Saturday, February 4, 2017

Room Enough to Receive, a Meme, and a few Rambling thoughts

Superbowl weekend.  It's a day I personally could care less about.  To my husband and son, it's almost like LDS General Conference.  No one moves from in front of the TV during the pre-game, game, and post game shows.  I think the only thing that would get these men away from the TV would be an actual fire and even then it's questionable.  Why these men want to watch this game is beyond me.  After all the teams playing in the game aren't even what they would call "their teams"!  So, why watch in my opinion, right??!!  Wrong!  Trust me, I've asked that question, and the answer I got was a little shocking.  My husband and son said it's like watching a season finale of a show I've watched all year long and even though the characters are not my favorites, you still have to watch to see how it all ends.  Then they said, plus there are certain players you either want to see succeed or get pummeled once and for all.  So, I guess I understand their reasoning now, but that still doesn't explain our need to watch all the pre-game and post-game shows yet.  I have yet to ask that question.  If I get the chance and they are in the right frame of mind, I just might try to talk to them about that this weekend.  

Anyway, so our entire weekend will be centered around that game Sunday afternoon.  Kyle even took the day off so he could watch it.  He plans to even make it to church as well.  I think that is the part of his job he hates the most.....missing church on Sundays, but police departments do not shut down on Sundays, and when you are one of the lower men on the seniority list you can't exactly get picked for your ideal shifts and locations either.  Kyle still makes it to all the other activities his ward has on his days off.  He even goes down from time to time to help clean the church in Saturday mornings when it's his wards time to help out with that.  The hardest part about not being able to make it to church on Sunday for Kyle is that the Elders Quorum President still does not remember Kyle's name.  Kyle shows up every single week to the other activities and each time this guy asks Kyle if he is new in the ward and what his name is.  You would think that eventually he would remember, but he doesn't.  It drives Kyle nuts!  He simply cannot understand how someone cannot remember.  I feel sorry for Kyle.  He wants so much to work in law enforcement, be married and have a family, and ultimately be active in church too.  I feel bad that he is stuck here home with Kevin and I helping us out whenever we need something.  I know he feels like his life has been put on hold.  It's not like he is working really hard to meet the right girl.  In fact, Kyle doesn't date much at all.  He has been on two dates since Thanksgiving.  Let's face it.  There aren't many good LDS girls he comes in contact with working his shift at work while sitting in the Walter Cronkite building in downtown Phoenix in the afternoon to late night hours of the day.  In fact, he sees more celebrities and Muppet's characters than anything.  The stories he could tell you about this person or that person.  He really does love his job, and he loves the gospel, and I think he just wants to move on with this life and get on to having his own family, and I completely understand that.  Sometimes life doesn't work out quite the way we expected it to.  It's sort of designed that way, I think.  I think our Heavenly Father wants us to work hard for the things we want in this life so we appreciate them all the more when we finally get them.  Kyle tells me all the time that he is never going to move out and he is going to live with us forever.  I just laugh because I know that is the last thing he wants to do.  He would move out today if he thought we didn't need his help.  He stays because he knows we couldn't do all kinds of things without him and I love him even more for his sacrifice and his willingness to help.  Kevin and I have some amazing children.  Not perfect children, but like our Bishop's wife said of her own children one time, and I loved this.......she said her children were, "perfect for us".  I totally agree!  Our children are perfect for us too.  

Sorry I got a little side tracked there for a minute.  This morning Kyle is on my mind simply because he got up super early this morning to go play football with his cousin on Kevin's side of our family, and his friends.  Last night he was out playing some games with his Uncle and another cousin from my side of the family.  Kyle spends more time with our extended family than Kevin or I do.  Kyle plays these games every single week and sometimes even twice a week and just happened to bump into his Uncle and cousin there.  Then he moved to another game location after his Uncle and cousin moved to a new location.  He drives out to the furthest part of East Mesa once a week to play these games and I'm sure Curtis will be going with him once he returns home too.  

Speaking of Curtis.  He's starting to send things home.  We received two boxes the other day full of things he sent home so he wouldn't have to pack them.  I think we might have him ship a lot of his things this way so he doesn't have a ton to either carry on or check when he flies home. At least all the things he won't be using.  He asked me a few weeks ago if I wanted him to come home with all the pieces of luggage we got him before he left.  Honestly, yes I do because it was nice luggage, but realistically I totally understand if he ends up leaving a piece or two in the mission field.  I can't believe he will be home next month!  It hardly seems possible.  I think I will have a bit of a let down to deal with like most missionaries experience.  I think having a missionary has been exciting for me and I have enjoyed everything about it, so it's going to be hard to have this phase of our lives come to an end since Curtis is our last son and Lexi tells Kevin every time he asks here where she want to go on her mission, "I'm not going on a mission, Dad."....then to say to me, when she knows Dad can't hear her, "I think I might want to go on a mission, but don't tell Dad."  So, there is a little hope for another missionary in our family some day.  Either way, we still have a lot to get used to in the coming months.  It's all good anyway you look at it and I can't wait to see our boy.
I told Kyle the other day that we are going to have to get his bedroom in order so Curtis has a place to sleep and put his things when he gets home.  Their room isn't that big and Kyle has his stuff all over the side of the room that use to be his brother's.  So, we have some rearranging to do and possibly some captains beds to find.  That room doesn't have space for two twin beds, a bookshelf, and even one dresser, let alone suitcases, and clothes, and sports equipment...not to mention shoes.  I feel like we need Ikea to come in a create an awesome space in their tiny little bedroom or something.  I just love looking at their catalogs with all the space saving ideas.  Sometimes I think this is what the scriptures mean in terms of blessings so big and not having room enough to receive them.  You know, the blessings promised for paying a full tithing in Malachi 3:10.  This is what it says in the King James version of the Bible.....(Did you know there are over 22 different versions of the Bible today?!  Who knew??!!!  Wow!  When I did an Internet search for this scripture I was directed to a site that quotes them all.  I took a moment to read a few of the other Bible versions just to see how the words and meanings change.  Some were right on with the change of words.  Some were a little off in my opinion.  Just saying.)

Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Sometimes I think our Heavenly Father sits back and chuckles a little as he watches us trying to just make some room for the things he pours out for us.  In this case our blessing being our returning missionary.  
I love the promises given in that single scripture.  I have to say, we have been blessed time and time again for paying our tithing.  There was a time when we lived in El Paso that we really saw just how quickly our Heavenly Father will pour out his blessings.  We had moved to El Paso so my husband could receive a promotion and a big pay raise.  Before we had moved I had quit my job working at a local hospital so I could be home with our two kids at the time.  Danielle was just starting kindergarten and Kyle was only 4.  We only had one car and most of the time Kevin drove it to work from the West side of El Paso over to the East side every day. So, I was home without transportation pretty much all the time.  The school was over a mile away and we would walk Danielle to and from.  Most of the time we enjoyed our walks, and once in a while we would get a ride to the school from a ward member up the street and that was always nice.  Well, after some time in El Paso the one car we owned broke down and we couldn't afford to get it fixed.  The engine needed to be replaced.  
Well, Kevin eventually called home to his Dad.  You see, his Dad had promised to give him his truck when he was ready to buy a new one.  Kevin's parents had bought each of their three boys a work truck.  They weren't brand new, but they were in great shape when they received them.  Well, Kevin was checking to see if his Dad was ready.  As it turned out Kevin's Dad had ordered a truck and was just waiting for it to come in.  They made arrangements for Kevin's Dad and older brother to drive down with two vehicles.  They would drop off the truck to us, stay a day, and then drive back home the next day.  We went about two weeks without a car.  Thankfully Kevin was able to get rides to work with friends until we received the truck.  
The car we moved to El Paso with sat in our parking spot in the apartment complex for several months.  We intended to do something with it, we just had no idea what.  Well, after several months we came to a point where I was sitting down to pay bills.  It was a a Sunday morning and money was extremely tight.  I was trying to decide which bills to pay and which bills we could hold off on until our next payday.  We could either pay our tithing or pay all of our bills, and I remember asking Kevin what we should do.  Kevin said, pay our tithing.  So, I wrote the check and put it in the envelope and started getting everyone ready for church.  We went to Sacrament Meeting and paid our tithing and by the end of that meeting Kevin's stomach began to bother him and he decided to leave and go home for a bit.  Kevin was home and in the apartment for less than maybe five minutes when someone began to bang on the door.  On his way to the front door, Kevin yelled out and said, "I'm coming, hold on a minute."  The person at the door must not have heard him because they banged on the door again.  Kevin says he was ready to give the person a piece of his mind when he finally opened the door.  The man at the door was a Spanish man wanting to give Kevin $500 for our old car.  Kevin was shocked and told the guy that he needed to check with me.  The man said he would come back later that night.  Kevin jumped in the truck to pick the kids and I up at church and was anxious to tell me what had happened.  When we got home the man came back and we agreed to let him buy the car.  He then presented us with $500.  He came back the next day and took the car away.  This was one of the times we received blessings so quickly for exercising our faith and making the right choice to pay our tithing.  It's one of those things I will NEVER forget.  Talk about an amazing miraculous blessing!!  
Well, Kyle came home from playing football with a hurt shoulder.  Hurt enough that he needs to go to get it checked out.  He just text me and asked me if he should go to the Emergency Room tonight or Urgent Care tomorrow.  I can't believe it!!!  This could keep him from taking the tests to become a police officer.  Not cool!  I guess he and his cousin got a little too aggressive out on the playing field.  Kyle swears it wasn't in a mean way, but I'm not so sure.  Kyle says he tore his cousin's shirt and his cousin also has a few bumps and bruises and will be hurting tomorrow too.  BUT, not a torn rotators cuff.  Kyle!!!  I so hope it's not that!  I had this feeling when I was driving home from work that something awful was going to happen this weekend.  I so hope those feelings were wrong and I also hope this isn't what those feelings meant.  When I thought that bad feeling I was thinking in terms of a car accident.  Not this.  Let's hope my feeling was way off.
Time to change the subject.  Let's do a Meme.....
1.  Can you believe it's the end of January?  What was the best day of January 2017 for you, and why?

I'd have to say the day I was able to go back after work after being sick and Kevin being in the hospital over the Christmas holiday.  I really thought I wouldn't be able to go back.

2.  What sounds make up the background noise in your life?

The backyard kiddy corner to us to the west is the home of a dog breeder.  The poor Momma dog cries out all day and all night because she is mourning the loss of her sweet baby pups.  It is the saddest sound you have ever heard.  It breaks my heart.  I have to keep the TV playing loud enough each night to drowned it out.  Poor Momma.

3.  I read on the Power of Positivity website a list of ten things to drop from your life right now.  They are....

anger outbursts, people who put you down, regret, negative self talk, being a people pleaser, the notion you need to be perfect, the past (but keep the lessons learned!), gossip and judgment, comparing yourself to others, and the word hate (focus on what you love instead).

What thing on the list do you most need to drop?  Are you trying or will you try?

I'd say comparing myself to others and negative self talk, and yes I am willing to try to change these things.

4.  What is sacred to you?

My relationship with my Heavenly Father, my family, and my country.  Don't mess with any of them.

5.  January is National Oatmeal month.  Are you a fan, and if so how do you like it?

Yes!  I love oatmeal with a little brown sugar and granola!  Yum!!!  BUT, if I am dieting and avoiding all kinds of sugar, a little Stevia is a great substitute for brown sugar.  I prefer the long cooked kind and not the instant stuff in those little pouches.  So good!

6.  What feelings does twilight stir up in you?
Are we talking about the time of day or the books?  The books, yuck!  I think they were a waste.  The time of day, I'd say contentment, it's so nice to be outside as the sun is going down in the spring here in Arizona.  It's a cozy time of day and it's usually our time to come together and have dinner.  So, I'd say it means family too.
7.  Something you're looking forward to next month?

Are we talking about February or March.  I'm going with March.  I'm looking forward to seeing our missionary come off the plane in March!!!  We are so excited to see him!  I think each of my children can't wait either.  Curtis is the one that always keeps us laughing and he always has something funny to share.  He is our adventure seeker and loved to learn.  If he is sitting still look out, that's usually when he flees and takes off on us.  I can't wait to hear my two boys in their room late at night.  Kyle no doubt will hear something and will laugh out loud at his little brother.  I love that sound.  I don't think I've ever heard Kyle laugh so hard.  His little brother just has that affect on him.  
8.  Insert your own random thought here.

So, I'm just going to say this.  Refugees.  I would probably be the first person to do anything I could to help these people.  I could never not do something.  No matter how small or how big.  
I also know that I do help in my little small way by paying my fast offerings to my church who in turn takes those funds to help with all kinds of aide in the form of food, shelter, medicine, clothing, medical supplies, name it.
  I know without a doubt that those funds are used to help those in need locally and worldwide.  It truly is amazing to know that the church I belong to takes such care for those in need.  In fact, the Mormons sent 1.2 billion in humanitarian and welfare relief to those in need.  Not to mention the millions of hours of labor and service to those in need worldwide.  It has been said that our church can do more with the funds received for tithing and fast offerings than our national government have ever dreamed of doing.  I know this to be true.  
This all being said, I don't believe refugees are the real reason our new President of the Untied States has taken the steps he has taken recently to stop allowing these people to come into our country.  I believe it is the background checks and the vetting process that is the real issue.  I believe our President just wants to prevent another 911 tragedy and anything remotely close to it. 
So, I agree with his decision and I believe we need to help those people in need in their own country if at all possible.  Do I believe there are some that need to flee.  Absolutely there are!  In fact, I work with a couple of people who were living in Africa and their father's and brothers were kidnapped and forced to join the warlords in doing awful things.  Their Mother's and sisters hid out and were on the run just trying to escape.  Eventually they were able to reunite with their Father's and brothers and with the help of some amazing people they were told they would leave the next morning, taking only the clothing on their backs, to board a plane to leave their homeland forever.  They were not told where they would be going and the only pre-requisite was that the family had to convert to Catholicism.  They did and took the chance and boarded that plane together.  Imagine their surprise when they were told that they would be coming to America.  Today these two families are strong and thriving right here in Arizona.  Their daughter's are amazing young women who devote all of their free time to help their mothers and their younger siblings.  The things they experienced and saw will forever be etched in their memories as a reminder of what could have been.  They are better and I feel I am better as a person for having had the chance to get to know these two young women.  I admire their determination, desire, and hard work and efforts to be here in America and receive all the blessings that each and every other American citizen is entitled to.  These families are now American citizens.  I do not know if they came here illegally or not, and frankly I do not care. 
My point here is I know there are people in this world that want to harm those of us who consider ourselves to be Americans, not because they know us, but just because of where we are from. 
  I also know there are those people who desperately need help and we cannot turn our backs to them.  If we are the richest country in the world, then we have a responsibility to do all that we can to help those in need any way we can.  Isn't that what our Heavenly Father also meant when he says, in Doctrine & Covenants 82:3 "where much is given, much is required"? And even in Luke 12:48.  I think so.  Enough said.

DISCLAIMER:  Please remember I am not perfect.  I am not perfect at paying my tithing or fast offerings.  I stumble.  I wish I could say I didn't struggle with this.   I fall and all I can do is pick myself up and try try try again.  Paying my tithing and fast offerings is something I agonize over from time to time.  Our life has been difficult.  BUT, I do know what is most important and that is remembering to pay my tithing.  

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