When Obedience is Scary

The past few years I have felt my heart being prepared for something I really didn’t want. Recently I have prayed about these feelings and received, what I consider, a clear answer. I know what the Lord is asking me to do. And it scares me. I think it will push me to my limits, but reluctantly I see how it could make me a better person, and especially a better mother. But it’s going to take a lot of research, even more preparation every day and loads of patience to be a success.

The scary part is that I don’t know WHY the Lord wants me to do this. And I like to know the why of things.

Today I asked my Lord to offer me some words of wisdom and comfort in relation to this idea weighing on my mind. And this is what I got:

Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me to make these plates (or insert your own personal commandment) for a wise purpose in him, which purpose I know not.

But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words. And thus it is. Amen.

1 Nephi 9:5-6

So now I know what needs to be done and I know that I don’t need to know why. The only things left to do is to do it.

But my fear is causing me to procrastinate.

This is where faith comes in. I must trust in the Lord and take the leap. When I trust in Him and follow His promptings then I know everything will turn out okay.

Life Story Series: the beginning

I was born exactly one week past my due date on the cusp of the summer solstice. My mother had turned 17 years old one month previous to my birth, just two days before the eruption of Mt. St. Helens. Yes she was very young and to my knowledge I was her second pregnancy, but first live birth. My father had turned 20 years old 2 months before I was born. At least he was legally considered an adult.

The city was Chula Vista, California. (Yep I am officially a California girl.) I weighed in at 7 pounds, 8 ounces, the perfect baby weight if you ask me. I was born at 3:18 am, thus the beginning of my night-owledness. I don’t know very much about that day other than the stats. But my mother often told me what a miracle I was and how smitten she was over me. I think it may have been one of the few times in her life when she felt loved unconditionally.

I know that my Dad had hair halfway down his back at the time. I know that my maternal grandmother was there and she fainted when my mother was given a local anesthetic. They didn’t do epidurals routinely back then I guess. {Can you imagine watching your teenaged daughter give birth??}

I don’t know how she went into labor– did her water break? were her contractions bad? I don’t know how she got to the hospital or how long her labor was. I am not sure how my Dad found out she was in labor or if he was with her at the time. I do know that other than the local anesthetic the rest was natural, which pretty much makes her a superwoman in my mind.

I don’t know these things because my mom is no longer here to tell me about them. She died after complications resulting from a car accident in 2000, when I was 20 years old. I never thought to ask her all these questions about my birth until my own daughter was born 3 years after she passed away. I could probably ask my dad, but he may or may not remember– if I were to actually be able to get a hold of him. He is probably one of the last people on earth without a cell phone and is never home to answer the landline. I have limited contact with the other people that might know these details. I only tell you these things because I am sure they will heavily shape the way I tell my life story. But I suppose that is part of the elegance of the whole idea: that I am telling the story from my own perspective and from my limited knowledge base.

Oh- and I do plan to post pictures but after my mom died the pictures from the first five years of my life got lost. It breaks my heart a little every time I think about it. I have one picture of myself as an infant but I’ll have to scan it first.

being busy

Earlier today I was reading my blogs and I read something to the effect of “being a mom means being busy.” I totally understand why someone would say that, but I disagree.┬áMany moms are very busy. Whether you are a career mom or a “full time” mother, you are likely to have many tasks to accomplish in each day. However, I feel that it doesn’t necessarily mean that we have to be busy. Really it’s all about knowing what your priorities are and staying true to them.

That is easier said than done. First of all, sometimes it is hard to know what your priorities should be. Obviously, there are certain things when you are a mother that absolutely cannot be ignored. Children need to be fed. Eventually the dishes will need to be done. Safety around a hot stove can’t be ignored. But if we go through life not realizing why we do those things, and feeling like they each serve their own purpose, we will quickly become unhappy. Believe me, I’ve been there. We need overarching goals/priorities/mission statements– whatever you want to call them– to guide our daily mundane activities and give us purpose.

Once we identify what is truly important to us as mothers, we need to make decisions based upon these priorities. We all have the same number of minutes in each day; our legacy will be decided with what we do with that time. For me, teaching my children to love reading is a priority (one that I didn’t necessarily realize I had until recently). I think we can all agree that the ability to read will give our children many opportunities and arm them with the key to furthering their knowledge, no matter what path they take. So each day I try to carve out time to read both scriptures and fiction with my children. My mother loved to read and she made time for it. From my earliest memories I can remember her reading. That is part of her legacy, and it continues with her grandchildren.

Another priority for me is that my children learn good sleep habits. I abhor the fact that I have such a difficult time waking up in the mornings and I wish I was a morning person. I believe those who can easily get out of bed in the morning have a slight advantage over the rest of the world. That doesn’t mean that people (like me) who are night owls can’t accomplish anything or are not successful. I just think of what MORE I could have done with my life if I wasn’t so inclined to spend my time sleeping while the rest of the world was awake! Plus, I hate feeling like I am already behind right when I get out of bed in the morning.

As a result of this priority, I have always made sure to get my kids to bed at a decent hour. I remember times with my first that I would get invitations but declined them because it was my baby’s bedtime or nap time. Of course there were times when we sacrificed bedtime for time with family or other things, but for the most part I was very conscious about sleeping times in our house and considered heavily whether to use that time for something else.

Secondly, now I am consciously making an effort to become more of a morning person so that I can be as much in control of my day as possible. I want to be able to greet my children happy instead of grumpily rolling out of bed. I want to be there with them on the weekends enjoying their joy over the cartoon on TV instead of using that time to grab more sleep. In short, I want to be a good sleep example to them too.

These priorities along with others guide my day and how I teach and respond to my children. The point is that when I CONSCIOUSLY make choices about what my priorities are, I can consciously choose how to spend my time so that I am not just “busy.” I carve out quiet time each day for myself so that I don’t burn out too. Because that is another priority. I know that I need to take care of myself in order to take care of my children well.

Don’t get me wrong, there are certainly days when I am busy, when there are too many things pressing for my time. But I try to not make that a habit. And I try to not let “Because I am busy” be my excuse for not doing things that I really want to do.

The bottom line is just because we are moms doesn’t mean we have to be busy. We can consciously make choices that allow us to spend our time doing what we want to do and not just what we must do.