Last week, I realized my wee one was 15 weeks old.
Why, you ask, did my brain suddenly begin to do complex math like figuring out how many weeks old my baby was?
Because I finally realized that while I may be able to get away with pajama wearing a little longer around my very loving family–it just may be time to don actual clothing for those unsuspecting travelers who find their way to my door.
(Yes, UPS and FedEx guys, I do care–but not enough. No, I am talking about people whose opinions I greatly esteem, or as my children say, I am trying to impress…).
Because it happened again.
An amazing, gifted, beautiful, accomplished woman who has only visited me once before at my home (bringing delicious homemade bread–how lucky am I?), stopped by and I was in those pajamas again. I know she doesn’t mind, and I love that she loves me anyway, in spite of the fact that I probably smelled like spit up and unshowered mother.
But, momentarily, when I realized it was a Woman of No Small Reputation who was visiting and not the UPS guy, I felt like this:
I don’t know if I can let go the pajamas, though. Doesn’t Bessie look comfy?
But, it was funny. Because when she came in, I was trying hard not to burst out laughing as I was picturing myself as Bessie, Mrs. Forrester’s old cow from Cranford.
And of course, I couldn’t think of that without thinking of dear Mrs. Forrester exclaiming in despair:
That cow is capable of human feeling!
Admit it. If you’ve seen Cranford, you are laughing. And then, of course I thought that on date night sometime in the near future my husband and I could watch Cranford.
(Yes, my husband truly enjoys BBC period dramas. And he’s a ninja. How’s that for hitting the jackpot?)
And then I was really grateful to my friend for the great date night I knew was going to happen in the very near future.
Then it was Sunday, and I thought that if only we could all wear modest pajamas to church, I wouldn’t have to battle losing the spirit every Sunday morning when I try to find something to wear that fits, isn’t wrinkled, and is comfortable.
So, there I was and we were late, and a well-meaning lady asked me if we were ever on time for church anymore. And then I remembered a talk a while ago in which an apostle talked about how we shouldn’t be late, and then I thought about the people in Africa who walk, ride a bus, and then fly a plane to get to church and still make it on time and I fervently prayed for God’s grace and mercy to be sufficient for my lack of promptness.
And then I looked at the beautiful crafts on display from the other ward’s Relief Society.
An “I Spy” bag for the littles.
A gorgeous Pinterest-worthy Book Wreath.
A capital letter “T” that was all rustic and painted red (my favorite barn red, too!).
And I sighed a little because I thought how beautiful they were and how I just can’t do that. And how I think I may have to wait until the Millenium to learn, because it will take me the full one thousand years.
And then I sighed again because I was just feeling melancholy about the whole thing. I just looked at all those crafts and realized that they probably wouldn’t last twenty minutes in my home, anyway. Because my children love crafts. They love imagining them into different things.
The rustic wooden “T”?
Definitely destined to be a shabby chic crossbow.
And then I went to sit in sacrament meeting for five minutes before took someone to the Mother’s Room. And then, my husband came in there during Sunday School while I was feeding the baby, to change the diaper of the bigger baby and feed him, and I think one (or both of us), may have dozed off for a few minutes. I am so glad there hasn’t been a conference talk about that.
And then, it was time for Relief Society.
And, I went to the foyer again to wait for the doors to open and the Gospel Doctrine students to come out. And I looked at the table again.
The table that had had all the crafts on it.
And then I began to cry.
You see, our Relief Society had some things on display, too.
The table was now full of pots and pans and serving dishes that needed to be claimed from being used after a recent funeral service.
And God taught me a very, very powerful lesson in that moment.
Never before in my life had a plain, 9×13 Pyrex pan looked so lovely.
Never before had an old, dented soup pot looked so very beautiful.
And Heavenly Father said to me:
“Misty, the crafts are beautiful. And there are some who bring beauty to the world with them. And that is a wonderful offering to me. Some people are just like beautiful flowers and they brighten the world with that particular beauty. And maybe your time for that will come… (I think I also heard a heavenly chuckle there)
Then, there are the pots and pans and dishes. There are some who bring beauty to the world with them. And that is a wonderful offering to me. Do you think for one minute that the pots and pans aren’t just as beautiful?”
And, there was more to it than that, I guess.
I think I was actually feeling like I wished I could be a flower–you know, those kind of people who are just so pretty that they light up a room–their beautiful spirit combined with a physical beauty just makes people feel better. I have seen these women and they have helped me smile…and I was kind of thinking that would be fun–you know–to match my outfit and purse and shoes and whatever else they do that makes them look like works of art.
It really is a gift to be able to do that. It takes a great amount of skill combined with humility to do that.
I have a daughter like that. And I have seen how her physical beauty, used to glorify God, has softened hearts. Kind of like when the Nephites used to put their fair women and daughters in front of the battlefield in the hope that the enemy would be moved to mercy…I don’t think I would be chosen for that particular duty. I would be the one at home with all the babies who couldn’t make it to the front lines in time.
Nope. I am a pot. Perhaps, on a good day, a cute, round little teapot with an English accent who makes people feel better by making a cup of herbal tea and being a good listener and singing showtunes.
Or by making peanut butter and jelly for six additional children so their mom can get to the temple.
Or maybe I’m just a pot that comforts because you know it’s there when you need it to make a whole great lot of stew on a cold, rainy day.
And now, I think I can see my own beauty when I see my reflection in my pots and pans as I get them out for yet another meal.
And it makes me happy to know that Heavenly Father knows it’s an acceptable offering and that we are all beautiful to him, too, whether it’s our time to be pots or cows in pajamas or works of art, or something else.
In the end, it’s all divine. Because we all have a bit of the divine in us.
And it makes me smile.