Work

Turns out…. it’s not easy.

More to follow… too tired tonight.

“Two Principles For Any Economy”

“That’s the thing about work. If we simply keep at it—steady and constant—things certainly will improve.”

“During challenging times, it is even more important to learn. [Joseph Smith] taught, “Knowledge does away with darkness, [anxiety], and doubt; for these cannot exist where knowledge is.”

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf from Nov. ’09 General Conference address, “Two Principles For Any Economy”

Well, I’m home. What’s next?

My sister gets married this month. I don’t believe I’m expected to do much more than show up and help here and there where it’s needed. I might do a small informal party for her the night before the wedding, but since her fiance will be here too, it won’t really be a bachelorette party because I’d feel bad forcing him to just chill with my dad and brothers while we go and play. Anyway, that won’t require much time to put together, and I don’t really have anything else going on, so I have to decide what I’m going to fill my time with.

I have 2 things that I feel like I HAVE to focus on right now. I must become more financially stable/responsible, and I cannot put off my education any longer than is absolutely (aka: financially) necessary.

I don’t have any official employment right now. I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to fill my days with, and what God wants me doing right now. I have enjoyed not having to answer to a 9-5 in the last month or so, and I would like for that to continue because I enjoy the flexibility that it affords me. I am able to choose what I want to do, and I like that. So, how do I balance what I want and what God wants? I believe that the answer is to actively seek for opportunities to work and serve.

Here’s how I figure it. If I choose to say yes to the first service/work opportunities that come my way each day, making sure that I start my day with an appeal to my Heavenly Father for guidance in this, then I will be doing what HE needs me to do. I also know that, because He is aware of me and my needs, He will provide for me as long as I am seeking to be an instrument for His work. I have faith that, if I approach work in this way, things will get better. There are already several opportunities that have come along that will fit right into what I want to be doing.

With my education… I am still at a bit of a loss. There is, however, one sure thing; if I continue to seek for work and service opportunities that serve God’s purposes, he WILL provide the way for me to afford whatever educational route is best for me. I have no idea how it will work out, I just know that it will. I also know that I will be learning and growing in the work and service that I do. I will gain experiences and knowledge that I would never find in a classroom. My education continues no matter what I’m doing, and almost every time, the knowledge gained in the ‘real world’ is more valuable than anything you learn from books or a professor.

What this all boils down to is that I really have no idea what I am going to do besides pray every morning and night and have faith that the Lord will direct me to where I need to be and what I need to be doing.

Am I crazy?

Probably.

Guess what… all the best people are!

Curiouser and Curiouser

Alice laughed. “There’s no use trying,” she said: “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

— excerpt from Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass

I saw Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland tonight. I’ve always been a fan of his work, and this was no exception. The adaptation was brilliant. I liked the spin he put on things, and most of all, I love that this movie did for me what movies should do. It inspired me to be better than I am.

In this mad world, I spend much of my time feeling like I’m playing a game of catch up. I look around and feel like I’m falling short of the mark. Society has outlined the path that they believe will lead to achieving the ‘American dream’. Do well in school, graduate with a 3.5 or above, score high on the ACT/SAT, get into the best school, graduate with a 3.5 or above, get into grad school, graduate, get a good paying job, get married, have 2.5 kids, a dog, a cat, a house, 2 or 3 cars, a boat, work, save, and if you play your cards right, retire in style. I would like to know the percentage of people today that are actually able to do this and be happy and secure at the end of it all.

Like I said the other day, there is no such thing as the real world. Life isn’t set up for us to live within the parameters that society, or even our family and friends set for us. Life is meant to be lived individually. Each journey is unique, and while we all exist on the same chunk of rock, we all see it just a little bit differently.

I do believe that we all have something we are meant to do. Figuring out what that is… well, that’s a tangent for another day, but, once you know what you are supposed to do, well…. how do you respond? Do you say, “I can’t” or “That’s impossible”? Do you run away, or do you make a choice to stand and become who you were always meant to be?

Making that choice is never easy. In fact, it is the single hardest thing that you will ever do in your life, I know because I’ve done it. The most daunting thing is that it won’t be a choice that you only make once. It will be something that you must continue to choose every day of your life.

If you see who you can be and say, “Oh, I am not THAT Alice”, keep going. One day you will find that when the caterpillar asks, “Who are YOU?”, your response will be something like this,

“I am Keely. I am a child of God. I am a daughter to Chris and Marie. I am a big sister to Mikaela, Brianne, Johanna, Caleb, Joshua, Zachary, and Eme. I am a woman. I am a friend. I am stronger than I was, and not as strong as I will be. I will change the world one day.”

Impossible?

“Only if you believe it is.” — The Mad Hatter

About Par for the Course

Today was the best day so far for the kids as a group… with one pretty significant snag. For the first time I took the kids out of the house. They’ve been getting so stir-crazy from being cooped inside for the last week solid that I had to take them out, or I’d have gone nuts. They rode their bikes to a nearby park, and I took Josh in the stroller. We played for a couple of hours with very little trouble. A couple of kids fell off their bikes a few times, but no major bleeding, or broken bones, so all was well. Evan got home, and we had lunch, and then for quiet time Lukas lost the privilege to watch a movie in the living room, so he got put in one of the bedrooms. Jacob decided he wanted to take a nap, and Evan and Joshua were so tired that I knew they’d sleep during quiet time. So, after getting everyone down I laid down on the couches in the living room with Maren and we started our movie. I was so relieved when I didn’t have to stay up to fight to keep Lukas in his room. About an hour and a half into quiet time, right when I’m gearing up to go wake up kids and start cleaning up before dad gets home, Lukas screams from the other room and comes running into the living room with a cut on his forehead. At first, because there wasn’t much blood, and because he wasn’t doing the ‘I’m mortally wounded and unconsolable’ scream, I had him show me what had happened. Turns out, he was sitting on a small desk chair in the room and spinning on it, when he fell off and hit his forehead on the desk. I told him to sit on the couch and calm down while I went and got something to clean the nearly dried blood off his face. Once I got up close to the cut I got a bit more scared than I had been. The gash was about half an inch long, and I knew immediately that he’d need stitches. I called Richard and he left work a little early and took Lukas straight to the hospital. While they were gone, I got the other kids fed, bathed, and in bed. It was a bit difficult putting them down. They spent the whole evening worrying about whether or not their brother was going to come home from the hospital that day. I’m sure they were convinced that the gash on his head required a 2 or 3 day stay in the hospital and major surgery. Well, 4 hours and 10 stitches later, father and son returned with the wound on the mend. Their return roused the whole house (they had only been down for about half an hour) and everyone had to see Lukas’ stitches. I left soon after that and I’m hoping that they went to sleep quickly, or I’m going to have some CRANKY kids in the morning.

So, on the whole, while the kids were much better behaved today than they have been (they’re finally getting used to me being in charge. They don’t argue as much anymore, thank heaven.), it was still just as eventful/stressful as any of the previous days. Here’s to hoping for a slow paced, dull day tomorrow, though, with 5 kids… I doubt I’ll be that lucky.

Lukas at the hospital. Dad took this picture.

No Such Thing

I am eternally grateful to a loving Father in Heaven who knows exactly what I need when I need it. Tonight an old friend from high school said hi to me on facebook and we chatted for about half an hour or so about life; where we’d gone and what we’d done since graduation. Usually reunions like that tend to take a nostalgic turn, but this time, for whatever reason we spoke about our future. Our hopes, dreams, goals, education, and the like. Though the conversation was casual, I was uplifted and encouraged to continue working to achieve, specifically with my educational goals. Re-connecting with this friend and remembering our friendship was also a much needed boost.

While my journey has been unconventional, and WAY outside the lines, it has served it’s purpose. I know that I’ll reach my goals with hard work, faith, and many prayers. Besides, “there’s no such thing as the real world, it’s just a lie you’ve got to rise above.”