Tonight at church we had our annual visiting teaching conference. It was so nice and since I was in the middle of the planning and the doing it made it even more special. We used the theme that Kristanne did in her ward a year ago. I am on the Home, Family and Personal Enrichment Committee and I was so excited when I heard that our ward was going to use that theme.
This is what the table decorations looked like. A couple of sisters in our ward are real purse-aholics and they brought purses for us to use as the main focus. I was in charge of getting the balloons and the tissue and completed the decorations. The little purses around the main purse were the favors that went home with each sister.
Here is a picture of the whole hall and it looked so cute.
The day before the big event Chris Balmforth called me and asked what decorations we were planning for the serving tables. I said NONE!! She suggested that I use a Thanksgiving theme and so I got to bring all my 'pretties' from home . We served fresh salad and homemade soups and chili's. There were some nummy ones. I brought my butternut squash soup. They had plenty of bowls so we could get a taste of several soups. Another sister in the ward made home made breads, rolls, and breadsticks. YUUMMMY!
These were the nummy pies and you will recognize my candlesticks on the table.
I stretched my autum leaves the length of the table and put more of the cute decorations I have at home on each end of the table too. We also had yellow, gold, and orange balloons at each end of the serving table, continuing the theme of the main hall. It looked so festive!
Last but not least before our planning meeting, Chris Balmforth had called me and asked me to "pick my daughter-in-laws' brain" for ideas for the evening. Which I did. The leaders had already decided to do a weigh in of purses (Stephanie Scholes won with her backpack weighing in at 14 plus pounds...and she had taken her computer out of it already! Her mom, Cheryl won the smallest weight category with her wallet...that is what she always carries.) I told them about how Kristanne's ward had slipped various items into the women's purses when no one was looking and then playing a game where Lisa would call out an item and the person that had it in their purse would hold it up and the first one in the air would win. Amazingly... when she called pliers, there were two ladies holding them up!!! One with a bewildered look on her face wondering where the pliers had come from, and Sue Ann holding her pink pliers up because she had gone to a friends house today and made jewelry and so had her pliers in her purse!! I had slipped my mini leatherman into one sister's purse, and Lisa Hatch also had a pair that she always carries!! So our odd items weren't so odd!
It was a fun game and lots of laughs. Then, I got to give a talk. Again, it was an idea from Kristanne's ward and as I told the committee about it they really liked the idea. They liked it so well that they assigned it to me!!!
This was my talk:
You know, we are all purse-ons. We all have things in common.
I remember looking at the grandma’s in my ward when I was a newly wed thinking how different they were...how little we had in common. Now I know that grandma’s are teenagers with grey hair and wrinkles....but we all love purses.
We all know how important a purse is – whether it is a simple wallet or a huge carry all– and we feel lost without it!
We start out as little girls with our first easter hat and purse.... then we move into our school years...and we are lost without our backpack— each year of school finds us packing more and more into those backpacks ---- not just papers and books, but ID’s, lip gloss, cell phone, ipods, etc. Of course in my day...it was a transister radio... but that’s getting off the subject
As we get to the dating age, we might find ourselves buying - with a thrill- a pretty little rhinestone clutch bag to go with our prom dress, but we quickly go back to the backpack for our everyday needs.
Finally as we graduate and start our first jobs we find everything being moved from that backpack to a briefcase - nowadays it would be on wheels as we also need to tow the laptop computer.
Then hopefully we move to the diaper bag and let me tell you, as a mother of twins I KNOW how much they can carry!
It is with a partial tear in our eye as we put away the diaper bag as our babies grows past that stage ...but yet with excitement as we peruse all the cute purses we get to choose from now!!
Each of of us moves at a different rate through normal purses, large purses, small purses, gigantic purses....
I used to go for the biggest one I could find until I realized that I was getting tennis elbow from carrying it.
I think it is important to realize that though we are each different, like all the different purses we find ourselves carrying through the years, that we are similar in ways - we are all daughters of God...and we all think we need all this stuff in our purses until they are too heavy for us to carry....But we need to realize that God gives us spiritually, the purses we need to carry. Not too big, not to small. He knows us and he knows what we can handle.
Another outlook on purses is in a cute story by Marsha Jordan called “I’ve found the perfect purse.”
The most important accessory in a woman's wardrobe is her purse. I spend more time purse shopping than I spend on shoes or clothes. As a busy grandma on the go, I spend much of my life in the car; and my purse provides easy access to many of the comforts of home.
I know women (my sister for one) who suffer from multiple "purse"onality. They have a different purse to go with every outfit in the closet. Not me. When I manage to find the right purse for my needs, I use it till the straps fall off. But finding just the RIGHT purse is no easy task.
In my purse I carry a supply of every medication in my cupboard along with a drink to swig with pills; cosmetics for touch ups; toiletries (in case I'm stranded overnight), books to read while waiting in line, and emergency snacks. I also stock my purse with plenty of quarters for video games (for my grandson, not me!) an extra pair of pantyhose (for me, not him) and a change of underwear (for both of us). My purse must be big enough to hold anything I might need as I travel: safety pins, paper clips, notepad, three different checkbooks, sunglasses, reading glasses, and driving glasses; silverware, straws and napkins (because fast food places often forget to provide them) and a sweater, an umbrella and a rain poncho for inclement weather. My purse carries eye drops, ear drops and gum drops, bug repellant, nasal spray, hair spray, and pepper spray, a first aid kit, a sewing kit, a tool kit, and a pool repair kit. Oh, and an inflatable raft (you never know when you might fall overboard).
After a tiring, three-hour search in Wal-mart, I was delighted to finally find the perfect purse. It has 327 compartments and it holds all my "necessities," plus a liter of Dr. Pepper. The only things this almost-ideal carry-all lacks are wheels to drag it along behind me. After filling my "dream purse" with all my treasures, I sadly discovered that I don't have the muscles to lug the thing around. I've developed tennis elbow, low back pain, and a perpetual stiff neck from hoisting the sucker over my shoulder; and I'm afraid I might need a rotator cuff transplant.
I was stopped by airline personnel on a recent cross country trip. They accused me of trying to smuggle in carry-on baggage that was too large to fit into the overhead compartment! I refused to give up my treasured, dog-house -sized purse; so they reluctantly allowed me
onboard with it - but only after I promised to hold it on my lap instead of trying to squeeze under my seat. Because the monstrosity weighs more than I do, my legs were asleep during the entire flight!
Well, I found the perfect purse that I'd dreamed of -- only to discover that it's not so perfect after all. Back to the drawing board -- or should I say back to Wal-mart's purse department?
Aren't you glad that God isn't like me with my purse? I search for perfection. He accepts imperfection. I look for something to fill MY needs. He looks for those who have needs HE can fill. And when we disappoint Him, He doesn't throw us back and start looking for
something better. God loves all the imperfect "purse-ons" of this world, no matter what our size, shape, or color. He doesn't care how much we can carry whether we can fill every need ourselves. He accepts us as we are. And He makes up for what we lack.
In Jeremiah 31:3, God said: "I HAVE LOVED YOU WITH AN EVERLASTING LOVE." Isn't that great to know?
Then I bore my testimony about Visiting Teaching.
It was a neat night and I enjoyed being a part of it. Thanks Kristanne for helping me with such a lot of fun ideas!