One Step Report #20

What a week!  As I think back on it, I can remember only one night when we ate a normal dinner, at a normal hour.  The entire week was spent here and there, meeting this or that obligation.  Such is the month of May.  We made it, though, and managed to have some fun in the process.  My house is in need of some big time rescuing, especially in the laundry department, but I really just feel thankful that we survived the week as well as we did.

The coming week will be equally crazy, but at least I know it’s the last.  School will be out on Friday, and I will be one happy mother when that happens.  The end of the school year is the beginning of my summer-long opportunity to run our home based upon what our family actually needs, and not upon what the world wishes to require of us.  It’s a wonderful sabbatical and I’ve got ambitious plans.  But first we have to live through the next five days.

Ok, this week’s report:  58 steps.  I feel good about that, so on with the highlights.

1.  While I managed to accomplish pretty much NOTHING in the housekeeping department, my husband managed to accomplish this:

We’ve got our work cut out for us, but what a great start he made on it!

2.  We enjoyed an evening up the canyon with Aunts, Uncles and cousins to celebrate my sister’s birthday.  My awesome younger brother did a great job of planning it.  We played a fun new game, roasted marshmallows and ate pizza.  Amazingly, it didn’t rain until after we got home.

3.  I read another book.  I didn’t have time to read it, but I did.  (My house might look a couple of hours better if I hadn’t).

4.  This week a close friend shared a parenting experience she’d had with me.  It struck me as profound, and positively influenced both my heart and my responses to one particular child this week.  I feel so grateful that she shared it.

5.  I was able to find a babysitter so I could attend a luncheon celebrating a friend’s 40th birthday.  I sat there as we all talked and I marveled a little at the blessing of having so many good friends who are a few years farther down the road than I am with my family, and how their efforts and their sharing has helped make my path a bit easier than it would otherwise have been.  It was a tender moment.

6.  My brother and his two boys came to visit for a few days.  They very graciously put up with a messy house and boring food.  I really enjoy talking with my brother and I feel happy that he’s bringing his boys here.  Last night the kids got a little silly (during scripture study) and I realized I hadn’t taken any pictures during the visit so I snapped a few.  Forgive me for sharing three of them, but they are laugh out loud funny to me, especially if you know any of these characters.

Once again, they all piled into one bedroom for a “campout” last night and I read to them.  I love to watch my nephews fall asleep as I read, and only wish that my own children would follow suit.

7.  Today I began studying a story in the Old Testament that I’ve never really learned much from or about before.  It’s awesome how the scriptures mean new things to you when you’re in new stages of life, and I feel excited about how this story is coming alive in my mind and heart.

8.  This afternoon my husband and I enjoyed a very friendly, pleasant 30 minutes in the home of some friends as they shared with us a loaf of freshly baked bread.  It reminded us that we need to slow down and make more room for simple pleasures.  It also allowed us to get to know them better, which is a privilege.

In sum, I’d call the week a success.  Sure, I lost some ground around the house, but I gained better things for letting it go a little and investing in people.  I feel overwhelmed and tired,  but happy and optimistic.  I have to keep reminding myself not to get too excited about school ending, or I’ll forget something important.

The last few years have been really hard for me personally.  It’s been hard to deal with the frustration of knowing that my capabilities are so far behind my responsibilities.   I have prayed, wept, begged for help that seemed locked away in some place I couldn’t reach.  In the past 3 weeks I feel like my Heavenly Father has, at last, opened windows of understanding and insight to my mind.  He has placed in my hands books, articles and stories that are perfectly suited for me at this point in time.  I feel as hungry for knowledge as I felt years ago when I’d spend hours on what I termed “treasure hunts” in the University library.  I feel like I am embarking on my own personalized curriculum for a graduate degree in mothering the unique, incomparable spirits that have been sent to my home.    I have the works of inspired men and women across many fields available to me, the Holy Ghost as my tutor, and my home as my laboratory.  This may sound silly, but it’s the best description I have for my feelings of excitement, importance, investment  and relevance.  I know that much of what I learn will be sacred and deeply personal, but that it will spill over into many areas.  I feel certain that, if  I learn well, my life will never be the same.  I haven’t felt so excited in YEARS.

Ha!  Now you’ll probably expect me to become superwoman.  I wish I could!  Like my One Step goal, I know that growth and change will be incremental, even imperceptible at times, yet I am learning that it is never wasted.   I have faith in the blossoms of my future just as I have faith in my cherry trees .  Life is good.

May your week be a good one.  And if you’re like me, almost through the school year, hold on!  We can make it!


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