Sometimes you cry
Serving brings me so much happiness! Yesterday was a great example. I had a chance to serve my family all day long, and things happened to work out so that each opportunity to serve went well. It was, as I heard someone call it once, a “Doris Day” day in that way. Things just went smoothly. At the end of the day, I felt so fulfilled, satisfied, and happy at having helped my children and husband in meaningful ways.
But then there are other days. I get up, I’m tired, I start the day the same way: prayer, scripture study, and then I get up and am nose-to-nose with needs of children who are also tired. Practicing is hard. The kitchen is a mess. Tired children who are grumpy aren’t always very respectful. And by the time I get them to school, I feel emotionally exhausted from trying to be patient.
It reminded me of a parent-teacher conference I attended last night. I was visiting with an incredible teacher–one of the best nurturers I know! I asked her, “How do you do it? You have two of the hardest jobs in the world–being a mother AND a teacher.” She said honestly, “Sometimes I cry.”
I really appreciated her honesty. It reminded me of my life. Sometimes, even though serving DOES bring us countless golden moments, there are also moments when we simply need to cry, because it can just be a lot.
In moments like these, I am grateful for a couple of different options for dealing with my feeling of fatigue. Sometimes, because of the stage I am in (children who are older now), I can take some time for myself, to regroup. It might mean praying, walking, counting my blessings, reading a good book, calling a friend and laughing together, taking a quick nap, or writing a blog post!
Today when I was driving home from the school drop off, I remembered how much harder it used to be when Anna was the baby. I had Sarah in 6th grade, Nathan in 4th, Julia in 2nd, Rebecca in kindergarten, Eliza in preschool, Peter in diapers and Anna as a baby. Now THAT was challenging. Because after getting everyone to school, I came home to needing to take care of three little ones, including a nursing baby that was keeping me awake. A lot. I couldn’t go back to bed if I desperately needed to. (I couldn’t sleep even if I had wanted to. That was part of the problem!)
Amazingly, things still worked out. They still worked out. It IS amazing how that works! By the grace of God.
Well, life is good. And it’s easier in many ways now. My children all can go to the bathroom themselves. They can all get their own bowl of cereal if needed (and they do). They can do everything that is essential and can get themselves out the door in the morning. Some things get SO much easier. Stages of motherhood!
I’m really grateful for service because it does make me be happy, even when there are so many opportunities to serve and even if it takes more patience than I feel I have to do it.
Happy Serving (and Crying),
P.S. Crying can be such a great release. Here is my favorite quote about crying:
“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before–more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.”
P.S. The quote on service comes from President Heber J. Grant.