I've loved the phrase KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON since I came across it years ago. I've always admired the spirit of the British during WWII and, for me, the poster perfectly summed up their determination. It's been a reminder to live and love life and to always carry on because life isn't as dark as it may seem. Over the past year KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON has become my unofficial motto as things haven't gone exactly as planned or hoped for. So it's no wonder I have three KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON posters in my bedroom? :)
This pink one was the last acquisition. My roommate gave it to me two months during a particularly crazy and stressful week and it makes me smile every time I see it.
When my bishop called and asked if I could come and have a chat with him on a Saturday morning, I honestly thought it was about some of the stuff I wanted to discuss concerning my current calling. So when the call to be the Relief Society President was issued I was a little taken back. In fact, my first two thoughts were "wow, wasn't expecting that," and "I'm going to be sick."
The past two months have been a roller coaster of emotions. There have been lots of sleepless nights. How do I deal with 130 sisters, half who are under the age of 23? What do I do with the 30 + sisters who are inactive, and another 40 who are semi-active? How do I improve the 30% average of Visiting Teaching? How do I teach the sisters the importance of RS and visiting teaching? How do I deal with the health issues of the sisters (three with hospital stays already)? How do I deal with the mental, emotional, and spiritual questions and concerns of the sisters? How do I get to know them better? What type of example am I being? How can I be more charitable? How can I impart my love for this gospel to them? How can I have enough time to do it all?
But it hasn't all been stress and worry. I've had some amazing moments, especially as I've been able to see glimpse of individual sisters potential and worth. As I've watched an inactive sister come to RS two weeks in a row, or agree to do Visiting Teaching I've been truly humbled because I know that I've been the messenger for the spirit. I've watched sisters willingly serve those who are difficult and do so with a loving heart. I've been grateful for those sisters who've felt that they've got a friend in me who've been willing to open up.
But mostly, I've learned a lot about myself. I've learned it's ok to give up control on certain things (especially if I don't want to have a mental breakdown). I've learned that even though I want to do it all, I just can't, and that it's ok to walk away and say "I'll do that tomorrow." I'm learning to have great patient and love for those who are struggling and are difficult to deal with. I'm learning that help really does come when it's greatly needed. I've learned that sometimes I just need to listen and not to try and fix the problem. I've learned to trust my instincts. I've learned to rely on others (especially my wonderful councilors) and their wisdom. I know at the end of this year, I will look back on all the things I've learned and will be so grateful for the fact that the Lord trusted me enough.
Lastly, I'm really grateful for these wonderful sisters I have beside me. They are capable, strong, spiritual, funny, kind, smart, and make my job so much easier.