April 17th, 2005


The Sunday report:

The lesson in Relief Society today was on prayer. There were many stories given, some from the "I prayed every day for x amount of weeks and fasted once a week," to the miraculous `coincidence,' (which I love when those happen... too coincidental to be mere coincidence,) to just how communication with Deity can soothe the soul. I didn't publicly offer any thoughts but I had many of them going through my head.

I have never doubted that someone was actually listening to my prayers though I have been aware that sometimes the connection has waxed and waned. Sometimes I have felt like Heavenly Father is impatient for me to finish my thought so He can lean down and thwack me on the forehead to explain something or really start a back and forth conversation. Other times I feel like there is an enormous gulf between us and a lot of miscommunication and misunderstanding on my part.

I have even actively rebelled, after getting yet another rejection letter from a prospective studio I was just going to quit praying. I had developed almost a pathological fear of it...not that anybody wasn't listening but it seemed that if I really wanted something...and prayed about it, I wouldn't get it. I didn't want to talk to God, he never listened to me or he WOULD just to know what I wanted so I wouldn't get it. I am horrified with how long I actually pulled it off...nearly 3 months of actively NOT praying. Bad idea.

I used to joke about how I never dared pray for patience because I did that once...and it took me 5 years to get to art school. I say joke...but in later years as I thought about it, I realized that was true. Often I was afraid to pray because I know that Heavenly Father DOES answer prayer. This is a comforting thought but it can also be a scary one. Want patience? Be prepared to be put into situations where you're going to HAVE to cultivate it! Want humility? Stay tuned for some humiliating situations... I knew that God uses trials to help us grow and this scared me. "Sure, Heavenly Father, I want to grow and become a better person...but on MY terms, okay?"

I have since tried to repent of both those patterns.

The nearly direct communication still happens to me but rarely and there are still times I feel a great gulf...but I find I am happier when I am trying to reach out and touch heaven.

"Father...? This is Jett. I just wanted to say thank you."

It can go a long way.
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Two nephew stories:

My oldest nephew, Mighty S has been taking karate for I think at least half a year. I am always sure to compliment his muscles when I go and visit and truly he has them now. He was this amazing roly poly toddler...he looked like the Michelin man. It's not like my sister overfed him either...(I used to joke with her that she just makes cream,) anyway, even though he grew out of the rolls of fat he was never exactly fit either.

Except with karate he IS getting fit.

So, last Saturday I went down to see them and I had him feel my arms (dude, I am so proud of my arms, I have near total strangers feeling my arms,) and then felt his and poked his stomach and oohed and aaahed over how hard it was.

I turned away to talk to my brother in law and when I looked back seriously 2 minutes later, he had ripped his shirt off and putting everything he had into some muscle poses. It's so hard not to laugh totally out loud in front of kids but I so totally almost lost it.

He has also got interested in echolocation. He will take 2 long sticks, face a direction, close his eyes and crack them together. He will then matter of factly tell me what he "images."

CRACK! " I am imaging a large wall. It must be the school across the street."
CRACK! "I think I just discovered a series of houses down the road. That is what I imaged."

Ummm...could it be that you already know they are there, Mighty S? Certainly NOT!

So I told him we would really challenge his imaging ability. I had him lie on the ground with one ear pressed tight against the lawn. He would cover his ear so as not to be influenced by anything he heard and I jumped around hard on the lawn around his head. I'm sure we looked really, really bizarre to cars passing by.

The best part though...

"Aunt Jeanette...I think I imaged a semitruck under the ground. Maybe it was put there in the 1800s. Anyway, that is what I imaged."

SNORT!!!! Oh man, I so love that little guy.
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