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Sunday, November 4, 2012

My Only Desire

Please stick with me through this post. I think this is pretty important.

We have stake conference this weekend. For my non-LDS friends, Latter-day Saint congregations consist of people in the same neighborhood. These congregations are known as "wards." A group of wards is called a "stake." A "stake conference," as you've probably already guessed, is a meeting in which all of the wards in a stake gather together. This happens twice a year. On stake conference weekend, our stake has an adult session on Saturday night and a family meeting on Sunday.

image: zehabesha.com
Last night, at the adult session, we were instructed on forgiveness. There were two things that I was particularly touched by. The interesting thing is that those things that stuck with me, when all was said and done, both dealt with the same topic, but that topic wasn't forgiveness.

One woman who spoke (FYI, anyone can be asked to speak at stake conference) probably didn't even realize how profound her statement was. She shared that her daughter had been victim to a crime and how she knew she would have to forgive the perpetrators so she could move on. She said, "First, I prayed for the desire to forgive. Then I prayed that I would forgive."

image: michaelwilliammcdonald.blogspot.com
The word "desire" stuck in my heart.

Our stake president was the final speaker. He shared a scripture with us, and then he emphasized the words "desire, believe, and ponder."

Again, the word "desire." Desire is something I lack.

He asked what we desired for ourselves. He asked what we believed. He told us that if we would ponder these things, we would receive answers.

As we walked out after the meeting, a woman approached the Warden. She shared something nice someone had said about him about something nice he'd done for someone else. I became teary as she did so. Sometimes I'm just quick to cry. It was a sweet thing, and it reminded me of why I'd married this great man in the first place.

As we headed to the car, the tears continued to flow, but stronger. The Warden hates to see me cry and pressed me for the reason why. I asked him if I could "emotionally vomit." Gross term, I know, but there was so much that needed to be said, and I knew it would just not be restrained after I started to share it with him. I asked him if it was okay as a means of warning him of what was about to ensue.

image: magazine.uchicago.edu
What it all came down to was the fact that I think I'm being a lousy mother and wife. Someone mentioned "distractions" during one of the talks at the meeting, and man, oh man! Do I have distractions! I also recently heard something along the lines of spending prime time on things of little consequence. It's not even a matter of not being able to "see the forest for the trees." It's just one or two trees that seem to catch me up. Ugh! Someday, I fear my children will resent me for doing this very thing, so now is the time to stop it....Back away from the trees, and no one will get hurt.

I spent my entire day yesterday working on the grocery list and grocery shopping. Yes, my children need to be fed, but all day?! Yes, I'm trying to save us money, but all day?! Yes, I'm trying to make sure there's enough food in the  house, but seriously,...ALL DAY?! It was Saturday, and what memories did I make with my children on the one day of the week when they're all home? Yikes!

I shared with the Warden that my greatest desire is to be the best wife and mother I can be to them. I don't care about being the best mom and wife in the universe. I don't even care about being the best wife and mother on my street, but I DO want to be the best wife and mother in my own home. THAT is my DESIRE. When everything else is stripped away, that's what it boils down to, and believe me, there's an awful lot of stripping away to do.

image: carlenejones.com
Following the path I'm currently taking, this is NOT an achievable goal, so needless to say, some things need to change. First and foremost, I have some pondering to do. I need to envision who it is I want to become.

Something has bothered me lately. It is the results of a study I heard about that dealt with the topic of mental and emotional change in a person's lifetime. The final analysis came down to the idea that we are pretty much the same people at the end of our lives as we are at the beginning--we don't change too much. How we deal with things early on is a reflection of how we will deal with them in old age. We're predictable beings. We are who we are.

image: flickriver.com
This has bothered me because I am a firm believer in change. Honestly, I think that's one of the reasons for living, but I also believe that real, true change for good doesn't happen alone. We cannot change ourselves permanently and for the better without God's help, so yes, I guess the study is right if it's analyzing people trying to change themselves. That kind of change is temporary. Back to my obsession with downward and upward spirals. Alone, we can only go downward. It's one of the laws of this physical world we live in--entropy. How can we even think that we are exempt or somehow above that law? We aren't. In every way, shape, and form, we are are victims to entropy--try as we might to fight it.

So, here's where I stand. I, first and foremost, have a heck of a lot of pondering to do. I need to create my plan (a plan I truly believe in) for eliminating distractions that draw me away from my real desire. I started with Facebook (my biggest time sucker) last night. The Warden chose half of my new password; I chose the other. Basically, I'm giving him half of the control. I can't access it without him filling in his part. I had to do this to regain focus.

image: facebook.com
The next step is to pray--to turn my downward to an upward spiral. I then need to continue to believe in myself and what I'm doing knowing that God agrees with my desire and my plan for carrying it out. I need to continue to believe and keep the perspective that He didn't send me here to fail, and therefore, will help me to succeed.

So, with this extra hour added to my day, here I am....pondering--desiring and believing that I can be more than I currently am--way more!


LeAnn said...

I needed to read this post tonight. I too need to do exactly what you are doing. I love the words desiring, believing and pondering. I am at the grandma stage; but at the same time I know that I spend too much time on things that really don't matter. I know that I need to be working harder in family history and other endeavors. Thanks for reminding me to rethink my own priorities.
Blessings for this one!

lia london, author and writing coach said...

You're right, of course, that we can change--that mighty change of heart that makes us our desires new. What a great experience you had! Some of the counsel you shared reminded me of something our bishop asks regularly: "What do you want to be in X months/years? Is what you're doing now moving to that end? If not, how are you going to change course?" You're brave on the FB thing. Brave and wise to know your own limits. I love you, Julie! Your candor is a blessing to all of us because you're showing how a good person can become even better little by little. You make the pathway seem more possible because you remind us that Christ is leading the way.

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