Monday, May 19, 2008

. . . But God's Hand is Evident in it!

"The Lord gives us a spirit of hope and a feeling of comfort and confidence that we can overcome the obstacles we face. He has shown the way to gain strength during our struggles. With His assistance, we have the ability to succeed."
--L. Lionel Kendrick, "Strength During Struggles,", Ensign, Oct 2001, 24

My kids think I'm nuts, too . . . but they know me WAY better than Woo does!!!

So, I got up on Monday planning to spend most, if not all, day slogging through the piles and PILES of DAR materials, figuring out just WHAT it is I've gotten myself into . . .

And, as usual, I went to turn on the CD player. . .

But, I hesitated for a moment, because sometimes, instead of soothing my agitated soul, the music can be an irritant or a distraction, and that was the *last* thing I needed!

I weighed the alternatives . . .
Music . . . . . soothing
Noise . . . . . distracting
And I turned on the CDs

And what should start playing but


And I sat back, and thought about all the effectual doors that have been opened (nay, say, rather, the skids that have been GREASED!!!) to put me where I am today, and I have to admit, there is no doubt that the Lord's Hand is clearly discernable in all this.

Was it just a coincidence that Woo had just returned to the position of Registrar with the DAR shortly before I sent my initial query in on the website? Others before her had dropped the ball on people who were earnestly seeking to join the organization - - - I was just curious. But, her active interest and tireless efforts to help me really greased the skids right from the start.

Was it a coincidence that Derrin found a newly-created Porter Family website, where I was able to obtain several books of information about my Pioneer/Patriot line?

The day those books came in was rather amazing, too. . .
We were about to leave for an extended trip, so I brought the box into my office and jotted a quick note to Woo to tell her I had gotten this GREAT source . . . and then I realized I couldn't just leave it there. I *had* to open the boxes and say *something* about their contents. So, I quickly popped off the strapping tape, grabbed a book at random, and let it fall open somewhere in the middle - - - where I saw " . . . and this is the lineage, just as I used it for my application for membership into DAR and the Mayflower Society. And if any of my relatives wish to join, they may use my membership numbers, which are . . . ."

After I picked up my eyeballs and teeth and put them back in my head, I spent another moment scanning those pages and emailing them to Woo, and left for that trip in HIGH spirits!!! And by the time I got back, she had tracked down, not just one, but THREE colateral relatives I could link to to ease the application process.

It was serendipity when Steve and Emilee decided to get married in Salt Lake, and I asked Derrin for ONE afternoon to spend in the Genealogy Library to see what we could get to fill in the last gaps. Which Guardian Angel do I have to thank for having"Batgirl" on duty at the desk when we wandered in with my pedigree chart and half a dozen families circled? (That was her nickname - - - and her log-on ID. And she was wearing a watch with a bat on the face.) She took my annotated pedigree chart, called up and printed out several cemetery records, pointed us in the direction of a couple of Pioneer History books, gave us the name of the person we needed to see in "the basement" to get a copy of my great grandparents' marriage certificate from the Endowment House, and by the time we left a few hours later, I even had a photocopy of a handwritten list of my Patriot ancestor's children!

I wrote exactly ONE LETTER requesting information from a state archive, and even *that* came back with butter and jam. Not only did I get the death certificate I was looking for, but the kind archivist also included copies of newspaper writeups about the fire my great-grandmother had died in, and an obituary.

And, when I was about to give up on my last missing document, and say, "Can we get away with them being listed as her parents on that birth certificate?" I just *happened* to glance through another Book of Remembrance I had been given 20 years ago and never had time to open, and there was a photocopy of the marriage certificate in question!!!

I swear, I didn't do anything but show up. Everything has been handed to me on a silver platter.

It's been great fun attending the lunches these last couple of years, and I *loved* being in the 4th of July parade last year. I feel like I've found a whole new group of fascinating friends. And I've been looking forward to assisting several church members who have started the application process to get into the "club." I never imagined a person could go from "new convert" to "bishop" in just one year!!! That certainly was never part of MY plans!!! I figured I'd become webmaster, and find out how things ran that way - - - behind the scenes, like I always do . . .

Apparently, God had other ideas.

But, as I stood there taking the Oath of Office with my new Board, I took comfort that each part of the oath ended "as God is my Helper." Because, I knew, however inept I might be, with God as my Helper, and a few good friends to back me up, we WILL be able to pull it off!

And, as if as a sign, in the not-quite-a-week I've been Regent, my "telephone allergy" has not been in evidence - - - I've been able to make the phone calls I've had to make, without the old trauma getting in my way - - - my mind has been clearer than usual so I can think and, more importantly, LEARN (or, at least, BEGIN to learn) some of the stuff I need to know.

I recognized that "feeling of comfort and confidence" that Bro. Kendrick spoke of, and when I read that quote, I knew I had to record these thoughts, and testify to the Hand of God moving to direct my life in MOST unexpected ways.

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