At this Binggeli house, we (mostly me) try to pile on as many challenges as possible. We work full time. We have two kids. James is working on his master's degree. We have busy church callings. We lead health challenges. We sign our kids up for soccer. And then . . . hey let's start a major construction project in the middle of it all. I'm pretty good at creating challenges for our family, but sometimes life throws challenges at you that you would never anticipate and basically are just rotten. That's kind of where we're at right now. However, like solving a tough math problem, you assess the situation and then just jump in and work at it. This too shall pass. I don't know what I'd do without the support of my family and my beliefs. We are blessed beyond measure even when times get tough.
Here is a quick thought I sent to my brother in an e-mail a couple of weeks ago . . .
I bored my testimony today for fast and testimony meeting. A returned missionary girl in our ward (she's been home for a year or so, I guess), said that if you have self-doubt or doubt in the gospel then you should bare your testimony! I have been struggling with life lately and thought about what she said. I pray a lot, but don't really feel like I get any answers and sometimes just wonder if anyone is listening. I never waver from the way I live my life, but I sometimes wrestle with things in my head about where I stand with the gospel. In the meantime, another guy got up and said how he was often asked as a kid (living in California) about why you would want to join a church with so many "restrictions." He explained that what others may call "restrictions" are really allowing us to live a life without real restrictions and burdens that we would have if we lived a life of sin (or something like that). I mulled it over and then got that crazy "burning in my bosom" that I needed to try out what the returned missionary girl had said. Plus, I was thinking about the whole "restrictions" thing. I couldn't put it aside and had to bear my testimony. Basically, I said that I needed to bare my testimony as a reinvestment in my own testimony. The Church is true. Life is meant to be a test, but sometimes it is just downright sucky. I can't imagine getting through life WITHOUT the blessings of living the gospel. I can't imagine how "restricted" we would we be with any other path. It wasn't very eloquent. I kind of fumbled. At least I got a laugh at the "sucky" part.
When I got back to my seat, the closing song was "Nearer My God to Thee." I felt the presence of my Grandma's near and thought they were giving me a hug and telling me I'm a good kid. I felt the presence of my doofy little brother (because let's face it, he only knows a few songs on the piano and that's one of them) and I hoped he would have been proud of my testimony. For the first time in a few weeks, I felt that Heavenly Father had been listening to my prayers and that he was finally answering them. I am so grateful for the sister who didn't realize she was encouraging me to bare my testimony. I needed to state out loud (however discombobulated it was), what I believed. In doing so, I felt the love of our Heavenly Father.
That is my spiritual experience for the week.
I also got to talk for 2 minutes in Sharing Time today about my doofy little brother, the missionary. Sharing time was about missionary work. I took a picture of you and shared. It was fun!