Tuesday, November 9, 2010

things that matter most

it's 3 am.*
i hate that it's 3 am.
let me rephrase that:
i hate that it's 3 am and i am awake.
these middle-of-the night feedings are killing me.
by means of slow-and-painfully-brutal exhaustion.
but i know it's just a phase. one that will pass and that i will somewhat forget someday.
but for now, i they're here. and i've got to get through 'em...

sooooo a few nights ago, i decided i needed to boost my low-3-am-spirits and i started reading some conference talks. i was desperate for happy thoughts.
one of the first talks i read was Elder Uchtdorf's most recent talk.
can you say, PERFECT??
meaning, it was the perfect happy thoughts talk for me to read right now.

you see, i've been feeling the pressure lately. (and not just in my chest).
the pressure of an ever-growing to-do list...one that isn't getting very much crossed of of these days...one that is filled with the normal junk that i know all of you can identify with: laundry, stocking the diapers, stocking the wipes, stocking the fridge, more laundry, thank-you notes, folding that laundry, picking up the toys...again (oh, and the shoes and jackets and mail that keep piling up in random corners throughout the house), returning phone-calls, putting away the laundry, writing a witty blog-post, starting the laundry again, planning and executing a dinner plan....before bed-time...man, the list really could drag on and on.
and the fact that i haven't crossed very many things off lately as left me feeling...well, i'll just say it, bad about myself. i've felt like a bad mom.

i've fallen into that rut of comparing myself to others...don't you think it's become sooo easy to do with facebook...and of course, the blogs out there? which is totally lame- because i know i don't post half of what's really going on around here...because that would just be silly. people don't need to know every cold i get or every dish that doesn't get put away....which means others don't necessarily tell me those things either. but even though i know that, i guess it has just seemed that everyone i know with kids, especially the ones who've just had a baby, have rolled into their normal routines seamlessly, doing all they did before, and then some. and yet i'm struggling to get my kiddos bathed every day, let alone myself....struggling to fight the temptation to put on yet another episode of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse--(because even though it drives me crazy, it is somehow keeping me sane too), and struggling to resist eating yet another oreo...because my sugar addiction is out of control, even though i know that will just keep making me feel bad about myself because i want to fit into my pre-prego jeans soooo badddddlly. tear.

wow. yes, i've needed happy thoughts.
so, back to the talk.

the very first caption underneath the title of the talk, "Of things that matter most" says this:

If life and its rushed pace and many stresses have made it difficult for you to feel like rejoicing, then perhaps now is a good time to refocus on what matters most.

wow. um, i had to re-read it to make sure it didn't say, "Dear Marci...."

later it said this:

"Let’s be honest; it’s rather easy to be busy. We all can think up a list of tasks that will overwhelm our schedules. Some might even think that their self-worth depends on the length of their to-do list. (um, did he just read my thoughts?) They flood the open spaces in their time with lists of meetings and minutia—even during times of stress and fatigue (ok seriously. how did he know that i am struggling with fatigue? this is getting weird...). Because they unnecessarily complicate their lives, they often feel increased frustration, diminished joy, and too little sense of meaning in their lives.

It is said that any virtue when taken to an extreme can become a vice. Overscheduling our days would certainly qualify for this. There comes a point where milestones can become millstones and ambitions, albatrosses around our necks."

ok, if the first statement didn't say Dear Marci, then that one surely did.
but this one, this was the real kicker:

My dear brothers and sisters, (ie, Marci, are you listening?) we would do well to slow down a little, proceed at the optimum speed for our circumstances, focus on the significant, lift up our eyes, and truly see the things that matter most...

...Strength comes not from frantic activity but from being settled on a firm foundation of truth and light. It comes from placing our attention and efforts on the basics of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It comes from paying attention to the divine things that matter most. (the thought of my beautiful little girls...and my hubs...and the word FAMILY...all popped into my mind).
Let us simplify our lives a little. Let us make the changes necessary to refocus our lives on the sublime beauty of the simple, humble path of Christian discipleship—the path that leads always toward a life of meaning, gladness, and peace."

to me, these are the divine things that matter most:

and so, even though my house is a mess,
my face is covered with zits,
and my to-do-list isn't getting any shorter...
i've been blessed with two beautiful baby girls.
i get to be home with my girls.
i get to watch them grow.
i get to teach them about Heavenly Father and Jesus.
i get to have them teach me how to serve and how to love.
i get to be a mama.

life isn't perfect.
but it's good.


*this post really was mostly written at 3 am...but of course i fell asleep mid-sentence..only to finish it today at naptime :) *


The Peterson's said...

You have it right! They are what matters most! You are a wonderful mom!

The Ostlers said...

I cried at the end of your post...I'm staring at my baby right now so grateful to be a mom! Thanks for doing this post- I haven't had a chance to read his talk again, but I will now for sure :)

Kristi said...

You're doing awesome Marce! I'm sure every Mom gets feeling like this when they have a toddler and a newborn... I'm sure I'll feel this way too when I have my second (one day)! Keep on keeping on.

jenny said...

that was my very favorite conference talk. i love that mantra: "it's easy to be busy, it's easy to be busy."

i remember a lot of those same feelings after having macy. i felt like i fell off the face of the planet for awhile because i had to. it sounds like you're doing great. just take it one day at a time and try to enjoy. i am super impressed that you were reading conference talks at 3am. you have to earn some sleep blessings from that somehow :)

Linda said...

My children are my teachers.
Te amo mucho, mucho, mucho.

{amy k.} said...

you are amazing.

the end,

oh and i love you.

now, the end.

Elyse & Dale said...

I always compare myself to others via blogs. I hate it. Thanks for the great post! Uchdorf is the best. For the record, from what I've seen and heard, you are an amazing mom. To-do lists suck anyway.

Torrie and the girls said...

DITTO!!!! I loved that talk too, glad it helped you as much as it helped me. I also watched the "motherhood" on Mormon messages.... another goodie. You're doing what's right and that's why its hard! you can do it!

Amber said...

Thank you for sharing, Marci. It was really good to hear, since your thoughts sound so very familiar. Sometimes it really is enough just to get through the day knowing that you gave your children love. And you are for sure accomplishing that goal. You are doing wonderfully; I'm so glad you were inspired to find Pres. Uchtdorf's talk.

Kristy said...

We're living the same life, too many miles apart! You're doing a great job. It's hard...oh how hard it is!...but it's so important for us to be doing what we're doing. I love you and I know that you can do this! Thanks for all of your lovely words--you know how to say what we're all thinking but don't know how to say. Hugs, my friend. Big, big hugs!

Danny and Amber Koller said...

That picture is so sweet. Being a mom is such a joyous and overwhelming experience. You are a great mom and you have a beautiful family!

mere/tay(xoxo) said...

silly marci, comparing yourself to other women's blogs is almost as crazy as comparing yourself to marilyn monroe or whoever on the cover of a magazine or whatever. get my point??
jk.....but seriously. sometimes i say "fart" on my blog to pop the bubble. you know....the bubble of pretended perfectness. blogs are a perfect place for people to pretend that they are perfect. and the word "fart" is like a nice sharp pin that pops any illusion of that sort of thing. because lets face it...i'm pretty sure that i only clean my house if i know someone is coming over. and who cares really?
oh how i love you...

KO said...

I'm crying. I've been an emotional wreck the last few weeks because I'm going through a lot of change and big decisions... thus forcing myself to SLLLLOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWWWW down. God has something different in store for me. Thank you for reminding me of this lovely talk.

mere/tay(xoxo) said...

i failed to mention that you are perfect and whole and lovely just as you are. i love who you are. the love that fills you to the brim is projected onto all those that surround you.

Heather said...

Wow...I needed your post and that talk last year. You are a great mom and friend. Miss you! Our kids grow up too fast. Enjoy them now...everything else can wait!

Heather said...

This is one of my favorite blogs lately. She has some great advice for moms. http://memoriesoncloverlane.blogspot.com/

Kris said...

Well spoken. I think we should all post pictures of our messy houses just to prove that none of us are really as perfect as others interpret us to be through the blog-lens. Hang in there and remember that the 3 am feedings will eventually end. As I had to tell meyself over and over, "Poopy pants will end someday... Logan won't be 21 and still pooping his pants." Thank goodness. :-)

Lacey Jay said...

i needed this tonight...

thanks for sharing...

ariel said...

hi marci, i'm de-lurking myself!

i ♥ this post. it is sooooooo hard with a newborn & a toddler. i am THERE and it's nice to know someone else is there too... and someone else is crying about loss of sleep... and feels as incompetent as i do :)

love pres. uchtdorf and this talk. thanks for sharing.