Sunday, August 24, 2008

Do What is Right, Let the Consequence Follow

Sometimes, being the mother of four is challenging. Stake Conferance is one of those times. For those who don't know what that is, it's the twice a year meeting for everyone in our local area (two counties) to come together for a special Sunday meeting. We are spoken to by local and worldwide church leaders. It's a blessing to have this meeting, but it's two hours long and a 45 minute drive to get there. With four kids, that's like a suicide wish.

The King is in our ward choir, and our choir was asked to sing at Conferance this time around. Do you know what that means? Me, alone with four kids in a two hour meeting. What kind of sane person would ever choose to do such a crazy thing?? Certainly not me. There isn't enough valium on the planet to make something like that a good idea.

I had every intention of not going. Yes, we're asked to attend all of our meetings and promised blessings for doing so, but this is surely the exception, right? I mean, come on, people. No one would do this. And, really-what could I possibly have to gain from struggling through two hours of church with four wiggly kids?

Pretty had her ears tubes put in and her hearing test on Friday. (She did great, by the way, and her hearing is PERFECT!!) She was cranky beyond cranky. Picture a mama bear whose cub has just been taken away. Pretty was grumpier than that. She was grumpy enough that she could probably have made the mama bear cry and shrink with fear. No WAY was I going to take her to church like that. No way.

Then, yesterday I came down with some sort of ear infection thing. My ear was really hurting. I was tired, Pretty was still cranky, there was laundry to do, and the thought of enduring such a long meeting with the kids was not even something I wanted to think about. No one would ever blame me for not going, would they? Well maybe a couple people. But those would be the freaky people who have never had kids and think that raising goldfish is the same as raising human children. My mind was made up. I wasn't going. Period.

Around 8:00 last night, I got a phone message from our friend, Linda. She and her husband, Jim, were coming to conferance and would look for me. They were going to sit with me and help with the kids. What??!?!?! Were these people nuts??? They've met my kids. How could they really want to spend two long hours with them trying to keep them still and quiet? At this point, I was starting to feel a little lame for using the kids as my reason not to go. But, I still had good reason. Pretty was still fussy, and my ear was really hurting.

This morning, I woke up to a perfectly happy, normal little girl. Crap! That excuse was down the toilet. Well, mostly. There are never any promises that she'd stay that way. She is a female, afterall. And my ear. What about my sore ear? Wha? Wait a minute! The pain was GONE.

So, I sucked it up and off we went. We had to go a full hour early so the King could practice with the choir. What was I thinking? This was not going to be a good thing. Was it?

I arrived to discover that there was cozy seating in a pew near the front and close to an exit should I need it. Then, our friend, Bea, came in. She's like the kids' adopted grandma. She took Snort off my hands. And kept him. So, now I was down to three kids. Just before the meeting started, Angela and Alicia came and sat with me. Hmmm...was this turning into something doable? I now had three kids and three adults. It seemed to good to be true, so I braced myself for what was to come. Since we'd gotten there so early, the Beast and Pretty were already tired of the toys I'd brought. Figures.

Finally, the meeting was getting ready to start and Linda showed up. She informed me that she and Jim had seats behind us and were fully armed with toys, books, and snacks. And they were planning on taking the Beast and Pretty to sit with them. I was stunned beyond words. I reminded her how crazy Pretty and the Beast can be, and she calmly smiled as she took them by the hand and led them to their seats.

I don't really remember all that was said throughout that meeting. But I know I felt a sense of peace. This was more than I've gotten out of church in years. Years!!! I always live in the lobby with noisy kids. I'm usually frazzled and exhausted shortly after the opening prayer. What a huge blessing for me!

Snort started fussing about an hour and ten minutes into the meeting, so I reclaimed him and took him out where I met up with Linda. Pretty was running the halls, so Linda and I traded kids. I'd gotten so much just from being in the first half of the meeting that I didn't mind having Pretty back for a while. I'd sort of missed her anyway.

Pretty settled down and sat quietly with me in the lobby and even spent some time playing with her friend, K. They're buddies, and played nicely together. Even in the lobby with a wiggly two-year-old, I was calm and collected. It was great!

I did get to hear the last speaker over the intercom thing. He talked about how great it was to have the little children in the church with their parents, and how important it was to have them there. This is how we set an example for our children of the importance of doing what we're asked despite how hard it may seem to do it. I needed to hear that.

SO, the saying is true. If you do what is right, the consequences will follow. I made the right choice (not without dragging my feet, but I still managed to get there), and I was blessed for it. No, angels didn't come and bless me with riches and gold. I didn't suddenly become famous or anything. But, I had a sense of peace. I realized how many people there are in the world who are willing to help when you need it, even if you don't realize you do need it. I felt refreshed and ready to take on the rest of my day. And that's big. I am truly blessed. And I know these are blessings I wouldn't have realized had I chosen to take advantage of the many possible excuses not to go.


Courtney said...

I'm so glad it went well. When your in the tranches , it's hard to imagine ever having a peaceful sacrament meeting much less stake conference!

KAT said...

That's so sweet, tfs.