Monday, July 22, 2013

Make A Fire From This Tiny Spark

I'm going to share some things in this post that I'm not necessarily proud of.  However, it's how I have been feeling and I like to be honest with myself and with others.  It's been weighing on my mind a lot, so I figured I should write about it.

“Just when all seems to be going right, challenges often come in multiple doses applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience, they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more. He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit.” ― Richard G. Scott

Lately, I hate Sunday.  Not the Sunday dinner with family.  Sunday dinner saves the day for me.  It is perfect and relaxing and always my favorite way to end Sunday.

I hate getting up on Sunday morning so I stay in bed for way too long.  I hate getting ready for church because I have to dress super nice in a skirt or a dress.  I also hate having to get Ayla looking super nice in a dress.

And HOLY COW, what is the deal with Ayla's church shoes?  They.  Do.  Not.  Last.  They break, she grows out of them insanely quickly, she loses them, etc.  There is ALWAYS something going on with her dang church shoes.  Like her cute little heels that my mom sent - they came home missing a heel.  What?  She had to wear flip flops for a couple of Sundays.  I finally splurged and bought her adorable church sandals, which she wore once, and now suddenly one is missing.  No where to be found.  I HATE her church shoes and the constant cause of stress that they are.

I hate that I'm always running late even though church is at 1 pm.  Really, I have all morning and I am still late?!  Always.  It's ridiculous.

There always seem to be little tiny things that come up that just make me ANGRY before church.  I am mad and I have no patience and I am slamming things around and being short with Kyle and Ayla and I'm sure it sucks for them.

And then there is church.  For the most part Ayla is fine during Sacrament meeting... when she isn't on the floor, or crying for food or her toys, or pushing the metal chairs around if we're really late...  She is always so done with Sacrament meeting by the time it's over and I am so done with dealing with her in Sacrament meeting.  And that's when we go to Sacrament meeting, because sometimes I am terrible at making it to Sacrament meeting, which I am not proud of.

And then we move on to Sharing Time.  We never have enough seats set aside for our class.  I don't understand.  They give us 5 chairs.  We have 6 boys and 2 adults.  That's 8 people needing chairs and they give us 5.  So there's that.  And then while Sharing Time is going on Kyle and I are constantly playing musical chairs with these boys.  Trying to keep them from pinching each other or poking each other or talking or laughing.  Or I am trying to keep them on their chairs and off the floor.  And to stop spitting.  And to get their tie out of their mouth.  And to put their shirt down.  Put their shoes back on.  .....All of those fun things that come from sitting with 5 five and six-year-old boys.

And then Ayla is in there with her class and I don't even know how many times during Sharing Time she walks back because she needs to tell me something.  It's always, "I want a treat."  Then she starts to cry because I won't give her a treat and I tell her to go sit with her class.  And then she's back again 5 minutes later.

So when the bell rings and Sharing Time is over I am already flustered.

Then we go to our classroom.  Our classroom is the size of a closet.  I am not exaggerating.  It's one of those "half classrooms".  Maybe not even half of a normal sized room.  It's tiny.  And we all have to fit in there.  And the boys are much, much worse when we are in the classroom.  I do this thing where we go on a walk around the church every Sunday.  The purpose of the walk is to get some wiggles out because they just sat through an hour of Sacrament and an hour of Sharing Time and one more hour of class just seems like a lot to ask for them to sit through.  So we walk.  And the rules are that they have to be in a line and they have to fold their arms.  No running.  No talking.  No touching.  Be reverent.  They all have good intentions when we leave the classroom, but good intentions only get these little guys so far.

When we get back to the classroom I feel like it's a constant string of "Did you hear what I just said?  Stop climbing the wall!  Get back in your seat.  Please put your shirt back on.  We don't take our clothes off at church.  Sit back down, you do not need to go smell his fart!"  These are actual things that I say during class.

These boys are so cute.  They are 5 years old, of course they're cute.  But I struggle so badly with getting through any sort of a lesson and I leave with a headache every single Sunday.  Every.  Single.  Sunday.  The first thing I do when I get home is take ibuprofen.

I miss when I used to love Sunday.  Sacrament has always been a little stressful since having Ayla, but the rest of my meetings were great.  I love love love the lessons and discussions in Sunday School and Relief Society is always exactly what I need.  I cry every time I go to Relief Society.  I gain so much from all of the other wonderful women and those lessons that are tailored to fit our lives as wives and mothers and women.  I miss that.  I used to feel spiritually fed on Sunday's and now I just feel stressed out.  I feel a void and I feel angry and I feel tired.  It doesn't feel like a restful day or a day to nourish my soul.  I want to feel that again.

Where I stand right now, I don't feel spiritually suited to be teaching Gospel lessons to these sweet children.  How awful is that?

And how obvious is it that Satan is working overtime on me in this aspect of my life?

I am just feeling spiritually empty.

And I hate that this is something that I can be taking care of myself, but I have apparently neglected it far too long and now I am just angry with myself.

I know that I could be so much better about studying my scriptures.
I know that I can be praying much more often and much more fervently.
I know that I could be making more of an effort to get to the Temple.  {It feels like it's been ages since I've been to the Temple, though it's only been a month.}
I could be better prepared for Sunday by having all of our clothes and shoes laid out the night before.
I could have a better attitude with these cute little boys and not let their craziness get me down.

I could be doing so much better.  But I'm not.

I just want to feel spiritually fed.  I want to walk away from my church meetings with my heart feeling full and happy.  I want it I want it I want it.

I keep thinking that I want to be taken out of Primary, but then I think that if I am struggling so bad then it's where I need to be.  I just don't know what to do to stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion from this trial.  I feel stuck.

Any suggestions or words of encouragement?  They are greatly needed and appreciated.

Holy breath move in me
warm my soul and feed my need
I've grown so cold from bitter rain
I need to feel the fire again

Hold me close in love's sure grasp
don't let me go I'm falling fast
make from my embers a mighty flame
'Cause I need to feel the fire again

Like the heart of a child burning
it once was mine
with the faith of a baby wrap me safety
in His name

Here I am a wiling heart
make a fire from this tiny spark
I've known the burning of truest flames
and I need to feel the fire again

Like the heart of a child burning
it once was mine
with the faith of a baby wrap me safety
in His name

Holy breath move in me
warm my soul and hear my plea
I've grown so cold from bitter rain
and I need to feel the fire
I need to feel the fire
I need to feel the fire again

Like the heart of a child burning
it once was mine
with the faith of a baby wrap me safety
in His name

1 comment:

  1. Oh Tonja I am sorry! That has to be so frustrating. I don't have any kids so I don't know what to there, but as for teaching primary I have an idea that might work. Get a mason jar and some dried beans or marbles and every time the whole class or just one individual class member does something good like answer a question, is sitting quietly, not touching someone else, etc, put a bean into the jar. Once the jar is filled they get a class party and they can decide what kind of a party it is. (you might want to give them some options, their ideas could get a little bit crazy!) Also, if you choose to do the beans or something small like that, draw a line and only make them fill it up 1/2 way or 3/4 of the way just so they can see results. If it takes too long for a party to come they will lose interest and it won't work. But if you use something bigger like marbles you might be able to fill the whole thing up, just depending on the size of the mason jar. Anyway, I have used something similar with my students before and I had my primary teacher use this with my class when I was little and I loved it. It is a great visual.

    Oh and I think your walk idea is great!! They are too young to be sitting for 3 hours. You really are doing a great job Tonja.