I'm having a hard time putting into words the appreciation I feel for Portia Thompson. I previously posted about a day I spent with Portia. But I feel like more time spent with Portia deserves another post. So I'll try to explain the best I can.
Maybe it'd be best to start with something simple.
1. Portia lets me intrude on her family whenever I have time to do so. And she does so without a moments hesitation. And for that I'm very grateful. Because time spent with her family is truly some of my favorite moments in Boston. Maybe I'm weird but I like being with people that have life figured out. And Portia is so easy to relate to. Even though we have completely different lives, I feel like Portia knows and understands me. Its such a little thing, being willing to open your home to someone else. And I'm sure that she is busy a lot of the time or its not really convenient, but she lets me tag along to her plans.
2. She is probably the cutest mom I've ever seen. I love how she interacts with her children. They're well behaved kids to begin with (from lots of her influence I'm sure)... but she just is so attentive and kind. Which brings me to my next point...
3. She gives her full attention to every person she talks to and really cares. She asks questions about my life, about my family, about things that matter to me. But she doesnt just ask the questions... she listens for the answer. And sometimes being in Boston is hard cause it feels like everyone who would "listen" to me is so far away... so its nice to have one person who I can talk to face to face and feel like they remember the tiny story I told last time we talked and the little details about my family that get forgotten/not mentioned, in the classic "small talk"... But the thing that really impresses me, is that she doesnt just act like this to me... she's like this with everyone. People matter to her. And sometimes it can feel like its so easy to fall through the cracks of the ward, but Portia seems to be able to "see" each individual. She goes above and beyond the duties of any "Wife of the 1st counsellor". I could see how it would be so easy to be distanced from the singles ward. She's married, has kids... but she doesnt distance herself. Instead she hosts little dessert parties so that people can gather and spend time socializing. Seriously it is amazing all that she does.
4. There are many people that I would like to be like... But recently it feels like they're all far away. So its nice to have a up close reminder of what I want to be like... with work of course. She's like my favorite married people all rolled into one. Or maybe she's her own entity... whatever it is I adore spending time with her. Even if we're playing with the kids or building a piece of furniture. Portia is at the "where I want to be in ten years"... married, kids, serving, happy.
5. She's not light on the compliments... I can't help but smile because every time I spend a moments time with Portia, she is just full of compliments. I worry I get too much credit in her eyes. But I cant help but want her to like me. So maybe I'm on my best behaviour. But generally I think its more that being around someone who is so good and generous, you can't help but have a little rubbed off on you.
6. Portia makes me want to hope. I often tend to be quite realistic. I'm not caught up in some fairy tale. I know what my life is... and what it isnt. I know what I am, and what I'm not. But talking to Portia, being around her... she's just so dang positive that great things are coming my way. I cant help but believe her. She's just so honest and I know she really does think that, and her trust and faith and hope kinda give a little firmer backing to my own.
7. I love how integrated the gospel is in her everyday life. I love hearing gospel comments come up in daily chatter. I love that her kids are trained to close their eyes and fold their arms when a prayer happens. It reminds me of saying prayers with Ryder. Maybe I'm just missing my mormon shelteredness but I miss being able to say things and have people totally understand. And not having to do the explaining. I love being able to say I went to the Temple. Or have someone tell me a story that starts with, I was reading in the scriptures or during our spiritual thought last night... I just miss little things like that.
Portia seems to have figured out what the important things in life are. She works hard and is smart and caring. Sometimes I feel like the older I get, the less I'm able to carry conversations about nothing. I want and need substance... and with Portia, she's all substance. Anyways... I just am really grateful for Portia in my life. She's a bit of home when I'm far away. She's a reminder of where I'm heading... of my goals, my dreams, my aspirations.