I woke up this past Wednesday morning really itching for something...but I wasn't sure what. I found out 5 hours later, as I pulled into Cedar City, that it was a spontaneous road trip down south that I needed.
When I started driving I wasn't sure where I was going to stay, or if the bus would even make it. I wasn't sure if our baby could handle being in the car that long. I wasn't sure what I would tell Micah when he called me after work, and found out I threw the kids in the car and drove away for a few days. I also wasn't sure if I was sane?? It was an emotionally-charged, spur of the moment, somewhat stress-full decision I made, all in the course of about 20 minutes. Suddenly I was on the freeway, driving.....and driving...and driving......until I saw that sign that says, "Welcome to Iron County", and realized I was very far away from my house.
As it turns out, I have dear friends who take care of my spontaneous insanity, I have a 34 year old VW bus that refuses to quit, I have a baby that needs to sleep a lot, and a compassionate husband who understands me. Maybe I am not so insane after all.....
Because, I found out a few things about myself on this road trip, which helped me come back with a fresh perspective. And fresh perspectives are what life is made of.
Fresh perspective #1- I really appreciate friends. Sometimes you don't realize what good people you have in your life, until you leave them. I really love and miss the friends we made down there, and hope they each know what amazing impacts they've left on me.
One of our La Leche League Leaders up here says at every meeting,"The wonderful thing about coming to LLL meetings, is that it's one of the only places you can complain about nursing, and no ones going to tell you to wean your baby." I love that she always says that. It is so true. When you are in a safe place, where people understand you and know your heart, then you don't feel bad bitching a little about the things that are important to you, because they understand. And that's what I love about these friends. I can sit there and be myself, and break open the surface of my life, and no one gives me advice. I came back realizing that I need to be a better listener in my life. I need to be a safe place where people can be themselves, and I won't tell them to (metaphorically) wean.
Fresh perspective #2- A little about my religion-
I have been really struggling with going to church lately and questioning my motives. It seems the "day of rest" has turned into a battle with my kids to get them dressed, keep them quiet and happy, and convince them that Primary doesn't kill them. Plus, this new ward seems to be a bunch of dead-beats, with rapid turnover rates, making it impossible to get to know anyone. I've also been struggling with finding time for Spiritual renewal and meditation in my own life. I can't remember the last time Micah and I attended the Temple, or consistently said our prayers together. I was starting to feel like I was drowning in guilt and wishes, that I couldn't live up to all these ideals.
But, post road trip, I came back with a fresh perspective. Don't ask me how. Maybe it was the long silences as my children napped, that allowed me to think and meditate on my life. Perhaps it was meeting up with an old friend who shared some incredible insights about herself that really inspired me. Perhaps it was that talk I had with God, to cut me a little slack for being a slacker. Whatever the combination of things, I came back feeling renewed.
At church today I knew we were all supposed to be there. The Spirit touched me hardcore. I kept thinking over and over that I have to strengthen myself and look for opportunities to serve. I have to strengthen myself, not judge anyone else, or wait for anyone else. I have to remember that this church is made up of millions of individuals, and I am no better nor worse than anyone else. We all come with our own story, and we are all on our own path. (So, when I have to endure one more testimony meeting that is all about Aunt Bertha's kidney transplant, I have to remember that we are all finding our own way.)
There is purpose in attending my meetings, and there is purpose in getting our kids there. After church today I felt an incredible high, and a love for all my brothers and sisters in the ward. I couldn't wait to get my new calling so I could serve them better. I couldn't wait to come back next week to renew my covenants and learn more about the gospel of Christ.
I realized there are going to be times in life where I feel like I'm not living up to my ideals. And that's okay. Our Heavenly Father made us, and he didn't make us perfect. Next time I feel like I am drowning, I need to remind myself that Christ is here to sink a little with me, and then when I'm ready, rise with me to surface again. It's okay to drown a little with Jesus as my buoy. (dude--that should totally be a bumper sticker)
Fresh perspective #3- I'm a lot like our old, pink VW bus. We are a little eccentric, sometimes show-offy, and like to stand out in a crowd, but we are also simple, reliable, and easy to maintain. We like to go slow, enjoy life, and carry our precious cargo with us. And sometimes when we hit those big, hard, upward hills, we struggle. Except then, when we get to the top, we like to speed down as fast as we can, going, "Weeeeeeehooooooooo! This is fun!! I may be in my thirties, getting a little rusty and old, but I'm going to make it!"
Fresh Perspective #4- See that man standing above, next to old Pinkie? He's the love of my life. As I was driving home all I wanted was to be with him. I missed him. Most days we live in a chaotic heap of laundry, with wild boys bouncing all over the house. Some days we barely get a chance to hug. Some days I yearn for a date night out with this man, and know it's a pipe dream. But, every day I love him, and every day I am so grateful he is mine. Thanks for being my home, wherever that may be.