My terrible sleeping habits of staying up for an early morning bedtime continue even though the 2 AM breastfeeding sessions stopped weeks ago. So instead of dreaming about out of this world coupon sales, I’m letting out sighs of despair while scrubbing chocolate milk stains and whatever else my children rub into their clothing.
Two days ago these clothes were piled into colors, special fabrics, and bleach jobs all awaiting treatment from the laundress. Who is yours truly, of course. My piles lasted until my daughter left the bathroom sink on, which doubles as the laundry room. The floor was covered in water. In order to clean up the mess, The Hubbs compacted my soggy piles into one large basket before soaking up the rest of the liberated liquid. Now, armed with my Sams Club special size Shout bottle and a sponge, I can feel the anger from two days ago begin to surface again. Oh how angry I was. Angry and ready to teach a lesson to my inattentive child. I yelled, she cried. Lectures were given and a bedroom hastily cleaned in order to avoid more anger. Progress had been made. I wasn’t happy about the methods, but I couldn’t deny that I was happy about the newly made bed and clean room. I wish I didn’t have to yell, and that she would not cry. I worry that as a result there could be an ever growing rift between us. Irreparable and untrusting. In the quiet of the night I continue to furiously work on the new water stains and wonder if there is anyway to get the mildew spots out. The steady stream of running water is therapeutic, but I need more. It’s lonely at 2 in the morning and I need company. In a moment of good judgement I begin to listen to the World Wide Women’s Conference from two weeks ago. I had half listened to the talks live. Figuring now would be as good a time as any to allow myself some spiritual growth. Heaven knows how much I need it!
\What I learn while laundering in the wee morning hours:
1. My children drink too much chocolate milk
2. I should utilize the bib drawer more often
3. I want to hire out my laundry
These were my common sense lessons, except for #3, that’s just a wish. However, as I listen to the words of wise spiritual leaders one thought begins to stick in my mind. The last but most valuable lesson of the night.
4. Carry Christ’s torch
There is so much chaos anymore. A lot of it’s political, some caused by natural disasters, illnesses, the economy, even religion. Some of the chaos is in the US and lots of it is world wide. Whatever it is, non of us goes untouched. We all have our own cause, our own torch to carry in hopes of enlightening those around us.
As I scrub out my 96th chocolate milk stain I hear Elder Uchtdorf talking about life filled with disappointment, ever continuous opposition. The irony of his words hit me and I realize these stains aren’t going to end. I will not wake up one morning and not have a new stain waiting to be scrubbed. Everyday there will be new opposition whether it’s self inflicted or forced upon us. Whether we are perfectly righteous or perfectly wicked. No matter if we manage to incite others to our thought patterns or not…. there will always be those who oppose.
As the conference comes to a close I hear Elder Uchtdorf speaking of WWII saying, “This war was caused by my own nation…. They silenced those they did not like. They shamed and demonized them. They considered them inferior—even less than human.” To admit that it was his people who induced world wide havoc less than a century ago is not only humbling but compelling. A plea to be listened too. It is not our torch that will bring the world to it’s knees, invite social justice or rectify a loss.
My torch will not lessen chocolate milk stains or bathroom mishaps. It might result in hastily cleaned bedrooms, but at what cost to my relationship with my daughter. His torch though, is bright enough to right the wrong, heal the suffering, enlighten the confused. We can find confidence through His atonement, His love and ultimately His plan. I am reminded of the Proverb, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5) So what can we do but let it be His torch we carry. Allowing His light to illuminate our way. My tactics to scrubbing out these brown stains are always changing as new tricks are discovered. Tonight my new tricks go beyond laundry and the words “I’m trying to be like Jesus, I’m learning to love as He did” becomes a little more relevant. I find myself grateful for these small moments at 2 AM when I’m hit with a spiritual truth bomb.
To listen to the inspiring words of the World Wide Women’s Conference visit LDS.org.