Thursday, February 16, 2012

Cyber-Minutes and Light-Years

I wrote this post six days into Service Boot Camp...but I've been busy posting about other stuff, so you are finally getting it today.


Here you go:





My husband is so funny.

I told him I needed "10 minutes" to "jot" down some thoughts for a blog post, before meeting him upstairs for a little "couples time."  He handed me his watch set for 15 minutes and said, "This is to make sure that cyber-minutes don't turn into light-years."  (Which, as you can imagine, happens a lot when I am blogging...)

So here goes...in 10 cyber-minutes.

If only you guys could see inside my brain as the blog posts tick past.  It's like mid-experience I can already see the finished post published on my blog.  If only I could type as fast as I think...

But that's not what I really wanted to say.

What I want to say is that it's six days into Service Boot Camp, and my entire idea of Service has been redefined.  And it's a beautiful thing.

Since I decided to spend Service Boot Camp focusing on serving my family, I've learned a lot about what service is and learned to see the love that is involved in the work I do for my family.

So what is service?

So far, I have learned that service is:


Knowing that paper cups are not just for drinking.

Service is:


Answering angry cries with loving words, even when your first reaction is to yell right back.

Service is:


Running back upstairs to tuck your children in AGAIN, and instead of scolding and shutting the door on their requests...re-entering their room and spending 30 more minutes singing songs with them...songs that they want to sing...tickling them until they giggle.

Service is:


Realizing that although you told yourself that you didn't have an ounce of energy left to tell another bedtime story, you found out in the end, that you really did...and you actually felt energized for doing it.

And by doing these acts of service for my family...I keep the cyber-minutes from turning into light-years in the blink of an eye.

And there's the buzzer...


So that was the post...and I'm adding this for you today:


I received a question from a good friend of mine who I knew in a singles ward that I'd happily call my "home singles ward."  


She said this:  "I adore you.  Your blog, the message delivery.  Many of your lessons have entertained and taught my children.   But I just need to know something.  Something personal.  Do your kids ever drive you crazy?  Just a little bit?  I know you aren't perfect...I know you personally and I have read your post about your kitchen floors (very funny)...you work so hard with your children, all the crafts, lessons, activities...but I just need to know you are human.  I don't know why, but it would really make me feel better. :)"

And this is what I wrote back to my dear friend:  "Uh, yes, they do.  They annoy me [an embarrassingly high percent] of every day, because I am NOT a perfect person.  ...in fact I am a vain, selfish, impatient person.  When I work really hard at loving them and taking care of their needs and wants first, I am happier and I tame the inner beast.  My depression also makes me want to sleep and not do dishes and not wake up for scripture study and not be kind.  So I have to fight that every day.  So if I seem perfect on my blog...it's just me doing my very best to not be a tyrant.  And it works...a lot...but I still yell.  I still smack little bottoms...I still say DON'T TOUCH ME!!!  And I still end up apologizing to my kids when I do so, because I'm usually the wrong one.  They are...well, they're just kids.  And I...I am also still a child with a lot of growing up to do."

I am grateful for the role that the Savior and his Atonement plays in helping me to grow up.  His example of serving and loving others is the perfect tutorial for imperfect people who want to do better.

20 comments:

  1. Jocelyn, I am so glad you posted this, especially the addendum at the bottom.  I am glad to know that you are human and you also yell "DON'T TOUCH ME!" :) Thank you!

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  2. Thanks for sharing!  I wanted to tell you that I started a GCBC patterned after the PA chapter (but of course!) this past Monday here in Michigan. I had 6 friends come and it was really great. We're doing it 2x each month and I'm so excited for the next one - it really is good to see friends during the daytime and to have great spiritual discussions with them, and I'm hoping that in the future some of our neighbors might also be able to join us. Thanks for the idea - I love your blog and your honesty and very much relate to wanting to stay in bed and keeping the sink full of dishes. I struggle with that almost every day, but I feel strengthened when I am able to accomplish even the littlest things with the Lord's help. Thanks again for your inspiration in so many ways. I don't even remember how I found your blog last year but I'm so glad I did - it's really made me a better mother and my 2 kids are grateful for that also!   :)  

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  3. "Don't touch me!"  haha.  I have my own versions of that...

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  4. nice to know you are human...lol! Seems others always look at our outward life without knowing the inner demons we each face then judge their inner selves on our outward appearances. I am relearning again about unconditional acceptance, that's part of parenting and daily living with others it seems.

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  5. I know all this is Utopia but when do the kids get the idea to serve their parents..go to bed without 30 extra minutes of singing songs, eat, not scream, don't make a mess ...just for one moment?  one day?  one bedtime.  Just wondering as I sit here, empty nested.  My kids were great...I have to say that!

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  6. You mean you aren't really Elastigirl in disguise?  =)

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  7. Thank you! I am glad I am not the only one who says "DON'T TOUCH ME" or want to shut the door at bed time when I am being summoned for the bazillioth time. You are awesome! And though you are not perfect and still human, reading your blog helps me to remember that I can continue to try harder and work on things I think I need to change. Thank you again!

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  8. Oh if I could be just one superhero...it would be Elastigirl! What an awesome super hero!

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  9. great post...I wish i was a kid again so I can have the fun your kids have with each other.

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  10. I love this post!  All of it!!  You are amazing!

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  11. Oh gosh,  I needed to hear that.  I work in a school with a ADHD and Aspergers child who is a pain in the butt and I sometimes get so frustrated with him and the other kids in the class.  I've always had trouble with some anger when dealing with a lot of kids in a job and I really think I've been in the wrong career (if you can call it that) and need to find another one.  The teacher over the class is SO nice even when she has to tell the kids the same things over and over again. I just want to pass out ridalin and spank them! 

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  12. Amen.  Kids are amazing and wonderful...but sometimes I just want to go to the bathroom without little ones (and some big ones) knocking on the door.

    Being a Mom is such a blessing, serving, loving and raising these precious little spirits such a wonderful thing.  I love how "real" your service this time has been.  Some of us don't have time to do the outside things, and it is wonderful to be reminded that sometimes just managing to make a nice meal (or not so nice) is an act of service.  And what better people to be serving than those we love so much.

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  13. Thank you for posting the reply to your friend. (The rest of the post was great too, though!)

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  14. Thanks for the reminder about what service to your family really is. I love the cups. And the reminder to answer those whining "mom!"'s with soft words instead of whining right back (what I ALWAYS feel like doing!!)

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  15. happen to stumble upon your blog and very glad I did. Very inspirational and I look forward to reading more :)

    http://fitcraftystylishandhappy.blogspot.com/ 

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  16. What a wonderful reminder that one of the greatest forms of service we provide is by serving the members of our own family.  Some of these examples are hard - especially when we may not be feeling well, but doesn't our family deserve it more than anyone!?!  I remember my husband once complaining that many times he would come home and smell wonderful food cooking, and it was always because his mother was making food for a new mom or someone in the ward who needed a meal.  And then they got macaroni and cheese for dinner.  Yes, it is very important to serve others and for our children to see us serving others.  But I have tried to make a double recipe of whatever I am making for another family so that my family gets something special as well.  Thank you for helping me to analyze my actions and trying to do better at aligning them with what I know I should do.

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  17. I'm sobbing right now because I needed to hear this so badly today.  Thank you.

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