It’s 6:30 am, on a lovely spring Saturday; and today, I have been given a great gift. One of those rare mornings of absolute quiet.
No one else is awake yet– The finches and other birds are chirping and singing in the back yard, waiting for my bird feeder to get refilled. Farther out, I can hear cars rushing around on the streets, and neighbors busy with Saturday chores. I’ll have to join them soon– shooing my kids around the 3-ring circus of chores, showers and haircuts, and whatever else we need to do today. But not yet. For now, in this brief perfect moment in the quiet early light, I can just be still.
Today, I feel caught up with ponderings of great women of the past. I think about my great Grandma; the one who had no kitchen table, so when she bottled fruit, she would just hold the hot bottles in her forearm. Most often, I feel connected to her when I crochet, because I know she did too, and in fact I have a couple of her crocheted items. I would love to talk to her and other ancestors personally. But at the moment, I am thinking of Mother Sariah again. I have been thinking a lot about her lately. She is the first Mom mentioned in the Book of Mormon; but more than that, she has become something of an amazing example for me, tho’ not in the untouchable Super-hero way. Ever since we put our trust in the Lord several years ago–and let him lead us to a job for my hubby here in the hot deserts of Arizona, (on a one week pack no less) I have felt something about what kind of faith that she and her husband Lehi must have had. Mother Sariah has become one of my real “been thru the trenches and came out still breathing” kind of heroes. I wonder if she kept a journal or spent mornings remembering the things she went through when her kids were younger. Was the Sabbath hard?
I would sure love to be her friend.
If I were able to be her pen-pal- that would be cool. I think I would start with a letter, and if I did, it would be something like this…
Dear Mother Sariah,
I was very happy to get this chance to write to you. You have been through so many of things that I am working on right now. I can’t imagine 4 teen and young adult boys, I have only 3. Did you ever wonder if they were ever going to grow up? I have to confess to that occasionally. I have been really overwhelmed the last few months. The other day I found a page in my journal that sums up a whole lot of my life lately.
Feb 16, 2014- “Today is Sunday, the hardest two days of the week—-The talks in our Sacrament meeting were centered around the power of Mothers as a force for good in the world. I didn’t hear much tho’, I was busy comforting my kids… the part I did hear felt bit less than encouraging. Maybe it’s just because I’m tired. This has sure been a hard season- there has been only one week since Thanksgiving that I haven’t had 3 or 4 doctor or therapy appointments during the week for one person or another- including me, most of them are an hour’s drive away… Still, I sometimes don’t feel like a much of a good mom- so much has fallen off the cliff called no time/energy. Even now that I have been able to drop from four different schools to keep track of, down to 2; my house-chores are still the usual collateral damage, as I pray hard to remember what needs to be done each day to keep all my kids needs handled. I try to not grieve over the mistakes and losses. At least not when anyone can see, ’cause it makes them, and then me, even more overwhelmed.”
Did you have a private corner of the house where no one could hear you cry? In the world of immoral Jerusalem, did you have anyone to talk to about your efforts to raise good boys? I imagine that packing up and leaving town was much harder because you had to do it alone for the safety of your family… I am grateful for the moments that I have a shoulder or two to cry on; but even more grateful for the gift of prayer.
Well- here in the absolute calm of this perfect morning, I can admit that it got worse before getting better for us too. But like you, the Lord has been with me. You know, I have been in such stress that at times I could feel my soul shaking inside my bones, and felt my heart in great pain. I admit to complaining a couple of times, and wishing that pain was not part of the Lord’s plan. I am SO impressed that you managed to keep that to only once.
Yet, even at the worst moments, I felt His Love in the Blessings that have held my heart and soul together. I seldom know from day to day what will be next in the needs I must fill, but I have felt Him in the love and hugs from my hubby and all my kids. Even my oldest, (when he’s not down with a migraine, or ASD+teen struggles) gingerly pats my back and says “thanks Mom, Luv ya”. I can read your story and see the moments of the Lord’s hand in your life… What did you feel when you woke to see the Liahona at your door? I too have felt the Lord’s Love in the random moments of inspiration.
Did you watch for the tiny moments of beauty in the desert as you traveled, and make sure to point them out to your kids?
I love sharing the lift in my heart with my kids when we see the beautiful clouds around us, or the amazing wild birds we spot migrating past, the tiny finches at my window, and the roses that have been spectacular in my yard this year.
And I can see His Hand in hindsight- looking at all of things we have made it thru. It was so amazing, even with all the health needs going on, we still found the way open to participate in the Gilbert Temple Cultural Celebration. In fact I was secretly kinda glad that of my 3 kids that were the right age, 2 of them were on the Autism Spectrum- ’cause it allowed me to be right there too- basking in the spirit and miracles with them. Then, I really felt the Lord during our steps in the dark of GED testing for Brand, and other moments along the way like the flute lessons that have turned into wonderful emotional therapy for my TeaRose and me.
Some things can be chaotic and good at the same time. Like- birthday times! Was there any way to spend a special moment for your kids on their birthdays? It’s hard to keep traditions going during hard times. One of the few traditions we have managed to keep thru all our struggles is that the birthday person has to give gifts to all the siblings before they can have any birthday gifts themselves. I have been constantly amazed at the continual lessons and blessing that have come thru the years from such a small and seemingly simple piece of inspiration. And of course, Mom has to decorate a cake. What do you think?
I can hardly believe my youngest turned 13. She has sure had her share of the doctor appointments this year, and we still don’t know the cause of her pains. But she is thriving in 7th grade, complete with moments of glory; like first chair violin, 4th place in the school spelling bee, and earning her place in the scholar’s award list for keeping her grades up– all while moving thru the chaos of being the loadstone of friendship to her 4 Spectrum siblings. She is a constant reminder to me of the careful planing the Lord made when he put my family together. And I feel the Lord’s care farther, in the huge blessing of my wonderful extended family, who pull each other up, and run to my rescue whenever they can; and in the gift of finding friends who understand because they have been there too.
Well, Sweet friend-
I had to take a pause- that was all the more quiet time I could scrounge in one sitting. Saturday went as planned, tho’ the air has been full of stuff that really sets off my kids allergies. We spent a great deal of time with my folks- they have been visiting so that my Dad could help me with the construction end of the storage and bedroom remodeling I need. It has been good for the kids to get to know their Grandparents. And I really needed the help. I may be strong, as you were, but I have also been overwhelmed. I am so grateful for them and their awesomeness and unselfishness. But they are at my sister’s at the moment, and the girls are off at girls’ camp this week, so it has been almost hauntingly quiet here. Good time for me to finish writing- but the boys wander around lost every once in a while. I pray for the Leaders, that they will be able care for my TeaRose, and I hope Kydee is storing up lots of reserves to carry her thru the hugs when she gets home. :)
It’s time for me to get up and get back to being Mom.
Just one more thought before I go; You did good. You had an immensely hard row to hoe- but the results of you and your hubby’s efforts have made an impact on a full half of the world for much more than a thousand years. Thanks.