Monday, July 22, 2013

Should I Be Fired?

During the same sacrament meeting referenced here, a speaker told a story he said he hadn't planned on sharing, but he did because I was there and needed to hear it (it was too perfect to not just be for me).

He owns a business and has a few employees that work for him.  Generally things run really smoothly and go really well.  He hired someone a few months back that he really liked, but this guy just wasn't up to par.  He would come to work late, take long lunch breaks, and leave early.  The boss tried to talk to him about it, but it never changed and he eventually had to fire him.  He said it was a really hard thing to do because he did really like him, but he couldn't trust him to do the work he'd been asked to do.

(I know you're getting this already.)

He likened that to our work in the kingdom.  What kind of work do we do?  Are we the kind of person Heavenly Father can trust*?  Do I leave work early or come late?  Do I take long lunch breaks?  Is He going to terminate me, with reason, and hire someone else to do work that I was called to do?

I really am trying to make more efforts on this project.  Part of that is putting my home more in order so I can work on it without feeling like I have a hundred other things pulling at my mind (because try as I might, I can't seem to get my cupboards and closets to clean themselves out), but also putting more time into working on the project, and praying for His help before I go to work on it.

I don't want to be fired.  I don't want to feel like I failed by not following through.  I want to build the kingdom, even in my own small way.

* Which brings me to a quote that I love love love.  "If you then go and do what He would have you do, your power to trust Him will grow, and in time you will be overwhelmed with gratitude to find that He has come to trust you" (Henry B. Eyring).  Isn't that beautiful?

What If the Stories Were the Same?

Another mental kick...

I had come up with the idea for this "project" I think a couple years ago, but felt like it was time to start working on it early last September, the same day I felt like I should volunteer to teach all those men.  Thinking about that day recently, I had the thought, "What if the stories were the same?"

Story 1 (the volunteer one) - I felt like I should do it.  On the way home I e-mailed an "I'll do it message" (I wasn't driving) and upon hearing that those in charge were good with that, I put together a monthly plan in excel for pretty much the entire next year, and had my first meeting a few weeks later.  The second month was a really tough one, but when it was over I wrote in my journal, "I think I can do anything!"

Story 2 - I felt like I should do it.  The feeling wasn't as strong, so I packed the idea away for a while, more as an "I'll get on that as I can."  Nudges would come here and there, and I would write posts like the link above mentioning some of those nudges (and now more posts about even more nudges), and yet the first stage of that project is only just over a fourth done.  I have thoughts in my head of a few particulars that will need to happen in the process, but it's not written down anywhere and I don't have a clear vision just where I'm going with it (part of that I hope will come as inspiration, but maybe that's an excuse too).

Story 1 is very driven, with a specific plan, goals to look towards, and something I really put effort into and worked towards.  It's very easy to see that Story 2 is a plan to fail.

So what if the stories were the same?  What if Story 2 read more like Story 1?  After all, as much as I can, it's up to me to write my own stories.


Hard vs. Easy

I keep getting mental kicks about a project I should be working on, all in very good ways.

Sitting in a sacrament meeting almost a month ago with two rows of boys from a National Youth Leadership Training staff, something was said that made me think about hard vs. easy when it comes to promptings from the Lord.

I think our own definitions of each of those would be different.  For instance, early in this year we felt like it was suddenly time to have a 7th child, and at this point I'm almost 20 weeks pregnant.  September of last year I felt prompted that I should volunteer to be over something that involves men almost entirely (once in a while there are one or two women).  I acted on that right away, and while I don't know all the reasons, I feel like I've glimpsed a couple and it's been a good experience.

To many, both of those might seem pretty hard, but they have both been easy for me (so far - baby is still in utero of course).

So this other project (that I will continue to be vague on, the reason I'll use being so this is more personally applicable to the two people who will read this) for whatever reason is hard for me.  I come up with plenty of reasons for that.  Like, I've never done it before.  But I've never had 7 children and I had never done the other volunteer thing either, so not a good excuse.  Another excuse - I can't see the whole picture to know all the steps.  With the volunteer example I did feel like I was also inspired with plans I could use, and while that would also rely on those attending, I just felt it would happen.  Baby, well, at this point they don't have a place to eventually call their own, although I figure if that doesn't totally happen before birth, he/she will be close in our bedroom for a few months at least anyway.  And again, I just feel like it will work out.  With this other project, I don't feel like I have a grasp of a whole lot of steps, or that feeling like it will just work out.  I keep telling myself I need to get to the edge of the light that I can see and I'll be shown the next steps, and I guess that's where my fear, feelings of "not good enough," and overall lack of faith is holding me back.  Working more to forget all that and just move forward.

During NYLT I was reminded of an incredible quote, that after these thoughts just a a couple days before, struck home even more.  "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard" (John F. Kennedy).  Do the easy things stretch us?  To a point, yes, but not really.  In getting to the moon, Kennedy's vision was so great, it included using "new metal alloys, some of which have not yet been invented."  That line gets me every time.  Doing this very hard thing meant stretching a whole lot of fields further than they had ever been.  Makes me wonder how much pushing forward this one vision rippled to further other discoveries as well, and how much stretching myself will take me to other things as well.

I heard someone say once that when something is hard they know they shouldn't do it.  I don't feel that way with this.  I feel like it's something I need to put effort towards.  Unfortunately I have to keep kicking all those excuses out of the way.

By the way, lest you think I'm some kind of wonder woman thinking that having 7 kids will be easy, cleaning and organizing my home is something on my hard list.  I think anyone that has that down is a wonder woman!    Happy to say I'm better than I have been, but it's something I am constantly working on.

(For fun, here are the full quotes of the two I referenced.  I think the whole first one is especially powerful.  Read/listen/watch the full speech here.)

"We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

"But if I were to say, my fellow citizens, that we shall send to the moon, 240,000 miles away from the control station in Houston, a giant rocket more than 300 feet tall, the length of this football field, made of new metal alloys, some of which have not yet been invented, capable of standing heat and stresses several times more than have ever been experienced, fitted together with a precision better than the finest watch, carrying all the equipment needed for propulsion, guidance, control, communications, food and survival, on an untried mission, to an unknown celestial body, and then return it safely to earth, re-entering the atmosphere at speeds of over 25,000 miles per hour, causing heat about half that of the temperature of the sun--almost as hot as it is here today--and do all this, and do it right, and do it first before this decade is out--then we must be bold."