14 Monday: 9:10-11:30 am post-op doctor appointment. 12:15 Kindergarten. 3:15-5:00 final exam, husband meets me at college, will be home late. Home at 7:00-dinner. Husband home at 8:00. Sister calls to say she is having surgery the next day—I need to pick her up. Arrange sitter for kids the next day. No FHE. Open random place in Doctrine and Covenants and read one verse. Go to bed. Say prayer while lying on pillow.
15 Tuesday: 7:45 transport 5 children to two different schools. 8:30 am babysit. Cancel piano lesson. 12:15 pick up kindergartner. Store to buy groceries for dinner and sister. Drop kids just after 2pm and drive 1.5 hours to pick up sister—stay with her until 9:00. Drive home. Open random place in scriptures and read one verse. Fall asleep during prayer.
16 Wednsday: Spend the morning doing laundry and playing Candyland and Break the Ice with toddler (highlight of my week). 12:15 Kindergarten, drive to scout store-return by 2pm to pick up child #2. Take toddler home for nap (since he had fallen asleep in carseat). Pickup carpool kids at 3. Homework, piano. Dinner, get kids ready for school program at 6:00. Husband takes half the kids to pack meeting, I take the other half to school program. We get home at 9:00, an hour past bedtime. Fumble for scriptures in the dark and read a verse, I think, or was it the heading? Go to bed.
17 Thursday: Dentist appointment with child #2 at 10:00. Run errands. Pick up kindergartner. Put toddler down for nap. Pick up carpool at 3. Kids to haircuts and piano. Home at 5:30. Dinner and school program at 6:00. Home at 8:00. Receive call to please wash dishes from RS dinner that I missed, and haven’t at all helped with. Dishes dropped off around 9:30. Go to bed—and I did read a verse, something about a bunch of guys going on a mission to somewhere. My prayer was just as effective.
18 Friday: Find out dearly loved friend Linda unexpectedly passed away the day before.
I hated this week. I hated cub scouts, church callings, school programs that are poorly planned, surgery, and a house I never had time to clean. I was angry that all these activities took away the peaceful nights of making cookies and cards with my four children, caroling and having the Christ-centered Christmas that I wanted. It would be nice if I could say that each night before bed that my heart was overcome as I opened to the exact verse of scripture I needed that day. That isn’t what happened.
I feel very far away from God when my life is in such harried state of jumbled chaos. I am certain I wasn’t feeling the spirit, especially while yelling at my children. I felt guilty, unworthy of any inspiration. Yet somehow amidst the tumultuous schedule, throughout the past week I kept thinking of my dear friend. “I should call Linda,” I thought, “I haven’t talked to her in awhile.” The feelings kept coming. I never called.
The tender mercies of the Lord aren’t always easy to recognize. Sometimes it is our own self-loathing, or self-absorption that blind us. It is easy to dismiss the spirit as merely our own passing thoughts, having understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through ignorance, because of the blindness of heart. (Ephesians 4:18)
I am grateful for the Christmas season, for the Son of God who heals ears to hear and both blind eyes and blind hearts to see, renewing the spirit of our minds; allowing us to put on the new man, “which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Ephesians 4:23-24) I am grateful for a Merciful God who gives us second chances, and third chances, and continuously invites us to partake of his love and share it with others, if only we will listen.