Monday, May 30, 2011

A Distracted Disciple Seeks an Outpouring

On the weekend I watched a documentary on how digital media is affecting us, especially our ability to focus and attend. It talked about how we are training our minds to constantly be on alert, just incase something even slightly more interesting comes available. The whole time I watched, I was distracted, checking my email, answering notifications on my Facebook, basically illustrating their point.

See! I got distracted! That is a good blog post though, on the same topic I wanted to write about. I found it because I was searching for Sister Beck's quote (seriously I love her!)

"In the past year I have met thousands of Latter-day Saint women in many countries. The list of challenges these sisters face is lengthy and sobering. There are family troubles, economic tests, calamities, accidents, and illnesses. There is much distraction and not enough peace and joy."

NOtably , this quote comes from her talk entitled: “And upon the Handmaids in Those Days Will I Pour Out My Spirit”

THAT is what we are bring distracted from--the still small voice! The scripture she used in the title doesn't talk about a sprinkling of Spirit, maybe on Sunday, it prophesies a pouring! a drenching! We are to be IMMERSED in the Spirit in THESE days. The other day I was struck by the fact that in my quest to align myself with Heavenly Father's will, He has given me the opportunity to "at all times" have a member of the Godhead with me! Do i listen? DO i tuen in to His guidance and direction, and tune OUT other "alluring and deceptive messages"?

A good woman knows that she does not have enough time, energy, or opportunity to take care of all of the people or do all of the worthy things her heart yearns to do. Life is not calm for most women, and each day seems to require the accomplishment of a million things, most of which are important. A good woman must constantly resist alluring and deceptive messages from many sources telling her that she is entitled to more time away from her responsibilities and that she deserves a life of greater ease and independence. But with personal revelation, she can prioritize correctly and navigate this life confidently.

Confidence. I think one of my biggest distractions is just DOUBT. I get overwhelmed, almost in palpable waves of fear/anxiety, wondering/obsessing about whether I'm doing enough. THAT is Satan's way of not only distracting but discouraging disciples of Christ.

I love Mormon's words, at a time when he could have been so full of despair and frustration with the wickedness and failure about him(almost like he's reminding himself): “Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life” (3 Nephi 5:13).

It's such a powerful declaration of who he is;yet, immediately it turns outward to his duty to help, teach and lift others.

I love how Sister Beck using the title of Handmaids. Women who do HIs bidding. Women who hear His voice, and respond, "Behold the hand maid of the Lord"..."Speak Lord for thy servant heareth".

The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life.

Do I spend the time I need to practising and acquiring this most important skill? I guess the trick is remember to do it all the time.

Revelation can come hour by hour and moment by moment as we do the right things. When women nurture as Christ nurtured, a power and peace can descend to guide when help is needed. For instance, mothers can feel help from the Spirit even when tired, noisy children are clamoring for attention, but they can be distanced from the Spirit if they lose their temper with children. Being in the right places allows us to receive guidance. It requires a conscious effort to diminish distractions, but having the Spirit of revelation makes it possible to prevail over opposition and persist in faith through difficult days and essential routine tasks. Personal revelation gives us the understanding of what to do every day to increase faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and seek those who need our help. Because personal revelation is a constantly renewable source of strength, it is possible to feel bathed in help even during turbulent times.

I remember my mother-in-law, a champion of mothering in my eyes, sharing with me her gratitude for the mundanity of her everyday "routine tasks", how she felt they were a tender mercy, a gift from the Lord, a way that we as women could, even amidst all the demands upon us, we could set our minds (which let's face it not a lot of brain-power goes into folding laundry or doing dishes for the thousandth time!) on the things of eternity. With our bodies busied by the tasks of daily living, our minds and heart could contemplate things of godliness. When she shared that, shortly after she herself, after decades of dedicated mothering found herself thrust into the role of provider, she said it almost with longing. She missed having that time to ponder.

As I have started exploring a little into this world of lds and other Christian mommy-blogs, it is so apparent to me that we have so much to think and feel about. Post after posts of attempts to connect and clarify our hopes and roles, to evaluate our lives and our priorities.

Speaking of kids are waking up. Time to go put it to the test. My two year old has a stomach bug, making him come out both ends, my baby just spit up, my oldest needs to get out to school, I'm way behind on know the list. But today I will see if in all the potential distractions (diarrhea leaking out of diapers qualifies right?), if I can keep my focus on my discipleship. If I can remember that "when I am in the service of my fellow beings [even little tiny ones] I am really in the service of my God" (paraphrasing Mosiah 2:17)

I will try a remember Sister Beck reassurance:

Promised personal revelation comes when we ask for it, prepare for it, and go forward in faith, trusting that it will be poured out upon us.

I'm more accustomed to daily spills, but today I'm gonna try and get poured on instead.


Jennifer said...Best Blogger Tips

This was the perfect pick-me-up for today. Some of your quotes are now hanging on my kitchen cupboards. I love you Chelsea.

Kelly said...Best Blogger Tips

thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for this! I'm not a mom quite yet in my life but I do mother tons of them at school. Today I lost it with some students...they were being rotters....but I really didn't have to let it get to that. That quote on revelation and staying close to the Spirit made me remember that sometimes I need to pray minute by minute (especially today!) to keep the Spirit with me and have the revelation to know what to do at crazy times! this helped SO much! lovin' the blog!