Sunday, November 18, 2007

I've been called as what???

Ok, so now most of you probably realize where a lot of my anxiety has been coming from lately. When the Bishop called me in and told me he wanted to call me as Relief Society President I swear it felt like a death sentence. I know that there are many sisters who swear that being RS president has been a wonderful experience for them and they love the sisters they've served with... I can totally relate to that!! But all I could think was "how am I going to get up in front of a room full of people and actually talk??" And worse... how am I ever supposed to be able to teach?? I've never even taught a primary class! Needless to say, I was (and am) feeling very inadequate. But I've also had great blessings come to me already. I was fortunate to be able to read many great and inspiring blog entries that helped me to see things in a more realistic light- the way they are in the eternal sense, and not just what I'm feeling in the here and now. I also found a book about cognitive therapies that has helped me to understand some of the underlying issues about talking in front of people- and has helped me to feel less anxiety about it. I'm not saying that I'm going to get up next week and somehow (miraculously) become a great speaker, but at least I'm willing to get up and give conducting a try. (baby steps.)
The funniest part of my week has to have been the last presidency meeting we had on Monday. It lasted 3 hours and was such a wonderful experience. I really love the sisters I've blessed to serve with. They have given me so much love and strength. But it was pretty funny to sit there and hear them mention different items that they felt should just be left to the "new" president. I'm sitting there taking notes on stuff that they thought someone else was going to be taking over... knowing the whole time that the "someone" they were talking about was me!! I'm sure they totally understand now why I said I'd much rather stay on as secretary!
I know this post is jumping around a bit- but that's the way my thoughts have been lately. I caught a pretty bad cold on Thursday and by Friday evening I ended up with almost no voice. So I haven't really felt like blogging for most of the week. I'm not one to let a cold keep me down though. On Friday evening I drove 3 hours to go to Morehead, KY for my daughter to attend an honor band clinic at the university out there. It's the second year she's been invited to this and it's been a great experience.

While we were there David and I went out to an old Fire Tower that we had found on our last visit. On our last trip I made it up to the tower (not an easy feat... it's a fairly difficult trail with steep stairs) and climbed one or two stairs before chickening out. This year I not only made it up to the tower again, but also climbed to the first level on the tower itself. That sounds like an easy feat, but for someone who's scared of heights (I know.. what am I NOT scared of, right??!!) it's a daunting edifice. It's a big metal tower built with steep stairs (the metal kind that you can see right through.) It doesn't feel secure and tends to feel kinda shaky with movement. So I managed to climb to the first level (about halfway up) and sit down. I made myself stay there, trying to overcome the feelings of dizziness and nausea that come from being up there. As I made my way back down the mountain, I realized that even though I still hadn't completely conquered my fear of heights, and didn't quite make it to the top to experience the view (that my husband keeps raving about!) I did make an effort and I DID do better than the last time. And somehow I'm not worried or upset about missing the better view, because I was satisfied with the view that I had. Maybe some people will think that I should have forced myself all the way to the top and that I settle for mediocrity, but I prefer to think of the progress I made and the fact that I tried something that scared me pretty badly.
It's kinda the same way with being called as RS President. I'm scared on so many different levels, but I'm willing to give it a try. I know that I'll make better progress in some areas than in others, but as long as I can see that my baby steps are moving forward, I'm going to try to be content. I'm warning everyone though- I'll be asking for a LOT of help!! I'll need all the support and patience I can get as I try to figure out what's expected of me and what I can do to help the sisters. I'm thinking that this will probably be a pretty interesting experience!
Of course, right now I'm just hoping that I'll be blessed to have my voice back in the next day or two- it'd really be helpful for all those phone calls I know I'll be needing to make!!


Shayleen Lunt said...

So we both have been little flies on the wall the past week or so? Kinda funny. Wish I would experience RS with you in the presidency...maybe someday. I have a headache from church today! You will be wonderful!

Steve and Jamie said...

I'm so VERY, VERY excited to have you be the new Relief Society president. I know that you are capable of doing a great job.

I once told Steve that I was willing to do anything in the ward except teach Relief Society. Within a few months, I was called to be the education counselor in the Relief Society. I was TERRIFIED! I hadn't ever taught a class either. It took a few months, but I learned to enjoy teaching a lesson. In fact, teaching Relief Society became my favorite calling. For me, I had to overprepare. I wrote down everything I was going to say word for word and I practiced it a few times on Steve. That helped me to not be so nervous. I also found that if I opened a lot of the lesson up to discussion, it really helped take the pressure off of me.

I know you will do great. You'll be in my prayers!

lou said...

You are a stalwart !!!And I AM getting you a T-Shirt.

Papa D said...

I wasn't there to hear the news, but when Mama told me three thoughts immediately crossed my mind:

1) What a perfect choice - and powerful presidency! You will grow SO much from this calling, but the women will learn very quickly what an inspired choice this was. Carrie left big shoes to fill, but you will grow into them. Of that, I have no doubt.

2) Now I understand some of your recent posts - and your responses to my recent posts. :-)

3) I can't share this one yet. All of you will have to wait a week to read Mama's inevitable post on it.

chelle said...

Patty, you will do an amazing job! I,too, am super terrified to speak in front of people. But, with the callings I have had, I have had to place that fear up on a shelf. And you will learn to as well. It may or may not get easier to stand up there. But, maybe you can learn to fake it pretty well! :D ( I think I do ok at faking it now)
They couldn't of made a better choice. A couple years from now you'll look back and say "wow, was I really afraid to do that?"
And you have some amazing women working with you and of course the Lord knew what he was doing.

ANTSYLLI said...

Patty, I want to add my thoughts to the others...I knew almost instantly that this was the right thing. You have been tutored by excellent RS presidents and now it is time for you to put that training into action. We all have our area of discomfort. I love the quote by George Metcalf: "Courage is fear that has said its prayers." You are a courageous woman and the Lord will bless you as you serve. When that mantle of leadership is placed upon you, it may be surprising to see how you are able to manage things. As for the baby steps, you have my full support. There is a wonderful quote by Mother Theresa: "We cannot all do Great things, but we can do small things with great love. You have the love and I know the Lord will bless you to know what to do and how to do it.

Mama D said...

Patty, tears sprang to my eyes when they announced your name. We often grow the most from the things that scare us the most to try! The Lord is there to bless us and buoy us up. You know that, for you've experienced it. (I know you know that, because I've read your blog entries!) He will help carry you through the learning curve, and the RS and ward will be blessed for your love, faith, and service. You have a great presidency to assist you!! I'm excited!

Leslie said...

Shayleen, I'm sorry for the headache, though I totally understand. It will get better.

Patty, you are the right person. The Lord knows what He is doing. You have my full support!

I have much more I want to say, but somehow, my son thinks that I ought to be doing more with my day than just blogging!?? I tell ya! Kids these days!