help the handcart behind him.  
And the handcart behind that one.

I watched him help one after another up the ascent.

It brought tears to my eyes. 
Most were just so grateful to be able to be done with it and move on to an easier trail.  
Not Andy.
I asked him how many he helped.  
He smiled and said, "I don't know Sister Argyle, how many were in my company? 
 I helped everyone in my company."

There were 9.

Andy felt strong and capable so he wanted to help those behind him that might not have been  feeling as strong and capable.

I was inspired by him.

I want to be strong.  Not the kind of strong where you can lift heavy things or push up a hill.

I want to be strong so that I can help others who feel weak.

I know the way to do that is to study scripture, have meaningful prayer, live my covenants so I can be in tune.

I want to be strong because there have been times in my life when I have been helped by others when I have felt weak.

Romans 15:1
"We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak..."

Friday, March 21, 2014

Chewing An Elephant

It was the hardest church assignment I will ever have.  
I know that there are some people that would breeze through it with no problem.  For me, it was overwhelming
 and mind boggling
 and I felt like I had been asked to chew an elephant.  

It was also humbling.  
I had no choice but to go to my knees EVERY SINGLE DAY for the last 11 months and ask for Heavenly Father to walk me through this journey.

I am a convert.
I have never been on a trek.
I have never even see a trek.
Until last Thursday I didn't even know what a trek was supposed to look and feel like.

But HE did.  
And He communicated pretty clearly to me from the beginning that He was at the helm.  This was HIS trek for HIS youth and even though he had an unqualified, fearful, human to work through, He would get the job done.  

Daily, he would point  us in directions, give us inspiration about who to call to what.  It started with the 112 individuals that  He identified as the ones He wanted to serve as Mas and Pas.  It took three months of whittling that list down to 56 "trek parents".  
Then He gave us clear inspiration about the Ma and Pa Trainers, the man to head up all of the Logistics, the Food Chairman, etc.  Each and every chair head was identified by Him.  
We trusted Him and I look back and now see the divine wisdom in those calls.

Trek 2014 was a bigger success than I ever could have imagined.  But not because of me.  Or Brent.  But because of Him.  

I will FOREVER love the people that I had a chance to work side by side with during this invaluable experience.  Every single one of them.

And I will never forget the lesson He taught me each day while we worked on this together.  
We are all going to be handed tasks at some point or another that feel bigger than we are.
He showed me through the example of countless others that He never leaves us to rely on our own faculties.
It doesn't matter what the situation is.  It could be a health crisis, a failing marriage, the loss of a loved one, attempts to overcome an addiction, or a really challenging church assignment.    If we allow our Father In Heaven to lay his hands on it,  it thrives.
I know that is true with every fiber in my being and I testify that He walks with us through the hard things we are asked to endure in life.
Just like He did with them 158 years ago.  

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

doing the best I can

I have been in a situation this week that I don't find myself in very often.  I am not any busier than most moms most of the time.  In fact, relatively speaking, I think I am less busy than most moms.  But next week is trek so I started the week off bracing myself for the fact that there would be a whirlwind of activity and a laundry list of action items every day. 

Throw into the mix that this week just happens to be THE MOST STRESSFUL WEEK OF THE YEAR for McKinley and Reagan: cheer tryouts.  It is hard for anyone to understand who hasn't had a daughter tryout for dance team or cheer but it is a high drama week.  One where a mom's calming influence and words of encouragement are vastly needed.  And as much as they love their dad,it just isn't the same.

Last night I left my trek meeting at about 10:45 feeling spread too thin and a little torn.  A concern came up at our meeting that meant I needed to make about 35 phone calls to parents today on top of everything else on my "to do list".  I was already feeling guilty about not being there for my girls this week because of the meetings I have every night.   

I woke up this morning feeling a lot of anxiety about where my time and focus should be today. If I'm being honest, I wanted to throw all the trek stuff out the window and just be present for my girls tonight before tryouts tomorrow.  I want to fill them with words of encouragement and praise and send them off tomorrow feeling good about themselves.  But I knew that I probably couldn't do that.

Tears welled up in my eyes as I drove home after dropping them off at school.  I came home and knelt in prayer.  I prayed for discernment to know where I should be today and who I should be with.  I told Heavenly Father I would spend my time doing whatever He needed me to do, even if it meant being absent to two of the people I love most in this world.

I  immediately dove in and started making phone calls and organizing myself for the day.  

Suddenly, the clouds parted and I realized what I needed to do, what could be delegated, and what. well... just didn't really matter.

I called my sister (who is much cooler and younger than me and who was also a cheerleader in high school) and asked her if she could come help my girls tonight while I went to my meeting.  I asked her to focus on the positive and build build build!  She said she could. 

 I was amazed at how quickly I made all the phone calls I needed to make.  

I started the laundry and cleaned up the kitchen.

Delegated a couple of things.

Planned a quick dinner for tonight that would free up some more time this afternoon.

Suddenly it seemed like it was all going to be okay and Heavenly Father would compensate for my lack in time and ability.  I felt peace.

I know I just blogged about this talk from Virginia Pearce  last month but these are the words that came to mind as I typed this:

If I could borrow a simple phrase—not even a complete sentence, but just the heart of a sentence—to express the key of life in practical everyday language for us, I would use this phrase, written by Alice T. Clark in her article on humility in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism: to 
"joyfully, voluntarily, and quietly submit one's whole life to the Lord's will"..
.Our accountability to God will be clearer, and our scrambling to meet the expectations of everyone else will be muted. That seems to bring sweet relief, doesn't it? One of the difficult things about life can be all of the conflicting expectations of others. Everyone needs help; everyone has an idea of who we should be and what we should do. What if we have submitted our life to God's will? Then we receive direction from him and answer to him. Not that we won't accommodate and help others. Of course we will be doing that constantly. He has told us that we are to help and serve one another, but how, where, when, etc., will be answered in the peaceful corners of our hearts—between him and us.

Sister Marjorie Hinckley recently said: 
"We each do the best we can. 
My best may not be as good as your best, but it's my best. 
The fact is that we know when we are doing our best and when we are not. 
If we are not . . . it leaves us with a gnawing hunger and frustration. But when we do our level best, we experience peace".