Sunday, February 21, 2010

Belated Birthday Party

Sacrament Meeting was good again today. I find that since I made a commitment a while back to REALLY listen to the talks that people have prepared, I get so much more out of them!  Sister Bigley's talk was really good.  It was about the scripture of the month - Luke 17:32 - "Remember Lot's wife."

I've never been one for reading.  I mean, I actually detest reading.  And reading scriptures - seriously one of the hardest things I've ever tried to do.  My testimony is purely based on faith, church teachings, and spiritual experiences that the Lord has given me to help me get past my problem of not really being able to read the scriptures and comprehend the stories and analogies in them.  To this day, I've never made it all the way through either the Bible or the Book of Mormon.  Yes, it's true...and sad.

So, when I was putting the scripture of the month on the front of the program for this month, I actually had to ask Melon Man to tell me what the big deal was.  Luckily, he had done so before church today so when Sister Bigley gave her talk, it totally made sense to me.  See, Lyn and John have seen some of the same tough times in their lives that I have.  They have gone through financial problems.  They've not been able to have children.  And, a number of other things.  Lately, they lost their home amidst this wonderful economy we're in.  They had to walk away from it and leave it behind.  They moved into our neighborhood which is right across the street from their old neighborhood.  Lyn shared how she would drive past her old house quite often, looking to see if someone had moved in, to see what the yard looked like, to see if anything had happened to it.  When she was asked to give her talk on remembering Lot's wife, it made her really stop and think about how she was doing the same thing.  She kept looking to the past, wanting things to be the way they were.  But, she didn't want to turn into a pillar of salt like Lot's wife did, so she finally realized that she had to look to the future! 

Sure, it's okay to look at the good from the past.  And, it's even okay to look at the bad from the past.  But we shouldn't long for things to be like they were.  We should learn from those things and move on.  I could harbor ill feelings towards Mr. Spock and what he did to me and what I went through with him.  But, why?  I got over it long ago because it was making me even more unhappy than I was all those years.  Once I decided to move on and once the Spirit bore witness to me that he and I were not to be together anymore, my whole persona changed.  Sure, I still had a few rough days, but within 3 months of our divorce being final, I was looking for someone new - someone that had the same ideals as me - someone with a firm testimony, a love of the Lord, someone that WANTED to go to church - someone that WANTED to go to the temple - someone that WANTED to be an eternal family.  Someone that turned out to be Melon Man.

I was also touched today by seeing a father and son standing shoulder to shoulder to pass the sacrament.  I see this EVERY week with these two.  This father is a good man.  He is a convert and has raised his kids well.  He has a good heart.  He will help anyone in need.  I don't know why this touched my heart so much today, but it just did.  I guess it was that I saw this father working along side his son to fulfill his church responsibilities and it was just touching.

I also had a moment where I caught a glimpse of something I feel is forthcoming.  The last time I had this type of experience, I was exactly right and it happened within the next 12 months after I experienced this feeling.  I have a very good friend that I have known for a long time through work and now church.  He, too, is a convert.  About 2 years ago, I was sitting in church and caught a glimpse of him.  I had a very strong feeling come over me that he would someday be a Bishop.  I leaned over to Melon Man and told him what I had just experienced.  Melon Man told me he could feel the same thing.  I told this man's wife about it a few weeks later and she just laughed, jokingly praying that she hoped not.  I also told him what I had felt and he just said, "no way."  However, within 6 months, he was called into the Bishopric as one of the counselors.  Today, our Bishop was really ill and was unable to attend so this man had to fill in for him in presiding over the ward and the meetings, which also meant that he sat in the Bishop's seat on the stand.  Once again, I had a very distinct impression that someday he would, indeed, be a Bishop and my heart was truly touched.  Later this evening, I had to return some things to his home.  He met me at the door and I let him know what had happened today.  True to the personal and spiritual growth of being called to such a calling, he didn't laugh it off this time, but rather said something to the effect of "I would hope not in the near future, but if that's what is required of me by the Lord, then so be it."  I was so touched by this young man's heart and goodness.

Lastly, the ward choir sang the song "If the Savior Stood Beside Me."  What a beautiful song!  It really made me think about the things I do and say and if I would do them if my brother and Savior were right next to me...

If the Savior stood beside me, would I do the things I do?
Would I think of His commandments and try harder to be true?
Would I follow His example? Would I live more righteously,
If I could see the Savior standing nigh, watching over me?

If the Savior stood beside me, would I say the things I say?
Would my words be true and kind if He were never far away?
Would I try to share the gospel? Would I speak more reverently
If I could see the Savior standing nigh, watching over me?

If the Savior stood beside me, would my thoughts be clean and pure?
Would His presence give me strength and hope, and courage to endure?
Would His counsel guide my actions? Would I choose more worthily
If I could see the Savior standing nigh, watching over me?

If the Savior stood beside me, would I often kneel to pray?
Would I listen to the Spirit's voice, and hasten to obey?
Would I count my many blessings? Would I praise Him gratefully
If I could see the Savior standing nigh watching over me?

If the Savior stood beside me, would I comfort those in need?
Would I try to show the Savior's love in every word and deed?
Would I give to those who hunger? Would I serve more willingly
If I could see the Savior standing nigh, watching over me?

He is always near me, though I do not see Him there
And because He loves me dearly, I am in His watchful care
So I'll be the kind of person that I know I'd like to be
If I could see the Savior standing nigh, watching over me.

So, I turned 41 about a week ago.  Yep, 41.  Oh goodness.  I am only 9 years away from being 50 (like Lisa)!  ARGH!  I didn't even blog about it.  It was a really busy week at work that week and I really didn't do any blogging hardly.  In fact, what blogging I did do, I went back and did long after the actual date.  It was a nice day, however - just quiet.  Thanks to all who sent birthday wishes in whichever manner they chose.  I truly appreciated it!

Since everyone's schedules were kind of hectic last weekend, it was hard to get together for a party, so we had one today.  Uncle Ward was unable to make it because he was really sick.  Poor guy!  And Nik had to protect and serve today so he couldn't make it either.  We missed both of them!  Lisa and Tile Guy came, along with Auntie Sigie, and then the Rashetas all came (except Nik), including Tere's sister, Alicia (pronounced A-lee-see-a).
This is a great picture.  Noah was taking pictures of Tere and Alicia while Alicia was holding a camera while I was taking a picture of them from all the way across the room.  It was a bit of a madhouse with so many people in one space, but I sat there and observed everyone just laughing and talking and it melted my heart that so many people were here because of me.  It touched my heart, too, that I was able to have people from both my side of the family and from Melon Man's.  It's great having some of his family live so close to us and to be able to do things with them. 

Somehow, I only got this picture of Landon.  I didn't get any pictures of Anissa, Robyn, or Olivia!  What was up with that?  Oh, I know...I was getting dinner on the table, etc.  Darn.  Next time!
I got this picture of Giselle, Noah, and Rajko just before they left.  Rajko wouldn't come to me at all this time for some reason.  But, he was all smiles anyway.  Giselle just ran her first 1/2 marathon a few months ago.  Way to go girl!  Run the other 1/2 for me, okay?
It was a lot of fun having everyone here to celebrate.  Lary, Tere, Giselle, and Noah gave me a beautiful plant - the kind with the waxy red tropical leaves - LOVE it!  Anissa made me some homemade tomatillo salsa - girl, is Mom-in-Law teaching you how to make that?  It's divine!  Dad sent Lisa off to Chompies to buy me a gift card - yum.  And Lisa and Tile Guy gave me a gift card for Home Goods.  Fun, fun!
I made homemade lasagna, garlic sourdough garlic bread, and a GINORMOUS green salad.  The food was pretty good, but the company was the best.  I also made my birthday cake.  It was a take on last year's Sunny Day Rainbow cake, but instead of being rainbow colored, it was white with cherry chip pieces, then pink, then reddish-fuchsia.  It had whipped cream frosting with pink sugar sprinkles on it.  It was dense and yummy.
I'm not the best baker in the world so as you can see...the cake fell in the center, but it was still tasty.  In fact, this is the only piece of the whole cake that was left and it certainly didn't last long.  Melon Man even liked it this year (last year's frosting was kind of yucky).

What a lucky girl I am to have family near and far who love me!  Now, I'm off to finish up some laundry and get things packed for tomorrow morning we're off to Vegas, baby!


Cindy said...

Well, my dear, the cake looks pretty dang good anyway. Share the recipe!

Rasheta Family said...

Thanks for the awesome dinner and cake. And you put in all that work for your own birthday. You rock!! You did get a picture of me, I am way in the back! :) The one of Landon is sooo cute. Hope you day was great. Glad you felt the love!! :)