(Written Monday morning) It was very late last night when one of my little ones woke up crying just as my husband and I were ready to go to sleep. Not just crying, but beside herself- must have had a bad dream. Not very usual around here, thank goodness. It took quite a while, but eventually exhausted Daddy and I got her back to sleep. I was so tired I crashed out beside her (also unusual – we’ve managed to at least get the little one in need back to bed lately). I didn’t even brush my teeth! Ugh! That’s the worst because then you can’t really sleep well anyway and you wake up, like I did, with a bad dream (at 2:18 am). That’s even more unusual than the children having bad dreams, but it was horrible enough to keep me awake for another long while and so I wrote our son another email. (Soo looking forward to his letter from today!!! ElderHoffman.com)
Finally sleep returned. But it didn’t seem for long. I woke what seemed only moments later to be vaguely aware of my husband taking my hand to pray beside me before leaving to operate. The light was still dim, meaning it was early morning. There was beautiful harp music echoing throughout our home. I realized our daughter Mikela was up practicing & wondered what time it was, as she usually leaves for seminary class by 5:45 am. My husband’s brief words on the way out of the bedroom door explained it: it’s a snow day. He mentioned a friend of ours that was having surgery that day asking me to pray for her. I did, with all purpose of heart, immediately. Then I lay back down, still exhausted.
What a relief. A snow day. We hadn’t had one all year- which was again very unusual. I suddenly promised myself I would never live where there are not snow days, feeling this one was such a blessing!! I LOVE snuggling up in the house as a family, yummy fire, with a suddenly undemanding day to fill with delightful things for the children like reading… (they’ve been on fire with this lately as we read Power Tales Jane Addams a couple months ago and found that her father paid her $.50 for each book she read at a young age, about equivalent to $5 today right? So I offered the same to my children. After all, She had ended up a great contributor to the poor, oppressed, & under-served. And really that was how Ben Carson’s mother changed his life – getting him from the bottom of his class to the top. He’s a world-renown, life-saving surgeon who’s changing the world now. Anything I can do to encourage reading around here.) and crocheting… (the next biggest activity in our home this past month, taking me back to when my Grandma taught me- in fact we took up our crocheting again this year on her birthday in January. And taking me back to our nostalgic VT/NH winter days. But now I’m rambling). Gorgeous, sparkling clean snow to cover the world, and a restful, cozy day at home! Life couldn’t be kinder. (I will continue my story below the pics.)
So I snuggled back down into my flannel-covered bed to catch up on much-needed sleep. When just at that moment the other baby, the one that had slept all night, began to cry- awake. Oh man. I lay there a minute just to see if she’d go back to bed but by her voice I could tell she was up for good. On this snow day, when everyone else except the awesome harp player was sleeping, baby #2 had to wake early. As I got up to get her the one beside me on the bed woke too (hee hee, that would be Sarah- should be referring to them by name). She insisted she come with me to get her sister. And now, here I was again, all too familiar with this scene, which is less common now, but still occurs about once a week morning or night: me holding 2 tired, grumpy Sisters in my very tired arms. Oh boy. I wasn’t sure where to take them, it was still early and the house sleeping and they were miserable because their bodies needed more sleep also. I tried my bed to see if they’d go back to sleep- no hope there. We went into the tv room. For how tired I was I thought I’d break my ‘only after lunch’ rule for letting them watch a little show. “Wildkratts!” They enthused in their oh-so-tiny voices, loving such a big-kid show. My daughter Mikela’s door was open so we could see the light pouring from it from where we stood. “Good morning Mikela!” I called, trying to sound cheerful. “Good morning!” She responded- truly cheerful, she’s amazing like that. Then Sarah got all excited, “you awake, Kia?” (Their nickname for her, created by Kate as a baby I believe.) Her little voice was so excited to find someone awake besides her super tired mom and sister. Kia responded in their happy baby language, “yes, I awake!” She was really cheerful. I was so happy about her happy spirit, but I couldn’t really get my happiness to show on the outside of me yet. “Hi Kia,” I continued, “how are you up so early practicing harp on a snow day?” She responded, the truth of her words beaming from her being, “I’m happy to be up!” I smiled a tired smile at her happiness, “that’s awesome, Mikela”. “I’m not quite so happy about it”, and then proceeded to tell her about by rough night. “I think I will turn on a movie for the Babies and lay here on the couch.” She responded even more cheerfully, “how about I watch a movie with the babies and you go back to sleep?” Now that is an awesome 16 year old, if I do say so myself. I’m so happy about her offer of service, that I had to write about it, instead of sleeping ;-). I had to go back in to the TV room for something I’d forgotten and I found this irresistible bunch sitting on the couch together in the early morning hours. Just had to share.
Mikela’s service reminds me of yesterday at church when the sacrament was being passed and my arms were full of little ones (mine and a little friend who had joined us) and there was a big space between us and the family passing it our direction. It was really hard, but I stretched out my arm from holding 2 children and managed to get the handle of the tray of bread from the little boy on the end without spilling. The children were quiet and good and seemed as glad as I was to take a piece of bread that reminded them of the Savior’s love and service, & amazing sacrifice for us. In a few moments it was the water coming our way, the tray bigger, heavier and filled with the little cups of water to remind us of His greatest gift. The little boy on the end that would be passing us the water tray was totally unaware, of course, of my predicament- he was too young. But his sister, on the other side of her father at the end of the row, 12 years old, had noticed, and she stood and waited for her younger brother to take the little cup of water, then grabbed hold of the heavy tray, and brought it to us and held it while I, & the babies, took a drink. So young, such a beautiful girl, most beautiful of all because she took quiet note of someone else’s need and ever so simply, came to aid. It made a big difference to me that she had noticed and helped without a word. I’ve always liked this young girl but she really won my heart, along with her mother who I know, by her very nature, has taught her.
And so here it is this morning: my tiny, in-my-house, cozy celebration of snow days and service!
Please find a way to serve someone today: like Jane Addams, Ben Carsen, my Mikela, and our beautiful young friend Charlotte did, even like Christ. Service warms up a day like nothing else.
And happy snow days everyone! (I’m sorry for you if you’re in year-round warm weather ;-).
C & Crew
P.S. Life just gets better and better this morning – my 8 year old just INSISTED I stay in bed and in a few moments my 10 year old brought up a gorgeous breakfast of crepes and strawberries that my 16 year old had made! I hope I can make someone so happy today – by serving them in needful ways – as my children did for me this morning! Sharin’ the joy :).