Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Ultimate Joy

It is after midnight and I need to get to bed, but I fear I will never journal about this if I don't do it now.

There is something about this time of year that is just plain hard. January was filled with illness in our house. It started out with me having a severe case of bronchitis and a sinus infection that took forever to clear up {thank you pregnancy}. Then one by one everyone has been sick as well...multiple times. The flu, stomach bugs, diarrhea croupe, stomach bugs, croupe, and back again to the flu. To say I am exhausted is a huge understatement.

Yesterday the weight of the world hit me square on the back and I cried a lot during the day as I tried to keep my sanity in tact. I cried while I made dinner and the kids were all very concerned. But after the tears, I felt a sense of power and I made it through another sleep deprived night of playing nurse to people in this house.

Today while gtting ready for church, I cried as I tried to fit into my maternity dress that flat out doesn't fit well anymore. Isn't it sad when you have outgrown your MATERNITY clothes? I cried as I fixed the girls hair. I cried as I did a lot of things because I was so frustrated. The older three kids were healthy enough to go to church, so off to church we went while Cody and Devin stayed at home sick.

I won't go into details, but before we pulled out of the driveway I had a grade-a fit of hysteria. I'm sure I terrified the kids as I yelled and screamed at them. I blurted out "I hate being a mom today. You guys make me so unhappy." And as soon as I said it, I regretted it. It was so untrue, but at that moment, it's what I felt. Guilt hit me in the face and I cried some more. They were completely silent on the way to church and folded their arms more out of fear than anything as we walked through the building.

Ethan had to give a talk in Primary. He had given talks before, but this was his first "real" talk to give in senior Primary and he was going to read it all by himself. We had been practicing it and he was ready. Nervous but ready. I stood by the pulpit to support him and he read all three paragraphs flawlessly. No pictures or visual aides. It was a grown up talk and I was beaming with pride. I felt the spirit as my big boy read those words.

And then in Relief Society the lesson was directed at me and only me. It's as if the words being said were meant especially for my ears. It was all about finding our own happiness in life and being in charge of it. Again, I sat there and cried. Thank you President Uchtdorf, I really needed to hear that inspired message.

When I left Relief Society and walked down the hall to get the kids, I saw Ethan and Hailey walking side by side holding hands. He always goes and gets the girls from their classes and we meet halfway in the hall like this, every Sunday {Lauren was already with me today}. But this time it made my heart hurt with love as I met them. The kind of hurt where it feels like your heart may burst from your chest.

As I helped each kid into the van, I stopped them and hugged them ever so tightly. I breathed them in. I had been horrible to them that morning...these precious gifts. The ultimate joys in my life. As I buckled myself into the van, I told them how sorry I was for treating them like I had that morning. I apologized as sincerely as I could, but even then it didn't seem like enough. It seemed trite. However, all I heard from the back was "It's okay mom. We love you so much."

My eyes stung on the way home from church. I listened to their chatter about Primary and what they had learned. It's my favorite part of Sunday, getting to hear all about their classes and what they did for Sharing Time. Today was no different, or maybe it was. It was better. The spirit was very strong with me all day and I thanked God over and over again for the beautiful children that he gave me; the same children that I don't deserve but cherish more than I can ever say.

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