Grant me patience
to deal with my

Monday, March 24, 2014

Tender Mercies

* Russ has been encouraging me to blog more like I used to. It's a lot harder these days. Our days are full of everything they should be, from the mundane chores to the crazy hyper kids bouncing their faces off the furniture! So, it is easy to see how writing got lost down in the cushions. But in my earnest effort to bring it back, here is a post:

So...I am attempting to write something that has kinda remained a bit jumbled in my head. It is more than likely it will come out just as jumbled. But for posterity's sake, it's gonna be written none the less!

Okay, so, first off I think of myself as a pretty average, normal person. I am happy most days. I work hard for what I have and what I want and need. I know I have some weird quirks and I for sure make mistakes. Sorry guys. Yeah, raising my hand to the "Who is not perfect?" question. Clutter still drives me crazy. Also, crumbs on the kitchen floor. And I get so annoyed when I step on a wet spot with socks on! Nothing is ever as clean as I want it to be, and I always think I need to be doing so much more.

But there is this little shadowy thought that tries to work its way into my average, normal, mostly happy and imperfect life, and it sounds a lot like this:

"You are invisible."

Ok. So bear with me here. I am going to be a bit vulnerable and honest for a minute. I know, you are probably like, "What? You are SO not invisible!" I know! I really do. But that doesn't stop thoughts from trying to tell us so. Let me ramble: so, as a mom, I do a lot of things each day. I wake school-aged kids up, usually later than I should, for school, make sure they are fed, clothed, and off to school on-time....sometimes tardy....but mostly on-time except that one time I was really sick and I slept right through my alarm and they were an hour late! oops! Then I feed the two littles at home, clothe them, and monitor screen time while trying to endorse other healthy and creative activities. Sounds easy, right? Wrong! But I do it anyways, because I have always liked a good challenge. I think I clean a LOT. Pretty much I end up cleaning something, or cleaning UP something just about every hour of the day. But hey, I am a mom, it is just part of the deal. I am actually getting really good at cleaning, and fast too. Thank you offspring. I try to feed my kids healthier snacks and stay away from foods packed with preservatives, but don't judge me when you run into my cart at Wal-Mart and I have a package of Oreos or a box of Captain Crunch in it. Honestly, the Captain Crunch is more for Russ anyways. And we all know Oreos are one of my weaknesses. I have to pack into one afternoon with four kids lunch, naps, one on one time, snack time, reading time, chore charts, outside play, homework, and dinner prep. We also encounter the usual play dates with friends, babysitting, responsibilities with the PTO and church callings, as well as the unexpected that knocks at the door here and there too. And then there's laundry. It deserves its own sentence. Can't forget FHE. Visiting Teaching...that gets missed more than it gets done. Also, those random acts of service. And evenings packed with urging kids to eat "five more bites", surviving the bewitching hour that turns kids into little monsters, trying to remind monsters to brush teeth and get on pajamas and to stop playing around, and for crying out loud, stop putting the Hungry Hippo balls in the heater! Then we have drinks for dry little throats, and breathing treatments upside-down on the couch, that trip to the bathroom that was supposed to be done and finished a looooong time ago, scripture reading with most likely crying in the background, prayers that usually have an accompaniment of crying as well because it is too hard to take turns, then hugs, kisses, bonks, lights out and the final "Goodnight, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite" finale.


I promise I am NOT complaining. I actually get a weird amount of satisfaction from somewhat accomplishing a percentage of that ramble. I CHOSE this life. It is nothing and yet everything I expected it to be. Each day I have to choose what kind of mom I want to be. I can be distracted by Facebook and Pinterest or I can be distracted by my kids. I can be patient or impatient. I can make everything a battle or only the important things a battle. But at the end of the day, I made choices. And each choice does have an effect on the lives of my little ones.

But as a mom, sometimes I get lost in the ramble.

And that is where that sneaky little voice tries to creep in and say things like "You aren't important", "No one cares about you", "You are not good enough", "You need to do more", "No one appreciates or notices what you do" and that little bugger of a one that says "You are invisible."

The thing is, none of that is true. But there are times I feel pretty inclined to believe it all. Why? I don't know! But I have a feeling I am not the only woman who feels this way. And all of us need to STOP feeling invisible! Except for ghosts. You are. My apologies.

Anyways. One particular day, after weeks and weeks of me feeling like I was just giving, and giving, and working hard to be helpful and kind, patient, non-judgmental (working on that one still), optimistic and thankful, just giving and giving and giving....well, that shadow was making me believe that none of the favors were being returned. I am not nice because I want others to be nice back. I am nice, or at least give it a good try to be mostly nice, because I know it is the right thing to do. And one of the blessings is that usually good things come back to you. And good things have ALWAYS come back to me, tenfold! But this day I couldn't see it or feel it. I felt crummy and defeated. And as I went about my day CHOOSING to feel that way, I sent a little thought Heavenward that sounded a little like this: "Heavenly Father? Are you really there today? Can you really hear my prayer? Do I really matter?" And, me, knowing of course HE was hearing me, then put it out there, "Please, if you are aware of me, please just let me know today. I need to know."

And my day continued, full of the ramble.

This is where the "tender mercies" part comes in. For those of you who made it this far, congratulations. You are one of a kind! Anyway, that day a pretty special friend of mine, a friend who has lived far enough away that we have not even been able to see each other for years and years, but this friend, know who you are, the one who I just want to put in my pocket and carry around forever because of sheer awesomeness....well, she sent me a text message that day. And her simple words were exactly what I needed to hear. An answer to my prayer. And in that moment I knew I was loved. Loved by my God and Savior, loved by my friend, and loved by my family. I surely am not invisible. And though some might take advantage of me, expect much but return little of the favor, not notice or appreciate all that I do, there are so many, many more who love and NEED me for who I am and for what I can give.

So, I am going to keep on giving, keep on keepin on. And as for that little creepy shadow, well, it might try to hang around, and I might still try to feel inclined to believe it, but I know that when I pray, He is there, and when I speak, He is listening. I am HIS child and His love surrounds me. And I have a text to prove it. And a lifetime to write about so many more experiences that prove it too.

If you feel invisible, if you are wondering if God is aware of you, I urge you to pray and ask Him. He will answer, I promise you that.

And I promise you are awesome!

Every Woman MUST Hear This! from untilweflyaway on GodTube.

1 comment:

Haylee Richman said...

i love you Amber! you always have the best and most inspiring blog posts! I definitely know what you mean about being invisible. Sometimes it seems like no one appreciates the things we do every day. It can be really frustrating, but I like that you make the point that you make the point that we are never invisible to God and he always recognizes our sacrifices and efforts. Can't wait to see you this week!