Friday, December 21, 2007

If the rest of it really doesn't matter, why do I want to do it all?

I was on the phone with a friend today. She asked how Christmas preparations were coming, and I shared with her that my body had basically hit bottom. I spent essentially all day horizontal. Many of the things I have wanted to do, including for family, have either been put on the back burner (our family members living out of state won't receive their gifts until after the holiday) or will just fall off the plate.

My friend kindly offered her help, and then reminded me that when I look back, the stuff that didn't get done won't matter anyway.

As I lay on the couch, playing games with my daughter, basking in that sweet time together, I wondered: "If most of the trappings and the extras really don't matter, why do we do them all?" And I wonder how much of that might apply to my day-to-day life. Am I so consumed with stuff that really won't matter that I am sometimes (often?) missing what does?

But then again, how does one decide what 'doesn't matter'? I suppose each of our plates can carry different amounts at different times, and I think each day will probably be a little different. But this week when I have felt so rotten, and throughout the course of my struggle with chronic illness, I have struggled to figure out how to balance. Where is that line between diligently striving to be "anxiously engaged" in "many things" (Doctrine and Covenants 58:27) and running faster than I have strength?

I know there is no pat answer to it, and that we need the guidance of the Holy Ghost to help us. But as my husband and I have had to work to just keep the bare minimum going, we have realized how often we really don't seek the Spirit and instead just sort of let life live us. It's so easy to let the good things keep us from the most important things.

Although my obvious wish is to have more strength to do more of what I want and feel I need to do. However, I can't help but wonder how much of that stuff along the way is really that important. I feel I am learning a lot, especially the past while (and with the help of several talks at this last General Conference), about the importance of proactively seeking to have my priorities in place, every day.

Truth be told, I felt more joy today lying on the couch playing with my daughter than I would have felt doing almost anything else on my "list" even with how much I love Christmas. Might this be a lesson the Lord wants me to learn through all of this?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

And a Little Child Shall Lead Them....

Last night, BB (age 6) had the Family Home Evening lesson. She was gone all day, and yet she had an idea that she wanted to run with. By the time she got home, I couldn't help her because I had to get dinner ready. So she tackled it on her own.

We sat down to a lesson that touched my heart. It was on the Book of Mormon. One key message she wanted to get across was that reading the Book of Mormon [reading scriptures] was more important than reading other books. [She meant this in terms of priorities -- that we should read the scriptures first before reading other things.] She had her brother come up and pretend to be reading a different book, and then had Dad come up to remind him that he should read his scriptures first.

Once she had this little 'skit' she had us each draw a picture of the Book of Mormon or the gold plates. She then asked to use my cell phone to take a picture of us all holding our pictures.

In our family prayer, she later asked that we would remember to read the Book of Mormon before we read other books.

Do I even need to say which book I started my day with today? :)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Awesome Household Tips

I just ran across this page that has a huge variety of household tips using things like vinegar, baking soda, yogurt, club soda, and powdered milk. (Did you know you can make paint from powdered milk! At last I have a backup plan for using all of my milk I never use up from my food storage!) :)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Join Team Bloggernacle in Donating to Heifer International!

I've always been impressed with the concepts behind this organization, and now we have a chance to join together to make an impact in a significant way. I know there are lots of opportunities and choices at this time of year, but if you have even a few dollars, please consider joining this awesome effort. To contribute, click on the "General Team Donation" link.

Thanks to Janet Garrard-Willis for organizing this effort!