Monday, July 21, 2008

Adding to my spirital reservoir.

**Disclaimer (see disclaimer to the left)

Sunday July 20, 2008
Yesterday was a very, very good day and it was very spiritually fulfilling. Even though 1:30 isn't my favorite time to start chuch it is nice to be able to take our time in the morning to get ready and not feel so rushed. And this Sunday was a special one to me for many reasons. One of them was that Robert and I actually followed through together a fast for something that we've been concerned about for a very long time. I write about this not to brag or boast but just because I'm grateful that our marriage and spirituality are getting better and moving onward and upward. It's slow progress but line upon line, right? So that felt good. Church was good- always nice to take the Sacrament and feel that fresh start. I felt better about being in Primary this week- more relaxed and I think that came from knowing more what to expect. I'm slowly starting to learn the kids' names and I already just love them all so much. They're all so different but so sweet in their own special ways. After church we came home, I worked on getting dinner ready and we just relaxed for a bit. We rented the series Into the West and have been watching that for a while now. It was a Steven Spielberg mini-series that was on TNT I think a while ago and my dad recommended it. He knows my love for the movies like Last of the Mohicans, Dances With Wolves and most Native American movies like that. This was an awesome and moving mini-series about the 19th century history of the west- the Indians, goldminers, train, etc. I wish I would have payed more attention to history in High School because it is so interesting and so awesome. I must admit I cried a lot during this series because I guess I never realized how horrible the Native Americans were treated and how horrible some people can be. Anyway, I highly recommend it and I just loved it even though some of it was hard to watch emotionally. And it really reconfirmed my testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and it's prophecies. How could these amazing Native Americans of our country not be the Lamanites of the Book of Mormon?! So yeah... it's good. After we ate dinner one of our home teacher along with his wife and one of his kids came by to home teach us. (I guess he couldn't get a hold of his partner.) So that was a nice visit. He gave us a message which was the First Pres. message from the July Ensign by Pres. Uchtdorf called Heeding the Voice of the Prophets. He talked about the blessings of having a modern day prophet and shared how 3 different prophets affected his life personally and then asked Robert and I to share our experiences. I talked about the time I got to go to a Young Women's General Conference and the indescribable spirit that was felt and how silent it got when the Pres. Hinckley walked in and I felt his love for us all in a very personal way as he waved to everyone with his cane. During that talk he counciled us to not waste time dating scrubs and I thought that was so cool because at that time the song "No Scrubs" was very popular. It was a really good visit. After they left we made some yummy pink cupcakes. Now here's where I get a little personal so please bear with me. While we were in the process of making the cupcakes I got a text from our awesome landlord that said "rent?" We're really behind on our rent... really, really behind. It's just been so hard with our fuel pump on our van not working so our van is guzzling gas faster than ever, Robert's hours getting cut at work and just struggling really bad financially. We've been trying to figure out what to do so when I got this text I started getting really anxious. Well I texted her back and just told her I was so sorry and explained the situation to her and told her we'll find a way to get it paid by the end of the week. Well she called a few minutes later so I had Robert answer it because, let's be honest, I'm a complete coward when it comes to confrontation. He left the room to talk to her and was gone for quite a while. When Robert came back I was really worried what the outcome was gonna be. Now let me backtrack a bit. Because of our major struggling, and I know that because of this choice is the reason we're struggling more than normal, we've had a very hard time paying tithing. When I went to the temple a little while ago all I could think about was that we just needed to take the leap of faith and pay our tithing and never not pay it again- that this was the answer to our problems. So simple for so many, but with Robert and I growing up in families where this was mostly never practiced (paying tithing), it's not so easy for us. Please don't judge us. Anyway, with Robert's last paycheck we took that leap and paid our tithing first after a very (sadly) long time of not paying. And I just want to say that it's not like we were using our money for luxuries or whatnot, it was literally a choice of deciding to pay bills, have gas for Rob to go to work, having food or not. I know it's wrong and I know if we would have been faithful in paying our tithing in the first place we would have been taken care of, but it's still hard. And actually, even when we weren't paying tithing, even though it was very hard, the Lord still took care of us. How grateful I am for that. So anyway, we took that leap of faith and paid and didn't expect anything in return- just gratitude that we were able to increase our faith in this Divine principle of the gospel. So when Robert came back from the phone call he told me that there was good news and bad news. Good news is that they only want us to pay half of the rent for this month and next month and then only a quarter of the rent every month after that. Bad news... they were foreclosing on the house. I was sooo shocked. They are super nice people and I feel so bad for them. They actually are foreclosing on this house and the one they're living in and having to move in with parents. Now I know why they've been so kind and patient and understanding with us- they're struggling too. The good thing is that they are going to just let us have the fridge and washer and dryer (they're practically new and so nice) for free. How nice is that?! Also they said that the bank is so busy with foreclosures that it could take about 6 months and that they will have a 30 day notice that they will for sure let us know when they get that notice. As soon as I heard this I just felt grateful and that we had instantly been blessed for finally taking that leap and paying our tithing. We now only have to pay half of what we were expecting to pay for this and next month and even cheaper after that. It's just overwhelming how much of a blessing that is to us. I'm so sad for our landlords but I feel so grateful at how much this situation is helping us out. I really feel like I have so much to add to my spiritual reservoir from yesterday- all the wonderful experiences I had and how much my testimony grew. I know that by writing about them, that even if I forget about these experiences (which I hope I don't but my memory's getting worse by the minute these days), I can always look back on them when my testimony is wavering or I'm going through hard times and remember and know how I felt and what I learned from such special experiences. So after Robert told me the news we had FHE. We read that same article by Pres. Uchtdorf and it felt like it was written just for us. We feel the pressures of the world and the failing economy and although I honestly don't think it's gonna get better I know that I can be assured that if we are diligent and faithful, we will be taken care of. In the article Pres. Uchtdorf mentioned this scripture “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise” (D&C 82:10) and never in my life have I known of it's truth as I did yesterday when we read it in FHE after all the wonderful experiences of the day. How blessed I truly am!

366 Blessings:
#202- The truth of this scripture “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise” (D&C 82:10).


Mrs. Greer said...

I so understand this. Three years ago before Brent got his call to Alaska we struggled every minute just to make it. But God was there that Saturday morning the call came. I stick by that. Our rent was due that Monday and we had NO money to get food let alone pay rent. By the way--I gave you an award on my blog! Love ya bunches girly!

Malissa said...

Good for you for having faith and paying your tithing!! That is a HARD seems so simple, but when money is tight, it sure is hard to let that 10% go!! But we sure do see the blessings from it! Sorry about the foreclosure...will you guys stay out there...or is this a good reason to move back over here!!?? I can only hope!! Sicely is doing pretty's her b-day today...she still has one more month left to go for baby, but she keeps passing out if she stands for too long. So the ward is going to take in dinner to her a few nights a week. Hopefully she'll be ok. Glad things are going ok for you guys!!

Emily said...

Hi Sarah! I've been forever busy and have not made it over as often as I would like.

--- this is a long post--- sorry!--

Jeff and I struggled with paying tithing early in our marriage, so much so that it would cause fights and contention! I hated it. I pretty much hated tithing. I saw it as a major expense! It took a huge chunk of our paychecks... and as we were struggling along, that was money we could use!

Then, one day we really took a leap of faith and decided to just pay, and keep paying. Things just continued to get better. It was never perfect, and still isnt, but when we pay; things just work out.

I would go to the store and SCORE some major deals that would make our meal budget stretch as we needed. We would get money in the mail. We even had a medical bill completely dismissed by a doctor. I have such a huge respect for tithing now, and I know that I can't afford NOT to pay it.

Last year we were having a major struggle with my oldest son Josh. He was having all these nervous tics, and crossing his eyes a lot. My husband had just found out that the airline that his company was owned by was deciding to sell his company. Our mortgage went up. Jeff tweaked his back and couldnt move at all. It was a rough month. On Sunday I had enough of it! Jeff was sick with his back so I got the kids together to leave, just upset as could be. It was fast sunday and I got there right as they were passing sacranment. I sat in the foyer with my two babies, just so depressed. When the testamonies started, I listened, and just prayed to know how to get through this. How to find strength.

Just then a sister in our ward got up and gave her sweet testamony about her son, and all of the medical struggles he had gone through as an infant and how the doctors told her he wouldn't live, and the medications and machines that he needed just to survive. She said that she had read somewhere about a talk that Spencer W. Kimball gave and how if we felt we needed a blessing (and I am paraphrasing) we should give a very generous fast offering. She said that money was super tight for them that all they could really afford was some trivial ammount. She said she gave it though, even though it hurt, and within weeks, things were so much better.

I found so much strength in listening to her that I rushed right for the tithing envelopes. I searched through my wallet, I had a $20 bill that I had recieved as a gift and that I was going to use for groceries the next day. $20 may not seem like much to some, but to us-- it was a lot! I gave it to the bishop and just prayed that we would be blessed for the sacrafice.

Seriously, within a few months, Jeff had found a new Job, we had realized Josh just needed glasses, life smoothed out a bit, and now it seems like ages ago. Maybe I just needed a lesson in fast offering? I don't know.

Sorry this is soooooooo long!

Julie said...

Love the new background so summer and uplifting, I am gald to know you are feeling the love of our Savior, he does love us and know we are human and we do strugle, I hope hte very best for you it sounds like some changes will be going on! I hope you dont have to move out of you ward there with your new calling!

jennaloha said...

I am proud of your leap of faith in paying tithing. Soon it will get to the point where you don't dare not pay it! THere's too many blessings at stake!

Have fun with your new calling, Sarah. We didn't get to work together long enough!

loving life with livie said...

you are so strong and such an example.
you will be blessed!


AZSMITHS said...

It will be fun working with you in the primary, although I'm always hiding behind the piano! :)

We've had times too where we have paid tithing instead of food, rent or another bill. It is a very hard thing (I even grew up always paying tithing and it was still hard!) I'm really proud of you because it does take serious faith.

I look forward to getting to know you better!