Thursday, February 24, 2011

Meaningful Coincidences

I picked up a book during lunch in the staff room the other day. It was called Consider the Butterfly. It looked like my best choice from the selections, and I hate not to have something to read while I eat, so I took it.

It looked a bit new-agey for my taste, but I figured I could always put it back. I don't care for books that pussy-foot around or ignore the religious aspect of life. Oh, they'll say "spiritual" but meaning it comes from your own spirit, or they'll refer to "the Universe" making something happen instead of God. Yeah, not my thing.

This book however mentioned God right off the bat, so that was ok. The subtitle is "Transforming Your Life Through Meaningful Coincidence", and she does refer to "the Universe", but I forgive her that since it's obvious she's one of faith.

The book is a collection of "synchronicities" in her life. Little things that have all come together and given her a message or reassurance or added to her faith. We all have things like this that happen. She points out that we should write them down, share them, act on them, enjoy them.

I've had many times of meaningful coincidences and now I want to look back and start remembering them. A lot of time I find synchronicities in numbers. Just last week I had many leading up to my teaching a lesson at church on "Service":

1. Happening upon a newspaper article about vandalism to a local cemetary and how a day was set aside to try to restore it, and how it was expected that a handful of volunteers would show, and 130 people showed up.

2. Taking my girls to their Church activity where they made cookies and valentines to give, and the lesson was on service.

3. We had a substitute in our classroom, and when she found out we desperately needed art supplies she cleaned out her storage and arrived the next day with boxes and boxes of wonderful things for our kids to create with.

4. And then having a youth speaker on Sunday give a talk on serving others just before it was time for me to teach my lesson.

Synchronicity. Gotta love it. I know it is our Heavenly Father taking care of us, answering prayers, helping us, giving us hope, knowledge, laughter, faith.

Oh and the author's name is Carol Lynn Pearson. I ALMOST named my little Nat, Carolynn. "Carol" after my mom, and "Lynn" for my sister's middle name. She got Carol as her middle name instead and was born on my sister's birthday, but this very tiny meaningful coincidence wasn't lost on me.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Come Snow or High Water...

Today was my Sunday to teach in Relief Society (the women's Sunday school class, basically). I'm assigned to teach on every third Sunday. My topic was "Service" and for the last month I've been excited to teach this lesson. Some of my topics have been hard for me, but this one I KNOW, and I can relate to, and I'm passionate about. Yay!

Well with our crazy blizzard, and feet upon feet of snow, and plow trucks that can't keep up on clearing the roads, travelling down the hill to church was looking a bit iffy. The weather broke yesterday, but the snow on the road was still to deep for my Honda Civic to handle, so I prayed for a plow to come and talked to Mike about Plan B.

Plan B was for him to drive us to church in his ancient rusty Land Cruiser which has no heat, is missing a back window and the girls would have to double buckle in the jump seat in the back. Ugh!

Well, thankfully the road had been plowed this morning and I was able to make it to church and teach my lesson.

We have the greatest group of women in Relief Society, they are all so willing to speak up and be a part of the lesson that it makes my job easy. Today was no exception and everyone had wonderful stories of service to share.

I began by talking to about my grandpa and how he was such a great example of someone who loved to serve others.

Grandpa loved to tinker, so he always had electronics and such laying around his house. He volunteered at the local American Cancer Society thrift store and was their go-to guy when they needed to have something fixed so they could sell it, so all these things were his projects.

Side Note:
I remember my mom telling me about how his love of tinkering got him in real trouble with Grandma one time. She had finally replaced her old ringer-washer with an automatic one. Grandpa was fascinted by it, and wanted to know how it worked, so he took it apart! I could imagine the hot water he was in, 'cause Grandma had a temper!

Anyway Grandpa was also involved in community service groups, and served up until his 80's. He volunteered to deliver meals with the Meals On Wheels group and mom used to kid him about being older than most of the folks he delivered meals to.

Well, I feel like my lesson went well. The time flew, and I only covered about half of the material I had prepared. I touched on the fact that even a small act of service is worthwhile and read this quote from Mother Teresa, "We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop."

Friday, February 18, 2011

All Fired Up

Last night during a raging blizzard, our power went off. I'm so thankful that our water is heated by propane and that we have a big ol' woodstove to keep us warm and that we can cook on in a pinch. Makes those power outages so much more bearable.

I gained new respect for Mr Osburn the woodstove (yes that's its brand name, not the Mr though) last night however. It was dark and the only light was from the glass door of the stove where the fire was burning. I was near the hearth, tripped on something, and fell against the woodstove catching myself with my hand. Well, I knew I was screwed even though my hand lit upon the surface for less than a second.

I immediately ran for the sink and dowsed my hand in cold water. I'm extremely proud of the restraint I showed by only muttering, "Son of a nutcracker!" This injury was significantly curse-worthy and I would have been forgiven any serious slips, but amazingly I held back.

I ended up keeping my throbbing hand in a pot of cold water for 8 straight hours. I was finally able to get some relief at about 4am, and got some much-needed sleep! The stinging, burning pain was so intense! I thought it would never quit.

Examining the damage today, about 1/3 of my palm is blistered along with 3 of my fingertips. It's gonna be a while before I can do much with that hand (which is thankfully my left one).

Today was a snow day so I didn't have to worry about work. We have gotten at least 4 feet of snow in the last 24 hours. This is one of the biggest storms I can ever remember, even surpassing our recent Thanksgiving blizzard that gave us an entire week of snow days. The plows haven't been in our neighborhood since yesterday afternoon so there is close to 3 feet of snow on the roads. We are truly snowed in. I've lived up here 18 years and never seen it like this.

I'm thankful that our power has been mostly on today, that we have a generator to run the fridge when it's not, that we have a good supply of food and yes I'm very thankful for Mr Osburn. I've kept my distance from him today though!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Crazy Old Guy

I had the most interesting experience today.

I was with my co-worker at an all day training getting re-certified in CPR and first aid, and at lunch we went across the street to Taco Bell.

We were just finishing up when this older gentleman came over and sat next to us in the nearly vacant restaurant. We could tell from the get-go that he was a character. He just had that vibe about him.

Sure enough he starts up a conversation with us. He's an entertainer that has traveled all of California playing his guitar, and he happens to do "free" reflexology at one of the local tourist attractions (I'm guessing he's kind of like a street performer). He wants to know where we're from and knows all the areas we mention (but mostly the bars he's played at in those towns.)

Then he wants to know my birthdate. So I play along and he adds my numbers together (or something) and then proceeds to tell me that I'm a people person, that I do best in jobs that involve helping people and he says some other things that are pretty accurate about my personality.

He asks my friend's birthdate and tells her about the same (not knowing that we're special ed aides), but that she would also do well in sales. He seems to have glommed onto me at this point and starts flattering me. He can't have any ulterior motives that I can figure (being that he's got to be in his 70's), so I'm friendly back.

He then wants to know all my kids birthdates and analyzes them. He nails my oldest daughter. Says she got brains to spare, doesn't need college and would do well in any upper management position (telling people what to do). I tell him she will love to hear this! He also nails my youngest. The other two there are lots of traits he describes that pertain to them, but not as accurate as with Sis and Nat.

At any rate, I'm thoroughly entertained at this point. He was a really nice, friendly old gentleman that said I was "a keeper". My friend and I both enjoyed him.

It's funny how just having this man give me a little positive attention really made my day. Of course anyone loves to hear others praise or compliment them, but for me, always having had very low self-esteem, always feeling invisible, especially as a young adult, it really made my day.

Don't get me wrong...I don't take compliments to heart just from any old crazy person I meet on the street. This guy was special! LOL