Monday, January 10, 2011

Taking Care of Ourselves

As women we take care of things. We take care of our kids, our husbands, our house (to one degree or another), the dishes, the laundry, the homework, the music lessons, Family Home Evening, scripture study, etc. And we are good at it. We run everybody's life and help them get where they are going physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

We tend to take care of absolutely everything, but us. We are the person we tend to forget. We forget to get our exercise. We forget to eat right. We forget to study our scriptures. And sometimes, we even forget to pray. Not to pray, I mean we hit our knees every night and give Heavenly Father a memorized report, asking for a few things, expressing gratitude, never forgetting the missionaries and the Prophet.

No. It's not that kind of praying we forget. We forget to really pray. To just have a conversation with our Father in Heaven. We forget to tell him, "Today was a really hard day." And then tell him why. When we pray like this, everything changes.

One of the changes that I made last year has made all the difference for me. I started a quote journal.

It all started after I read Elder Scott's talk from Oct 2009 General Conference called, "To Acquire Spiritual Guidance." He said, "Had I not responded to the first impressions and recorded them, I would not have received the last, most precious guidance."

I had read through a few talks already in that Ensign, but I realized that, though I was finding messages for me, I hadn't recorded them. So I got a beautiful little journal and started writing. I learned that, "Jesus Christ took upon Himself the weight of...the injustices that are committed in the world to the end that we can be free from the consequences." (Elder Jorge Zeballos, Ensign, Nov 2009, "Attempting the Impossible") I was reminded that, "Through it all, the Savior offer us sustaining strength and support, and in His own time and way, He offers deliverance." (Elder Whitney Clayton, Ensign, Nov 2009, "That Your Burdens May Be Light") And I even giggled a little when I read, "In the scriptures there are very few stories of individuals who lived in blissful happiness and experienced no opposition. We learn and grow by overcoming challenges with faith, persistence and personal righteousness." (Ann M. Dibb, Ensign, Nov 2009, "Hold On")

In the last 6 months, I have jotted down 229 quotes just for me. Note the, just for me, part. It's rather easy for us to look through for quotes and think, "Oh. That quote is just what (so and so) needs." And maybe you're right. But it's also possible that you're not. In fact, you could be dead wrong. So disciplining ourselves to look only for us is a challenge, because we're used to caring for everyone else.

For me, this is particularly true of my relationship with Wendell. I would think, "Oh he needs to hear that." Or, "If Wendell heard that, that would really help him!" Really? Am I in Wendell's head? To even assume that I would know what would help Wendell is a version of playing God. And playing God is clearly inappropriate.

As I read through the talks, when something jumps out at me, I stop and think to myself, "Is this a message that I need or is this something that I think Wendell needs?" If it's the later, I leave it. I don't mark it and I don't write it down. It has to be a message for ME. And, apparently, there's a lot that I need to know.

My quotes aren't just from Conference talks either, although that is the source of the lion's share. My quotes are from other Ensign articles, Mormon Messages, other book's I read and the scriptures. Scripture study is also a whole different experience when I'm consciously looking for messages for me.

This seemingly insignificant little quote book is changing my life. And, although I don't have any idea what would be good for your life, I highly recommend it.

No comments: