Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Believe in What You're Doing, Believe in Who You are

This plaque sits by my entryway... I liked the sentiment... It seems relevant somewhat... right?  I'm sure I'll need it sometime.  Now is my sometime.   Why don't women share the really gory days, the ones that make us want to sink into the earth?  Why do we pretend that the worst it ever gets is, "I was a little down today."  

Well, that's not the worst it gets here at the castle.  But I'm still okay, and I'm going to be okay, and my kids are going to be okay.  That is the message of "The Plaque".  

I am now at the 3 month mark (of the 3-6 month doctor plan for recovery) for debilitating illness.  Somehow, I've taken a down turn in the last few days.  I yawn, over, and over, and over.  Briz says I look like death warmed over.  My hair is crackling off from the bottom and it sticks out all over my head like a fuzzball.  Several of my friends are offended at my lack of calling, walking, crafting, or party hosting.  My home hides scary killer dust bunnies and the basement is a deadly maze of toys, paint cans, hidden spoiled snacks, and dirty clothes.  

I have tried to accept my situation, but have noticed that I have grown steadily more and more depressed.  The signs are all there.  It's not fun to go to church any more.  I am annoyed by people I love.  I long to stay home and really want to crawl under the bed where no one can find me.  But, lessons, callings, service, and taxi service don't stop for my illness so I keep chugging slower, slower, slower, then, stop.

The SD card with Middle School's commercials wouldn't convert.  The expensive card falls from my pocket at the library...lost?   There is no lesson plan.  I'll have to punt.  Middle schoolers are angry.  They wanted to see themselves.  They are naughty.  Even with 2 Diet Cokes in my system, I lean on the wall, without enough energy to hold myself upright.  Their chatter and clinking of the instruments cascades over my ineffectual instructions.  A teacher's husband walks in.  He sees the disarray.  "Stay and keep these kids under control."  his wife pleads.  "What's wrong with the music teacher?  Why can't she keep them under control?" he bellows with disdain.  The room instantly quiets as they all listen to him belittle me as he finishes his complaints about me to his wife.  

I am too tired to care at the moment, but at home, my chemically depressed system starts to stew.   I haven't picked up the plates and napkins for the daddy daughter function tonight.  I haven't returned 7 phone calls.   "I am a loser" reruns over and over in my brain.  I can tell I'm going to crack.  Can I hold off till my best friend and greatest supporter gets home?  I call.  I give a short synopsis... really to say, "I need you.  Be kind to me today.  I'm fragile."  Ooops.  He didn't get the message and in annoyance accidently squashed whatever remained of my self esteem.  I can feel it swelling in my soul, rising, higher, higher, I am going to drown.  What can I cling to till the waters of depression subside?  

My oldest leaves the garage door open... again.  I call out, "Please shut the door."  I get an answer and nasty look that basicly meant shove it where the sun don't shine Mom.  Through gritted teeth I advise that it as I am getting ready for the looney bin, it would be wise to stop the rude comments and shut the door.   Uh oh.  More nastiness, a look that says, "you're an idiot" and a downright refusal!    The pressure holding inside takes a few seconds, swells, bulges, then the damn breaks and so do I.  I want to break something.  I resist the temptation.   "Get the h--- down here and shut the d--- door!  Then march on downstairs and stay there!" 

Oh the horror!  The shock!  Ladybug burst into tears and fled the scene.  I am appalled at myself.  A few minutes later, the middle child (who had been eavesdropping upstairs) walks, tears streaming down her face into the kitchen.  "Are you okay?"  I ask.  "No.  I'm scared.  Why did you say those bad words?"  Uh Oh.  My inch big self is now a negative size if that is at all posible.  How do I explain the whirlpool I am in...  and almost under.  My self loathing takes over.  "I am wicked and evil, and I'm going to h--- with the devil."  I explain.  She burst into even bigger sobs.  "I'm taking myself to my room for a time out."  I say.  I hear her call her dad, sobbing... heartbroken that her precious mother is no longer a hero in her eyes, but wicked, evil and scary.  "Just leave you mother alone for a while.  I'll be home soon."  I cannot bear it.  "Jodi, Where are you?  Can you come get me?"  I say into the phone.  "As a matter of fact, I'm one block from your house.  I'll be there in 1 minute.  I run away, too ashamed of myself to look into my daughters faces, too fearful of the monster that lurks inside to allow it anywhere near my precious babies.  

I return 45 minutes later.  Ladybug races to me and wraps her arms around me?  "Why are you hugging me?" I ask through broking sobs and swollen eyes?  "I am a bad girl.  I swore at you."  

"Oh. mom.  You are a very good girl.  I am so sorry I was awful to you!"  Oh the graciousness of forgiveness!

That night, I need to set it right with Little Mother.  I creep upstairs to have a little heart to heart.  I come upon her pleading her little heart out.  "Please help me!  Please help my mom.  And don't let Satan get me so I will say bad words."  Yep.  I'm still dog dung.  I crawl into bed beside her.  "Honey, I am so so sorry you had to hear those words out of my mouth.  My body and my mind aren't doing well right now and I'm making some mistakes.  But it's okay because Heavenly Father is going to help me through this.  He is going to forgive me just like he forgives you.  Do you remember last week when you came home after throwing the snowball?  I told you how when you were honest about your mistakes you could really feel my love, because I loved even the arts of you that weren't perfect.  Now you get the opportunity to see me make mistakes and love me anyway."

"Did your parents ever do anything awful like that?"  she asked.  I didn't know how to answer so I let it be.  

This morning Jodi comes over first thing... to check on me and to keep me from lounging in my pjs and wallowing in self pity and loathing.  She helped me buy paper plates for the next week, showed me how to hide my piles of clutter so it can't hurl insults at me from the kitchen table, and told me I'd need fresh flowers and a good smelling candle.  Most importantly, she left me a letter from God.  After she left, I wandered around the house.  My eye fell on the plaque.  Believe in what you're doing, Believe in who you are. What am I doing?  I'm mothering.  I'm all about my little ones.  I'm doing an imperfect job, but teaching them how to access the atonement as I clean up my messes.  I'm teaching them about forgiveness, apology, Godly sorrow, and downright hard days.  That's okay.  Who am I?  My letter from God helped me with that one today.  Here is some of my special letter.
My Child,

You may not know me,
but I know everything about you.

Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up.
Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways.
Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered.
Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in my image.
Genesis 1:27
In me you live and move and have your being.
Acts 17:28
For you are my offspring.
Acts 17:28
I knew you even before you were conceived.
Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation.
Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake,
for all your days are written in my book.

Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth
and where you would live.

Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother's womb.
Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born.
Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented
by those who don't know me.

John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry,
but am the complete expression of love.

1 John 4:16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you.
1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child
and I am your Father.

1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could.
Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect father.
Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from my hand.
James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs.
Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope.
Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love.
Jeremiah 31:3
My thoughts toward you are countless
as the sand on the seashore.

Psalms 139:17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing.
Zephaniah 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you.
Jeremiah 32:40
For you are my treasured possession.
Exodus 19:5 

So I'm still pretty okay.  I am a God's treasured possession... Believe in who you are.  His beloved daughter, known, understood, treasured.  

Days come days go.  Joyful, happy, proud, and downright miserable.  Throughout it all, ups and downs, the saintly and the sinning, BELIEVE in what you are doing, BELIEVE in WHO you are.  There is power to the plaque.  And it's going to be okay.   


  1. I really appreciate this post. Thank you for sharing and for being so honest. I know I can relate and I know so, so many good, struggling people who would also relate and appreciate. You are right. There is no reason to hide.

  2. which song is that quote from is it off women of destiny?

    I really needed to hear all of this post for more reasons than one. than k you. I love you - you inspire me.