I love Christmas, and I don't even really mind the cold, or the snow, but just because I don't mind it doesn't mean I bundle up my littl' hoodlums near enough and venture out. Between finding all the mittens, making sure they dont slip and get a face full of snow, which results in miserable cries that makes for our premature return indoors, where a pile of soggy winter cloths are shed in a pile for me, now exhausted, to deal with.
So indoors we stay. Trying to make up for the sunshine with twinkle lights. I miss my kids expelling gads of energy at the playground, and I miss my own morning runs (winter beds, seem so much harder to get out of!). Basically, even though by the end of summer I'm ready to snuggle on in for a family hibernation of sorts, cabin fever starts to seap in oh so quickly.
Mostly I miss the light.
My soul feeds on it. And up here in the Northern hemisphere, my soul starts feeling a bit malnourished.
I know I this sounds more like a February or even January post, but apparently I fad fast.
So for any of you out there like me I wanted to share something that touched me.
It's Sister Bednar at the last BYU Women's Conference:
Today, I’ve felt that I should share a simple yet great lesson learned during our time spent
in Indiana that has continued to bless my life in countless ways. Come with me to my busy life as a young wife and mother. Elder Bednar was enrolled in a demanding doctoral program at Purdue University, far away from our families. We had an energetic two-year-old—energetic’s kind of a mild word for the way he was—and a very young baby, very little money, and hardly any time to spend together as a family. As we
struggled to balance family responsibilities, the rigors of school, and Church callings, I
became more and more overwhelmed with my duties as a stay-at-home mother and wife. Many of you may have experienced some of these same emotions and frustrations. After considerable pondering about my situation, I asked my husband for a priesthood blessing. I was promised in the blessing that if I would exercise, get more sleep, eat regular meals, have meaningful prayer morning and night, and engage in more purposeful and consistent scripture study, I would receive the physical and spiritual tools to better cope with my circumstances and the discouragement I was feeling.
The reason I remember this blessing so clearly is because afterwards I thought: “Doing this is going to solve my problems? These are typical ‘Sunday School’ answers.”
In my prideful state of mind, I rationalized why I didn’t need any more exercise because chasing little boys around all day was exercise enough, why I couldn’t get in more sleep because of their young ages, and why I couldn’t eat properly every single day because I was just too busy taking care of their needs, and frankly, I forgot to eat breakfast sometimes, and then macaroni and cheese didn’t sound very good for lunch. Since I was already saying my prayers and reading my scriptures most of the time, that part of the blessing was not even applicable to me.
I suppose you could say I was like Naaman in the Old Testament, who was sent to the king of Israel to be healed of his leprosy but instead was told by a messenger sent by the
prophet Elisha to “wash in Jordan seven times” (2 Kings 5:10). Naaman was a bit angry
and refused to comply with the simple, prophetic injunction until his servants questioned
his motives. “And his servants came near, and spake unto him, and said, My father, if the
prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it?” (2 Kings
I’m sure if I had been directed to do some great thing like go on a relaxing Hawaiian
cruise, or enroll in an evening art or music class, or pamper myself with a new hairdo and
a pedicure, I would have seen the wisdom in responding to that kind of inspiration. But
the small and simple steps that were required to receive the promised blessings seemed so
mundane to me.
Thankfully, humility took root. Over time I had to decide if I would continue on the path
of just going through the motions, or if I would accept and incorporate this guidance in a
more steadfast and heartfelt way, having faith that doing these things really could make a
Over the years, I have found that retiring earlier at night and arising earlier in the
morning invigorates the mind and the body (D&C 88:124). Regular exercise lifts my
spirit, clears my mind, and gives me added energy to meet the demands of my busy
schedule. I can “run and not be weary, and … walk and not faint” (D&C 89:20). Proper
physical nourishment is an important key to unlocking spiritual “treasures of knowledge,
even hidden treasures” (D&C 89:19).
I’m so grateful for the lessons I have learned about asking in faith through meaningful
prayer, not just saying prayers. “Be thou humble; and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by
the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers” (D&C 112:10).
I know and testify that I have heard the voice of the Lord speaking to me through the
scriptures as I have paid the price of more diligent, meaningful, and consistent gospel
study (D&C 18:34–36). I have felt the power and the strength of Christ’s word in me as I
have faced the challenges and vicissitudes of life (Alma 26:12–13).
I know by sad experience how easy it is to nudge off our plate of daily responsibilitiesEntire talk found HERE
these small and simple things that can make such a great difference. I know as we apply
these powerful principles, the blessings come. “By small and simple things are great
things brought to pass” (Alma 37:6).
Or if you prefer the VIDEO
I had been feeling these very same "small and simple things" prompting. And likewise dismissing them, with very simliar rationalizations: I'm reading my scriptures, I chase my kids, I eat their leftovers, I hafta stay up late or I can't get anything done...
This talk really inspired me to follow through. I don't need some crazy new exercise regiem, or complicated meal plans, or some BIG change I just need to make small adjustments, small but purposeful alignments, re-focus energies in some seemingly small but significant ways.
Aw, the answers are so simply. Why do we insits on searching beyond into complicated and less effective solutions.
So I'm off to wash in Jordan, starting with less sleepy prayers as I'm going to bed earlier--