July 28, 2011

Chaos in the car leads to serious reflection

This post has been a long time coming.  I actually started it on July 2nd....and am NOW just finishing it up.  Unfortunately we were on vacation (as you will read below) and I put it's completion on hold.  I just couldn't quite pull my mind back to it when we got home.  I wanted it to be "perfect" but I couldn't remember what that would entail.  A friend reminded me that I it doesn't have to be.  Oh yeah...I forgot.  So here it is.

July 2, 2011—Melanie’s Journal Entry
I’m sitting in the car on the way to Utah…4 hours of sleep…baby to the left of me, screaming …1.5 hours into the drive…10+ more to go…Rugrat #2 keeps piping up from the back seat (in his squeaky high pitched "let's annoy mommy" voice), “Can we have some candy?”  “What the heck,” I think.  “It’s only 8:00AM (that’s gotta be equivalent to drinking before noon, right?).  We’ve already had one potty break.  I’m going nuts.  I’ve tried sleeping, yelling, meditating,…nothing is working to restore at least some semblance of order.   
At this point I’m beginning to question how I got here (and by “here” I mean, as a mother and WHY on earth have I chosen to do it over and over and over again, and WHY are we driving 750+ miles with 4 kids?)


To save my sanity (and to keep from saying something I shouldn't) I retreat into my own little world.  I turn on the good ol’ I pod, jam the ear buds into my ears and then cover them with my hands… anything to block out the wailing of the banshee behind me.

“A little rocker chick music is in order,” I think to myself, “a little something to match the tension I’m feeling (or make it worse, which is more likely… hehe).”

The music starts.

“Hey…this isn’t rocker chick music!”  

Instead the tune of Hilary Weeks “Who You Are” is flowing into my ears. (you can check out a YouTube version here)

 Not quite what I was looking for but I don’t dare take my hands off my ears to change it at this point….


I give in and listen…
Who you are
- by Hillary Weeks
 I know you wonder,
If you’ll ever have a day
Where the kids stay calm,
The laundry’s done
And the dishes are put away (AMEN!)
And sometimes you feel like
Your days are spent and gone
And the question running through your mind
Is “What have I gotten done?”
And when you finally have a moment to slow down
At the end of your day
I know Father would say
Believe in what you’re doing
Believe in who you are
And hold tight to the truth
That you’re a daughter of God
Believe in who you’re becoming
Believe in who you are

I'm relaxing...I focusing...and then, I got thinking (Uh Oh…I know)

I pull out my notebook and the words start flowing

I never dreamt, when I was young, of getting married, never fantasized about being a mother.  I just always knew I would be…Never questioned it.  You know…God commanded Adam and Eve to multiply and replenish the earth…and so must I.

When Gabe was a little baby we really struggled financially (and things have changed how?  He he)  I stayed at home with him and Rob worked (for $8.50/hr…that’s AFTER he begged for a few pay raises) and went to school full time.  Needless to say…we were without much excess.

One day, while really feeling the financial strain, I got desperate and called a man I had done data entry work for in college to see if he had any work I could do.  He regrettably informed me that he did not but that had something better to offer me.  

He wanted to help me discover my purpose in life.

“Okay,” I hesitantly replied.

“So Melanie…God has put you on this earth for a purpose.  What do you think that purpose is?” he asks.

“To be a mother,” I replied.

‘”No,” he said.

“Ummm...Yes...I’m pretty sure that it is,” I said naively.

Again, “No, Melanie, it’s not.”

He continued, “Every woman is meant to be a " mother", but God has a greater purpose for you…I want to help you discover it.”

"Okay…first off, DUDE," I think to myself, "I was just looking for a way to make some quick money to pay the rent.  Second, RUDE!, how dare you question my purpose in life.  Especially after I had just spent a lot of time accepting the inevitable (I am a mother.  Forever and ever and ever…for all eternity…help me! UGH!).

We discussed it aback and forth for a few minutes…I finally gave up and let him lecture me on my “greater purpose.”  We set a time for him to call back for further discussion.  I hung up the phone.  He called.  I never answered.
Now…years (and three more kids ) later I am begging to be defined by more than that one word..."mother."  Is that all I am?  Is that all I have become?
Now don't get me wrong...I know that motherhood is my #1 calling.  I chose it...no one forced me into it, and I will be one...forever.  And I'm okay with that.  But there has to be more to me than that...right?

Yes...of course.  Cue song.

It may seem simple,
All the little things you do
But the lives you touch matter so much
And there’s no one else like you
And Father needs you
to stand tall and faithful.
To be all you can be
If you could see what he see’s

You’d believe in what you’re doing
You’d believe in who you are
So hold tight to the truth that you’re a Daughter of God
Believe in who you ‘re becoming,
believe in who you are.
When it’s hard to believe in yourself
And you feel like you’re beginning to doubt
He believes in what you’re doing
He believes in who you are
So don’t lose sight of the truth
That you’re a daughter of God
That he believe in who you’re becoming
He believes in,
who you are.

I just love this song.  It really touches on some very important, very FAITH and HOPE inspiring things.  Especially for us women.

#1  First, and I really believe it is of utmost importance, YOU are a daughter of God.   YOU!  YES, YOU! Think about that.  You are His daughter…He is your Father!   And  He loves you very much.  More than you can even begin to comprehend.  A perfect love.

He may not protect us from every hurt, fear, trial or loss. These are just a natural part of our mortal existence  and are essential for our faith and growth but, He never leaves us to deal with any of it alone.  Not EVER!  Because He loves us.  We are his daughters.

I believe that in order to even BEGIN to grasp these next two, a firm belief in this is essential (and it took me FOREVER...ask my councelor...but that's another story...later.)

#2 He has given us a responsibility to love, nurture and care for one another.  To be "mothers"...whether you have children of your own, or not.  The Lord needs us all to chip in and offer our loving services to others.  Blood relation or not.

Our Heavenly Father made us unique, and gives us unique life experiences, so we can gain perspective, compassion, empathy and understanding.  He does this so that we can help other who may be going through the same things we have been through.

Sometimes we are in a better place to do this than other times.  Sometimes we can give a lot, sometimes we can give a little...and sometimes, we have nothing to give.

Don't be discouraged if you feel stuck...He knows where you are...and He doesn't expect any more out of you than you have strength for.  He only asks that you do your best. "This too shall pass" and you will have your time to share (believe me...I know, I have been there...and will probably be there again someday).

And #3 I believe each of us has been sent here for a very specific purpose (yeah, I know...took me long enough to admit it Mr. "Greater Purpose" Man). We were not put on this earth to aimlessly wander about.  Each of us has good things to do, a "destiny" to fulfill, a mission to become who our Heavenly Father knows we can become, to become more like our Savior Jesus Christ.

All we have to do is give our lives over to the Lord and ask him each day what He wants us to be doing. 

Sound hard?  Overwhelming?  Crazy scary?  Yes, Yes, and Yes...but a little exciting too.

I know I have a SUPER LONG way to go but I'm kinda excited to see who this "future, well seasoned, more Christ-like" Melanie is (at least I hope I meet her...I'm sure gonna try my hardest).

What about you?  :)


Natalie J said...

Sometimes in the thick of it, it is hard to remember that He is in control and we will not be given more than we can handle. While that thought frustrates me sometimes (you mean I am supposed to be handling this?!?!), it also brings great hope...that I am stronger than I think I am, that he is looking out for me, and that I had better not think of quitting, cause gosh darnit, I was told I could handle this. Love ya Mel!

Lisa Merkley said...

See. It was a perfect post. Perfectly said and wonderful thoughts! Sometimes it's scary to sit down and actually think about who we should become because it's scary to realize how far we have to go before we get there. But, then you look behind you and realize how far you've come and it seems a little easier. But only a little!!

The Bailey's said...

Melanie! I love you. I sit here tonight, exhausted. I am fighting a body flu, while trying to take care of 2 toddlers who do nothing but try to kill each other and a baby who wants to nurse all the time and keeps pooping:) Dinner was chaos as one was singing, one was shreiking cause he wanted food and the other kept getting down from the table and spilling rice all over! I fought with them to get them in bed, after repeated trips back in for tucking in, another kiss and hug, a drink of water, so and so won't be quiet, and on and on. I am exhausted and feel like I am hindering my kids more than helping them.
So thank you for posting this, I need it. I need to know that it is worth it to do what I am doing and I am capable of so much more if I stop trying to control things so much! Love you!

Sheri said...

Thank you Mel. Just what I needed!

Susie said...

Thanks so much Mel. I hope you had a great time being out here, because I sure as heck love being around you! It's been wonderful to talk with you in this time of your life when you're so open and willing to share your experiences and struggles. It has really helped me to be a little more introspective as well. Looking forward to more! :)

Melanie said...

You guys are so awesome! I just LOVE my family and friends. I wouldn't be able to do what I do without all of you guys. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Thanks! I needed to hear this. So many times I have looked around at the chaos of my kids and the heartbreak of my teenage daughter and said "all I ever wanted was to be a mom, and I suck at it!" (thanks Natalie for sharing a link to your blog)

Denice said...

Good stuff Melanie. I am really enjoying reading and mostly relating to your blogs. Thanks so much, you have been my angel tonight. :)

Melanie said...

I'm so glad Denise. Thank you.

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