One of my callings is to edit our bi-weekly Neighborhood Newsletter. And by "neighborhood" I mean "ward." And by "ward" I mean "a four-block radius."
Ah, the joys of living in Provo!
Anywhosers, I thought I would share with you a couple of "Thoughts of the Week" I've written over the last 18 months or so. Okay, so I'll share like 2. The first one means a lot to me (although it's not necessarily that good) because a lady in our ward approached me last Sunday and said:
Cheryl, thank you for your Thought in the newsletter this week.
Me: Oh, you're welcome!
Lady: I have to tell you what happened. My daughter called me and was in the throes of Depression. She was having such a hard time, and I told her, 'Just a second, I have something to read to you.' I had just received the newsletter that morning. I read her your thought and she said, 'Oh, mom, that is it exactly! Please thank her for me.'
I was just so grateful that the time I put into something so small and seemingly insignificant (wait, where is that phrase from?) would yield something really awesome.
The last one will be familiar because I drafted it from my blog post. Funny how it still applies to my current situation. And probably will for my entire lifetime...
January 7, 2010:
It happens to me every winter: I forget what it is like to walk on the grass in my bare feet. My body recoils at the bitter cold and I content myself with a life indoors. Spring is far away, summer is a myth; only the memories of autumn linger in my mind. Come springtime, the memories of warmth will take hold and before summer arrives I will already be planning a hike, a picnic, an early morning walk. The irony is how repetitive the cycle tends to be. Over and over again I forget summer, only then to forget winter and cold during the hot August air.
This is not quite unlike the ease in which I forget how God takes care of me and my family. In the winters of my pain and struggles, I fail to grasp the reality of my summers. I only remember the autumnal paths that led me to my cold despair. But as with the renewal of the Earth, Spring will come! God has never left me to my own destruction; He is always there, waiting for me to realize the crystallizing beauty of my winter will melt and give way. The corner will be turned and I will once again dance in the grass of summertime.
Unfortunately, though, I will forget that even as my joyful summers still come, the harsh winters must also come. For truly, there shall be an opposition in all things; a time to learn and to grow, a time for peace. Without my winters of pain and struggle, I honestly could not appreciate my summers of joy!
“...As one writer expressed, ‘in the depth of winter, [we find] within [us] an invincible summer.’”
~President Deiter F. Uchtdorf quoting Albert Camus
October 15th, 2009:
Time marches on, and with it takes the best and the worst and the in-between times. For me, my life has fulfilled it’s self-longing prophecy of illuminating the moment. But for the most part, my identity of motherhood and wifehood has taken over the biggest parts of me. I find myself with needs unmet, but not quite unlearned. I have many responsibilities, but amongst them is much ambition to socialize, and a need for voracious reading. I have grand desires for gardens, novels, and flawless chore charts. I fiddle with my music and prose; but really pray for sleep. I do not resent napless days, but I do dream of flawless moments. I muddle and mull...I keep it together. My expectations are simple, and yet I still have no time. I search for it daily --looking under piles of cereal, wet sheets, hurried day-dreams, and ouchies. I stare at my older face, and surprise myself by not recoiling when I find 6 long gray hairs on the top of my head.
I wonder when I grew older. I think of when I was 14 years old; so young, so clueless --wishing my youth away, wondering when I would accomplish all I wanted to accomplish. Worrying over clothes and boys and mascara; not realizing that in 16 years, I would still worry about clothes, my boys, and mascara. When did time add bills, cars, books, blog design, money, intimacy, the salvation of children? Staring at young eyes with older skin, I feel the same. I have not changed --desires for accomplishment, organization, validation, love, hope, laughter, joy --I am the same. I am Fourteen-Forever. Only experience has changed my views; my accomplishments are less, my organization is refined, my validation is deeper, my lovehopelaughterjoy is found in smaller places. Moments are captured and held longer, and there is no frustration at compassion. I weep more. I think longer. I capture momentum, and push it longer than exhaustion. My days are long; my nights are short. I carry on, for stopping creates more. More of more. When I wake, I see the trees, the sun, the shortness of night. I wonder, I ponder --I stroke the dreams lingering from the impossible until the whimpering waking reflex takes over; I begin again. With faith. With need. With hope. With joy. Again. And again.
If you are LDS, what is your current calling? If you are not LDS, do you volunteer at your church? Or do volunteer service in the community? What do you do?