Wednesday, March 24, 2010

to my knees

Yesterday was a crazy, busy day. Like normal. We were at home mostly, but I had lots of things to do, which after all was said and done, I didn't get accomplished anyway. One of those days where my list seemed to get longer instead of the other way around.

That said, when afternoon came, we brought the older girls home to a mess. (I was one of them.) One of the school girls arrived, as she often does, a little at odds with the world. A bit cross with everyone and everything. It doesn't make for a very happy welcome home. Instead of being calm and available, I wasn't. I didn't have time for her grumpiness. Looking back, I never once stopped. Talked. Loved. Hugged. Welcomed. Sure, I had a snack ready. I asked all the right questions ('How did your day go?'), but when no one was quite ready to spill the beans, I went on. In my mind, I moved to the next task.

After yet another grouchy confrontation between she and another of the girls, I'd had enough. After all, I had other things to think about, and this was taking energy I wasn't willing to share. That's what it really came down to. I put my foot down, laid the blame, and dragged two girls to time out. I went back to the task at hand in a huff.

And then came the lesson. (Although I didn't fully see it til I lay alone in bed last night, mulling through my day.) When I went to remove culprit #1 from time out, I found her on her bed, tearfully writing a note to me. She looked up, crumpled up the paper, and said something like this: "Mom, I just wanted you to know that I've had a really bad headache all day. And now I come home and everyone is so mean to me. And it sees like it's this way everyday. I am at school all day, and then I finally get to come home. But after I get home, I just want to go back to school."

I felt like I'd been punched in the stomach.

On one hand, this girl of mine has a flair for the dramatic, and I know this doesn't happen every day. (Some days I am actually nice.) But it happens enough. More than enough. And bottom line is, it shouldn't.

Last night I lay in bed feeling humble to the core. (I've heard it said that if you say you feel humble, you really aren't. But I was! I felt as low as could be.) And although I'd defended myself to her, letting her know that she played a role in the whole affair with all of her grouchiness (and boy, did that help me feel better!), I knew she was right. I should know better. I should remember how hard school had been. The stress of friends. Trying to fit in. Wanting to meet expectations. Feeling desperate to excel, but not always understanding how. It all made for some hard days. Some 'really bad headaches'.

This morning, I was reading in the Book of Mormon in the book of Enos. Enos was talking in a different context, writing about the unwillingness of the people to hear the word of God. But when I read his words, I heard me. At home. And the familiarity of it made me sick.

"And there was nothing save it was exceeding harshness, preaching. . .and contentions, and destructions, and continually reminding them (v. 23)." While I knew Enos was speaking of a completely different situation, his words took on a new meaning to me. They sounded like me.

A few verses later, Enos writes a beautiful description of his impending death. "And I soon go to the place of my rest, which is with my Redeemer; for I know that in him I shall rest. . .then I shall see his face with pleasure, and he will say unto me, Come unto me, ye blessed. . ." As soon as I read those words, I knew what I wanted to become. I want to offer that rest. I want that the Savior to be a part of me. After a long hard day, I want my girls to know that no matter what they encounter in their world,

There's no place like home.

I wasn't going to post about this, you see. It felt too personal. But in the end, I had to.

Someday girls, I want you to know.

I am trying. I want, more than anything, for our home to be a place of refuge. A place of rest. I want you to see my face 'with pleasure'. And I am going to try to be more available. For a while now, I've known I could do better with this, but I wasn't ready to make the changes. Today? I'm ready. And while I know I'll never be perfect, I'd like to be. I'd like to offer you a perfect me.

Unfortunately, we both know that's not going to happen.

But someday, I think you'll understand. That, after all, is why I'm writing this down. Because someday you'll have all of this. Hopefully, when those hard days come (and they will, I'm afraid!) you'll pick up our books. I hope you'll laugh a little, cry a bit, and hopefully, remember that we weren't all that bad.

But you know what? I want you to remember that we had our bad days. I think it's important for you to know that you're normal. You're just learning. And what ever situation you find yourself in, there are days that you are going to feel sad. Unworthy. Some days will bring you to your knees.

You know what I'm finding? That's the best place to be.

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