Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Pouring Out My Soul, and The Thankful Game

Derek and I in Charleston
Picture by Kayli
I woke up a few days after getting home from our trip tired, and depressed.  I felt overwhelmed with the Primary work that needed to be done, and with life in general.  I said a morning prayer, but it wasn't inspiring.  I got to work and cleaned a lot of things, but just kept getting grumpier, probably because I wasn't addressing what was really bothering me.  I felt inadequate for all of the things that needed to be done, and therefore was finding it hard to start working on them. 

One day recently after reading about a prophet "pouring out his whole soul" in a garden tower,  I took the time to really pray.  I was trying my best to pour out my soul to my Father in heaven, and I felt so much better for having done that.  So, after thinking about it but not doing it all morning, I finally made myself kneel down and really talk to God.

I felt like the rest of the day was a gift.  It felt like I had Heavenly Father walking beside me all day.  I felt very loved when my perspective shifted so quickly, and I had more energy than usual and no headache.  I had made good progress on the things I was worried about before I got the call that Dan was sick and I needed to go get him.  In the car I got the idea of playing the thankful game.  Ideas can be gifts from the Spirit too!  I just listed things I saw that I was thankful for all of the way to the school.  That is a happy activity.

I am trying to learn to pour out my soul to God on a regular basis, and to notice, and acknowledge all of the things around that I have to be thankful for.  I am always glad when I take the time to do these things because it makes it easier for me to notice and feel Heavenly Father's love for me.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Julie and Jeff

Once upon a time, when I was almost 14, my family moved to Missouri and moved into my Uncle H.D. and Aunt Carol Ann's house for the summer.  They had 10 children, and we had 5.  I think only 8 or 9 of their kids actually lived at home, but that is still a lot of kids in one house.  I stayed in Julie's room that summer and we had a lot of fun.  In fact, I really enjoyed having Julie as my friend the whole time we lived in Missouri (about 3 years).  Her and her siblings and her parents had a really positive impact on me.  I gained a lot of confidence just because they liked me, and since I thought they were some of the most beautiful, handsome, entertaining, kind people on the planet -- that meant something!  Julie is my favorite.  It is really hard not to smile a lot when she is around.

Here is Jeff and Julie.  They are really great.  I love them.
Maybe I will have to start some sort of campaign where I beg them to move closer.
Probably I just need to get their kids to move to my town and THEN they would come!
I hardly ever get to see Julie anymore.  I live in Utah.  She lives in North Carolina.  Getting to see her and Jeff was one of my favorite parts of our trip.  Julie and Jeff and Derek and I went to Preference at BYU together.  That was my 2nd date with Derek.  Jeff and I had a class together at BYU.  He did much better than me, but I enjoyed having a friend to sit by in class!

Sunday morning after the wallet was found we drove directly from our hotel to Julie and Jeff's church.  Jeff is the Bishop and it was Ward Conference and Julie had remembered that she was singing with the choir and needed to get to practice.  I ended up singing with Julie in the choir in Sacrament meeting, and Jeff spoke and did an excellent job.

After church Derek, Kayli and I followed Julie home and she fed us while we visited.  Jeff got to join us for the last little while.  Derek told Kayli that Julie was her "spirit animal" and Julie would have been happy to keep Kayli (Kayli's popular that way).  We caught up on each other's families as much as we could in 3 hours.  It was really good to be with Julie and Jeff.  We had fun and our visit made us really wish that Julie and Jeff lived closer.  Naturally, I didn't think to take pictures, but Julie and Jeff graciously sent me a selfie when I texted them on the way to the airport asking for one.

It has been nice for me to hear Derek tell our kids about Julie and Jeff and what nice people they are.  I like that some of my favorite people are some of his favorite people too.

A Seedy Hotel, A Drive, and a Bit of Panic

After our time in Historic Charleston we drove to Charlotte and checked in to our hotel there.  We were not impressed.  It was an "airport hotel" -- two blocks or so from the airport with big airplanes flying low and loud overhead!  The bathroom had peeling paint and the tub didn't look like it had been scrubbed by anyone as conscientious as my Kayli (or as germaphobic!).  The bedspread of the non-smoking room had a cigarette burn, and the room smelled like cleaner.  Perhaps we should have taken my cousin Julie up on her offer to go to her house.  Jeff (Julie's husband) said that our hotel had frequent visits from the police.  Thankfully they didn't come while we were there, and I only heard two women fighting once :-)
It didn't look so bad!
photo by google images.  We didn't actually take a picture.
We didn't know what to do in Charlotte and so we drove around downtown for about an hour to find something to eat and then ended up eating at the Cracker Barrel that was close to the hotel.  We were all really tired and so we stayed at our not so awesome hotel and slept.  At least the planes mostly stopped taking off and landing during the night!  I wish we had enough energy to have gone to Julie's but we were pretty tired.

In the morning we had breakfast and were packing up to go to Julie's house in Mooresville (only 45 minutes away -- I should have figured that out before booking a hotel at all!).  All of a sudden Derek was feeling panicked.  He couldn't find his wedding ring or his wallet.  Kayli called the Cracker Barrel and got an unhelpful worker.  It would have been faster to drive over and look ourselves!  After that I searched the car while Derek and Kayli moved things around in the great ring / wallet hunt.  Kayli found the ring while I searched the car and then Derek tried searching the car too.  

Finally, when Derek came back and was starting in on the room again he turned around, and Kayli asked what was in his back pocket.   It was in the shape of a rectangle, and it was his wallet.  He doesn't remember putting it there, and was a bit embarrassed I think, but we were all just glad it was found and we could get on the road.  I do stuff like that a LOT more often than he does and he is good not to make fun of me!

Besides the airport, which was a perfectly normal American Airport, we weren't super impressed with Charlotte, but perhaps we just didn't look in the right locations, or have the right experiences.  The Cracker Barrel was nice so that is something good!