Thursday, January 27, 2011

Flipping the Switch

by Kari Diane Pike

I am very glad I logged on last night. I had forgotten that it is my turn to post and I agreed some time ago to help judge science fair projects at our son's junior high today. Some day I will learn how to say "no" instead of "on." Maybe I would have more time to write. Then again, the things I learn in the process most certainly add to my pile of writing ideas. I tend to think in circles a lot, and run around in them even more.

Anyway, I wanted to share an experience I had last week over which I am still shaking my head. Due to my dyslexic issue with the word "no," I agreed to host a Dove Chocolate Party in my home. Who can say no to Dove Chocolate? Besides, I was celebrating my first rejection letter of the year and it seemed like a great activity for getting to know my nonmember neighbor. (I know that sounds odd to those of you living outside of Utah, but out of the 86 houses in my ward, only 4 of them are owned by people who are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) I spoke a couple of times with the Chocolatier before the party and I learned that she was also LDS when I told her that I did not care to serve the Chocolate Martini mix or any of the coffee or tea products. We decided on chocolate mousse, chocolate dipped pretzels, cinnamon bears, and chocolate covered cashews and almonds...oh, and the little baking bits that look like ultra-mini Reese's. Those are soooo yummy! (Can you tell I started a weight management program this week...that's a blog for another day.)

Friday evening finally arrived and so did about 8 guests, including my sweet neighbor. The Chocolatier began her presentation and handed me a hostess gift - a mug with a packet of Chai tea and a chocolate covered pretzel stick. Ummm...Chai tea? Really? I tried to be gracious said thank you and the show continued. While we ate our way through samples, my neighbor asked if I knew if the tea was as good as the price was high. I told her I had no idea because I don't drink black tea and offered her my packet from the Chocolatier, who just happened to walk up to us at that moment and say,

" Oh, I love the Chai tea. I've been through the temple, and I know I shouldn't drink it, but it is my biggest weakness and I just have to have it now and then."

Huge sigh.

Why did she say that? Probably to increase her sales. But why at that moment? Why, to this person who took it from there and expressed how that justified everything negative she feels about the church. I stood there with my mouth open and nothing came out. The next day I felt a tremendous amount of guilt about not speaking up. But when I shared my thoughts with my husband he asked,

"Did the Spirit prompt you to say anything?"

I told him no, to the contrary. Every time I tried to speak, I felt compelled to refrain. I suddenly experienced one of those amazing Aha! moments. I knew right away that anything I had to say that night would have set a match to the fuel. I wanted to learn more about my new friend and that certainly happened. The Spirit did prompt me. In answer to my prayers to be more understanding, He prompted me to listen and to understand. I look forward to strengthening my friendship with my neighbor.

See what I mean about experiences giving us material to write about? There is another facet to this story that I will share in 2 weeks. What I would like to learn now is how and when to flip the switch from "on" to "no" so that I can have time to actually write!

7 comments:

  1. Kari, I have the same switch problem. Thank you for sharing.

    I loved your comments on the Spirit prompting to say nothing. I happen to not listen as acrefully as I should and tend to say too much.

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  2. Oh dear! That would have been shocking for me to hear. There are a few teenage girls in our ward who often drink tea or beverages with coffee. One of them is a recent convert, so I can't blame her for not yet knowing or making all the right decisions regarding the WoW.

    I gave a talk last Sacrament meeting where I mentioned the time I wasn't able to speak up when someone was bashing the church in my local writers' group a year or so ago. I wasn't sure if I'd made the right decision to remain silent, but the spirit wasn't whispering any words into my ear. I'd always chalked it up to my being deathly shy, and felt bad about my mistake. Now I feel better knowing it isn't required to ALWAYS say something, especially if speaking up is going to make things worse. I'd said something along those lines in my talk, but I wasn't sure if I was right or not. I feel much better reading your experience and how you were prompted to handle it.

    Having said that, now I must say: Holy cow! If there were ever a home-party business that I'd love to be a consultant for, it would be the chocolates!! Wish I had the money to order from you! Let me know if you ever have another one.

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  3. Thanks Leesa, and Kristin. and yeah, being a "chocolatier" sounds like a lot of fun...if only the products weren't so insanely expensive! I don't know if I will ever do another one. It was kind of an experiment. I think I would rather gather the supplies and do a chocolate party of my own! heehee I think it would be a lot safer!

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  4. As I was talking to my doctor the other day during the physical he asked if I ever drank alcohol. He's LDS so I said, "no, but if I had been would you tell my bishop?" I was joking, of course, and he said, "No...but you know...some good members come through sometimes and tell me they just smoke a little weed now and then. I have to keep the confidentiality agreement but I also feel compelled to remind them that that's NOT okay." People will justify anything.

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  5. Love the "no" and "on" confusion--I have that, too.

    And aren't there just times when you want to put your foot in somebody else's mouth?

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  6. Out here in the mission field areas, you get a lot of this. I love the church, I know it's right, BUT.... I learned long ago through the Spirit not to take it on. I just work on keeping myself unspotted. And surpringly that's hard. I thought green tea was fine until I learned it depends. Sigh. So I'm pretty much back to plain ole water. It's a learning process.

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  7. I hear ya Terri. Most people don't realize that green tea is more often from the same plant as black tea...just picked sooner. I know I didn't until recently. It still has the same smattering of "controlled substances" in it. (Hubby once did a distillation test on tea and they had to sign in the results because they were controlled substances.) And yes, I have my hands full trying to keep myself unspotted.

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