Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Gift

Heavenly Father loves me, and He loves you too!  I think He wants to show His love for me more than I allow Him to, and I want to share with you how I know that He knows my needs.

Yesterday I was uber grumpy mommy.  I was stressed and tired, wanting some sleep and alone time.  Caring for four children seven and under does not allow for much alone time ever.  If the baby is sleeping, the toddler is awake. If the toddler is sleeping, the baby will be up soon.  If both little ones are sleeping, I need to give the four-year old some one-on-one time.  You get the picture.  I try not to let the kids watch too many DVDs, but with sick kids and day trips, we've been watching more DVDs than usual.  Ugh.  And housework!   I am so behind on housework.  I really, really enjoy a clean, clutter-free, orderly home.  Again, with four children seven and under, this is nearly impossible to accomplish.  I was a bad mommy yesterday: snappish and impatient and not exuding a lot of loving vibes. 


Today, Moo woke up with the bug sister had last week, so she stayed in bed all day, but did not require much energy on my part.  My friend took Little Man for 2 1/2 hours so I got to clean my bathrooms and mop uninterrupted.  It was a beautiful thing.  I am also a person who loves to focus on a task and work until it's done.  It's a zen thing for me.  And I also got lots of emails sent and straightened up the house a little bit.  You can't tell looking at it now, :) but it looked great at 2:30 pm today.  And then the most magical thing of all happened: all three kids at home were sleeping at the same time.  This is a thing unheard of.  I read scritpures and wrote in my journal.  Do you know when I last wrote in my journal?  August 3rd (of this year).  I connected with heaven in a way I hadn't done in weeks.  It was beautiful and peaceful and strengthening and just what I needed.  I also got to read for about half an hour today (in two increments).  I haven't read in at least a week.  That is how I know that Heavenly Father loves me and is aware of my struggles. 

On another note, do you ever feel like the servant with two talents, or whatever it is?  Jesus told a parable about three servants, two who worked and earned more talents, and one who buried his and was rebuked and had his talent taken away.  I don't think I'm that kind of servant, but I definitely feel like the servant with the smaller number of talents. 

For example: a woman whose blog I follow is now writing a book on her own. She co-authored a book with five or so other women, has been invited to be a speaker at different LDS women's venues, and has a good following on her blog.  She's my age and has the same number of children at roughly the same ages.  She is a ten-talent person in my eyes.  How she does all she does is beyond me.   Like I mentioned above, I can't even maintain the normal things, let alone do "extra curricular" activities like she does.  Really.  I don't watch TV, don't spend hours on the computer/Internet.  I just try to keep my kids fed, clean and relatively happy. 



So I was throwing myself a pity party today about how mediocre I am, and I realized, to my embarrassment, that I use the number of children I have as a bragging right in my LDS culture.  How silly is that?!?  I guess I feel like it's all I've got.  But then why, dear reader, do I crave the praise of others?  Who cares that I'm not writing a book, or working part- or full-time, or starting up a 501(c) (3) to donate goats to children in Guatemala?  I do.  It's the natural woman in me, I suppose.  But a wise Bishop once shared this counsel, to avoid these three Cs: complain, compare, and criticize.  Obviously I have a long ways to go.  I know I'm doing what the Lord wants me to do.  And I'm foolish to wish for more because I really do love my simple life.  When I'm holding my sweet baby that just fell asleep in my arms, I'm nestling heaven.  But that lady that's writing a book just had a baby too!  Oops, there I go complaining and comparing again.  :) 

9 comments:

Allison Holden said...

I hear you on this. I have been so snappy with the kids while they are sick and everything is in chaos. Last night I had a breakdown because I was trying to sew the simplest thing and totally messed it up. Thank you for sharing. It is nice to know I am not alone in my frustrations about feeling like I don't accomplish so much as I would like.

Maggie said...

You are an amazing person, wife and mother. It is hard not to compare and our culture plus social media makes it sooo easy to do that. My mom said that in her day it was just once a year with annual Christmas card letters :)I'm impressed that you are surviving with 4 kids. I'm due on the 20th, so I'm hoping that I'll be able to make a graceful transition (or make the rocky transition).

Shauna Hemenway said...

Thanks Maggie, you're kind. Best of luck on the arrival of number four! Can't wait to hear about it.

Shauna Hemenway said...

Sorry you're struggling, Allison. It's so hard when the simple things just can't be simply done, isn't it? Especially when it's something like sewing, which presumably we have control over. It's easier to let go of control of the kids because they have their own will, but when it's my manipulation of an inanimate object that goes wrong, then I feel even more like a failure.

Amanda said...

I once heard a woman speak at BYU. Her message was that we didn't need to do extraordinary things in life - it was enough that we were children of God. That alone made us special. I laughed about it when I got home, though. This lady had 4 kids, her youngest (4 months old) with her during the talk. She'd produced a few CDs that sold well. She had her own non-profit charity business on the side. Probably donating goats to Guatemala. :) I felt more inadequate than ever!

Trina said...

I love hearing your thoughts! I have thought the same things about myself- I maybe am the 2 talent one working on getting 4. And I have always felt bad for that guy in the parable because first off he had less talents and then he even ends up with such fewer talents at the end even though he works so hard- and the ten talent guy even gets the one talent from the last guy. I always thought that should go to the 4 talent guy... Not that it matters they both are rulers and leaders over lots right?

If it makes you feel better I have always perceived you as the super talented one- you are such an amazing mom and so good with kids! You have lots of energy and are always doing fun things with your kids. And you always seem to have the perfect response to your kids! You are super friendly and have obvious leadership talents, and you became friends and knew everyone in record time! you also dance, and you are already back in shape and you make 4 kids look easy... And the list goes on and on...

But in thinking over this topic I have realized that comparing never does work because we all have different kids with different needs and different philosophies on raising them and how much time and attention they need. If you do write books or produce CDs something has to give which might work fine for her family but not for mine. Not that I have ideas or plans for books anyway. And there is a time for everything too, but we are all on our own time schedule. Maybe these are excuses, but that's what I think :)

Michael Family said...

So that lady had a drive and desire to make a successful blog and business out of it. So what! You have other talents and other desires that will work better for you in your life. There is a season for everything. Maybe later on you'll be a rockstart social worker in Guatemala. Take that! You go Shauna!

Jenni said...

Ahhh- somehow my comment just got deleted- but I will try again.

That is really miraculous to have 3 children sleeping at once! I'm happy to hear you found some time for yourself.

Shauna- you are so talented! You know how to organize, plan, prepare, make food that is healthy and tasty-that definitely takes talent. You are kind and so generous, always willing to serve others. You can write well, you are witty and funny. I admire you in so many ways. Although some people may have talents that can be more easily seen-writing books, establishing charities-blahblahblah, I think serving one by one can be just as important if not more, and I know you do that well. I think seeing talents in ourselves is always more difficult than seeing them in others. I also feel down and discouraged and complain and compare more than I should, and I have to remind myself that I need to "STOP IT!", as Elder Utchdorf would say. Always easier to say than to do, right! Anyway, We're still missing you dearly here. Hoping to see you soon. Jenni

Jenni said...

Ahhh- somehow my comment just got deleted- but I will try again.

That is really miraculous to have 3 children sleeping at once! I'm happy to hear you found some time for yourself.

Shauna- you are so talented! You know how to organize, plan, prepare, make food that is healthy and tasty-that definitely takes talent. You are kind and so generous, always willing to serve others. You can write well, you are witty and funny. I admire you in so many ways. Although some people may have talents that can be more easily seen-writing books, establishing charities-blahblahblah, I think serving one by one can be just as important if not more, and I know you do that well. I think seeing talents in ourselves is always more difficult than seeing them in others. I also feel down and discouraged and complain and compare more than I should, and I have to remind myself that I need to "STOP IT!", as Elder Utchdorf would say. Always easier to say than to do, right! Anyway, We're still missing you dearly here. Hoping to see you soon.