Tuesday, May 26, 2009

So darn tired of this

I am getting tired of this friends. Just plain tired. I'm tired of moving into wards (a congregation) where it's so big that the people that are in charge are overwhelmed, and aren't able to meet the needs of their members. I'm tired of moving into a part military ward, and having the people that have been there for YEARS (and I'm talking born, raised, the whole thing) hardly give us the time of day. I'm tired of myself or others I know falling through the cracks because of this or that. I'M TIRED OF IT!!!!!!

I mean, we've been there four Sundays in a row. Four. And neither the Relief Society President or the Bishop have said much (or anything) to either of us. But also, nor have I or Matt made a huge effort to go up to them and introduce ourselves and make ourselves known. So, that is where I'm going to start. But it's not going to stop with just that. There are SO many changes that need to be made. It's not just for me. Who knows how many people have fallen through the cracks, in these kinds of wards?? While we aren't perfect, and there will always be some that do fall through, we have to at least try!!!!! There isn't a whole lot of trying going on here. I have made some efforts. I went to playgroup last week, I was going to go walking with another group, but my back hurt so badly, I stayed home. I'm not sitting in the corner, wondering why no one will talk to me, while not doing anything about it. I need to do more though. And things need to be done for those others that don't think they can do anything about it.

In some ways, this is a little selfish. Matt will deploy soon. And, gosh darn it, I need the support!!! I need to have friends that I know I can call on if I'm in a situation. I need friends husbands to come and help do stuff in my house that requires more physical strength than what I have. I need someone to watch my kids every now and then so that I can rest. I also need to be able to help my friends who are in the same situation. I want there to be a whole bunch of giving and receiving going on. Helping to pick up where someone else can't, and know, that when you can't do it, there will be someone there. It is possible!!! I have experienced this before so I KNOW it can happen.

The size of the ward is a problem. It NEEDS to be split. Not only are there not enough callings to go around, but the people in charge of Primary, Relief Society, and the rest are so overwhelmed that they just cannot do it all. But, supposedly, the building can't handle having three wards there. There are good arguments for both sides. But really, if you want it to happen it will.

Here's another thing I have a problem with. There isn't a member of either the bishopric or Relief Society presidency that is affiliated with the military. Not one. Not a counselor, not even a secretary. Which is a problem. Because we make up at least a third of the ward, if not more. And I've been to the meetings that they all go to. And if there isn't someone bringing up the needs of the military families, someone that is very aware of them, things aren't going to be helped. We need a voice in ward council and in the other meetings.

I can't change peoples callings. I can't change the ward boundaries. I can't change peoples behaviors. But I can go talk to the bishop about my concerns. I can tell him that there are too many people falling through. I can go in with a plan, and a willingness to do what I can to change things. I can organize a family home evening once a month for the families whose spouses are deployed. We can have a girls night out once a month for the wives of those husbands who are deployed. And provide a babysitter(s). We can call them and check on them to make sure they are not going crazy. And several other things that would not only help the military families, but the civilian families.

I have a feeling that some of these things might be really out of some peoples comfort zones. And as a result of that and the fact I want to change things (oh no!! change!!!! we can't change!!! this is how we've ALWAYS done it!!!) some of those people might not like me very much. Oh well. Heaven forbid someone does something about the problems. Like I said before, I'm getting tired of this. And darn it, I'm going to do something about it.


Stacey said...

I wonder if you see it more becuase you were a missionary as well at one point. I know that I see things so differently now that I have served a mission and know how the ward functions. All I can say about your ward is they sound lazy and don't want to branch out. Big wards are hard, but also anything can be done with the right leadership. I hope everything works out for you- when is Matt deploying? How are you feeling about Washington? I will have to come visit you when I come home for August.

Mary Alice said...

You go girl. You have great ideas and it will make life much better for everyone.

June said...

It's been my experience that any religious congregation can be like that. In former years I had a stint of being a real Church Lady and got mighty tired of taking care of the people who were already there week after week, and making sure that the building was taken care of, and caring for people halfway around the world more than the person next door. Good luck with making some changes. I gave up, which probably isn't the thing to do.

Justhfacts said...

I say this, shame on you and this “destructive criticism” from which no good can come. This is not what you have been taught in your lifetime membership in the Church. You have enjoyed a very privileged and protected life being brought up in the church. The gratitude you should feel for this gift seemingly has been replaced with a sense that your job now is to be a critique of the Church and the people who attend.

Here is a crazy thought try giving a smile and see if you don’t get one back. I know the “giving back” concept maybe somewhat foreign to you but give it a try. I promise you could be please with the results. I would promise that you “will” be please with the results but that may be stretching it considering your general attitude about all things you can’t control with a iron fist.

I hope you take this “constructive criticism” with a open mind and do your best to grow as a person from it.

Shelly! said...

I haven't commented on this one because, well I wasn't sure how to say what I wanted. But "JustThFacts" is bringing me out of the woodwork.

Dave (JustThFacts): You cannot call something "constructive criticism" when it is laden with passive aggressiveness. Normally the rule with constructive criticism is that you give three good for each bad...and I cannot quite make out anything good in your comment.

And speaking of passive-aggressiveness...you just couldn't stay away could you? I hate to tell you, but she's not your enemy.

TJ - you and I have already talked about this. Life in a branch or a military ward cannot be compared to one in a "normal" ward. And it's tough. No doubt it's tough. On top of moving all the time, being without furniture, trying to make new friends and having a crap load of family stuff to deal with.

My advice: find the things in the ward that you can change and offer up your services. Realize that everyone in the ward is doing their best - or their perceived best. Use your experiences and your expectations to help the ward make it a better place, for you and the others.

Anonymous said...

My wife showed me the “Military Grip Site” site and curiosity made me read. This will be my last comment, I told my wife to please don’t tell me about it. I will then be able to avoid commenting on the negativity spewed out.

Because of the military her family has incredible benefits, secure income, a fantastic career set up outside the military for her husband and future retirement scenario set up wonderfully. Is there not some difficulty along the way, of course there is in all walks of life. As a military Brat I was moved all lover the country while growing up. It made me good at meeting people and making friends fast. There are tons of negatives from the constant moving including bad grades in school and a lack of over all academic achievement and feeling of having roots. If my mother had been married to just one military man the difficulties would have been greatly minimized. But I would not change a thing even if I could.

The use of the word enemy is a bit harsh don’t you think. I wonder Shelly what you harbor deep down. If you believe that not agree with someone make you the enemy? I know you most likely never disagree with anything out of your friend’s month but if you should ever do so it will not make you the “enemy”. I will just make you an honest observer protecting the rights of others to also be imperfect and human.

I am not always right and no one is. I have said I am sorry more times then I could count to my wife and her to me. The ability to say you’re sorry, especially before bed, is one of the most important concepts found in any strong marriage. Ask your friend the last time she said sorry to anyone especially her husband. If you also have not said you’re sorry, truly believing you have never needed to do so, then theses words are wasted on you and your friend.

It is true that I know longer have to bite my tongue to avoid responding to Terina’s negative comments. It is not due to being her “enemy”. It is do to her showing her true nature to a point that has caused a break in the family relationship. To maintain peace in our family we put up with a lot of crap. Now that the “family” ties are broken she is open game to pure honesty.

It was especially hard to hear her put down Matthew on a regular bases and not ask who made her so perfect and capable of judging others? I thought we were supposed to avoid that. We all have thoughts of a negative nature but others in the church and outside it. We need to keep them to ourselves and try to amend the salutation within the guidelines of the scriptures. I am as guilty as the next in doing wrong in this regard. I, however, do not put my thoughts in a “Blog” to my own downfall and to the corruption of others. Only someone who deep down believes that the world be so perfect if only they were in charge would do this.

Shelly! said...


I harbor ships.

Anonymous said...


Opps I said I would not read this anymore... Oh well once again I am proven less then perfect.

Anonymous said...

There are several of us who have tried to befriend you and you just seem to think you're better than all of us...... Sorry.... Even if we're not military we are willing to help, maybe you should think about that as well.