Thursday, November 3, 2016

I'm Just Refilling Your Spoon!

Annie is eating solid foods now, and she loves it. As I fed her blended pasta and carrots last night, she started screaming every time I took the spoon away to get another bite. I kept telling her, "It's okay. Calm down. I'm just refilling your spoon." But she just held on and let me know how angry she was.

I couldn't help but think of Elder Holland's quote as she gripped her empty spoon: "You can have what you want, or you can have something better."

I was also reminded of an experience when a kind Heavenly Father patiently waited for me to let go of my plans so he could refill my 'blessings spoon' and give me exactly what I needed.

I was nearing the end of my pregnancy with Jane and trying to figure out how we were going to make it through two more years of medical school without my income. I was teaching high school and tutoring after school to save as much money as possible, but it was going to be extremely tight. So I started looking for other part-time options.

I found the "perfect" job. It was at a tutoring center downtown, just one stop away on the train line, and the hours would be flexible so I could work when Miguel was home to take care of Jane. The interview went great, I loved the owners, the other tutors, and the environment. But I got a phone call a week later saying I didn't get the job.

In the moment, I was completely devastated. But looking back, I can almost hear Heavenly Father saying, "It's okay. Calm down. I just had to take it away so I could refill your blessings spoon."

I didn't get what I wanted, but once I let go and trusted Him, He gave me something better.

I received a phone call a few weeks later from the director of an online school where I had been tutoring. She said she'd received great reviews from several students I'd worked with and offered me a part-time teaching position on the spot.

Since I was able to work from home while caring for Jane, Miguel and I still had an income and we could protect our limited time together. It was a million times better than the "perfect" job I thought I had figured out.

Next time plans fall apart or it feels like good things are being ripped out of my hands, I hope I'll stay calm and trust that a loving Heavenly Father is just refilling my blessings spoon.

Monday, October 31, 2016

It's Hard to Talk to Someone When They're Crying

Just before Annie was born, we finally succeeded in moving Jane and Steven into the same room. We tried to make this transition several times over the preceding months, but it never worked until Steven learned to fall asleep without screaming for 20 minutes. Fair enough. Jane didn't like hearing him scream, so she would yell for us to come get him, which would just set off the screaming again, at which point we just moved him back into the other room.

But the move was finally successful, and they love it! They tell each other jokes, sing songs and talk themselves to sleep most nights now.

One day, I asked Jane how she liked sharing a room with Steven (she loves it), and we reminisced about the challenge of moving him in there. Her summary was this: "Before I couldn't talk to him because he was always screaming. It's hard to talk to someone when they're crying."

Jane's simple wisdom made me wonder how many times the Lord has thought the same thing about me: "It's hard to talk to you when you're crying." How often has He tried to teach me, comfort me or direct me, but He can't because I'm too busy crying and complaining? How much divine instruction have I missed?

When I come to Him in prayer, am I ready to listen and really talk with Him? Or am I missing what He wants to tell me because I just want to cry about everything that's hard or unfair or unknown in my life?

I hope I can have a fresh relationship with Heavenly Father, filled with joy and meaning-- just like Jane and Steven achieved when he learned to stop crying.