Thursday, August 4, 2011

Good, Better, Best

I think one of the hardest things with being a single adult in our society is figuring out what to do with our free time.

For someone who is married and has a family, decisions are pretty much made for you. Free time is pretty much non-existent. Between school programs, recitals, taking kids to lessons, helping with homework, volunteering in the PTA, etc, you could fill every minute that you have with something worthwhile to help and support your family.

For a single, life is not that simple. Believe me, I am not complaining that I have options. I think that is one of the tender mercies of the Lord. The problem for me is that I am TERRIBLE at making decisions. I suffer from analysis paralysis. If I have a night free there are a hundred things I could do, workout, go to the temple, read a book, watch a movie, work on a craft, hang out with friends, go on a hike, etc. Instead of deciding on something to do, I put it off, and then nothing gets done and I feel guilty. I feel like I should be contributing more to society and doing more to better myself, but there is so much to do, that I don't know where to start so I end up watching TV and wasting the evening away.

Lately I have been feeling like I need to do more service. As a single there are so many wonderful opportunities to serve, but how do you pick which one? Do I volunteer as a reader for the blind, a tutor for a refugee family, a big sister, visit a nursing home, volunteer in a hospital, the list goes on and on. All good and worthy causes, but which one is best. I can't decide so I don't do any and then the guilt and the feeling like I am wasting my life away comes.

How do you decide what to do with the few hours you have between work and bed?

Monday, May 2, 2011

New Calling

Well, I guess the title of this post is a little misleading, since it isn't really a new calling now. I have had a calling for more than a month. I just haven't been in the writing mood. So, my newish calling is the Sunday School teacher for the youth 12-16. ACK! I was pretty terrified my first Sunday, I am not going to lie. I HATED Sunday School when I was a youth. Most everyone would sluff, but I was uncool and actually went. So usually it was me and two boys that I thought were pretty repulsive, and we were lucky if our teacher ever showed. Really, not the best memories.

Of course it didn't help that I was told how FABULOUS the teacher was that I was replacing. I was pretty intimidated going into that first week. But so far I have survived and I hope I am getting something through to the youth. They are absolutely fabulous kids, but there is a pretty large age range. If anyone has ANY ideas for how to keep the attention of 12 and 15 year olds - with a few who have english as a second language - PLEASE let me know! :)

This calling has been a huge answer to a prayer for me. My second or third week in the ward I remember sitting in Sacrament Meeting almost in tears wishing that they would assign me some good home teachers or that the Bishopric would take an active interest in my life, anything that would help me to have the influence of really good strong Priesthood holders in my life. My dad hasn't been able to fill that role in my life, and there have been so many other friends and family that have been hurt by men not living up to their covenants recently, that I was really struggling to have faith that there are good men out there. That day after church I met the Bishop and talked with the Stake President and was feeling good and thought that that was the answer that I needed and that need to be enough.

Last night as I was thinking about my class, I realized how the Lord has blessed me even more. The funny thing about my class is that there are a lot more boys than girls - and the boys are a lot more involved and active in the class. I am just in awe of the caliber of the young men in my class. The two oldest are such good leaders, they watch out for and help the younger boys and are always willing to answer questions and participate. In the last two months they have both borne beautiful testimonies during fast and testimony meeting. These are some of the best young men I have ever known. They probably have no idea, but their examples have helped me see that there are still "strippling warriors" today. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father answered my prayer, I was never expecting that he would answer it by giving me the blessing of teaching, and learning from, good strong Priesthood holders.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentines Day

It has been a couple of weeks since my last post. So, I guess I had better try to at least post some of the thoughts I have been having recently.

After a slow start, I think I am finally starting to a part of the ward. It has been hard. But there are some wonderful people in the ward who have made me feel welcome. I went to a Relief Society activity last week and had five different people introduce themselves to me. I was so grateful to not have to sit alone and then sneak out during the socializing afterward, which is probably what I would have done.

I still don't have a calling. But, I am not as concerned about that as I normally would be. The Bishopric asked me to come in for a get to know you visit a couple of weeks ago and asked me what they could do to make the transition easier. I told them I wanted a calling so I could get involved. I remember someone on this blog commented once about telling the Bishop they needed a calling, not in Primary, so they could get to know other adults in the ward. I didn't feel comfortable asking for something that specific, and I wouldn't mind serving in the Primary, so I didn't say anything about that, but the Bishop told me that they were prayerfully considering a calling for me, but were trying to find the right fit. They didn't want to just stick me in Primary because I wouldn't be able to meet as many members in the ward. So, although it has taken awhile, I am grateful they are in tune with the spirit and trying to find a calling that will help me.

I was also excited last week to meet another new sister who has just transferred into the ward from another singles ward, as well as an acquaintance from my singles ward who just turned 31. It is so nice to have other singles in the ward who are my age!

One last thought for this Valentines weekend. A dear sweet brother gave the opening prayer in Sunday School today. There are a lot of widows and divorcees in our ward, so Valentines could be a hard day for a large portion of the ward. This dear brother said the following in his prayer: "Please help us all to remember that Valentines is love from our Heavenly Father also." I thought that was the sweetest thing to pray for, and really helped me to have a better attitude about "Single awareness day". So, go out and enjoy Valentines, and remember the love our Heavenly Father has for each of us!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I Want Pancakes, or Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

When I was growing up one of our favorite books was Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. In my family, we now say, it was an Alexander Day, not I had a bad day. Well, last Saturday was one of the worst Alexander days I have had in a long time.

I got a new bed set for Christmas and decided while I was putting everything on, I would flip my mattress. Well, this turned out to be a comedy of errors, which included my new bedskirt melting in the dryer, me knocking a lamp over, onto my computer, breaking a key off the keyboard, and finally, the last straw, knocking the entire bed off the blocks that I have it raised up on. It was at this point that I kind-of fell apart. I kept thinking, I am so SICK of this! If I had a husband he could have helped me and this would have been done in no time, with no problems. But no, I can't even do the basic home care items without being reminded that I am alone. I just want to be married already, why is this SO hard!

It was just one of those Alexander days.

Well, I go to my parents house for Sunday dinner every week. They had Stake Conference last week and related a story that seemed to be specifically for me and my frustrations. Not too long ago the Stake President had a day off of work. He decided to make pancakes for his family. His daughter, who is 5 or 6, came in the kitchen and asked him what he was doing. When he told her he was making pancakes she got very excited and sat down to watch him. He was making the pancakes from scratch, so it was taking him awhile to get all the ingredients mixed up, and of course, the batter didn't really look like pancakes to a five year old. She started to get really anxious, and kept telling him, "Daddy, I really want some pancakes, aren't you going to make me some pancakes?" and "Daddy, can I have a pancakes now", "aren't they ready yet?", etc. Finally the Stake President, a little exasperated, took her face in his hands and looked her straight in the eyes and said, "I am making you pancakes, I know it doesn't look like it right now, but I need you to trust me, and you will have your pancakes." The Stake President then related this story to our lives, and how often we tell our Heavenly Father that we want pancakes, and he keeps telling us, "I need you to trust me, it will come".

I know I need to trust in my Heavenly Father more. This isn't the first time the spirit has told me that I need to TRUST. But sometimes it is so hard! It is easy to say, trust Him, but no one ever says, here is how you gain more trust. So, my question is, how do you increase your trust in the Lord and his promises, and how do you show your trust in Him?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


My second week in the ward wasn't quite as good as the first. I found out a girl I knew in High School is in the ward, married, with three kids. I was excited to talk to her and have a friend in the ward. Well, we only talked long enough for her to tell me that there are a lot of fun older singles in the ward, so I should have a lot of fun in the ward. Really? Then, later in the week, I had a phone call from a counselor in the Bishopric, who also told me there are a lot of great single women in the ward, so you should fit right in.

I have two problems with those statements. First, does that mean that I can only make friends with other people that are single? Second, so far the only singles I have met are older singles, in their 40's or 50's or widows in the 70's. Aren't I too young to be looking for social activities with the 40 and 50 year olds? Maybe I am just in denial. In a young single adult you have people ranging from 18 to 31 - a 13 year time span. Going in the other direction, that means up to 44 - so is it that strange that people would group me in with the 40 year olds? Maybe it is just time for a shift in my perception of "old".

This last weekend, my siblings and I decided to leave the cold, yucky air in Salt Lake and visit my sister in California. I have to say, I wasn't that sad to miss church. Hopefully I can have a better attitude going back this week.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Tender Mercies of the Lord

I survived my first Sunday in the family ward. I did meet the Relief Society President (who I think is also single - a tender mercy). But I didn't introduce myself to the Bishop. Hopefully I can do that this Sunday. There were a few moments of panic - feeling like I somehow failed and have now lost my chance to ever find someone because I am no longer in a singles ward - but - there were also numerous tender mercies. Today I need to focus on the blessings.

First, my roommate, who is usually not in town on the weekends flew in Sunday morning and met me in Sacrament meeting. Hooray for not sitting alone on my first Sunday.

Second, my bishopric in the singles ward was released about 6 months ago. One of the counselors is in my family ward. So I have someone who already knows me, and is watching out for me in the ward.

And last but not least, a cute young mother (in my eyes she looked to be about 15 - I felt really old) sat down in front of me in Relief Society with her adorable 2 month old baby. Of course I started feeling those baby hungry pangs and feeling sorry for myself because I don't have that blessing yet. And then, the baby spit up all over everything! The mom had a burp cloth but it didn't contain everything - and the mom couldn't see half of what got all over the back of her shirt - and the back of her skirt. The rest of our meetings she was walking around with huge blotches of baby spit up all over her - and I thought - you know - being single does have its advantages. :)