Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Snow, and The Master Teacher

Happy New Year, friends! I hope 2013 is a wonderful year for all of you.
It snowed on New Year's Eve here in Missouri in a very impressive way. It was so beautiful! The only problem with it (besides the cold -- thirteen degrees in the morning yesterday, with a wind chill that made it feel like three degrees. THREE.) is that I know snow means ice, and after my last post-snow-storm driving experience, I'm a little gun shy. The Double B says I will get it with practice and I can't just hide in my hovel every time this happens, since there is actually winter here.
And I what I want to know is... says who?
You would be so proud of me. I bundled up the children and earned the Mother of the Year award by heading out into the snow to play for a few hours! And guess what. It really was fun. Of course, the only person lobbing snow balls at me was Olivia, so I think that made the difference...
Here is a confession: I have three brothers (that's not the confession) and between them and their idiot friends, I was hit with enough snow balls growing up that I STILL cry -- completely involuntarily, tears just leak out -- if I get hit with a snow ball, even if it doesn't really hurt. That includes the Double B. That's my confession. I think I was psychologically damaged. But here's the weirdest part of the story: my husband, the man I am married to for-ev-er, STILL throws snowballs at me. Weird, huh. That's like the least romantic thing ever. We don't make out on those days, because on those days, he is dead to me.
Here are the children, all bundled up to go outside. Aren't they cute? K.J. is wearing his 3-D chalk glasses as an extra protection. And I just figured... let's go with it.

This photo is also illustrative of how moving into a new house is a slow process... sparsely decorated, yet still cluttered. But hey, we live here.
Here's K.J., once again rocking his snow fashion, and Olivia trying to catch snow on her tongue. That is such a fun thing to do, isn't it? It's just so delightful. I am really excited to see the woods behind our house in the summer when they are leafy and full. But winter has it's own special beauty, too. On the other side of the woods is another subdivision, and we could hear another family screaming as they ran away from each other in a snowball fight, too. That was fun. And inspired many more chases amongst us.
Brother got Livi right in the head with a snowball (I sense future psychological damage for her, too). She didn't cry, but she was very offended. Being the wonderful mother I am, I sympathized while making her hold still for a minute so I could take her picture. But it was stuck to the side of her head, man! And that is just awesome. Poor Olivia.
And Kate the Great, of course. Every other picture I got of her she was running away, her favorite past time. She's such a funny kid. I thought no one could ever love chocolate like I do, but guess what... someone does. As her face will testify.
We had a great time in the snow. It snowed all day and we probably got a couple of inches. These desert rats are quickly learning the ways of the force. Brr.
I've been thinking a lot the last few days about what I learned in 2012. I had the opportunity to speak on Sunday about learning to recognize the promptings of the Holy Ghost. As I studied on what is one of my very favorite topics, several experiences that I was blessed to have while learning from the Spirit in the last year came to my mind. And then with New Year's, it has really caused me reflection on 2012. I've been reading through my journal and my blog and thought and thought and thought.
I have this theory about when I review my life in the Spirit world that there will be certain years that stick out. I think those might be the years when I see what my real mettle was. I think 2012 will be one of those years.
It was a year of struggle. It was a year where I wrestled before the Lord. There were several big circumstances that led to that constant wrestle, but most of the struggle was inside. And it was constant. How I WAS responding versus how I WANTED to respond. And learning, today and every day, how to accept and use the Atonement of my Savior Jesus Christ and come ever closer to that mighty (and ever-lasting) change of heart.
So here is a very brief summary of what Marie learned in the year 2012:
* I learned it is acceptable for me to struggle. When my heart is in the right place, the struggle will always eventually be stilled.
* I learned the joy and comfort of service always out-weighs the inevitable pain or sacrifice.
* I learned even more, slowly but surely, to trust the Lord -- and to take chances. Especially when you are recognizing the promptings of the Holy Ghost, go ahead and leap.
Here we are in Missouri, and I feel peace.
So that's me. And us, as I am the historian of this little family.
Happy new year, friends.   


Tamari said...

I haven't commented forever on your blog!! But, I wanted you to know how happy I am that you are settled into your new home and dealing with the winter weather. That wind chill factor is CRAAAAZY! I can relate on so many levels as I read your entries. Your ward will become your family if you allow it too. I love my New Jersey ward and still keep in touch with many friends there. I can't wait to hear what callings you guys receive and the many other adventures you will go through. Love you friend!!

Elise said...

That snow looks cold. My condolences. :(

Confession: I cry when I am sick. What can I say? I dislike pain.

I also cry when I'm mad, when I stub my toe, when I'm at the end of my rope. The other day I cried at an episode of America's Funniest Home Videos. True story.

I think you are 100% justified in crying over getting hit by snowballs. Hmm. I smell a humor column somewhere in here.... can I quote you? ;)

Ducksoup said...

rieser you are awesome. i wish i could have heard your talk. what a great talk that must have been! i am happy to see your kids in coats and in the snow. way to go mom. i dislike when it snows because i then feel it's my motherly duty to head on out in the freezing cold, which as long as i live i will never like. sounds like you are freezing back there. i just keep telling myself if i survive the next two months i am gonna make it. can hardly wait for spring.