For the last week or so I have been doing some "REAL" soul-searching. I mean digging deep into the areas and corners of my life that sometimes I would rather choose not to visit-at least not very often. It' s painful. It's hard. It makes me sad. It makes me want to work harder. It gives me perspective and it helps me see where I've come and where I really want to be.
I don't recommend it too often. Many times when this happens to me, I am not given the chance to choose if it will happen or not. It's just there. This soul-searching exercise just staring me in the face and not letting me off-the-hook!
I think I am at a better place then I was five days ago. I hope I am. The Lord has put some wonderful experiences in my path this week that have allowed me to feel the Holy Ghost and to feel of his love for me. One of those moments was this morning when I was browsing a favorite blog and came across the following post. It made such an impact on me that I wanted to share. The blog is called: http://lightrefreshmentsserved.com/
I was reminded about life and how fragile it is and what I should be doing with all the talents God has given me. I hope you will be able to use some of these thoughts as well.
February 3rd, 2009
Last night was the end of the auctioning for Nie, my sister in-law and her family. As Courtney, my other sister in-law stated, “The next phase of recovery is going to be long and difficult, but we are blessed to even have a recovery.” Stephanie is committed to long, painful physical therapy and wants to give back to the people who have helped her. This is the next phase.
The concert last night was the brain child of singer Mindy Gledhill and it morphed into a hugh event that included hundreds of donated items from talented people, organizers, volunteers, and musicians including Kendra Lowe, Ryan Shupe, and David Osmond. The Thrillionaires performed, two short improv musicals, too. I was touched that my fellow performers volunteered to do it but I was unsure if I could. Not because I didn’t want to, but because I cry easily (Hi Rachel!) and I didn’t want to ruin the fun of what we do (Basically, we make stuff up). You know the lady in your ward who starts crying as soon as she gets up to bear her testimony in church with the funny “cry-voice”? Yeah, that’s me. But I perform and I’m glad I did and it was fun. Like so many things in my life I second guess and over analyze, after all is said and done, I’m glad I went out of my comfort zone and did it instead of thought about it.
The image that I keep referring to over and over again in my mind today as I review the concert, is the display table of items in the hall for silent auction. It was amazing. There were oil paintings, gift certificates, jewelry, crocheted hats, and aprons. I recognized a collection of authenticated Hollywood memorabilia from my friend’s collector parents worth thousands. The site of it all, and more importantly, the feeling behind each carefully made, tagged, and well-placed item was really overwhelming. It reminded me that we all have something significant to offer one another. We all have a place at the table and our talents, no matter how seemingly small or weird (you know, I make up stuff), is acceptable.
It reminds me of how Topher and I were in a Sunday School class in an old ward years ago (I think I’ve already shared this story, sorry), and someone made a well-intentioned comment about how during these last, difficult days, we need to focus on professions that can help our fellow man in real, physical ways like plumbing, carpentry, and mechanics. Topher and I laughed (I think I actually snorted, unintentionally) because at the time he was getting a Master’s in Shakespeare. Topher whispered something to me like “Oh great, I’m sitting here wasting thousands studying the dead Bard! Now what?!” Later as we talked about it, he said, and I still agree with him, “You know, say what you will, but if there’s a disaster and people are chewing their stored wheat, they’re going to want to be entertained! The Mormon Pioneers performed Shakespeare along the trail, after all. ” Usually the talents and intentions of others are silently collected, in bits and pieces, as the full scale of a tragedy or need unfolds. And here, at the auction last night, they were laid out in physical sight. And they were all so different.
I am becoming more and more aware of the offerings people have given me, especially in the two years, that have made a meaningful impact in my life. I recognize the obscure gifts more and more because they seem more important to me now maybe because they seem more authentic. I don’t focus anymore on what I can’t offer (sewing things, large sums of money, jewelry making, teaching aerobics, etc.), but what I can. Even if that means walking on a stage and making up dialogue about baskets of muffins or singing a song about closure or poison (the act of, not the band).