Raising a family is hard work!
(Deep breath) . . . the last week and a half has been rough with the kids . . .
Difficult . . .
At times tough to even bare without shedding a few tears here and there.
It happens though.
Being a parent, or a child, is strenuous work and sometimes we all need a reset. Last week was a reset for us.
With 2 kids “taking a break” from homeschooling, not by their choice, and 2 struggling to continue onward, I was at my whits end. I found it hard to breath, let alone think of what to do next. I had to turn it over to the Lord. But by the end of the week, I STILL had those same 2 on restriction and faced an ENTIRE WEEK without my muscle around to support me.
That’s right, Paul was heading out of town and I was being LEFT ALONE to brave the battlefront. I prayed we would all survive . . . but the sweetest peace washed over me. It just so happened to also be General Conference weekend, just the event we ALL needed to take our focus away from our frustrations, heart-ache and stress, and instead turn it to hope, guidance and love.
I decided to break tradition and not keep a notebook by my side, writing down any little thought I might have or wisdom I might hear. I also decided not to “monitor” the kids while I watched conference. Instead of joining the kiddos in the t.v. room loft, I decided to watch conference downstairs at the dining room table. I focused on staying relaxed and decided to keep my hands busy but my ears and heart open. I was seeking to see if I could just find ANYTHING to help elevate my aching heart and to also hear for any answers to the many questions I had in my soul.
Well, the answers did come and so did the peace. At one point I literally BURST into tears, for the words that were spoken were JUST WHAT I NEEDED . . . “we are NOT hypocrites; we are human.” I LOVED THAT!!! I also loved that Elder Holland also shared a story of a good, religious man trying to teach others to follow “the path” but to not judge the path just because he struggles to walk it well.
As a mother, I NEEDED to hear this talk. I was finding myself far too often criticizing myself and deeming myself “unworthy” to teach my children because what I was teaching them I could barely do myself. Now I understood. NONE of us is perfect. ALL of us are learning, growing, practicing and some are better at one step or another but all of us fail somewhere along the path – over and over again.
So, I took a DEEP BREATH and let myself calm down.
Throughout the conference I heard constant mention of these two WONDERFUL documents – you can find a better image of them here and here. It brought me IMMENSE joy that our family had been inspired to memorize these two documents over the course of the last two years of homeschool. I was touched that my family HAD been blessed by learning from these documents and COULD ALSO TESTIFY of their power, light and divinity.
But one of the conference talks got me thinking? The speaker mentioned that if we don’t keep at something, we will lose it in the space of 6 months. I realized that the chaos our family was experiencing could be helped if we would recommit to remembering these two documents. I pondered this and realized that although one or two of my kids COMPLAIN HEAVILY that we MUST recite these memorized documents “often” that THEY NEED it and I do too! So I made a plan to put them back into our daily Family Devotionals.
I also felt inspired to include the Articles of Faith that we work diligently to memorize in song. Did you know that the Article of Faith songs are only offered in English and Icelandic? We are truly blessed to have them! Our sweet Spanish speaking Primary children don’t have the blessing of learning them in song. Nor do any other language on this earth. Oh how we need more linguists to translate the beautiful hymns and Primary songs into multiple languages.
As I pondered which days to recite each of these divine truths, I felt inspired to add one more item to my children’s repertoire.
While living in Costa Rica, I once had a sister missionary recite to me part of Joseph Smith’s First Vision. It immediately had a positive and deeply moving impact on me. I wanted that for my children too. So I found this image and printed one out for each of us to have, while we practiced memorizing this scripture.
“I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me.
It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” Joseph Smith History 1:16-17
NOW I AM FEELING MUCH BETTER!
I also realized that my “Gratitude Journal” had actually turned into my “Sadness Journal,” no wonder I was having a difficult time feeling my Father in Heaven’s love for me and my little family. The longer my sadness list grew, the shorter my gladness list got. The more I focused on my problems, the less I felt of His Love and hope in our future. The more I obsessed over solutions to the future, the more I was losing the now.
I needed this reset and I saw tonight that my kids did too!
Because of last week . . . television, computer, IPads and “YouTubing” are on restriction. At first I thought I was going to cave in but last night the kids played a game of “flashlight Hide and Go Seek” outside in the dark before dinner and tonight these two monkeys got the other 2 monkeys into making their own farms. THAT’S RIGHT . . . FARMS!!!!! Sorry Minecraft, my kids are too smart for you.
Curly Cook came downstairs all excited that she was growing SO MANY fruits, vegetables and grains on her property and selling them to her siblings. Are we having an economics and agriculture/entrepreneur workshop in my house? What is going on here?
Even El Gringo joined in on the fun!
On top of that, all 4 kids have been helping to make “part” of dinner the last two nights. Last night Joy Boy made this DELICIOUS BBQ chicken drumstick recipe and tonight Curly Cook helped to make our company favorite Sloppy Joe recipe. GingerSnap and El Gringo helped make the sides and/or dessert for both nights. I have felt TRULY blessed while my muscle is enjoying himself scuba diving for his 43rd birthday! I love and miss you Paul. Thank you for your prayers – they are helping!
I have learned so very much from homeschooling my children but the TOP lesson I have learned is to put your lives in order. Prioritize what is MOST important in your life and get it done first. If you will do this, you will have room for ANYTHING ELSE that you feel you NEED or even WANT in your life. This video explains it VERY WELL!
Thanks for listening,