Only do what matters most

My days and nights seem plagued with painful headaches. If it were possible, I'd shut the door to my closet and lie peacefully in the dark until the pain subsided each day, but it is not possible. There are peanut butter sandwiches to make and snack bags to fill. And there's a baby--in the form of an 11 month old, 3 year old and 4 year old--always reaching up with outstretched arms, waiting for me to hold them on my hip.

And although the pain is nearly unbearable, I cannot fail them. I scoop them up in my arms and plop our bodies on the nearest couch where I run my fingers through their tangled hair. Just this afternoon, V smashed Elle's fingers accidentally in the door, and I held her as she sobbed. As I held her, I watched her face slowly calm down and the tears stop, and I felt like I was seeing my 3 year old grow up before my very eyes. I can't tell you how often I find myself just observing these days. I used to take 1000 pictures of moments through out the day, but I don't anymore. I just sit and etch the picture in my memories. There are pictures of V shrieking "I'm a rock star, and I'm beautiful!" Or pictures of Elle stuffing as many trinkets into her tiny purses and backpacks and laughing to herself, thinking no one is watching her stealthy tricks. And then there's Mya. Oh Mya. My time with her is so short, but I love to observe her as she draws and writes notes to her sisters and me. I see her work through the thought process, and I see her try so hard to spell correctly and use the correct punctuation. She knows it's what I do for a living so she tries especially hard to make me proud.

So while my health seems to be failing a bit at the moment, my mind seems to be heightening its awareness of the beauty I'm constantly surrounded by. I may not be able to keep the cleanest house or make the most delicious treats at the moment, but I am able to make my family feel loved.

I recently finished listening to my church's semi-annual general conference. It was so, so good. All the talks can be heard and read here. I'd recommend the following: What lack I yet?, Behold Thy mother,  It works wonderfully!, Be an example and a light, and Chosen to bear testimony of my name. These are the words that stuck out to me most in my current fragile state: "When you cannot do what you've always done, then only do what matters most." It's kind of what life always ends up boiling down to. Wouldn't you agree? It will be my motto as I barrel through the next few weeks of seeing doctors and finding ways to heal my aching head. I am going to do what matters most. Perhaps we all should.

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"Be kind and considerate with your criticism... It's just as hard to write a bad book as it is to write a good book." Malcolm Cowley