Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Honorable Life

It has been a long few weeks.

To cite an example of what wacky is going on in my epileptic brain, I went to a neighboring town to take a photograph and I fogot to take the camera.

I have been drowing in many projects of late, but that busy time is slowing down and it gives me time to think.

In all that thinking, there is something that has kept returning to me mind:
my honorable life.

I presented months ago to a 6th grade about my trip to China.  As is custom, I have received a large envelope full of handwritten thank yous from the students.

I love to read them.  It is interesting what themes come through.  What I must have emphasized without realizing it.  What touched them and they say they will remember.
I read every one. And, sadly, I also analyze their handwriting.  Not on purpose...just happens.
Remember I took class years ago?  I can tell you who is steady, who is a poor student and who is seemingly set up to succeeed and fail by their handwriting and vocabulary.  Weird eh?
There is one letter from this last batch of about 80 letters that I pulled out and have looked at for several days.
It is from Kelsey.

It is the last sentence I would like to write about.

Kelsey, a girl who does not know me or me her, brought reality and truth into my life.

The truth of the matter is that I have had many honorable opportunties is this life.

Sometimes, when I am feeling mired down and lost in the shuffle of too many visits, projects on the table, service dates, everyone, I wish it would just be over.

Like, for example, I am ready to be done with the temple open house and dedication.

I am tired.  My congregational members are tired.  My camera is tired.  My family is tired.
Instead of relishing the fullness of what a special opportunity I have had, to be "honored" with the chance to be a part, I am thinking "when do we go back to our regular life?  How many more times do I have watch that 11 minute intro movie?"

But stepping back, I want to look at the experience from my "Kelsey" vantage point:
We just helped host over 80,000 people in a open house at the temple I have watched be built for four years.    We helped thousands who did not understand that we are good, Christ-loving people undestand who we really are.  I made friends with the protestors who say they only protest us because they love us and want to help rescue me and my Mormony friends.  All this happened by no crazy networking and manipulation on my part....I just sort of stumbled into it.  I got to serve the temple in many diverse ways.  Which, in reality, I am really serving my God.

What is not honorable about that?

Take it down to a smaller scale.

I helped a best friend die in peace, comfort and love.
I have helped hundreds of kids learn they have something to contribute.
I have helped raise to two human beings that want to make their world a better place, in their own way.
I have given hope to the hopeless.
I have shared all that I have with people I don't know.   And people I do.
I have traveled around this world and seen how others live.
I have been given a great education.
I have picked up the trash off the ground to help the earth look prettier.
I have a pretty functional brain.  :)  Depends on the day.

I could go on and on.  The point is that Kelsey is right. 

She would be honored to go where I have been.  Not because I am some super neat chick.  It actually has very little to do with me, as Valerie.

It is the opportunities that God, my Heavenly Father, has given to me.  Opportunites that I have chosen to take.

So, Kelsey, thanks for the note.  Thanks for the reminder that things are really good and that I am honored to have gone where I have been.