this sunday i woke up struggling. i immediately knew that i would be fighting and emotional uphill battle throughout church that day, so i tried to prevent a total collapse as best as i could.
as i was sitting in the chapel before sacrament meeting, i noticed a woman in the ward whom i really admire talking with another sister. they both have children who are about the same age, and i began to feel, as i often do, that i miss out on so many friendship opportunities because i don't have the mom life in common with most of the women in the church. that really depressed me, but, i managed to keep it somewhat together.
during the testimony portion, another woman whom i really admire bore her testimony and it really touched me. every time she visits our ward (her mother and two of her children our in our congregation) she says something that totally uplifts me, and today was no different. the testimony she bore brought a bright spot, a feeling of peace, and a sense of hope to my day that had been missing beforehand.
after sacrament meeting i went to the nursery only to find that the leader wasn't there, so it was just me and some of the parents. i've been having a hard time with my nursery calling dealing with parents who linger (i understand their situation, it's just hard to parent someone's child while they're sitting right there).
happily, the kids were so good today, and we only had two parents linger for about 5-7 minutes. i stemmed the tide of a potential breakdown, easily shepherded the kids between activities, and furthered my connections with a few children who i haven't completely won over yet. those small successes meant a lot to me.
here's something odd. we're having enrichment this tuesday, and while the parents were dropping their kids off at nursery one of the mothers was talking to another mother about some food items she had agreed to bring. as i was sitting there listening to their conversation, i heard the first woman mention that they still needed chicken noodle soup. this reminded me that on friday i had seen some delicious looking turkey noodle soup at costco, and before i could even think about it i heard myself volunteering to bring soup. what?! that means that i now have to metro to costco on monday night just to get soup, and we all know how much i hate running errands after work. needless to say, i thoroughly shocked myself with my spontaneous volunteering.
as i was walking home from church today (my ride had to leave after the second block), i was enjoying the gorgeous 70 degree weather, the bright sun, and the delicate but vibrant blossoms that are out on the cherry trees. all of these things reminded me of the songs we had sung during singing time -- 'i lived in heaven', 'my Heavenly Father loves me', and 'the chapel doors'. standing in primary (with baby on hip) and singing those songs with the children had soothed my beleaguered soul by reminding me that i came from a beautiful place, that sunday and church meetings are an opportunity to feel closer to that beautiful place, and that Heavenly Father loves us so much that He gave us a beautiful, beautiful world to live in. each year the coming of the spring and Easter seasons after the cold and bitterness of winter remind me again how wonderful and true the Father's plan is.
i continued walking and could feel my heart and thoughts becoming lighter and lighter as i made my way down 2nd street. there is some kind of religious non-profit in a townhouse across the street from the supreme court that currently has a cross in their little patch of grass with a purple cloth draped around it. this visual reminder of the Savior and His sacrifice, coupled with the glorious weather and the primary songs in my head, just filled me with so much love. at that moment i had such a desire to be as pure and beautiful and radiant as the Savior, and i finally found the calm i had been looking for all day. i thought about my spontaneous soup commitment, and felt a reassurance from the Spirit as i told myself again and again, 'i can bring soup, i can do that. i can manage soup, it will be okay.'
i'm so glad that this sunday has ended on a positive note because the way it started did not portend a successful end to the day. i can't help but feel that this small experience of a sunday that was turned from bad to wonderful was a lesson about the magnificence of the Savior's atonement during this Easter season. i love the Savior, i feel His love, and it is the most important thing to me in my life.