For a few months, I've felt stressed. A lot of it I've put on myself. I demanded of myself that I read 35 books in just over two months. I set a goal to do a long, hard race that has required more hours of training than I've ever wanted to put in.
There are demands I haven't brought on myself. The challenge of finishing out this school year, which has seemed interminable, while trying to help a daughter jump through all the hoops associated with going to college in the fall. Scholarship hunting. A missionary who needs me to to do the legwork to get him back in college when he gets home. Cheering on a husband with a high-stress and often thankless job. Dealing with the tricky moods and emotions of immediate AND extended family (and that can sometimes feel like picking my way through a minefield).
There's an economy that makes budgeting and money management a constant struggle and an election that has already given me high blood pressure and promises to give us a contentious and frustrating seven months as exaggerations, misinterpretations, half-truths and lies are hurled from sources we should be able to trust.
Sometimes I feel tossed about in a choppy and treacherous sea and I'm not a good swimmer.
But every so often I'm blessed with peace.
That happened at conference last weekend. Two days of peace. Two days of focusing on the big picture how and why instead of my often short-sighted and temporal cries of HOW? and WHY?
And then there's today. Easter Sunday. The day we focus on the atonement and the sacrifice of our Savior. Not a sacrifice like getting up early on Saturday to fix my daughter breakfast before an AP test. Not a sacrifice like giving up the last cupcake because there aren't quite enough to go around. And not a sacrifice like paying a generous fast offering.
A sacrifice that involved all the pain and anguish of a sick and sinful world. A sacrifice that wasn't about giving up comfort and security, but about giving up everything. A sacrifice of not just dying for us, but of suffering and dying in a horrible, humiliating and inhumane way.
And because of that sacrifice, I can have peace. Peace in knowing that death doesn't end it all. Peace that there's hope for foolish, selfish, short-sighted me--the one who takes offense when I shouldn't, and too often offends people, me who is harder on people than I should be, who gets caught up in trivial and unimportant things and who wastes too much time on television and the internet. There's peace knowing that I can repent and that my family aren't just temporary acquaintances, people who live in the neighborhood of my mortality and will move away and drift apart once I move out of this neighborhood.
And all this because of the Savior. My Savior. I'm grateful. I need him. I LOVE HIM!
Below is a beautiful rendition of one of my favorite hymns of all time and a link to a beautiful depiction of the Savior's resurrection.