Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Fire Warms You

These past few days have been entirely overwhelming. Too little sleep and too much to do. The big kids have been studying for finals and we have had so many errands and obligations. Scott has been super busy with his work and his calling and so every other detail of life and Christmas has been left completely to me.

Last night I sat in my bedroom thinking of everything that needed to be done and instead of doing it I put on a dress and grabbed my temple bag. I told the kids I'd be back and I rushed to the temple in time to catch the last session of the evening.

In the celestial room I read Luke 2. I walked to my car in the dark and I felt so thankful that I was able to go to the temple in the middle of a busy and stressful week.

This morning bright (still dark out) and early we were already dealing with stress and a rushed pace. I felt tired from the second my eyes opened. I felt frustrated with the kids for constantly losing things and leaving a sink worth of dishes on their night stands and forgetting to tell me before hand about the five thousand secret Santa gifts they need.

I was helping Brylee wrap and tie a bow on one last secret Santa gift when the scissors slipped and cut my index finger. It wasn't life threatening but that was IT,  as blood started to drip off my hand I turned and walked out of the house. I barely made it to the corner of my garage before I burst into tears.

Just sobbed.

While I sat there alone, about to demand immediate relief and blessing from Heaven, I thought about this....

"He recalled that when he prayed in his earlier years, he did so with a list of requests and solicitudes. He would approach heaven with what he called “a kind of shopping list.” But now, he said, “I think [I am] trying to grow in just being there. Like when you sit in front of a fire in winter, you are just there in front of the fire, and you don’t have to be smart or anything. The fire warms you.”
I think that is a lovely metaphor—just sit with the Lord and let Him warm you like a fire in winter. You don’t have to be perfect or the greatest person who ever graced the earth or the best of anything to be with Him.I hope you will take time this Christmas season to sit for a few quiet moments and let the Savior’s Spirit warm you and reassure you of the worthiness of your service, of your offering, of your life. Sit quietly with that little baby and come away spiritually strengthened and better prepared for all that is going to come later. Let that moment be one of rest and refreshing and reassurance and renewal."

I had been trying so hard to do this and it wasn't working. But finally as I sat alone and listened to the rain drip and cried into my lap and watched my finger bleed I was able to let go of everything else and just sit by "the fire".

With that Baby in the manger. I thought about Him and His Mama and how overwhelmed she must have been too. I loved letting go of the thoughts of what happened to Him later in His life and all the chaos of my own life and just fill my heart with love for a Baby. The Baby. It felt so good to feel my tears of anger and frustration turn to tears of thanks. To feel all my "not good enough's" go away for a bit.

After a good long cry, I went inside where nothing had changed. The house was still a mess, kids still needed breakfast, a little argument still bubbled up between the girls but I gathered the ones I could and we watched "Mr. Krueger's Christmas". One of my favorites...

I didn't bring a gift, I, but I, I guess that's not important. Thank you for everything you've done for me. As long as I can remember you've been right by my side. I'll never forget when you walked with me right in those first few hours after I lost Martha. I've always been able to count on you, when I felt dark inside and when I... You were right there, every time, right there. Even when I didn't feel good about myself, I knew that you cared for me enough, and that, that made me feel better. Like that time I got mad with Mabel Huntington because she broke her pipes on purpose just so she could have somebody to see while I came up and fixed them for her. Boy, I hollered at her, boy I hollered real loud. But then, then I got to thinking - you loved Mabel just as much as you loved me and I should treat her the way you want me to. I believe I talked to you about that at the time. Well, I started visiting her and we became friends. I saw her almost every day until the day she died. I love you. You're my closest, my finest friend. And that means that I can hold my head high, wherever I go. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I feel like I know how sweet Mr. Krueger felt when he knelt by the manger. I'm so happy to celebrate Baby Jesus in a few days and I'm glad that nothing else really matters.

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