Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Dream Fulfilled- my Story

(I apologize for those of another faith that may not understand all of the church language in this post. I will do my best to explain.)
I couldn’t believe it, our Stake (Several local congregations make up a Stake.) has the opportunity to sing in the General Relief Society Broadcast (A meeting broadcast throughout the whole world to all of the women of the LDS faith.)   I couldn’t wait to know more details!  A couple weeks went by and no news.  Finally in Relief Society it was announced that the Bishop (Leader of the local congregation.) will be giving out assignments to sing.  I would need to wait for an assignment.  I have always dreamed of singing with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and this would be so close to fulfilling this dream.  I prayed and pleaded with Heavenly Father that I might have this opportunity. Weeks went by and I heard nothing more.  Finally I couldn’t stand not knowing any longer and waited outside the Bishops office to ask him if there was any chance that there was still an opening to sing.
There I sat waiting on the chairs outside the Bishops office with my husband at my side and simply asked the Bishop if there was any possibility of singing.  He said no, that the time was long gone.  All that came from my mouth was that my heart was broken then the tears began to flow.  I stood up and quickly left the building.  It was time for Sunday School but my heart was aching and I just couldn’t get control of my emotions.  My dream to sing in the choir seats of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir were shattered in that one moment.  How could this be?  Why was I not chosen?
My emotions overwhelmed me.  I felt a deep loss as I grieved my lost dream.  I took the time to write the Bishop a letter and explain my feelings and then the whole situation began to open up.  There had been a misunderstanding between leadership and no names had been given from our Ward to sing in the Choir.  Oh the loss of an amazing opportunity!  I was unaware that after I left the building with my emotions overflowing that the Bishop then spoke to the Stake President and the Stake Relief Society President to see if there was any possibility that I could sing with the choir.  The answer was no, but maybe if another sister couldn’t fulfill her assignment then they could be filled with sisters from our Ward.  Two weeks later a call came from the Bishop to please come to his office with my husband and that an opening had come for me to sing.  The amazing thing was that we were on our way home from visiting Temple Square as a family and watching the Joseph Smith movie.  I was already on a spiritual high and this was just miraculous!
As I sat in the Bishops office and an assignment was given for me to sing in the choir for the General Relief Society Broadcast I had no idea what a spiritual experience I was in for. My life is forever changed from this one experience! I had just one week to memorize all of the music but I would do my best.  I was thrilled to find out that there were 3 assignments to be filled by our Ward and that Sister Freeman and Sister Horrocks would also be singing.  As I attended the first practice I realized that I was in for a spiritual feast.  Sister Emily Wadley was our Director. She is an amazing woman with a huge testimony and such a fun personality.  I would leave every practice full of the spirit and ready to do my best.  Not only did we have the incredible Sister Wadley but also Sister Anderson and several sisters from the General Relief Society Board and Stake Presidents speak to us.  I would come home on such a spiritual high that it was so hard to describe to my husband.  I was on fire with the gospel of Jesus Christ! 
choir
full choir
I am the 4th sister in the back row on the left hand side.

close full choir
sister wadley
This is Sister Emily Wadley our incredible Choir Director! (You can see her in the Movie 17 Miracles.)

Finally the day of the performance was here.  I attended 2 soccer games and helped coach one of them that morning.  We quickly came home and I prepared to leave for the broadcast.  I had such peace in my heart knowing that I had done all that I could to prepare both the music as well as my spirit.  It was a blessing to have been given a third calling just a few days before to teach Gospel Doctrine Class because I was in the scriptures in depth each day to prepare my lesson.  My testimony of answered prayers and that my Heavenly Father knows me personally has grown so much from this experience.  Singing just a few feet from the beautiful pipes of the organ was incredible.  The sound was amazing.  Our songs were beautiful.  Being just feet from our living prophet, President Monson and his counselors, President Eyring and President Uchtdorf was wonderful.  To be with all of the leaders of the Women’s Auxiliaries of the Church was also wonderful.  I could feel of their love for the sisters of the Church and of their spirits.
Our Heavenly Father knows us and he loves us!  He knows the desires of our hearts and he had a part in the fulfilling of this dream for me.  As insignificant as it may seem,  it was a huge event for me.  I will always remember singing in the Conference Center for the entire world to hear my testimony of Jesus Christ through song. I was sitting in the very same seats that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sits in.  A dream come true and so much more!
Please go to this link to watch this broadcast. There is a message in it for each of us to improve our lives.
http://lds.org/general-conference/sessions/2011/10?lang=eng

This address below will bring you to watch the entire broadcast rather than just selections.

http://lds.org/general-conference/watch/2011/10?lang=eng&vid=1180379301001


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I’m Registered!

Provo_Halloween-Facebook-Square-2011-250x250

So I decided I needed a fitness goal so here it is!  Just over a month to get ready for it.  I better start adding some extra miles to my regular runs.  Oh dear I can’t add to my regular runs because I have to home to get the kids off to school.  Hmmmm, I guess I’ll just have to start running in the evening or on Saturday to get the longer runs in.  Yeah!!! I am so excited to have something to work toward!

205 are you kidding me?

As frustrated as I am,  I still feel beautiful and strong!

(I’m still wearing size 10 jeans!)

 

I can’t believe I’ve allowed myself to get back here.  I had a goal to NEVER see 200 pounds again!  I am very frustrated to be here.  It makes me sad that I haven’t kept my promise to myself to eat only healthy foods.  The exercise I do and I enjoy but FOOD is another creature.  Once I let the forbidden foods back into my diet after my gall bladder surgery (for comfort) in February,  18 pounds have come flying back.  So, the foods are forbidden again.  I think I am an all or nothing kind of girl. I wish I weren’t but it is just the way I am wired.  I also don’t have any fitness goals right now, nothing to train for so I need to change that real quick too.  There is a half marathon for Halloween that I am toying with.  It is a much more difficult course than my first half  (steeper to start and a lot longer flat distance) so that scares me a little  BUT I have realized that I am a goal driven woman for the most part.  I did set my goal to get back under 190 to see Cilene Dion but since I know we can’t really afford it I guess it hasn’t meant too much to me.  So I am setting a short term goal to be back under 200 solidly by October 1st.  I really want to be under by next week but we’ll see. (I have been retaining a lot of water from too much sodium so it may be possible.) I can do hard things!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

FOOD!

It would be so much easier if my “addiction” was something that I didn’t NEED every day.  The past week was bad.  I need to find my self control again.  I know it is here somewhere.  I desperately want to lose 15 pounds.  I am so frustrated that I let this weight creep back on. I can do this, I know I can. It is just so hard to choose spinach over chips or an apple over chocolate chips. If all I had to do was exercise to lose weight then I’d be set. Exercise comes easy to me now. Too bad that most of the equation falls to the food. 

I was asked to talk to some ladies in a Biggest Loser Group.  You would think that would kick me into gear and I hope it does but so far I am justifying everything. I CAN DO THIS!!! IT IS HARD but WORTH IT!!!!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

50/20 Hike- hardest physical challenge of my life

The Scout District put together a 50/20 hike. 50 miles in 20 hours or less. I joined them with Nathan “just to take pictures” for a few miles. Well, the leader that came with them was having some physical troubles so I felt I really should stay with them. I am really glad I did because the leader left at mile 28.  It was the hardest physical, mental, and emotionally challenging experience of our lives. I am so impressed by these young men.  They can do ANYTHING in their lives!  They have such strong character and determination to overcome such a huge obstacle. I am especially proud of my son Michael!  You are incredible!  I am so blessed to be your mother!

It is hard to describe the physical pain that you body feels after walking for 20 miles straight without any rest.  You ache every where, your feet are blistered and swollen, you are sunburned, bug bites everywhere,  your muscles are burning so bad that you can barely hobble along the last 10 miles.  You can't see it in these pictures but these boys were in horrible physical pain after the first 15 miles or so from chaffing and blisters.  They kept going through the pain and tears.  If they can persevere through this they can accomplish anything and everything life puts before them. 120 boys signed up to do this and one by one they dropped out.  3 of our 4 boys finished it with me and overall I believe 20 or less actually did the full 50 miles.  You boys are the best of the best! Congratulations!!!

We couldn't have done it without Stace Dalton! Jacob's mom followed along, ran for food, provided medical attention, new socks, entertainment and the best moral support ever!  The other groups were so jealous of our support woman!!! One of the most tender moments was when her son wanted to quit and she went and parked the car up at each next mile marker, walked back to him then they would walk together.  Thanks Stace!       

080                                     

Just passed the 49 mile marker!

They had no idea that this experience would change their lives!014015020029031032033036040042047049058067078082084

086088