Monday, October 3, 2011

Personal Revelation

General Conference time just ended for those of us in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Every 6 months our prophet and other general authorities within the church speak to us from the conference center, and give us valuable advice and direction. My husband and I were discussing last night whether we felt there was a theme to this year's talks. Usually you will hear an overriding theme mentioned in many talks, but this time round neither my husband nor I heard one. I have been looking at other blogs to see if anyone else caught a theme or heard something repeatedly, and found many different topics mentioned. It's funny to me how different people hear different things. What stood out to me as mentioned at least twice through the sessions was the concept of things being worked on "Line upon line, precept upon precept." Not sure who it was that said that the Holy Ghost speaks all truth but doesn't give all the truth all at once (Paraphrasing here). I know one of my biggest weaknesses is going all gung ho about something and overwhelming myself with it. I have been working on the line upon line bit for a while now. Instead of making my family perfect up front, I am working toward perfection slowly.

A while back our children were very young (and less in number) and we didn't really DO Family Home Evening or family scripture study or family prayer. Slowly I have worked us up to it. We started with family prayer. For about 6 months I focused on us praying as a family each day/night. Once that became habit, we added in family scripture study. After another 4 - 6 months that too, became a habit, and we have added in personal prayer for the kids (we now help the girls remember each night before bed to pray on their own, and help Lacey with her prayers). Now that we have added that as part of our daily routines, I am feeling like its time to really focus on FHE. This one is hard for me as it has never been a regular habit with Joe and I before the kids, but I know I can do it.

I also know that a lot of these habits are about flexibility, and doing what works best for you and your family. For example: I am well aware of the fact that many family's chose to do their family prayer and scripture study in the morning. And The Church sets aside Monday night as Family Night. But neither of these options work well for us, so we have adjusted some... My husband gets up at 5:30 most mornings, and is gone to work by 6:30. Instead of having my children wake up that early, we have decided to do our family prayer and scripture study at night. After dinner, but before bed. For now, with kids too young to be at work or on a date after dinner, this works for us. So that's how we run it. Also, with Lilia's gymnastics, it really makes FHE on Monday's near impossible. She doesn't get home from gymnastics (and therefore we don't start to eat or usually even MAKE dinner) until 6:45pm. With bedtime at 8pm and family scriptures and prayer, along with the usual bedtime routine, that leaves about 15 minutes to get in FHE. Sooooo we are moving FHE to a different night. Most likely Tuesday night.

There were two talks back to back Saturday afternoon that stood out to me. Elder Andersen spoke about parenting, and Elder Ardern spoke on time management and technology. I am kind of combining the two to bring up this last point for me. Elder Andersen mentioned a Christian woman's blog on motherhood. The author of the blog said (and was quoted by Elder Andersen):

Motherhood is not a hobby, it is a calling. You do not collect children because you find them cuter than stamps. It is not something to do if you can squeeze the time in. It is what God gave you time for.

I looked up this blog and went on to read (as not quoted by brother Andersen):

The question here is not whether you are representing the gospel, it is how you are representing it. Have you given your life to your children resentfully? Do you tally every thing you do for them like a loan shark tallies debts? Or do you give them life the way God gave it to us—freely?
It isn’t enough to pretend. You might fool a few people. That person in line at the store might believe you when you plaster on a fake smile, but your children won’t. They know exactly where they stand with you. They know the things that you rate above them. They know everything you resent and hold against them. They know that you faked a cheerful answer to that lady, only to whisper threats or bark at them in the car.
Children know the difference between a mother who is saving face to a stranger and a mother who defends their life and their worth with her smile, her love, and her absolute loyalty.”
Wow. Talk about a bold statement! Do my children know where they stand with me? I bet they do... Now, do they know they rank above the computer, above my cell phone, above my own personal needs? I sure hope so... But just to be safe, I think now is a good time for me to back off of many things I spend too much time on. Most importantly, Facebook. Though I am not going to delete my account, I am going to tune it WAY down. Though I love Scrabble, (or as called online, Words with Friends) I don't think I should spend so much time playing games. For all those friends I am currently playing, congratulations! You win! I am resigning from the games and blocking the game (to avoid being tempted back into it).
I have so many better things I could be doing with my kids. Just a few days ago I spent 30 minutes chasing my son around the house and tackling him to the ground and smothering him with kisses and tickles. He couldn't stop laughing and kept running away, then stopping, and turning around to see if I was following him. That pure laughter from him was so good for my weary soul. During one of the conference sessions, I cuddled up with Lacey. I spent the whole two hours listening to prophetic council and brushing her hair, and hugging her tight. She whispered she loved me, and I whispered it right back. She makes my heart light. I sometimes am given the opportunity to watch snipits of Lilia in gymnastics. She is so amazing, and she is so GOOD, and she is so talented. And I fill with pride (the good kind) when I see her working hard and achieving her goals. I find myself wanting to tell everyone in earshot, “That's my daughter. The one who just did that perfect ___(fill in the gymnastics move here)_.” She brings a big smile to my face. In the car, I frequently look in the rear view mirror and catch Lil's eye. She smiles, then holds up her hand in the classic sign for “I love you.” I hold my hand up for her. Except I have tweaked it to show our own sign of “I love you too.” (The ring finger is the only finger left down- “I” is the pinky, “Love” is the first finger and thumb, “You” is the pinky and thumb, and “too” (two) is the first and second finger”). Man my kids are amazing. And I want them to know that I know it. Here's to hoping...


Party of Five said...

Your kids ARE amazing. And YOU are an amazing mom.