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."
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!