Monday, January 23, 2017

Work to be Done

I had to do the centipede laundry today. That's what I'm calling the laundering of any clothes that have recently spent time in Hawaii. No more centipedes appeared, but it was harrowing, nonetheless.

Snowy Monday
I love Mondays. I think I've said it before. But I love the start of a new week and the chance to get everything organized and the possibility that the week will get off to a great start.

Kids off to school, make a grocery list, lots of laundry (I do all the laundry on Mondays -- one day a week and then I don't think about it again until the next week. I love it that way), e-mail catch-up, workout with my trainer, fold laundry, quiet lunch while I read my scriptures, make a list of plans for the week, fold laundry, grocery shopping, kids home from school, fold laundry, Nick to saxophone lessons, work on my essay for British Lit class, get some other stuff done, make dinner, eat as a family, fold laundry, get more stuff done. I get a lot done and it's not rushed or harried. Just calm and peaceful. Of course not all Mondays get to be like this one. But a lot are and they're a gift.

Right now for scripture-reading I'm reading the Old Testament. Have to be honest, it's not my favorite. In fact I'll go so far as to say that sometimes I even think, "Ugh, I hate reading the Old Testament." Lots of lists of names and lots of wars. I feel like I'm literally just slogging through.

BUT, if I read the Old Testament study guide, I appreciate what I'm reading so much more and get a better historical sense of what's going on. Here's the guide I like the best. (Old Testament Student Guide--for Institute)

Today two scriptures jumped out to me (without the manual pointing them out).
Joshua 11:15 -- "As the Lord commanded Moses his servant, so did Moses command Joshua, and so did Joshua; he left nothing undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses."
Joshua did everything the Lord commanded. We know we can't be perfect, but we strive to obey all the Lord's commandments.

Yes, sometimes we get overwhelmed by all the things to be done that "feel" like commandments (work at the cannery, make sure our kids memorize the scripture photos, plan a roadshow, prepare a song to play in church, don't miss Relief Society activity night.) These aren't really "must-do's."

And sometimes we feel like we're doing everything "we're supposed to do" but we aren't really reading our scriptures faithfully, praying thoughtfully, or attending the temple regularly. We think we are because that's the type of person we generally are and who we want to be. But then we realize it's been a few months since we've been to the temple or because the Old Testament feels like kind of a drag we realize it's not been just a few days since we've last read, but a few weeks. (And at my age/stage, one verse before drifting off to sleep really doesn't cut it.)

On Sunday I read an article in the Ensign by President Uchtdorf called "Aiming at the Center" which talks about exactly this.
"As Church members, we sometimes have a tendency to attach ourselves to gospel programs, issues, and even doctrines that seem interesting, important, or enjoyable to us. We are tempted to draw targets around them, making us believe we are aiming at the center of the gospel. 
"Anciently, religious leaders spent a great deal of time cataloging, ranking and debating which of the commandments was the most important." 
"...When the Savior was asked which is the great commandment in the law, he answered, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart... and the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
"The more we learn about God and feel His love for us, the more we realize that the infinite sacrifice of Jesus Chris is a divine gift of God." --Pres. Uchtdorf
This goes back to my mantra: It doesn't matter how spiritual your parents are or your friends or your neighbors, if you want to have a testimony, you have to read the scriptures, say your prayers and go to church. There's no other way.

I also loved this:
Joshua 13:1 -- "Thou art old and stricken in years, and there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed. 
No matter how old, there will always be work to be done!

Speaking of old (NO!! I'm totally kidding!!!), I called my mother-in-law to wish her a Happy belated Birthday (January 21 is her actual birthday -- Happy Birthday, Mom!) We had a fun conversation -- we always do. She said she had so many friends call her to wish her a Happy Day!

Riding the bicycle built for two over Thanksgiving!
As we were saying good-byes, she said something to the effect of, "You can cross me off your list!" And I laughed and said she was on my list today. But as I was driving home from the store, the old 80's song, "I just called, to say, I love you!" came on the radio and I thought, "Oh! I'm going to call EC right now!" Thank you Stevie Wonder for the reminder!

EC said, "Wow! That was a popular song when my sister Jane was dying (of breast cancer.) I heard it back then and would call her and say, 'they're playing our song!'" She then told me today she was wearing the sweater Jane had knit her (or was it the other way around?).

Well, call it coincidence. I call it inspiration. And I said, "Clearly Jane wanted you to know she was thinking of you too! But when did she pass away? It wasn't around your birthday was it?"

"Yes, it was. January 25th."

That's more than inspiration -- definitely divine intervention.

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