Thursday, March 22, 2012

Looking UP!! Today!

Recently, I have been weighed down with the responsibilities I have and the ones I feel are coming.  I often find myself asking HOW do you expect me to do this??  I am not adequately managing what I have and now you are giving me more!!

One of the things I am amazing at is juggling!  I do not mean with balls, bowling pins, swords, or the like.  I mean people, activities, jobs, workload----prioritizing.  I do not know where it came from.  Mmmm, yep, I do.  It is an innate gift from God.  I am sure.

My entire life has always been full of too much to do with too little time.  But I have this inner sense to know what has to be done NOW and what can wait and what really doesn't have to be done.  When I am totally overwhelmed, I follow this process:

1.  Pray at night to know the Lord's priorities
2.  Get up early
3.  Pray to prioritize the Lord's way
4.  Read scriptures
5. Write down the thoughts and impressions that come
6.  Use that list as my "how and what to focus on today" list
7.  As I recognize other things that need to be done, make an "Oh ya, I'll get to that" list
8.  Let go of the rest

Here is the issue I struggle with.  I feel happiest and most successful when my lists are finished.  I feel like I finally have achieved balance when I can accomplish a list and have a little time available for something enjoyable or a small hobby.

Whenever I get anywhere close to that line---where I am finally swimming in very deep water instead of drowning, then I get this huge dump of responsibility and again I am drowning and overwhelmed.  (At which point, I mope for a little while, readjust my priorities, begin again at step 1, and put my head down and go to work.) 

I am a very hard worker and I don't mind working.  I can even find joy in mundane tasks.  Sometimes I just want a vacation!!

I was just getting to the point where I felt like I could manage my household and my family and all that goes into that and little big personal responsibilities I had been asked to do.  (Now these are not volunteer ones----I'm not talking about PTA, further schooling, employment {I recognize for some of you those may not be volunteer endeavors, but for me they are}.  Then BOOM!  Have another baby----again my body submerges 20 feet under water!  (I have issues with deep water over my head.  I am afraid I won't ever reach the surface and be able to breath.)

I am noticing a theme---  It is finally in my extremity that I turn to God.  I finally LOOK UP!!!!  (For enlightenment, read it!)

I am finally beginning to swim after this new baby.  FINALLY!  It has been 17 months and I finally feel like I am beginning to manage.  I know a wall of water is on the horizon.  I feel it coming.  I recognize I am already beginning to mope---because I sense its arrival.  I don't want to!  I fight!  It doesn't matter because the wall is still coming.

Today I recognized that I am not looking up.  I am looking at the floor.  I thought about the balloon idea. (read the link above) I figuratively did that and I feel lighter already.  Now comes the serious application---looking up through the water and while I try to reach the surface and break through until I can BREATH and SWIM!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

It's about TIME!

I bet you've just been wondering where the heck I have been???  Don't worry.  It's basketball season, which means extra work, extra practices, two or more games on Saturdays.....lots and lots of stuff.  Following my own advice, I ditched passed off my PTA responsibilities, got rid of a lot of junk stuff (mostly clothes and shoes) at my house, and reorganized a few things.

In the last couple of months, we found out that Scuff was accepted to BYU!!  Woohoo!!  But they didn't have any more slots for him in fall, so in order to attend in the fall, he has to attend in the summer.  That gives him an entire week between graduation and the beginning of his college career.  He did finish his Eagle scout project and he has one merit badge left to complete.  He has been feeling a little stress and we have been doing plenty of leg work to get him ready to go. 

Our missionary comes home in two months!!  Yippeee!!  One, two!  That's it!  My little boys have grown out of their pants, for the fourth time this school year!!  And my little baby growls cute!  That is what has been happening at our house....

Oh ya.....and this week is selection SUNDAY!!  Monday morning my entire family will be busy filling out their NCAA tournament brackets so we can watch basketball for three entire days beginning a week from today.  We will eat, joke, laugh, (some of us will cry a little and have a bad attitude because the team we want to win is out already in the first or second round), and we will just sit back and enjoy each others company while the rest of the world rolls on by.

So, here is the spiritual thought for the week....
Today I was reading 1st Nephi 16: 11-20.  Here are some new insights for me:

As long as they followed the directions of the Liahona (which worked according to their faith--when they were doing what they were supposed to....) they were kept in the most fertile parts of the wilderness.  The Lord wanted them to be taken care of and to be comfortable.  He planned for their comfort and their needs.  That area around them is pretty barren.  What would happen if/when they were unwilling to do what the Lord wanted them to??  I imagine their journey would have been much more difficult and uncomfortable.

They were not exempt from trials during their journey in the more fertile parts of the wilderness.  Even though the Lord planned for their comfort, they also encountered some significant and difficult trials.  This is where Nephi breaks his bow and because they have been traveling for so long, they are more fatigued and hungry.  They begin to murmur.  Don't forget Laman and Lemuel have been trying to kill Nephi every time they get really upset.

They took time out to stop and rest.  It is OK and necessary to stop the world and get off.  That doesn't mean that we hide from our responsibilities, but periodically, we should stop and evaluate where we are, where we are going, and if what we are doing will get us there.  Sometimes we just need to rest.  That may mean a weekend of not answering the phone, a quick trip out of town, making time for the temple or getting in touch with nature.  Today, my time out was just to blog and read the scriptures.

This is where I stopped my pondering because people needed me: If, as in verse 15, they were using their bows and arrows, slings and stones, why is everyone so upset at NEPHI for breaking his bow?  Weren't they all responsible for finding food??  Didn't they all have tools for doing that?  So why is everyone giving Nephi grief?  It obviously wasn't only HIS fault.  Others had responsibilities too.

So for application: 
The Lord wants me to be comfortable and to have the things I need.
Even when He gives me the things I need, I will have trials and tests and growing experiences that are difficult for me.
It is good to take time out.
When things are going wrong, are there other things I could be doing instead of blaming someone else?  Am I doing what I CAN do?