Wherefore, be not weary in well-doing, for ye are laying the foundation of a great work.
And out of small things proceedeth that which is great.
Doctrine and Covenants 64:33
I was prepared to cry.
When my husband, Whit, drove to work that morning, I was ready to cry all day long. Tears, I was sure, were inevitable.
Zula was crawling and she liked to be down on the floor. But not all the time, of course. Sometimes she’d want me to hold her. Or feed her. Or change her. But I can’t pick her up off the floor and lift her onto my lap. I just plain don’t have the physical ability.
And when I couldn’t pick her up off the floor, she would cry. And I would cry.
Several young girls from my church had been coming over each day to help me through the summer, but it was over and there was a chill in the air – and in my heart – as the first day of school arrived. I was hoping for sure Zula would have learned to walk and climb onto my lap before the girls had to go back to school, but she didn’t. The girls couldn’t come over anymore and I didn’t know what I was going to do. Cry, I suppose.
Zula and I waved as Whit left for work. As he drove out of sight, I looked down at Zula – happily crawling on the floor, stealing away the dog’s toys and laughing. I had to remind myself it was okay to cry and it was okay that this was going to be a rough day. It was going to be okay. It was going to be okay. It was going to be okay...
I forced a smile and we sang songs and played for, uh, about four minutes. We hadn’t even had time to crawl out of the front room before the doorbell rang.
It was my friend, Melisa, coming to check on me. And stay with me. She visited and lifted Zula onto my lap when it was time for her nap. She left (probably so I could nap, too) and then came back after and played with us some more while Zula was awake. When it was time for her second nap, Melisa lifted her off the floor and let me change her and put her back in her crib.
The next day Jodi came. Then Carrie. Then Molly. Then Shae. Then Neisha. Then Shilo. Then Shelly. Then Ginny. Then Carolyn...
The moms of the girls who’d helped me through the summer – and other moms – came to help me each day from morning to afternoon. They would chat with me and their kids would play with Zula and when she wanted to be picked up they would hand her to me.
Each of them would leave telling me the same thing – they didn’t feel like they did very much.
But if they hadn’t been there, Zula would still be on the floor. Crying. And I’d be crying.
Mother Teresa said “we can do no great things, only small things with great love,” and I know that, really, picking Zula up once or twice wasn’t a major service project, at least not to them. But it was to me.
…and I wonder if these sweet women know their true service was actually in tear-prevention.
It’s been several weeks since I was prepared to cry, but thanks to these great women (whose service they’d describe as small), I never did. That trial of not being able to pick my baby up off the floor is over now and I’d like to dedicate this video to these women, and women everywhere, whose small services make everything okay in a big, big way:
My new CD just came out! Get "Off-Key and In Tune" at Seagull Book right now! It is a great Christmas gift for family and friends. I was asked to speak about the power of singing to a combined RS/YW group in SLC and, at first, I wasn't sure I had a lot to say about the power of music, but it turns out I have quite a bit to say (and sing) about it!