I knew this year was going to be challenging. Back in October I bought the Powersheets after reading Make it Happen to help me create a solid vision for this year. I figured it would help keep me on track in the midst of all the change.
I always forget just how hard post-partum depression and anxiety plus sleep deprivation are for me. Third time around it isn’t a surprise at all that it happened – hence the above mentioned planning – and I can be a little bit more logical about it. But it doesn’t change the fact that many days I feel like I’m pushing a boulder up a mountain.
What I didn’t anticipate was my grandma dying. Here we are, almost ten months out and some days it still feels like I got the news yesterday. It hurts. Physically hurts. Grief is no joke.
At some point we will move and I’ve been working hard to prepare our home and hearts for that big change ahead too.
I can count on my hands the number of days I’ve felt like normal me in the last eighteen months (because pregnancy was a feat all on its own this time around). I’ve finally figured out a way to get a real, hard workout in with the kids on the Madsen bike (which will get a blog post or two all on its own). On those days thanks to some endorphins I feel good and I love everything about my life.
I also see clearly on those days. I see that it’s been a boulder I’ve been pushing up the mountain. I see that I haven’t given up with the things that really matter. Reading scriptures by myself, with Andrew, with the kids. Learning together. Building good habits. Cleaning our home. Getting outside. Working toward the things I had envisioned for this year. Creating the beautiful life I’ve dreamed of with my family.
I see that it’s taken a lot more effort and me digging deep to make those things happen. I know that God sees me and knows what it has taken for me to be patient with my kids, use a kind voice, share my food, wipe the tears, listen to one more idea, prepare for an outing, work around the house. I see that I’ve been making some serious sacrifices of the good variety – the kind that God asks of us to change us and shape us and bless us.
And I’m so grateful. I’m so grateful on the good days that I haven’t given up.
Because on the bad days I want to. I’ve even been angry that I can’t just stop because I’ve got children I’m responsible for. Can’t just run away and hide. Can’t just sit and watch a show in the middle of the day. Can’t just stop eating and lie on the couch because I have three other humans that still want to eat all day long.
But now I’m starting to be grateful on the bad days too. Grateful that I can’t just stop, or run away, or sit, or waste away. Grateful that I have a load to carry (read Elder Bednar’s talk Bear Up Their Burdens with Ease!!!). Grateful that I have three wonderful children to be here with me through the bad days instead of being alone. Grateful for the hugs and the jokes and the reasons to go outside and eat and learn and clean things and do the work of running a household with five people and no dishwasher.
I’m grateful for the opportunity to sacrifice in sacred ways that I don’t even fully understand yet. In fact I’m only just catching hints that it is significant and sacred and brings blessings.
I still miss my grandma a lot. Today it hurts a lot. But I also have hope of one day feeling a greater joy because I’ve known greater sorrow through the atonement of Jesus Christ.
In the meantime I’m grateful for the moments of joy that come from the kids answering my decree of throwing the huge box away with an even more creative build (I’ve made lots of decrees in the last month). Today they built a house up high on the wood boxes and played in it for hours. Even Laura couldn’t get enough and kept crawling back up to it after tumbling down. Plus they just look so cute together.
We realized their house also looked like a car!
At the start of the day the wood boxes made a podium for them to play church with. Emily gave Nathan the charge of keeping Laura safe while she set up church. Melting my heart.