My heart has been reaching beyond my physical capacities lately. Every time my husband comes home for lunch, I'm telling him about a non-profit venture I want to start, a child at school I feel compelled to take under my wing, or a dear friend who I desperately need to visit.
My husband and I are on the same page as far as how we want to spend our lives. We know our time, energies, and talents weren't meant just for us, and we're willing to do whatever we can to serve God for as many years as we're permitted to stay here (though Eric's determined to cap out at 85, and I keep pushing for 100).
Although our hearts are in the right place, we can't do everything we'd like to do in one lifetime, and right now we have four little children who need us, bills to pay, and lots of responsibilities (you know the drill).
So today I was asking the Lord, "How can I be more helpful?" And the thought came to my mind that I could share how I receive peace, comfort, and knowledge from the True Source.
I can't be everywhere at once, but the Spirit of the Lord can, and that's actually a much better deal because God is the one who knows each of us personally, who has all power, and who knows "how to succor His people in their afflictions."
I don't have a doctorate in Theology, and I don't have "credentials" to teach the things of God, but I know Him. I make it a point to connect with Him on a daily basis, and I hear His voice regularly. I've felt timid about putting the sacred things of my heart on this blog (so there's a lot I won't say), but I hope the ideas that I'll share here from time to time will be helpful.
If you're having a tough time right now with anything in your life (which is highly likely, since all of us have struggles), the first thing you need to know is that you have a Father in Heaven who is aware of you. He created you, He loves you, and He is available to help you receive all the blessings you need.
For today's post, I'm going to describe the process I go through to receive the answers to all my questions. The word "all" isn't an understatement--I'll describe that more later.
The fact is that I am just not smart enough to know how to handle all the challenges and opportunities that come my way. I have a family who deals with "real-life" issues. I'm in the process of building a world-wide organization for mothers that literally has the potential to change the world. I am often placed in circumstances where I become painfully aware of my weaknesses. Sometimes it's enough to send me back to bed before we've even gotten through breakfast.
However, this is where the Lord comes in.
I know that He's willing to teach me everything I need to know, but I have to ask the right questions first. I decided to write down all my questions in a Google Doc. That way, they're password-protected, they're available from any computer, and I can easily record the answers that I receive to those questions. If you'd like to start your first Google Doc, you just create a Google account and follow the simple instructions here.
This is a screen shot of my Google Docs Homepage. Highlighted in the middle are "My Questions."
Okay, so what kinds of questions do I write down? Here are some examples:
- How do I get more physical energy so I am not always exhausted by my children?
- How can I better learn which questions to ask?
- How can I increase the power of my prayers?
- How can I be a better example of faith in Jesus Christ?
- How can I learn the mysteries of the scriptures and better learn to teach through them?
- What is the best way for me to record all I am learning/writing/doing?
- How can my husband and I truly become one in all things?
- Who, specifically, do I need to bless and love that is within my sphere of influence?
- What do I need to do to refine the time that I spend each day?
- How can I help my children to know they're "winners" without simply teaching them the goal is to be better than everyone else?
- What can I do about __________ (a current problem that is perplexing me)?
The two guidelines I have for my questions are that they have to be about things that are essential in life and they need to be phrased in a way that puts the responsibility on me. (I don't ask things like, "Why ME?")
Right now I have about 40 questions, and what I do is take one question each week or so and study that topic during my morning scripture study. I read scriptures related to that topic, study the words of those who already know the answers to these kinds of things, and then pray to the Lord for inspiration. My church's website has a great search function that brings up all kinds of wonderful material. Then I type the answers below the questions (in green, so the answers can clearly be differentiated from the questions).
Here's the best part:
When I first typed out my questions, they all felt overwhelming. I remember initially looking at my list and thinking, "How can I ever know all this?"
But then something interesting started happening. Each day as I would study and pray, I would receive a little more light. Sometimes I had to study the same question several times before the answer started to make sense. Sometimes the answer would come clearly and powerfully the first time I studied the topic, and I would have tears running down my cheeks as I typed the answers that I felt coming straight to my mind and heart. The point is that I have received answers to every single question.
Now when I add a question to my list, I have full confidence that it will be answered---and that's an amazing feeling. The answers do not always come the way I expect or the way I would like, but they're answered fully enough that I know that God is communicating to me in a way that I can understand and apply.
There are so many wonderful things that each of us can do while we're here. I don't want to waste my time feeling sorry for myself or frustrated with my inadequacies or distracted by things that don't really matter. I want to pay close attention to what's happening around me, I want to ask God for wisdom, and I want to do whatever I can to serve Him.
At The Power of Moms, we end each article with a challenge, and I think I'll do the same here. Take some time this week and write down your questions. Don't hold back--put them all in there. And then start with the hardest--or the easiest--and let God show you that He knows you, loves you, and wants to take very, very good care of you.
All my love,April