Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Peace in the Wilderness

Most people who know me know that I do not enjoy living in Arizona. On top of that, it is also challenging to be "poor" (we have a low income, but we are truly very very rich) and to live in a ghetto apartment complex in a ghetto part of town. However, this morning as my husband and I talked again about what we might do when our lease is up in April, we decided that we probably will stay, with our two girls, in this two-bedroom apartment. It's crazy! But it's just not worth moving and spending more money each month to live in something only slightly better than what we have now. So it just feels right. And I can accept that. And that will make it all the more exciting when he graduates and we move on to a different lifestyle, which, however modest it may be, will likely be plenty better than the one we're living now.

I appreciate my simple life. And I love being a mother! Not because it's always glorious or enjoyable (though what life path is?), but because I know it's my eternal calling and so it is fulfilling on a deep level. There is nothing like the peace of knowing I am doing the most important thing I could be doing. And, it is wonderful.

Check out that awesome crazy-baby-face caught on camera

A feminist once told me a woman should only be a full-time mom if that feels empowering to her. I thought that was strange. Is it all about power? Well, that could be a whole different discussion, but to me, there is nothing more "empowering," than relying on the enabling power of Christ's atonement every day to do things and become someone you didn't think possible. My transition to two children was easier than my transition to one, because I am a different person than I was two years ago! I am way stronger, more capable, more mature, and less selfish and lazy. Also, I have so much joy from my two girls, and from the perspective that they are mine forever and that each phase will last only a short time.

As the wonderful song says,

"God gave us families
to help us become what He wants us to be.
This is how He shows His love
For the family is of God."

So while there are a lot of things I'm going without right now, I am grateful for the way my simple life gives me the opportunity to focus on what I can do to become who God wants me to become. So that when we get to the point where we can have more of the things that I think will make me happy (a yard, for example), I will have learned what God wanted me to learn. Because after all, He knows  best what will make me happy.

As part of our Sunday morning routine, Elena and I watch Music and the Spoken word, and then watch a few Bible videos before she watches Baby Einstein and I shower. I love the way the Bible videos help Christ and His teachings come to life for me.

A few weeks ago we watched His sermon on "consider the lilies," and it has really stuck with me and has helped me get through challenges with peace.

Watch this and I'm sure you'll be touched by the way the actor for Christ assures us that we have no need to fear or worry about temporal things like food and clothes.

Christ said, "fear not."

Why don't we need to fear?

The things that stood out to me (and I love the way he says them in this video) are,

"Your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things."


"It is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom."

Heavenly Father knows what we really need, and He loves us and wants to give us those things.

Stress comes when we see a disconnect between our expectations and our reality. This often happens when we feel we don't have enough time or energy to do the things we feel we need to do. I know having a newborn there were definitely days where I felt I legitimately had not got enough sleep to take care of a toddler and baby all day. I tried to keep this scripture in mind.

What I learned is that if we seek first the kingdom of God, everything will be ok. If we align our lives with our priorities, it removes a lot of stress! We can't do everything, but we can do whatever it is God wants us to do, if that is our desire.