Skip to main content

Small Sifting Holes

On Sundays, I try to take some time to refuel my spirit.  Part of that exercise is to read something helpful or uplifting.  Lately, I've been reading a Neal Maxwell book, If Thou Endure It Well.  He is by far, one of my favorite writers.  He is poetic in the words he chooses and I love that.

He says that irritation often precedes instruction..."If we aren't careful, small things become the small sifting holes through which our resolve trickles away."

I love that reminder.  I have been dealing with a lot of small, sifting holes that do nothing but irritate and frustrate me.

For example- the darn, stinking car of mine!  It's just an irritation more than anything but the fact that it keeps having stupid issues puts me over the proverbial edge.  It's been in the shop now since Thursday and I think, this repair place actually knows what they are doing.  In fact, shout out to the Pro Shop...The front end girl Ashley has been amazing.  She has been so sweet and compassionate.  I called, she said they were backed up and they couldn't even get to it until sometime next week.  I hummed and hawed, trying to figure out what I would do without a car for our trip and then she said, "Did you need it sooner?"
"Well, I have business to do in Salt Lake next week but I can figure something else out."
"Is it a fun trip?"
"No, my daughter is sick and we are going to the hospital there."
"Okay, enough said!  I will make sure they look at this week!"

She called back a couple of hours later and said it would be done Friday.  She also said, "I don't even know you but is it okay if I pray for your daughter?"  I thought that was so sweet!  Turns out they found bigger problems after the smaller problems so I'm not sure when I will have the car back but those sifting holes were plugged with her sweet spirit.

Another sifting hole I deal with constantly is money or lack thereof.  Friday, instead of working on my projects for work,  I tackled the mountain of medical bills.  Remember the stack I had from last November?  I finally faced that.  Before you think I am completely irresponsible, I have been paying a small amount to each doctor, clinic, hospital, lab etc.  But, the totals weren't going down very fast and some were the final notice before collections.

In total, they amounted to more than $8000.  I couldn't even make sense of it and some of the clinics have a lousy billing system.  I called my insurance company to yell at them because it didn't make sense that I have a $3000 out of pocket family max but was stuck with $8000 as my responsibility.  Granted, a lot of these were for Utah providers who weren't in my Network from back in our Salmonella days.

As the phone rang for my insurance company, my blood pressure was rising and I was ready with fighting words...small sifting holes where mean words could safely escape.

Instead, the lady answered the phone and asked my name.  I told her and she said, "While I'm pulling up your account, tell one thing that made this week a great one!"  She was very cheerful and in that moment, I had no desire to argue with this woman. A little kindness goes a long way with me.  After some small talk, she asked how she could help me.  I explained that I'm a loser and couldn't make sense of all my bills.  She took so much time to go over each EOB and she found several errors on their side and the clinic side.  My growing debt went from $8000 to just over a $1500 for last year, in addition to what I have already paid out.  I was so relieved.  It's better than $8000.

That woman's cheerful manner was the plug to the my small sifting holes of resolve.  I learned a lot from her about how to deal with people...even tired worn out, grumpy people like times.

Wow, Friday was a big day because I also got a call from the Temple that the girl who was sharing my shift needed to take two months off because she is getting married and needed every waking moment to work on wedding plans.  Now, I admit...I had a million, negative thoughts go through my head when I heard the reason.  The biggest one, Are you kidding me?  She can't take three hours a month to play the organ at the Temple?  Every second planning a wedding?  What a crummy excuse! She has no clue what real problems are.

Then, I heard my own list of reasons why covering her shift was going to be impossible.  I'm a single mom working two part time jobs that I am falling miserably behind on and my employers are going to fire me if I don't pull it together and I am running my own busy business and I have a sick kid and two more waiting in the wings with some dreadful thing I know is just around the corner and I never sleep and my house is a wreck and I don't have time for managing someone else's responsibility at the Temple. 

Followed by...
Are you kidding me?  YOU can't take 5 hours a month to play the organ at the Temple?  Every second taking care of sick kids, work and sleep?  What a crummy excuse! You have no clue what real problems you could have. 

Small sifting holes where resolve escapes.  I have my full shift back at the temple and I'm happy about that.  I am glad that I learned these valuable lessons this week.

Finally- a quote for this Monday.

"In the process of developing the precious quality of empathy, would we trade some earlier relief today for the enlarged empathy to be used in so many endless tomorrows?"  Neal Maxwell.



  1. Oh Kathy, I love you so much. The Pro Shop is great. If you pay in cash your bill drops a little bit. Just an FYI.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Some Results

I was surprised to get a brief update from our doctor this morning.

They did not catch any seizure activity last week.  She said that while that may be good news, it didn't rule out deep structure seizures.   I asked if the test gave any insight to the cause of the slowing of activity in her brain and these were her words.

" No, this does not give an answer ... But it is just one test, done one time ..."

We are still waiting on the MRI results.  I'm not losing hope.  I know, I play this game ALL THE TIME...I wish for problems that no one in their right mind would wish for.  I only do that because it's usually the option with a fix.  Of all the things they are considering to be an issue for Shelbie, seizures are the simplest explanation and medication would manage it.

I'm certain we aren't going to find a solution to her problems any time soon.  While I sat in the waiting room during her 2 hour MRI last Thursday, there was a couple in the room as well.  A…

Random Saturday

Whenever I feel like we are careening out of control, I declutter and clean.  By midnight on Friday, I had 1/3 of my living room filled with stuff I didn't want.  Today, I made a couple of trips to the thrift store and the dump.

Ahhh, I feel like I lost 20 pounds.

When Sam came home after his first week at school a while back, he said, "Wow, my room looks the same."

"What did you think your room would look like?"  I asked.


Turkey!  He came home this morning with his laundry and was a bit despaired.  He said, "Mom, you gotta help me with the smell in my apartment!  I can't stand it anymore! Do we have any Ozium?"

He went on to explain that there is no garbage disposal in the kitchen sink but food gets crammed down there anyways.  He said he keeps putting the little metal drains in that are meant to catch bits of food but his roommates take them out.  He's about fed up.  And while he was on his rant about boys and their leve…

A Witness

I was expecting just another run of the mill night at the gym last night.  The kind where the 'meat heads' stay at their end of the gym grunting and groaning to sound strong and I would claim a little corner in the room where the Yogi's hang out and Plank, and there I would Spin on a bike for a few miles, do some rowing, a little TRX and finish up with some free weights.

Last night though, I actually decided to do an easier workout and took an inclined walk on the treadmill.  There were no meat heads in far end of the gym.  No one really at the gym at all.  For the longest time, I kept pace with an old guy on a bike behind me.

But then, a man and his son came in.  I knew them.  I knew them well but they don't know just how well I know them.  They have a son who passed away from Cystic Fibrosis a little while ago, he would have been Spencer's age now.  They have a younger son who also has CF.  I knew his wife and mother in law back when my kids were being diagnosed.…