Monday, June 28, 2010

Parable of the Two Re-Potted Plants (Marnie)

I re-potted two plants. One was ACHING to get out of the pot it was in, although I didn’t realize it until my mom made the suggestion. Once she did, it was so obvious that that was the secret to why it wasn’t thriving like it should have been and lacked the spunk and perkiness it used to have.

I switched out that pot that was too small and gave it to another plant that wasn’t doing all that bad, but wasn’t really meeting its true potential either. I felt this other pot might bring it more joy. It seemed better suited for it. This plant took twice as long to dry out in the old plastic pot - unlike the other plants - I worried about the plant molding in the pot if I wasn’t careful. I hoped that its new home in a terracotta pot which draws out the moisture faster would solve this problem and help it thrive better.

The first plant is doing better. It took a few days to adjust but it’s now thriving and looks healthier than it has been in a while.

The other plant? Well, I feel as though it’s very mad at me. Apparently, that plant liked the old pot. This new one – even though I feel it is better suited for its future - just isn’t feeling right to it. And this plant, which is supposed to be difficult to kill, looks like it’s on its last leg. It’s not thriving. It’s not adapting. It’s just looking sad. And lonely. And hurt.

I’m not entirely sure what I’m trying to say here, but I guess sometimes we are eager for change – things to help us move and grow in different ways. Things that will help us thrive and do better. Sure it’s a little bit of an adjustment, but sometimes we just clamor for excitement in that change.

And then there is the other plant. The kind that felt it was doing great! And then low and behold, someone turned its world upside down and forced it into a new pot, new situation, and new challenge.

We have a choice, but when that sort of change comes along – the unexpected and tumultuous - the temptation is great to just pout and wilt. Just like my plant is doing.

I’m not throwing stones. I’ve “been there, done that” hundreds of times – in both situations. I just wish I could stop from pouting and wilting. Yet, at times it feels like it’s all I have the energy to do, which really is ridiculous if you think about it.

If we are truly growing in our lives and learning from past experiences, the pouting and wilting is just a terrible waste of time! And so dangerous. There is no telling how it will affect our spirituality, or even our temporal lives. It only ends up hurting us – our souls. Sometimes I think the pouting and wilting will get me what I want. Ah! Silly plant! That is just a pipe dream spread through the media of television and movies the world gives us.

I only hope my little pouting and wilting plant will see that its new environment WILL be better. It just has to WANT to live in the new pot.

I’ve said it before…attitude is everything!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dating in the Eternities (Leah)

Excuse me for sharing this.  I know I'm not a "Single Mormon Girl" anymore and probably shouldn't be posting here, but I have to say I still love this blog and love all the posts and comments and I can't resist just sharing a few more thoughts that come to me in relation to my "Leah" identity.  I love being married, don't get me wrong, but sometimes I still identify better with my single friends than I do my new set of peers.  In fact, the first month after being married if I saw a woman who was like myself, but still single, I felt guilty for having gotten married.  Looking at her just made me think she "deserved" it more than I did - whatever that means.  I found myself in elevators with single women and I wanted to tell them I really was just like them only a month or so before - it was like I felt I had betrayed my sisterhood or something weird.  One time in the temple, when interacting with one of the workers who was a single woman, I found myself trying to hide my ring.  I was even tempted to give her my maiden name.  I think (hope) I'm getting over some of those feelings, but it sure is a process.  Okay, maybe I need to create my own new blog "Confessions of a Recently Married Mormon Girl."  I'll stop and get on with the original thought that motivated me to post on here.

What I wanted to share was an interesting idea presented by a friend of mine on the topic of dating and striving toward marriage.  She was around 40 and single and living a full life, but frustrated with her prospects.  One day the thought occurred to her that if she didn't get married in this life, when she got to the other side, God wasn't going to say, "Here's your Son of Helaman" (or whatever), instead He would say, "All right, you better get dating, you still need to find a husband."  The thought of continuing that same goal in the next life was painful to her and she figured she would rather complete it now than have to do it later.  That thought never occurred to me, but you know, it sounded true when she said it. 

I visit teach an older woman who was never married and she is determined to never do so in this life.  She says she's too set in her ways and would have to compromise too much to marry now.  She even sleeps in a twin sized bed.  She expects to be wife number two or something in the next life.  I think she has the attitude that  she'll just be magically given a husband when she dies and life will be easy or something.  I don't know but now I'm interested in asking her more about what she expects the next phase of eternal life will be like.

All I know is that there are a lot of lessons to be learned as a single woman while playing the dating game.  In truth it's all about getting to know yourself better, work on your weaknesses, and in the process strengthen your relationship with God while learning to love as He does.  It's not easy.