Monday, May 11, 2015

A Better Day

(This was originally written four years ago. Funny how time passes, but the feelings about motherhood stay the same.)

This afternoon, Noah begged me to push him on the swing. I dragged myself outside to help him. No underdog, he informed me. I complied .  It only took a couple pushes because (hooray!)he’s learned to pump.  I stepped back and laid on the warm, black surface of the tramp.  The backs of my eyelids blazed red as I soaked up some much needed vitamin D.  I laid there, listening to the creak of the swing, taking deep breaths,  thinking about my day and how much more relaxed I felt than the day before. 

I’m not made for being a chauffer.  I counted a total of 7 trips I made on Wednesday. (Almost a half tank of gas! Ga!)  I came home angry and frustrated.   I growled at my kids and was prickly to my husband. Once dinner had been served, I parked my car-seat-shaped-butt on my bed, announcing that I was not moving for the rest of the night.  I didn’t.  When I said my prayers, I’m ashamed to say, I was still cranky.

Lucky for me, we have a Father who knows and loves us, even when we’re grouchy.  He knows what we need, even when we don’t. 

I was supposed to have another day of running back and forth, but things turned out differently.  I was able to be home. I cleaned , I vaccumed, I laundered.   Funny how the things I complain about were the very things I needed to do to feel normal again.  I sat with Noah on my lap to watch cartoons. Heavenly day- we both took a nap!  When the kids arrived from their next-to-last day of school, I was there and happy to see them, to listen to their stories and admire their artwork and serve up less-than-nutritous snacks.

Today, my loving Father gave me what I needed. A day of home.  A day to be a mom. A day to rest.  Tender mercies to remind me that I’m known and loved and watched over.

Friday, May 8, 2015

My Mother's Day Card for You

(Original here.)


She is not hidden, silent or withdrawn.
She is there, if I seek Her.

She is in the craggy mountain peaks,
Snow covered, tree lined majesty.
I see her in the brilliant blue of sky,
She lives in the curve of my body,
And, the soft lines on my face.

I hear her voice in the song of wind
Lifting poplar leaves.
She is in the call of hawks, grand and resonant,
She echoes in the sweet, simple sound
of my child’s laughter.

I smell her when the breeze
Carries the scent of spring,
Cherry blossoms, lilacs, petunias.
She is there in fall,
In the crisp air, the fragrance of earth preparing to rest,
The taste of tart apples, sweet plums,
A bountiful harvest.
She is in the taste of salty tears
Filled with sorrow or joy.

I feel her in the cool of rain on my skin,
In the warm sun, the tingle of breeze,
A lover’s touch.
She is in my heart, each and every beat,
I feel her reflected in the love I have
For family, friends,

She is not hidden, silent or withdrawn,
She is everywhere and everything,
She is around me, beside me,
Inside me.

She is Mother.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Feral Thoughts

Some days, ideas come to me like a spring rainstorm.  Thoughts drop and pelt my brain until they flow over into my fingers and onto my screen. I cannot type fast enough as my thoughts race ahead of me, looking back, urging me to hurry.

Other day, ideas avoid me- wild, feral cats who want nothing to do with my tame brain. I chase them, getting oh, so close. Just as I'm about to touch one, grab it's striped tail, it scurries away and hides beneath a rock. Then, I sit, hands still, hoping one of them will wander over and join me. They stay back, watching me warily,  sending an occasional hiss my way.

Today is a cat kind of day.  And, I really don't like cats.

(I'm definitely a dog person.)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Random Friday

If my dog ever runs away, I'll know it's because when he tries to jump on our bed and fails, we laugh at him. (It really is funny.)

My son volunteered to wash dishes last night. (*ahem* teenage son)  This makes me so happy I can hardly stand it.

As soon as I leave the room, the Handy Man turns the TV to ESPN or some other sport-report-clip-thing. When he leaves, I turn it to news.  Or search to find an episode of The Big Bang Theory. Or Friends.

All the times that I've gotten a flat tire, only once has it happened on the road. Every other time, it's been at home. I'm just lucky that way.

Maverick now has styrofoam cups for my diet Coke. I feel a bit like they did this just for me. Because I'm probably their best customer.

I am obsessed with Sam Smith. Ob. Sessed. I have four of his songs on my phone and I listen to them daily. It makes me feel a bit less 'out of it' and old. (This one is my favorite!)

Thursday, April 16, 2015

My Heart

This girl has my heart. (Yes, all of my children do. Of course.) But there is something undeniable about the connection between female hearts and minds. Our spirits are entwined in eternities. A golden thread binds us. From the moment the ultrasound tech said those magical words, "It's a girl." my soul has known her. My daughter. My sister. My friend.

A couple of years ago Sadie decided to go on a mission. Often, when people heard this, their reactions were heavily seasoned with doubt.
"Oh, you're thinking of going?"
 "Yeah, we'll see."
Or her favorite, "You'll be married by then."

Others may have doubted. I never did. And neither did she.

After months of getting 'stuff' done, including getting her wisdom teeth pulled, her papers were finally submitted three weeks ago. And then we waited.

One week ago, the big white envelope arrived.

Now, most missionaries have some place they hope to go. Most of them are wishing for exotic locations and new languages to learn. My girl was no different. I worried silently that her call would be a disappointment if she stayed in the states. I prayed that she would know, no matter where, that she'd been called to the right place.

That night we gathered, my kids, my parents, a couple of friends, and watched with bated breath for her to tear open the envelope and begin to read.

"Sister Sadie Diane DeMille, You are hereby called to serve in the Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh mission."

It isn't a foreign mission, but for a girl who hasn't traveled much, it is a world away. She's thrilled. And, she got one other wish--to leave soon.  She departs on May 20th. A short forty days away.

The next month will be filled with preparations, shopping, packing and trying to fit in all those movies we wanted to watch together (and almost an entire season of Downton Abby!) I haven't cried. Yet. I'm reveling in the newness and the excitement. I'm forcing thoughts of her being gone for 18 months from my mind. There will be time for tears later.

For now I will spend as much time as possible with her. I will soak her in, her smiles, her laughter, her kindness, her testimony. I will try to store up as much of her as I can to keep me going when she's not just a door away. And when she leaves, I will let her go and I will wait patiently for my heart to return.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Spring Break in My Head

The school's spring break happened last week-- we all stayed home. Which of course is no break for me. I spent a lot of time on social media and got to see all the people who did fun things during the kids' week off. A couple friends took their families to southern Utah, and some went to California. Someone even went to Hawaii.


You know, that's not so great. I hear Hawaii is highly overrated. Palm trees and beaches. Whatever.
I mean, we're cool, too. We did lots of fun things during our week. I loved it. I wish it had lasted longer.  Yeah, like a whole other week, cuz, you wouldn't believe what we did.

My kids played video games...I mean, they played in a video game tournament. Yeah. And they won. And it was just the state level and now we get to go to nationals. Yeah. That's it.

And, we watched TV, uh, no, we were on TV. Yeah. They were filming High School Musical- the Ten Year Reunion and we were, you know, extras. We danced and... we sang. I'm a really good singer, Zac Ephron said so.  Yep, when the movie comes out, look for us.

Also, we colored eggs, er, I mean, we dipped our eggs in gold. Yeah. Pure gold. And we donated them to the less fortunate kids who only get regular eggs. We're really philanthropic like that.

One day, we went swimming in the pool with dolphins... and sharks. Yeah. In fact, we fed dolphins to the sharks. And, I got this really cool shark tooth when one of them bit my chain mail suit. Yeah. I made it into a necklace. I'm wearing it right now. Too bad you can't see it.

And, to top it all off, I got a massage. From...Michael Buble, yep, Michael. He's a really good masseuse and he sang to me while he massaged. It was very relaxing.

What did you do on your break? Bet it wasn't as cool as ours.

Monday, April 6, 2015

I Am a Soul

"You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body."
(C.S. Lewis)

I am a soul, or a spirit. And, as a spirit, I am eternal and glorious.  I was given a body to house that spirit, and, someday, my body will be as eternal and glorious as the celestial soul it encompasses. 
This is one of those truths that I have to relearn over and over. So I think it bears repeating. 

Our bodies are important. If not, Satan wouldn't care what we did with them. But he does. 
If Satan had a 'hit list' of the things he attacks, we could agree that the family is at the top.  I believe that our bodies run a close second for a couple of reasons-

First- he doesn't have one.  He's quite the jealous type, you know.  Our bodies are something he will NEVER have.  Man, that has got to tick him off. And, if you can't have something, and you're basically a hot-head, you don't want those who do have that something to enjoy it. You'd like nothing more than for them to dislike or even despise it.  You'd want them to think badly about it, to abuse it, to put it down and try all kinds of drastic means to change it.  You'd use drugs, alcohol, sex, plastic surgery, food and peer pressure to get people to destroy their temples. And, if you have the media to help you, all the better.

Second- Our bodies have power.  We have the power to create. We can create art and literature, music and dance, buildings, technology, really, the possibilities are endless.  Most importantly, we can create life. Living, breathing human temples to house more glorious spirits. And, through that, we create families. Which brings us right back to number one on his hit list.  He can't create anything, except turmoil, which doesn't really count.  

I am a soul. I have a body. I am choosing to love this body, faults and all. I pledge to care for it and give it the respect it deserves.  It may not be glorious, yet, but it has the potential and the promise that someday it will be.