Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Withheld for a Time - Greater Appreciation

When I was in 9th grade I auditioned to be on the high school dance company. I had been on the middle school dace company, selected to be a guest performer with the middle school company the year before, and had 11 years of private studio training.

When I found out that I did not make the final cut for the company I was heartbroken. I came home and cried, and cried, and cried. I wanted to be a part of that company SO badly.

So what did I do? I worked my tail off! I refocused my commitment in my studio training and I signed up for dance class at school and worked as hard as I could at it. It was a hard year. Each time the Dance Company would perform I would ache to just be a part of it. I would hear some of the girls complain about rehearsals and everything that was required of them. I hated that. I would have given anything to be in their shoes.

The next year I auditioned again and was thrilled to have made it onto the company! Because I had wanted it so badly, once I was on the company, I never complained about long rehearsals, vigorous tasks assigned to us, missing lunch period every other day to rehearse, or being sweaty and gross during school. I dove in and loved every bit of it! Not only did I love it I even excelled. I was given the opportunity to be one of three "dance company officers" the next year.

Dance Company photo shoot in Arches National Park, 2004

Would I have loved Dance Company the way I did if I had not had to wait and work for it?

I think the same will be true with motherhood.

Being a mother* is something I want more than anything right now. Like the dance company, I would even consider myself qualified for this right now. I'm married, have the desire and willingness to commit my time to it, and I LOVE children.

But now is not my time. Not yet. Hopefully, one day, I will have the opportunity to raise children. Because I'm spending this time yearning and longing for it, I think I will love every bit of it --dirty dippers, messes created before I can clean up the previous one, sleepless nights, etc. I can't even imagine how hard it will be, but I know it will be worth it. And if I ever forget or start to feel bogged down, I will just have to remember this time, right now, when I want it so badly that I weep.

For now this quote brings comfort:

As prophets have repeatedly taught..., ultimately "no blessing shall be withheld" from the faithful, even if those blessings do not come immediately. In the meantime we rejoice that the call to nurture is not limited to our own flesh and blood. (Jeffery R. Holland, "Because She Is a Mother")

*I know I am a "mother", but doing the day-to-day mom stuff, reaping the joys of selfless service, and having a little one that loves you more than anything is what I want. 


  1. I'm certain that you're right - you will appreciate it more. And I'm so glad that you're posting so regularly about this, because it helps me appreciate my role more. Being a mother is hard work! It's draining. I often feel like I'm running on fumes. But I know that I'd rather be doing it than anything else. Thanks for reminding me of that.

  2. Dirk and I were married 13 years before we had Temperance. I can honestly say that I love every moment of it. Sometimes I am tired. But I cherish it all because she is growing so fast. I know that all mothers love their children. But waiting does give you a different perspective. I am sure some mothers would roll their eyes to hear that I even think T's perfectly formed poops are cute! LOL!
    You are doing a great job Shelley. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.

  3. I love you so much. Thanks for this post.

  4. I agree with Raree. Your posts help me feel grateful on the days when I don't have much left to give and am feeling frustrated or discouraged. I too, however, am happier being a mommy than I ever was teaching school. You will be such a fun mom once you have that opportunity! I can't wait for you to be able to love on your babies! I love ya!

  5. I completely agree. I know that I will appreciate being a mother that much more because of what I have gone through. I love your posts because I feel like I have had many of the same thoughts as you have shelly! Keep posting.

  6. Hey Shelley, I know it's been a long time since I spoke to you. It seems like ages ago that I met you and had a small moment to dance with you in DE at BYU. But your blog is truly touching. I was wondering, might I use you for inspiration in a piece I will be doing for the nap time dancers blog that Elizabeth Hansen has created? I would love to actually have you dance in it but I'm sure you're a busy gal. You story has just touched me so much that I'm really wanting to create something in that direction. As an ode to your baby. If it's not something you're comfortable with, I will totally understand. You can email me or sent me a facebook message or anything. I love what a strength you are to so many women.

  7. Thanks for sharing, Shelley. I felt like I had to wait a long time for the things I wanted, and that they take a lot of hard work. But sometimes I think I got them pretty quickly, looking back, even though it didn't feel like it at the time. I can't even imagine what you are going through, but I pray for you everyday. And the Lord's words are true, that our "afflictions will be but a small moment" when we look back on them. That doesn't make anything less hard at the time, but it is comforting to me. I love you.

  8. Vanessa! I love that you think T's poops are cute!! So great. And 13 years seems like SO long! I admire you and am so glad that you have your sweet baby now.

    A shout out to my tired mom's running on fumes. You're AMAZING! Thank you for changing the world one diaper and hug at a time.

    Katie, it'll be a glorious day when our dreams are realized!!