Monday, January 31, 2011

Whisperings of Relief . . .

Today as I cleaned my kitchen, my mind again wandered to that "why can't I do it all" place.  For some reason, my mind likes that place, and thinks that a daily visit is a habit that should not be broken.  I, however, would very much like to break that habit.

I looked at the kitchen, then at the living room, and then back to the kitchen.  Toys were everywhere.  The remnants of a failed attempt at fort making took over the living room.  Chalk, paint, crayons, markers, books, etc. were in every corner.  "Ugh - this house is a mess.  Why can't I do it all?"

Then . . . the overwhelming feeling that failure is just around the corner.  The house is a mess, Natalie is wearing a swimsuit (and it rained today), Maejae's hair is a mess, and I still haven't gone grocery shopping.  A quick prayer of "please just let me get this house clean before Nathan comes home" and I was off to cleaning again.  (I don't like to have Nathan greeted with a messy house - I very much hate it.  He deserves more.)

The girls were playing away, making more of a mess in the living room, while I tackled the kitchen and dining room.  And then it hit me - the soft whisperings of relief.  Of hope.  Of success.

There is a time and a place for everything!  Everything!  Even Christ didn't do everything all at once.  He spent his early days teaching of our Father in Heaven, of the Gospel, of how to treat others.  He went about proclaiming truth, living by example, and loving as He went.  Christ was sent to teach - then to serve.

My time and place is here and now.  It is my time to teach, to be a mother.  I have children to raise.  They need to know of their Father in Heaven, of their Savior, of Love.  They need to learn simple things, such as drawing, painting, coloring, cutting, reading, etc.  They need to learn how to clean, to help, to share, and to have confidence in themselves.  It is my time to teach them.  To teach them as best as I can, and to have faith that the Lord knows my intentions to serve.

My mother somehow did it all.  She had a daycare that she ran, 4 children of her own, she attended all of our sporting/dance/swimming events.  AND - she taught us how to serve.  I remember piling into our minivan and driving down to the kitchen.  We'd assemble a few meals, then load up in the van and head out to deliver them.  It was called Meals on Wheels.  I remember visiting a man who had a stroke and was paralyzed on the left side.  He was funny, he was smart, and he was kind.  He always gave us candy.  And, he loved that we brought him meals.  I loved that he taught me to love those with disabilities!

I think of that experience with my mom and think I'm failing.  I don't do near enough to teach my children of service.  But then, today - it hit me.  They are young - only 3 and 18 months.  They are learning service and love the way Christ first taught.  Through my example, and through my teachings they are learning.  I serve my friends, in the church, and my family.  So, even though I don't have time to serve at the nursing home each week, or have the time to take my kids to a homeless shelter to feed others, I have the time to teach.

My time is to teach.  My place is in the home.  Eventually, when my children are older, I can take them on Meals and Wheels excursions, or to the nursing home, or other places.  When the time and place are right, the Lord will make sure there is time for the Service outside my home that I so desire to give.

For now, I find comfort in the quiet whisperings of relief.  I find comfort in knowing that I'm doing what I should be doing at this time in my life.  I find great relief knowing that in time, I will be able to do it all.  But for now, doing it all is teaching my children, serving my husband, serving in the church, and keeping the house clean with family meals every night.

I am NOT failing - and neither are you.  I know almost all of you (yes, you - my friends), have felt, or do feel, like you are failing.  But, we're not.  We're just doing what we should be doing at this time in our lives.  With or without a spouse, with or without children, you are doing what the Lord would have you do at this time in your life.  And if you still don't feel that way, pray for guidance - pray for peace.  And remember, there is a time and place for everything.  I love you all.

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