I Had a Timeout

This weekend I went to a one day LDS women’s conference in Tacoma.  Speakers and musicians came together to uplift, enlighten, entice us to buy their merchandise and charge $16 for a sandwich.  I told Laylee I was going to a class to learn how to be a better mommy.  The info was certainly presented.  I guess we’ll have to wait and see how well it took.

They call it Time Out for Women but it’s nothing like the kind of timeout we usually do at my house.  In fact, if I were to tell Laylee what we did there, I’m afraid she’d never again be satisfied with the timeout corner she’s come to love.

autographThere were a few differences.  At this timeout, we were allowed to talk, eat candy and play with toys.  I carpooled out there with several friends from Hickville and met up with some new friends from these here interwebs.  Natalie and No Cool Story even brought me a toy to play with in the form of a lovely bejeweled crown so I could be queen for the day. 

Don’t worry, I was not a wicked queen and I killed almost no one or put their hearts in a box.  Autographs were exchanged, they introduced me to their friend Frog Eye Salad and we all tried to contain our internerdery as much as possible. 

time outWe had a blast gabbing and I wish they lived close enough to hang out more often, even though I was freakishly tall in comparison to both Natalie and NCS.  I guess I could learn to slouch…more.  Alas, I think we will have to continue communicating through the written word like Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, except online, without a lake or an evil Christopher Plummer.  Maybe we’re more like Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks without bookstores or New York City or romance or a dog.  Whatever.  I wish they lived closer.

So, I learned a few things.  I know a few of my readers are Mormon but most are not so I’ll just share some fairly universal good thoughts.

1.  It’s more effective to drink pop from a can that’s been sitting still than from a can that’s just been shaken.  This thought came from Merrilee Browne Boyack who taught that we need to wait for the right moments to have serious discussions with our spouses and children.  When your 3 year old is throwing a tantrum at Target, it’s probably not the best time to open a dialogue about the importance of self control and the inappropriateness of employing the swirling fists of fury in public places.  It’s probably a good time to ignore her.  She is a shaken can of pop.  Sometimes you, the parent, are the shaken can of pop.  If you’re mad to the point of explosion, wait to talk about it until you’re a little more gruntled.

2.  Sometimes the Lord will take us to a place where no one can help us but Him and there we will receive our greatest blessings.  Camille Fronk Olson used the story of Lazarus from John chapter 11 to illustrate a time when Christ required some of His most faithful followers and dearest friends to wait until 4 days after their brother had died before He came and raised him from the dead.  They waited in anguish, thinking the Lord had ignored their pleas for help.  She quoted Alex Haley who said “God may not always come when we ask Him, but He’ll always be on time.” (I’m having a hard time finding that quote online.)

3.  At times prayers seem unanswered.  Michael Wilcox suggested that when this happens, we generally conclude one of four things, God’s not there, God doesn’t care, God doesn’t listen, or I’m not worthy to have my prayers answered.  These conclusions are wrong.  God is there.  He does care.  He does listen.  I am worthy because I am His child.

Wilcox explained that to understand why my prayers seem unanswered, I need to understand a bit about the nature of God.  In Matthew chapter 14 is the story of Christ walking across the water to his disciples in the 4th watch of the night, when they were being tossed about on stormy seas.  The 4th watch is the last watch of the night from 3AM to sunrise.  The Lord often comes at the end of a long night of darkness.  I believe that He allows us to experience the darkness so we can more fully feel His light when it comes.

Sometimes I feel like he has waited WAY past the 4th watch to come to me or answer my prayers.  In these moments, somehow I am still able to survive.  Wilcox suggests that this is because He has given me other experiences in my life to make me strong and able to weather the storms that rage around me.

I need to create a space in my heart to receive the answer he is trying to give me.  Sometimes I do not receive an answer to my prayers because I am not ready to receive what he is waiting to give.  He will help me create that space but sometimes it takes more time than I would prefer.   Sometimes it takes more pain than I am comfortable to chisel away a place for the answer to fit.

It has been a great weekend.  I got away with my friends.  I made a few new ones.  130 kids took over our church services with songs and wise teachings, such as “Moses is my favorite prophet because I like his beard.”Â  Magoo almost didn’t melt down during church.  Laylee drew some tiny people tonight and the letter B.  I’m feeling recharged and ready for the new week to start. Go. Fight. Win.

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29 Responses to I Had a Timeout

  1. Tressa says:

    Do I get to be first again? Oooo!

    How nice to have some time of your very own! I love your points, especially 2 and 3. Very good reminders indeed!

  2. Mom2Six says:

    Thanks for sharing your insights! Today was also our Primary Program at church, and four of my kids had a little group solo to sing at the end. What fun to watch my four-, six-, and eight-year-olds see who could be closest to the microphone as they sang, while my almost eleven-year-old tried to stay as far as she could from it!

    I don’t comment often here, but I enjoy your stories. They remind me that I’m not the only mom who just needs a Time Out sometimes!

  3. Michelle says:

    I hadn’t ever heard the can of pop metaphor. That gives me something to think about . . .

  4. frogeyesalad says:

    Someone brought up the can of pop thing today during Relief Society. I smiled, and nodded my head as if I knew what she was talking about. When, in reality, I had no idea because half the time I wasn’t paying attention. Bad me.

  5. Natalie says:

    It was completely wonderful meeting you, finally. NCS and I were so glad you weren’t an axe-wielding man (as we had feared on the way there). The Wilcox talk was my favorite as well – so many good things that I needed to hear, and admittedly, the one I heard the most of.

    Lovin’ the mask – it goes with my sweater. I showed Hubby the picture of our “autographs” and he was properly impressed.

    Here’s to long distance relationships and being “freakishly” tall. 🙂

  6. You are so good to make me look so fabulous on your blog, I love being Strongbad’s long lost twin. We could be like Bette Midler and Barbara Hershey in “Beaches”, but without the singing diva, the fighting or the dying.

    Ditto on sharing your insights, of course, you are good like that 🙂 Michael Wilcox’s talk was excellent, sometimes we forget that the answer to our prayers can be “NO”.

    You are so fun let’s do it again.

  7. jeana says:

    Wow, do Mormons at some point reach a higher spiritual state where you become Power Rangers?

    Glad you had a good time. Miss you! Let’s talk soon.

  8. allysha says:

    good for you for going to timeout. I’m glad you had a good time.

  9. That was a great post, Kathryn. Thanks- I really needed to hear what Michael Wilcox had to say about God answwering (or not) our prayers to Him. Glad you had a great time…

  10. Sketchy says:

    Wow, it appears that 1 of the 4 of you were actually listenning, lol. Great insights! Love the shaken can of pop idea.

    Millie and NCS looked just like that when I saw them last too…

  11. Traci says:

    I think I need a timeout like that. (Well, and probably one of the kind I give my kids, too.) I’ve been feeling like a shooken 🙂 can of pop a lot lately. Thanks for sharing your thoughts – Time Out for Women comes to my Washington every now and then, too, and I think I just might sign up the next time around.

  12. Good for you. Sounds like a great weekend.

  13. Aunt Murry says:

    Excellent post. Oh and I stole the Alex Haley quote and posted it on my blog but not before I tried to confirm it also. I can’t find it either. Hmmm. Thanks!

  14. Julie Q. says:

    I used to apply the shaken soda can metaphor to the reason why we don’t let the kids jump on grandma’s trampoline right after dinner. Thanks for sharing a much better application.

    And I appreciate hearing these insights. I’m so glad you shared them. I think any reader of the universal religion of LIFE can relate.

  15. Melissa says:

    I’d forgotten #2- I saw her in Boise.. but #3– thank you soooo much for sharing this… “Sometimes I do not receive an answer to my prayers because I am not ready to receive what he is waiting to give. He will help me create that space but sometimes it takes more time than I would prefer. Sometimes it takes more pain than I am comfortable to chisel away a place for the answer to fit.”
    I’m going to print this out and stick it in my planner… Thank you for such a wonderful read before I head off for a long day & week. 🙂

  16. Nancy says:

    Glad you got recharged. I loved Timeout when it came to D.C.

  17. Ginger says:

    Sounds like it was a wonderful weekend. Thanks for sharing all the good tidbits you picked up!

  18. Suzi says:

    I found the quote, but it’s a bit different. I put in “God Alex Haley on time” and came up with A Friends’ (Quaker) site that said this:

    Lee Edmundson put this mystery in perspective recently when he quoted to me from Alex Haley’s Roots: “The good Lord does not always show up when we want him to, but He will be on time.”

  19. Becca says:

    Love the part about the fourth watch. That made me think about my own impatience and how I just need to trust more. And the can of soda analogy–love it!

  20. HLH says:

    Thanks for your notes! Feel free to post or email me more! I am missing it this year as we have decided to take the kids to Disneyland. I hope my SIL takes as good of notes as you have- so she too can share with me!

  21. Mir says:

    Lovely, even for us non-Mormons. Thank you for sharing!

  22. jodijean says:

    holy moley, i love time out for women, every year i go with my mom and my sister. its the best, good times. glad you enjoyed it as well, thanks for sharing.

  23. KYouell says:

    Just another non-Mormon saying thanks for sharing. It’s nice to come here and sometimes get a great big laugh and sometimes get great big thoughts to ponder!

  24. Erin says:

    My mom went to that this weekend with my sister-in-law and her mom and told me how good it was and wished I was there, which I did also. Sometimes you need something like that to recharge you. BTW like the strongbad faces, the hubby is carving 4 homestar runner pumpkins for the family this year.

  25. Heather O says:

    I love Time Out for Women, even if the sandwiches are a little pricey. It feels like a party, you know, with 2000 of your closest friends.

  26. Again, wish I were there. I would have loved to be there. I’m glad you got to go.

  27. krista says:

    Hey, I am not Mormon, or even Christian, but I wanted to thank you for writing this. I am very curious about the things people of faith learn and do, and how it helps them in their lives.

  28. Becky C says:

    I’ve always wanted to go to a TOFW. I’ll have to try and go to one the next time it’s close.

    And I’ve decided that the next time my three year old throws a tantrum in the middle of the store, I’ll just tap her on her head with my fingertips to help ward off explosion…. 😉

  29. bon says:

    Merilee Browne Boyack!!??? I LOVE her! DYM is a luckyduck.

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