It all started in the midst of a really hectic week and feeling like giving up in school (and much more that I'm trying to work through).
One Thursday I went to my regular volunteer hours at this center with children whose parents are working through substance abuse and other things. There are three different age groups the youngest, younger, and then the oldest (normally preschool age). Every week I go I head straight to the baby section-I've seriously grown to love these kids and am sad when I have to miss a time to see them. That day though, was a little different and they needed me instead with the preschool aged kids. As I walked into the room where they were it was pure chaos. A teacher was trying to teach them about feelings and each child had to act out different feelings. But instead they would listen for 5 seconds and then quickly be distracted by something like scooting all across the floor. Their behavior matched how I felt about my week and at times my life- a little out of control and many failed attempts to stay focused (okay maybe not that dramatic.. but its how I've felt with school and keeping my health in check).
They time I spent with them seemed to go by fast that day. It was getting close to me leaving and also the kids going down for nap time. During this time we read them a book or scratch their backs to help them fall asleep. I chose to sit by one of the girls who was having a bit of a rough day-she had just gotten really mad at one of the teachers. While I was sitting there tickling her back and playing with her hair, to help comfort her, I had a moment that really caused me to pause and feel peace.
You see these kids come from instability and hard lives already at such a young age. There is something about them that holds a special place in my heart. Being with them always causes a heart full of gratitude for life and its simplicity of beauty.
As I was sitting with her an old song "ooh child things are going to get easier," came on. It really hit me for some reason. And I could feel it for these children who don't necessarily have the best situation. The message of the song talks about a bright future. For me it is a message is of hope. I don't necessarily believe life is easy or will get magically easier for this girl (or even for me for that matter). But I believe that there is a bright future for us all and that there are things in our life that do make it easier. That "easier" I feel comes through love. It comes from the support of those around you reminding you that if you feel like you're drownign all you gotta do is "the back stroke." It comes from the sweet advice from a friend to steer clear of something that could be dangerous. It comes in the strength and resilence that comes from experiencing tough stuff for future tough stuff that comes.
And most importantly it comes from a Savior who died and lives for us today. Because of him and his gospel life can be easier (not particularly perfectly smooth all the time-but peaceful admits darkness). Because of him things will be brighter and are brighter. I'm thankful for Jesus. I'm thankful to have a knowledge of him. I'm thankful to know he loves me and that he loves you too (because it helps me be kind in moments when its hard).
So if things feel a little hectic or out of control.. just remember things can be easier... and sometimes we tend to make things a little harder than what they need to (I know I do that often).
So here is to a brighter week and hopefully a cheerful one too!