Soccer games were rained out today, so I did the only thing a mother can do: I took down all the pictures off the walls and moved out all the furniture, and then we played soccer, girls against boys, all by ourselves, right there in the living room.
It was hilarious, and we had so much fun, and we laughed so hard!
The boys won, of course, but the girls gave them a good fight.
Then while the baby was sleeping, I got the girls started on jewelry making and Nathan got the boys set up with a new movie. Once they were busy, we took a time out and deep cleaned the living room while we had the chance. We moved out more of mom’s things that have been here since she first moved in, and did some editing on the things we so quickly combined after getting married last year when Nathan’s boxes started arriving by the truckload. It feels so much better in our living room, and is so much more open, and there is more room for the kids to play.
It is a hard thing, letting go of mom’s things. There are things I remember and love, things I remember and no one else would understand, and things that are just here because I miss her.
The same thing happened when I moved my fall and winter clothes in and took my spring and summer clothes out: there was a new pile of mom’s things to go through, to see if any would work for me, if there was anything I liked, if there were any I just needed to hug.
This gave me the other layer of letting go of clothes of hers I had kept for maternity clothes, since now we know we cannot conceive a healthy embryo to carry full term.
So there was some sadness today, but in a healthy letting go kind of way.
It makes me want to throw everything else out, too, but I tried to pace myself.
Also, because we had so many court appointments this week and I had my presentation and we had the ballet one night and soccer the other nights, there was so much laundry to do! How much laundry can seven people go through? It was a lot, and took me all day! But I was determined to catch up before tomorrow, because I knew I needed my Sabbath.
It’s a special Sabbath, you know.
Today is four years since I was baptized, which means five years since I have been going to church.
A lot happened in those four years, and this weekend is always powerful.
Five years ago I found out about the church.
Four years ago I got baptized.
Three years ago I started my mission and received my endowment.
Two years ago my father died of cancer.
Last year I married Nathan, and then my mother was killed.
This year my house is full of five kids.
It feels like a lot, like one thing after another, so much that I don’t even have time to be shocked or surprised anymore. I can only keep dancing, keep breathing, and keep praying. I hope from one experience to the next, like a child jumping lily pads before falling in.
He hasn’t let me drown.
Nothing has ever been so hard as my life since getting baptized, but that much pressure has been required to purify me, to refine me by burning out all the not-of-God in me – or starting the process of purifying, anyway.
Nothing has ever been more amazing, either. Only such challenging experiences could make a girl strong, and only so many of them one right after another could teach her to endure. I wouldn’t trade that for anything, or go back to how life was before.
I try to remember that when little boys are stuck inside on a rainy day, the girl is crying for running out of art supplies, the nearly-teen is being slippery, and the baby is screaming as she tries to cut her first molars.
Be strong, and endure.
I try to remember.
General Conference helps. Tonight I watched the broadcast from home on my iPad, while Nathan had popcorn with the kids and helped them write a play, and I took turns with the baby (who is finally almost feeling better). It was so good, and uplifting, and strengthening for me.
President Monson promised that Heavenly Father knows what I am going through and what trials await me. He promised that Heavenly Father did not put me here to be alone, and will not leave me in the ashes of the last hard year. He promised me that Heavenly Father is accessible through prayer and scripture study, and that even my life can be built into a temple.
And I know it to be true.