Monday, June 02, 2008

God's Tryin' To Get Through or Small Tender Mercies

So, I get into funks at times. Down Days are what I call 'em, and if you are a regular, dear reader, you know exactly what I'm talking about. I'm plagued with my crazy hormones, my husband's busy schedule, my children's sassy attitudes, and my current state of house-renovations-limbo. This all equals stress and stress equals frustration and frustration equals depression and depression equals despair.
This despair (although it waxes and wanes on an irregular basis) is often met with four things:

1.Hiding-in-my-shell-and-staying-in-my-pajamas-eating-things-I-know-are-bad-for-me-watching-Jane-Austen-and-blogging-all-day-and-crying-and-scaring-or-possibly-just-scarring-my-children.
2.Lots of praying and "help me!" and "why me?" wailing-pity-parties (silent, of course).
3. A bazillion examples that God hears me, knows me, loves me, and forgives me every time I freak out.
4. Guilt for the first two, and gratitude for the third.

I'm gonna talk about the third thing.

So, last week, I'm going through the despair cruddiness, and Friday morning, #3 decides to open the front door 10 minutes before we were supposed to leave, thus exposing my dirty house to the masses. Okay, not true, but the front door did not need to be opened. I always get mad when they leave the front door open, or open it early, etc. because we have no screen door, and it looks out onto the very busy road in which we live. People drive on this road like it's Geneva Road or something (for those who have no idea what I'm talking about, think of a road with a 45-50 mph speed limit). Drives me insane, these fast drivers, who can't slow down because WalMart might close or something. Anyway, #3 opens the door. And we get to see this:

Wow! We do not live too far from some "wilderness" (i.e. big hill too steep to build anything on) and a duck pond (about a mile down the road a-ways), and we often have quail, ducks, birds, and all kinds of rodents in our yard. But baby ducks?? Rare! I took the pictures as fast as I could, but they had already crossed our front yard and were heading towards the street. NOT THE STREET!! Luckily, a nice man in a car saw them, stopped and let them pass all the way to the other sidewalk; I waved to him and mouthed "thank you!" To this man, you rock. Thank you for slowing down and seeing them! My children would have definitely been mortified to see such a duck tragedy, had you not...

Later that night, Brandon and #3 went to the father's/son's camp out in our ward. I was still all funk-i-fied, and so I sat at my computer, wondering what the heck to do with the girls, when suddenly, the phone rang! It was Ann. You know, my buddy, Ann?
"Hey, Cheryl, what are you doing tonight?"
"Oh, Brandon went to the father's/son's camp out, so I'm just thinking of what to make for dinner. I'm still in my pajamas."
"Well," she said, "why don't you come up here?"
"Where Brent?"
"At the father's and son's camp out with your ward."
"What?"
"They decided to go last minute (her hubby and her son) with my dad."
Ah, yes. Her parents are in my ward! This makes sense!
"Really? Well, then, yeah! We'd love to come up for dinner or something."
"Wanna spend the night?"
"Would I?? Would I????" (Okay, I didn't really say that, but you get the gist of the conversation.)
So, spend the night, we did! We had Chinese Food, stayed up late, and after the kiddies went to bed, Ann and I watched P.S. I Love You for the first time. We cried, we laughed, we cried some more. Great, great movie. I really liked it! And now like Mother of the Wild Boys and my sister, Michelle, I want to go to Ireland. Almost as badly as I want to go to England!
Before watching said movie, however, I had to check my email. Why? Because I always have to check my email. Like five thousand times a day. I used to check it six thousand times a day, so I'm getting better. Anyway, I'm glad I did because I had the very best advice and encouragement from Bythelbs waiting for me in my inbox. Hooray!

Saturday went well; I babysat my nephews and later we doubled with Michelle and her hubby. We went to dinner, and then to the mall, where --finally!!!!!!! --I bought some skirts that actually fit me. Imagine my surprise fitting into Larges and not XX-Larges. Okay, so I wasn't surprised, but it was still very, very nice.

Sunday was good, despite a disastrous can't-get-the-kids-ready-on-time-and-I-freaked-out-and-Brandon-had-a-meeting-and-I-was-late-and-I'm-never-late episode. The lessons were fantastic (as usual) and there was much Huzzah-ing when it was found out that Max Hall and his wife moved into our ward (oh, yes, dear reader. Many-a-young man was quite excited! Including my young man. You know, the man I married who is obsessed with BYU football? That one? Yeah.). I also looked amazing (per Brandon's words) in my new skirt (blushing!). It was a lazy Sunday, with a lot of movie watching and ice cream eating (low fat, of course!).

Today, I started my new routine, and Mondays are now Chore Days. (Michelle started her new routine today, too!) Chores were finished before lunch, without hardly any complaining. Wow! Look at me go! Then, #1's new booster seat arrived in the mail today --which reminds me, I think I forgot to tell you that #3's new car seat came in the mail last week. Now I just need to order one for #2, and we're all set! My kids will be the safest car-riding kids in the world. I hope. That's the plan, anyway...

So, what does all this mean? Well, I put all the obvious and non-obvious ways in which God is aware of me in bold. These things are small, seemingly insignificant, but to me, meant the entire world. I think most people refer to them as "tender mercies", eh? Those moments when we realize, quietly, that God knows us, loves us, and wants to help us...And they are enough, dear reader, to pull me out of my funks and pits of despair.

What has happened to you lately that shows God's aware of you? What are the small things that get you through the tough times?

18 comments:

Cheryl said...

Oh! And FYI --the next post will be about Poop in the Pond. My sister's gonna kill me, but it can't be helped! It's too hilarious. I'm leaving this comment as a reminder to me to write about it, too...

Julie said...

My recent tender mercies:
A vacation (albeit short and close by) wherein all the children slept through the night and none of the children had total melt-downs.
A new desire to read the scriptures with real intent.
A few days where no one ran in the road while playing in the front yard.
A referral to the Flylady's website. It's helping me get a little more order and organization.
A good Sunday -- and opportunity to teach the Young Women.
Some nice walks with the kids lately.
No complaints about clothes or hairdos for about 3 days. Miracle.
MUCH less sassiness from my own #1.
And on and on and on...

Rochelleht said...

Couldn't find my GPS cord this morning. Prayed and found it in a totally funky place.

re: Ireland. Haven't seen PS I Love You, but I have been to Ireland and you HAVE to put it on your must see list. I still dream of it. Did it with my mom 7 years ago. SO gorgeous.

sam said...

I lurk everyonce in a while and it seems that you are wayyyyy "down" quite often. Your "freakouts" or whatnot....I've read that you deal with depression which is very obvious. Have you not found a medication that really helps balance things or do you think you're as good as it gets. Just wondering. I can't (thankfully) relate to what you write about as far as your hormones and moods go, but I know many that can. They all seem to jump around on different meds until they find the "happy" one. I too have 4 kids within a small age span so I know it's tough sometimes. I just feel badly that you deal with so much depression. Must be so hard on the whole family. Good luck....

Jamie J said...

I was just thinking about tender mercies this morning. Spencer's scooter got vandalized, our check engine line in the car went on, who knows when we are going to have another baby, it's laundry day, I'm hormonal...love it. I was going to write a whiny post this morning but then I started thinking about all the good things that have happened lately. I got to spend a beautiful day at the beach on Saturday with the two people I love the most and I loved going to church yesterday. We actually have a car to drive. I cleaned my house this morning and it looks great! And my prayers have become for meaningful and a conversation between me and HF. I have felt such an outpouring of love from my HF in other ways that the other crappy things kind of get pushed away.

Glad you had some good things happen this weekend to brighten your mood!

Jill said...

This one is a little old, but what a blessing for us! Clint was out of town a few weeks ago for a job interview and his flight from Denver to Chadron (home) was cancelled at the last minute. He was trying to figure out what to do and a kind woman offered to buy him a seat on the Denver Coach (a bus that goes from Denver to Chadron). Bless her heart, he got home at 7 PM and the next morning at 7 AM we were on our way to Idaho.

Amber said...

Sweets,

We all have down days. Mine usually deal with exhaustion and the heat. So basically, I will have a good number of moody days in the months ahead. Fortunately, this Canuck is heading to the Motherland next month for cooler climes.

As far as those little miracles, lately I really have been enjoying this stage in my life. I have NEVER been one who looked forward to having young children--I am MUCH better with the youth. But I really appreciate how much they love and need us and just how tight-knit we are. I am making the effort to really relish it before all the chaos of school and commitments set in!

P.S. Thanks for the GREAT camping link!

bythelbs said...

Cheryl, I really appreciate that you're willing to share the ups and downs of your life with us. And you ALWAYS ultimately find the silver lining.

You're my "happy" pill--you always brighten my day!

Jill said...

Cheryl,

I just have to say that I totally missed you last week while I was away from home. I love your posts because you are frank and honest and because you such an amazing testimony and awarness of who you are. Keep up the good work, I know that your blog inspired me to start blogging and to get my butt out the door running, thanks a million! (and I just got new *orange* running shoes--makes me want to run more!)

Amber said...

Reading this on a friends blog-- "I know I'm a better mom than this-- where did I go?" I think it was the first time that I have ever had the thought- Yeah! I know I'm a better mom than this! I am a GREAT mom-- I better start acting like one. I know Heavenly Father helped me to see that.

Also Aaron telling me today- as we drove past the Temple- "Mommy look!! That's where you and Daddy got married! And you looked like a Princess. :)" Awww....

Oh, and having 3 boys who ALL went to Father & Sons. My house was CLEAN for 10 WHOLE hours! It was bliss. But I'm glad the mess is back safe and sound. :)

Cheryl said...

People, I'm loving your tender mercies! It's so awesome to see how much we have, even when it seems we have nothing. Thank you for sharing! I love it.

Bythelbs and Jill-
Thank you so much. You guys are way too nice to me...man, I'm blushing...

sam-
I appreciate your concern. No, I'm not on any medication and I do not plan on taking any. My husband and I have discussed this at length, and he feels just as strongly as I do that my "down days" do not interfere with our family dynamic. But thank you for your thoughts. I apologize if my blog seems very negative, but I'm actually an optimist at heart! I try really hard to keep my posts real, without glossing over the hard parts in life. I abhor hypocrisy, and I love to be honest with my life, because this blog is more than a blog--it's my journal as well.
It's interesting that some people struggle with illness, others with financial devestation --some people have to deal with death, or losing their home. My trial, it seems, is to face my hormones! And even though sometimes it's a struggle, I am happy with my life. It's like my tagline: Happy Meets Crazy. That's what my blog (and life) is all about. And I love it. :)

P.S. sam, come back again, okay?

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

The big one on my mind is this: I'm taking a class this summer, and the first big paper was due last Tuesday. I was stressed to the max with all the birthdays in our family, school ending for the boys, sports stuff, etc....when my teacher announced an extension on the date of the paper!! WOOT!

And some of the small things that get me through the tough times are things like:
Comments on my blog
Emails from friends
Talking to my grandma or mom
Reading my scriptures
A good nap
People magazine (ya, I know)
Reading blogs (I always check your's first!)

Julie said...

Cheryl, your tact with Sam was a little miracle. Good job. I find your optimism to be the shining theme of your blog. Thanks for sharing the honest to goodness, down to earth, happiness meets craziness of life with small children. And doing it with any sort of added dimension of health concerns is an even greater miracle!
LOVE YOU!

Amanda said...

Great post, Cheryl. I'm very much like you that I seem to have a lot of down days... I try to see the good things on those days, and make a list of what I am thankful for and blessed with.

Good luck with the new routine! I have been mulling a new summer routine around in my head (along with new job charts) and plan to get started when school is out next week.

Good for you for getting some new skirts! I love skirts. I can't wait for the days that are warm enough for flip flops and a breezy skirt.

I'm not sure I really understand the term "tender mercies" but here are some happy things for me:
Email & Comments :)
People Magazine
Phone calls
Hugs from kids & hubby
Scrapbooks
Sunshine
Flowers

I'm curious about you next post...Way to keep us in suspense. :)

Ann said...

I'm grateful for the tender mercies of good friends and a sense of humor (so that I can laugh at my kids instead of yelling, even when yelling is my first instinct....and so that my kids can laugh at me when I go completely nutso).

I have also had confirmation lately that God was involved in the process of bringing me and my husband together. I don't think we would've survived with anybody else.

The Motherboard said...

I have no idea how i found your blog, but I have been lurking her for a while.

I also have my share of "down" days, and appreciate when people are willing to be honest-- even on their blog. you are absolutely right---some peoples cross to bear are finances, or spouses, or children, mine (and it seems yours) is depression. How we choose to handle that is our business. While i have been on medications in the past, for now I choose to handle it my own way. Blogging has seemed to really help me... its one giant group therapy session. Ya know?

Interesting that you posted about your tender mercies-- I just bore my testimony yesterday on this very topic. I have noticed that just when i feel like I can't go any further, and my faith is starting to waver, Heavenly Father gives me a little "nugget" (tender mercy) as if to say "hey i get that this is hard for you. But, you can do hard things. so,buck up little camper!" I for one am thankful for those little nuggets.

becca said...

My tender mercies have been abundant which is good because hubby has been got for 11 days now.
* An AWESOME fast and testimony meeting that I got to actually hear and participate in.
* Waking up one morning to the window open and taking a breath of sweet humid air, but being transported back to Idaho
* Not having #2 to mess up my house and stress me to the max...he's with dad :)
* Having my prayers answered through a scripture verse.
* Not losing power from the thunderstorm today.
Thanks for being so regular posting. You're one of the reasons I look forward to hoping on the computer.

Cheryl said...

becca-
You're sweet. And can I say that I'm thrilled that you'll be so much closer!? Yay!

The Motherboard-
Thank you so much for your comment. I'm glad you felt comfortable to come out of lurkdom (although didn't you comment once before...? Maybe I saw you somewhere else...) and leave your thoughts. Blogging IS a therapy session, for sure! I find the venting process to be so healing (what with my verablizing need). So, thank you. And come back again, okay?

I need to add another small thing that gets me through my days: All Of You.
(Man, that was sappy!)