Oh, the delicious middle of the Oreo cookie.
Oreo’s are a favorite of mine. I have even developed a writing lesson in school using the Oreo to give me an excuse to share them with my fourth grade class. In fact, I love them so much I can’t buy them anymore or keep them in my house. To quote my 7 year old daughter, “YOU ATE ALL THE OREO’S AGAIN WHILE WE WERE GONE?” Yup. I did. Hence the Oreo banishment. I love the creamy, white middle of the cookie. It is what makes this cookie the yummiest. Sandwiched between a beginning and an end of chocolaty goodness.
Recently, I have had a few set backs, I can usually handle one just fine. However, this week was the week before Spring Break and my class was NUTS. My Dad had a heart attack. I got a text that Wednesday after work from my Mom letting us know that Dad was in the ER and she did not yet know the prognosis. I tried so very hard to be brave, but I wasn’t and I cried like a baby as I went to pick up my kids, their step-mom so kindly said she would keep them and I headed to the hospital. I WAS SO MAD and I was scared because I need my Dad. I don’t have a priesthood holder in my home and I told Heavenly Father it wasn’t time and I needed my Dad still so to please preserve his life. I bet Heavenly Father really enjoyed me telling him what to do. I also think he understood me and why I felt that way. Then my car broke down on Friday, was in the shop until Tuesday. Which put my family in a bind to loan me a car, my Mom to get a ride to work from my brother Steve. Needless to say by the weekend, I was spent. Totally SPENT.
Saturday was Aydans birthday. I had to bum a ride there and home. I was so happy to go to the party and yet so tired. I took time to do a few fun activities last weekend and I also took a long nap Sunday. I am so grateful I did because Monday morning the children’s Father called saying he was looking over the divorce decree and it was actually my week to have the kids for break, even though I had them for all of October Break too. I had a lot of fun activities planned, movies, lunches with friends, shopping, and of course a huge amount of errands to do. So my reply at 8 am that Monday morning to my ex-husband was, bring them home. So in a split second the break I had been waiting so anxiously for, (a rest finally) changed dramatically. In the past we have either split up the breaks, or I have taken one and he has taken one. I don’t know his reasoning behind bringing the kids home. His reasoning doesn’t matter, what matters is that the kids know…they can always come home. They always have a place here, always.
One of my errands was to get my taxes done. I realized that I made a CRITICAL mistake when I started back to work and claimed that I had two children at home. Which meant I didn’t pay enough taxes and now owe the government thousands of dollars. It was at this moment I had a full on internal temper tantrum.
WHY if I am doing everything right, is EVERYTHING going wrong?
And a lot of other assumptions that made total sense in my angry mind and a lot of comparisons that really don’t do any good to anyone. I was just mad and sick and TIRED.
And so I prayed. And I cried. Because when I am mad or frustrated or overly tired..I cry.
And then the thought came to my mind, “You are in the middle”
It was an article I had read in the Ensign a few years before. I realized that everything was going to be okay. How? I wasn’t sure of the details…but you know they have all worked out. I have a plan. I realized that being a single Mom, choosing my children instead of myself…when I REALLY wanted to choose myself is part of my mission in this life. Having to face these set-backs alone is what will refine me in the way that I need to be. They draw me closer to the Lord. Spending this week with my children has been sweet, we have had a lot of fun together.
President Uchtdorf says: Yes, there will be moments of beginnings and moments of endings throughout our lives, but these are only markers along the way of the great middle of our eternal lives. Whether we are at the beginning or the end, whether we are young or old, the Lord can use us for his purposes if we simply set aside whatever thoughts limit our ability to serve and allow His will to shape our lives.
The Psalmist says, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we should rejoice and be glad in it”
Forever-is composed of Nows.
So, can I count my losses? Sure, you bet. Can I wonder about a myriad of things that don’t seem to be on my timetable or go wrong? Of course I can. But instead I will……..
That my car is fixed
That I have a job, so I have to pay taxes!
That my children are SO FUN to be with and give me purpose in life!
That the library has FREE DVD’s to rent
That my Dad is home and recovering, and for his always positive attitude and good example..for instance I walked into the hospital that Wednesday afternoon. My Dad had just been brought into the hospital room and he said, “Hey Dior, Don’t worry…it’s just my annual visit to the hospital” I was instantly at ease.
I am happy that the Lord is in control
That our neighborhood pool is HEATED and gave us something to do this week, since I didn’t have any fun plans
For friends that rescue me and drag me to book club and let my kids stay at their house
For friends to go on walks with
That my Teaching Certificate is renewed and IN HAND! WOOT WOOT
That we could go to Last Chance
That my kids could have friends over
That we could clean the house top to bottom and TOTALLY re-organize the play room
That I could sleep in every day until 8 am….heaven
That I could take Ellie with me to deliver dinner to an elderly couple in my ward and see service in action
That I have a Mom who is so strong and comforts US and helps US when things go wrong like..Dad in the hospital and then my car breaking down
For brothers like Steve who has been there for me in SO MANY pinches lately
For sisters who are computer guru’s
For daughters that say, (after me complaining about a zit….) Mom, you are so pretty you can’t even see it.
And a son that helps me in almost EVERY way I ask, happily without complaint…Hey son? Can you do the dishes? Sure, Mom!
And I see that the middle is what it’s all about! Some things end, somethings begin but mostly…we are in the middle and just like an Oreo..the middle is SWEET.
XOXO-From the Middle….The Sunny D