Saturday, January 5, 2013

Sharing Time Is Not For Sissies

Today Matt went with me to the church to help put up some new decorations for the new Primary theme. We talked about how things are going this week and I admitted to him that I'm really intimidated by the calling. It's been so long since I taught children who were not in my own family.
Last Sunday was a big wake up call for me in regards to that.
It was the 5th Sunday, so no lesson to follow and we decided it would be good to do a meet the teacher Sharing Time and I figured we'd figure out a few things and mostly play it by ear.
Anyone who has not been living on another planet already knows what happened next.
It was chaotic, noisy and kids were either acting up or bored.
Some of the teachers were not happy.
Mittens were flung in faces, cute little handouts were torn and the Senior Primary enjoyed some 'loud laughter' when they were supposed to be listening.
I started out confident and quickly fell into a repeated dialog of saying "I'm sorry about this...I'm I became more and more self- conscious and panicked on the inside. I wasn't losing my composure or anything, but I was in way over my head. I have so much to learn and one of those things is that winging it in Sharing Time doesn't work. You can't just bring a bag of chocolate and everyone overlooks the dumb things you do or say and you can't just plan on the Spirit taking over in the same kind of way it does in Relief Society of Gospel Doctrine. You can't do it without the Holy Ghost, but of you don't have a plan and something for the Lord to help you with, it's not going to be the kind of experience you were hoping for, and the kids won't get what they need from Primary, either.
And we all survived it, but I was struggling to not just run away last week by Singing Time.
At one point, I sat with a class in the front row, just to listen to the songs. From behind me, a little  4 year old girl with blond hair and a plaid dress came up to me. I didn't know her name, just what family she was from. She came up to me and cupped her little hands and sweetly took my face in them and looked me directly in the eyes and said "You're okay."
Then she said "I'm going to sit right here." and she moved my arms and sat on my lap and started to sing with the other kids.
My heart stopped racing like a rabbit and I stopped being so aware that I was screwing up so badly. I felt the Holy Ghost and the peace that comes when he tells you in the middle of a storm that you're okay.
When they started to sing "Once There Was a Snowman" and we needed to stand, she took my hand and said "I'm right here." When the song ended, she hopped back on my lap.
Sharing time was a disaster, but I was okay.  In spite of everything, I knew that my Father in Heaven had sent sweet little J over to calm the storm I was feeling and feeding in my soul and to bring me back to peace.
As I've spent the week trying to figure out the changes I need to make and the work I need to do so that Primary is the kind of experience it needs to be and so that I can learn who I need to become through this- my heart is led by Little J's kindness. Her simple act of love to the tall crazy new lady in 6 inch  heels with no clue what she is doing did more for putting me on the right path and in the right spirit than any of the teaching helps I have studied or Ensign articles I've read. She was touched by the Holy Ghost, and she acted on it and that simple act has made all of the difference for me.
Tomorrow is a new day, a new year and a fresh start.
I am okay.
He is right here.


  1. You should send this beautiful story into the Ensign too. Wow. What a sweet angel attended you last week.

  2. I agree with Julie!
    And, I am asking your permission to use this either when I have to speak in Sacrament meeting in a ward I've never attended before, or when I am asked to give a spiritual thought in devotional for our mission service. Or, both places!
    You have an insightful and heartfelt connection with the Holy Ghost. I will strive to follow your example.
    Sister Olson

  3. Mom, you can share anything anytime you want to, always- just not unflattering pictures, Lol. :)

    I ended up bearing my testimony on Sunday and sharing this with the ward. I wasn't planning to, but after I did, I knew who in the ward had needed to hear it. It was also so sweet to see her older sisters, who are all primary age as well, tear up and hug her.
    Our lives are touched by some of the most choice spirits, no doubt the Lord sends his rock starts in these latter days. I am amazed by these kids and so thankful for my new calling.