This is typically my Writing Journey day. I missed it last week, and I'm missing it again. Those posts take me a good chunk of time to write out, and I didn't have that time last week.

Technically, I do have that time today. But I won't be using it for that. In a few minutes, I'm leaving the house for something else.

Many, many years ago, during the baby era, I was visiting teaching a dear woman named Mindy who had exited her own baby years not long before. I was bemoaning how difficult it was for me to ever get to the temple. I lived about half an hour away at the time, and the temple I attended was so busy that it was not at all uncommon to wait in the chapel an hour and a half for a two-hour session.

When you have a nursing baby who refuses a bottle, being away for four or more hours is really not much of an option--or if you attempt it, the session is nerve-wracking and hardly the peaceful, spiritual experience it should be, because you know that back at home, your baby is screaming the roof off and wailing for your comfort.

Once or twice I got up early on a Saturday morning, nursed the baby, and raced out alone to do an intitatory session because they're shorter and I could get back before the baby needed me again.

Or there were situations where we'd be past the nursing issue and I'd get a babysitter all set up, but then the toddler would start vomiting or spewing out the other end ten minutes before we were to leave--and I could hardly expect a sitter to deal with that. Or something else would prevent us from going. I swear, there was always something. (Of course, isn't there always when you're supposed to get there?)

I sat in this sweet woman's house almost on the verge of tears. I wanted so badly to just get to the temple on a regular basis (at that point, I would have been happy with every other month). I knew she went every single Wednesday. All her kids were in school, so it was easy for her, and I envied her something fierce. Not to mention that I really felt guilty for not getting to the temple more often. It was just plain frustrating.

Here I was, her visiting teacher, supposed to be the one giving her comfort and support. Instead, she did it for me. She told me it was okay. To not worry so much about it right now. My time would come. We're all in different seasons of our lives, she said. There will be a time when all my kids would be in school and I, too, would be able to go to the temple during the day--even once a week, like she did, if I wanted to.

The time would come.

I have held onto that reminder for many, many years.

Today is technically the second day of school in our district, but with the way they work 7th grade, it's the first day all my kids are gone to school all day.

I promised myself years ago that when that day came, I'd be at the temple. So that's where I'm going.

To me, it's a sign of good faith to the Lord that I will go more often now that I'm in a different season.

And it's a nod to Mindy for her comforting words so long ago.

Plus, to be honest, it's also a bit because I really, really want to be there, and I can do that today without juggling any balls or doing back flips to make it happen.

So I'm going.

Hope no one minds waiting for the next installment for another week.


Sarah M Eden said…
That is exactly how I spent my first day with all my kids at school. Isn't it wonderful?! I, too, get to be in the temple far more regularly now - definitely a reason to celebrate this new season of life.
Jordan McCollum said…
Hooray! I was having such a terrible time the last couple weeks, I managed to make it to the temple last Friday afternoon (DH has Fridays off work).

And I fell asleep every time the lights went down.

One of my takeaways: I need more sleep. (Spiritual confirmation of a simple fact. Still waiting on inspiration to get the three year old from calling me in to adjust his bedding every other hour.)
Kristina P. said…
We haven't been at all this summer because of schedule changes. But I go back to my old schedule in a week, and temple, here I come!
Melanie J said…
I'm trying not to get too down on myself that we don't make this happen more. This is a good reminder that we'll have our time too. Enjoy yourself!
wonder woman said…
Uh....this post hits home. A lot. My kids aren't nursing, but they're home all day. And I think it's ridiculous that I live within 30 minutes of the temple and get there4 times a year. It's just wrong. I need to make a better effort. I know there are other women in the ward who want to go to the temple. We need to swap babyitting.

I look forward to the day (in like 9 years or something) when all my kids are in school and I can go to the temple during the day. And babysit for the young moms who can't.
Josi said…
I love women like that who can give you that type of advice. Kudos to you for remembering it! I now work about 1/2 a mile from the temple. I thought that would make it easier to go, but I've only been twice in the last four months. I think maybe I need to take your advice and schedule it, then do it every week. I think I could do that.
see??? you waited, and it came!! good for you!
Jillybean said…
We just joined a Sealing group, so we're automatically scheduled to go on a regular basis.
It's great now that we're in that "season" where the kids don't need a sitter.
Awesome! My time will come exactly one year from now :)
Kimberly said…
I can't think of a better reason to wait. And thanks for passing on Mindy's comfort - having 2.5 small children and living nine hours from the nearest temple, I needed that reminder too.
Shelley said…
How could we mind? I love your words, "it's a sign of good faith to the Lord...." Sometimes I also do things hoping to sort of keep my end of the bargain with the Lord.
Heffalump said…
Of course we don't mind! I hope you were able to have a wonderful and spiritual day!
Erin said…
Good for you Annette. That is really great. I hope you enjoyed your temple session. I need to get there myself soon!
Helena said…
What a nice idea!

I was really wanting to get to the temple before my baby was born, but it just didn't work out.
Amanda D said…
Good for you, Annette. And thank you for the reminder that my season for going to temple isn't so far off. Another year. Hooray!
I haven't read you're post yet, but I just finished your book, "Spires of Stone." I absolutely loved it! Couldn't lay it down. It was totally different than what I'd expected. In fact, I cried at the end!

You are a wonderful writer!
Okay, I've read your post. How beautiful it is. I have three to four years until ALL my kids are in school (depending on all day kindergarten) and I look forward to the same thing as you. It seems like I never make it to the temple anymore.

There are ladies in my ward who go every Friday morning. I can't wait to become a part of that group.
InkMom said…
I appreciate this post on so many levels, so thanks for sharing it. I anxiously await the day when I can attend the temple freely. Right now, it's just too much to ask to have someone babysit my three rambunctious, energetic, sometimes-downright-ornery 4-years-old and under little boys for the 9 hours it takes round trip. So we get creative, but not with much regularity. One day!

I must also tell you how much I appreciate your attention to detail when you write. Sometimes it is painful to read a blog so riddled with misspellings and grammatical errors -- but not yours. I admire a fellow grammatical stickler! Your clarity of language and adherence to the rules of construction enhance the experience of reading what you've written. I think if people realized that poor grammar and spelling errors distract the readers and cause them to waste precious effort to decipher content, more effort would be made in the cause of learning it correctly in the first place.

And that is not at all where I intended to end up with this comment!
Chas Hathaway said…
A very good cause! It's a great comfort to know there are different seasons of life. I hope I'm doing my best with the season I am now in.

Great post!

- Chas
Meggen said…
Great post! Yes, there is a time and season for everything. The hard part comes in being patient with living in the moment and season we are in!
JustRandi said…
I've gotten pretty good at the once a month deal, but you're right. Now that I'm in a different season, maybe a goal for a little more often would be nice.
My husband and I were just talking about how we need to go more... it's only a block away, we don't have ANY excuse!
Cherie said…
Good job on following through!
It must be that time of year as I reflected on the seasons in my life also but with a shoe analogy.
Sometimes it is hard to wait for the right season to get here, sometimes it is hard to know what to do when the next one is coming and you are not ready.
Oh my life is ever changing but the Temple is definately a good place to reflect upon it all and be so grateful to our Heavenly Father for all of these experiences.
An Ordinary Mom said…
I now have a new goal. Thank you .. and thank Mindy for me, too.
Michelle said…
Lovely post, Annette. And yay. Awesome that you got to go to the temple, and awesome that you remembered all these years.

If whoever mentions the babysitting swap figures out how to make that work well, I think you ought to write a post on it, because I'm sure a lot of moms would love some thoughts on such a thing.

Just a note, too, for you who can't go to the temple a lot, a way to be a part of that work is to do indexing at home on the 'puter. :) I love how there are more ways to do the Lord's work than ever before!
Cynthia said…
Congratulations on having them all in school. Your time spent at the temple is the perfect way to celebrate this day. I hope you enjoyed it.
L.T. Elliot said…
Of course I don't mind! (Although it should be noted that I love your writing journey posts.) What a beautiful story and an amazing testament to your character. I love that you long to be there. I'm so glad you have this season for yourself. *hugs*

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