ironic and amazing

I spoke in our Ward Conference visits last Sunday. We had the Lyman 4th Ward [9 a.m.] and the Urie Ward [1:00 p.m.] Our topic this year is Mothers Teaching Children in the Home.

Lynn and I presented the “grandmother” side of the equation, while Amy and Liberty did the “mom” side.

I love preparing talks and lessons. I especially love studying, researching, learning, and editing it about 27 times. Make that 37 times! That’s my favorite part. After getting together a rough draft, I love reading it, timing myself, marking up the whole thing with a red fine liner, retyping the changes, printing and starting over again. This process takes me the longest amount of time — I’d guess in the 2-3 hour range. I want it to flow. I want it to sound as if I’m actually talking to the audience instead of reading. And I usually come close to memorizing it. I still do mostly read it, because, let’s face it . . I can’t put two words together vocally in a coherent way unless I have a script in front of me.

Prez Kunzler came into the Relief Society room right as we were getting started and I panicked a bit. I really wasn’t prepared for him to be there. But it turned out wonderfully. He added a few comments and after the meeting came and found me and we discussed my life in a personal one-on-one sharing moment. It was such a good experience to talk freely about what’s going on. It was good to hear myself say the words out loud. It was good to not explain or make excuses or be embarrassed. I’m more willing to talk now and let the chips fall. I am not protecting him anymore.

I have contemplated the timing of the Lord so many times lately. When I was going through a very difficult time with work [I initiated several grievances with the local teacher’s union because my immediate supervisor bullied/harassed me and also passed me over for promotion.] Dad had also died that year and some other things were falling apart. I was called as the Stake Primary president. It was hard and awkward and uncomfortable. There were people at school who would hardly speak to me because of the conflict and ugliness of the grievances. I had to work with many of those same people in my stake calling. But there I was, in that capacity, going around to wards and speaking and visiting with bishops and going to the stake council meetings. My [very public] calling helped me get through that. And now. . . I’m going through all of this with L. All sorts of ugly: porn, internet dating, prostitutes, meth, drinking, lying, cheating . . so much more. And here I am, in another stake calling teaching other women how to navigate their lives.

It’s ironic. And it’s amazing. Why would God have a broken, pretty messed-up, worn out woman in this calling?

This is the fourth stake calling I’ve had since living here. Each one has brought challenges and blessings. But the timing . . . . it’s always been just what I needed in difficult moments.

I am reminded over and over that the Lord is in the details. Sometimes when I am hungering for his presence, I realize that he is right here. If I feel a distance, it’s always me who has moved away. He has let me know with certainty that He wants to help and bless and anoint our lives with his goodness.