I keep thinking about my couch.
It's become quite a personal symbol of God's love for me. You see, DC met us with surprise expenses and a mostly unfurnished apartment, meaning the futon that was left here had to cut it, because there just wasn't any wiggle room in our budget. And it was a huge blow for me. I can't even completely say why. It's probably partly due to the fact that I fantasize about decorating each apartment we move into and then am faced with harsh realities every time. Or it's because I was so desperate for friends but the ugliness of the futon was enough to make me turn down play-dates at my house. Or it's because after an evening of sitting on it, catching up on Parks and Recreation my tailbone literally ached from the lumpy, awkwardly angled, hideousness that was to be our "couch" for the next 9 months. I just couldn't take it.
I cried about it. More than once. Yes! Cried! About how ugly and uncomfortable my futon was! And the knowledge of just how petty and stupid I was being would cause me to plunge deeper into my tears.
Those were the days.
But I got over it. Sometimes it takes a good cry and a good bath to realign your perspective so that you see you actually have everything you could possibly need. I have four walls and a roof. And a sweet (albeit force to be reckoned with) daughter. And a loving husband. And access to a billion free things in the city to distract my toddler (and myself) with. And food. And a bike. In many ways I'm living the life I suppose.
So I went to bed repenting, but grateful one night. Grateful that I have so abundantly much. And repenting for have forgotten so completely.
The next morning Mike woke me up saying, "Free couch!" (I thought he said, "FREAK OUT!" and I was so confused coming out of my blurry-sleep that I thought there was a terrorist attack or something). But no. No terrorist. Just a free, not-bad-looking, genuine leather couch that was up for grabs to whomever would haul it away. We made a phone call, rented a van, and by lunch had a new couch.
It only took me letting go a little bit and realizing that I am blessed beyond measure. And I do believe that God was involved, as silly as it may sound when taking about free couches.
So there's this wearing pants to church thing going around. And like everything that comes and seems to rock the boat a bit, so too has come the sort of vitriolic comments (see, I would have linked to the Facebook group that started the pants-wearing-thing, but the comments are so off-putting it's not even worth revisiting
the page to get the hyperlink) and back-and-forths that make me want to delete my Facebook, ditch this blog, and take my family to the hills. But that's not very courageous, now is it?
But the pants thing keeps turning my thoughts to my couch. I guess I can't stop thinking about God's love for us. That He cares about what we care about; that he cares about what others care about (even when it seems as silly as a couch; that He cares that some of his daughters (and sons) feel belittled and underrepresented in His Church; that He cares about our questions and our doubts and even about us wearing pants to church. Because he loves us.
I read two things recently that also have been swirling around my brain and mixing with all these thoughts about feminism and couches and pants-wearing. The first are the verses in Mosiah 18 about mourning with those that mourn and comforting those that need comfort; about knitting our hearts together in love; about compassion and service and standing together with one heart and an eye towards God. I love those verses. I think they speak to what we strive toward. I think they stand as a stark contrast to what I read online between passionate members ofttimes. The second is in 2 Nephi 30. We read that chapter last night and the last few verses stuck with me because it reminded me that there is yet so much to be revealed. We just have to trust God and keep on keeping on.
I guess I just want to say that I'm hopeful that answers will come and hearts will be mended. Because I got a couch. And that is way more silly and inconsequential than any of the things so many of those that I love are grappling with every day. That's why I'm hopeful and how I know that God loves us.