Sunday, March 11, 2012

My perfect challenges

Most days, I am perfectly happy to make dinner and wash dishes and keep Noah from ripping apart all our books and exploring our bathroom trash cans. I love waking up with my baby in the mornings, and I love the things I get to do and explore with him each and every day. I love my peaceful life, and I am grateful for it.

But sometimes.

Especially around that time of month.

Not so much.

Last night was one of those nights. After bathing Noah and putting him to sleep, I sat down in the living room and buried myself in a book. Tyler sat across from me, studying The Brothers Karamazov for his Russian literature class. I still needed to wash dishes, so I told myself I would only read up to a certain page before getting up.

I reached the page. And I stalled. I tucked myself in the corner of the couch and relished the warmth of my blanket. My cold, sockless feet were finally getting warm. I told myself to get up over and over. I stayed put for about ten minutes. And then, with a knot of bitterness in my chest, I got up and cleaned the kitchen.

Tyler looked up from his book and said, "I would give anything to just be done with reading. I've done so much for school that it just feels like sheer drudgery." I knew he had every right to say it--he has done a lot of reading lately. I think he is amazing for sticking through full-time school while holding down a stressful, high-paced, full-time job. I couldn't handle that kind of constant demand nearly as well as Tyler does.

But in that moment, as I pushed cups and bowls into the dishwasher and stood on a crumb-covered floor, I would have given anything to have a responsibilty to read instead of a responsibility to take care of my home. I felt guilty for feeling this way, but there it was.

This morning I opened up Created for Greater Things (a collection of thoughts by Elder Jeffery R. Holland), to a random page. The message was too perfect to be coincidental:

"On this upward and sometimes hazardous journey, each of us meets our share of daily challenges. If we are not careful, as we peer through the narrow lens of self-interest, we may feel that life is bringing us more than our fair share of trials--that somehow others seem to be getting off more lightly.
"But the tests of life are tailored for our own best interests, and all will face the burdens best suited to their own mortal experience. In the end we will realize that God is merciful as well as just and that all the rules are fair. We can be reassured that our challenges will be the ones we needed, and conquering them will bring blessings we could have received in no other way."

(Created for Greater Things, pg. 66)
 I am so glad that the Lord gives me the challenges that are perfect for me. And when I get discouraged, I'm so glad that He doesn't just leave me to sort it out on my own.

And now, I'm going to go eat a pear. Or maybe some pineapple. Or yogurt. Thanks for reading!


  1. I have so been there...thanks for sharing!!! And what a great word shared as well!