Wednesday, September 22, 2010

On my knees . . . again.

Lincoln prayed the other day and said,
"Dear Heavenly Father, help us so we can catch the football good."
I smiled, with my eyes still closed. 
Prayers like that are cool.
Because they're sincere.

At the same time he was saying prayers about football, I was saying prayers for me.  And just as football was THE most important thing to him, my prayers about myself, my selfishness, my kids were THE most important thing to me.  As I've probably said in many posts of the past, God must shake his head at me (lovingly, of course) because I'm ever relearning basic life lessons. 

Someday it will stick. 
I know it. 
Because God is good. 

This school year has hit me head on.  And not in a good way, but it's turning into a good way.  Let me explain.  I have two struggling readers.  Math whizzes, but struggling readers.  Like, one stays after school for 30 minutes and one works with an aide for 30 minutes during school.  Ouch.  It hurts to type that since reading is probably one my most favorite things in the entire world to do...ever.  I don't remember school ever being a struggle.  Schoolwork was so secondary to my social life, even as a young kid.  I got it done, fast, and I was out the door.  I have very few memories of doing homework after school.  Now, playing . . . I have gobs of memories about that.  I mention this only to illustrate how frustrating and hard it was for me to sit down with my sweet kiddos and spend sooo much time helping them.  Sooo much time. (It's one thing to sit by your kids listening to them read to you in smooth, flowing tones, but have you tried sitting beside your kids for over an hour listening to them sound out words, slaughter words, etc.  Not fun.  No matter how much you love your kids.  Believe me.  And try staying awake.) 

This was becoming a problem.  Here was my attitude about the situation: my life was like a road, a straight road, a clear path in front of me.  I had things that I wanted to do.  Helping my kids was getting in the way, they were crowding my path.  Their struggles were secondary to my smooth path.  Can you believe my attitude?  Awful, I know.  Anyway, I'd reached the end of my rope.  I let it all out to Ben, my frustrations, my annoyances, honesty in it's worst form.  I sounded awful.  I remember thinking to myself as I was saying these things that I couldn't believe what I was saying . . . out loud.  I sounded that bad.  I've never seen him look at me like he did.  It was crushing.  Besides looking so hurt that I could feel this way about our children, I really think he pitied me.  Ben has never been as selfish as me, ever.  He didn't say much.  I didn't need him to because I already knew I had crossed the line.  Something had to change . . . and it wasn't them.

That night I poured it all out to God.  There really was no other way out of this mess without Him.  I certainly couldn't change my heart myself.  I told it to Him straight since he obviously knows me better than anyone and there's no point in keeping things from God, right?  And, loving Father that He is, He offered me peace and understanding with a dose of chastening.  I saw my path again.  Only this time, my kids were front and center on that path.  God had given this trial to me.  I didn't merit it through sin or anything else.  This was given to me by God to bring about great things.  This was my path.  This was an opportunity for me to forget myself, to give myself to them whole-heartedly and to help them (and me) overcome a hard thing.  It was a win-win situation.  It was a gift, really, and before I prayed about it, it looked more like a death-sentence.

It's crazy to me how my outlook changes when I see a clear and truthful picture of life.  Real reality.  Not the reality we think we see.  Mortal eyes need prescription lenses and we only get those from God.  The understanding I received, that this trial was tailored for me, made all the difference.  If God is going to give me a trial, he's obviously going to prepare the way.  I know that.  I'm not going to cower or complain or give up, because that's saying that God doesn't really know what he's doing.  And that's real stupidity.

So, here I go again. 
Renewed and filled with hope. 
And things are good. 
And we're still spending sooo much time on schoolwork. 
But, God is good.


Charisse said...

As I kid, I had many reading problems and I really struggled in school. What made the difference for me was knowing that my mom was ready and willing to help me. You just sitting there and helping them, I think, does more for them than you will ever realize. Keep on doing it.

I love the quote by Elder Maxwell that says, "Some of the best teaching is done when we are unaware of observing eyes and listening ears."

Cylee Pressley said...

Amen, my sister!! You are wonderful! Did you know that I can identify with you almost 100% of the time. Our situations are different yet so similar. Thanks for bearing testimony on the realities of life and how to get through them.

Logan and Tanya said...

You're great, Lanette! I think you nailed it!

Honey said...

SO HARD! It helps to know I'm not alone with similar thinking. Hang in there!

Debbie and Bobby said...

I've had these similar thoughts along my path too. I've got some live-wire kiddos and I felt like I was pretty easy (my mom says so too) so I sometimes wonder where in the world did this come from??? And I'm having to learn a lot. Guess that is what we are here for right?! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You help put many peoples feelings into words:o)

Grammyof13 said...

This is my first time to stop by. My days of having 4 children to assist in their homework are gone, but I could so relate. I love what I can hear in your writing of your heart. God is good, and oh so patient! I'm still here as a reminder of just how good He really is. This too shall pass for you as well. Good post.

Shelley Gee said...

So, what, you callin' me stupid!!!
I am the one that is cowering in the corner cowering and crying... but I guess I'll have to forgive you because the things you said were true and I really needed to hear them in a way that was soft and gently (except for the calling me stupid part,I might deserve something cool for that, like a bartered present from DI). Anyway we need to talk some day next week between nap time and when school gets out! I do need some spiritual advice from you!

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