Monday, May 21, 2012

Calming the Storm

Sometimes things like lack of sleep, mild illness and being the overly emotional person that I am combine to create a perfect storm in me. Things are bound to be tumultuous while the storm rages. Watch out for the deluge. 

I get down on myself and feel sorry for myself and mourn my lot in life then beat myself up even more for being ungrateful, unworthy, untrusting. Un-something.

I tell myself that I am not good enough. Not talented enough. Not original enough. That I'm a hack. A scrub. That I'm not as smart or as special or as important and I've thought I was in the past (in part, I blame the perfectionist in me). I compare myself to all the clever, thrifty, artistic, fashionable, beautiful people out there that seem to have magically perfect lives (and yes, even to the ones who just seem to have life a little better than I do).
via A Note on Design
I want to do something really important or noble but sometimes it is hard to convince one's self that washing the fifteenth load of laundry or wiping yogurt off the counter again is really accomplishing anything important.

The thing is, that even when I've been tossed overboard and I am floundering in these negative thoughts, trying not to drown, I know they are false. Absolutely false. But I need help pulling myself back in.

Last night I locked my bedroom door and called my mom and cried talked to her for about an hour while little boys pounded on the door yelling, "MOM!" over and over. I ignored the pounding and the yelling. I knew they were safe and I needed my mom. She threw me a line and pulled me in and then did the emotional equivalent of wrapping me in a warm, dry blanket and giving me something hot to drink. She helped me feel safe and loved.

I am my mother's daughter. She understands me like very few people in this world do. She reminded me that life is just hard sometimes but that it is important to look for the things that bring us joy. When we are trying our best to follow the Lord, we are doing something great and noble. That's our purpose: to follow Him and to help others along the way--to love each other and not judge; to serve one another and just keep trying every day to do our best. To endure.
"Behold, we count them happy which endure." James 5:11
When I'm putting away that fifteenth load of laundry for the day or cleaning the kitchen or using my birthday money to buy a much-needed new vacuum instead of the expensive dress I wanted, I am serving my family (I got a dress too, just not a $100 one, so don't feel too sorry for me). I am providing them with the things they need. Yes, it is a sacrifice sometimes--a lot of the time actually--but sacrifice brings blessings. There is something better waiting for us at the end. We may not know exactly what it is, but we know God's promises are sure, so we keep moving forward.

Regarding talents, as Mom said, "I may not be able to sing beautifully but someone has to sit in the audience and clap." I don't have the most beautiful house or the most impeccable sense of style. I'm not a great DIYer. I can't sew a straight line. I don't have any book deals. My talents and abilities might not be unique or amazing--they may still need some polishing--but they are mine and I am grateful for them.

After I got off the phone, I went to help my little children get ready for bed, to say prayers, tuck them in and read them a story. It was like a ray of sun burst through the clouds--I felt overwhelmed with gratitude that I am a wife and mother. It is my most important and noble job in life. I may not be perfect, but I am the exact mom that my boys need. Occasionally I even manage to pull it all off with flair.
You can be excellent in every way. You can be first class. There is no need for you to be a scrub. Respect yourself. Do not feel sorry for yourself. Do not dwell on unkind things others may say about you. Polish and refine whatever talents the Lord has given you. Go forward in life with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your face, but with great and strong purpose in your heart. Love life and look for its opportunities. ~ Gordon B. Hinckley
The storm has passed for now. I am so grateful for a mother who helps me weather storms and for the Savior who ultimately calms them altogether.

It should be smooth sailing for a little while at least.


Carolyn Berry said...

Amen to what your mother and President Hinckley said!

Rebecca H said...

Very inspirational, Jill! I can relate to everything you said. My husband is wonderful about reassuring me and my children calling my name contantly should be enough for me. Sometimes you just need alittle more. Reading your words helped to remind me . I know I am truely blessed for all I have but when living in the moment of motherhood it is not easy to see that the worst part of the day is the part that I will smile and laugh about tomorrow.

Gina said...

I started to tell you just last Sunday how much I admired how you have led and fed your sons. As I sat next to you in Relief Society, I felt impressed to do so, but never found a moment where that could work into the short seam of time we had between lessons. Actually, I thought you'd think me a bit odd. You wouldn't be the first! :D There are so many days when I feel like I'm just floundering. When all I can do is just kick myself squarely in the keester and move on. While I would never wish you another bad day, it is somehow comforting to know that there are friends like you that I can model after and try to do my best in the life I'm living. Thanks for being exactly what God wants you to be right now, right here! God and I love you for it!

addie said...

Still wiping away fresh tears from a frustrating evening with my little guy, I read this and breathe. Thank you for taking the time to put your feelings into words. You help so many people in very big ways, Jill. Hugs from afar!

Heidi said...

Such a poignant post. Loved every word!

Tanya H said...

I love this post becuase I can understand. I also love the quotes you found and shared. Thank you for your honesty! :)

Predilections said...

Thank YOU for always having a kind word for me. :)

Predilections said...

Thanks, Heidi!

Predilections said...

Thank you, Addie. Sometimes life with little ones is really hard. Chin up. I think you are wonderful. Hugs to you.

Predilections said...

Thank you for taking the time to tell me, Gina. I'm so grateful for your friendship. I think you are an amazing woman (not a bit odd!) and I think you have a couple pretty remarkable sons yourself. I love you too!

Predilections said...

"when living in the moment of motherhood it is not easy to see that the worst part of the day is the part that I will smile and laugh about tomorrow. " Yes! You hit the nail on the head. I love that. Having a sense of humor is key and when I lose that I lose perspective. Thanks for taking the time to comment!

Predilections said...

Both wise and wonderful people! :)