**Warning-- Very Long Post
Yesterday was a busy, productive and crazy day. In many instances it was a testimony of the power of prayer and that my Heavenly Father loves me and hears and answers my prayers. I truly felt an abundance of the tender mercies of the Lord yesterday.
My day started yesterday with a very long shopping trip to... where else... Wal-Mart. I need to explain first just how big this shopping trip was. We hadn't been able to go grocery shopping for about 4 weeks so we were pretty much out of everything... food and household items. I usually have this certain pad of paper I use to make my list but this time it was so big I had to use a full size pad of paper. And instead of shopping for 1 week like I usually do I shopped for 2 weeks including for 2 birthday parties and having family staying at my house from out of town. So yeah it was a lot of stuff. Oh... and it was a Saturday morning at Wal-Mart. Ok- it actually wasn't too horribly crowded and I wasn't rushed at all which was nice. And Baily was still asleep when I left so she was at home with Robert which makes all the difference in the world. Besides all this, after about 2 1/2 hours of shopping making sure I separated all my price match items and bending and lifting and balancing stuff on an overflowing cart, I was pretty exhausted by the time I got to the checkout line. And it was really hot in there as well. I said a little prayer just to have enough energy and stamina to get through this last little push of my shopping experience. While I was in line, trying to keep the price match items separated people kept coming in line behind me and after realizing how much stuff I had and that I was moving a little slower because I'm pregnant and that I was going to take longer to price match a million things they would get annoyed and go to another line. Then the sweetest thing happened and I can barely even talk about it without getting so emotional. Two gentleman came behind me and they had maybe like 15 items in their cart- they could've easily gone to the express lane. I looked at them and told them sorry and they just smiled at me. As I was unloading some stuff and started telling the cashier the price match items I realized that one of the guys was unloading stuff from the cart for me and the other one went and got a new cart for me and started loading up the bagged groceries inside of it. He even did it with the heavy items on the bottom and had it all organized. I told them thank you sooo much and they just said it's nothing. They ended up loading all my bagged groceries for me and after they had checked out they stayed and waited to make sure someone was coming to help me out with the 2 carts to my car. When they left they said have a great day and they hoped I had help when I got home. It was all I could do to not cry and embarass them but I don't think they'll ever know how much their simple service meant to me. It touched me so much and made me realize I really need to follow their example and be willing to go a little out of my way to give a helping hand to others. I know they were an answer to my prayer for help.
After I got home and cooled down I put the groceries away, fed Baily, got laundry started and house cleaned up. Robert willingly quit playing X-Box to go out in the heat and clean out our filthy car. I've noticed that over the past couple weeks our marriage has been closer and just better in general... another answer to prayer. Robert's been so great and has really made an effort to be more helpful and understanding to my needs and I've tried to do the same. It's also helped that we've finally been really consistent with reading scriptures and praying every day together.
After a good comforting dinner of chili beans and cornbread with fresh veggies we rushed to get ready to go the adult session of Stake Conference. We debated not going since we didn't have a sitter for Baily but we went and decided to just take her with a prayer that she would behave and cooperate so we could attend. When we got there she was pretty much the oldest child that was there which was a little embarassing but she did awesome! She was so reverent and calm the whole time. The focus seemed to be on temples and strong marriages. The final speaker was Bro. Richard Hinckley of the 70 and he is also Pres. Hinckley's oldest son. He looks and sounds a lot like Pres. Hinckley and seems to have the same type of sense of humor. He told a lot of personal stories and most had to do with the blessing of the sealing power we have available in the temples. Then he opened it up to questions from the audience since he said it was a less informal meeting. There's so much I want to remember about his talk that really stood out to me but I'm just going to share what I remember most. He opened with telling us about how his niece was sealed in the Salt Lake temple a little while ago and his dad did the sealing. He mentioned that Pres. Hinckley has limited his sealings to just his grandchildren. He said that his dad mentioned something that really stuck with him. Pres. Hinckley said that he had sealed all 5 of his children and this was his 24th grandchild out of 25 that he has sealed. Then he sort of mentioned to himself that he felt it was the greatest thing he's ever done. Bro. Hinckley said that stuck to him so much because he knows his dad has done so many great things and for him to think that these sealing were the greatest things he's considered himself to do must mean he values sealings so very much. He also mentioned that his parents raised him in a style that was very trusting. He said him and his siblings never got grounded and somehow they just knew when they were out of line without having to be yelled at or scolded. And another thing I loved that he talked about is his parents advice on strong marriages. He said his dad always says that you have to be concerned for the personal welfare and happiness of your spouse more than your own. His mom said what made her marriage successful was to lower her standards. Hee, hee. Bro. Hinckley explained how both these principles are so true. He gave so many stories and so much wonderful advice and I wish I could write them all down but it would take forever. I really enjoyed hearing him speak and gained a lot spiritually and mentally from conference.
After conference we told Baily we would take her to go get ice cream since she behaved so well. She immediately got excited and started doing her ice cream dance. Well she ended up having to wait a long time for that ice cream... poor little girl! What a crazy night followed. We had to run home to get our check book for an errand we had to run. When I ran in the house I discovered that our washer went berserk and the brand new bottle of laundry detergent I had sitting on the washer fell off, cracked and spilled every where. I picked up the bottle but didn't have time to clean up the mess completely. On our way to run that errand Baily started to get pretty restless. After Robert paid the bill and as we were driving out of the parking lot we discovered that our tire blew out. Fabulous. As soon as I realized this I felt the stress coming on. How are we going to be able to afford a new tire? Why does this always happen to us? I hate being so poor. Then Baily started with the tantrum. I can't say that I blame her... she was expecting ice cream as promised and I kept telling her it would be just a minute which turned out to be like an hour and a half. So as the stress and frustration and tears started rising I prayed. I prayed for patience and faith that since I know we are doing our best that everything will be ok. So as my poor husband was out in the heat changing the tire to our donut I felt an immediate peace. It took him a while to get the tire off because it was stuck pretty bad and once he got the donut on it was almost completely flat. Of course we were at the only intersection in this city with no gas station. So we drove ever so slowly and cautiously, all the while Baily's screaming, to find a gas station to put air in our donut. When we finally find one a couple blocks away and are about to turn into it, a bunch of ambulances come behind us so we have to pull over into this dirt parking area. Nice. We finally made it to the gas station. Robert goes inside to get change to pay for the air (that's so dumb that you have to pay for freakin' air!) and they tell him we don't give change. What?? They consent to turn the air on for us thankfully but that's still so stupid. Well we were finally able to drive without dying and there's no way we could've gone home without getting Baily her ice cream. We went to Sonic and Baily was able to calm down. We finally made it home, we got our laundry soap spill cleaned up and said our prayer. I know I was blessed with a peace and calm because otherwise I would have lost it and gone crazy. I was so tired by the time all was said and done for the day but I couldn't have gone to sleep without a nice long prayer of gratitude for all the many answers to prayers. I know my Heavenly Father loves me and I'm so, so grateful for the blessing and power of prayer!