Monday, August 22, 2011

What I Learned This Summer

I can't believe this summer is almost over. I can't believe this summer is almost over. I can't believe....

At the end of May I was praying about some career and financial stresses. I was very blessed to not have to work (except by choice) the first two years of Phoebe's life. But to make a very long story short I have a litigious ex husband who took me to court every three months since she was born until I had nothing left and working became a necessity. Don't get me wrong. I love working. Okay, occasionally I fantasize about having the time to make little decorative labels for all my pantry items. But really, I love what I do. But his choices and sometimes other factors still contribute to stress for us. Sometimes minor, sometimes monster.

I remember praying fervently about this one morning this spring and heard these words in my mind, "seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." (3 Ne 13:33). I thought, Well, duh. I do seek the kingdom of God. It is my underlying driving force. When am I not seeking it? Then I realized that when I am stressing out, I am not seeking the kingdom of God. The words ran through my mind again, this time with italics: "Seek ye first the kingdom of God."

Ahhhh. I realized that some days it wasn't till the end of a day stressing about x, y, or z that I sat down to read my scriptures. So I decided to make it my absolute first priority every day to read my scriptures and meditate (well, maybe sometimes I brush my teeth first). This one small change brought such an immediate difference into my life. The peace I felt brought me so much calm and confidence.

My situation didn't change right away. In fact. It got worse. All my clients canceled that week and my speaking engagement canceled, too. I thought about this and wondered if this was God's way of showing me that my efforts were nothing. Was He going to come out of nowhere and show me that He could work miracles? I wasn't sure, but I continued reading first thing in the morning and I still felt peace.

Then things got even worse.
"It's either gas or spark. You got no spark." That's because he's married. Oh wait, you mean my car...

Yet, even when my car died on the freeway on the way to a Memorial Day Barbeque, I didn't worry. I was just curious to see what would happen, and then I saw blessings everywhere. For one, the Freeway Safety Patrol towed me to a Park N Ride lot for free. 15 minutes later and the FSP would have been closed and I would have had to call a $ tow truck. I happened to break down near the city where some friends live, and they had an extra car that they lent me for a week. Also, the FSP guy told me what was wrong with my car. So I didn't have to wonder what it would cost me to fix it.

I felt so much gratitude and peace.The next day on the way to the zoo with Phoebe, in my borrowed car, I was pondering what do. I love my car, but its end-of-life issues had cost me that month. I had just put a new axle in it the week before. As I was driving I had the strangest idea pop into my head. Maybe I should not put Phoebe in preschool during the summer. What? I wasn't sure whose idea that was. Sure, I would save on preschool tuition, but what about work? How would I get all my work done and pay the bills?

It seemed illogical. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it wasn't counter intuitive. Often the revelation I receive from God is this way. Counter logical from my brain perspective--but not counter-intuitive. So I decided to just do it and try to get all my work done on the days she goes to her dad's house, and when she's home we would just play and go to the beach and the pool or draw on the side walk with chalk and all the things that moms who stay home with their kids all day probably get to do.

Preschool Graduation. Cutest thing ever?
It was such an interesting thing to make this decision knowing that I had no clue how is going to work. But I did it anyway. I took some things off my plate and turned down any new responsibilities, and the day after Pre-school graduation we went to the beach all day. Then we did the same thing the next day and the next. Then I worked for a few days.
First day of summer. That's me throwing water.
A few days ago. They are very tan now.
 That first month was interesting. I noticed that I had a lot more energy. I figured out it was because I wasn't splitting my focus. Often, in the past, when I was working I was thinking about what I had to do with/for Phoebe and when I was with Phoebe I was trying to sneak off and send an email or do a bit of work. While I recognized at the time that this was not ideal, I didn't realize how tired it had been making me.

Ultimately, I have felt more peaceful and had more abundance this summer than when I was working a lot more earlier this year. And the abundance has come in more ways than I can articulate. I am grateful for the lessons that God taught me through this--the primary lesson being that it is He who provides. I am grateful that I got to learn this lesson while getting a tan and eating watermelon and being totally in the moment with my daughter. I look forward to more of these lessons.

Me and Phoebes at Venice Beach right before I taught her to body surf.


  1. I understand the struggle of being in the present & not splitting my focus! Thanks for the reminder.

  2. I love how you are so open to following the spirit in your life! Connecting with Phoebe this summer is such a gift.



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