Tuesday, May 12, 2009

High Spirits in Hard Times

So, my ward is really unique. Every Mother's Day and Christmas (well around Christmas) the Relief Society (the women...for those who don't know) meet during Sunday School and Relief Society. We have musical numbers, that we clap after, and a yummy brunch. The theme is picked out by our wonderful RS President and we have a few, brief talks on that topic. One year ago it made me really uncomfortable because it was different. But now I realize that it's a wonderful tradition and exactly what I need. FYI: all the men of the ward chip in so that every single woman's calling is covered so no one misses a beat.
This Mother's Day Kathryn, RS President, chose the theme of "High Spirits in Hard Times." She felt it was very appropriate for the times we are facing; I have to agree. About two weeks before Mother's Day Kathryn called me up and asked me to speak on how I get through hard times. After a lot of prayer this is what I came up with....
Oh...someone told me it sounded like something they could have read in an Ensign. Just sayin.

The only way to describe my feelings over the last two weeks is...it is such an unique experience to try and figure out how you deal with your problems. Besides, that is, crying your eyes out and hiding under your covers. I do encourage, though, all of you to go home and think of how you get through your problems. It may be hard but it is very rewarding.
For those of you who don't know, I am a baker for a deli called Panera Bread. The thing that sticks out most about my job is the fact that I work straight through the middle of the night. One service that Panera offers is a catering service. Each cafe, or location, has a catering coordinator. At my cafe, Dublin, it is a young lady named Jessica. Jessica goes out and finds businesses who want to jazz up their next meeting with some bagels, sanwiches, or sweets. She then puts orders together and sends them out. As you can probably assume, Jessica works straight through the middle of the day. So, you can imagine, we have very little communication. If Jessica has an order for any thing extra for a catered event she fills out a yellow baker's sheet and puts it in the baker's area. These sheets have every sweet, bread, and pastry that I bake. Jessica simply marks what she needs and I add it to what I am already baking.
The other night, about two weeks ago, I went into work and noticed a yellow baking sheet in my area. Just like clock work, I pulled down the sheet and read over what things extra I needed to bake. I saw 14 extra cheese pastries, 14 extra chocolate pastries, 14 extra pecan braids, and 9 slices of brownie. Just for some foreshadowing you can buy brownie by the slice or whole; one whole browning has 8 slices. when I saw the 9 slices I knew how many brownies we were already baking that night and figured Jessica would have enough so I did not make any extra.
At 5:00 the next morning Jessica came in to start getting her order ready. I had made and set aside all the pastries she had ordered and was slowly cleaning and trying to finish up to go home. Jessica was trying to go as fast as she could so that she could be out the door by 6:00 in order to make it to Livermore in time. At 5:30 Jessica approached me and asked where her brownies were. I stared at her with a blank stare and she once again asked: "Luanne, where are my nine brownies?" Apparently the yellow baker's sheet had been filled out wrong and she had marked 9 slices instead of 9 whole brownies. The next five seconds seemed like the longest of my life. I started to panic. In order to properly proof, bake, cool down, and frost nine brownies I would need about two hours...I had thrity minutes. But, I started to slowly smile and with determination said, "Jessica, consider it done."
I don't think I have ever worked so hard. I went as fast as I could. I had plenty of moments of frustration, some tears, a lot of laughter and two heart felt, very sincere prayers. Mostly, though, I stuck to that orignal bit of determination I had. Needless to say, two cuts and one very bad burn later Jessica was walking out the door with nine beautifully frosted brownies at 6:10, forty minutes later. She successfully made it to Livermore on time and the customer enjoyed them so much she ordered seven more the following week.
As I was driving home that morning I started to ponder what I was going to say today, in church. I, like I had mentioned, only saw myself as crying my eyes out and hiding under my covers whenever I hit a problem. Heavenly Father then sweetly whispered into my ear, "Luanne, remember how you just made all those brownies?" I then realized that when ever I hit a problem in my life I always have a moment of panic, whether it be a few seconds, a few hours, or a few days. But I then slowly start to smile and say with determination, "Heavenly Father, consider it done." I always work so hard. There are plenty of moments of frustration, some tears, lots of laughter and some very heart felt, very sincere prayers. But I always stick to that original feeling of determination. Needless to say, two cuts and one very bad burn later, there is a beautifully frosted problem that I have learned and grown from. The Lord always enjoys my work and throws me another problem, sometimes just one week later.

Even though problems may be hard in your life I hope that all of you are always determined to push through it!


Sarah <3 said...

I really needed to hear that. I think I'll print it out or make a plaque of "Heavenly Father Consider It Done." <3 you!

Suzi Hardy said...

Wow! I so wish I had been there to hear you share that with the RS. Even though you told me about it, I would love to hear it again, and again.
I think your RS has a really cool tradition, and I can see that it really makes you all feel closer to each other. Bravo! Lulu!

Britta Jo said...

Luanne I didn't get a chance to tell you on Sunday but your talk was so great! I really loved the way you told your story and I can't believe that you just told your boss "consider it done." You are a amazing! I probably would have freaked out and then fallen apart. I'm so glad they had you as one of the speakers. You really made my mother's day special and I'll always remember the wonderful advice you gave! Thanks. :)