Thursday, July 21, 2011

the Pain in My Tooth

As one of my Not So 90 Day Goals (yes, I just said Not So 90 Day Goals, because our group decided that we wanted our goals to end with the summer, so instead of doing a full 90 days we are doing not so many--- "Not So 90 Day Goals") I am keeping a Daily Tender Mercies Journal. I first heard about it in a talk given by President Eyring in the October 2007 General Conference. He shared this experience that has always stuck out to me about a prompting he received.

"I was supposed to record for my children to read, someday in the future, how I had seen the hand of God blessing our family... I wrote down a few lines every day for years. I never missed a day no matter how tired I was or how early I would have to start the next day. Before I would write, I would ponder this question: “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?” As I kept at it, something began to happen. As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. As that happened, and it happened often, I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done."

I was so impressed with this story. Partly because it was the Dad of the home doing this, not the Mom. I know a lot of Moms who blog, or journal about their kids and their lives. But the idea of a Dad writing down the Tender Mercies he had witnessed for his kids future benefit really touched me.

Hint: To all of you Dads/Husbands out there who read my blog... crickets chirping... (ok, so maybe the only male who reads this is my own Man) if you start now- you would have 9 months of this to give to your Cute Wifie for Mother's Day and she would give you a big kiss and maybe cry and you would win big points at Girl's Night when she brags to her friends about the sweet Journal you made her and you might even get mentioned on my Blog for being that awesome... just an idea.

That brings me to Today's Tender Mercy... which start out as a Pain in my Tooth!
A few months ago Fresh-Out-of-Dental-School-Dentist determined I had a cavity that needed filling. This is my first cavity in well over a decade -almost two! A few days after the filling was done I was in a ton of pain and could no longer eat Peanut Butter M&M's. So I went back in for him to fix it. Which he did. Then a week later I was in pain again. So I went back in for him to fix it. Then a week later I was in pain again. Are you feeling like you have read the same sentence three times? By this point- I am angry. Not only am I unable to eat P.B. M&M's without pain (you will note that I did not give them up- just endured the pain) but I have to keep taking time to go back to the Dentist! Why can my Massage Therapist never mess up? I wouldn't mind going back for a massage every week till she "gets it right". But the Dentist? Every other week? And all he did - besides numb me, shoot me, drill me, and fill me - is give me a lousy Jamba Juice card "for my inconvenience". I wanted to get mad and complain. But the problem is- he is really nice, and young and I am bad at confrontation so I don't knot how to confront him. (Most of you know I have only two settings: Happy/Nice or Very Very Angry/Mean. No in between)

So today I went in. Again. He "fixed" it. Again. And I was mad. Again.

Then tonight, when I sat down to write in my Tender Mercies Journal, I thought of him. (and how I am angry but too scared to go Crazy Very Very Angry Katie on him) I asked myself what had happened today to show me that Heavenly Father loves me, or that I am blessed. And you know what thought came to my mind?

The time I was on my mission in Madagascar and I chipped my tooth drinking out of a glass bottle of Passion Soda (which is my favorite beverage of all time and is making me drool and tear up just thinking about) (by the way- in a 3rd World Country- it is probably best to never drink form the bottle...P.S. who likes my back to back parenthesis? I do.) There I was- in Madagascar with a broken tooth. My companion laughed at the idea of us finding a "dentist" to work on it. So I went to my make up bag, pulled out my nail file and took matters into my own hands. (who knew they would teach my Dentistry in Beauty School?)

So as I sat with my Journal I realized it isn't so bad to have to go back to the Dentist over and over and over again. At least I have Fresh-Out-of-Dental-School-Dentist to go to. It is better than taking matters into my own hands. Thanks Heavenly Father, for helping me to appreciate the Pain in my Tooth.


  1. The Tender Mercies talk has always been special to me. If it were me, I would leave the fresh-out-of-school dentist for this problem & find someone with experience enough to know why it can't be fixed yet. I hate the dentist - I can't imagine going more than once for a problem. And I think it's more awkward if it's someone you know from church. (Run ons, poor sentence structure, my rambling way of speaking...) I hope it feels better soon!!!

  2. Katie, I love the idea of a tender mercies journal. That talk from Elder Eyring is really special to me. The days leading up to that general conference I was trying to write in my journal every day about what truly makes me happy...and couldn't really get into it. Then Elder Eyring gave that talk and it was like it was for me! I loved the idea of writing how Heavenly Father has blessed you, instead of just what makes you happy- it goes deeper and helps you feel closer to HF. Love how you found it even in the pain in your tooth!

  3. You are funny. Are you sure you don't want to switch dentists though? I could suggest a couple. ;) Leslie

  4. I loved that talk as well, was it really from 2007? Wow, it seems more recent. But I believe you :) Thanks for the wonderful perspective.
    Although, being related to a few dentists I would suggest a change. I can understand one return visit, but multiple... makes me a bit nervous. Good luck!!

  5. P.S. I will definitely be seeing a new Not So Fresh Out Of Dental School Dentist next time- I just didn't want to pay another dentist to fix a mistake I had already paid for :)

  6. 1. Check your comments for the last 4,000 posts. I read your blog, and I'm a guy. I'm also really offended, and am planning to passive-aggressively pull the silent treatment on you and will wait for a plate of cookies or a cute craft as an apology for not remembering me. Because that's the manly thing to do.

    2. That talk was amazing, and believe it or not, I wrote in my journal every day for like two years after it. And then I forgot how to do that. So now I have a journal entry every three months that's like "hey, I'm gonna get back into this again..." (tumbleweed rolls by). It's awesome. Maybe your post will inspire me though.

    3. I don't really have a third thing. A list of two is stupid, so this is all for looks. Bye.