Recently I volunteered to help with my 20 year High School reunion. It has been a struggle for me as I see how successful a lot of my previous classmates have become and how I still feel that I am in the background doing nothing extraordinary. I struggle with this because I always feel that I should be or do more than I am.
As I have spent the last 2 days listening to the LDS General Conference I have begun to make some very important realizations. I am doing something very important. I don’t go out into the workforce, but I am raising the next generation. I am a mother and a wife. These should be what I focus on, these should be my priorities. Not what I haven’t done over the past 20 years, not what I might be doing in 10. But what I am doing now inside the walls of my home. That is what is most important.
I’m not very good at my job I will admit. The Family: A Proclamation to the world says that mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. I feel that I am very lacking in that area. I am not a nurturer, but that doesn’t make me a failure. I see my children that are starting families of their own and my daughters are so nurturing and loving with their children. I know they didn’t get that from me, but I hope that I at least inspired them to be a better nurturer than I was with them. I still have children at home that I’m sure I could improve with and maybe I’ll have it figured out in 10 years when the youngest is 18. But chances are I won’t and I will just continue with my strength of having fun with them, teaching them to be strong and helping them stand up for what they believe is right. And maybe this is considered nurturing.
This is my season in life to be here for my children and help them to learn and navigate their way through this world. I don’t send them off everyday to go to school. I keep them home and educate them here. I take responsibility for all aspects of their education not just their spiritual education. Day in and day out they are here with me learning from me and from themselves. They are independent in their educational pursuits, but allow me to guide them when they are stuck. What do I struggle with here? Being in the now. I worry about what will happen in the future not what is happening around me. I worry about what I’m going to be doing when there is no longer a need for me to guide them, what do I want to do with my life. This is where I get hung up.
But now I see where I have made my mistake. Elder Jeffrey Holland told a story that involved hanging on a ledge and having nothing to grip on to. This resonated with me, because I have been hanging on that ledge. However, the problem is that I haven’t been listening. I’ve been ignoring the help I’ve been offered thinking that some how I can figure this all out on my own. My Savior has been holding on to me waiting patiently for me to allow him to pull me onto that ledge. I don’t always understand why I am so obstinate about doing the things that I know I need to do. I have a testimony of the truth, but so many times I struggle doing the everyday things to strengthen that testimony. I’m so bent on doing it my way and I always end up in the wrong place. What would I do without my Savior? He suffered because of me. I am constantly going about things the wrong way. I have a new appreciation for what happened in Gethsemane. His suffering because I won’t swallow my pride. Learning to apply the Atonement to my life is huge, learning to follow my Savior is even bigger. It is time to swallow my pride and focus on what is truly important. Yes I need to be able to see the big picture, but seeing the correct big picture makes all the difference. Right now my husband and my children need me to take my responsibilities seriously and stop worrying about the what could have been or what could be. The eternal perspective is more important than the world’s perspective.