Last Sunday our Bishop (the spiritual leader of our local congregation)invited our entire family into his office after the worship service. Oh my!? He told us that, after much thought and prayer he felt inspired to invite our family to sing in the Saturday afternoon session of the October General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. OH MY!?!?!?! He must have invested MUCH, MUCH thought and prayer as we, as a family in general, do not sing. At least, we do not sing well.
Apparently someone with a lot of authority decided that a choir composed of families would sing in the Saturday afternoon session of October’s General Conference. Six Roy, UT stakes were invited to participate. Each bishop within those six stakes was directed to choose a traditional family (mother, father, children over 8) to represent the ward. Bishop chose us. We accepted the challenge with various degrees of enthusiasm. Miles wholeheartedly embraced the idea; he is excited about the possibility of being on T.V. Grace and Tanah, who are fledgling singers, agreed with incredulity but without reservation. I love to sing with choirs (if I am standing next to someone with a strong voice) and I love living stories; of course I accepted the invitation. Chick, who NEVER sings, grinned and said yes. “On the outside I will act confident and will do everything that is asked of me,” he explained. “On the inside I will be scared to death and praying my guts out.” Lance……Lance said yes but he is scared spit less. He has been told, on numerous occasions by countless people, that he cannot sing. He earned an A in choir for NOT singing. He played the leading role in a musical melodrama where the director re-wrote the script so that it was part of the story line that he could not carry a tune. He is terrified but he is
willing. He, too, committed to sing.
We are all committed. We will practice for two hours nearly every Sunday evening between now and October. Lance will
shave his goatee. On the first Saturday in October we girls will wear below-the-knee black skirts and solid, moderately colored blouses. The men and Miles will wear dark pants, dark suit coats, white shirts, and moderately colored ties. We will sit quietly and will not look into the T.V. cameras. We will sing earnestly. And we will trust greatly in the promise that those whom God calls, He enables.
I trust in lots of God’s promises, including His promise that He hears and answers prayers. One morning last week I prayed earnestly asking God to help us with our finances. Though the vast majority of our travel expenses have been subsidized by VERY generous friends and family, still it has been an expensive summer. Money is tight, very tight.
A few hours later I was traveling rapidly down the middle lane of a busy three lane street when I hit a rock. My front driver’s side tire instantly blew out. Blessedly I was able to pull to the side of the road without incident. I had the spare tire out and was starting to jack up the car when a state highway patrolman pulled up behind me and volunteered to finish the job. Philosophically inclined to reinforce positive behavior and physically motivated NOT to have to change a tire in July’s summer heat, I graciously accepted the patrolman’s offer.
I was very happy about the officer’s help but not so happy about having to pay for the dented rim and ripped tire that now needed replacing. My cynical me mused about my early morning petition for financial blessings and my late morning predicament that generated an unexpected expense. That dang rock did not seem like an answer to prayer.
My more faithful side pondered the possibility that, traveling at the speed I was and traveling in the relatively heavy traffic that I was, a blown front tire could have easily catapulted me into another car or caused the van to veer into a ditch, we could have flipped and rolled…..There are all kinds of scenarios that would have been much more expensive.
Recognizing that faith brings much greater peace and happiness than cynicism, I chose to listen to my more faithful me and thanked God for sparing me the expense of a totaled van and hospitalized children.
God gave me further financial help Saturday. In the mailbox was a check from the company that does payroll for Ogden
Preparatory Academy. Apparently I did not cash a $500 payroll check in May 2011. The company found record of the uncashed check, subtracted a $20 check cancellation fee, and mailed me $480, which will pay for the new tire with plenty left over. Thank you God.
I also thank God for amazing opportunities. OPA paid for all my expenses to attend an AVID (Advancement Via Personal
Determination) educator’s conference in San Diego last week. It was the most practically applicable, potentially powerful professional training conference I have ever attended. AND, because they paid my travel and hotel expenses, because two could eat on the amount they gave me for one, and because we had a few spare frequent flyer miles, I was able to take Lance along essentially for free. FUN!!! The kids managed themselves home alone while Lance and I managed to have a great time away from home together.
While in San Diego we toured the Mormon Battalion Visitors Center. As a part of the tour, a darling sister missionary dressed a volunteer up as a Mormon Battalion soldier. She gave the portly gentleman a leather ammunition pouch, an packet of gun powder, a piece of hard tack, a wooden canteen, and an Army issued “white” (gray actually) belt. He was loaded and ready to go except for one thing….. “What is he missing?” the young sister asked. “It is something to fight with…..” she hinted.
“A wife?” Lance suggested with mock sincerity. The room erupted; laugher burst from every mouth. The sister missionary chuckled heartily as she handed the volunteer a rifle. [NOTE: Lance does not fight with his wife…or against her either!]