Now, before I continue on with my narrative... a word about my Sunday school class-- they are 13-14 year olds and are usually VERY well behaved. They contribute to the lesson, and generally make me very happy to have the calling I have. Sufficeth to say.... I was not prepared for what awaited me behind door #2 this day.
I walked in and after explaining that Tyson and Mac were sick and would not be joining us, I was answered with exclamations of, "uhhh, today is going to be so boring." One of the more polite girls stated that today would be very "calm." Ouch. BUT I soldiered on. It only went downhill from there. At one point, I was trying to talk OVER their obnoxious remarks and found myself yelling, "I know that the Lord will bless us when we ask for help in our callings!" Wow. I mentally took a step back and just decided today was not going to go as expected. At the end (more or less) of my lesson, I broached the subject of the big project......... nothing. No enthusiasm. And they all pretty much shot me down. When the conversation ONCE AGAIN delved into Justin's suspenders, I just said, "okay- who's praying?" They were all taken back, this was the first time that I had ever ended a lesson without bearing my testimony and thanking them for their participation. Justin stood up and prayed and then I practically ran from the classroom to my car. I came home and bawled my eyes out, ranting about everything including my ridiculous inability to teach. I told Tyson I wanted to be released.
Now here's the thing about me and FAST sunday-- I don't do well on an empty stomach. Things of a spiritual nature seem to come much more easily, but my ability to think and reason and think reasonably GO OUT THE WINDOW. I mean they literally FLY. My self-confidence hovers around a negative one and if anything goes wrong, I am instantly an emotional wreck. I don't do well.
So Tyson did his best to console me and promised that my class had just had a bad day. Things would be better next week. I silently vowed there WOULD NOT be a next week. I tried to cheer up over the next few hours and not think about the cheesy sandwich I had watched Tyson wolf down at lunch. (I failed by the way, and broke my fast early- around 3:30)And then at 4:45 we headed into tithing settlement. (a time, once a year, when each member of the ward sits down with the bishop and declares whether they have paid a full or part tithe that year.) We got into the Bishop's office and our children went crazy. It was like someone had hit the ludicrous button located on the top of their heads. Mac just started SCREAMING and hitting Tyson as hard as he could over and over and over. And when Tyson put him down, he just screamed LOUDER. Quinn absolutely refused to sit after the first five seconds, and ran around the room making fart noises on her arm and intermittently begging the Bishop for MORE candy. And in the midst of this, the Bishop turns his penetrating gaze on me and asks, "Sister Allen, how have you been blessed in your home as you have kept your covenants?" Wait, what? Do you see what's going on right now?! Okay, blessings.... ummmm..... (fart noise-- I'd call it a trumpeter) "I think..... that we have felt a greater sense of.... um.... peace?" (oh please, just send us on our way) Bless his heart, he acted like it was the right answer, ended our interview, and ushered us out the door. We went home and had Quinn recite, "I will not make fart noises in front of the Bishop." twenty times and then made her kiss our feet. (totally kidding-- but I thought about it!)
The rest of the night I prayed for bedtime-- harder than I had ever prayed for anything ever. And it eventually came. We put our kids down and settled in for some relaxy time. Tyson wanted to watch "The TESTAMENTS," so we did. And then came my happy ending. I remembered why I am here, and why I do what I do. Because God has blessed me to live now, and to be a MOM, and to raise these crazy wonderful children. Because I am blessed to know the plan of salvation and to know of our Savior's atonement for us. Because the atonement is REAL and PERSONAL. Because Jesus Christ knows my name and more than that-- He knows my struggles....
and because I love HIM.