Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Tupperware Shape Ball Experience

Today in nursery, I brought a Tupperware shape ball toy for the class. As we sat on the blanket, I handed each child a different shaped piece. Then, one by one I put the ball in front of each child with the matching opening on top to help them put the piece inside. As I watched what happened next it made me think about my own life...
Some of the children followed my prompting and tried to put the piece into the space I was showing them but they were not sucessful because it was slightly twisted and it didn't match the opening. Of these, some persisted to follow my instructions and eventually got the piece to go in the opening and others started looking for and trying to put the piece into another opening.
Some of the children didn't pay any attention to what I was showing them and immediately tried to get the piece to fit into a different space. It became frustrating for me because I was trying to help them and they weren't listening.
Some of the children were excited about taking a turn with the toy and others didn't really care at all if they got the piece in the correct place. It didn't take long before I was ready to put the toy away!
As I reflected on this experience this afternoon, I wondered how many times Heavenly Father has become frustrated with me. In the past few weeks, I have been struggling with some health issues and I have been extremely frustrated. I have prayed and asked for help. I have had Priesthood blessings. I have acted on the things I have been instructed to do and nothing changed. This past week, my patience was exhausted. It was 3am on Tuesday morning and I had had all I was going to take. I was on my knees issuing an ultimatum: Solve this problem or else! (and the "or else" was that I would work all week because I have to and I would rest all day Saturday and Sunday and I wouldn't be going to church). I did feel somewhat guilty about throwing a temper tantrum, but I was really tired. I have since repented of the tantrum.
In the hours and days that followed, I got the answers I was needing. How thankful I am that despite my temper tantrum, I was blessed by a Heavenly Father that loves me. In thinking about my experience today, I know I had the right pieces to the puzzle, they were just slightly askew. Instead of adjusting each of the pieces, I was looking for a different opening that fit the way I had them arranged. After humbling myself and making some alterations I was able to see some changes. As these changes came, I expressed my gratitude for the blessing.
I had planned to attend an all day stamping party yesterday, but instead spent the day in bed getting the rest my body needed. I know this was the place I needed to be even though I wanted to be with my friends. I knew it was important that I have the strength to be in the nursery class and that if I have to work all week and sleep all day Saturday so that I can be there on Sunday then that is what I will do.
Nursery today went pretty well. I am confident that there is much good being accomplished and that is why I am experiencing such opposition. Corrie's talk in Sacrament meeting today was very uplifting. With my current struggles and stress, I know I need to be in church each week. I also know that Heavenly Father will give me the strength to be there. I am hopeful that in time, I will get all the pieces into the ball and everything thing will be in the correct order. I just have to be patient and listen to His instructions.

10 comments:

gordonfan said...

I love you sweetheart

gordonfan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shayleen Lunt said...

Sylvia - I am so sorry that you have been struggling with health issues this past while. I am so grateful for your faith! I personally thank you for being there today. Not so I would have to find a sub, but because Carter (in my eyes) made huge strides today in trusting other adults who love him. My prayer will be with you!

Mama D said...

What a wonderful analogy! I love it! I too often try to fit the pieces into the ball only to find that they are a little askew. It takes a lot of faith to be able to see that the pieces are off just a little, not the ball. Thanks for sharing your experience.

I know how fabulous you were in the nursery when you've served before; some of my kids have been the beneficiaries of your love and dedication and enthusiasm. I will pray for your continued ability to attend church and fulfill your calling for this next group of kids who need you and Eric.

And I missed Corrie's talk?! Darn! We were speaking in Oxford.

Leslie said...

I, too, love this analogy. I wonder just how many pieces I have askew, or am trying to put into the wrong openings all together. Thank you for this insight!

Love you! PLease let me know if I can do anything for you! And thank you for making Nursery such a great experience for my baby girl! (Sorry for the last two weeks! I'll be sure she gets a good night's sleep this next weekend!)

Patty said...

What an incredible analogy. I love your insight. And I'm so sorry to hear that you've been having such awful health issues. Please, please let me know if there's ever anything I can do for you. I'll keep you in my prayers.

chelle said...

Sylvia, I am so sorry to hear you are struggling so much. I know you probably feel a bit isolated being in Nursery. But, know that you have people who love and care about you. And are here for you if you need them.
I am glad you were able to get some much needed rest and hope you are feeling much better this week!
You are in my thoughts and prayers!

:P, corrie said...

Sylvia, you are an amazing person, and dedicated wife and a mother to so many! I've seen you in action in nursery many times and the children simply gravitate to you. They must know you love them. I hope your week picks up for the better.

heather said...

I appreciate you so much and admire how creative and great you are with those little ones. I'm sorry you aren't feeling great. I'm sure Kristen is one of those that would make you want to put away any toy. I love the analogy and I know if I listened more it would probably be a lot easier.

Pampered Princess said...

In one area of my life, I've been feeling a bit like a square peg in a round hole (and having my own temper tantrum about it.) I think I need to let the Lord adjust and turn me until I fit where He wants me to be. Instead, I've been resisting every turn lately. Hopefully, I'll start trusting the Lord and getting on with what I need to learn.