Thankfulness Project Day 6
November 6th, 2011, Sunday
I'm so thankful that I am not a perfect parent. If I were a perfect parent, I daresay that my children would not be nearly as cool as they are- because THEY would be perfect. And nothing particularly hilarious would happen, because, being perfect, I would have perfect insight. Since most hilarity that happens around here is a direct result of something that went wrong. If I had perfect insight, I would have fixed imperfections before they went wrong in the first place. In addition to that, my children, being perfect children, would not have nearly as many misunderstandings - and misunderstandings are the direct cause of most of their precious Kid-isms Furthermore, if I were a perfect mother, whenever my kids biffed it, ate crayons, got stuck, or otherwise provided excellent slapstick comedy, I would not be able to laugh because perfect parents run to their child's side to dry tears and kiss owies. They don't giggle behind their hand as soon as they see the child isn't REALLY hurt, or run to grab the camera. As a result, I have independent, tough kids, and our family laughs a lot. I love to laugh. I'm thankful my kids love to laugh too.
Sometimes it can be difficult to keep things private when you belong to a church group that is particularly close.....or gossipy.
Difficult, yes. But surely impossible if you have children old enough to speak.
Last week at church, the topic in primary was "prayer"
Now, three of my 4 children are in primary now, and they're not shy about raising their hands to answer questions. Since my kids make up about 10% of the junior primary's build, you can imagine that every Sunday, they each get called on at least once. I also am in the primary as I teach the 7-8 year olds.
A few weeks ago, I came out HERE and told everyone what I've been trying to suffer silently through for the last 6 months: We're dirt poor, and Brandon was under employed. things are hard. We had no money. We were living on the church welfare system, along with half the Mormons in Utah- which comforts me a bit because I feel like I'm not the only one having issues, and you know, misery loves company- as well as harrows up my heart. It's a horrible thing to live through, and when I see moms of babies younger than mine, with kids towed along with them, knowing that they're suffering as bad if not worse, well, I wish I would show up and see an empty storehouse so that I could rest assured that no one needed it because they were all doing just fine.
Well, for 6 months, in our family prayers, we have prayed for Brandon to find a better job, or another job, or get a promotion, or SOMETHING, so that we could help others instead of being the ones who need help. Usually, those prayers spilled over into the kids' personal prayers too.
Last week at church, Lilly was called to say the opening prayer. Usually, she's really good at keeping her prayers in context- you know, at home she says certain things, at meals she blesses the food, and at church, she asks for the spirit to be with us or to bless those who couldn't be there. That day, though, her train of thought derailed, and she slipped in, "Heavenly Father, please help my daddy to find a better job so that he can support our family, and so that we can help other people..."
I bit my lip. Primary is full of kids, and around 8 adults at any given time. I hoped they hadn't been paying too much attention. As it so happens, I share a class with another woman in my ward. She's awesome, and I love her very much. She's become a dear friend of mine, but it also happens that she's my visiting teacher, so, per the ward line of communication, she knows, in full, our situation. She looked at me with a smirk on her face, and whispered "Don't-cha just love it when your kids just blab everything all over for everyone to know?" I shook my head and sighed.
And then, things really got going.
As I mentioned earlier, the topic of the day was prayer. When the primary president asked "What kinds of things can you pray for?" my little Mahone raised his hand, and, of course, was called on to answer.
"You can pray for money if you don't have any." His eyes were wide, and he nodded matter of factly. I mentally crossed my fingers, hoping that was all he'd say. After all, it was a true enough answer, but was not terribly incriminating....unless everyone had been listening to Lilly's prayer. Alas, he added "Lilly and I don't have any. Nope!" - the best part was, it was just as matter of fact as his first comment. No hint of despair, no smidgeon of "wo is me" or even feeling sorry for himself. It was just what it was.
My friend eyed me carefully.
Lilly then raised her hand, and I put my hand over my eyes as though I had a headache. "We can pray for our dads to get better jobs!" She said it cheerily with a bright smile across her face...and then she flipped her hair over her shoulder.
So, now, I'm pretty sure the whole ward knows what's up.
The lucky thing? I actually learned something. My kids have faith. I have been struggling with my faith (note: I said FAITH, not belief or religion) for 6 months now, crying out in the dark "Where are You?! Why are my prayers not being answered when I am doing all I can do?!" I struggle. I worry. I am impatient and imperfect. I am ashamed of the situation, and keep it hidden. But my children are faithful. They are long suffering. They have no secrets. They are patient and happy and that happiness doesn't rely one whit on money. I need to humble myself and become like a little child- meek and teachable. And steadfast.
They know that Heavenly Father will answer our prayers. Even if it takes awhile. All in God's time. Not mine.
I love them. They teach me daily.
Last thing! (I KNOW! It's like the post that never ends!)
This is what I did this weekend:
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