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Location: United Kingdom

Yes...this is ALL about me, and mine. Marvellously self indulgent, feel free to tell me how splendid I am, leave comments, nice ones please, I have little kids and teenagers who can do the rude stuff. I am a grandma, to the glorious Joshua, I'm allowed to look frazzled and weary, I earned it. The older I get, the more I see that hanging on and being patient is worth it! They ( whoever 'they' are) are so right when they say you never know what is around the corner, it isn't always an articulated truck! It is vital to make the time for making memories, friends are the greatest treasure, I love mine. I am rich!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Days like this....

Today is general conference day, LDS members from around the world can ( and do) hear the words of the Church leaders as they speak words of wisdom. When I was little, this meant waiting for tapes of the speakers to arrive in the UK and then waiting for 'our turn'. We would travel to a stake center and sit and squint at several TV screens in the chapel while we listened and took in, the words of the prophet and his apostles. Twice a year we did this and it was a time to meet up with friends who had travelled from the various wards some distance away.
Today things have changed, we can now watch the conference in the comfort of our homes, I sit here with H's laptop wired into the 42" plasma screen, feet up, cold drink at my side.
The boys are playing ( quietly, see? Miracles DO happen !) and Seth is making comments as the meeting progresses " Huh, that doesn't sound anything LIKE our ward", as the Tabernacle choir sing the hymns that we warble each week at church! He is listening and is remarking on the talk on the word of wisdom, listening as we are told to look after our bodies, to be modest, to stand tall and be of good conduct.
How wise the words that tell us that the way we dress has a direct consequence on the way we behave. I see that every day in Sophie, slowly but very surely she is leaving behind those awful clothes that covered nothing, she is wearing smarter clothes, more beautiful and flattering clothes, she looks beautiful and with it, her whole demeanour is changing, she walks taller, she she she behaves in a more ladylike way ( but you know, she is still Sophie, she is still deliciously outspoken and individual)
Watching Sophie is like observing a rolling stone, one that is hurtling down a hill. One step leads to another.
Last night she came home and said that it is 3 days since she last smoked, actually she said " Oh, it's THREE DAYs since I last had a cigarette and I am trying SO HARD not to ask you for money because I really want one and I don't want to give in and have one because I am going to stop and not smoke anymore but I REALLY WANT ONE!"
Bless her heart.
She has the most golden of carrots in front of her, a trip with her mum, just her and me, to foreign climes, the promise of fun, shopping, treats galore. Laughter, more laughter, luxury and joy. The only stipulation was that she pay her own way. She is doing that, she is going without and giving me her money. On top of that she is going more than the extra mile. She is doing so much more and I don't even know if she knows she is doing it.
She is reading good books.
She is sleeping well.
She is eating well.
She is listening and trying to do what she knows is right.
My heart sings.

I love the fact that on sundays, whether we go to church or not, H dresses in his sunday best, smart trousers and crisp white shirt. I used to think it was funny but now I see what he is right, he dresses that way because he says it reminds him that this day is different to the rest of the week. He dresses differently and behaves differently. He is a good example to our sons ( unlike me who sits here in comfy jeans and T shirt) He has always insisted that as small as our boys are, they are always dressed in the smartest of clothes to attend church Suits, white shirts, ties and clean shiny shoes. Always, no exceptions. It works, they behave differently, they walk tall, they are more reverent. ( Not perfect, especially Eli, unless he sits with Auntie Leah who somehow miraculously demands and receives reverence from this little heathen)
I really don't like to see children go to church in jeans, shorts, sandals and no socks. I am sure it doesn't mean anything dire, I know it is possible to worship and learn however we are dressed but to me, it shows respect, I guarantee that if we were told that Christ himself were to be in attendance at our church on a specific day, everyone there would be dressed in their very best, hair would be tidy, shirts would be ironed, shoes cleaned. I know it, I am sure there wouldn't be a pair of jeans in sight, no-one would be wearing their grimy old trainers. So why don't we make sure that we behave as if He IS there, because we ask Him to be there, in spirit,we want for Him to be with us and know that we love Him and respect Him.
I failed somehow in showing my older children just how much I love our Saviour, I assumed they would just know it, that because we went to church they would understand that this wasn't just something to do on sundays. I really thought that they would feel the same way because I knew it was all true.
Not so. I should have told them WHY I loved Jesus Christ and HOW honouring Him would always make our lives more fulfilled. I wish I had helped them see that things of the world mean nothing compared to eternal blessings and that there is nothing in the world, in the rushing, materialistic grabbing madness that will bring joy the way a quiet faith and obedience to the laws of the gospel can bring.
I have loved today, no rushing, no stress, just peaceful and ordered. H and I will watch more of the conference at 9pm, the boys will be asleep and we will be able to listen and concentrate. Funny how the message always seems to be exactly what I need to hear.
I am so grateful to have H with me to raise these boys, the difference from raising the bigger kids alone to the way it is with a good man, who is involved and righteous is incredible.
Every night he reads gospel stories to them as they fall asleep, the last thing they hear every night is a story of courage, righteousness, good choices, faith, comfort. Every morning he reads scripture stories, they know so many heroes, people who were truly faithful, real super powers.
I sometimes feel as though I am lacking because H is right there, doing and teaching and spending so much time with them, now I know that he is able to do those things because I am shopping and paying bills, cooking and doing laundry. We are both parents and as such, we are both valuable and because we are doing this together, the boys are getting so much of what they need.
I admit that the 10 years I was a single mother wore me out. The exceptional circumstances, the extraordinary challenges took every bit of energy I had. Being married to H I can feel that my batteries are recharging. I can feel life coming back. I can enjoy the boys so much more, I can sit back and let H take the lead ( which for a control freak like me is nothing short of miraculous.)
I think in about 10 years I might just about be able to stand up and be counted.....right as they are old enough to LEAVE's THAT for timing people?
Days like this make me feel as though anything is possible and perhaps, after all it is.

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Blogger Rachel said...

I can't even put into words how much it means to me to know that you and I were hearing the same words at the same time. Wasn't it great? It makes me feel so close to you. :)

P and L loved the Primary choir yesterday. They stood up and sang every song with them.

I'm grateful for M. for the same reasons you're grateful for H. I couldn't do it alone, for sure.

Love you!

3:03 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are lucky. Although my children's father is right here, I am still raising them mostly on my own. I resent it more than being alone and doing it.

9:35 am  
Blogger Tired Mom of Six said...

I love reading your blog especially when you are pointing out all your blessings except I always want to interject what a blessing you are to others! For example, Sophie couldn't be who she is becoming without YOU! I'm so glad His blessings are overflowing on you. :)

You are so special, Helen...L&M you muches & muches! xoxoxoxox

12:12 pm  
Blogger Cathy said...

It's about time you blogged again!!

You have a great husband but in turn he also has a wonderful wife and 3 little boys that idolize him!

Sophie is making huge strides. She will be standing tall, looking after her body and someday will even be modest!

Oh, how exciting that you are going on a trip with her. I'm sure that alone is enough to keep her from smoking and saving her money!

Love you and mist you so

12:58 am  
Blogger Lost in a Secret Garden said...

Does your wards still wait for the tapes or is it your responsibility to watch in your own home? I made a big stink one year in Japan when they cancelled Easter services to view conference tapes when over 95% of the Branch had stream watched it on the was delayed 2 weeks due to our lovely military mail system. I still believe Easter services are more important, especially under the circumstances we were in - 95% having already viewed them or read them online and already 2 weeks late in viewing them whats the big deal to wait one more week? Oh well...

4:19 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are such an incredible mother and friend. I also love how God speaks to you in those moments where you need Him too. He is pretty stinkin' awesome that way.

Love you :) Have fun on your trip! Sounds like a blast!!

8:12 pm  

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