Monday, October 31, 2011

The Face of Fear

Wow. Uh. Wow. It has been nearly 3 months since I have posted a blog. Of course, I am planning to go back and fill in the gap with old posts that I predate, making it seem as though I have been on top of it all. ;) But alas, I am not. Since taking on Early Morning Seminary, I have found the block of time (usually 3-4 hours) it takes me to do it each day has crowded out many extras (like blogging) in my life. I am still trying to figure out how to fit everything I would like to into my day, but haven't quite got it tackled. I figured though, if I let much more time go by-knowing me-I might never blog again. So here I am.

Today is a holiday that celebrates all things scary. In my life lately, I have pondered Fear, and it's polar opposite-Faith. I certainly admit to being a huge scaredy cat. Scary movies? Hate em. Gore, blood, and guts? No thanks. Creepy or disturbing? Uh, not so much. I typically do not partake, so these types of frights are usually far from my mind.

But often in the little gears spinning in my head, one comes loose and manages to spin and spin unimpeded by my better judgement. By this I mean that I sometimes tend to get stuck on one idea and mull it over for far too long. And often, I let it spin until it has become a little scary or has even filled me with fear. It also tends to keep the other gears from moving as they should, effectively renderings me somewhat useless and stuck.

I don't wrestle with images of ghouls, gobblins, or vampires. I wrestle with things in my life that to me seem insurmountable or beyond my control. Things which will impact me or my family in an adverse way. Here's my list of the spinning gears currently occupying my brain:

-This week we will attend a final meeting for public input on a highway improvement near our home. While CDOT has had the alignment mapped out for years (they have even built bridges to tie into the new alignment), they have been exploring 'alternate routes' because one land owner that will be impacted has a TON of money and influence. The other alignment they are considering just happens to pass right through our living room, then continues on through some real estate we have been trying to sell. It has put a big strain on us financially waiting for the decision to be made, and it keeps getting pushed off over and over. I want them to just make a stupid descision! I want to know what will happen! I have done what I can by writing letters and hiring lawyers, but often, the gear begins to whirrrrl.

-The county has decided it would like to build a new fairground/multi-event center. They are eyeing a piece of real estate currently owned by the BLM. It would be a great location for such a thing as it is close to the highway and right next to city limits. Sadly for us, it also happens to be the land that we lease from the BLM to mine gravel for our business. So oddly enough, the BLM has determined that it is no longer interested in renewing our mining lease, and is now considering gifting the land to the county. We should have a couple more years on the lease, but then it is up in the air. We have been working to secure another location on private land, but the owner lives in Texas and it has been slow going. Sometimes the gear that is annoyed with government entities goes into overdrive.

-So I have gotten involved in local politics. I have become aware of policy and politicians in my area. I am the Secretary of our county GOP and I get to attend all kinds of meetings and keep notes of said meetings. I like it, except when it is on weekends and evenings because...

-I have 5 kids. The oldest 2 have been doing football (almost over) and our only daughter has jumped into dance classes with both feet. So I get lots of time with my two youngest from the time they get off the bus until dinner time when I make my best effort to round everyone up so we can eat together (far too often this is not at our dinner table at our home).

-And our home is where Grandma is living. She has been in a 5th wheel trailer that is painfully not sufficient for her needs. We have ordered her a new 'park home' that will hopefully suit her better. We have recently hired permanent help to be with her for several hours a day to ensure pills are taken, errands are run, and general help is given. We are doing our best to help her stay independent, but are taking it day by day as she has had marked changes in ability.

-All of these things cost money, so we are exploring construction possibilities in North Dakota. Not the climate I would prefer, but the big oil play there is paying good money especially when compared to our job-thin area. We don't want to have to lay off any of our crews through the winter as they have families and lives too. We hope to keep them working.

-And because we would like to diversify in business somewhat, we have been exploring many other ideas and avenues to create more revenue. These 'explorations' will likely result in my hubby doing a fair amount of traveling in the near future. While I don't mind that too much, when he is home, he does have...

-Bishopric duties that take him to meetings and activities when he is around. Sometimes I miss his face but of course I am all for church service which is why I...

-Teach Early Morning Seminary. Which has brought me to Exodus 14, the place I learned this lesson today:

In Exodus 14 the Children of Israel have left Egypt, but they are not quite in the clear. Pharaoh is having a change of heart and sends all of his chariot dudes after them. Even though the C of I had just seen 10 gnarly plagues that trashed the Egyptians, they saw those soldiers coming and they panicked. They even said they wished they had never left Egypt. Seems lame, but they are afraid. Their task of escaping seems too big because they can't see the way out.

But Moses hangs strong and in verse 13 he says to them, "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord..."

So he basically tells them to pull it together and just be still. I sometimes forget in all of my rushing around that I need to take time to be still and know that God is still there. He then said (and I love this) "The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace."

The Lord has it all under control. He will fight our battles for us. We just need to not fear, but have faith. OK, I can usually do all of that. It's verse 15 that I sometimes forget to do. The Lord tells Moses to "speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward"

The Lord commanded them to move their feet and walk away from the Egyptians. Sounds easy right, but the only problem is that they were backed up to the Red Sea, and it was still just a big body of water up to this point.

The Lord told them to start walking, but he hadn't yet split the sea.

I never noticed that before and I am so glad I got to relearn this story and some of it's details. When the C of I were backed up against the Red Sea, with soldiers bearing down on them, the were afraid. Moses told them to 1-be still so that they could 2-have faith enough to hold their peace and then 3-they needed to exercise that faith and take a step toward what seemed like in insurmountable obstacle (I don't think slaves learn to swim). They had to start toward the sea before they could walk through on dry land.

Fear and Faith are opposites. I need to remember to be still, have faith, and move forward. Too often I let those gears in my head spin and spin until...I am afraid. I forget all of the good things in my life (which are MANY).

I need to consider the Children of Israel and Moses who leads them out of slavery. He records the pattern for receiving miraculous solutions to seemingly large problems. The Lord has brought us to this place in our life. He had always been there directing our path, I know this is true. I need to remember that He knows the solution, even if I can't see it yet. So I need to keep my gears engaged and keep moving forward as I exercise my faith in Him.

Then maybe I will have time to keep blogging, maybe read a book, or quilt a little bit! Until then, I will keep at it and try to be still so I can know the way to go. :)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mormon Helping Hands

Today we participated in a Mormon community day of service. I did not type that title in CAPS because I am not sure if it was a church wide thing, or just something in our region. I know they did some service down in New Mexico because I hear the radio adds a lot. :) Our ward decided to do a clean-up along the River Trail. It is a walking path that runs along the river and also along the railroad tracks. We had a great time, although I think it would have been better to be at the front of the pack because we had a hard time finding trash after other tidy Mormons had gone ahead of us. There was a luncheon afterwards and I am really glad our family got to participate.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Elise is 12!

Our beautiful Elise is 12! No longer a little girl, she is now considered a Young Woman. She has been working really hard to complete her Faith in God for Girls and managed to go right down to the wire. Reading the Book of Mormon and memorizing all of the Articles of Faith were 2 that she saved right until the end. Luckily, she finished and besides the satisfaction that comes from completing such a big task, she also qualified for a solo trip with Dad on the motorcycle next Spring. I am really proud that she finished everything. :)

Of course I made her let me take her picture on the back porch.

Jebb really wanted his picture taken too. Elise was a good sport about it.

But I chased him off so I could take a few more.

Only to have his jump through this picture! Crazy Jebb!

Elise's birthday was a really busy day for her. She played with the orchestra at an 'Empty Bowl' dinner at her school. All of the ceramics students make bowls to sell (Here is Elise's). The students then serve a soup dinner where you can donate whatever you want in order to eat. All of the proceeds go to our local soup kitchen. Pretty cool way to spend a birthday evening, by serving our community. Way to go Elise!

We got home pretty late and quickly put candles on the cake for Elise to blow out. G&G Ross called on the phone while we sang Happy Birthday. Papa Ross made her a treasure chest which she felt very privileged and special to have. I have to say though, that here favorite gift was the one that Seth got for her. Those two (when they are not fighting) have a really close relationship. He bought her some headphones with his own money (they are a lot more expensive than I thought they were) and he was SO excited for her to open them.

Elise is a really special member of our family, and not only because she is the only girl. She is always willing to help our her brothers or me. She is a very smart girl that tries to do what is right. I am so glad she is in our family! Happy Birthday to a wonderful Young Woman!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Pet Day at School

One of the benefits of going to a very smalls school is that they still have things like 'Pet Day.'  I got to bring Daisy to the playground with all of the other class pets.  Jackson sure loves Daisy.  I had to find something to use as a leash.  Luckily we had a nylon rope they gave us the last time we got her out of dog jail. ;)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Gabe is Old

Well, it has finally happened. I have a kid old enough to drive.  Gabe got his driving permit today! He is happier than he looks in the pictures. ;)

Good times at the DMV

Thumbs up. Mom, quit taking my picture now.

Driving, legally, back to school

Sunday, October 9, 2011

How to Lose 5 Lbs. Seth Style

What do you do on the Sunday afternoon after your football season ends? Well, if you're Seth, and you no longer need to fill up your large helmet, you decide to get a haircut. I tried to get him to let me take some 'before' pictures, but he wasn't being very cooperative.

When John wasn't yet home from church, we grew bored of just thinking about doing something with Seth's hair, so we decided to see how long it really was. We flat ironed it.

We all agreed that while Seth is a handsome dude, this was not his best look. After entertaining the idea, he decided he would NOT wear this hairstyle to school. The $20 Gabe offered him was not enough of an incentive. And besides, John got home and was ready to cut.

I think the haircut cost him about 5 pounds and 2 inches in height! But I sure think it looks good!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Middle School Football Champs

Today was Seth's final football game of the season. The boys had an undefeated season and managed to continue that trend and win the championship game. Way to go Eagles!

We are loyal fans. The kids all had me apply purple hairspray for the game.

Seth has been anxious to cut his hair, but has waited until the football season was over. Apparently he really like the helmet he had even though it was almost too big for him. He said that if he cut his hair, it wouldn't fit for sure, so he waited. :)