Sunday, March 20, 2011

Four lessons

I have learned four things the last two days. In my mother's and grandmother's estimations, that means that I can go to bed, as it only required one thing per day to earn that distinction as far as I ever heard them talk.

*I went to the store the other day and bought bananas. Apparently my one year old was hungry enough and the peel itself was not an obstacle too great to prevent her from trying to chew through to the banana while we were trying to check out. Needless to say, we ate bananas in the car on the way home.

Where did the garbage go? In the grocery sack I have hung between the two front seats of course.

Later that day I have people in my car and I realize that the banana peels are still there. I assure them that they are a new addition to the car and in embarrassment, promise myself that I will take the garbage out at the earliest opportunity.

Two days later. I get in the car and smell the faint smell of bananas. Hmm, nice air freshener. I think to myself,  I don't think Ryan would have gone and bought a banana air freshener for my car. . . Takes me a moment to realize that I STILL have rotting banana peels in my car. *sigh*

Lesson? Banana peels can make a good car air freshener, but not recommended for more than two days.

*Next. My oldest just had surgery to get tubes in her ears and had an adnoidectomy. The surgery itself goes well, but she does not come out of it too well. It turns into a very long day. Physically exhausted and mentally drained, I sit down to read and to attempt to get lost in a book. I still feel dissatisfied. When my husband gets home I find myself, in tears, telling him how I feel I need to get away from the stress of the house.

As I am saying this I find the idea of having to leave my home to find peace disturbing. I then realize that what I really want is for my home to be my haven. Something clicks and I suddenly feel a desire to do dishes. In working on the dishes I feel satisfied. At last. I am still as tired, but I feel joy in improving my surroundings and serving my family.

I have desired to feel this way for so long, I don't know why my prayer was answered that evening, but I do know that I have more focus to make my home the 'getaway' for myself and all who enter. The work seems lighter and gives me a satisfaction that running away only to return to the same messes would never give. I have a feeling it is one of those lessons I will have to learn more than once, but I am so grateful. Maybe I'll be able to sing "Love At Home" with a little less resentment now. (Yeah, it's never been my favorite song ... in fact, I even went so far as to make up alternate words to it, something about 'There is crying all around when there's dirty diapers at home ...')

*Third, this one is pretty simple. It's one I've heard before and it's sinking deeper into my understanding. When I yell - which I have been known to do now and then ... maybe more, I am simply throwing my own adult-sized tantrum. It is immaturity. It is me getting so frustrated that what I really want to do is throw myself on the floor and pound my hands and feet against it, mad at the world that things aren't fair. It is me being tired and needing a nap, or maybe a time-out.

For all the excuses there are out there for yelling (some of which are still acceptable as far as I'm concerned "Don't go in that street young man!" being an example.) I'd say most of them fall into this category of, as we call it at our house, "throwing a fit".

Now, along with this, I have learned a joint lesson in it, which makes me grateful. God didn't just look at me and say, realize you're throwing a tantrum and stop. He walked me through why I have had such difficulty in raising my small children. Why I have felt that things have been so unfair - although I didn't realize that is what I was feeling at the time.

I found that my discontent seems to have grown from the following: I have always thought that you could only feel the spirit and listen to it's promptings when things were quiet and reverent. In fact, it is A way to feel the spirit, and maybe the best, but I got so discouraged with the constant chaos that small children bring, that I had finally fallen into hopelessness of ever having a quiet, reverent house and maybe not feeling the spirit again until all the children had moved out. The fact is, scripturally, direction has been given and the spirit felt when the individual sought God and was peaceful enough to hear the response, not necessarily when all around them was calm and at peace. I think of times of war and times of dissension when, surely, leaders have needed the guidance of the spirit. In fact, it is very rare that we can completely control our outward environment, and sometimes we can not leave to find a more peaceful setting. I have learned that if within myself I can be at peace, then I can feel the spirit - and more inspiring to me still, that I don't have to be perfect to be able to hear it's sweet call.

*Last, and a much needed relief - our dishwasher has been leaving our dishes dirty. Switching mind-frames in the middle of other things going on, to now needing to hand-wash dishes didn't go so well and the dishes started to pile up. A wonderful friend came over and casually made the comment, run vinegar through it!

I did.

It washes dishes again and now I make it a point to put vinegar in as a rinse aid for every load.

Little blessings, constant learning, and most of all, faith in my Savior now and in his love, and hope for eternal happiness. These constitute some of the best things in my life right now. Still so much to learn and so much growing to do. No wonder we are told to judge on intention, rather than actions. I hope I can be judged with such mercy. Heaven knows I need it.


  1. My favorite version of "Love At Home" is...There is beauty all around..when there's NO ONE home! :)

    Learning to listen to the spirit in the midst of chaos is hard, but possibly and necessary as a mother of a bunch of little ones! You are an amazing, kind, sweet person Kerri. I look up to you ver much!

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  3. Hee hee. That's probably pretty accurate for my house Cheryl. It is often lamented around here that we can't own anything nice until the kids are old enough to not destroy things.

    You are so sweet Cheryl. Warning though, don't look up to me - I will invariably fall short. I know you know there's only one with shoulders broad enough to hold all our best expectations.

    I know what you mean though, and I do admire so many things about you as well. Thanks for being the great woman you are!