Hills and Valleys

I’ve been in a slump lately. It’s just the flow of life. I’m forgetting more than I’m remembering and the past weeks have been a series of small failures and discouragements.

As a young adult I started to feel like I’d figured life out. Then I got married and discover a huge set of flaws I never knew existed. The birth of each child revealed a whole new parcel of weaknesses. And now, every stage, every new challenge uncovers still more limitations.

True, I’ve also gained strengths and skills along the way. I tell Erik that I now think I could be a fantastic mother to four children(I never thought that when I had four) but in no way can I handle my six. Still, with all my flaws, I wouldn’t trade the “perfect mother” I could be for the sweet chaos of life with my little ones.

Lately, I’ve been overwhelmed with all the usual messes of life and so exhausted that I don’t think I’ll ever catch up. Prayer and scriptures usually fill my well but prayer isn’t very effective when you go over your “to-do” list at the same time.

So, on our snowy, freezing run this morning my friend Geralyn told me all about a talk she heard Saturday night by Henry Eyring, “This is spiritual meat,” she told me, “not babyfood.”

Thanks to the wonders of the internet I found the talk on lds.org as soon as the kids left for school. It was exactly the spiritual food I needed. Even better, it was precluded by “How Firm a Foundation” a hymn that holds such power for me that I often wake up singing the words– “Fear not I am with thee. Oh be ye not dismayed. For I am thy God and will still give thee aid…” If you want to watch it pull the time cursor to 51:24 and you’ll catch the song and the talk. 😉

I listened to it over and over as I cleaned the house, packed up orders and organized the Monday chaos. Soon, my heart felt lighter.

Every time my heart aches, every time the world looks dark, a friend reaches out and gives me exactly the help I need. I never cease to be amazed by the women in my life who through a phone call, a morsel of advice, a chocolate ice-cream cake, a compliment or a hug make me feel loved, affirmed and hopeful.

March 30, 2008
April 2, 2008



  1. Blue

    April 1, 2008

    oh michelley,
    that is hands down my all-time favorite hymn. i don’t think there is another that has provided solace or comfort as often as that hymn has. it has been my mainstay for over 2 decades now.

    so i was REALLY excited when they announced yesterday that for our intermediate hymn, the congregation would sing vs. 1, 4 & 7. We *never* do the last four, and I just love them so much! But then the first speaker went long, so the counselor stood before the 2nd speaker and announced that we’d be foregoing the song. boo hoo. (but they were both excellent talks)

    i’m so glad you wrote. i’m honored that you made time to stop by on friday. i love the raw honesty of your post, because in my egocentric way, i can’t help but think that everyone else must be just like me…that i’m really not alone in my struggle to supersede my foibles and follies, and the fact is, i could have written your sentiments most every day of my life. it does get better, as you know.

    i had a (that’s not funny) thought that if you just had 2 *more* kids, you’d be just fine with six! 😉

    love you!

  2. Redhoodoos

    April 1, 2008

    What an incredible post. I went to bed last night thinking about your words. This post was exactly what I needed. Thank you.

  3. Jan Russell

    April 1, 2008

    I’m glad your heart is feeling lighter – hugs, Michelle!

  4. Mama

    April 1, 2008

    Um, a chocolate ice cream cake would make me feel loved, affirmed, and hopeful too!

    I am sorry you are in a valley. I know that feeling. I still cannot believe you raise twice as many kids as I do. DUDE. That is some hard stuff. Go easy on yourself. Look how good the oldest one is turning out. You are doing something right!

    Hang in there, Michelle.

  5. Chelle

    April 2, 2008

    I’ll meet you in the valley! I’m in one, too. Seriously overwhelmed with life this week.

    I know that I have issues because sometimes I want to tell friends/family that have less kids than I do, to reconsider having more! ha ha. So bad to interject my opinion on the matter. Simply put: I get seriously overwhelmed sometimes. Thanks for putting into words some of the things that I’ve been feeling lately. : )

  6. Linkous

    April 2, 2008

    thanks for being one of those amazing women for me!
    love you

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