It was one of those times...when you find yourself sitting, and just sitting, because the tasks in front of you seem un-accomplishable. So you sit. And you cry a little. Overwhelmed by the to-do list, and the screaming, and the demands, and the needs...oh the needs. Not just balanced meals, and creative stimulation, and protection from evil, but aren't I supposed to be teaching them something? So I just sat, because I could see no way to succeed in anything else. Selfish indulgence seemed to be the answer, all I needed; then I can relax, refocus; then it will be easier to go back to work. The longer I go without selfish satiation, the more I find myself yelling over cereal indecision. Everyone leave me alone for a minute, so I can accomplish something of my own. Let me be ME, not mommy, for just a minute.
Let the sun be the moon, for just a minute. Not possible, silly.
That afternoon, in the form of a sweet, small email, I saw what it really was that I was waiting for, when Conan sent me this quote...
"In these preparatory years, you young women spend much of your time in schools or jobs where you receive accolades, honors, awards, ribbons, or trophies. When you move from that stage to young motherhood, there is a dramatic drop-off in outside commendation. Yet in no other capacity is there more opportunity to serve selflessly as Christ would do by taking care of hundreds of daily physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. You will bring the light of the gospel into your homes--not to be seen of others, but to build others--men and women of strength and light." -Susan W. Tanner
As I cried, I read what Conan wrote, "Hey sweetheart. I thought this quote was good. I love you." Simple. Necessary. I was looking for personal validation, "outside commendation", but what I needed was redirection.
Those "hundreds of daily physical, emotional, and spiritual needs" equates to selfless service, and it just has to be. There is a time for commendation and validation, just not yet. Wait for it. Right now, put yourself aside, and serve. Not to be seen of others, not to be praised, or even noticed, but just work, and wait for it. My kids aren't just going to morph into men and women of strength, and joy, and confidence, and peace, and understanding, and kindness, and faith, and all those things you pray they will be. But I...He...can build men and women of light, if I just focus on the selfless part, for just a minute.
Serve: to provide with a regular or continuous supply of something.
Just be the sun. The moon comes out, eventually.