Friday, January 14, 2011

It's Just Like Yatzee

I went out for a lunchtime walk today. It was beautiful. The air was clean after some snow last night, and the sun was shining, and the creek in City Creek Canyon with a mix of ice and snow over it, with melted patches where you could see the water flowing, was the prettiest it’s ever been. It was the perfect place to clear my mind.

Being the New Year, I have thought about resolutions, and wanted to resolve to forget it all before I even started and thus avoid the crushing failure. I’m not good with resolutions. But, I feel like this year is going to be different…like changes are coming. I don’t know what or how or why, but my gut is telling me to get ready. And the strangest thing is that I feel really good about the feeling. It’s not scary. Usually a change for me is the equivalent of getting kicked in the head by fate, but not this time. This one’s going to be good. I feel happy, really happy, and ready for the cosmic circles to bring it.

I was thinking about this while walking, and then I thought about a lesson I’m teaching this week. It’s from President Eyring’s last conference talk called “Trust in God, Then Go and Do”. Trusting has been a hard thing for me. I’m an over-thinker, and I always want desperately to know what’s coming and when. I suppose that’s normal. But the truth is that most of the time a person doesn’t know what to expect. That becomes more and more evident as we get older, and after too many disappointments it can be hard to trust.

And then I remembered playing Yatzee with Barry, Courtney and Spencer at my parent’s house last summer. Spencer was 5 at the time. Usually the little kids will play on a team with an adult, but Spencer is pretty sharp, and wanted to play his own game. So Courtney sat beside him and coached him along, and I was very impressed with how he did it. Spencer rolled the dice, and looked them over. Court would show him the options, “You can keep these two 4s and try for some more, or you have two 1s…”, and then he’d let Spencer make his choice. When it was time to add up his points, Spencer would stare at the dice, sometimes put his little hand on his head, and think. If he was really stuck then Courtney would help, “You have three sixes, what’s six plus six?”, and Spencer would say twelve, “Ok, and then add six more.” Sometimes it would take Spencer some time to figure it out, but Courtney patiently let him work it through until he got the right answer and wrote it down on his score card.

I thought, “Wow! If that were me I’d take the card and do all of the adding and writing, and think that I was helping." But that wouldn’t have helped Spencer. He was capable of figuring the answers out and of keeping his own score, and he needed to do that work for himself. That’s how he learns. So I walked today with that picture in my head – Spencer working through his adding problems with Courtney sitting patiently, right there beside him. The child is left to work, but his father is always there.

Isn’t that how life goes with all of us? We have to do most of the work on our problems ourselves, but there is someone there for backup, family, friends, and most importantly our Heavenly Father. He’s always right there, and if we know that and trust it, then the work isn’t so hard, an uncertain future isn’t scary, and this feeling that my life could change this year is good. It’s really good.
Best of luck to all of you with whatever the year brings. Thanks, as always, for being here for me.
You are loved.


Andrea said...

Those two boys never cease to amaze me - Spencer with all the stuff he can figure out (that same summer Courtney taught him how to use the square root button on his calculator and my dad taught him Sudoku), and Courtney with his patience in teaching them (I have to admit that I'm more likely to do it myself too!)

Andrea said...

Of course, I hope wonderful big changes are coming for you as well! You deserve the best. Sorry to just comment on my boys. : )

Tiffany said...

Oh Angie. I loved this post and needed it.