- Wake up at 5:00 a.m.
- Teach water aerobics at 6:00 a.m.
- Buy food for bridalshower tomorrow
- Get kids ready and leave house by 8:45 a.m. to be mentored for an upcoming piano performance
- Mentorsession in Salt Lake City at 10:30 a.m.
- Drop off library books
- Eat lunch on the go
- Child threw up in the car
- Dress rehearsal for a play I’m co-directing from 12:00-5:00 p.m. one hour away
- Eat dinner
- Make food for the bridal shower tomorrow
One morning I woke up with this list of things to do that day on my mind. Ok, I didn't plan on one of my children throwing up, but the rest was planned. Before I even got my swimsuit on to leave for the pool, I felt this tight feeling in my chest and my head started to ache. I tried taking some deep breaths to calm myself down, but it didn't seem to work. I kept going and thought my workout might relax me.
I exercised and showered, but my body still felt strange. It was almost as if I was living a dream. I also couldn't calm down. I knew I shouldn't worry, but I did. I had felt this feeling before — it was the same stressed feeling I had after swimming the first 50 yards of my first triathlon the year before. I was panicking. I was stressed. Why? I am not a person who stresses easily. In fact, I am usually known as the easy-going,rational person. Could it have something to do with getting about four hours sleep too many nights thatweek? Probably. My life is always a little nuts, and I am usually fine. It probably was the sleep factor.
Regardless of the reason, I was stressed to the point of feeling like I was going to have a panic attack. The thought that came into my head was, "You know what to do for this. Ask God for peace." All alone in the locker room at the city pool, I bowed my head and asked the Lord to bless me with the spirit of peace so that I would be relaxed throughout my fast-paced day. I was comforted with a feeling of calm assurance that I would have peace that day.
As I drove to Salt Lake, I was impressed with the thought to pay attention to how I felt. We were running late and doing our family scriptures in the car, but I was completely calm. The day was wonderful! I truly enjoyed all the craziness—except the throw up.
My loving Heavenly Father saw me that day and reminded me to turn to Him for strength, peace and answers to my problems. I felt the comfort of His arms that day because I listened to His prompting to ask Him for help. Humility is such a great teacher. As a mother, wife and person, I need Him. I have a responsibility to listen to His messages to me, and if I do, life is enjoyable.
This may be an unusual experience to share, but I think it applies to so much of what we do as parents. First off, we do a lot — sometimes too much. If I could have said “No” to things that day, I would have. Sometimes we get stressed. We need to make sure that days like I had are the exception, not the rule. Second, everything is easier and more enjoyable if we follow the guidance of God. We need to think about consulting Him more often. We are very capable people, but that doesn't mean we have to suffer when life gets hard. Whether it is a busy day or an out-of-control child, He can give us peace and clearness of mind so that we can see what to do to change our outlook.
I love this bathroom poster: “When the outlook is bad, try looking up.” What a great reminder! I hope we all can learn to look up to God when life gets crazy.