Monday, July 1, 2013

I figured I'd better write this one down. You know, for posterity's sake.


You remember that time you were 26 years old and you were married to a high priest? And had 4 kids ranging in age from 22 months to 6 years old, and had to sit in the church pew alone with them. Yeah, me either... until yesterday. Let's start from the beginning. Friday afternoon I got a call from Mike. Red flag number one, I never get calls from him, I get an occasional text message during the day. "I just got a message from Brother Hurt," {He knew he was in trouble when he said Brother Hurt and not Mike Hurt, Mike sells Brother Hurt cars so a phone call from him wouldn't necessarily be so bad} "We have a meeting with a member of the stake presidency on Sunday morning at 8:30." I got sick to my stomach literally.
Neither of us slept well the next two nights.
We were going to send the kids to Mikes parents house to spend the night so that we didn't have to take them to the meeting with us, but ultimately decided against it, looking back on it, I wish I would have taken that opportunity. So we had all the kids ready and up to the church at 8:30. We sit down and chat a bit and then President Herrington Says something along the lines of "we'd like to ask you to serve as the Second..... {MY mind is racing, Second counselor in the elders quorum? No, that's not it hes already a counselor in the elders quorum. second counselor in the stake Young mens?} President Herrington continues and as soon as the word "Julington" came out of his mouth I knew what it was. Second counselor in the Julington creek ward Bishopric.
That one set us both back. I paused for a few seconds and immediately thought to myself. I have to sit through sacrament meeting alone with all of these tiny kids... I didn't care about all of the meetings or anything else.


President Herrington said they had a few concerns, And all 4 of them were sitting in this room. I told him those were my concerns as well.
And then we talked about a few other things, and President Herrington said, we'd like to do this today, That means you'll need to be ordained to the office of a high priest. Who would you like to do that? Mike looked like a deer in headlights. Well, My dad's not a member, My brother isn't a high priest, my grandaddy is dead, My father in law. Yeah, he's the one. But he's on the high counsel in the other stake and he's in another ward today, I'm not sure if he can get here by 12:15.
9:00 rolls around and Mike starts out the meeting sitting with us, and then by 9:15 I'm on my own.
Our sweet friend Janae ran to the rescue. Over the pulpit, they asked me to bear my testimony, I sounded like an idiot. I bear my testimony like every fast Sunday. I didn't really have anything to say. And then this big mouth that doesn't think before it speaks says something along the lines of "I love. support, appreciate and sustain my priesthood leaders, but I know that they are just men and we have to be patient with them. They are all the Lord has to work with and we just have to be patient and understanding, But I know that they are called of God." It didn't come out as eloquently as I wanted it to but I'm just going to say that one was their fault for asking me to bear my testimony when I had nothing to do with the calling really.
So after church was over Mike was ordained and set apart and then afterwards the Bishop told us how this calling came about.
About 5 or 6 weeks ago Mike had given a talk or bore his testimony and said something and the Bishop had a thought, "he needs to be in your Bishopric." The Bishop thought well, I'm not releasing brother Woodruff or brother Ebanks. Then a week or two later Mike got up to take Brent out in the hall, And as he saw Mike heading out he had the same though. "He needs to be in your bishopric" {As the bishop told us this I thought to myself, really? Thats when it came? As he is taking a crazy baby out of sacrament?? Really??} But again he thought I'm not releasing either of my current counselors. And then the Bishop got a call from the Stake Presidency and they said the Bishop wasn't going to be really happy about this but they had another calling in mind for Brother Woodruff. So it all made sense as to why the Bishop kept having those thoughts. I think that it was good for Mike and I to hear that Mikes name wasn't just a name that he thought of and went with. We really know that as crazy as it is for Mike to have that calling with all of these tiny kids, the Bishop knew that and so did the stake presidency, however, The Lord made it very clear and prepared a way... funny how those things work out.   
So here we are. I now have to do a little more on my own. Yeah, It's absolutely going to be challenging some days. But I wouldn't have it any other way. I absolutely knew when I married Mike I was marrying an elect priesthood holder and I knew that the Lord would always need him to serve in the church. And I was and am willing to support and sustain him and all of my priesthood leaders. Even if it means sitting with a 6 year old, 5 year old, 3 year old and 2 year old alone in a pew on my own.I adore this quote by Sister Monson.

   “It has never been a sacrifice to see my husband doing the Lord's work. It has blessed me, and it has blessed our children. He always knew that if it was for the Church, I expected him to do what he had to do."
—Frances J. Monson,
Clearly she had it way harder than I will ever have it. But I feel just as strongly as I could ever say or express, that I will do whatever I have to, to make it possible for Mike to serve where the Lord would call him. And I know that our family will be blessed for the effort, the sacrifice, and the service. Even in these few hours that he has been called, I already feel buoyed. A sense of, I can do this. I can stay on top of all of this and it's going to be okay. The Lord won't let me fail. I have already felt the outpouring of the Lords spirit confirm to my heart that this is where the Lord needs Mike right now, and that he will make up whatever help I need in the absence of my husband. I want Mike and the Lord to know that if the Lord has work for Mike to do, I expect him to do it, and I will take care of the family obligations that may seem hard to get over or around to accomplish that work, The Lord will strengthen us, and the Lord will bless us.


  1. You can do it, I know you can together, and only with the Lords help. Congratulations, and a few condolences too. Love you guys!

  2. love you girl! love your family and... like a bother, love your husband. What a great guy! Congrats!

  3. I remember when my husband was called to be a bishop. My kids were tiny too, but even though they were little, they were so proud of their daddy! That was pretty priceless. At the same time, a close friend's husband was in the stake presidency, and she gave me an interesting perspective. She used to say, "At least your husband is in the same building!!" Anyway, it's a wonderful, exciting experience and believe it or not, those years absolutely FLEW by. Enjoy every minute. (Don't you hate when people say that to you?? Sorry. But time really does go by way too fast.) Congratulations!

  4. In AL when Theo was in the Bishopric and I was sitting with 5 little ones, 9-infant I struggled a lot. But there was this one Sunday where I didn't have to take any of the kids out (a miracle!) all it consisted of was constantly giving reminders to hush, sit down, stop fighting! In my mind it was a success! Until the RS President, who was sitting behind me all through sacrament, told me after the closing prayer, "Watching your kids through sacrament made me glad for my 3 miscarriages!" OUCH!! Seriously??? But I kept going because I was proud that my husband could serve in the Bishopric. And it's almost like a really hard workout, once you get through the workout you know you can do it again because you already did it! It's hard at first, but then the chaos turns into the norm, just go with it and the Lord will bless you!

  5. Hi! I'm a close friend of Heidi Russell's and have enjoyed reading some of your posts in the past. I really LOVED this one. I can totally relate to what you have shared. My husband at the age of 28 was called into the Bishopric of a ward we had just moved into about 9 years ago. At the time we had a 3 year old and a 1 year old. Now.....15 months ago he was called as Bishop of our ward and we have 5 children. The Lord totally blesses you when your husband is placed in these callings. I have sat on my own with the kids for a good portion of the time we have lived here. He also served on the high council. So, continue hanging in there and remembering the Lord is there for you and always keeping in mind that you want him to be doing what the Lord needs him too.