This evening as I left my house, I was feeling very angry and frustrated. It had been a long, hard day with the kids, and then Jackson had been cranky and clingy while I prepared dinner. I had no particular reason for being so grumpy, I had just reached a limit, I guess. Sometimes when I feel this way, I also feel guilty. I feel guilty for two reasons. #1 because I am so stinkin' prideful that I can't admit that I am overwhelmed by something, even if only admitting it to myself. #2 because I made these choices willingly and I want all the responsibilities in my life, so I should be able to handle it, and currently (as in this week and last) I am not doing a very good job. I lean on Ben too much and he isn't going to always be there to help me out. I need to learn to do this by myself. How can I ever hope to have more children if I can't handle this. These were my frustrations as I headed for enrichment at church tonight.
I have missed so many enrichments, and read about them on others' blogs, wishing that I had been able to come. Tonight I willingly accepted the opportunity to get out of the house, if only for that reason. As I headed for the church, I silently welcomed any small tidbit of a message that could help me deal with my problems. I was going to open my ears and hearts for anything, anything at all, that might give me an answer. Little did I know that the Lord prepared that evening just for me.
Here are a few things I learned. In order for my burdens to feel lighter, I need to actively seek out opportunities to serve others. I loved Sis Nichol's President's Minute where she shared the children's story about the crocodile looking for his smile. My ears perk up whenever I hear about a children's book. (I LOVE children's literature. In fact, I smoked Ben at Nintendo Jeopardy in this category just 2 nights ago, lol!) In this story, everyone tries to cheer the crocodile up, but he can only find his smile after he serves someone else.
I was very impressed with Bro Cook's talk. Bro Cook always makes me laugh, and always inspires me when he speaks. I love to hear him speak. He quoted Pres Uchtdorf's talk "The Infinite Power of Hope" from the October General Conference. In it, Pres Uchtdorf states, "The things we hope for, lead us to faith, the things we hope in lead us to charity." The difference is that "the things we hope for are often future events"; "the things we hope in sustain us during our daily walk." I haven't read this talk in its entirety yet, but before I go to bed, I'm going to run a warm bath, and read it as I relax for a few minutes.
After Bro Cook, Lana spoke. I love everything about Lana. She is so cheerful, such a cute little mom with this cute big family. I love her son, who I have in my Primary class and the sweet things he says that sometimes make me laugh. If I knew nothing else about her, I would know she is a spiritual rock just by knowing her son. (...but I also know she throws a great book club and makes yummy cupcakes and is a great teacher.) Anyway, wouldn't you know it, but Lana must have heard my thoughts, because she truly said something I was thinking on my way to church WORD FOR WORD in her talk. See how in tune with the Spirit she is?! Plus, if I weren't already amazed with her, she shared this story about how when she was 21 she had 2 small children and was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, and was then promptly asked to be the President of...was it RS or Primary? I can't remember, but either one would give me a heart attack, and at 21 with all those trials! WOW! At this point I am thinking, "Okay, Colleen, quit being a baby and put things into perspective. Your life is very blessed and so many people love you and offer to help you. Get over yourself and get up and help someone else!" Plus, I cracked up at the fact that I totally knew what she was talking about when she referred to the "Phoebe run" as she informed us that one of her trials is exercise. I am a die-hard FRIENDS fan! That created such a hilarious mental image in my mind. I think the point of that story ws that you have to laugh sometimes to make life more bearable. I SO agree. I miss Ben's large family because I love all the stories they share everytime they get together that crack us all up! Anyway, she shared a great spiritual message, too, and did a great job of making her topic interesting and relatable to everyday life.
Then several sisters shared some quotes from Conference. My favorite was the title of this blog. "Come what may, and love it." That was a quote from Elder Worthlin who said that it originally came from his mother, I believe. What a wise woman to come up with such a simply put statement that says so much. To me, it says, "Colleen, accept your life, and not only live it, but LOVE it." Notice there was no mention of getting mad at L. for purposefully annoying and tormenting the younger kids all day for his own amusement. No mention of getting frustrated with Jackson for pulling a placemat off the table which consequently flung sticky shrimp sauce all over the kitchen, and then minutes later turning around and knocking over his daddy's soda all over the carpet while I am still cleaning up the shrimp mess. Or getting irritated with Ben (although he is going to have Jackson all evening so I can go to Enrichment) for playing video games and not starting dinner while I am still with kids, and then leaving me to start dinner at 5:30 which is way too late for Jackson to eat (I mean, how dare he have a minute to rest his brain after a long day of having it crammed full of medical knowledge??).
It was a great night and exactly what I needed to hear. I knew it would be because I wanted to hear what the Lord had prepared for me to hear. I am so grateful that I didn't pull the "I'm too tired because I'm pregnant" card and got my lazy butt off the couch! Thanks to all who spoke or participated. You made my day better and my life more inspired!