Monday, January 12, 2015



Not my favorite word unless you are talking about the coins in your pocket or the bottom of your purse....I love that kind of change.
All the other definitions of the word are usually not as lucrative.
I read a quote in a book this week that really struck me like a lightening bolt. Well I guess that sounds a little dramatic but suffice it to say I am a crusty old dame and don't read much that I don't say...been there...done the t-shirt.....washed shrunk.....threw it away.
It was from a book that my daughter recommended that I read.
I have seen it on multiple lists of high school sheets clutched in the hands of desperate mothers looking for the book that a thousand other kids need for school and so of course is sold out and you would sell your eye tooth to get whatever copy you can because it needs to be read and a paper written on it by tomorrow!
I digress.
The quote was from Alas Babylon by Pat Frank

""She had small fear of death and of man none at all, but the formlessness of what was to come overwhelmed her."

That pretty much sums me up in a nutshell.

Formlessness...the condition of lacking a definite or regular form or shape; shapeless.

It can be pretty overwhelming. Most of us crave boundaries. Try and explain that to my sweet two year old granddaughter and you will find a pretty tough sell,... but if you look closely at her eyes when she is melting down after being stopped at doing something that she really really really wants to do and you will see it....relief. 
Relief from the formlessness.
Change brings with it a strange sensation. No matter how many times I prepare for usually has a way of stirring up the flutters in my mind and body. That slightly uneasy feeling. Shapeless.

Yesterday our ward family was changed. For those who are not familiar with the arrangement of LDS congregations.....a ward is a designated geographic area that combines all of it's members into a group. Your meeting times are assigned and your new ward friends and family are determined by where you live. These wards are then further grouped geographically into stakes. And no not the delicious T-bones and porterhouses kind of steak. These are not constructed of personal choice but of necessity, functionality and spiritual promptings of the leadership of the ward, stakes, and regions and the prophet and apostles of our faith.

In a church with much emphasis on choice and free will it is one of changes that are not always easy or expected. They do not always feel like a choice that you would have made. They can split up friends and extended families. They can seem like just the sort of formlessness you weren't looking for or asking for.
My husband once told me of an experience in first grade where he was assigned a new young teacher...Miss Cates.....fresh out of college. He was so excited to be in her class. She was young and she was pretty. The other teacher in first grade Mrs. Meeker had a different reputation. Word around the playground was that Mrs. Meeker was so mean. If you made a mistake you weren't allowed to erase it. In fact the rumor was that she cut off all of the erasers on the tops of students pencils to prevent them from even sneaking an eraser stroke. And she was old. His 6 year old brain estimated her to be well into her seventies. He was so relieved to have won the first grade teacher lottery.
After about a week in paradise the principal came in to announce that there would be some changes. A few of the students in Miss Cates class would be moved to Mrs. Meekers class to balance out the numbers. Todd sat in fear that his name would be called. My guess is that he clutched his eraser close while the principal read the names on the list.
As each name was read he would breathe a sigh of relief until the last name was called.
Todd Winn
Knowing my husband and his sweet heart and personality I can only imagine what he was feeling as he heard the fateful decision. It makes me want to construct a time machine if only for that moment to go back and scoop his 6 year old sad form and hug him tight and whisper in his's's going to be just fine.
And it was fine. 
Mrs. Meeker did not cut off the tops of his pencil erasers and he found out that she was a good teacher.... that the rumors were exaggerated and that he really was fine.

I will not get to see some of my sweet friends each Sunday. Friends that I have loved and laughed with. Friends that have helped me out during hard times. Friends that have told me what they like about me even when I did not like me. I will miss giving and receiving from Sister Torres a hug and a kiss on her cheek every Sunday. Seeing her family baptized and go to the temple will always be one of my favorite memories of the Sienna Plantation ward. I will miss watching Mike Johnson's dedication to his Sunday school calling each week inspiring me to be better at mine. I will miss my teenagers from my Sunday school class that still come into the library each week to give me a hug. I will miss watching them grow up to be spectacular young men and women. How I treasure those kids. I will miss my blonde bombshell friend Victoria who fills a room with her presence and thinks I am a much smarter person that I really am. I will miss the constant smiles from people like Marianne Smith and Jeff Peterson that remind me that a smile really is a gift to others. I will miss Clarissa calling me Aunt Shelley to her sweet children. I could go on and on. They have been a constant weekly presence in my life and I am grateful for what I learned from each one of them.
What I will miss most of all is the squeal of delight I received every week from my number one fan. I always felt like a celebrity. It made my heart feel full to overflowing.
If there is one thing that I have learned from life and being a mother and a Mormon is that change is the only constant.
Well that and the Lord Jesus Christ.
And that I am not losing anything but am gaining an opportunity to add to my circle of experience and love. That change is hard but it will be what I make of it. Good or is my choice.
And I will remember all the lessons I have learned from my old friends and use them to make some new ones.
I will remember that formlessness always takes shape eventually.
And that I still get to wrap my arms around my sweet little fan and her brother....
How blessed am I?

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