From Sunday: A Clearer View

Sometimes I get completely overwhelmed.
Like this morning.
As I was trying to get everyone ready for church.
And I mistakenly thought it would be a good time to have the girls clean out the homework cart.
I was walking around the house, gathering towels and headbands to use as Nephi, Abinadi, and Alma costumes for my Primary class.
And I was also trying to clean up after the kids.
And my husband.
And my brother.

I wished I would have done everything yesterday, but my Saturday didn't go the way I had planned.
We tried to go to the BSA Ropes Course Challenge with two other families for RAMP Summer Saturdays.
Steve even went with us.
The sign on the fence said RAMP Saturday was last week.
Well, not according to the calendar.

Lucy went to Layla's house and Rachel went to work with Steve.
I cleaned the kitchen, put away the laundry, dropped Adam off at a birthday party, and drove out to Debra's house.
Kaleigh was so very excited to go play, but she fell asleep in the car.
So I picked up some awesome hand-me-downs, visited with Debra, and left.
And then Kaleigh woke up, crying for Keira.
I might have told her she wasn't home.

I wanted to mow the lawn, but I couldn't find the key to the shed anywhere.
After an exhaustive search around the house, I finally called Steve.
The key was in his truck.
The truck was at Acapellastock at the Ogden Amphitheater.
Which grossed $128 in taco sales and ended up being a royal waste of Steve's time/effort.
Steve drove the key home to me and ended up mowing the lawn himself.

I went on a late-night shopping trip to WinCo.
I had just put the green peppers in the cart when I realized I had no wallet with me.
Steve brought me my wallet.
It's a good thing we now have two vehicles.

Back to Sunday morning. . .
How in the world did Adam grow out of his church shoes already?
They are only a few weeks old.
His white shirt is already too short for him, and he still needs a haircut.
And speaking of haircuts, it's been a solid eighteen months since I've had a haircut.
Lucy was squealing because she thought I shrunk her new dress.
(It's polyester. And I washed in cold and hung flat to dry, so I don't think that's even possible.)
Rachel was yelling at me that I left the shed doors open all night.

Who turned off the church music? There is always less yelling when church music is playing.

I escaped to my room.
Made my bed and said a prayer.
A long prayer.
A plea-for-help prayer.
Because there are so many other troubles on my mind.
"Mom, Mom, Mom! Mom? Mom? MOM!"
Rachel was walking around the house looking for me.
I was still praying.
Even though I felt like my head was about to explode.

The phone rang.
It was a hotel broker.
She wanted to know if I would be interested in selling their mattresses.
Curiosity got the best of me so I asked a few questions.
But seriously?
Used hotel mattresses?
I wanted to say "No way!"
But instead I politely said, "No, thank you."
I will stick to selling new mattresses for Sam.
Or not.
Steve really wants to reclaim our garage.

We have a mullet house.
Business up front, party in the back.
But not a party, just a cluttered garage and a dead lawn.
Two things that prevent me from actually having any parties.
I supposed I should be relieved that we weren't chosen to appear in SelectHealth's next advertising campaign.
We would have needed some sod.
And haircuts.

I sent a text message to the PTA president and told her I was sorry, but there was no way I could start a new project right now.
Someone else would have to be in charge of the school newsletter this year.

"The tooth fairy came! The tooth fairy came!" squealed Adam.
That was the lone success of the morning.
And I don't know if you call losing a tooth on a Tuesday and the tooth fairy finally coming on Saturday night much of a success.

Lucy looked me square in the eyes.
Lucy: Is the tooth fairy real?
Me: No.
Lucy: I knew it! So it's really just your parents?
Me: Yep.
Lucy: What about Santa Claus?
Me: Just your parents.
Lucy, with a twinge of disappointment: Really?
Me: Really.
Lucy: So you are the one who gave me that iPod?
Me: Yep.
Lucy: Awesome!
Rachel, from the other room: Don't forget to tell her about the Easter Bunny!
Lucy: I already knew about that one.
Quick talk about importance of not telling other kids ensued.

The kids were making messes faster than I could clean them up.
Adam and Kaleigh were taken to their room with a stack of books.
And forbidden to get off their beds until it was time for church.

It's no secret that Sundays aren't always my favorite day of the week.
Plenty of reasons for that.
And I never seem to feel well on Sundays.
"Taking it easy" is easier said than done.
Because there are always kids that need to be lifted up and hugged.
And heavy boxes from Costco that need be carried.
And grapes that need to be planted.

We got to church.
Five minutes early.
We hadn't even finished the opening hymn when I realized that Adam wasn't wearing any underwear.
He told me that it was my fault.
"You didn't bring me any!"

Steve texted me from the stand to ask for an update on a family in our ward.
Which quickly put my problems into perspective.
Her mother is dying of cancer.
Her teenage sister will be moving in with her.
And she is pregnant.

Has everyone seen this?

Immediately after the sacrament, I drove Adam back home for some underwear.
We returned to the chapel to hear the second half of Matthew Godfrey's talk on parenting.
It was inspiring.
And certainly inspired.
He got advice from Elder Summerhays once:
"Do what the church tells you to do and trust the process."
Say your prayers, read your scriptures, have Family Home Evening.
And be willing to make sacrifices.

A young missionary was the second speaker.
He was humble and capable.
And I thought he was going to share something that must have been very personal.
But he kept it in.
He asked us:
"Do we have the desire to share the gospel with other people?"
Because that is how we know we are truly converted.
I need to be more converted.

The closing song was perfect.
And I was reminded why we go to church.

Hymn #14 Sweet Is the Peace the Gospel Brings

Sweet is the peace the gospel brings
To seeking mind and true.
With light refulgent on its wings,
It clears the human view.

Its laws and precepts are divine
And show a Father's care.
Transcendent love and mercy shine
In each injunction there.

Faithless tradition flees its pow'r,
And unbelief gives way.
The gloomy cloud, which used to low'r,
Submit to reason's sway.

Steve brought a few blank pieces of paper to scriptures at the kitchen table.
After we finished reading, we went around the table and said what we had lost.
Yes, you read that correctly.
I was the scribe.
And then Steve went around the house and helped us look for the items.
Because he is awesome.
He found the battery cover to the wireless keyboard and Lucy's iPod.
We are still looking for his Sonora Grill hat, Paul's 3rd Gen hat, and my green CamelBak water bottle.
(Lucy's iPod is back on the lost list again.)

He put the kids to bed.
And then we had a long, late-night talk about our role as parents.
A talk about how we need to try to understand more and change less.
About how our Heavenly Father has a plan for us.
And for our children.
Our role is to teach and guide.
And love.

I went to bed.
Very late.
With a much clearer view.


Rachel said...

Loved this post, Em. Been thinking a lot lately about how I used to use my blog to express feelings and thoughts about me, my kids, our family. Now it has just become a place to update on family happenings and trips and post the hundreds of pictures we take. That is fine too, but I miss the writing.

Back to your post -- so good, just what I needed. Been in such a funk lately. Have plenty of things to blame it on -- cross country move, death in the family, birth of the baby. But he is almost 5 months old now, and I still feel so very far from my old self, from the real me. Not sure how much longer I can use his birth as my excuse anymore. Anyway, I just want to not screw my kids up too much, and lately I'm not sure I'm even accomplishing that. So much to think about. Thanks for reminding me of the "clear view" of the gospel to help in this very challenging role.

Natalie B. said...

Love it Emily! I can soooooo relate. Just switch a few of the details around and same type of day happening here! :) I seriously find myself thinking, "man, if only I could figure out a way to not need any sleep, I could catch up on my life." Good perspective. I think weekends are indeed the worst for me, but for some reason I still look forward to them. I guess it is just ingrained in me. Love the "pregnancy" pic too...so funny!

i'm h.mac said...

i love this. it brought some good tears to my eyes. change less, understand more. my new mantra. you are a rock star.

Molly said...

there must be something in the water lately. life is hard. it's a miracle if my kids are fed and bathed in the same day.

Rebecca said...

Great post Em <3