Return to Self: Repotted Witnesses

Return to Self

“We, [like plants], need to consider repotting for growth… When we can’t seem to visualize our dream… we need to loosen the soil around our souls gently and find something that sparks our imagination, quickens our pulse, brings a smile.” ~Sarah Ban Breathnach

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Here we are. Down to the final 24 hours before we move. It’s a spark that ignites reflection.

This move is a direct result of needing to be repotted, just as Alan and I were repotted into marriage and living in Spanish Fork three years ago.

After we were married, we decided to move into the ward boundaries he had been living in. The problem was we had only a few weeks to find a new home before we had to be out of my apartment and Alan was deployed to Iraq.

We drove the neighborhood again and again. Nothing was available. I started to panic. This was not the first time my panic button triggered Alan’s faith button, but it was the first time I learned how to turn my panic button off because of the reaction. Even though I didn’t have the same level of trust in the Lord that he did at that moment, I trusted Alan’s faith. He reminded me that we were sure the Spanish Fork 10th Ward was where we were supposed to be and because of that surety, our new home would present itself.

The Sunday before Alan was deployed on a Wednesday, we went to church and a couple told us that they would be moving. Their place would be available at the end of the month. I moved in two weeks after Alan left.

And so began what I like to call “The 10th Ward Effect”.

JB meets Em: I really believed all Alan and I had to do was get my sister and our friend in the same room. After that we just needed to stand back and watch it happen. And so it was that my sister became my neighbor and Alan’s best friend became his brother-in-law. “It doesn’t get any better than that!”Alan says.

S&T Move In: My brother, his wife and their three kids needed to move into the general area. The basement apartment under us opened up. They’ve been our neighbors now for 10 months. It’s been priceless to watch them and their little kids grow.

With my brother and my sister as neighbors, it meant there were three siblings in the same ward. We were the second set of our kind.

Grandma Nina: A few months ago it became necessary to move Grandma out of her independent living apartment and into a full-time nursing care facility. With three of her grandkids in this area, a facility in Payson was an answer to many prayers.

Maelynn: After months of not-quite-right friend combinations, Samantha found a gem of a friend in Mae. We love her and will miss her. Among many great times with Maelynn, Samantha got to ride in a limo for the first time, have multiple sleep-overs, walk or ride her bike to/from school, and have some fabulous girly giggle fests.


Gardening: This home is the first place I have lived as an adult where I’ve had a lawn and a vegetable garden. I consider both of these luxuries and even more so because Alan took such good care of them.

Ward Family: The 10th Ward Effect included knowing some of the kindest youth and adults in the twelve wards I have lived. (I recounted; this is my 12th move, not the 9th like I said in my previous post.) Alan has considered this ward his family. With seven years under him, it’s the longest he has ever lived in one ward since he became a member of the church at age 21.

It’s hard to move on, but we’ve had some good soil for our souls. And thank Heaven for Facebook so we can keep connected with those we leave behind.

Samantha is at the age and stage of life where she often says the words, “It’s not my fault!” I remember when my dad first started getting gray hair and I teased him about it. He teased back and told me it was my fault. One might say that the happenings listed above are all our fault–mine and Alan’s. Maybe Alan’s ultimately, since he was here first. But I know we can’t take any credit.

It actually makes me think of my favorite scene from the movie Shall We Dance.

The scene comes as the main character’s wife, Beverly, decides she wants the private investigator she’s hired to stop checking up on her husband. The PI discovered the husband’s mysterious disappearances were to ballroom dance class.

Beverly tells the detective why she believes in marriage:

“We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet… I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage … You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness’.”

I say the same can be said for families, friends, and ward members who feel like family. There is so much to be said for having a witness to life’s joys and sorrows.

We have so much to be thankful for in having lived here. I’m grateful to take notice of the repotting of the people around me in Spanish Fork, to be a small instrument in the bigger picture. I’m grateful to be a witness of divine guidance in all of our lives.

I look forward to being repotted again.

2 thoughts on “Return to Self: Repotted Witnesses

  1. what a beautiful, fluid post. the Lord does seem to take us where we need to go – or in my case to keep us there. we’ve tried to move 2 times and have been unsuccessful. it’s is frustrating but i keep thinking the Lord has other plans for us and we just need to listen to it. i’m sure you’re on the right path to your next adventure 🙂 ps – we need to have another family reunion one of these days and get everyone together….

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