and I'm just checking in to report, no disappointments!
But even more than the message (Although Pres. Uchtdorf''s was definitely a remember/re-read/stud and apply talk) this year I had a special experience just sitting there waiting for it to begin.
It's fun to see sisters form my "old ward" at stake things, so I was thinking back to some of those friendships and examples. Cherished moments and indelible lessons. (Realized I don't take enough pictures of everyday life with friends, trip or parties yes, but play group or girls night, things that happen regularly, I need to remember to snap a few shots of now and again too).
Then I felt blessed to be flanked with "new friends", again amazing sisters I'm already learning from and growing by mere association with. (Friends who I ended up sitting in the church parking lot with for a few more hours than our husbands expected, and we could have easily done a few more hours had our bursting bladders allowed it...and you don't mess with post baby bladder control, right ladies?!?)
I pictured my "phone friends" sitting in pews miles away, knowing we'll spend hours discussing insights and thoughts from this and next weekends General Conference.
Already able to anticipate each others favorite parts, but also unaware of what other words of comfort or encouragement we'll end up drawing upon and quoting to one another on future "bad" days, or discouraging "witching hours".
Then, having served on Temple Square I thought of my sister missionary companions, again far away but somehow still tied to me, hearing the same council, their transfer-or-two-long influence magnified under our missionary mantles, so that even our brief periodes of service together reek of eternal significance and consequence. (I was gonna find pics of me and individual companions, but I realized that could quickly get out of hand, cuz I love them all so much!!!!)
My mother, who saved me this week (our moms never stop saving us, do they?!)
|Me (looking like McKye in a dress)|
|Me and Mom on our Washington |
trip I haven't blogged yet!
|very pregnant in this picture (hence my poofy face)|
My mother-in-law. My very own Naomi. Our brains from the same box, our hearts equally drawn out, needly deeply to connect, to the Lord and others.
Then I let my mind float off seeing face after face of women in my life.
|Those crazy Bowen girls.|
My sister-in-laws (merging the blood of our futures, like combining recipes and holiday traditions)
Those I have visit taught, or have visited me, or visited with me, with that extra measure of tenderness that the Lord grants those willing to accept a stewardship.
Sisters who's lessons and comments and small acts of service have encouraged me with the possibility of becoming like them.
Sisters I've served with.
Who've helped me grow up.
Sisters who I've agonized through pregnancies with...
and HAD babies with...
Sisters I have never met in this life, names on my family tree, who one day, I truly believe when the veil of my mortality is rent I will know of all the times they were here strengthening me unseen and I will be overcome with gratitude and love.
All this before the opening hymn.
Joseph Smith promised the Nauvoo Relief Society in1844: “If you live up to your privileges, the angels cannot be restrained from being your associates” ( 1977, 226).
I associate with angel women every day. It is one of the greatest blessings of my life.
A blessing I truly cherish.
Lucy Mack Smith said,
"We must cherish one another, comfort one another and gain instruction,
that we may all sit down in heaven together."
It felt like a piece of heaven, there with my sisters, sitting together.
I wrote this right after the broadcast, but them I delayed posting it, so I could add pictures, which I was taking too long doing, so all you ladies I love, who aren't featured in a picture...know I still love you immensely.
I just needed to make dinner.
I knew you'd understand.