I will freely admit that the first few weeks home from the hospital were rough. At first everything made me sad--especially the fact that my little girls were not acting like my little girls: Dorothy was extra combative and Lucy was extra needy. It was painfully difficult to get anything done without tears from someone.
After the first week or two, after all our company had gone back home, I felt myself moving from being sad to being frustrated. I just wanted our happy routine and put-together life back, darn it! I found myself praying more and more about how I could be better for my children, how I could not get angry when everything seemed to fall apart day after day, and how I could find joy in the simple things again. I prayed frequently and as fervently as I could, and I hoped that an answer would come sooner than later.
Well, this past weekend we had stake conference. My plan was to leave Marty to the Saturday sessions and we would all go together for the Sunday session. However, at the last minute on Saturday morning, my wonderful mother-in-law (no doubt heeding some prompting of the spirit) called to say her plans had changed and she would gladly watch the girls if I wanted to go up with my husband for the evening. I quickly accepted, got the girls down for naps and cleaned myself up, and we were off to our meetings.
Because they were calling a new stake president this weekend, one of the members of the first quorum of the seventy was here to visit. When he got up to address us, the spirit was strong. But then he got into his message and I was overwhelmed. It was the answer to my prayers--very specifically the answer to my prayers. I have never felt so strongly before that words in a talk were meant for me. I could not keep myself from crying and had to croak out the words to the closing song I was still so choked up. I went home that night resolved to get our little family back where we needed to be.
Here we are at the end of Monday, and we found our joy. I have my little girls back. I can truly enjoy my son. Our family feels cohesive and strong. I have spent the whole day smiling as I watched my girls eat leftover birthday cake for breakfast, Lucy running around the barn looking for chicken eggs, Dorothy moving around piles of dirt while I weeded the garden with my baby boy slung to my chest, and Dorothy wearing her new princess gown, ruby slippers, and crown as she held my hand on our walk to the library.
Will there still be hard days? Yes. However, I have felt such an overwhelming love from my Heavenly Father and reassurance that He will help me through all of this that those hard days will not seem nearly as hard. We are ready for JOY.