I ended up staying up until 12:30/1:00 in the morning trying to write my talk. I finally could not do it any longer. I was exhausted from the week and I was falling asleep at the computer (like my dad). I decided to go to bed, asking Heavenly Father to 1) help me get back up at 4:00, 2) help me to be able to focus, and 3) help me to write something to speak about that would be pleasing to Him and the congregation.
I got back up at 4, but I didn't stay awake very long. I started dozing almost immediately. I know I shouldn't have waited until the last minute to write my talk, but I couldn't help it. The last two weeks had just been crazy. Finally, about 5, I forced myself to stay awake and just write. I finished about 7. It was a good thing I had showered late the day before as I ended up not having enough time to shower before we left for church. I opened my talk with quick synopsis of how C and I met (on the internet) and that we got engaged just 16 days after meeting. You should have heard the gasps in the audience! I spoke about Christ being the TRUE reason for the celebration of Christmas and how we often forget about his earthly parents and how special they also had to be to have been selected to be His parents.
We had been told that we each needed to speak for 12 minutes and there would be a few musical numbers inbetween our talks. Well, let's just say that didn't happen! There was a youth speaker, then me. I probably took about 10 minutes. Then, there was a choir number. Then, Clint was on. No other musical numbers as promised. I was nervous to say the least. C was left with 25 minutes to speak. He hadn't written a talk. He hadn't made any notes. I felt like he hadn't prepared at all. But, I was soon to find out that he WAS prepared. He KNEW what he wanted to speak about. And, because it was something near and dear to his heart - children, he didn't need to write it down. He didn't need to make notes. He just used the Spirit to guide him. There were tears flowing all around. It was so beautiful how he shared his thoughts of the gifts of Christmas. Sitting up there on the stand, I was beaming. I was so honored to be married to this special man.
We ended up leaving church after Sacrament so C could head for work and I could get us ready to go to Utah the next morning (without staying up all night to do it). I planned on coming home and cleaning up the dishes from the night before and packing, but I sat down on the sofa to each lunch and watch something on TV while I ate, and lo, and behold, the power of sleep overtook me and darkness was all around me when I awoke 5 hours later. So much for being packed when C got home (however, luckily I'd finished all of the laundry on Saturday). I was done by 8:30 or so though and we managed to be in bed by 10 so we could be up for our adventure by 4 the next morning!
Just thought I'd share this beautiful email we received this evening from Sister Woodgate in our ward regarding out talks. How sweet she is....
I didn't get a chance to tell you both how much I enjoyed your talks today. You, sister Vinson, gave me so much to ponder about the divine nature and calling of Mary....all things that deep down, I knew, but hadn't really seen so clearly before. It was wonderful to hear what wonderful examples of parents both she and Joseph were and the awesome responsibility that they were willing to shoulder. I agree that not enough is said about Joseph, but his willingness to stay by Mary and follow the counsel of the angels and his personal dreams and visions speaks volumes about the man that the world tends to overlook.
Brother Vinson's talk was so moving...his strong desire to be a father and his love for the little ones was very refreshing to hear from one of the brethren. Most importantly, I was struck by the reality that little children really are as close to the Savior as you can come without actually being in his presence! This too, was something I had taken for granted before.
Just awesome talks! My son was just as impressed with them. I think the two of you WILL be wonderful parents one day! I don't want to jinx you, but I would be pleased to hear you both talk more often.
Have a Merry Christmas,