Monday, March 8, 2010

Pass the Dreams and Angel Wings!


Yesterday, in Relief Society, we explored the notion of feeling stagnant...or stuck in a rut. We also discussed what we might do about it. I'll get to that subject later, but first I want to take a look at how much the concept of stagnating resonated with me. In fact, I found myself listening with my spiritual ears, the one that perk up when the Lord is speaking to me. I am well aware (from past experience) that when the Lord talks, I need to listen. This quick story illustrates my point:

When our bishop spoke in last week's ward conference, he shared a cute and memorable vignette. He was visiting a family in our congregation and became engaged in an animated conversation with the parents. The conversation was marred by their youngest child, who kept saying, "Bishop, Bishop, Bishop" until the good man's attention was focused, finally and to her great satisfaction, on that persistent little girl. Once she had his full regard, the child chided him firmly, "I'm trying to listen to my show!" In a flash of personal inspiration, the situation flipped, and he envisioned the Lord calling for his attention, "Bishop, Bishop, Bishop...", then continuing, "I'm trying to show you the way."

Sometimes I am guilty of talking over the Lord (with words spoken out loud or in my head), but at church yesterday, my outer and inner dialogue was stilled sufficiently to hear the message that stagnating, on any level and to any degree, is not what I came here to do. In those days when I had children at home, I was actively engaged in so many good things that I could hardly find time to do them all, let alone stagnate. After the last one left, I took a job that kept me so busy I couldn't take the TIME to stagnate, especially if I wanted to get everything else done in my life. Even after resigning that position in the summer of 2007, I had places to go, people to see and plenty of things to do––like remodel my kitchen, plan a wedding, be a grandma, fulfill my calling, even start a blog. I was heady with new choices, and I was taking advantage of my opportunities. Quite happily, in fact.

Don't get me wrong. Today, I still find new opportunities. For the past year I've been married to a bishop...and plenty of activities go along with that...as many as you are able or willing to embrace. But here's what my heart is telling me: Not one bit of all the "stuff" I do or neglect to do constitutes a get-out-of-jail(rut)-free card on the stagnation thing. I am realizing more and more that, while being busy does make inertia a bit more difficult, it can provide no magic bullet against that state. And being less busy than you're used to can either give you wings to fly or webs to get stuck in.

Unfortunately, I think I've gotten myself into a position where I'm a little more stuck and a lot less lofty than I'd like. Which is why I am going to take the challenge offered me in Relief Society yesterday! I am going to embark, once again but in a whole new way (because after all, am I not a whole new person every time I choose to renew myself?), on the Personal Progress program. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks? And besides, the medallions are different now. ;)

Hey, I'm willing to bet that a 57-year-old woman can still find some dreams and angel wings out there. And why should "new beginnings" be reserved for the young?

=)

16 comments:

jen said...

Even though I'm in the middle of all this crazy stuff, I too feel like I'm stagnating. Wish I could have been there yesterday, and how's your lesson going for Sunday?

karen said...

I wish I was in your RS. In fact, I wish I was in ANY RS. I feel like I'm stagnating in Primary. So what do you do for Personal Progress? I've never done it.

Sue said...

If you want the skinny on Personal Progress, just follow the link in this post. It will take you to a page where the whole thing (and it's a very GOOD thing) is explained in great detail.

Of course, I'm going to make the program relevant to my own needs and not a teenager's, but it's sure to provide a great jumping-off point.

And the book is soft pink. With a separate journal. (I'm a sucker for a new journal...)

=)

KC Mom said...

Hey, I'm doing the personal progress program for leaders too! I think it's great when women will do it! I was inspired at church yesterday too! I love it when that happens. :)

Homewiththekids said...

Thanks for the inspiration! The Personal Progress jump is a good idea. Hope all is well in sunny Saratoga! Love, Catherine Call Grames

Jill said...

I get this post. When my sons were young and all home, I didn't even have to plan my days or weeks. The calendar would just fill up with all their activities and I would flow along with them. Now it's different. Now there is more picking and choosing on my part. I love it, but I also have to be continually careful that I make the most of each and everyday. But doing Personal Progress? Well I hope you report back on that...

Cherie said...

I think we all feel like we are in a rut from time to time. Life gets monotonous and even if you have a whole list of things to do it may not be what you want to do. If that makes any kind of sense.

I know that I always shake things up to keep life jumping. It seems I am way busier than I should be but I actually need to do alot or I go crazy.

Good for you doing Personal Progress - Not only is it a great program but there is a new value now - I love that they added Virtue!

Darlene said...

I will be so interested to see how you "renew" yourself. You are the busiest person that I know right now, but I guess I could agree that you can get stagnant being a busy person by just doing pretty much the same thing every day. It would be neat to be able to do something new for a change. Do you think there is anything I could do to renew myself. I would love to try. My "doing" is so limited, but surely if I put my brain to work I can think of more things I could be doing to stimulate my brain. I'm going to work on this.

Caroline of Salsa Pie said...

It sounds like a great program! I think the process of self-renewal is always an awesome thing!

Oh and when I was reading this earlier, my girls kept looking over my shoulder. My oldest got so excited when she saw the picture of the child angel here and she said, "Oh Mommy! It's a baby angel! I've never seen a baby angel!" So sweet!

Jessica said...

I wish more women were like you and choose to embark on Personal Progress. As a young women leader I am so excited for the changes and I love to see the support of the RS sisters who want to be actively involved in the program. It is so inspired, not only for the young women. Every woman can benefit. Good luck in your endeavors. I know it will be so worth the effort!

Just ME the MOM said...

Sounds like a great experience! Personally, after being the wife of a bishop and currently the RS pres . . . please could I just stagnate for a minute or two? :)

I know what an inspired program for the YW, why not for their moms if they feel like they could benefit from the program in their lives. Maybe something fun to do together also!

Kristin

Fiauna said...

I'd love a chance to go back and do personal progress again. I didn't earn the award the first time around. Maybe I will in a few years when my little girl starts her program.

Momza said...

Thanks for this, Sue. My first thought was the Lord's words COME FOLLOW ME.
His message is simple. His ways are clear.
When I am low, I only need to the basics to get a better perspective. It's always those primary answers for me...
I too am excited for the PP program--the new one is very inviting.

Jess said...

I'm so glad you're doing the new personal progress- I'm doing the leader version with the YW. The journaling is actually my hardest thing though- I'm just not that great at remembering to do it right after.

Amy said...

I think feeling stagnant is one of the worst feelings ever. Even worse than that is when one is stagnant and it isn't recognized. It is important to take a look at who you are and who you want to be, then come up with a plan on how you want to become that person. I think I do that about once a month. You can be a completely new person, which is so wonderful! I too am working on the Personal Progress with the YW in my ward. I am excited, as it is a great growing experience!

erinTphotography said...

I keep trying to type out a comment and my 2 year old is persisting that I go be lofty... or at least busy!
Maybe later....

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