Road Trippin’ and Bondin’

Someday, I plan on writing a ‘how-to’ book for serving in the Young Women organization. I served in the ward Young Women presidency just over 4.5 years. That’s a drop in the bucket really. There are some women who have served in the Young Women organization for over 20 years.   Compared with them, I’d still be considered a rookie. A newbie. So what advice could I possibly have to offer?

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Draggin’ the Elephant

I’m not fit.  I admit it.  I used to at least walk five nights a week but I gave it up when I discovered my bad cholesterol never budged.

But I have excuses.

First, my legs are thislong.  But there are other shorties out there walking and even part of the swisher crowd (what’s the swisher crowd?  Check out a female jogger with her hair pulled back into a ponytail).

Second, my asthma makes me feel like… well, when I’m walking an elephant can’t exactly sit on my chest, now can it?  It’s like an elephant blocks my way.  No, that’s not right.  That would just stop me cold.  It’s more like I’m dragging and elephant behind me.  There’s a lot of heavy breathing involved and I get lapped.  A lot.

Third, ever since I spent my year on Paxil, I get vertigo.  One might not have anything to do with another but I can’t even ride a bike anymore. And anytime I’m on uneven surfaces I have to slow down even more.  So, basically snails lap me by this point.

Why am I bringing all this up?

Because I am going on a hike.  With other people.  Fit people.

I tried to get out of it but there was sound logic behind the invite.

To make a long story short, I need to know this area for next year.  Yep, I’m the only hope.  Yeah, that makes me nervous too.  That never works out so well.

So, I am practicing.  I went to the college yesterday and walked around the naturalistic track twice.  Yes, I was lapped by the college track team, an acquaintance, and several older couples.

Today, my allergies have made me miserable.  I just took some Benadryl.   So this post might end abruptly.

Here are some pictures from my walk yesterday.

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One of my favorite views of the older part of town. See my house? It’s there on the right 😉

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My past two months – YouTube version

On November 17, I received a different calling in church.  Callings are responsibilities and assignments.  It’s our opportunity to serve in church.  I found out about the change on October 25 – right before I left town for the weekend.   It was a long drive to Manti.  To eliminate gossip I couldn’t tell anyone the news quite yet.  And I didn’t.  It about killed me.  Okay, not really.  Just being dramatic.

I’m not a good secret keeper and if anyone paid attention to my Facebook fan page they would have known the secret.

First, I served in my old calling for 4.5 years.  I’m a little disappointed I didn’t make a full 5 years.  This was the first inclination change was a coming for little old me.  I felt sad to leave my girls.

I told you I’m dramatic.

As I waited for it all to become official, I had many mixed emotions.  Sad to be leaving.  Excited to be starting.  Nervous to be doing.  That kind of thing.

That’s when I reshared this gem.  To be honest though, I’ve shared this one before so this may have been overlooked as a secret slip.

That has been my theme song.  You know, in a religious sense.  I felt I had done all I could do.  There was nothing more to give.  I could detect some backsliding happening.  For the benefit of the young women, it was time for me to move on.

So, my last post reflected the future.  The unknown.  What soon approached.

Okay, not all of this song applies to me.  I kind of had to change it to “Journey coming to pass” to make it a little more applicable.  But that first line kept ringing through my head.  I needed courage.  I still need courage because I’m not a very courageous person.

So, I’m not the best secret keeper.  Luckily nobody cracked my sophisticated code.

The calling that saved me

There are a couple of things you need to know before you read this post.  First, I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  We do not have paid clergy.  Through inspiration, members are asked to serve in various callings.  They usually serve for a few years and then are released from their calling.  And asked to serve in another calling.  It is an ongoing process.  Each member has the opportunity to develop or strengthen talents and attributes depending on his or her current calling.

That said, let me tell you about the calling that saved me.

In the spring of 2009, I was called into the Bishop’s office.  As any member of the church can tell you, the night before the appointment is usually a restless night.  For me anyway, my over-reactive imagination tends to get the better of me.

The Bishop welcomed me into his office.  I tried to play it cool but I’m sure I wore my typical worried expression on my face.  We sat down and got down to business.

I still remember thinking he made a mistake.  Young Women PresidenT?!  Surely he meant in the presidenCY!

The words of a former missionary companion came to me.  Mid-mission she was asked to switch from English speaking to Spanish speaking.  Her response, “President, did you pray about this?”  This reply, of course, is a joke because the answer is always yes.  No calling is given without much prayer and inspiration.  This is how I felt at the moment but I’m not bold enough to utter the words.  I accepted.

Growing up I had a gregarious, fun leader for a year.  Sister Jan was truly awesome.  I wanted to be just like her.  It took a year into my calling to accept the fact I am nothing like her.  One night I showed up at my brother’s house crying, “The girls don’t like me!”  He counseled me and gave me a priesthood blessing.  I did not throw in the towel but kept plugging along.

One day around Christmas time I was in Wal-mart.  “Hello Sister Lee,” I heard.  When I looked, there was one of my girls smiling at me and acknowledging me (in public).  True, this girl is a sweetheart and genuinely likes people in general but her small act gave me confidence.  I continued on.

In the spring of 2011, my family received some bad news.  My mom’s leukemia flared up again.  This started a long hard summer.  Through it all, I continued to serve.

By the fall, mom was getting worse, not better.  “Please,” I would pray at night, “don’t release me from my calling.”  I felt like I had more to give.  Mom’s health, however, kept getting worse.

My calling gave me focus and something to think about other than the inevitable that was coming for my family.  It pulled me through a very trying time.  Thankfully I had wonderful counselors who shouldered the load.  My calling gave me something I needed at the moment.  A chance to step out from my surroundings.  I continued on.

Mom passed away in early December.  Grief filled my heart and for a time I didn’t want to do anything.  I told my visiting teaching partner that I didn’t even want to go to church.  I just simply wanted to do nothing for awhile and let the grief consume me.

But I couldn’t.  I had my calling and I still didn’t want to be released.  I kept going and kept busy and did what I had to do.  Again, my calling gave me focus and direction.  ‘Worry about your girls,’ I would think to myself.  ‘Your girls need you.’  And so I continued to serve.

It may seem selfish.  I probably was for praying not to be released.  As anyone who has served in the church can tell you though, we come in with lofty goals.  We want to help others find happiness.  We want to do good things.  But in the end, it’s ourselves that tend to be the biggest benefactors of our service.  At least in my case, the more I give and try to serve, the more I’m blessed.  Blessed with knowledge, strength, and the capacity of love.

I really hope I helped somebody else along the way the past 4.5 years.  But I can’t deny the fact that this calling saved me and pulled me through the hardest trial I have ever had to go through.   During the process I also learned more about myself and found out I’m kinda an okay person.

About 5 months ago, my prayers changed.  Instead of pleading to not be released, I finally learned to say, “Whatever is best for the girls.”  I have now been given a new calling and another Young Women President will continue the work.  As I said, the process is ongoing.  But I will be forever thankful for the calling that saved me in more ways than one.