Rick and I lay silently in bed upon hearing this exciting news, probably waiting for the other to get up and do something. I inhaled and exhaled deeply but quietly five or six times and was about to open my mouth to say I’d be right there, when, to my surprise and relief, Rick finally said, “Well, Ike, go get a rag and start cleaning it up.” I was amazed. Rick has always been The Barf Patrol in the family. Never once has either child ever had to raise so much as an eyebrow to clean the mess. I think Ike must have been pretty surprised too, but if he was, he didn’t say anything about it. He simply turned from our room, closed our door, and disappeared.
We stayed in bed until our phone alarms went off simultaneously, telling us it really was time to get up. Although, I must admit that I couldn’t get back to sleep. I was too concerned about how Ike was doing. Even so, after dismissing the alarm, I immediately jumped in the shower, removing myself entirely (as usual) from the stench and wreckage of the barf aftermath. I didn’t even check on my son. I didn’t go console him, I didn’t say, “here...let me take over.” I didn’t do anything at all.
Consequently, I didn’t have to deal with my serious gag reflex upon seeing all the chunks and the red dye from the licorice he’d eaten before bed. When I eventually came out of my room, Ike was scrubbing his carpet and the mess was mostly cleaned up...at least as much as it could be with what we had for cleansers. Rick and I looked at each other with the same expression. It was the look of knowing that today we’d be late to church, if we even made it at all. It was also the look that said “our ox is in the mire”. I knew right then that we’d be breaking the Sabbath.
So, I guess just to make myself feel worse, after I was ready for church but we (and by “we” I mean Rick) were still dealing with the barf stuff, I decided to visit LDS.org. The Church has started a new social media campaign to encourage its members to share what they are doing on the Sabbath Day to stay close to the Savior. As I scrolled through the posts, I felt myself getting more and more cynical. “Well, la-de-da...look at that perfect little family doing their perfect little puppet show of scripture stories”. And “ooooh, wow...isn’t that great...that family had time to stop and take a selfie on the way to church because they’re SO on time...” I was comparing my totally off kilter day to what I was seeing online.
From that moment, all the way to church, and even a ways into the meetings we actually made it to, all I could think about were all the different things I’d be hashtagging about my Sunday at that moment:
- hashtag didn’t help clean up barf
- hashtag fighting with Rick
- hashtag gotta break the Sabbath
- hashtag once again late to church
- hashtag cried because I wouldn’t be able to take the sacrament AGAIN
- hashtag I have road rage toward Idaho drivers
- hashtag thought swear words in the church foyer
- hashtag still fighting
- hashtag totally comparing myself to other Mormons and their perfectness
In an effort to calm my nerves and make the day right, Rick and I had decided to step out of the third hour of our meeting block so that we could go to the next ward’s meeting and take the sacrament. But we stepped out too late and missed it. Then I started another fight. We parted ways and finished our meetings.
When we got home, I headed right upstairs, got on my PJs and fell into bed. I needed to change my attitude, but I couldn’t seem to shake it! Since I was alone in the room, I knelt down and prayed out loud. I told God what a crappy day I was having, and I used language that I normally would not consider remotely appropriate for a prayer. But I was ticked and I wanted to be totally honest. After finishing my prayer, I lay down and pulled the covers over my head, trying to hide myself from the world beyond that big blanket.
I have no idea how long I’d been there, but when Rick came in, his expression was soft and so was his voice. He told me he’d found another ward that started at 4PM, and we could go there to take the sacrament. I felt humbled. And relieved. And I loved my husband so much in that moment. Here I was, letting my anger and frustration rule me. And there he was, offering solutions and an olive branch.
We all re-dressed and made haste to the chapel to participate in the sacrament meeting. Making our way to the doors, I was so happy that finally after so long, I’d be able to feel the sacred emblems in my mouth and their power in my soul. However, as we approached the chapel, a wave of disappointment came over me. The room was empty. We’d missed it. The meeting was dismissed at four. I’d had three chances to take the sacrament today, and I missed them all.
A quick decision determined my attitude at that moment. I couldn’t be grumpy anymore. We’d done all we could, and that was that. The day was almost over, and I’d spent pretty much all of it in a terrible mood. And I was sick of it. So I stopped.
We spent the rest of the day helping family move and clean. And I suppose that’s probably not something I’ll be seeing anyone hashtagging about on the church’s website in honor of His Day, but it really helped me. It helped me think outside of myself and think about how I could be helpful and show my love to my family. And I think that’s a pretty worthy thing to do.
- hashtag prayer helps
- hashtag family first
- hashtag still not gonna clean up barf
- hashtag next week the sacrament is totally mine