A few weeks ago, I cuddled up on the couch next to my hunny and we watched General Conference together. Our kids ran wild around us, and we strained our ears to hear the inspiring words from our prophet and his apostles. There were only a few talks out of the many that I could actually tune into above the noise of our children screaming and throwing toys around, but little did I realize how much those talks would change my heart.
A few days later, after Conference was over, we went about with our lives just as we had before. The messes didn't stop, nor did the temper tantrums or long nap-less afternoons. My attitude towards my children didn't seem to be softened at all...I could not push my anger aside...my heart was heavy with frustration and grief. 'It's not supposed to be like this', I thought. 'I'm supposed to feel humbled and more grateful...what is wrong with me?'
And then last night our home teachers came over. To be honest, I didn't want them to...it had been one of those days where I felt that the world was against me. Anything that could go wrong did go wrong...one thing right after another. I'm sure all of us have had these days....and at 8 pm all I wanted to do was curl up in bed and sleep. But I told Jonathan it was fine and I hoped they wouldn't be able to detect how grumpy I was.
Now, despite my crankiness, I have said it before and I will say it again. We have THE best home teachers in the world. One of them is so wise and relate-able. He doesn't sugar coat things...he has many children- some young and some older- and he understands the ups and downs of being a parent. The other one is a recent convert to the church and has the most genuine testimony. He is the most humbled of persons and it's almost like he radiates the Spirit.
After they gave us a message, we talked a little bit about Conference.
"Were there any talks that stood out to you?" one of them asked.
Surprisingly, once I started thinking about it, there were MANY things I heard during Conference that touched me. In that moment I realized that if I just let myself think about it, the messages would come to me. I had been struggling with my anger for weeks and I wasn't letting the Spirit in. I was shutting the door to my own personal revelation because I was comfortable being selfish in my feelings. We discussed the Conference messages and suddenly my heart filled with compassion. I knew that I loved nothing more than this gospel and my family.
And then one of our home-teachers said something that was completely unexpected. It was the recently converted one. He said:
"Can I just say...it feels so good in your home. The Spirit is very strong here....(and after a few moments of silence)...I just love your home."
I tried to say thank you but instead tears rolled down my cheeks. I told him that his words meant so much to me. That I was grateful for the Spirit's presence because I didn't deserve it. I spilled my emotions out to them...and even though I hadn't planned on it nor did I want to...I told them how I had been feeling around my children. That was hard. And even after all that, our home teachers did not look at me disapprovingly. One of them looked me right in the eye and said, "You are a great mother. What you feel is understandable. The Lord understands. And you have the hardest job anyone could have. Mothers like you are remarkable. "
Well, I did not feel remarkable but I did feel the love of my Heavenly Father so strongly. It has been a long long time since I received a priesthood blessing (its so hard to ask sometimes) but I knew it was what I needed. I asked Jonathan to give it, and he along with one our teachers placed their hands on my head.
The thing that astounded me the most about this blessing...Jonathan and I have talked about this subject a million times. We've stayed up many nights discussing ways to discipline our kids differently or changing their routine in hopes of improving their behavior and therefore my own patience. The counsel that he gave in this blessing was completely new and inspired. I knew that the Lord was speaking through him. And I now know what I have to do to change. I feel so renewed in the power of priesthood blessings.
Later this week I'll share some of my favorite bits of Conference. More specifically, the messages that really seemed to apply to being a young mother in this world. I know that there are probably quite a few of you that can relate :)