Monday, June 24, 2013

Miracle of Miracles

I’ve never had my bed call to me more than it did at 3:30 a.m. on Thursday morning and I’ve never had the alarm sound more like a blaring siren then it did three and a half hours later.  That started Youth Conference for me and Jason and my girls.  If you don’t know what Youth Conference is…in the LDS church the youth 14 to 18, boys and girls, from the area get together with their leaders and spend several days doing faith promoting and friendship building experiences.  I’m the Young Women’s President in our Ward so I already was planning on going but Jason got called special for Youth Conference to do sound for them.

Well the day before it all we did sound for Ryan Innes at the Nibley concert for their town celebration.  Nibley is close to Logan which is almost three hours away from our house.  Thus the reason we didn’t go to bed until 3:30 Thursday morning.  Cuss, throw things, yell, oh yes, all those thoughts were going through my head when the alarm went off that morning.  I will admit that I had been dreading Youth Conference all month.  Somehow we were supposed to fit in all of Jason’s crazy town celebration’s and BYU activities that Jason does during the summer and still make this happen.

I wish that I could say that we went into it all at least a little bit excited and that we didn’t murmur at all, but I can’t.    And I really was afraid that we wouldn’t survive, but somehow we did, and quite miraculously, even despite my murmuring, I still managed to feel the Holy Ghost.  I think from the very first reenactment that we did I was drawn right in.  It’s harder to feel the excitement that the crowd feels at anything we do, whether if it’s a concert in the park or a dance with three thousand screaming kids, or even a Youth Conference, because we know all the ins and outs and technical crap that went into it and it kind of takes away the magic of it all, but when President Bailey stood on that ridiculously tall tower in the middle of that field and spoke as if he was King Benjamin from the Book of Mormon I was head and toes prickles.  What a good man who really had spent his whole life serving the Lord standing there playing the part of an ancient king who had served the people and his Savior all of his days.

The Youth were amazing as they always are and watching them play games in the field all 200+ of them getting along and giggling was an amazing sight to behold.  When Captain Moroni rode in on his beautiful horse all decked out in his fighting armor, I barely thought about the time I had spent with him and his wife the hour before teaching them how to hook up his wireless mic, he was just fantastic.  My Young Women spoke later about him and how much they loved that he had written his speech himself and it was directed just to them as if someone from the scriptures knew about their day and their trials and spoke with all his heart for them.  What they didn’t know and what he told me just the hour before was his concern that he could hold his emotions together so that they could feel the spirit.  Sunday at church when we recapped the experience his speech was one of the first things that they mentioned that helped to build their testimony of the gospel and of Jesus Christ.

Friday afternoon Jason left to head back to BYU and I stayed to do that evening’s sound and then spent the time after with my ward around the campfire as our Bishop spoke with the kids.  I crawled into bed sometime after 10:30 but without Jason there I couldn’t go to sleep.  At about 12:00 I heard a truck pull up but when no one came into the trailer I assumed it wasn’t Jason and managed to fall asleep anyways.  Long and behold it was actually him, but before he went to sleep he went back out to that ridiculously tall tower and set up speakers, ten tops and for subs, around the bottom of it for the 4 a.m. morning reenactment.  He wandered into the trailer sometime around 1:30 and then he and I stayed awake for another hour trying to get just the right mix to go with the sound track that the Stake had provided to give it just a little more umph.  We got a whole whopping hour sleep before once again that darn alarm sounded waking us up and pulling us out of bed to that field. 

A full moon was out making it crazy easy to get the generators to run to get the sound up and going and to set the direction of our spotlight at the top of the tower, but it was definitely not the pitch dark that the Stake had envisioned when planning for the reenactment of the Savior’s visit to the Nephites in ancient America after his crucifixion.  4 a.m. hit and it was time to queue the sound of mass destruction on the massive sound that Jason brought but all that we got was a horrible squeaking sound from the generators and the power sending the completely wrong signal through the sound system.  Didn’t matter what cords Jason switched or what knobs he adjusted no hope and still too much moon to make anyone happy. 

What do you do at this point?  I did what I always do when I know so much is riding on us, I folded my arms and offered a silent prayer and so did so many others from the stake who were out there that morning in that field I am certain.  And of course what did I find upon saying amen???  That’s right, the speakers went silent and Jason pushed play and horrible music blared and sounds of destruction rumbled up the hill to those 200+ plus sleeping kids to wake them to the reality of what they had only ever read in the scriptures.  Upon asking Jason what he had done to make it work he said, “I don’t know.  It just did.”

It wasn’t long until ward after ward wandered in, kids tired and startled, wrapped in jackets and thick blankets, their camp chairs in hand to stumble into that lazy field, the moon lighting their way, when Jason came up and wrapped his arms around me and said, “look at the moon.”  It was starting to dip low and in front of my very eyes I saw in response to the Stake’s prayer that morning, the moon set in lightening speed before my eyes.

Pleasant story, you say?  Sweet.  Sure and if that were all that it was it would be good enough for me to tell it, but I know differently.  When Christ stood that morning, the actor portraying him lit from head to toe with the spot light and the lift that he was in towering forever above the trees hid because the moon had set so swiftly, I knew then that it was a miracle and if I didn’t bare testimony of it I would be most hard and inconsiderate.  If those kids don’t know now that God loves them and is mindful of them than I don’t know what further witness could give them that knowledge.  He loved them enough that even though there are billions of people in this world God sent 200+ kids that miracle and that witness of him in the very wee hours of that morning in the most humble and insignificant little field tucked in that tiny little valley beneath the Red Cliffs.

Miracle of Miracles, God never forgets his children, we just have to seek him.


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Horrible Monster the Stomach Flu

That moment when you wake up from your dreams having dreamt that you had died, some horrible stomach tumor or appendix rupture only to realize that you are in horrible, mind blowing, earth shattering pain, which after a few moments of foggy realization you run lickety split to the bathroom.  And that is how the debilitating bite of the horrible monster the stomach flu starts.

Yup.  Need I say more?  I guess lots of fluids, plenty of down time and tomorrow I will start back into things.  I did however, even in the wet noodle like state that my body feels like it is in, mow my section of the lawn that I don’t let the kids do.  The front of course.  That needs my kind of perfection for every car to see on the Sunday afternoon parade route that is my street.  This week most likely they will be highly disappointed, because I don’t care how badly the flowerbeds need edging I am much too weak to give a flying rats bum-cheek and if it wasn’t for the fact that we (both Jason and I and our two oldest girls) have youth conference next week and will miss mow day, no matter how sick I am I cannot let my lawn go that long.  I know, ocd, but we all need something other than ourselves to be obsessed with.

I guess I could look at the pins and needles, or rather swords and cemetars, being jabbed into my tummy right now as something to feel horribly sorry for myself about.  In fact a few minutes ago when I told my daughter Suzy, “Thank you so much for giving me your plague,” I was in reality expecting an, “I’m so sorry, Mom,” but in truth only got, “I told you it was horrible.  Now do you believe me?” kind of reply when I wanted to pout a little.

I’m going to choose however to look at the glorious gift this is beyond the awfulness, I get to spend a whole day in bed, reading a book or writing on my laptop and I don’t even have to feel guilty about it like I normally do all those other days.  In fact I will probably, out of concern for my family’s wellbeing of course, let my beautiful daughters trouble themselves with making dinner so that I don’t contaminate the rest of the family.

You see?  Everything has andupside!  Well time to go, the shining throne in my bathroom is calling me.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Twenty Freakin Years!

I’ve been told that you can’t write about something that you don’t know.  The one thing that I  know completely is love. Almost twenty years ago, just ten more days in fact, I will have been married to Jason, the most amazing compassionate teddy bear of a great big man that I have ever met.  Sometimes I look back on our life and I smile other times I admit I cry a little, because you see, when you have something as amazing as I have part of you is always afraid of losing it.  I just finished reading a book, something that I used to always do but haven’t taken the time to do in quite a while.  It was ridiculously long and endlessly slow but something about it was so beautiful that I couldn’t put it down.  “The Shoemaker’s Wife,” is all about love and loss and part of me when it ended at her husband’s death knew that I would feel just as she did if my Jason every passed away, completely happy in the world and desperately lonely in her big bed at night.

I have a special gift about me.  Somehow I can most often find happiness.  Sometimes the world is hard and I want to cry but somewhere happiness always seems to hold me.  Tomorrow if my perfect little piece of heaven ended I would still find happiness, but I know part of me would be looking through the world in a big bubble, enjoying my time, my children, my God, but always holding on to the time that our eternity would begin.

You see, this is why I don’t read sad books or watch sad movies.  If a character that I will love in them is going to die I cannot read them or watch them because they haunt me for weeks and as my Jenny would say put me into a little bit of a depression.  I think perhaps this is the writer side of me, I imagine everything the whole world as it may be as if it were happening to me.  So if you kill off a beloved character most certainly something of the same sort will happen to my own life.  Hence, the pining away I have for Jason right at this moment who happens to be away at Graduation for the college that he works for.

Last Saturday Jason and I left for California for a few days of alone time.  Youth Conference which we both are going to would interrupt our Anniversary week and the rest of the summer just gets busier so we took the time at the beginning of the month.  It was glorious and well earned.  Twenty years after all is definitely something to celebrate.

Let me paint you a sweet little picture of my married life.  Imagine a girl, now of course she has to be beautiful because that’s how all stories should be, who grew up her whole life dreaming about fairy tales.  Now imagine if everything that little girl could possibly dream could actually come true, because you see one of the best things about that girl is that she can imagine anything into reality.  That little girl was me.  Now, I’m not so sure if I was beautiful, but in my memories I make certain that I am and Jason, well you see he is that prince that shows up in every fairy tale to tell the little girl just how beautiful that she is.  And his arms really are stronger than anyone else’s and he really does protect me and fill my world with wonderful amazing things and bring me more joy than anyone should ever be allowed to have and could ever possible contain.  Every time that he looks at me I am Cinderella, or Belle, or Sleeping Beauty and I really am the most amazing person that anyone has ever seen because even after twenty years he still looks at me that way and somehow, despite the ancient thirty eight years that my kids think I carry I still feel young and light and like anything is possible because I have him, and our California trip only reminded me of that even more.

Our two oldest daughters, Jenny and Nan, have a cute little tradition that they started a few years ago.  Every time that they go anywhere and they see a statue of a big animal we have to stop the car and let them get out to take a picture of it with them next to it and of course every trip they are hoping to top the last one in what animal they might find.  So imagine our delight when just a few miles away we found a metal statue of a great big dinosaur.  Ha!  Top that Jenny and Nan.  Of course the next day we found a few more and had to send them some awesome pictures of just how brilliant their parents were, because we are.

Ah…California was…well…freaking awesome, and twenty years really is freakin amazing and I am looking forward to another freakin ridiculous twenty years more.

So of course Jason, the av/computer/d.j. guy that he is had is go pro camera on his head at absolutely the most perfect time on our vacation and got a glorious shot of my bodacious wipeout.  The waves were amazing that day and my body a little battered and bruised for it all, but heck, it was righteous dude!!