Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Patient Endurance

I used to be a journal keeper. I was young and I felt valued. Though the days were often repetitive and mundane, I was "living the dream"...a hard working husband, six challengingly amazing children, a faith that guided me, and gave me the opportunity to share and learn. I was the homeroom mom. I was the parent who faithfully listened to the first grader as he or she read. I made treats for soccer games. I kissed the sweet spot on the little league players bat. I dressed the ballerinas before their dance company performance. I made the plaster casting of the elk footprint. I rode the most frightening roller coaster in my existence...with my kids. I pitched split finger fast balls over and over. I made the prom dress, and then sat on a cell phone and listened as the description was shared with me of how she looked, how he looked, as I sat at a disc jockey event that I had to help with to pay for that prom dress. I didn't mind...not one single bit. It wasn't leading a multinational corporation, nor performing a perfect piano concert, but it was of great worth...to me...for I felt I was helping these people...to someday live their dreams. I lived this...day after day...and loved it. This kept up...until I put my baby on a plane...for two years...and I came home, sat down...and had nothing. The nest was empty. My dream was done. Sure, I still had my faith, but vibrant youth are abundant, leaving stalwart left by the way. Grammy tried to make up for it... but that, too, seems more of an interference in other lives now. Who wants to be patient with these people who just can't figure out how to "do it right". I probably didn't "do it right" then, when I thought I was living the dream. And, sure enough, as I have discovered, I certainly can't do it right now. I try to fill dream with other accomplishments...hard yard work, raking, hauling wood, helping a gardening husband, cleaning up after projects. I share a facebook post, and encourage him to do the same. He loves to teach...to help....to share...and he rarely gets the chance...and very very often, the efforts become either misguided, or mis-received. Even things we think we are doing to help...turn out unfair...unwanted...unneeded. You wonder if you just are receiving the consequences teachings, or lack thereof. You did your best. But that seems to not be enough...for anyone. Special days are left with people to busy to even share a couple of words. Nights end up filled with tears.

Now you see why I don't any longer care to journal, though, as I have contemplated so many things that have converged in our world during the last few days, I do know that this is only a phase. It is a time of vast adjustment. Instead of focusing on my value to those I love and care for...and often lived for...I now seek Higher Help. I am a constant reader of the scriptures. Last week, I completed a time through the Book of Mormon. This week, I began again. Deep down, with all of my soul, I know that I am valuable...to Him! No matter how many things I say wrong, or who does...or doesn't want to be near me...He values me...and I value Him. My days of helping are now doing what, hopefully, eases the burden of another, and brings a deep hug and a song into a little life....like I used to. Sometimes, though, our efforts fall among cries of unfairness...We have never ever lived in the Land of Equal...I told my kiddos when they were little that the only way to be equal to six kids at all times...was to give and do NOTHING! They experienced, and still do today, our efforts, according to need. Sometimes, one needs help paying a tow bill when her car skids off the road, one needs an engine rebuild, one needs use of a tool, or a boat, or camping gear. Help is given as help is needed. Not equal...not measured...sometimes the greater need is at one, and other times ti is at another...and we do our best to be fair. Since we do not measure, I have faith that it comes out all right, and that the others will patiently wait...sometimes endure...their perception of our actions. I truly live by the Spirit...and have guided my life by following the promptings of the Holy Ghost. He does not have a timer, or an adding machine. He gives and guides as needed. I have sought comfort, for my heart has not understood the feelings that have been shared...as a mention, not a revelation...for nothing was meant to hurt...and yet, ultimately, I feel grief in yet another stage that I have to adjust to...another time of "suck it up". I turned to words of a wise LDS Church leader who passed away a few years ago, Elder Neil A. Maxwell. He spoke of patience and endurance...

Patient endurance is to be distinguished from merely being “acted upon.” Endurance is more than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstance; it is not only acceptance of the things allotted to us, it is to “act for ourselves” by magnifying what is allotted to us. (See Alma 29:3, 6.)
If, for instance, we are always taking our temperature to see if we are happy, we will not be. If we are constantly comparing to see if things are fair, we are not only being unrealistic, we are being unfair to ourselves.
Therefore, true enduring represents not merely the passage of time, but the passage of the soul—and not merely from A to B, but sometimes all the way from A to Z. To endure in faith and doeth God’s will. (See D&C 63:20D&C 101:35) therefore involves much more than putting up with a circumstance.
Rather than shoulder-shrugging, true enduring is soul-trembling. Jesus bled not at a few, but “at every pore.” (D&C 19:18.)
Sometimes spiritual obedience requires us to “hold on” lovingly, such as to a rebellious child, while others cry, “Let go!” Enduring may likewise mean, however, “letting go,” when everything within us wants to “hold on,” such as to a loved one “appointed unto death.” (D&C 42:48.)
So, to those that have suffered from our efforts to be of value, and have inadvertently not been "fair", I beg of you to patiently endure. There is much to be learned from just taking it...for, often, the event lasts only a day or two...and then we are off, left to our own gardening, or bread making...trying our best to find inner value. And, most of all, for ME...I have to remember this...that nothing happens for my torture, or my unhappiness, but for my growth. It is refining to come to terms with efforts to become more like our Father, for He is always and ever patient with me...always...no matter what. We are just trying...and in a short time, we will be done with this part of our lives. Our future plans are that of serving a full time LDS Mission...of working in the Phoenix LDS Temple...this is just a time...to complete career...to be more self reliant. This is just a stage...and we are learning...just like we did when that first new baby was placed in our arms. We did our very best. We do that now. We misjudge. We fail. We get up and start anew..the next morning, the next weekend, the next season. Patient. Endurance. 

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