Thursday, April 26, 2012
Crossing the Plains
So, I've been thinking A LOT about Mary Fielding Smith this week. Mary was Hyrum Smith's widow. When told that she would slow the wagon train train down and that she should remain behind, Mary wouldn't have any of it. She told that man, that she would beat him to Zion, and she did. On the trail, her dying ox recovered because of her faith. She raised her step-children and her own children to be faithful LDS members.
She was a powerful, determined SINGLE mom and I've been comparing myself harshly this week. I have this feeling that I have to be "self-sufficient." It seems like all the talks about single moms in church are about "blessed mothers" who took in wash and scrubbed until their hands bled and yet still had a hot cooked breakfast on the table at six am when their 12 sleepy eyed children (who were washed and wearing clean, pressed, mended clothes) gathered in their humble kitchen to kneel around the well-scrubbed kitchen table for family prayer. These "blessed mothers" never complained and never, ever accepted or even needed help. (Yes! I already realize that I'm generalizing AND exaggerating. You don't need to point it out.)
This week has been one of those weeks and a few "murmuring" thoughts have crossed my mind. First off, I've been sick. And, so has Little Red. Not just kinda sick, but full blown can-I-just-lay-here-and-not-move-for-the-rest-of-my-life sick.
And, Baby Boy is working on his second year molars and screaming at night. Add my cough in, and I'm not getting much sleep.
That wouldn't be so bad, except that I have to go to work. Ok, I don't have to. But, if I don't go to work, I don't get paid. If I don't get paid, I can't pay my mortgage. If I don't pay my mortgage, I have to live with my mom. I love my mom. I even like my mom. However, anyone who has lived with their parents as an adult can tell you, it's not fun to live with them. I really don't want to move my five kids back into my parents three bedroom house, so, yeah, I have to go to work.
On top of that, my childcare providers caught our sickness. (Sorry!) And, the week was full of appointments. Baby Boy to the dentist, Farmer Girl to the doctor, Speech therapy for Princess, Ballerina had ballet (what a surprise), the two big girls had mental health, Farmer girl to violin, me to the lawyer.... So, I planned to drag sick kids all over the county. (Sorry to the rest of you!)
Through all this, I have refused to ask for help. You have no idea how hard it is to always feel like you are asking people for help when you are used to *being* the person doing the serving. So, I just didn't ask.
BUT, God had other ideas and sent many of His servants to take care of us this week.
First, our home teachers came. I had actually planned to ask them to come give us blessings, but they beat me to it. They came, administered to us (we believe in faith healings in addition to using all medical care available), AND picked up the toys off the floor. Picking up the toys was no small feat, since one couldn't even walk through the living room without stepping on Legos.
The blessing didn't instantly heal me. I'm still not well. I'm sitting here with a headache and a cough. But, God has blessed me with enough strength to do my work and stilled my cough each day during work.
The next day, I'd just written a note for my soon-to-be-ex that he should feed the kids cold cereal and hot cocoa while I was at work because that's all I was up to cooking, when a church sister called and offered another casserole.
On the third day, another church sister just showed up at the door. She stayed with the younger children, so that I could get the older ones to their appointments without having to drag the sick kids and the baby with us. She also did some dishes and picked up. Later that day, our one well child care provider worked magic on what was left and yet another "angel" brought soup.
On the fourth day, a friend watched the kids so that I could get to the lawyer. I had no idea how I was going to work that! I don't want my kids at the divorce lawyer!! I'm trying to shield them from as much of this as I can.
The point of this is that God sees our needs, not just our physical needs but our emotional ones. We needed physical help, but I couldn't emotionally bend enough to ask. He saw this and answered my prayers.
Sooo...how does this relate to Mary Fielding Smith? Well...maybe I'm not independent like she was, but God loves me, just like He loves her. And, He is blessing me and my family, just like He blessed hers. Perhaps this is a different time with different needs, but I can try to be like her by exercising faith and by praying. And maybe, just maybe, I too can lead my family to Zion.