Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Both directions

This is how I have felt lately.  Running this way and that - mostly dropping kids off at activities or picking them up or taking them to the orthodontist or dentist, or shopping for groceries......Does it end?  Ever?  I look at my schedule, and it has been crazy lately - three concerts in a week's time, rehearsals, soccer games/practices, scout service projects, and on and on.  Sometimes I would just like to stay home all day and work on stuff, but even when I am home, I am taking James to the bathroom every 20 minutes.  Yes, he has expressed interest in potty training, and I am all for getting him out of the diapers!  But it is so....tedious.  I feel like I am being pulled in 15 different directions, and being pulled thin in every way except physically (where I seem to be growing at an alarming rate).  And just when I feel like I can't go anymore, I pull out my scriptures and read this:

I am reminded that this is the season of my life.  The day will come when my children will all be in school or out of the house, and I will wish for these moments with them - some of our best conversations have happened in the car. And what greater work could I be doing than shepherding these children and helping them to know that they are the most important things in my life.  Yes, my life revolves around their schedules and their needs, but that is where my life SHOULD be right now.  So bring on the loads of laundry, tell me last minute that you need me to take you somewhere or that you need a batch of brownies for your class project.  That is what I am here for, and I hope I will never forget it!  Gordon B. Hinckley said, "You will come to know that what appears today to be a sacrifice will prove instead to be the greatest investment that you will ever make."  I am investing into the miracles that are my children, and I pray that my efforts can be focused in the right places to help them grow into the people they are needed to be.

Stepping Stone or Stumbling Block

On Saturday, we watched a movie called "The Croods".  It was a good movie with a good message, and I appreciated how it focused on the family and showed the importance of unity in the family and how that can be achieved.  There was one thing that got me thinking.  The father of the family sees it as his responsibility to protect the family, so his motto is "Never not be afraid".  He recites this to his family, and they recite it back.  And it has kept them safe, whereas other families have not been so lucky.  Yet there was one scene where the family is separated, and they are trying to find their way through a maze of tunnels to be reunited on the other side.  One of the children, the rebellious daughter who has always fought against her father's mantra, has no trouble navigating the tunnels, even delights in what she finds along the way.  Her brother, however, who tried  very hard to follow in his father's footsteps and make him proud, has a moment where he seems paralyzed by the fear that his father has instilled in him.  As a matter of fact, before they head through the tunnels, the father again reiterates, "Never not be afraid", and the son hears it and stops, wondering what to do.  New was bad for them, so he was afraid to take a step into the dark, to get through something new and different in order to find a better home for their family.
The thought that ran through my head was, "What have I instilled in my children?  Will it be a help or a hindrance to them when they venture out on their own?  Will my words and my teachings help them to make it through the maze of this world so that our family can be reunited on the other side?"  I don't want our teachings, our traditions, our family culture or habits to be a stumbling block for my children to progress and become the people they need to be.  I want them to be stepping stones that will help them to find their way to be better than their parents, to be a spring board to help them soar to new heights that we haven't even imagined for them.  I want everything that I do to lead them to Christ, to help them know that His love can change our lives.  That is the great mission of this phase of my life, and I need to do better.  The scripture says, "We talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins."  (2 Ne. 25:26)  Do my children know that I rely on the Lord in times of trial, that I thank Him for His many blessings, that I turn to Him when I feel like there is nowhere else to go?  Do I incorporate the example of the Savior in my life so that they know that I follow after Him?