Always Crazy, Always Fun, Always Love

Ray Romano once compared life with twins to living in a frat house. As he put it, "no one sleeps, there is a lot of noise and a lot of throwing up." I find this very true with 4 young children, including twins. However, though things are always crazy, we always try to have fun and, most certainly, always love each other.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Mixed Emotions

Three and a half years ago, I knew this day would come- though I had no idea it would be 3 1/2 years- I figured shorter. I also figured when this day came, I would jump for joy. I didn't know I would be torn between that emotion and sadness and reluctance. So, what am I talking about? Yesterday, I was released from serving with the Young Women at church. A truly bittersweet day.

A quick explanation for readers not of my faith (for those who are, feel free to skip to the next paragraph...) Our church members do all the work- no one is paid, not even our bishop- as volunteers. We are asked by the leadership to serve- we are given "callings". We believe that the leadership prayerfully considers who should fill each roll and that they are inspired as to who to "call" to a certain position. When they feel they know who it should be, we are asked to fulfill the calling. We always have a right to say no, but we generally accept because we believe that serving in different areas, even in one we never expected or wanted to, gives us opportunities to learn and grow in different experiences. We believe that the leaders are inspired, so there must be a reason the Lord wants us to serve in that capacity.

So, when I was called to the Young Women (girls age 12-18) I was terrified because I had no experience with teenagers and was honestly kind of afraid of them. I was more tempted to say no then I ever had been before. But, I also learned who the other adult leaders would be, and they were my friends, and I knew there had to be a reason why I was being asked, so I accepted. The first presidency meeting I went to with my fellow leaders did not go well for me. I am not even sure they know this. When I had that first meeting with Katie, Kelly and Tiffany, I felt so overwhelmed and inadequate. They all discussed different ideas while I sat there feeling lost, like I had nothing to offer. My two (at the time...) young children were acting up so I could barely concentrate as it was. I left that meeting and cried the whole way home. But, they were patient with me and I prayed a lot and managed to grow and learn the calling just as Heavenly Father promised I would. The women I have served with in this calling (Katie, Kelly, Tiffany, Mary, Beth, Bylle, Autumn, Suzanne, Ashley, Andrea, and Alysha) have become dear friends- and I may not have gotten to know them as well, if not for working with them.

I feel like my best teachers were the Young Women themselves. I learned so much about them and their needs and their challenges. They really have so much to deal with, but are such amazing girls. I never imagined how deeply I would come to love them, worry about them and pray for them. The calling is challenging time wise- Sunday lessons, weekly activities, camp, and other activities that take the leaders away from home. But, I often looked forward to the activities we did together.

However, there comes a time with any calling where it must end. Most callings last a couple years- sometimes more, sometimes less. Then we are released and called elsewhere, giving someone else a turn to serve there and you a chance to serve somewhere else. On one hand, I was tired and burnt out and ready to move on. But, I had also become used to the calling and the girls and there was comfort in it. I knew I would be released soon anyway because it had been so long. But, Aaron's school schedule changes next quarter to where he will have class the same night as the Young Women activity nights so I can't be there. The girls need someone who can be there.

I was truly sad to say "good-bye" to the girls. What I really honestly don't understand is that they were sad to see me go too- even the ones who I didn't think cared as much for me. I really feel that I got more from serving with them then they did from me. I really don't know what I gave them other than love, my time, and I did my best, though I can't help but feel it wasn't enough. I will certainly always remember them. I can't wait to see the women they will be someday because they will be amazing! I am so grateful I rose above my fears and accepted the call. It has been an amazing, crazy, fun, stressful, sometimes aggravating, spiritually uplifting ride.

I am still awaiting what my next calling will be. I don't yet know. For now, I am enjoying the peace of no responsibility for the week or so until I am called to the next position. I know it won't be long. And really, even though the peace and quiet is nice, I wouldn't want it to last too long. I like being involved, serving and contributing. I am definitely a person who needs to feel needed. I will update when I know what is coming! Any guesses?


Autumn said...

I can tell you why they were sad to see you go-they love you!! 3 1/2 years seems like a long time for a calling! Way to go for keep on keepin on! :)Next calling-if we have it our way, you'll be in the nursery. Kidding, I wouldn't divulge secrets on here!! :) Enjoy your break!

Breezi said...

Totally, You are now called as the nursery leader.
Either that, or RS. President! haha.

It is so bitter-sweet to leave the YW. You love them to death, but at the same time, youth callings are so demanding on your time, energy, emotions, sanity, etc.... It's nice to have a break.

Have fun on your next weeks "off".

Kelly said...

That was really nice- it is so bittersweet- I totally agree!
Don't get comfortable with not having a me!
I know where you are going!! Ha ha!!

trentnjeanmorello said...

Hmm...something in Relief Society I am sure will be your next calling. Okay, first, my Mom told me you were released and I was surprised, but I was also happy for you because sometimes after many years of service in one calling you need a change. I loved serving with you, even though I only served for such a short time, but you are so great and I could tell you really cared and loved the Young Women!
I am officially in the ward Sunday so you better get the last hard calling, lol, so I will get something...hopefully not the assistant ward librarian, lol!

Britney said...

Hi, Amanda! I found your blog through Kelly's, and it's good to see how you're doing.

I was sad to be released from YW last year, too. The other night I went to the church to set up for enrichment and all the youth were there for mutual, and it made me anxious to get involved again. It was always so busy, but so fun.

Keep in touch!

Bon Bon said...

I thought this was why you were upset when you walked into R.S. (I was late to Sacrament Meeting & didn't hear the realease.) I am still mourning my release from Stake Young Womens Camp!!!! I miss it soooooo much!

Lauri said...

Being released is always difficult, even when you're beginning to be burned out. Young Women callings are especially tough because of the great bonds you form with the young girls.

Don't worry though, I'm sure you have many years down the road to be in YW again. I have served in YW 5 or 6 times in my life.

And regardless of what your next call is, I'm sure you'll learn to love it too.

Suzanne said...

I loved working with you Amanda and as sorry as I am to see you go I was also feeling guilty for keeping you in there as long as you were. I know this is a very demanding calling in so many ways. I'm sure you will have another opportunity to serve with the YW. I never wanted to serve in YW's because I know how challenging it is but this is my 3rd ward since we've been married and my 3rd time in YW's. Every time I serve I learn more and more and get more out of it. Every calling has it's ups and downs and yet when you are stretched and dedicate yourself to serving the Lord he blesses us. The girls loved working with you and you touched them in more ways we will ever know. I can't wait to see what your next calling will be:)--Girl's Camp Leader?? j/k!

Katie said...

I had no idea you cried all the way home from that first meeting. I have come out of meetings like that and it's an awful feeling. Sorry. I new it was scary for you...but I didn't know how scary.

I never once thought you were inadequate. You had so many things to offer the girls that I never could. It's important to have a good mix of people in a presidency to meet the needs of all the girls. I always looked forward to your input.

And you were such a constant in the presidency. I knew I could count on you 100% and I didn't always feel like that. I had never been in a better functioning presidency than I was at that time when we were all called.

You did fantastic...I can see that you will miss it as the girls will miss you.

Congrats on FINALLY getting released. It is amazing how much you can miss something you were so eager to get out of. I look forward to seeing who you'll be blessing next.