Today at Church, there was a lesson on talents by one of my favorite people ever, Allison, who just got called to be Relief Society president! Ahhh! So for non-members or those unfamiliar with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (more Momo information overload), that is the group of women 18 and over unless you are called to help out in Primary (kids ages 3 to 12 and Nursery with 18 month to 3 year olds) or Young Women or Men's (the teenagers ages 12 to 18). I haven't ever been a huge fan of Relief Society after graduating to the family ward, and in fact always missed the friendships, lessons, and girls from the old Singles Ward days where I never felt like the only convert. But boy was Relief Society amazing today, especially with Allison teaching.
She is such a sweet and lovely lady, one who I have gotten to know quite well despite the different places in life we are (she's got two teenage girls and I'm just starting), and though it'd be really fun to run off to play dates with all the other cool moms, the reality is I'm often stuck at home working or out running errands, so realizing I know Allison and can count her as one of my closest friends here in South Pasadena (despite her probably not saying the same) feels really good. I've found myself hanging out with her and talking, not aware of the time that's passed, and I am guilty of having thought, on more than one occasion, how unfortunate it is that we're not closer in place of life so that we could be closer. I really am going to miss her and am so excited for this new and very busy calling of Relief Society President, especially since I've witnessed firsthand how much work it can be with my mother-in-law being called right when Jordan was born and my sister-in-law being called to be Young Women's President around that same time too. It's. a. LOT. of. work.
I digress. Allison's lesson today was on the Parable of the Talents (summarized quickly the Lord gives three different people talents in quantities of five, two, and one. The person with five doubles his talents, the same with two.... while one buries it and the Lord is not pleased with the latter). I love this Parable as it always get me thinking I should work on my own skillsets, no matter how little they may be in comparison to others (as in I'm the two talents receiving person but I should still double it because four is better than two though still little compared to the five who is now ten). The lesson also got me thinking about my own lack of talent and how I should capitalize and derive the most value I can out of those crappy talents by working on them. As much as I may feign dislike for cooking, it is somewhat enjoyable and I am definitely better than I was pre-marriage (though probably not accounting for much being I only knew how to make salads, sandwiches, and tell you which frozen food from Trader Joe's were the best).
A lot of times, talents are ones we don't think much of. Allison asked us during her lesson today, "how many good listeners do you know?" Nobody responded and she continued with, "not many, because how hard is it not to speak up when talking to someone?" and I laughed, thinking - yeah, guilty as charged. I'd like to be a better listener, maybe by first shutting up and focusing on what others have to say instead of hearing my own voice babble on and on. I also find it extremely hard not to want to be just as crafty and cute as everyone else in the blogosphere or on facebook. In fact, I do often have to remind myself that not throwing Jordan a cute first birthday party was a decision I made with Andy's support for both financial and logistical reasons, ones that I am still very happy with, except that is not apparent when I see all the ridiculously cute parties other moms have thrown for their first childs. Fail. Especially when my inherent competitive nature screams at me, you could have done that too you slothful sad excuse of a mother.
And then there are husbands who remind you of the talents you do have but don't seem to recognize. So I'm a lousy listener (am working on it), am a lousy do cute stuff for my kid (am also working on it), and am not as good of a cook as anyone else in my family (including my brother)... at least I know all the shortcuts in excel on a PC and a mac and how to wrap text, create filters, vlookup, and pivot tables (I think...). I didn't think that was much but apparently, it impresses my husband oodles.
I don't think Heavenly Father cares what we can't do. He only care that we use what we were given and double that. It might not be a lot compared to others, but the Parable didn't say the ten talented person was loved more compared to the four talented one. If only I could remember that.