Thursday, December 23, 2010

My wall.

There are so many sayings about walls. "I was backed into a wall!" "I should have seen it, the handwriting was on the wall." "That was off the wall." "The kids are driving me up the wall!" Lately I feel like I have my own personal pet wall- perhaps it is attached to my shadow, or maybe it hangs around me, like some kind of invisible cloud. Not sure... but it is there, and today I ran straight into it.

Christmas is a special time of year. I love Christmas. I start celebrating in July. No, really, I do. Ask my husband about my "Christmas in July!" holiday movie marathons, and the hours of Pandora Christmas music I will play while I bake a small turkey breast and buy cranberry jelly. Yeah, crazy I guess, but something about the holidays is so wonderful- I just want to soak it in! The holidays really start for me in October. I love Halloween and I work hard to make sure my kids have cute little costumes, there are a few decorations, and that I am well stocked with yummy candy. Things heat up for us in November, we put up at least one tree and start picking out cards. As the weather gets colder I get more cheery, I love snow. So, by the time December rolls around I am usually giddy and always smiling.... so, why do I have a pet wall?

Well, yeah, we have had some hardships, but through them I have kept my heart on the real reason for this amazing holiday, and I have been able to keep myself together. However, any "excitement" this year can really be credited to my children, something about seeing the discovery of holidays through the eyes of two 5 year olds, and one 4 year old, really make holidays shine! The kids were spooked on Halloween, were thankful on Thanksgiving, and are now joyful at Christmas. They love all of it- from Christ to Santa they want to take it all in. I am grateful for that. However, I should have realized that just as no man can live by another man's faith in God, I could not get by with just my children's excitment in Christmas. No, it wasn't enough. Insert wall.

My husband is still sick. I have been cleaning, taking care of the kids, making the meals, doing the shopping, and doing all the Christmas stuff (baking, shopping, wrapping, projects) by myself. At first I know my list looks small, and I know that compared to other families my list is tiny, but to me, it is huge. I was a career student just 4 months ago, being home again is new to me. Within just a month of being home, we added my brother and his son to the family. I am not used to taking care of 6 people- it is hard! Anyway...

Today, I ran into my wall. I ran into my limit. I ran into the worst within myself. There is only so much cleaning, cooking, and childcare I can do... and after weeks and weeks without a break (or help!) I lost it. We always have dinner at 5:00pm. Always...

Somehow today, I overestimated how much I could accomplish around the house. I glanced at the clock, half way though a project, and saw that dinner was already late. It was just after 5! Dinner hadn't even been started!!! I tried to calm myself by coming up with a fast dinner option. Wait... the table was COVERED in half decorated cookies drying on parchment paper. Great... where would the kids eat? I cant have them eating spaghetti on the microfiber couch! UGH. The kids started screaming. My husband's snoring (he was in bed most of the day) and coughing, echoed through the house. My brother was napping too. I lost it.

I went into the living room. It was dark. The only lights were from the dim glow of the Christmas bulbs outside, and from the tiny tree on my desk. I cried. I cried hard. I couldn't help but pray. I felt forgotten. I poured my heart out to God, and I begged for help: I am out of options. I don't know who our Visiting Teachers or Home Teachers are. My husband cant help, he is sick. My brother cant help, he is depressed- and he, too, is pushed to his limit. I cried and I cried. I just need some help. I just need to feed my family!
With tears streaming down my face, the doorbell rang. Great. I had decided not to answer (after all, I was in a dark room, so maybe whoever it was would just assume we weren't home). The kids had other plans. Sean raced from the back of the house to the door, and before I could protest, he was working with the lock. Ugh. Well, awesome. Whoever is at the door knows we are home. I wiped the tears, comforting myself that we never have company over, so it is probably just a salesman. My heart fell when I saw it was my LDS neighbor. This is not how I want to be seen.

She saw me- dirty clothes, unwashed hair, no makeup, teary eyed, in a dim room. Kids who were still in PJ's, hair messy, candy cane smudges on their faces. She didn't judge me. She didn't ask questions. She simply smiled at me, and explained that she was supposed to have Missionaries over to her home for dinner, but due to illness they were unable to make it. She hoped that our family would come and join her and her husband- there was no way they would be able to eat the 4lb roast she had made. I stared in disbelief. I started to tear. She probably thought I was crazy, but she didn't say a word. I apologized for the state of myself and the children (for those who know us, you know the kids and I are usually "put together"). She waved her hand and laughed, she explained that we could just come in pajamas- it wouldn't bother her at all. Her warmth was overwhelming. I told her we would be there in 15 minutes.

When I closed the door, and the kids ran off, I was overcome. There are no words. In my time of need, I had my very own Christmas miracle. When I had hit my wall. When I felt like I couldn't do a single thing more for another person. When I had literally given all that I could- I knocked, and I was sent help. I was literally instantly helped. I cried more. But this time, I was crying with gratitude for such a fast response, from someone who obviously had been open to a prompting.

I got the kids dressed, and went to the bathroom to wash my face and do a little make up. I had been so amazed by such a fast dinner invitation that I didn't stop and think about what was going to be served, and I found myself rehearsing explanations as to why Harrison and I wouldn't be eating some of the things in the meal- not being able to eat gluten can appear to be rude, and the LAST thing I ever want to do is insult my hosts! My small etiquette worry was gone as soon as I arrived. Dinner was gluten-free. My neighbor has a gluten allergy and his wife makes gluten-free meals.............. amazing.......... like.......... wow.

Really. No words. I have no words. I have only awe.
"Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you" Matthew 7:7
I am so thankful for my neighbors. I am so thankful for their willingness to be instruments in the hands of God. I am so thankful for my Heavenly Father for demonstrating his love for me, yet again, in such a very profound way. I am so thankful for this day, because even though it was one of the worst beginnings, it was the best end. No matter what happens, I know Heavenly Father is there for me, and I am so grateful for that. I am so thankful for the chance I had to have dinner with my wonderful neighbors- the food was great, the conversation was delightful, and I am renewed!

The Savior said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). My soul feels rest. I feel peace. I feel the joy, and the miracle, that is Christmas. I am so comforted to now know, that yes- I do have a pet wall... but that wall, has a door, and all I need to do is knock.


  1. Wow! You've no idea how much I needed to read this tonight. And very well written. It's Awesome! Praise the Lord!

  2. How did I not know you had a blog? I just found it tonight, and can I just say that I needed to read your blog tonight! You are amazing, and we miss you. I had no idea everything that has gone on since you moved. I am glad to hear things are looking up.