Saturday, October 1, 2011
I LOVE conference!
And I really really really needed it.
I was fortunate that Ryan takes a nap in the afternoon so I could really listen to the afternoon session.
I have been thinking for awhile that I miss how close I was to the Lord when I was in college before I was married. I almost wished for a trial so I could have the need to reach out to Him. Then in church the other day I realized that I do.
I am not saying that this need is a trial, but I do need my Heavenly Father. Motherhood is something extremely difficult to say the least. Throw in a 2 1/2 year old with endless energy and smarts that drive you crazy and you are in awe off and it's hard.
I've told people that I've been defeated for awhile. I have had lots of book recommendations (which, it's the beginning of the month so I can get my hands on some!) and full intentions of reading them and trying some strategies out.
But what I realized in church is that Motherhood isn't just taking care of a child. It is a calling that has been bestowed on us by Heavenly Father. Books are great, but I need to be going to my Heavenly Father for direction. I need to be sharing with him all my thoughts and feelings. I need to be praying more often, reading the scriptures more often, serving more often. Doing things that can bring me closer to the Lord so I can be ready for guidance in this amazing calling.
In conference today there was a talk by a general authority. He said that in hard times we shouldn't be looking down, discouraged, but upwards towards our Father in Heaven. For in him we may find peace, strength, and joy in whatever comes our way. He had been feeling the burden of being a general authority. He was heading down the elevator with his head down. The door opened and a man walked in. The general authority didn't even look up. Just kept his head down. Just then President Monson asked the general authority what he was looking at on the floor? The general authority said, "Oh, nothing." President Monson then said, "In times like these, we need to be looking upward." Then he left the elevator. (Of course I am totally paraphrasing this story! :)
It's such a basic concept, but I truly have lost it since becoming a mother. I am so tired at night that I roll into bed. And in the morning, I don't get out of bed until one of the kids is screaming for me. Prayers just don't seem right then. But these are just excuses. And I've realized that excuses do not excuse activities that bring us closer to the Lord. We NEED him. These excuses would be made lighter if we did these things that we are trying to excuse.
Anyway, I kind of went off on a tangent, but my point is that I went into this conference with a prayer in my heart that I could be taught more about motherhood and what I should do. I had four talks that really touched me in just one session. I missed two other talks so there could have been more. :)
In the first session, Ryan was awake and I didn't get much of anything. I had to go upstairs and feed Brady and missed the announcement of the temples, which was such a bummer! I can't believe the Provo Tabernacle is being rebuilt as a temple! Two temples in Provo and one coming in Payson. Absolutely amazing. Ryan was being rambunctious (upset that I had the TV on for me and it wasn't playing MarioKart), but at the end, the Tabernacle Choir sang "I am a Child of God." I had tears streaming down my face. We sing this song so often, but the words "Lead me, Guide me, Walk beside me. Help me find the way. Teach me all that I must do to live with him someday," really touched my heart. I am yearning for that guidance and that support. I know that if I ask and if I prepare myself to receive such blessings, it will happen. I had this warm feeling still with me when the second session started.
First I heard a talk on Parenthood. It was something that softened my heart. This speaker talked about how it is a commandment to multiply and replenish the earth. The choice to have children is only made between a man, woman, and the Lord. We should never judge others' choices in these matters. I admit that I may have said something about how close people have their children or how they could even afford them or how they may afford them but only because of government help. In the past, this had made me upset. But now I realize that these are means which help children come into the world. I'm not saying people should have tons of babies and never get out of poverty, but that I need to trust that people have their own revelations and it is certainly not my place to judge them.
Also from this talk was a quote from President Monson. He said that in times when a couple has to scrimp and save is one of the best time of their life. They learn and go to their Heavenly Father for support and build strong testimonies during this time of trial. Jared and I waited to have children until we were done with school. I don't regret that decision. I know that if we were supposed to have children earlier, we would have. If we did, we would have had to work harder and be more grateful for smaller things. And who is to say that is bad?
This also gave me perspective on our circumstances now. School loans and car debt weigh heavily on us. "If only..." is a phrase we use often. :) We have done everything we can to increase our payments, but it will be awhile before they are all paid off. We get to the end of the month and ask, "Where did all our money go?" We don't feel we are excessive in our spending, but perhaps we really need to cut back. We have decided to start a cash budget. This will be for things that we certainly don't NEED so when we run out of the cash, we're done. It's going to be very interesting! :) We will save money in the beginning of the month and hopefully we won't run out of money by the end. If we do, then we need to cut some things that might not be needs. We have faith that if we set up the budget and follow it, being accountable to each other, we'll be okay. We will grow from this.
Amazing what you can get out of a talk on Parenthood, right? :)
The next talk was on time. This general authority was speaking directly to me. I have not been very good at managing my time. I do farely well, but with how busy I am, I need to be a lot better. Sometimes the things that are most important in my life are lower on my priority list. Lately Ryan will come up to me on the computer, pull on my arm, and say, "Mom, stop working!" That just breaks my heart. I still need to work, but the free time that I do have needs to be spent with more focus on him.
This general authority directly talked about phones (smart phones, thankfully I don't have one!), Facebook, Twitter, etc. He didn't say Pinterest, but I am sure if he knew about it, he would have! :) The computer is where I waste my time. I don't waste it watching tv or playing games or even reading books. If I am wasting time, I am at my computer. The general authority said that wasting time is a lot like being idle. Which I completely agree with. If you're wasting time, you're not getting things done.
There is so much to do in this world. There is so much to do to prepare us for exaltation. There is always someone to serve, someone to help, something to learn, something to teach, someone to love, etc. He also said a quote by Elder Uchtdorf, "Love is spelled T.I.M.E." How true is that?
We need to be masters of time management. It is absolutely important as a member of the LDS church. The general authority said that we need to prioritize our time as well. Family, Church, Work are very important things. I kind of sighed a sigh of relief when he said work because I have to do it from home. I don't believe I work excessively, but I do think that since I work a lot on the computer, I allow myself to get distracted and my time at the computer is compounded. I think maybe if I allow myself 30 minutes in the morning to check my email, blogs, facebook, pinterest, etc. and another hour at night, I should be good. And when I am on the computer for blogging purposes for work, I need to keep it at that. If I do this, I will have a much happier (and easier to handle) child and a cleaner house, that's for sure! Also I will have more time to fulfill things that will actually lift me up and give me strength such as prayer, scripture study, and service.
Time management is absolutely necessary and this leads me to the next talk that I enjoyed.
The next talk was on repentance. Repentance is something that I know of very deeply. I have had trials that I worked through with my bishop and have never felt so close to the Lord as I did then. I know what it is to repent and how to do it. I know the wonderful feeling it brings and how much peace it brings. In the many years since, I haven't felt like I am a person that NEEDS to repent. Of course we repent of little things during the Sacrament on Sundays, but I haven't needed to kneel down and repent heavily in prayer. Or so I thought.
I put this talk and the time management talk together. Since my time management skills are lacking, it is affecting my responsibilities as a wife and mother. I feel like I need to repent of the times that I let Ryan watch tv for an hour so I could catch up on Facebook, blogs, etc. An hour! Time is so precious with our little ones. I am not saying he shouldn't watch any tv, I am saying that I do this way too often. I want my time on the computer and some times I want him to leave me alone and do his own thing. I know most mothers have felt this way at one time or another. Just because it's normal doesn't mean it's okay. It's okay to have the feeling, but not okay to act on it, right? I feel like after listening to this talk, I need to repent of my sins. I am a mother of a wonderful two year old who needs me. He looks up to me to assist him in ALL of his needs. How am I doing? Am I doing my best? That's all that is asked of me in this calling of Motherhood and I am so sad to say that I am not. Not even close. I feel absolutely terrible about it.
Next is to repent. And repent until I feel that I have been forgiven and that I don't repeat this sin again. That is huge. Very huge. Especially since I still have that addicted feeling towards these social media sites. But if I confide in my Heavenly Father and ask for help, he will help me. He will lead me, guide me, and then walk beside me. What a wonderful gift.
I feel so loved during this conference. I know that I am a daughter of a Heavenly Father who loves me. A Father who heard my sincere prayer to find inspiration in the talks I hear this conference. He really delivered on his part. Now I just have to be sure to deliver on mine.
I bear my testimony that we are children of a Father in Heaven who loves us. That Jesus Christ loves us with a love that we might not comprehend. This is his true church and I know that the men and women who spoke today are servants of Him and I know the words they spoke are true. I felt it. I am so grateful for the gospel in my life, and for the atonement. That I can repent and be made a better person. And I know that there will be so much joy in the months that come as I go through this process. We are so loved. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Posted by Shirley at 11:01 PM