Monday, September 13, 2010

That We Might Have JOY

After we went Letterboxing on Saturday, Zeke had to work for "awhile" and the house was busy and loud and full of my children and their friends and lots of dirty dishes and laundry. I just wanted to curl up with my husband and family and watch a movie and forget about how much my children complained about "Mom's Nature Walk" and Zeke's job and Zeke's classes and how much time and gas money I've spent driving around town the last 2 weeks. I felt a little discouraged... don't get me wrong, I am so thankful Zeke has a good job. I am so thankful that he is willing and able to get an education. I am so thankful my children are healthy and life is good for the most part, but why is it so hard? I recall praying to Heavenly Father everyday for the last month: "please help me survive this day, please just help me get through this moment, help me get the kids to bed, help me remember this, help me fix dinner, help me stay awake, help me love my family, etc..."

I feel so overwhelmed as a Mother; I'm ashamed to admit that I always have. It just doesn't come naturally to me. I mean, I love my children more than anything and I would do anything for them and I want them to be happy, but when I hear other Mothers say how much they just "love BEING a Mother" I wonder what's wrong with me... Why don't I feel that way? Where can I find joy like that? There are small moments of joy and maybe I need to focus on those more, but it seems like they have been few and far between lately. I know, I know, I think of the quote from President Hinckley: "Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured."

I know I said this a few posts ago, but Zeke is seriously working almost ALL the time. Right now, it's 9pm and he has been at work since 6am and he's still not home. By the time I get dinner fixed, kids bathed, homework done, dishes and laundry whittled down and such, I am too exhausted to feel joy. How do you do it? Some days I just feel like this isn't what I signed up for. Where can I get a transfer? (just kidding) I find myself wishing my days away and wanting time to pass and I know that is NOT how I should feel.

I know with all my heart and soul I'm supposed to be a stay at home mother... someday, I'll share that experience with you... but now that my oldest is 12... somewhere along the way, I thought things would get a little easier. I thought I'd have some experience and wisdom to draw from (ha ha ha) ... I would be so calm and patient and peaceful and JOYFUL. Why I expected things to get easier I don't know? But I wish it was, even just a little.

Let me remind you, I have a 2 year old boy... need I say more? And NONE of our children have ever been, what would you say "quiet", "calm", "passive", "complacent", "compliant", "normal"? (No, not one! They are all way too much like their parents I'm afraid, especially their mother!)

I'm just tired, I guess. I was really feeling sorry for myself Saturday night after I finally got all the kids to bed. I decided I would read the Ensign for awhile and see if that would help me feel better. You know those days when dinner's over and you want to put the kids to bed at 6pm? Yeah, it was one of those days... but I didn't actually get the kids in bed until about 10pm.

Well, I said my prayers to help me be a better Mother and to find something in the Ensign to help me keep going. I try so hard everyday, but when I fall into bed at night, I feel like a complete failure.

Anyway, I found an article in the September 2010 Ensign that was written just for me. It was!
It's called "That We Might Have Joy" by Andrea Jones. She talks about her struggles as a missionary... but it sounded just like my struggles as a Mother. She went to a Stake Conference seeking "the Joy" that everyone else was feeling. Her mission president spoke about the joy of Christ's redemption that each of us can feel every day. He testified that even during difficult and uncertain times, we can feel joy from understanding the significance of the Savior's Atonement. She said, "The joy I thought I had never experienced was all around me. I just hadn't opened my heart to feel it... since my mission I have come to understand that situations and surroundings have no lasting impact on our ability to feel joy." Wow!

So even though my life is totally CA-RAZY and completely exhausting right now, I can feel joy each day because of the knowledge and testimony I have of the Savior's Atonement. I can endure anything and still have joy knowing that I have a Redeemer. Knowing that I can repent, knowing that doing my best is enough. Somehow when I realized this, everything became so simple. I am so tired everyday, but I want to do my best. Thinking of the Savior and His eternal sacrifice for me makes me want to do more. "...It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” (2 Ne. 25:23) Thank Heaven, literally.

PS I just wanted to add how amazing my husband is. Even though he's not home much right now, he is doing things for the good of our family. At the moment, we are kind of stuck in the middle of school and work and he keeps going! He's the one who's really exhausted :( I just woke up this morning and wanted to add this because Zeke is making a huge sacrifice too.


  1. Beautiful post, Lacy. I don't know a mother who has not shared your same feelings about motherhood at some point in her life, myself included. I struggle every day with the same frustrations, fears, and anxiety.

    Like you, I find comfort in the atonement. I was just reading Alma 7:11-12.

    "11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
    12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities."

    Our Savior did not atone only for our sins; he took upon himself all our pain, our fears, our temptations, and our infirmities--spiritual, emotional, and physical infirmities--so that he would know exactly how to comfort us.

    When He said, "men are that they might have joy," he meant it. Have you ever prayed for joy? It sounds silly, but try asking Heavenly Father to show you the joy in your life. You will be amazed at what opens up to your awareness.

    Love you!


  2. Aww Lacy, hang in there. I have guilt all the time when because I'm not one of those "joyful" mother's either. However, you strike me as someone who has a deep love for your children, and that's all that matters. Really. That's what they will remember. This is a trying time. I've struggled with similar situations. It's hard. Things will get better. I promise. I try to just take it one day at a time. However, sometimes look forward to the day when I can have an uninterrupted nap.

  3. Your words and perspective on this are so uplifting Lacy. Thank you for writing so openly about your trials and for sharing your amazing testimony. They are just what I needed today. :)

  4. I think every mother fact I'm positive every mother has those days when they feel they are a failure or just not good enough. Thats what Satan wants us to feel. What a good example you are...what did you do??? You turned to the Ensign. I remember telling Kevin the other day (after a long day of whinny children) that I think it would be nice to be the one gone to a job all day. Of course I felt guilty afterwards. You quoted 2 Nephi 25:23 "..It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” It doesn't say after all I can do it says WE. That is us and our Savior. We don't do this alone. Whatever we lack is made up by our Savior.
    Lacy you are a wonderful mother. Just remember that it's that "whats his face" Ha ha I like saying that since Satan doesn't have a body. He is trying to tell you your no good. But you are MAGNIFICENT!!! Love ya

  5. This is an excellent post. I often feel this way and wonder what I am missing? I loved that article too, but I really didn't think to apply it to motherhood. Thanks for pointing that out.

    And I'm glad you guys went letterboxing! It looked like the kids had fun in the pictures, despite all their protesting! :)

  6. Thanks everyone, I feel SO loved :) I wish we could all get together for some ice cream!


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