Friday, March 18, 2011

Finding Joy

I read this quote today on a blog that I love, written by a family friend who is going through some intense adversity lately:

“We are all in this together. We need each other, Oh, how we need each other. Those of us who are old, need you who are young. And, hopefully, you who are young need some of us who are old. It is a sociological fact that women need women. We need deep and satisfying and loyal friendships with each other. These friendships are a necessary source of sustenance. ” - Marjorie Hinckley

I love it. What a beautiful thing to remember. I was thinking this exact same thing last night as I fell asleep.

We had the birthday celebration for our church's Relief Society Organization last night. Kevin has been in Kentucky this week, so I wasn't planning to go. They ended up having babysitting at the church though, so Andrew went and hung out with some awesome men (and had so much fun he didn't want to go home after 2 hrs)... while I went to our RS dinner and speaker.

I was reminded how much I love the RS and the amazing women around me as I sat eating dinner. The gym was decked out with gorgeous decorations and then the men served us while we chatted with friends. They even brought us extra homemade rolls without us even having to ask, yum! :)

My friend Tiffany (who lived in Santa Clara with us and then moved to the East Bay the same time as us), came and stole Caitlin from me once she was finished eating. What a thoughtful thing to do! I got to eat with my hands free for once :) and Caitlin got to go meet lots of new friends while Tiff walked her around. She has her own 4 kids at home and could've just come, relaxed, and enjoyed a break... but instead she took a moment to give me some time off.

After dinner we listened to the matron of the Oakland Temple speak. She was beautiful (inside and out) and kept us laughing. I felt so inspired by her. She talked about doing hard things. She talked about her life as a young stay at home mom with crazy kids. She talked about finding joy, especially during hard times. I held little Caitlin on my lap and couldn't remember when I'd last really had a "hard time." It hasn't been possible with such a joyful little girl in our house. Even Andrew can't help but be dazzled by her smiles.

At the end of the evening, two of my very dear friends insisted that they help me wrangle Caitlin and Andrew to the car. One carried my massive diaper bag along with her stylish purse and she looked like she was about to topple over. The other buckled a screaming Caitlin into her carseat and helped me bribe Andrew out of the fun room with all the cool men and she held his hand as we walked across a busy parking lot. These women both had their own kids at home and their own busy schedules (one has five kids, ages 4-17, and another has 4 teenage daughters)... and could've rushed home or stayed chatting with other friends... but they took a moment out of their evening to look out for me.

I love these women. The ones who helped me and the other ones that I got to spend the evening chatting with. I am amazed by them. I am so grateful that my friends aren't just all 31 just like me and in the same stage of life as me. Women need women. I need women who are older than me to teach me to be a little less selfish and to see the world with a broader perspective. My time as a mom with young crazy kids is brief. I need friends who are younger than me to help me stay fun and energetic, and to teach me to be more balanced. I love being a member of a women's organization that isn't grouped by age or stage. I don't necessarily think that I sometimes add much to the group, but I genuinely look up to the women that I am blessed to be around and only hope that I can be as pretty, put together, organized, knowledgeable, service oriented, and loving as they are... some day. If anything, each week as I interact with them, they inspire me to try and little harder.

That was my moment of joy for the week. It is easy to forget such simple things. I need to try and remember them and write them down more often. Hopefully they can remind me to help more, instead of always feeling like the person who is "helped."

No comments: