I was particularly touched by Elder Nelson's interview with a member of the new General Young Women's Presidency, Sister Neill F. Marriot.
Sister Marriot is the mother of eleven children. Eleven!! When asked how she manages her callings and her family, her response was, (paraphrasing) I just took care of my family first and everything else worked out. I LOVED her response. I just take care of my family first..... Isn't that the way it should be??
I have a servant's heart. I love serving and helping others. I like helping outside of my family. I am sure part of my love of service, other than the good feelings I have from participating, is the appreciation I receive from the group or person served. (I seem to have a need for recognition. Silly natural woman!) Unfortunately in motherhood, that is probably the last thing I receive from the many, many hours of service I give as a mother. Recently, four times in the last two years, I have been asked by outside groups to participate in a lengthy (two months - two years) commitment that would only require a few hours each month. My heart has longed to participate. I can make all of the justifications I want and I can even quote church leaders about participating in civic responsibilities and groups. I want to help and I would love the outside recognition for my participation. Thankfully, before I have accepted the commitment, each time, I have consulted the Lord. Each time, the Lord has said, No Carin, This is not for you. It has made me sad each time.
Twice, I was offered money for my time. Each time, I had a little extra time and thought I could manage it. Six months after the first offer, my husband was called as the Bishop. Then I didn't have any time. And if I had accepted the paid position, it would have been difficult to give it up because truth be told, we could use the extra cash. But the Lord has let me know, the work I do in my own home, even though unpaid and many times unappreciated, cannot be compensated for with money. No amount of money can replace what I can do within the walls of my own home, not for my children and my husband.
What I really, really appreciated about Sister Marriot's comments was that she always just took care of her family first, and everything else worked out. So, mostly in an effort to remind myself of the importance of my work, on Fridays, we will talk about Family First, because we know if we put them first, everything else will just work out.
What blessings have you received by putting your family first?