What I Have Been Up To

It's a lot harder to think of creative titles when all my blog entries tend to just be an update about my life and not related to a coherent theme. Expecting myself not to repeat titles after eight years of blogging is probably too much. Oh well. This a post. About stuff. 

My last post, and Conference, were both two weeks ago. Things have been going well since then. I will admit that for a few days after Conference I spent a lot of time feeling troubled about a few things that were said and deeply pondering issues that were brought up by some of the speakers. I had quite a few discussions with friends about my feelings, which were decidedly mixed and definitely not peaceful. I didn't feel strongly on one 'side' or another--I just felt agitated and had a lot of big feelings that needed to fit together and make sense. Then, on the Thursday morning after Conference I got up and thought to myself "fear and anxiety don't come from God". I said a prayer, read through two talks that I had been trying to remember accurately, and came away with different impressions from the first time that I heard them over the weekend. I did not receive any specific answers to my questions, but I did feel an overwhelming sense of peace and an assurance that God loves me and all His children.

Then, still on Thursday, I checked Facebook shortly after getting to work and there was a message from a friend who is part of the straight-spouse group I have joined. She asked if I would be willing to speak at a meeting for the "Understanding Same-Gender Attraction" club that evening in Provo. At first I hesitated because I wasn't sure what I would say and I just wasn't feeling up to it. Then I realized that I happened to be without my kids on a Thursday evening, which was not usual, and I had been planning to be in Provo that evening for a massage appointment that ended at 6:30, half an hour before the meeting. I said yes, still not sure what I would say, and spent most of the day praying and pondering. My massage appointment ran a little late and I didn't have time to eat dinner, so I got to the meeting just barely on time, with an empty stomach, rumpled clothes and hair, and with a few strange red marks on my face from lying face down on a massage table. It was a wonderful experience--I was on a panel with several other family members and we shared our experiences of having loved ones come out to us and what our perspective was on having gay family members. I felt the same feeling of peace and love that I had felt that morning. Again, I wish I had received more specific answers to some of my questions, but I really felt that those things weren't as important at this time as knowing that God loves me and loves everyone. I guess I'll figure out all the other details later. 

That was last week--this week things have also been going pretty well. I finally made an exercise playlist on iTunes and loaded it onto my little iPod Shuffle. This week I rode my exercise bike for 20 minutes on three separate days. It was tough because I am so badly out of shape that it's embarrassing. My goal this coming week is to do at least that much again. I figure that starting with small goals and working my way up is better than trying too hard and burning myself out. I have also during the past few weeks started buying and cooking some healthier foods and bringing more fruit for snacks at work. I can already tell the exercise and slight change in eating habits are having an effect on my physical and mental health, and that is motivating me to do more. I was just feeling anxious and yucky all the time, my clothes don't fit right anymore, and some of my digestive problems were starting to come back. It was time for a change. Hopefully I can sustain it.

My homework load for school has been a bit light this week and next. I do have a short paper due a week from Tuesday that I should probably start soon, but I have been procrastinating it. I also have my final paper due in only seven short weeks and I really ought to get moving on that. I have a topic picked and I have done some preliminary research. Now I just need to do more research and start drafting an outline. This weekend I didn't have the kids and I had no plans, but instead of doing homework I did something kind of crazy that I've never done before. I watched 3 movies in less than 24 hours: Gravity on Friday night and then The Saratov Approach and Captain Phillips on Saturday. I'm not sure I'd do that again, or if I did I would pick movies that weren't all so similar. Those movies were all good in their own way and I would recommend any of them.

And, finally, our General Conference Family Home Evening is moving along well. So far I've been in charge of the lessons (well, last week was P. Bibby's turn, which means that I basically did it). Last week we did Elder Bednar's talk about tithing. We looked up the page about Elder Bednar and talked about him a bit, read some of the scriptures from his talk about tithing, discussed his two main points, did a maze about how the Church uses tithing that I printed off from the Friend online, and then watched the last few minutes of the talk where he bears his testimony. This week we did the same thing with a talk by Arnulfo Valenzuela who is a member of the Seventy. I actually didn't even know much about the Seventy, so first we looked up information about what meant and discussed it, and then we looked up some information about the new MTC in Mexico since that was what Elder Valenzuela mentioned in his talk. His talk was about 'small and simple things' that we can do to lift and support other people. He shared the story of Naaman from the Old Testament and I found a video of that story on the Church site so we watched it. I think it was intended for seminary students and it was almost 15 minutes long, but we had time for it and the kids enjoyed it. We discussed what kinds of simple things we can do to be friendly to people and to help them feel the Spirit and be uplifted. I think it was a good lesson. I'm really enjoying doing this so far and I hope we can keep up the momentum to continue through for a while. The Church website is really helpful and the kids have remained pretty receptive (today Little Dude brought his tithing to Church to pay, since we had talked about it last week).


skyeJ said…
Aaak!! Bringing his tithing to church is SO cute! :) And way to go on the cycling!! 20 min three times in a week is pretty awesome for first starting out. That will get you nice and sore. :) I'm proud of you for getting it done!
Desmama said…
I'm with you on the exercising thing. And the eating thing. I know if I'd do it right, I'd feel better, but getting motivated--enough to feel the effects and build some momentum--is hard. I've also felt pretty conflicted and confused in the past little while (and I'm pretty sure it's about the same things you are) but I kind of came to the same conclusion. I don't have to have all the answers, but I'll hold on to the ones I do have.

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