We've returned from our 8 am orthodontist appointment, the first of five loads of laundry is churning in the washer, Fisher Price toys are organized into a "Little People" village on our kitchen table, one child has already had a 20-minute break because of too much fighting, and I'm about to launch into a day of cleaning with the kids (today we're going to go step-by-step through bathroom cleaning so it gets done right).
I took a break to come up to my office for scripture study--to give the Lord the opportunity to remind me of the vision He has for me and my family.
I hold onto this vision with everything I have, but somewhere between the sticky kitchen cabinets, the whining children, and the three dozen emails needing my attention, I start to forget.
I forget that families are a privilege and that motherhood is a privilege. I forget that everything doesn't have to be perfect and that my best is enough. And sometimes I forget that the Lord is going to help me with the challenges that make my stomach hurt when I wake up in the morning (yes, I have a few of those).
One thing that helps me remember that God is involved in our everyday lives is the Personal Progress program. Alia and I are working on it together, and though it's designed for young women, ages 12-18, mothers are encouraged to join their daughters in this incredible opportunity.
The first section we're working on is about Faith, and this morning I read a few scriptures about faith and motherhood in The Book of Mormon (Alma 56:45-48 and 57:21), as well as "The Family: A Proclamation to the World."
Beautiful, beautiful words.
Another way I remember God's messages to me is through my screen saver. Whenever I read a scripture or a quote that really strikes a chord, I type it into a PowerPoint file, which is then saved as images and used for my screen saver.
That way, a stream of uplifting, inspiring messages are consistently right in front of me. Here are a few:
These words bring me back to center.
Living a deliberate life is hard work. Caring for a family and contributing to society sometimes seems to require more energy and focus than I've got.
On an "in the trenches" day (like today), I won't necessarily see my progress--besides the five baskets of clean laundry. But if I can remember that there's something bigger going on here, and that today is just one tiny part of a truly important work, I can make these trenches into safe, beautiful, precious, God-filled days that will serve as solid foundations for the rest of my life and the lives of my children.
All right, I think they need me now. If you have any other ideas that bring light to an "in the trenches" day, I'd love to hear them.