Sunday, March 17

My Sunday Roller Coaster

Yesterday, I spent three hours cooking and cleaning in the kitchen yesterday with nothing really to show for it. By the end of the day it was messy all over again and I was too tired to care. Morgan's german kindergarten had a family Easter party and it wore me out, made my heart heavy for two dear friends I spent time chatting with. Ryan stayed home with Jake because he's had a fever off and on and has this cough that he can't seem to get to the bottom of. In fact, Friday night Jake coughed so hard that he emptied his tummy in my lap. It was fabulous. Nothing makes you more grateful for baths and washing machines than a lot of puke!

While I had been puttering in the kitchen, I listened to an introduction to the Thomas Jefferson Education. If you scroll halfway down the page, just under Shop TJED on the right, you'll see "Free Audio Downloads." It was really fascinating as I'm always considering the education I want for my children and how to get it. There are many things the boys' school is doing to incorporate some of this approach, but it helped me think about my role in their education which is really to inspire a desire to learn and to love learning myself. 

All week I've been trying to pin down all my thoughts and preparations for teaching Sharing Time for Primary. The quote from TJED "teachers are there to inspire, not to teach" really struck home. That's oversimplifying the message, but as it applied to my preparation, it hit home. The sharing time outline has us focus on three things: 1) state the doctrine to be taught, 2) encourage understanding (discuss feelings), and 3) encourage application (bear testimony of the principle in our life). So great!!! Today's doctrine of focus was "Because Jesus Christ was resurrected, I will be too."

Today was a real roller coaster of a day for me and I have the cryer's hangover headache to prove it. I woke up to Morgan screaming her head off in her dramatic way because she stubbed her toe. But I came storming out of bed because I thought the boys were teasing her. Angry is not a good way to start any day!

I was unsettled all morning as I tried to figure out how I was going to do Sharing Time in Primary today. This made me on edge with everyone to some degree and feel very guilty as I snapped at every turn. I planned to use the new Bible Videos and download "He Is Risen" to share with the children. But something didn't feel quite right. My intent was to help the children feel what Mary Magdalene and the others who loved Jesus felt when he died on the cross. To feel what it must have been like to carefully, respectfully honor his body as they prepared it for burial. To internalize the shock and despair of finding the stone rolled away, the tomb empty and not understand the angels words that He had risen. And to feel the awe and hope return as Mary conversed with the resurrected Savior. The video just wasn't conveying as much feeling as I wanted and letting us explore those feelings as my heart was telling me we needed to do. Yet I charged on with that video plan. Silly me.

I charged on, very ungracefully, getting us all ready to head out the door. I had told myself I needed to get to church early to set up for showing the video clip. We were five minutes from walking out the door when Morgan ran in a panic for the bathroom where she couldn't get her tights down because of her floofy dress layers. And there she peed in all her clothes, tights and shoes and I lost it. I had just called my friend to say we couldn't drive together today because I had to go early. Now I had to bath Morgan and find something else for her to wear which shouldn't be such a big deal but it was to me in the moment. Most of all I was upset at the rage I felt so prone to swing to all morning long. I tried my hardest to not direct it at her because I know that children her age can't distinguish between who they are and their behavior. If they do something bad, they feel like they are bad. But I failed, throwing my own tantrum because she knows better than to wait until the last moment to run to the bathroom. We got her all squared away as I worked to soften my heart toward this fragile gift from heaven standing naked before me being washed. I wished it was me standing naked before her, visibly humble and humbled being washed of such a bad temper. Children are such great examples of humility and being quick to forgive! Oh how I love Morgan! She threw her arms around me and all was right in her world just like that.

Then I stopped by my friend's door to see if they actually were ready because they usually are waiting on me. They were taking a family mental health day, but we had a wonderful heart to heart chat in 20 minutes which is what I love about this gal. She's investigating our church as a single mom with two children. She is brave and independent with a light about her that's aching to be fed. So we parted ways and I was so overwhelmed with a desire to share my knowledge that we are all such beloved children of God. So capable, so loved. And I cried to the first stop light. And I realized I was just going to make it to church on time with no time to set up that silly video clip. Why hadn't I listened to my heart all along?

I had packed my backup plan - the plan that felt good in my heart while the video had made sense in my head. And Sharing Time was a beautiful experience. This is only my second time doing Sharing Time but I could become an addict. To share truths of the gospel that are so dear to my heart with them in a way that invites their participation to feel the Spirit is a wonderful thing! We took that time to explore the feelings of those present at the Savior's death, burial, and resurrection. I was able to share my testimony of hope and faith in the resurrection when we will be reunited with loved ones, never to be separated again. And those children were so reverent, I felt their desire to learn, to participate, to share.

And then I was spent. The drive home was luckily very quiet. My Thai friend had sent me home with delicious egg rolls she'd made yesterday. I must get her to give me a tutorial! I would have gotten to eat them fresh yesterday, but I had written down the dinner invite for tonight. Ugh. Again, failure. Luckily, it'd been a group dinner so there were others to enjoy the fruits of her labors, but still.

Ryan had made us a great crockpot dinner and after we consumed it, we settled in for a movie. I'm so blessed to have Ryan!!! This week we've been watching inspiring movies with the kids - Thursday was Apollo 13 and Friday was October Sky (rough language) because the boys are in science units dealing with space. Tonight was Chariots of Fire. To see movies that show the joy of exploring God given gifts and talents is a great thing to watch with my family! 

At the end of this roller coaster of a day, I am grateful that tomorrow will come and let me start fresh. The house is a complete mess as it always is after everyone's been home together, but I don't mind so much. I'll putter away at it tomorrow with an interesting podcast or more "Les Miserable" audio book to get my brain rambling about. I am so very grateful for this little life of mine and the season we are in. Roller coasters and all.