I have been in a situation this week that I don't find myself in very often. I am not any busier than most moms most of the time. In fact, relatively speaking, I think I am less busy than most moms. But next week is trek so I started the week off bracing myself for the fact that there would be a whirlwind of activity and a laundry list of action items every day.
Throw into the mix that this week just happens to be THE MOST STRESSFUL WEEK OF THE YEAR for McKinley and Reagan: cheer tryouts. It is hard for anyone to understand who hasn't had a daughter tryout for dance team or cheer but it is a high drama week. One where a mom's calming influence and words of encouragement are vastly needed. And as much as they love their dad,it just isn't the same.
Last night I left my trek meeting at about 10:45 feeling spread too thin and a little torn. A concern came up at our meeting that meant I needed to make about 35 phone calls to parents today on top of everything else on my "to do list". I was already feeling guilty about not being there for my girls this week because of the meetings I have every night.
I woke up this morning feeling a lot of anxiety about where my time and focus should be today. If I'm being honest, I wanted to throw all the trek stuff out the window and just be present for my girls tonight before tryouts tomorrow. I want to fill them with words of encouragement and praise and send them off tomorrow feeling good about themselves. But I knew that I probably couldn't do that.
Tears welled up in my eyes as I drove home after dropping them off at school. I came home and knelt in prayer. I prayed for discernment to know where I should be today and who I should be with. I told Heavenly Father I would spend my time doing whatever He needed me to do, even if it meant being absent to two of the people I love most in this world.
I immediately dove in and started making phone calls and organizing myself for the day.
Suddenly, the clouds parted and I realized what I needed to do, what could be delegated, and what. well... just didn't really matter.
I called my sister (who is much cooler and younger than me and who was also a cheerleader in high school) and asked her if she could come help my girls tonight while I went to my meeting. I asked her to focus on the positive and build build build! She said she could.
I was amazed at how quickly I made all the phone calls I needed to make.
I started the laundry and cleaned up the kitchen.
Delegated a couple of things.
Planned a quick dinner for tonight that would free up some more time this afternoon.
Suddenly it seemed like it was all going to be okay and Heavenly Father would compensate for my lack in time and ability. I felt peace.
I know I just blogged about this talk from Virginia Pearce last month but these are the words that came to mind as I typed this:
If I could borrow a simple phrase—not even a complete sentence, but just the heart of a sentence—to express the key of life in practical everyday language for us, I would use this phrase, written by Alice T. Clark in her article on humility in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism: to
"joyfully, voluntarily, and quietly submit one's whole life to the Lord's will"..
.Our accountability to God will be clearer, and our scrambling to meet the expectations of everyone else will be muted. That seems to bring sweet relief, doesn't it? One of the difficult things about life can be all of the conflicting expectations of others. Everyone needs help; everyone has an idea of who we should be and what we should do. What if we have submitted our life to God's will? Then we receive direction from him and answer to him. Not that we won't accommodate and help others. Of course we will be doing that constantly. He has told us that we are to help and serve one another, but how, where, when, etc., will be answered in the peaceful corners of our hearts—between him and us.
Sister Marjorie Hinckley recently said:
"We each do the best we can.
My best may not be as good as your best, but it's my best.
The fact is that we know when we are doing our best and when we are not.
If we are not . . . it leaves us with a gnawing hunger and frustration. But when we do our level best, we experience peace".