Thursday, October 8, 2015

Shine back.

I like to say words. I like to type words. And often to my family's dismay, I really like to sing words.

Imagine that I'm singing:
(The tune is usually an original.)

"Hello dear, Henry! How was your daaaaaaaaaaaaaay???
Let's get through this homework so you can go out and plaaaaaay!!!" 

Using words to describe feelings is something I do often. My feelings are big and deep; like most people, I suppose. Some people like to keep those feelings close; while others (raising my hand) like to share them. Whether I think it's a wise thing or not, I put the two together regularly: feelings and words.

This weekend, however, I was reminded that sometimes its important to just feel.

Close your eyes. Be still.
Slowly take that first deep breath.
The feelings will come.

I know what you're thinking. I should write commercials. ;) 

In the place where my emotions live, feelings of doubt and discouragement often invade. When I lose sight of my priorities, desensitization smothers my spirit. The good feelings, more specifically those feelings that connect me to my Father in Heaven, retreat. I'm not saying I've been in an emotionally dark place, but I wasn't attending to my spirit the way I know I should. Also, things cropped up on the home front that made my heart so sad. On that particular topic, I will not elaborate. (Look at me learning discretion!)

Things improved when I attended women's conference on Saturday night. During the opening song of that meeting, a giant wave of peace washed through me. Those feelings of doubt, discouragement and discontentment were wiped away in one amazing stroke. My heart soared high as I thanked God for His faithful reassurance and love. Without words, He had communicated to me with a simple, yet powerfully perfect, feeling. I knew I was in the right place and readied myself to pay attention.
I grabbed Eliza's hand during that song. My heart quietly pleaded to the Lord to give her a soul a taste of what I was experiencing. I asked,

"Please bless her with a spiritual experience. Please help her testimony." In a short moment, those same words were returned right back to me. Each day that she's here, God watches as Andrew and I parent our children. He pleads with us to do the things that would lead them to a spiritual experience and help their testimonies grow. Every now and again, that overwhelming feeling of 

After enduring a small panic attack,
I resolve to "try a little harder, to be a little better" Mother.
And then I get back to work.

Eliza likewise uses words to express emotion; but her primary "go to" method is artwork. I enjoyed flipping through her "notes" during women's conference. We were a team. I wrote a quote I liked and she illustrated.
 A funny moment came when it was announced that President Uchtdorf would be the concluding speaker. With a fist pump and a quiet shriek of happiness, Eliza grinned her approval.

Per our tradition, we went with Nana Marie, Aunt Ami and cousins Callie and Mia.
Because he's awesome, Andrew took the remaining kids, including cousin Sara, on a hike.  It was the second hike they went on that weekend as the night before I had a girl's night with my friend Michelle. She was here visiting from South Carolina. It was really great seeing her.
Following LDS women's conference, was our ward's primary program. This year was different. I didn't get to watch my kids the way I wanted too. Currently, I am a sunbeam teacher. I love my little class, really I do, but they are a handful and required close attention. I had to exit the stand a few times with one child, something I felt really bad about doing, but an argument had broken out over a chair of all things. It escalated quickly, so one of my little friends and I disrupted the last (and best) song of the program before things became crazier.   
Thankfully, Papa and Nana and Callie came to watch. They were there to support the kids which I hope compensated for their distracted Mom. Henry was real cute, I have to say. Before it was time for him to say his part into the microphone, he made eye contact with me and pointed his head toward the microphone as if to say:

"Mom. Pay attention. It's my turn now." It made me feel like I am important to him. I gave him the biggest smile to let him know I was watching. He did great, just like his sisters. 

This is a little off topic, but a short while ago I hosted my power of mom's group. I can't say the exact title of the article that we discussed, already I forgot, but I think it primarily focused on enjoying the small moments we have with our children. I remember a quote from someone's blog that said,

"It's the little moments that make life big."
And then I saw this quote on facebook:

The one thing I do remember from the power of Mom's article is that the author suggested that we:

 "Shine back." 

I feel like I am a fairly good listener. Sometimes I interrupt people because I get so excited about what it is we're talking about. I'm trying to do less of that. But when my kids come to me with some news of their own, I need to return the enthusiasm that they bring to me. I need to shine back. There's a difference between listening, casually nodding my head and really engaging with them. This can be applied to the good news they bring us and the sad news. Show them true empathy. Put your phone down, step away from the dishes, whatever it is... and pay close attention. Shine back. I'm trying to do that. 

Here's a few misc. photos to top off this post.  

This was a little moment Lottie and I shared the other day. She is the ultimate cuddle bug. I love her and am grateful that she's so generous in showing affection. She is my dolly; my absolute sunshine.
Here's a big moment I shared with Lottie a few weekends ago at soccer. She's so amazing. It's such a thrill to watch her. I'm sure I annoy and bother ALL the other parents with my crazy excitement but I can't control myself. 
Look at the joy on her face!

Here's what Forrest's been up to.
His owie was a major topic of conversation for a full week. This is a good thing for a little boy with a speech delay. Speaking of speech therapy, here he is waiting for Jill to arrive (his speech therapist).
He loves Jill. She is so good with him.
This little moment also touched my heart. Eliza and Lottie offered to put him to bed for me. They made him a makeshift bed on his floor. He has so many mommies. What a lucky boy. And last but not least; playing at Nana's park with cousins.

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