Sunday, September 27, 2009


We have only been to the temple three times since we moved to Poland nine years ago (besides once or twice during visits in the states). I find this to be sort of sad, but considering what it means to "go to the temple" in Poland:
Drive or ride about 12 hours each way to Freiberg, Germany; stay for 4 nights in the temple"hotel", taking its underground tunnel to the temple at 7am every morning and going through session after session -- four per day (including an evening session) -- for four or five days in a row.

and what our life has been like in those nine years:

over two full years of pregnancy, 2+ years of nursing infants, years of kids in school and lots of "life"

I think three is an okay number. Actually, let's put it this way, we maybe attended fifty or so sessions, over the course of nine years, at a temple that's 12 hours away. That sounds a little better. :)

Our last visit was three years ago. That time we became temple workers. This meant spending hours learning exactly what that entails, what to say and do (in both Polish and English) attending super early prayer meetings, and getting to know the temple presidency and temple missionaries rather well.

Unfortunately, when we first arrived at the temple and before we were asked to be temple workers I realized that my back was wrong as it sometimes is for weeks at a time. This would make the whole week difficult. I determined to try to attend a session or two each day, if I was able and rest the rest of the time. Then we got the calling. I explained my dilemma and, after our meeting with the temple counselor and his wife (the pres. was out of town this week), he and Greg gave me a blessing that I would be able to work. So I did.

Okay, that was a very long lead in to my point:

I had the chance to rub shoulders with some wonderful missionary couples. I know that being in the temple is an uplifting experience in general, but spending so much time (and there's quite a bit of standing around time for temple workers) with those people was really and truly wonderful .

Those mature women were such an enormous pleasure to talk to. They were smart. They were fun. They were warm. They were wise. They were extremely sympathetic, seeming to be intensely interested in every minute detail of my back issues, family, hobbies and everything I might possibly enjoy talking about. I came away feeling like I was an interesting and good person (who isn't interesting while talking about their back problems, really?) And not like I had hogged the conversation, either, somehow.

I came away from nearly every conversation thinking, "I wish I could, I HOPE I will be like that one day. I would just give anything to be like that. To make people feel like that, just by being who I am."

Currently, though, I am NOT like that (at all). I am starting to realize that it's not exactly the time for me to be like that. I need to be much better about being less oblivious of others and their needs, but it's also okay that I focus mostly on my family right now. So I'm sort of okay about it.

But then I worry that I am just too selfish in general. I am not the kind of warm and caring person I'd like to be by nature. I'm too tied up in me. BUT. . .

I am starting to realize that the experiences I'm having now that require me to be tied up more in myself and my family than I'd sometimes like to be are the very experiences that might make me that more mature woman that I want to be some day.

I've been thinking about this more than usual in recent weeks.

I really hope and believe that these last few months are part of that training. Other women have the same experiences I've been having. I think, I HOPE I will be more understanding and sympathetic to them as I learn to untie myself from me over the years.

I know the reward for what I'm going through these months is the baby that will be mine forever. That is enough. But it doesn't stop me from hoping that I'll also be rewarded by getting a little closer to becoming who I want to be, too.


Lara said...

I really believe you're right. Seasons. There are seasons to serve, and seasons to be served. And seasons to serve your family and seasons to serve outside of it.

Our temple is 8 hours away, and you just made me feel so much better about that. :)

Chief said...

I am impressed by anyone who has to go through so much to get the blessings that come from the temple. We take it for granted that there our 4 within 30 minutes. Thank you for the reminder

Barbaloot said...

Wow-that's a serious amount of temple sessions in a week!

I think even recognizing your desire to be that kind of woman and knowing how you feel around them is getting you closer than you think.

Barbaloot said...

Wow-that's a serious amount of temple sessions in a week!

I think even recognizing your desire to be that kind of woman and knowing how you feel around them is getting you closer than you think.

JustRandi said...

I loved the thought that being tied up in your family is actually giving you training.
I've been thinking lately that I am much too oblivious to people around me and their needs.

Heather of the EO said...

I love those last three sentences.

L.T. Elliot said...

Missed you around here. =]

I understand exactly what you're saying in this post. It's hard for me to be OK with just living my life with my family and trying to be aware of everyone else too. It's hard to feel nuturing, giving, and uplifting while trying to be focused, in-tune, and in harmony.

But I love the message of this post. Sometimes we just need to slow down and soak it in. Thank you.

Melanie J said...

I don't know why but this made me tear up a little bit. I guess because I totally understand what you're saying. And I think the fact that you think about these things means that you're not selfish at all.

Erin said...

These are all really great thoughts. We are all working on ourselves in some form. I'm sorry these months are so difficult for you right now (with sickness). I will be thinking of you.

That Girl said...

I love the circular-ness of these thoughts; it sounds like me.

I like you.

Kazzy said...

How nice to hear from you!

Wow! What an effort you and your husband have to make to get to the temple. I am sure that is really difficult.

I like what you said about preparing to be one of those older, empathetic women by living a life centered on your family right now. Sounds exactly right to me!

Take care of that back!

Kimberly said...

I love this insight, because this is something that hugely weighs on my mind. I have known women like those women too. Women who are a gift and a blessing in the lives of anyone who associates with them. Who seem to exude warmth and express interest in a keen, genuine way.

I want to be one of those women too.

I hadn't thought much about just what the path to becoming one might consist of. Beautifully put!

charrette said...

From what I know and what I hear from those who've met you personally, you already ARE like that. I can hardly wait to see how extra-wonderful you'll be when you have time for more!