Monday, October 25, 2010

a pair of mittens

I never thought that I could learn so much about my faith, my testimony, my role from a pair of mittens.  A PAIR OF MITTENS...  but I will never be the same.  The mittens changed me.

I have learned of knits (type of fabric).  I have talked of knits.  I have touched knits.  I have watched others sew knits.  I have never personally sewn a knit before.  It frays.  It twists.  It unravels.  It stretches.

I realized Saturday, how difficult sewing mittens are.  First of all the pattern was not perfect.  I have small hands and the mittens were too small for me.  I was frustrated and redesigned the pattern and eventually ended up with something that would fit my hand.  I thought of how grateful I am that in life there is a perfect pattern.  I don't have to worry about Heavenly Father's pattern not fitting my hand or life because it is a perfect fit.  He designed it and knows what He is doing.  

When I was looking at the pattern (even the one I designed) I could not figure out how it would actually create a mitten.  It was awkward looking (the one I downloaded was super confusing).  The pieces didn't seem to ever fit together.  As I kept a larger perspective though, I could see how it would all fit together.  This is just like life.  It is SO easy to become caught up in having a narrow focus.  You only see the one seam you are sewing and even that is wobbly.  Focus out.  It will all work out because He really does see the bigger picture and know how each piece of the mitten will fit together.

As I finished each step of the mitten, I eagerly showed it to my husband.  I was so thrilled when I finally had a pattern that would fit my hand.  I loved being able to show him the lining was done.  I rushed to his side to show him the wool mitten.  I placed them on my hands time and time again once the button was in place.  I didn't just celebrate the final product; I enjoyed each step of the journey.  We celebrated together.  My success became Casey's victory.  I am so grateful that I have an eternal companion by my side that will always celebrate each step of our journey.  

Finally the last thing I learned was a quote from Elder Scott.  This quote showed up in the lesson we were teaching yesterday and the mittens changed the meaning.
"As a mother guided by the Lord, you WEAVE A FABRIC of character in your children from THREADS of truth through careful instruction and worthy example.  You imbue the traits of honesty, faith in God, duty, respect for others, kindness, self-confidence, and the desire to contribute, to learn, and to give in your trusting children's minds and hearts.  No day-care center can do that.  It is your sacred right and privilege." (emphasis added.  Ensign, Nov. 1996, 74).
Just like all of the threads are weaved together in a knit, my influence will be weaved together on my (future) children.  Each trait is a different thread and if one unravels, the rest is sure to follow.  I don't know what it is like to be a mother but just as I had success with sewing a knit for a first time, I hope (someday) I will have success in weaving the patterns into my children's lives by teaching and being an example.

My Beautiful Creation...
just like each of us--God's beautiful creation!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Blessings of the Temple

Yesterday afternoon, Casey and I had the opportunity to attend the temple.  I realized that it was about a year ago when I went through the temple for the first time.  We love going to the temple together!!!  It is a wonderful experience to be with the one I love the most in the place I love the most!  

I love this message shared by Pres. Monson.  "In the holy temple the precious plan of God is taught.  It is here that eternal covenants are made.  The temple lifts us, it exalts us, it stands as a beacon for all to see.  It points us to celestial glory.  It is the house of God.  All that occurs within the walls of the temple is uplifting and ennobling.  The temple is a place of tranquility, it is a place of kindness and love and light."  (Note:  this quote is from the Mormon Messages, "Why Mormons Build Temples" at 2:20.)

Recently, my mom was doing family history and she found some of our ancestors that desperately wanted their temple work done, one woman in particular.  Her husband's work had already been done.  She wanted to be with him again.  It was a choice opportunity to take her all the way through and have her sealed to her beloved husband.  The spirit was so strong.  I would cry at times and try to choke down emotions.  The temple workers that were helping me experienced the same wonderful feelings.  

I am so thankful for the blessings that come through the temple.  Life really does continue after death and families really are forever through the sealing power.  I will forever be grateful that Casey and I made the decision when we were young to live worthy to one day enter the temple so we could be married for time and all eternity.  The blessings are still conditional upon our worthiness.  But day by day, we keep working on it and together we will make it!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Apple for the Teacher

My 7th grade class learned all about childcare and preschool for the past week.  Yesterday and today were the capstone experience for each class as they had preschool day.  I wasn't sure what to expect with most of the 7th graders bringing a preschooler.  That is A LOT of kids for me to be responsible for!  I was very pleased with how well it went though!  I only had to deal with one 7th grade behavior problem!!!  The 7th graders planned some great lessons and all of the preschoolers loved going to the "big kids school."  It was a great experience for everyone involved.  (And I LOVE preschool--for sure on my top favorite list of classes to teach!)

Anyway, yesterday in preschool, I see one kid hanging out by his dad.  I go over to him thinking I am going to have to pry the preschooler away from his dad and convince him to stay at preschool.  When I notice he is holding an apple.  My first thought is that this kid has a strange attachment (like holds on to an apple instead of a blankie) and then my next thought is the kid must have some medical problem that requires him to eat more often.  So I squat down to his level and am about to inquire what his name is followed by what is going on but the preschooler shoots the first question.  
"Are you the teacher?"
"Yes I am."
"Here this is for you.  An apple for the teacher."
Shock.  Smile!  "Thank you that is so sweet!!"

That preschooler seriously made my day!  It was the cutest thing ever.  And even if preschool had been a bad experience, (which it wasn't) that would have made it all worth it! :)