Sunday, August 23, 2009

Strength of Mountains

Life is hard sometimes, and I'm not afraid to admit that. There are days I want to scream, cry, or throw something very breakable at the wall. I think one of the hardest things to do when life is hard, is to forget about yourself, and focus on the people who need you.
But, there's always going to be that voice in your head saying,"You deserve a huge break," "You need to have fun." "You never get to do anything for yourself." "You are losing your sense of self." "Don't you deserve to have a life?"
And then you have to force your mind to shut out these thoughts because they won't do you any good.

Being a mother is about giving up yourself, usually for the long term. And that means some hard days of sacrifice and stinky armpits ahead.
I like to believe, however, that when I have a hard day which makes me want to scream, I am adding strength to my reservoir. I imagine myself one of these huge, powerful mountains who stands strong and immovable above everything else. And each hard day adds another layer of stone and rock, and strength, to add to my experience. Even when on those days I feel like an insignificant, little, ant hill, I still pray I can become stronger, like a mountain.

Yesterday I felt like an ant hill.

My kids have had HFM virus for the past two and half weeks, making them extremely clingy, and whiny, and hurting. It is hard to see your children helpless and in pain. It is hard to leave yourself behind, and care for them 24/7.
I was looking forward to a huge break when Micah came home this weekend. However, Micah came home with Strep throat!
So, yesterday I woke up feeling defeated, with all the little voices in my head trying to validate what I already felt inside. "You need a break!"

With nothing left to do, and Micah's suggestion, I packed up some lunches, some extra clothes, and the baby hiking backpack, and took the kids to Kolob Canyon. It's usually a 20 minute drive from our house, but I had to drive 55 mph on the 75 mph freeway because of the wind. Our old-fashioned pink bus is high centered, so there's extra caution for tipping over in high winds. (That's a 1974 Volkswagen bus for ya.)
However, the slow, windy ride to Kolob gave the kids time to drowse to sleep, and offered me some silence as I drove into the canyon.

Still feeling like a tiny ant hill, at least I had some quiet time to myself to think.
As I rounded the corner into the canyon, I caught my first glimpse of one of the mountains. I started to cry.
There it was, this huge, strong, breathtaking, powerful, undefeated, and beautiful mountain, standing there with such glory; I really loved this mountain. I wanted to be this mountain.

It felt as if the mountains transferred some of their strength to me. I stood there and stared up at them, and let them recharge my tired soul. It was like an instant refresher. I stood there and stood there and let them do their thing.

Shortly thereafter my kids woke up. We hiked down to the creek and ended up having a wonderful day. I really like hanging out with my boys.

It's hard to be a mother. But I am learning how to be the strong one I need to be. I learned yesterday that when those voices come at me, carelessly convincing me I need to be set free, all I need to do is find strength in the mountains. When I see them standing there so strong, they seem to provide me a refreshing, new energy. They seem to be the voices that say, "You can do it." "You have a wonderful, fulfilling life." "Your boys love and appreciate you" "You are doing an awesome job."

Thank you, Mountains.


Micah said...

I know I'm not a mountain or anything. But, for what it's worth, I say you are doing an awesome job, too.

Sally Jackson said...

No Micah, only the mountains can talk to me. hee hee Thank you my love. :)

arianne said...

I love this post, Sally. It was beautiful.

Unknown said...

Such places gave me strength also during the young mommy days and I would cry like that too when I came to them. I always remember this mountain earlier, around the way to Riverside when I was driving to my dad's funeral and one of the first times I realized being on a beautiful, amazing path that was all about helping me grow,learn, get stronger and feel intense joy.
You ARE such a terrific mom sally wally but I still want to come and help out more often. . . . and p.s once I became so frustrated I threw half the bottles of peaches I had canned onto the cement garage floor.

Unknown said...

Thank you for continuing to touch my life. You are such an amazing Mom. The time I was able to spend with you watching you embrace the challenge of motherhood was beautiful. I knew no matter where you went or what happened your family would be strong, loved, nurtured and wonderful. We all have our "rough mommy" moments and God gives us the strength of mountains. I am glad you found such a empowering moment.