Thursday, March 11, 2010

Priority Shift

It's the summer of 1998. I'm 16 years old and sandwiched between two of my favorite young women leaders in the cab of an old beat-up truck. We're on our way to girls camp and they're listening intently to me as I tell them about my boy problems. I feel safe, loved, secure, and absolutely excited to be spending a few days and nights up in the mountains of Utah with some of the best women I know.

It wasn't until about halfway through the 4-hour drive that I noticed it. Quickly doing a double-take, I confirmed my fear and felt a rush of embarrassment for my leader. She must not know... I figure. Oh, how embarrassing.

Hair. Blond hair, half an inch long and sticking straight out from her bare knee. It looked as if she hadn't shaved in 5 whole days! And, she was wearing shorts! I vowed to not let it affect our conversation and silently imagined her terror once she figured it out.


It's March 2010. I've had a busy day. I made all the beds, tidied all the rooms, read a sparkly firefly book to my baby, showered, finished washing the dishes, vacuumed my floors, did the laundry, played trains with my son, chopped down a row of bushes outside, raked the leaves, read a few chapters in my book, helped my daughter with her homework, and had a hot dinner on the table when my husband walked in the door at 6:00.

As we sat down to dinner I quickly looked at the clock. One hour before I need to be at the church for Young Womens. After dinner, I had 10 minutes to get ready before heading out the door. I glanced in the mirror and did a quick assessment. No makeup; mud-stained T-shirt and jeans...from chopping down the bushes, no doubt; and hair falling out of a loose pony tail. Oh dear. Well, I thought, I've gotta pee, I should put some fresh clothes on, and hopefully I'll have time to throw on some mascara. I finished my priority list, and even had a minute left over to attempt to cover up the dark circles under my eyes. As for my hair - - - well, that was just going to have to be ignored.

Taking one last look in the mirror, I smiled to myself as I remembered my own Young Women leader 11 years ago. You know, she probably did know that her legs weren't as smooth as silk.

I bet she didn't care.

(I took the first picture off of my parents back deck in 2004. I'm pretty sure it was the first picture I ever kept that didn't have a person in it! The second picture was taken last month off the same deck.)


  1. Okay, I have to say- you were a very observant teenager! I remember when my YW president broke her front tooth and couldn't get it fixed for several weeks. She was so embarrassed, but I remember her saying it would be a lesson for her on not caring too much about her outward appearance. I thought it made her look a little like a friendly witch...

  2. I've been thinking for a while now (I won't confess EXACTLY how long) that I need to shave my legs, but honestly how do you find the time with three kids one being a newborn. I'm lucky if I can shower. Last time I shaved my legs I joked that my forest was gone. Clara told me, "Good job MOM!"

    I think being a YW Leader is really about being someone the girls can learn from and grow from their knowing you and being loved. I know you can do all those things. I miss my young women and think of them often.

    I love the pictures too by the way. Ah, the view from your parents' house is a favorite.

  3. MY those trees got bigger. :)

    I love your blog.

    That's all.

  4. Amen. Don't you love those moments when life comes full circle?

    Glad you made it back home safely!

  5. It's it funny how things like that happen to us! I know I look at life so different these days! I love your pictures, and I love the way you write! Miss you!!! :)