Sunday, May 12, 2013
And if you're too school for cool
Then just come hang out with this guy. He will understand you. He will learn with you. He is so grown up. We've just wrapped up some really hard potty training. And like most things in life, hard only because I was making it hard. I have started the first day of potty training Davis literally ten times. And I hate it so I give up. And finally Katie Mangus gave me some reading material that reminded me that the first day is the lamest and hardest part and I felt completely justified in my frustration because the lady that wrote the article changed her child's underwear 23 times on the first day. And I only had changed Davie's 9 times. I was freaking out over 9 pair of underwear because I do not do laundry that often. Truly - only a couple loads a month because of a few reasons.
A) We don't wear pajamas. That fact alone saves me a million outfits.
B) We wear our outfits at least 2 days in a row. I learned this from a sister missionary in the IBM. That's Idaho Boise Mission. What's the point? She said. Who and I trying to impress? She said. Easy way to cut down on laundry. Bodily fluids and food spills supersede the 2 day suggestion. And it is just a suggestion.
C) I have inherited SO many outfits for me and for all of my children that we truly have so much clothing that I only wash a couple loads a month - underwear, guaranteed and my favorite black stretchy pants and Johnny's favorite shirts always get in the loads.
So laundry is a sensitive issue for me if I am forced to change my laundry habits, I fight it. Hence the giving up on potty training because it added a third monthly load. But this boy did it!!! He made it through the nasty days of underwear accidents and now this boy is potty trained. Hallelujah! Insert heavenly hosts singing praises.
Case in point on my laundry habits: My mother's day gift from Johnny was to wash my entire mountain of laundry. He spic and spanned the house. I came home frustrated and ready to relax and was pounding the door down because my hands were full and why in the world was the front door locked!? And I opened it up to an immaculate home and the smell of laundry. 15 loads later, he was finished and we were cramming everyone's clothes in every square inch of every closet we could. Happy Mother's Day. To me. It was rockin'. In fact, here's the talk I gave on Mother's Day.
I wanted to start my talk out by acknowledging the mothers that have gone on before us and are no longer living with us on earth. They love us. Brigham Young said that the spirit world is right here with us and they are working to help us. You can request a copy of patriarchal blessings of those people who are dead that you are related to - you just have to have their birthday and show how you are related. I have the patriarchal blessing of my dad's mom, who died before I was born. So I've never met her, but I am inspired by what Heavenly Father had to say to her. "Learn of Him and His ways and appreciate your mission in life and live to fulfill the measure of your creation."
Marjorie Pay Hinckley was a young married woman and had orchards of peach trees on her property. She talks about sitting at the table surrounded by jars and jars of peaches in the middle of the long process of canning them all and feeling a little overwhelmed by the continual labor demanded of her said, "Is this what I was born to do?"
I know we all mundane tasks that overwhelm us and make us wonder if we were born to suffer. I was given the scripture in Mosiah 18 where it talks about the baptismal covenant and our responsibility to "stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life". I was asked to talk about how we can stand as witnesses of God as mothers. I know that we know what we need to do to stand as witnesses for our children. I wanted to talk about how we can have the strength to stand as witnesses as mothers. And the first thing we can do is to fill our minds with truth. We can read through our own patriarchal blessings. Mine is laminated and shrunk so it fits in my scriptures. At my house, there are often sticky hands and hands that destroy loose papers that are found, so this has been a great way for me to protect and read my patriarchal blessing often so I can be reminded of how Heavenly Father sees me.
I'm so glad that my parents-in-law are here today. They surprised me and I'm grateful they're helping my family to be reverent while I'm up here. One of the great traditions in their family is to write notes on special occasions, like mother's day or birthdays or anniversaries. So, this morning, as I was reading my note from my five year old, it had spots to fill in the blank and then in his teacher's handwriting, his responses were written. "My mom is 100 years old. My mom looks prettiest when she puts on her make up." This is comical because I don't wear make up but I know my son thinks I'm pretty. The last one was "My mom is funny when she makes this face." And I asked Johnny boy what face I make and he show me this face with his tongue sticking out and nose scrunched up. On my kitchen counter, I have one of my favorite notes that my husband wrote to me. And I read it often to remind myself of how he feels about me. And I also keep a note that I wrote to him to remind myself of how I feel about him. And if you don't write notes in your family culture, you can start doing it. And if you don't want to start writing notes on special occasions, you can ask for one note from someone to tell you how they feel about you. You can ask for what you want. Notes have been a great way to fill my mind with truth.
There are other great sources of truth in the scriptures as we read the truth that has been revealed to prophets that have gone before us who had testimonies of Jesus Christ. I recently had a situation where I wanted an increase of the Spirit in my life so that I could be certain about a question I had and an answer I thought I had received. And I asked Heavenly Father for that increase of His Spirit and He told me that I needed to put in the time studying the scriptures. And He told me that it couldn't just be a verse at the end of the day. And He told me that it needed to be in the morning when no one else was awake so that I could have uninterrupted communion and worship with Him in His word. And I was sad because I'm tired and it's hard to be a mom and I would much rather go back to sleep after nursing my baby in the morning. And yet I knew that I would have to make this sacrifice in order to receive the answer to my prayer and have an increase of the Spirit. And it has been amazing. And it has been hard. And I am trying my best. We all of our lists and we have a finite amount of time to accomplish what seems like an infinite amount of responsibilities. We've got to just do what we can and when the Spirit tugs at our hearts to commit our time to something, we've got to do it. And we've got to be okay when we're not doing everything ever expected of us. In Stephen Robinson's book, Believing Christ, he shares the experience of his wife when she gets overwhelmed with all that was expected of her. She just wants to cry and give up because there are so many expectations and responsibilities of us as women in all of our different roles as wives and mothers and friends and disciples. Marjorie Pay Hinckley said, "We each do the best we can. My best may not be as good as your best, but it's my best. The fact is that we know when we are doing our best and when we are not. If we are not doing our best, it leaves us with a gnawing hunger and frustration But when we do our level best, we experience a peace." It is that peace that has changed my life. It is a power of the Atonement I didn't know existed - the power that can take my offering to the Lord and make it whole. It is a miracle in my life.
Another way that we can find the strength to stand as witnesses as mothers is to recognize the lies that Satan tells us in our lives. When I was growing up in California, I shared a room with my little sister. And she is tall and gorgeous and blonde. And I was completely satisfied in highschool after I figured out that I could be the athletic funny girl and that was good enough for me. I didn't know then what I know now about beauty and how it comes from nurturing the Light of Christ within and making right choices. My sister was standing in front of a mirror and noticing some blemishes on her skin and not feeling pretty. And she's beautiful! And I was in the room with her. And what she said has changed my life. She straightened her posture and looked directly into her reflection and said, "Shut up, Satan!" And we don't say that word in our house, but I'm telling you what my sister said. "Shut up, Satan! You don't even have a body!" And Satan doesn't have a body, so he's going to tell us lies about ours. And Satan doesn't have a family, so he's going to tell us lies about our family. And Satan doesn't have a marriage, so he's going to tell us lies about our marriage. As we recognize the lies that Satan is telling us in our lives, we can diminish the power he has over us. We know that we have been given power over him because of Jesus Christ. And we can have the strength that we need to stand as witnesses of God as mothers as we fill our minds with truth, by reading our patriarchal blessings and reading notes and reading the scriptures and also by recognizing the lies that Satan is trying to tell us in our lives. And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.