Wednesday, April 9, 2008

I want to be vibrant.

Yesterday we achieved Hell. One whiny, tantrumy toddler + one screaming infant. Yep, that's the recipe for Hell. OK so that is a little bit dramatic, but add that combo to a crazy work day and a splitting headache and I was starting to come unglued. Here's what helped: my thoughtful friend, Laurie, who brought me a bag of M&Ms to staff meeting because 1) she knows they're my fave and 2) she knows how hard it is to have a new baby. I know a few pieces of chocolate wrapped in a thin candy shell (am I a commercial?) may seem insignificant to you, but they made my day. Partly the chocolate and partly (mostly) knowing that someone cares.

Today, thank the heavens above, is better. (I actually slept for 4 hours in one shot last night--holy smokes that feels good!) And even though I keep feeling like my babies cry more than everyone else's, I am trying to remember something I've blogged about before--that I'm making motherhood my mission. The other day I opened up my Book of Mormon and found an excerpt of an article that I had glued in. It's by a leader in my church named M. Russell Ballard (who, incidentally, gave the greatest talk ever last weekend in our church conference. He talked all about motherhood and totally validated me and pumped me up.) Anyway, the talk I had glued in my book was about missionaries. I glued it in when I was a missionary in Ohio. It says, "We don't need spiritually weak and semicommitted (missionaries)...We need your whole heart and soul. We need vibrant, thinking, passionate missionaries who know how to listen to and respond to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit." And since I'm making mothering my mission I felt inspired to take the liberty of changing that up a little bit. Think of it this way,


"We don't need spiritually weak and semicommitted mothers. We need your whole heart and soul. We need vibrant, thinking, passionate mothers who know how to listen to and respond to the whisperings of the Holy Spirit."

I feel certain that is the kind of mother God wants me to be. So I am trying with all my might.

19 comments:

Joan Koplin said...

Well said, Anne. And thank you.
Here's my one of my favs:
"All the honor and glory that can come to men or women by the development of their talents, the homage and the praise they may receive from an applauding world, worshipping at their shrine of genius, is but a dim thing whose luster shall fade in comparison to the high honor, the eternal glory, the ever enduring happiness that shall come to the woman who fulfills the first great duty and mission that devolves upon her to become the mother of the sons and daughters of God."
~Melvin Joseph Ballard (M. Russell's Grandpa)
Elder Ballard was taught well by his Grandpa, eh?

Barb said...

Great insight, Anne! Hang in there!

Kate said...

I think M. Russell Ballard's talk was a winning hit by the sounds of it!! I LOVED IT! LOVED IT! LOVED IT! Spoke straight to my soul. And thanks for this reminder... as I try to tell myself everything will be ok and work out in the end because I've had an overly grumpy baby now for over a month!! Yicks! What gives? Love you.

and I'm still laughing about that story you told me yesterday! Priceless!

danielle said...

Anne I just love this. Thanks for these insightful words. I heard about your day (from Kate) and said a little prayer for you...but M&M's are so much better. What a sweet friend Lori is. I think we all need a Lori huh?

ps. more pictures of your baby please...I mean when you get a minute, and he stops screaming.

Katie said...

Such wonderful thoughts. And I agree that talk was amazing. I really felt like it was for me.

Anonymous said...

Anne you inspire me to be a better person in all aspects of my life. I feel so blessed that the Lord put you in my life. Love you Sam

jeanine said...

I sure needed this today! Thank you so much Anne.

And you're right. Elder Ballard gave the best talk... one that will be quoted for years to come I'm sure!

Alicia said...

So as I just put Elinor down for another sleepless night (can we add teething into the recipe for Hell?) the thought crossed my mind "How can I do another night of this?" Then I said, "Hey, I'll check Anne's blog." This was JUST what I needed! I want to be vibrant, too! We can do it!

lori said...

Just thought I ought to clarify that this Lori was not the thoughtful Laurie mentioned in the post! (glad that that Laurie was on the ball and added some sunshine to your hellish day!!!)

Love these words, my friend. Have been needing a fire lit under my mothering efforts of late. Thanks for doing the job.

I admire you so much, Anne. Thanks for being such an exemplary mother and such a dear friend.

Is it the thought of you moving so soon that is making me cry right now?? Yeah, I think that's it.

Sally said...

I think all of us mothers need a talk like elder Ballards every conference session. At least I do. After listening to that I felt totally rejuvinated and commited to working on being the best mom I can possibly be. On Monday I had the best time with my kids...I even took all three of them to Wal-Mart without feeling like I was going to loose it, which is a major accomplishment for me. And, at the end of the day when my five year old had not stopped talking for more than 30 seconds at a time I was able to remind myself that someday she probably won't want to talk to me about everything and anything so I should enjoy it while it lasts.
Ok,so this just turned into a story instead of a comment, but I just wanted to say that I am so thankful for inspired church leaders.

Sugar... said...

So true, so true, and you should know that mostly everyone has whiney toddlers and babies who cry a lot. I feel your pain, and I know what you mean by trying to be the type of mom that God wants you to be. I even got a little teary as Russell Ballard's talk became more specific to us as he said it was to women, specifically mothers, and again specifically to mothers with young children. Didn't he make you feel so good!?

I love Joan's quote/comment. I think all the time about all these amazing women who are accomplishing worldy (and good, don't get me wrong!) things, and I sit back and think, "I wanna do that." It's nice to hear that quote and think that what I'm doing right now will make me happier and is more important than the quilts or home decorating that I'm desperately wanting to do, because sometimes that is hard to accept, but we do it!

Jill said...

Ditto Anne...Ditto Anne...but read my comment on Liz's blog about what Brian was doing during that very talk:)

EMILY said...

Thanks, Anne. I have been thinking a lot lately about what kind of mother I want to be and what kind of mother I have so far become. I have come to the conclusion that being the mother I want to be starts with "me." It starts with me being spiritually committed. It starts with me being humble and knowing that I need help from my Heavenly Father in all I do, not just motherhood. It starts with me striving to be the best person I can be. Because, I too want to be a vibrant, thinking, passionate mother who listens and responds to the Holy Spirit. But, I think I first need to be "Emily" who is a vibrant, thinking and passionate person who listens and responds to the Holy Spirit. If I do this, then I know that I am on the right track to becoming the mother I want to be.

liz said...

This is a really good post, Anne. We need to be honest with each other about how hard motherhood can be -- otherwise, everyone thinks it's just them. But we can descend into honesty to the point that we're the whiney ones, which doesn't help anyone. I work with one sister in cub scouts who makes it seem like everything in life is just so hard all the time. Her kids are mostly grown, and she doesn't work, but she does have some financial/health/family struggles. But she's just not fun to be around because she's so darn negative (I think maybe a little Prozac? I'm kidding, sort of). Anyway, acknowledging that this is hard, but ending with a desire to keep pushing on and trying harder and being better is right on the money.

LCM said...

I think the lowest point, for me, as a mom, came when Fiona was not quite 2 months old, Hubby had a migraine and I had someone crying for me in every room of our apartment. I almost just grabbed my keys and left for a few hours.Instead I ended up packing us up to spend Christmas touch early at my parents. Sometimes all you need is love, or a sister who can walk around with your crying baby for a while! Great job finding inspiration for carrying on.

Emily said...

Yep, motherhood is the best hardest thing I do.
Beautiful thoughts. Great perspective. I love you, Anne.

The Ramptons said...

Like I said today Anne, I am so glad you are a stalwart. I love ya. Thanks for the inspiring words.

The Lindsey Ladies said...

I agree that motherhood can be super tough. Many of my days consist of one throwing a fit and having "rubber legs" while the other is hungry and crying and all I want to do is check out of the dang grocery store! But reading your blog makes me want to be VIBRANT and turn those nasty days around! Thank you! Can't wait to be brilliant mommies together and do fun things with our children! See you soon my love!

Sarah said...

I absolutely lov what you wrote. It's so funny because my week was feeling pretty trying and then I had a friend come over and she was feeling the same way. Sometimes all you need is to know that you're not all alone in how you feel. You totally made me feel like I wasn't alone!