Thursday, August 26, 2010

What did you do today?

After reflecting on this post I wrote on motherhood, I've decided that I need to be able to answer, "I've been doing God's work." I need to be sure that how I'm spending my time is in line with what it means to keep my eye single to God's glory.

I loved this -- from a devotional I recently listened to, given by Jeffery Thompson (a grad school colleague of mine, actually). He quoted his mission president's wife, who said this:

When I do the laundry, I am building the kingdom of God. When I scrub the floors, I am serving the Lord. When I tidy the clutter, I'm an instrument in His hands. I do a lot of mundane jobs, but if my eye is single to God and I'm trying to serve my family, then I feel [great] purpose in my work.

That's not to say, of course, that there isn't anything else of value that can be done in a day besides housework. (And I'm not saying housework is only ever the role of a woman...we should work together as partners to tackle the tasks that need to be done. But for a SAHM, it makes sense that a lot of the work should fall under my umbrella.)

But I think it's so easy to relegate the routine tasks of life to the category of 'unimportant' while envying others' tasks or jobs or responsibilities that seem more glamorous.

The glory should be God's and we should be His instruments. Truly.

I'm going to try answering my husband's question with "building God's kingdom" and see if I feel I'm really being honest. Because I think I'm going to realize that I need to tighten up my time a bit more to really be better at giving Him my heart and my time and my life.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Power in Partnership

The focus of Family Home Evening last night was back-to-school blessings for the children. We started with them each picking a song for us to sing; two of them actually sang solos for us. We then had a family prayer. I also shared a couple of thoughts, one from this talk by Elder Bednar (reminding them of the story of a priesthood blessing that didn't come to pass until after the mom and son exercised their faith to help it come to pass) and this recent one from Elder Oaks (reminding us that the words themselves are perhaps not as important as the faith we bring to the blessings we receive). The idea was to invite the children to be active participants in these blessings -- not just to listen, but to act on them, to implement them.

This all set the tone and helped the children settle their spirits to prepare to receive their father's (Father's) blessings.

The Spirit was thick, the counsel direct. Interestingly, the warnings that came through the blessings reflected concerns that had been on my mind all day as a possible lesson topic. To me it was a witness that the Lord was involved in the process and that He was guiding our thoughts and words to help guide our children.

And it *was* a 'we' thing. My husband was voice for the blessings pronounced, but I was an integral part in the process of making this happen, helping set the stage, and then encouraging the children to record their thoughts and feelings. In addition, the discussions that followed were priceless; the journal entry from our 8-year-old was simply stunning. (All I could say to her was "I can tell you wrote this with the Spirit." The Lord can open the mouths, as it were, of children to testify powerfully of truth. Wow.)

I write this to remember the experience, but also to emphasize the fact that priesthood and the divine role of a husband to preside does not prevent true and equal partnership. The power of partnership I felt last night was real...and it's something I have felt time and time again in our home.