I’ve had an interesting week—frustrating, but interesting. The thing about frustration is that it is often a learning experience. I usually drive my husband to clean the temple on Mondays. While he is cleaning, I walk the temple grounds, read my scriptures, and sometimes write my articles on my laptop while sitting on temple hill. I did that this week. I often find that my best articles—those that say exactly what is in my heart—are those that are written on temple hill. This week I wrote an article that was supposed to be published today. I saved it on my laptop with the intention of reading it again upon my return home, adding a link, proofreading, and sending it for publication. It didn’t quite turn out that way.
That afternoon, our youngest daughter who lives in Idaho, about 800 miles from us, broke her ankle in three places. After a trip to the hospital in an ambulance, her bones were set, but she needs to have a metal plate placed in her ankle. There was too much swelling to do that, so they sent her home in a splint to elevate her leg for a week and a half prior to surgery. I found myself planning a trip to see her and help her out. It’s what moms do, isn’t it? Over the last few months, I’ve made a couple of other trips to the home of another daughter for similar reasons.
Why is it that when it rains, it pours? Every time I plan one of these little jaunts to help a kid out, everything in my house decides to break and my life falls apart. Five years ago, as I was sitting in Southern California helping one of my kids, my husband was sitting by himself at home dealing with a gas leak and a minor construction project. Last October, as I was in Southern California again helping a daughter out, my best friend passed away. As I prepared for yet another trip in December, our television set died. We managed to replace it before I left, and my son-in-law was able to get it all hooked up for my husband in my absence so he didn’t go stir-crazy before I came home.
So it was not exactly a surprise this week when after learning I was traveling to Idaho to help our daughter, my laptop decided to put itself in a loop while trying to restart after an automatic Windows update. There was no way to retrieve my article written on temple hill, and I didn’t really want to try to rewrite it because I liked it just the way it was saved. Providing I can get my laptop fixed, you may very well see that article at some future date.
Trying not to panic until my son-in-law has time to come over and fix the issue on my laptop, I retrieved my old laptop (on its last legs) from the shelf. Of course, I was instantly locked out of both my e-mail account and my Facebook account. I’ve got my security systems so tight that logging in from a different source messes up the works. As I write this, I’ve managed to reset my e-mail account, as well as my Google account, but I’m still locked out of Facebook. I’m first counselor in the Relief Society presidency in our ward (e.g., an assistant in our local church women’s organization), and we use Facebook messaging daily—sometimes hourly—to communicate and keep the ward going.
Of course, my 19-year-old blind, deaf, arthritic dog with a leaky heart valve (but a staunch determination to live!) decided to have an infestation of fleas. He no longer can stand up in the bathtub for flea baths, so giving him a bath is a pain. Since I’m recovering from falling on my tailbone in the mud the other day while sweeping an over abundance of standing rainwater from our backyard into the city sewer drain, bending over the bathtub is physically painful.
Flea infestation also means vacuuming at least twice a day. I had just completed vacuuming this morning when the on/off switch on the vacuum cleaner decided to die. It will no longer turn on. I think I have finally solved the flea issue, but my husband will have no vacuum until I return from Idaho. He’s going to have to call the daughter who lives locally to come vacuum the carpets, or he’s going to have to get the vacuum cleaner repaired or buy a new one.
The vacuum was kind of the last straw this afternoon. I was ready to scream—or cry—or yell at my husband (who sooooo does not deserve that) until I realized something. I spend a lot of time thinking about strengthening faith. I want my own faith strong, and I want to be able to strengthen the faith of those who read my articles. I want to be a living example to my children of how to live with faith on a daily basis. Of course, Satan is going to do his best to rattle that faith at each opportunity. As I strive to serve my family, Satan picks my most vulnerable moments to rattle my faith.
Instead of screaming, crying, or yelling at my poor husband, I took a deep breath, made a list of the things I can control, and decided to turn what I can’t control over to the Savior. I can continue to plan for this trip to help my daughter. I can send an e-mail to the Relief Society presidency, and tell them to send e-mails instead of Facebook messages. I can e-mail my daughter and ask her to vacuum my house while I’m gone, if needed. I can drive to Idaho by myself to help my daughter.
Most importantly, I can rely on the Savior to help me serve my family day by day, hour by hour, and minute by minute. I can live each day with faith.
Tudie Rose is a mother of four and grandmother of ten in Sacramento, California. You can find her on Twitter as @TudieRose. She blogs as Tudie Rose at http://potrackrose.wordpress.com. She has written articles for Familius. You will find a Tudie Rose essay in Lessons from My Parents, Michele Robbins, Familius 2013, at http://www.familius.com/lessons-from-my-parents.
While reading your thoughts, especially the phrase “I took a deep breath, made a list of the things I can control, and decided to turn what I can’t control over to the Savior.”, My thoughts were instantly turned to the story of the Widow’s Mite in Mark 12. Jesus teaches us through this beautiful example that the most important thing we can do is give our best. Whether that’s our last two mites or the last bit of energy we have to serve someone who needs our help, that is all we are asked to do. Thank you for your efforts to be a faithful mother and wife. They have inspired me to make more of an effort this week.
Thank you for your sweet words! The Lord really does expect us to give of ourselves, but He understands that all we can do is our best—He doesn’t ask for more than that! The story of the widow’s mite is the perfect illustration of that. Thank you for sharing!
While reading your thoughts I was instantly reminded of the story of the Widow’s Mite in Mark 12. In that story Jesus is teaching us the importance of giving our best. Whether that means giving our last two pence or the last bit of energy we have left on a Sunday afternoon to fulfill our calling. I am very grateful that we aren’t asked for more than we can give. Thank you for your efforts to be a faithful mother and wife. You have motivated me to give more effort this week.
This is a beautiful, insightful comparison. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, Anders!