I’ve been stressed out today. I follow a blog called the NieNie Dialogues. Nie is such a good mom and she has perfect children. Of course, she was horribly burned in a plane crash, but other than that, her life is perfect. I want Nie’s life–without the burns.
So like I said, I’m stressed out. My sister and her two beautiful daughters were here for most of the week, and we had a grand old time tooling around Taipei. I fancy myself and expert tour guide. I was sad to see them leave this morning. But, as a result of all the fun, I have neglected my house, my children, my husband, my church calling. So today was the day to pay the piper and get back to reality. And reality is stressful.
My least favorite part of the day was when my 7 year-old told me she hates me because I insisted she have lettuce on her Subway sandwich. Nie’s children would never say that to her.
My second least favorite part of the day was looking at my dirty, neglected house and knowing that I had other priorities and that the dirt would have to wait. But even with all of my valiant attempts to ignore it, the dirt just seemed to taunt me. Nie’s house is always perfect.
My third least favorite part of the day was the stress that my church calling causes me. Most active Mormons have some sort of church assignment. My calling is as the Relief Society President of my ward. As Mormon women, we’re taught not to complain about our callings, but to do them to the best of our abilities and then bask in the blessings that flow from the service that we render. That’s all well and good, but sometimes my calling is such a STRESS! And today was one of those days. I love my calling. I really do. I love the women in my ward and I love the relationships that I’m able to foster with them. But some days, the weight of the calling can be crushing. Nie (who also happens to be Mormon) is never crushed by her calling.
But today, in the midst of my failed parenting, my dirty house and my crushing calling, I did something that helped relieve the stress for just a couple of minutes. I got down on the floor and painted my daughter’s toenails. (Yes, it was the same daughter from the above lettuce incident.)
In the New Testament, Christ got down on the floor and washed His disciples feet at a time when I’m sure He was under a great deal of stress. More stress than I can imagine in my pathetic little life. Maybe it brought Him a few minutes of stress relief during that difficult time, like painting my daughter’s toenails brought me today. I suppose I should do more of that sort of thing. Then maybe my daughter wouldn’t be so quick to say that she hates me when I do something cruel like make her eat vegetables.
I’m sure Nie’s daughters’ toenails are always painted and, as a result, they eat their veggies without complaining.