Sunday, February 14, 2010

Thanks, Asparagus, I Feel the Spirit.

We all stayed home today. Bella was up coughing all night and woke up with a fever and Brett's ribs are still on the mend. I didn't have to take roll or hand out newsletters today so we all stayed in our jammies and watched Veggie Tales.

In one episode Madame Blueberry has pictures of stuff that she wants and cries about what she doesn't have until some chives show up in suits telling her they are the owners of Stuffmart and she just needs more stuff to be happy. On their way to Stuffmart they see a little girl vegetable with her beatnik looking parents and it's her birthday. She has one piece of pie and a candle in it. They live in a hovel. The little girl looks around at what little she has and could be sad but instead she sings,

I thank God for this day,
For the sun in the sky,
For my mom and my dad,
For my piece of apple pie!

For our home on the ground,
For His love that's all around,
That's why I say thanks every day!

Madame Blueberry and the chives continue on to Stuffmart and stock up. While eating there they see a little boy who wants a big toy train but his Dad tells him they can't afford it. He says that they can get a ball, though. The little train kid sings another verse of the Thankfulness Song and that's when I start to cry. The blueberry's house gets so full of stuff it is destroyed and she ends up sharing pie with the beatnik family and her butlers. Then she sings a verse of the song.

So for the rest of the day we have been making up our own verses. "I am thankful for my pug, for the cocoa in my mug, for the brand new kitchen rug, but not that Bellsa has a bug..." You get the idea. We were just having fun, but I really am thankful for so, so, so many things. I am terrible at standing up in front of people and bearing my testimony, I do the ugly cry thing. It's horrifying. But I would like to share my testimony, just not in a way that makes me want to pee my pants.

When my heart began to change and I began this process, I made a commitment. I realized that I had botched things up for myself so horribly that I was no longer allowed to be "in charge". I realized I was not able to run my life because I didn't know what God knew. I was making choices based on my very limited knowledge and if I could be humble and have faith, I could run my life on God's infinite knowledge instead. I vowed that no matter what the end result, be it good or even be it bad, I would spend the rest of my life inside of the church and following the gospel. So here I am, and everything from that moment on has changed. Slowly and painfully, but it has changed. I do get upset and frustrated that my life isn't the same as other people's. That I don't live in a nice new beautiful house, that I don't get to stay home with my kids, that I can't seem to get pregnant by the man that I'm actually married to. But I also have moments where I am simply overwhelmed by all of the good things. I found the right guy finally, he's loads of fun and a lot better looking than I would have asked for. I have two great kids that are just so much fun and in spite of my not being home with them are great kids and have good hearts and are witty and smart. I have found wonderful people to take care of them, Jessica Harrison, Amanda Bakly and my Mom. My Mom has become active in the church and is almost unrecognizable as a person. The ex-lesbian reverend mother goes to AA every week and works in the temple every Saturday and reads the Book of Mormon with her sister every day.

The atonement is real. It is the ultimate wellness program. The church itself is true, I accepted the calling of Relief Society Secretary at the end of last year and since that time I have experienced a huge pouring down of blessings on me and my family. The gospel principles are true. I have always paid my tithing first before any other bill as a way of showing my gratitude to God and time and again I found that I am never without money. I can get down to three dollars in my account and money will come in from somewhere the next day. I turned down a movie gig that I always wanted but felt just wasn't something I could be involved with as someone in the RS Presidency, as cheesy as that may sound. I just couldn't be making calls looking for negliges and hookah pipes while scheduling new member visits and enrichment activities. I was blessed with a new client the month I should have begun production on the film and I have made three times what I would have on that film and we are on track to be out of debt by June in the middle of the worst economic downturn since the great depression. It stuns me to think about. We finally have a plan of attack for the construction that needs to take place on our house and the means by which to begin it this Summer and hopefully have it done by the end of this year or at least Spring of 2011. We are building something. And it didn't happen all over night, it didn't happen in a year, it's happening little by little over the course of many years but it IS happening. I am so grateful that I made that commitment. That I decided to just...try. I'm not perfect, God knows I am SOOOO far from perfect, I just try. It's 100 percent about not giving up. It's about having some steps to take that make it so that you are not sinking and not on a treadmill, but slowly going forward and upward. Even if I am going two steps forward and one step back, I am trending upwards.

I know without a single solitary question that these things that I have been afforded in my life are gifts from God. I listened to the still small voice and found a great man, a great job and a great neighborhood. I followed council and now have a great career, great kids and a calling that is waaay over my head but I love intensely and blesses my family. I have a mother that does provide the kind of advice that my Patriarchal Blessing says I will receive from her. (It told me to listen to the council of my mother and I was just sure it was a mistake.)

God can see around corners. Bad things happen to us, sometimes because of the bad choices of people that have lost the spirit or because of the natural consequences of our own choices and actions. God blesses us at these times with strength and hope. If we maintain in faith, in His own due time, He blesses the faithful with the desires of their hearts, as long as our will is aligned with His. My life is unquestionable proof of that. It really is.

I am thankful for my spouse,
and our silly mold filled house.
For our dog and our cat,
and our hamsters, fish and that,

we are all doing well,
even though this house is hell.
That's why I say thanks every day!


AzĂșcar said...

I needed to read this. Thank you.

La Yen said...

Amen and Amen. You are awesome.

Emily said...

This was humbling and inspiring to read. I love that you recognized that God could run your life better than you could and you made a commitment and you've recognized the blessings. We ALL could stand to have more awareness, and more commitment, and more gratitude. It really makes me happy to know that, although both you and your mom have been to hell and back it sounds like, you're back. Makes me want to live the Gospel better. Thanks, Amelia.

sue-donym said...

Thank you for this. You inspire me.

~j. said...

Beautiful. And brilliant. Yes, YOU.

c-dub said...

I love this. And I think you are lovely, too.

Jewels said...

I too, needed to read this. And I just downloaded the Thankfulness song! I sang along with your lyrics...and totally started to cry.

I love you. I love that I have you as my friend.

Hailey said...

Gotta love those Veggie Tales. Gotta love the Merritts. I'm grateful for your example. For realz.

stef j. said...

veggie tales might be the most frequently watched movies in our household...

beautiful testimony there... very humble, and true, and to-the-point. and i really needed it. thank you.

Mrs JP Chaos said...

This was beautiful and very well said.

Cristina HW said...

sheesh! you are so friggin' honest! i love it! i wish i could be THAT honest publicly.

Mr. Flynn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. Flynn said...

I guess I will leave a comment.... Great post. I don't have any idea what has gone on with you during the past 10 years or so, but I am happy for you after reading this post. I am typing this on my phone in the middle of the night as I have a 4 year old that is sick laying in my lap. Poor guy. Found your blog after seeing your name on a mutual friend's facebook page. Wondered if it was you--yep, sure was. Thanks for sharing this. So happy for you

Diane Conn said...

Thanks for your comment over at knock off wood. I hope you don't receive a bunch of anonymous comments about how wrong you are like I did. I'm just really glad I'm not the only one who see what's wrong with copyright infringement.

Anonymous said...

Amelia--your comment on Ana's blog was condescending and therefore annoying. You might want to consider more closely your future comments on venues such as a public comment board lest you make a fool of yourself again.

Amelia Merritt said...

I didn't find it to be condescending at all, it was not my intention to. I thought her attitude that she is above the law to be arrogant and therefore condescending. It is my job to design and dress the sets for pictures just like the ones she is using without permission. I don't think what she is doing is to be taken lightly, I take my career very seriously. But I seem to be in the minority among her blog posters. I stand by what I said, which is why I put my name on it. I can see you were not able to do the same.