Saturday, March 1, 2014

resolutions: month 2

1. Empty the dishwasher every morning.  Start it every evening.
2. Be intentionally friendly at church.

Ha!  I bet you thought (after January and the first goal of February) that my overarching goal for the year was to keep a cleaner house!  But then you read February's second goal.  :)

Empty the dishwasher every morning.  Start it every evening.
I did pretty okay on this.  There were some days we didn't use many dishes and the dishwasher didn't need starting, so the next morning it didn't need emptying.  Those days don't contribute to failure because the job didn't need to be done.  The real test of whether I did well on this goal is this: how many times did I think, "Man!  I need a certain dish but I didn't do the dishwasher last night so it's still dirty. :(  "?  The answer: 2-3.  Not too bad.  I hope to continue to improve, but this month wasn't bad.

Be proactively friendly at church.
We have lived in our current location for two years and still feel like we hardly know anyone and no one knows us.  In our last ward, there was a strong feeling of community.  Everyone loved and helped each other, and there was hardly a Sunday we didn't spend at someone's house for dinner / games or with someone at ours.  So it's been hard to have such a noticeably smaller friend pool here.  That's why I picked this goal.  I was sitting in church one day and wrote this in my journal:

Sacrament.  I was looking around during the hymn, thinking about last week.  I was in a different ward for sacrament meeting and this lady came and sat by me.  She was so friendly, you'd never guess we'd never met.
There are a lot of visitors in our ward this week.  I looked around at them and thought, "I wonder if any of them have had a similar experience in our ward today."  Immediately I thought, "Of course not; our ward's not friendly enough," remembering how we've felt here and what someone mentioned to J last week: "There's a real lack of camaraderie in our ward."
Right when I thought that, another thought came to mind - "Why don't you do something about it?" and imagined myself being friendly to everyone. "I can't do that."  and then it occurred to me that the lack of community in our ward is sad to Him, too.  And then we sang, "Be obedient, I implore..."  You don't "implore" something that doesn't matter to you; you implore about something that's really important.  And then, still feeling afraid, I thought, "Be the change you wish to see in the [ward]."  So.  I guess I've found my goal for next month. :P  The blog I read this week about asking meaningful questions instead of "How was your day?" directly applies here.  So do those people we saw at the furniture store yesterday who asked about J's dad instead of a generic "How are you?", showing that they remembered something important going on in J's life, even though they hadn't seen him in a long time.
Heavenly Father prepares us.

Now, let me just say, in case you're in our ward :) that some feelings get worse the more you think about them.  Meaning, things aren't as bad as I think sometimes.  However, everything I mentioned up there are things that others in our ward - like, a lot, not just one - have said to me or Joel as well, so it's not just us.  Anyway... now that I've sufficiently hurt everyone's feelings... 

Being friendly was something I'd been thinking about for a long time - a "stop complaining and do something" idea - but that journal entry (and what inspired it) was the exact kick in the pants I needed to start.  I made the goal of being proactively friendly because it made me more responsible.   No more sitting around and waiting for other people to come and receive friendliness from me - now I had to seek them out!  No more contributing to the problem and calling myself a victim!

This goal was so hard for me!  But my very first Sunday of trying, Joel and I received our FIRST EVER!!! invitation to dinner in this ward.  It was amazing and soooo fun!  It was not specifically a result of my efforts; I know that.  I didn't even see that family that day.  But it was a tender mercy from Heavenly Father saying, "Look!  This can work!"  The rest of the month went just as well, though just as difficult.  One of my favorite results was that I left church every week feeling happy.  This is one goal I am excited to try and carry out through the rest of the year.  Feeling happy is worth the effort.


“That was a sample of fertilizer from Norway!” said Percy, going very red in the face.  “It was nothing personal!”
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


Mom said...

You have inspired me. Thanks!

Tracie said...

um.... #2... totally true. Sadly I feel the same way! I will do better at this one too!

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