Thursday, October 31

FHE - President Eyring's "To my grandchildren"

I didn't feel as prepared going into this FHE as I have the previous weeks and was tempted to bail. What I need to do is start delegating these lessons on a regular FHE responsibilities rotation but I have yet to actually finish making and use one of those handy charts. I have crafting fear, it's totally dumb. 

It wasn't a whiz bang FHE, but it happened! And sometimes consistency, simply having the Spirit present, and their participation is what matters most. A bit of last minute inspiration due to earlier study totally paid off too! 

You see, I was pretty worn out because it was Monday. And the kids had all been home all day. I needed some serious comfort food so I slaved away on a home made chicken pot pie for dinner. This recipe only happens maybe twice a year for me but oh how we love it! It's Ryan's mom's and it's totally Delish. All the kids thought so too, yet Jake threw his tantrum not two minutes after this picture. Full plate and cup of milk swiped off the table across the floor. Awesome. To his room he went while I finished enjoying my homely creation while McKay praised me up and down for the pot pie and for not losing my temper (sadly, me losing it is rather routine at dinner). Love that kid!

So back to our FHE. We watched the first few minutes of President Eyring's talk together until he finishes sharing the scriptures in Matthew 25. I'd asked them to listen for:

"There is one overarching commandment that will help us to meet the challenges and lead to the heart of a happy family life . . . 

We watched it and discussed what this means.
“Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,“Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
“This is the first and great commandment.
“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
“On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”1
But the kids were as pot pied as I was, so we needed a kick. And this was my last minute inspiration: We used the Friend magazine! YAHOO! I love how being in the Primary presidency has made me aware of the monthly themes and the past two months' themes fit President Eyring's talk perfectly! 

And we closed with . . . 

"Life in families will test us. That is one of God's purposes in giving us the gift of mortality - to strengthen us by passing through tests."

True. True. True. I had lots of other favorite parts to the talk like this one  . . .

"We cannot force that on others [a remembrance of their tutelage in the pre mortal existence of the plan of happiness], but we can let them see it in our lives."

But for me, a wonderful blessing of my study of this talk came yesterday. It's been a pretty calm week here at home with me trying pretty hard to let the kids be kids, but also to not let contentions escalate without me stepping in to mediate. Boy is that hard sometimes - especially since daylight savings has not meant kids sleeping in and Jake has been up between 3:30-5:30 each day!!! Argh.

But like I was saying, a great moment happened when I had a call from a new friend who is struggling in that nasty Bermuda Triangle of transition we call moving here, their first overseas assignment which came quickly and unexpectedly. One of her children is really struggling. Have you ever felt that loss of hope for the end of a struggle? I was there this summer and I remember that dark place through a few of my life's rough transitions. And I felt prompted to share a couple parts of this talk with her and we cried together. 
". . . God has devised means to save each of His children. For many, that involves being placed with a brother or a sister or a grandparent who loves them no matter what they do.
Years ago a friend of mine spoke of his grandmother. She had lived a full life, always faithful to the Lord and to His Church. Yet one of her grandsons chose a life of crime. He was finally sentenced to prison. My friend recalled that his grandmother, as she drove along a highway to visit her grandson in prison, had tears in her eyes as she prayed with anguish, “I’ve tried to live a good life. Why, why do I have this tragedy of a grandson who seems to have destroyed his life?” 
The answer came to her mind in these words: “I gave him to you because I knew you could and would love him no matter what he did.”
And then . . .
President George Q. Cannon said this about how God has prepared you and me and our children for the tests we will face: “There is not one of us but what God’s love has been expended upon. There is not one of us that He has not cared for and caressed. There is not one of us that He has not desired to save, and that He has not devised means to save. There is not one of us that He has not given His angels charge concerning. We may be insignificant and contemptible in our own eyes, and in the eyes of others, but the truth remains that we are the children of God, and that He has actually given His angels—invisible beings of power and might—charge concerning us, and they watch over us and have us in their keeping.”2
What President Cannon taught is true. You will need that assurance, as I have needed it and depended on it.
So there are people we are put here to save with our love and who are put in our lives to save us with their love. And then there's also "His angels - invisible beings of power and might." I take great comfort in this and have felt both to be true in my life. It's pretty darn awesome!

If you've read anything of Brené Brown, you'll know that feeling this sort of connection with someone like I had with my friend is pretty much what life is all about. Of course, our prophets and apostles have been saying it all along, quoting the Master, but lately I've loved a fresh vocabulary found in her work that reaffirms truths of the gospel to me! Just to be real though, I've been so enmeshed in my busy little home life this week that each time this friend has called, I've not been the most empathetic patient good listener and I found myself messaging her to apologize often asking her to not give up on me for my fumbling efforts to not be such a hermit. Seriously, sometimes this stay-at-home motherhood thing zaps me of my social skills and ability to speak intelligibly. It's not awesome.

My kids are on Fall Break from their school this week. Germans take off and travel or visit family but Ryan's on the US holiday schedule so he's working. And I'm pretty proud of him. He's got a lot going right now, doing presentations of his team's work to generals and their staff which has been well received. So much so, in fact, that his gov't liaison sent an email praising him to Ryan's bosses up the chain. I really appreciate leaders who take the time to give credit for a job well done!

As for me and the kids on the home front, we didn't plan anything special but we've had something every night which is unusual, and draining, for us happy homebodies. On Tuesday, our Home Teachers came. I think this is probably the third time in the five years we've had someone come so the kids were intrigued, wondering what a home teacher was and why they were coming. We had a nice visit getting to know our newly assigned ones. Wednesday we invited some good friends, the Rays, for dinner as they are in a hotel until they move back to the US on Saturday. Waaah! Their daughter and our kids got to each share their research unit project speeches with us which was fun. Topics: Migrations - pioneer ancestors; The stories about us - George Washington; and Creepy Crawlies - daddy long legs. Tonight was trick or treating, tomorrow night is a ward CARnival trunk or treating and chili cook off, and Saturday is the Relief Society Super Saturday with Thai and Mexican cooking, photography, crocheting, bunting sewing, and a few others. See, I'm so glad we've laid low during the day getting chores done and alternating technology and play days as most of us battle annoying colds.

I've finally decided how I would display the nuggets from these FHEs. It's mostly for me, but the kids do sit at this desk now and then for homework so maybe they'll glance at it!