Monday, March 24, 2008

Family Home Evening at the Bishop's

Tonight we hosted ward members at our home for family home evening. I think we had between 20 and 30 people. I made 6 dozen cinnamon rolls - a la Rindy Wilson - and they were all gone when everyone left. We did bag up the leftovers and sent them home for breakfast tomorrow. These kids are so great, we love each one of them. We have a new member, Kyle, who drove 2 hours to be here and then had to drive 2 hours to get home. He has such a strong southern accent that there are times when I can't understand him -no joke!! He's a great guy and we're glad to have him here.

I wanted to share my part of the lesson with you:

We talked about obedience and the importance of being obedient and the blessings that come from being obedient.

When dad and I had been married for only a few years we had that opportunity to go to St. Louis for the summer for an internship with the department store, Famous Barr. We had Adrianne, 3, and Matt, 1, and I was pregnant with Craig. Before we left I made a decision which was a pretty foolish one. I thought that since dad would be working for a department store and we would get a 10% discount that I would get rid of my winter shoes and would be able to buy new ones. So all of my winter shoes, all 2 or 3 pairs, went out into the garbage. I only had sandals and church shoes left.

When we got to St. Louis the cost of living was way higher than we had anticipated. We needed a furnished apartment and the only reasonably priced one we could find was in an area, Bird Land, that we were cautioned not to live in. We were able to find a "house sitting" situation in University City. The homeowner was a doctor who taught at Washington University Medical School. He and his family were going to be gone for the summer doing research in Maine. They didn't pay us to house sit but they did leave us a Volkswagen Bug to drive. We had to pay all of the utilities. It was a great situation but the cost of living was still very high.

Toward the end of the summer I faced a very difficult situation. I had only enough money in our checking account to pay tithing. The problem was that we were totally out of milk and I knew we needed milk for our little children and for me. I debated back and forth for a while about whether to pay tithing or to use the money for milk. My parents had always taught me that the right thing to do was to pay tithing and I knew that was the right thing but it was still a really tough decision. Finally I wrote out the check for tithing and put it in the tithing envelope and sealed it shut, deciding to trust that Heavenly Father would take care of us.

Shortly after I had done that there was a knock at the back door. It was our neighbor, another Dr. who taught at the medical school. He and his wife were going on a cruise and had asked us to help keep an eye on their house while they were gone. He had come over to tell me that they were leaving. He also said that they had been cleaning out the fridge and realized that they had milk that wouldn't keep while they were gone and he asked if I would be offended if they gave it to us. I was speechless but managed to say that we would be happy to use their milk. I know that we were blessed as a result of obedience.

Still, there was the shoe problem. Periodically I wondered how I would go through winter in Utah with sandals but then I would be like Scarlett O'Hara, "I'll think about that tomorrow." Occasionally I would check the shoe department but they were just too expensive, even with the big 10% discount. Another neighbor had a little girl the same age as Adrianne and we would get our girls together to play. One day she brought her little girl over and stayed to visit. She started asking me questions comparing our pregnancies. She asked me a rather strange question, "Did your feet get bigger when you were pregnant?" I told her no and then she told me that her feet had grown a whole size larger. "In fact," she said, "I bought a pair of shoes just before I got pregnant and there is no way I can wear then now. They were very expensive shoes." Then she thought a minute and asked me what size I wore. I told her and she said they were that exact size. She told me she would bring them over and I could try them on and if they fit me I could have them. A few days later she did bring the shoes over, they fit me perfectly, and she gave them to me.

The shoes she gave me were very expensive designer shoes. They were probably the most expensive pair of shoes I had ever had at that point in my life. They were cute, lace-up, oxford- type shoes. Perfect for snowy, cold Utah. They weren't exactly my taste but they were a great pair of shoes. I wore them for the next several years, in fact until they started to fall apart. I finally threw them away, I wish I still had them.

I know that when we do what is right and are obedient to Heavenly Father's commandments he blesses with what we need, it may not be what we want or when we want it but he always blesses us. He even makes up for our mistakes, ie. throwing away shoes before you know if you can afford to replace them. I have thought about this experience many times and it has helped to be stronger in my decisions to be obedient. What if I had made a different choice?

Being obedient has always been a blessing to me, not always easy or what I have wanted to do but always a blessing.

No comments: