Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Little boxes

Wednesday is my crazy day. I am going from morning to night on Wednesdays, and that only counts the predictable stuff like Joyschool, scouts and carpools. Other things, like phone calls and lost jackets don’t even get a time slot, though certainly they take time. Guy has class till 9PM, so on Wednesday, I am flying solo. When I look at the little box on my calendar that says Wednesday, I know I cannot cram anything else in. It's my "just say no" day.

Yesterday after I dropped Tessa at Joyschool I headed off to clean house for a sister at church whose husband is in the hospital fighting cancer. Chantal and Rebekah came as well, and let me tell you, we were a force to be reckoned with. As we ladies do, we talked while we worked. “I found a quote for you." Chantal said, "When I read it you came into my mind real strong, so I wrote it down for you."

"It says, “Sometimes doing nothing brings the world back into balance.”

My eyes filled with tears and she thought she had hurt my feelings. No, I said, just taking it all in. I have been desperate for balance, but have not known where to look. No matter how many times I re-arrange my little boxes, they are out of balance. Laundry and dishes eclipse scripture study and one-on-one time with the kids. Weeds grow and disrepair mounts while homework and shuffling to the van become the main events each day. A layer of dust has fallen on the painting I began weeks ago.

“Why don’t you let me take Tessa so that you can go to the temple today?” Chantal asked. My mouth opened to say, no way, heck no, today is Wednesday and that square is full! But I realized that, wait, I traded carpool this morning so I don’t have the afternoon run, and if Chantal could retrieve Tess from Joyschool, I could actually go.

Then, there I was, on crazy Wednesday, throwing on a dress and heading for the temple. In our faith, going to the temple is something we do on our own. It is not a social gathering, though on occasion you run into someone you know. It is a quiet worship. The temple is a refuge from the cares of the world, and within its walls solitude and tranquility are understatements. I entered, and tried to shake off the residue of the days and weeks, and just be present. Before leaving the temple, I went to a place called the celestial room. It is a room for prayer and reflection, and it is utterly silent. You could hear a feather land. I was fortunate to have the room all to myself for a while.

I silently prayed, pouring my heart out to my Heavenly Father. Finally, after purging myself of the chaos in my head, I thought, “Sorry, Father. I have been doing all the talking. I’ll be quiet now.” And I was. As heavy thoughts floated to the surface, I hushed them, “Not now, I’m listening.”

After a while, I found myself in a giant, empty space. I didn’t recognize it because it had been so long since I had seen it. It was the inside of my head, all de-cluttered. I hadn’t seen the walls in such a long time I had forgotten how vast it was. I stayed there a while, amazed at what my quiet mind could be like, and then, slowly, five images entered, one after the other. Guy’s face, and all the tenderness that it holds for me. Ethan’s gentle smile, Adam’s impish grin, Ellie’s face, her favorite hysterical cross-eyed look upon it, and finally Tessa’s cherubic little face, looking serious and strong. Each of the things that I am most fond of about each of these eternal beings surfaced in the expressions they held.

Other things came, then, things that need not be shared, things my heart needed. I said a prayer of gratitude, then drank deep of the peaceful feeling I had, like one who would drink from a cool spring before heading back out into the desert.

I left the temple, and stepped back into the world. I felt renewed. I felt some clarity. I felt relieved of a burden. I felt quiet. I knew I had to go back to life, and the trials and struggles that waited for me there, but there seemed to be a steadiness that hadn't been there before.

It didn’t feel like Wednesday anymore.

“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalms 46:10


Stephanie said...

I love this post! I love the temple! I love that feeling you described of utter peace! And I love you!

Jackie said...

I loved your experience and the way you shared it makes me want to get to the temple. I was thinking about 10 minutes ago that I needed to go, that it's been awhile.
You reminded me of another great reason to go! I am craving that serenity. Thanks for sharing!

Jackie said...

p.s. Did you actually take those photos yourself? Perfect! I esp. liked the last one. The circle of light, the colors. Love it.

Anonamom said...

Yes, Jackie... I do all my own stunts :). My little camera makes me seem more skilled than I am. My favorite trick is to only use natural light, no flash, when I can (especially with food). It creates a lovely warm glow. Pictures in my kitchen always turn out nicely because of my big window and the glare off of my neighbor's garage!

keciathompson said...

I have tears in my eyes! You are strong! You are strong! I love the quote at the end, it is one of my favorites that let's me know I am NEVER alone! I love you!