This is Scott editing Courtney’s post – not because I don’t think she did a good job, but because I wanted to tell my side of the story. I kept much of what Courtney said in here – even though some parts I wanted to take out. Ok, here it goes – Courtney’s post edited by me – Scott
I ran a half marathon in Ft. Worth a couple Saturdays ago. It was to be my last one for a while (lots of reasons – topic for another blog post maybe). Anyway, I did great (Courtney wrote that initially so I didn’t want to change it. I think I did only ok, but she has lower expectations of me than I do of me. This is good as it makes her much easier to please!) Of course the whole week before the race was beautiful, 70 degrees. That day, it was 30 degrees and super windy. Courtney and the kids came to see me and they were bundled in hats, gloves, coats, and Nintendos. Of course the camera didn’t work when I passed them at the finish line so you all can’t see my gazelle like form and the grace in which I sailed into the finish line! Here is a picture of the kids and one of me with my friend who I run with. (Courtney wanted that picture there so I’m leaving it. I’m the one on the right.)
So the day I ran the race was also the day of the adult session of Stake Conference. Luckily the Priesthood leadership was at 4pm so I had some time to prepare and recover from the race. Well the Stake President had called us the day before and wanted to meet with us. Of course that only means a few things – a release, a new calling to serve, or a call to repentance. Our good friends had mentioned that they were also meeting with the Stake pres right before us. We put 2 and 2 together and figured out that I was going to be released as the EQ President. I had served for 2 years, but figured I had a little more time. Courtney was even preparing herself for another year. I knew she could do it! When I got called 2 1/4 years ago it was only four days after Beckem (or Caden as he was known is those days :) ) was born. Courtney’s birthday was on a Friday – the day we got home from the hospital and early Saturday morning I received a call to meet with the Stake President the next day – Sunday. Of course the Stake President wanted to meet with Courtney too but she was out of it (her words, not mine.) So he issued the call but before he would accept my willingness to serve he asked, “if your wife was here, what would she say?” I told him she would support me, because that is what she does. He said he would call her anyway, and I know she appreciated that. The next day he called. She accepted, and then the stake president told her that my first priority was to be to her and the kids and if she ever needed me to stay home, she was to tell me. If I didn’t listed to her – she was to tell him.
So, I was set apart the next week and Courtney, her mom, and Caden-Beckem-Sterling were there to be a part of it. Her mom was leaving that day and she gets really nervous when her Mom leaves after she has a baby. She is just not sure that leaving her with the kids alone is such a good idea. (her words not mine) :) So, now Courtney was left with four kids – one of which was a little over a week old. I went out that next Tuesday on elder’s quorum visits and Courtney was left for the first time with four kids by herself. Scary but somehow she made it! (again – her words not mine. I knew she could do it.)
Flash back a couple summers ago. We went to Portland and decided to leave the kids with Courtney’s parents for a few days while we went to Seattle to celebrate our anniversary. We were there on a Sunday and so we decided to find a ward a go to sacrement. We were kind of excited because not being in our ward meant no responsibility for me and Courtney did not have to get the kids all ready for church by herself. This was going to be nice!
It was fast Sunday so we were wondering if we would get some crazy ward that would have an entertaining testimony meeting like we had a few years prior with the Bennions. At that fast and testimony meeting in Park City some sister said that if her friend didn’t ever marry she could marry her husband in the next life – what is that! And then this other guy told about his drug related sins. Oh that poor bishop!
Anyway, this random ward’s testimony meeting was amazing! There was this sister who was in a wheel chair that bore her testimony. She talked about her husband being in a leadership position and on the nights he would have visits she would get really upset. She would be grumpy and have a short temper with the kids. She was wondering why her husband had to go out and serve and leave her home with the kids. Because of her disability she had a hard time just doing the basics and having her husband there helped so much. Then one day she realized how much he was helping other people, and she had the spirit cofirm to her that he was doing a great work and that her supporting him was also a part of that great work. After that experience her attitude changed. She told us that after that day she wanted her husband to serve. She needed those blessings just as much as he did. And she got those blessing just as much as he did even though she was not the one physically serving. Her outlook changed and when he would go to serve she would say “Go get us some blessings.” (quote from Courtney here: – “I have thought of that meeting often. I needed to hear that. I am not in a wheelchair like this sister. I don’t have to go through as much to clean the kitchen or put my kids to bed. We need blessings and I want to have those blessings. The other thing I have thought of was that was a tender mercy from Heavenly Father for us to be at that meeting. He knew I needed to hear that and He provided a sister’s testimony for me. I think how easy it would have been to not go to church. We went and were so blessed. Our families our blessed when one persons serves. I have seen so many blessing from this. I actually have felt so privedged to have had this experience. I have seen my husband grow and become such a great husband and father. Not that he wasn’t before (remember this is Courtney speaking now, not me!) I didn’t think there was room for improvement. And not to say that I didn’t complain sometimes. I think life can get overwhelming. But I know I need all the blessings I could get.”
Ok, back to real time. Well, Courtney thought my being released as EQ president would give us a break, even just a week. The bishop called us in on Wednesday and asked me to be the YM President. So, while I thought I was done running marathons for a season, I am really working on my next one. An actual maraton is a test of endurance and I run for the joy of finishing – it is a great felling to finish. I know my family will be with me at the finish line of this next marathon, and all the ones we run together in our life. That is what we do.
Now, let’s all go get us some blessings!