Tender Mercies and Renewed Hope

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It was Friday Morning. I had a list of a million things to do, especially since it was the kids last day of school before 2 weeks of winter break. A paper to write, a speech to record, a house and laundry to clean, plus a myriad of blogging backed up just waiting for pictures, editing and a good story to go with it. 

But I didn’t want to do any of it. I wanted to curl up in a corner somewhere and cry. I don’t know why. Lots of reasons came to mind on why I could possibly be feeling this way during one of my favorite times of the year. Family that is struggling, but too far away for me to help; My family too far away to spend any portion of the holidays with; old homes and friends being missed in my heart; a husband who works incredibly hard, but we see for only short moments in the early morning and late evening. The feeling had been weighing me down for a good portion of the week. 

Knock Knock Knock

It was Mark’s day off, and we had been offered a night out without kids, something I wanted, but at the same time didn’t. How could I go out when the kids get even less time with their dad than I do? Why do I feel guilty when people offer to watch my kids? The downward spiral was coming on quicker than I wanted. 

Knock Knock Knock

It was someone at the door. I mistook the sound originally for Little Prince trying to tap play dough out of it’s container. It was my visiting teacher (a program in the LDS church to inspire friendships, and make sure no one is overlooked). We didn’t have a visit scheduled for today…did we? I thought to myself. No no. Just stopping by to say hi, and Merry Christmas. Here’s a bag of popcorn, a card, and a talk from Elder Holland. 

I love Elder Holland! Thank you so much for stopping by I said. She was just what I needed in the midst of that downward spiral. She reminded me that I am loved, cared for, and thought of. That I am a good mother and wife. A date suddenly sounded great again, and the guilt left for what originally felt like me pawning the kids off. !

Mark came out and found my crying on the doorstep. Worried something terrible had happened, he came out all concerned. What happened?

My visiting teacher took over “Oh I just gave her a hug and reminded her she is loved. We woman need to hear that from each other sometimes.”

Yup pretty much. But to me, in that moment it was more. It was a reminder that my Savior loves me too. He knows my heart. He knows my struggles. And in that moment He knew that I needed a friend, and reminder of that love. 

Friends, it’s Christmas. The celebration of the birth of Christ. While we remember the simplicity of His birth, let us simplify our lives and hearts. When we simplify, we are more prone to hear the quiet promptings of the Spirit. Whether you know your effect on someone’s life or not, when you follow those promptings to visit a neighbor, or stop by a friends house just because – you may just be the angel they need in that moment. 

Amidst the hustle and bustle of the season, from shopping and shipping, and wrapping presents, remember the best present of the season is one led by the Spirit of the Lord. Be a blessing to others this year by being a friend. I know that the Lord is aware of each and every one of us. He loves me and He loves you. He knows your struggles and heartaches.

 

Have a very Merry and Blessed Christmas.  

 

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