Processing My Thoughts on a Monday Morning

Yesterday was a little overwhelming.
Mostly because I went to almost six hours of church.
It started at 9:00 am.
I snuck out after YW opening exercises.
Then I went home.
Made lunch.
Finished getting kids ready.
And then went back to church to our new ward. 

We've known about Steve's new calling for a long time now, so it was a bit of a relief to finally make it official. No more secrets from the kids. Or everyone else.

With the entire stake presidency sitting on the stand in the Jackson Ward, it was pretty clear that a change was taking place. Steve was released from the bishopbric, along with the other counselor. They had served as counselors for two different bishops, so it was a good time for a transformation. What wasn't ever made clear is that it was our family's last Sunday in the Jackson Ward. We snuck out of there without really saying goodbye.

And that felt so strange.

We have been members of the Jackson Ward for more than five years. And because we have faced some pretty challenging trials over these last five years, there are a number of members of the ward who have been angels to us. Service towards our family has come in so many forms:

Countless prayers throughout my surgeries
Chocolate chip cookies regularly delivered by a dedicated visiting teacher
Handmade gifts for my children
Genuine friends who have been there to offer a kind, listening ear
Cards and letters that have brightened our days
Primary teachers who have taught (and loved) my kids
And been willing to chase a little boy who likes to run away
Kind souls who have gone out of their way to befriend Derrick
Unexpected dinners
Activity day leaders who have filled the void left by the end of Craft Day
And been willing to listen to Lucy and her endless stories
Peanut butter bars and pumpkin bars from the service missionaries
Brownies, cookies, lemon bars . . . I could go on and on

But above everything else, I feel like the Jackson Ward was filled with teachers. People who have taught me so many important life lessons:

Lola Hutchison, who is the epitome of service, of being steadfast, of enduring to the end. A true disciple of Christ.
Evelyn Zundel, who is literally a teacher, a piano teacher to my girls. And has blessed our home with a love for music.
Ruth Bitter, who recently showed me how to deal with life's most difficult trial with grace, dignity, and hope.
Mike Kelsey, who showed me what the power of the Atonement can do.
Robin Kenney, who taught me that you shouldn't bother trying to cook without the right tools.
Amanda Van Orden, who not only gave me hair lessons, but was always exactly the friend I needed at exactly the right time. (Before we were even really friends.)
Jeanette Pascoe, who showed me patience and diligence.
Sister Olsen, who taught me to serve joyfully. And that people are much more likely to open their door and let you in when you have a plate of treats for them. And to thank people personally, and specifically. And that thank yous seem so much more sincere when they are handwritten and arrive in the mailbox.

Many of the people who I consider as part of the Jackson Ward have moved on. . . I suppose that's what happens.

Steve has been called as the Young Mens President of the Eccles Park Ward. And the rest of our family has been asked to be part of the ward with him. So here we go. At least for now. We don't really know how long this calling will last. But in the meantime, I'm sure we will find new people to love and new people to teach us life lessons.

There is much good that will come from this new opportunity. Derrick came with us to church in the Eccles Park Ward. Kaleigh too. We sat together on one big bench, and the little kids took turns sitting on Steve's lap. I looked around the congregation and recognized lots of familiar faces from our neighborhood, far more than in our old ward.

Rachel and Lucy are in the same Primary class. And so are Adam and Kaleigh. Adam was not impressed. His Primary class consists of him and seven cute little girls. He went missing once, and I was feeling a little embarrassed to be bringing a problem child into a ward that we are supposed to be serving. But so it goes.

Word of our departure has started to spread, and I received a number of text messages last night. And although it is difficult to say goodbye to our ward, I will be forever grateful for the experiences we had in the Jackson Ward. And I am also grateful for this chance to be in the Eccles Park Ward.

I'm guessing there might be a few times I will need to remind myself of that. . .

"This is a wonderful time to be living here on earth. Our opportunities are limitless. While there are some things wrong in the world today, there are many things right, such as teachers who teach, ministers who minister, marriages that make it, parents who sacrifice, and friends who help. We can lift ourselves, and others as well, when we refuse to remain in the realm of negative thought and cultivate within our hearts and attitude of gratitude. If ingratitude be numbered among the serious sins, then gratitude takes its place among the noblest of virtues." President Thomas S. Monson

1 comment:

Gloria said...

Lovely article and I love the ending quote! Good luck on your new assignment. It's your great attitude that will make the time a blessing in your life and in the lives of those you associate with.