Sunday, June 3, 2012

Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk

It's only milk.  Although, sometimes it's formula, that costs waaaaaay more than milk.  Even if you are buying organic milk, shipped from India.  Which I am not, but just saying, we could probably have a summer home in Alaska for what we have spent (and continue to spend) on formula, much of which goes down the drain due to how our little guy eats.  It's a bit of a 'thing' if you haven't guessed.  Now, about the milk.

Sam is gone.  Chaos is in full motion, speeding brilliantly ahead.  It's almost bedtime; blessed bedtime!  I haven't gotten to bottles, they are all dirty and there is no formula made.  Guess who is more than ready to eat and not interested in learning about how virtuous patience is?  As I methodically wash and make bottles, I am breathing deeply and chanting to myself silly things like, "You can do it."  "Don't worry about what just crashed in the other room.  It already crashed, nothing to do about it now." "Someday they'll all understand how wonderful quiet and calm are, especially together."  "He won't die, even though you've seen him at the brink more times than you wish to recall, he won't die in this next few minutes as you ready his nourishment."  "How did you forget?!"  Silly mommy.

The phone rings.  It's Sam calling for his nightly ritual of individual time with the children.  He starts talking to me as though I am on some sandy beach somewhere with a tall glass of ice water in one hand, a marvelous book in the other, and all the time in the world.  You know, as though I am his wife and might be interested in his day.  I took a nice deep breath and said, as nicely as I could, "I am sorry, it's been a long day, I can't listen right now.  Can you start with the children?"  He knows me.  He was happy to oblige.

The fighting ensued.  Who's first, who was first last night, who's fastest to the phone, you always promise you'll remember the order and then you for get, you are a liar mom, yada, yada, yada!  And then it happened, the milk (formula) spilled.  Just as I was almost done, with all 10 bottles.  Nobody cares when the milk spills on the momma.  Under the wheat grinder.  In the drawers.  On the cabinets, behind the cabinet doors, stuck in the cabinet panel joints.  All over the floor.  Not a drop made it to the sink.  I was inches away and not a single drop had the courtesy, to just get on over that way.  Thousands of milliliters of super sticky, mess everywhere.  I lost it.  The tears were at the ready and they just came.  I am not sure how I saw to clean up the mess through the salty puddles in my eyes.  I am sure;  it was at my breaking point where the Lord taught me.

I wasn't upset because of the spilled milk.  I was stressed because of all the things I was trying to control at the moment that weren't my business.  The gracious offering of the milk, spilling freely on account of gravity, human anatomy and physics colliding, and other such things that are entirely out of my control, created an opportunity for me to see clearly.

There are thousands, probably millions, of things every day, that are completely and utterly out of my control.  Whether or not my children get along at the moments most beneficial to me, how at the ready I have resources to fill their bellies, if and when they have any interest in listening to me, and on, and on.  There is always one thing completely in my control.  My reaction to the uncontrollable world surrounding me.  

I enjoy those times when I am able to step back and see that everything is happening at precisely the right moment.  Crying over the spilled milk was what I needed.  In that moment, I needed to let go, and the milk mess was able to get me there.  Chaos breeds a need to control; a need to control what is not ours to control.  Sometimes things need to break before they can be fixed properly.  Tears can release humility we didn't know we needed.  Humility leads great places.

Patience is a virtue and I need more.  More holiness give me.  More strivings within.  More patience in suffering.  More faith in my Savior.  More sense of myself.  More gratitude give me.  More trust in the Lord.  More hope in his word.  More meekness in trial.  More praise for relief.  More purity give me.  More freedom form earth stains.  More longing for home.  More fit for His kingdom.  More, Savior, like thee.  (* words taken and adapted from More Holiness Give Me, a sacred hymn of our Lord.*)

Thank you milk :)

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