Posted by: monsonmadness | January 23, 2012

Sometimes I’m a slow learner

I’ve been beating myself up over the last week or so at how I can’t seem to be able to manage all of the different things on my plate. There are so many areas of my life right now that I feel I’m losing control in, and the effects of my inability to keep up with everything has been trickling through my family.

We all have different capacities, and different ways to deal with stress, and I feel like I’ve been at full capacity lately and now I’m flowing over and haven’t been handling the stress very well. I think I’m finally beginning to learn and it makes me realize what an incredibly slow learner I am.

Here’s what’s been going on…living down here is hot and hard. We don’t have many of the conveniences that you take for granted, so we have to spend more time on household tasks such as sweeping and mopping all the time because you can’t let a crumb be on the floor or the ants will come. When temperatures are high, so are tempers. Patience is low and it takes significant effort to keep a calm, happy family.

I have a new job. I didn’t go looking for it, I was asked to do it, and I’m quite excited about it, but it’s taken a big chunk of time to get things sorted out and ready. As I’ve spent hours at the school setting up a classroom and sorting through gross, dirty papers filled with hidden cockroaches, my kids have been neglected. Add onto that the hours that I’ve spent in front of the computer working on assessments and revamping the kindergarten curriculum to meet the state standards and you’ve got a a bunch of young kids who are watching a lot of tv, and starting to get on each other’s nerves. I spent way too much time last week breaking up fights and solving problems that wouldn’t have happened if I had been in the room with my kids spending more time with them.

I realized that I had to give up on some non-essential things, and I decided that would be chores. Problem is, I get really stressed when my house is dirty and messy, I can’t function well in chaos. I cooked three meals in total last week, and that was because we had people over three times. The other meals, including Sunday dinner yesterday, have either been sandwiches or cereal. Awesome. Our microwave broke and turning on the oven here is a death wish, so meals have been simple or non-existent here lately.

I also have a new calling at church which I am really excited about, but as with all new things, there is a learning curve and significant time to get things understood and ready before things run smoothly.

Now here’s the biggest thing of all, and this is so huge that I will have to write a separate post about it at a later time. I will make this the super short version…I am currently involved in a miracle. There is a teenage girl down here who is going to place her baby for adoption with my friend Addie from Utah. Sounds simple when you write it down like that, but in reality, the process is a scary, exciting, worrying, joyful mess of emotions and concerns. Any of you who have had an experience with adoption will understand. Like Addie says, “it’s not like you just go to the store and get something you need”. There is so much to research and organize, so many people whose emotions are on the line, so many spiritual experiences and so much lack of sleep thinking about it all.

Last Tuesday was my first day of Kindergarten, followed by my first Primary presidency meeting, followed by a face to face meeting with the birth Mom and her mother. We got home around 10:30pm that night and I felt like I’ve been drowning ever since.

OK. That’s all. There’s the back ground. There’s the sob story. But here’s the most ridiculous part of it all. I should have known better than to think I was supposed to handle all these things on my own. Looking back I feel so dumb. Why did I wait so long to get the help that I so desperately needed?  Why do we, as humans think that we need to take care of everything ourselves?

At least I’m not alone in my delay to get help. In Lehi’s dream, Lehi found himself in a dark and dreary waste, wandering around in the the darkness. He says that after he had traveled for MANY HOURS, he began to pray unto the Lord, and then, AFTER he had prayed, he beheld the vision of the tree of life.

I can really relate to that. I spent way too many hours, days even, trying to muddle my way through things on my own. It was only when I turned to the Lord that I was lifted out of the darkness and could see things more clearly and with a better perspective.

Last night Michael gave me a priesthood blessing, and I was truly comforted. I know now that these opportunities can all be turned into significant learning opportunities for me. This is a time when I can grow and strengthen my own testimony, as well as strengthen and uplift those around me, especially my precious children.

I was reading the Ensign in bed last night and read so many things that “clicked” for me. I don’t need to be worried about all the things that I need to do over the next few days and weeks, I just need to focus on things one day at a time. I can do that. Of course I can. What are the things that I need to get accomplished today, and what can wait until tomorrow? Of course my family comes first, and then I get to juggle the other things around that.

Why, oh why am I such a slow learner? Nothing that I read last night was new to me, but I was too busy trying to solve my own issues, that I wasn’t allowing my Heavenly Father to help me.

I sometimes forget that Heavenly Father is anxiously waiting to help and bless me. Sometimes we just need to turn to Him and allow Him into our lives. The greatest gift that He gave us was His Son, Jesus Christ, and the atonement that He made was not just so that we can be forgiven of our sins or be resurrected and live with Him again, but it is also a magnificent gift that he can lift our burdens. As we read in Isaiah, “surely he has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows”. We don’t have to struggle alone. The Savior has already suffered for us, why do we make ourselves suffer more? The lesson is to turn over our burdens to the Savior, and allow His atonement to work in our lives.

As I type this, I realize how insignificant the things that I’ve been going through really are. I’m not dealing with death, divorce, unemployment, or any other really big issue in my life, but I guess that’s the point too…we don’t need to wait for something huge to trust in the Lord. We can go to Him for the big things and the small things. And when we learn this lesson early on in our trials, we save ourselves a whole lot of heartache. I hope I can remember this next time. I wish I didn’t let myself feel like I have to do everything myself. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who is so patient with me and so willing to bless and help me. I know that as we humble ourselves and call on Him for help, we can feel His love, and we “can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth” us.

So, sorry that I haven’t been blogging very much. It’s not high on my priority list right now, but I did want to share what I’ve been learning…Here is one of my favorite songs and it really comforted me last night. It’s so beautiful. Click on Cast Your Burden, and then look for the recordings and click on play. (I like the one by James Loynes the best.)



  1. Thanks for this. I have recently had the same realization and wondered why I was trying to do things on my own too.

  2. Helen, I can relate! Sounds like you have a lot going on right now. Thanks for strengthening us with your testimony! You’re still in our thoughts and prayers as are the Meitus family and all involved in the adoption. So exciting! Thanks too, for sharing that beautiful song.:)

  3. Helen– your blog posts always inspire me with your great perspective. I think we all feel over our head at times (and this is definately one of those times for you) and it is easy to forget what source we need to turn to for strength and comfort. Don’t beat yourself up for letting the little things slide, instead be really grateful for the distraction of TV and for the convience of cereal etc. You are amazing and your experiences are helping a lot of us here at “home” with our priorities and perspective. THANKS!

  4. We love you! Everyone you are writing for loves you!

  5. Helen I am exactly the same way with trying to do it all alone. Had a great Sunday School lesson yesterday reminding me that when I do that I will fail. So I’m so thankful for the reminder! The adoption, are you helping with the process or hoping to adopt?

  6. You aren’t slow to learn, you just have always been on top of everything so much that the rest of us wish we were you as we are drowning wondering how you do it all. It’s so amazing to me how you are the conduit for this miracle half way around the world:) You are such an inspiration to so many of us and we love and miss you dearly. Thank you for keeping us posted and for letting us see you are human like the rest of us. You are enough and have the most unbelievable spirit, strength and faith.

  7. Thank you for sharing Helen. I usually read a month’s worth of posts at a time because I don’t get to check blogs very often. This has truly been uplifting (the kind of uplifting that we are challenged to seek after in the 13th article of faith ….. Good literature).

  8. Thanks for sharing your life experiences and testimony with the rest of us.

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