Sunday, November 27, 2011

Getting Out of the Way

I haven't felt the need to write much on my blog lately.  I suppose many of the things going through  my mind lately have been rather personal and have felt just fine staying my private journal.  I have learned some things lately, though, that I wanted to share.

I commented to a friend a few months ago that I tend to be a better mother when I am under stress - like when the toddler has splattered spaghetti sauce on the ceiling, the 5 year old has spilled the milk all over the floor, the 12 year old is mad at her brother who won't leave the dog alone, and things just seem out of control.  It is at these times that I am better able to just laugh and turn it all over to the Lord.  I can see Him smiling down on me and I reach up and we move on together.

I realized that I needed to do this a lot more often, not just when things are crazy all around me.  I needed to let Him take over and just follow along.  Interesting opportunities for growth have presented themselves to me and I have learned a few things as I've been trying to turn things over more.  I wanted to share some of them on here.
The pictures are from a skit Spice put together for her youth group.
She never presented it, but they had a great time acting it out.

Sometimes I get in the way
At times I think I am wise in my own eyes.  Heavenly Father gives me an idea about how to raise my children, for example, and I take it, make it my own, and then I get in the way.  I might come up with a system on how to implement the idea and then get so wrapped up in the system that I forget to keep seeking the guidance I need every step of the way.  I start to think I am in control instead of my Heavenly Father.

Cleopatra on a boat to see Julius Ceasar
For example, I may realize that I need to rid our home of contention.  I decide that if two children (it takes two) start to bring contention into the home, they both go to time-out (a system).  As I try to implement the system, one of my children starts to argue with me about how it is not fair.  Instead of seeking guidance about how to handle the situation (turning to God), I get caught up in the system and bring contention into the home by the way I demand that the system is followed.  Not that there is anything wrong with teaching children to obey the rules, but the problem comes when the peace in my heart is replaced by pride and the desire shifts from doing the Lord's will to carrying out my own will.

It's a subtle shift, but a perilous one.  I have recently learned that one way to keep myself out of the way is to accept opportunities to serve (seeking to know by the Spirit which opportunities to accept).  This unites our family in a common purpose as we all seek to bless those around us.  I'm not saying that all opportunities have to be "family service projects", but as individual members serve others - we share common goals and help each other draw closer to Heavenly Father.
Cleopatra in a rug being presented to Julius Ceasar :-)
I have recently been given the opportunity to serve in Spice's homeschool youth group.  My friend, who started the youth group and has created an amazing learning environment for my little girl, is moving.  She asked me to take her place.  I made it a matter of much, much prayer because I did not want to get involved in anything that would take my time away from my family.  I was blessed with the peaceful assurance that Heavenly Father approved of my helping build His kingdom in this way and that He would help me with my family.
Some of the youth group on a field trip, it was an amazing experience that I
wrote about elsewhere, but maybe I copy and paste it on this blog for my personal records.
It has been a great learning opportunity for all of us.  I am turning more to the Lord because it's quite impossible for me to do it on my own.  We are working together for a common purpose as a family (the kids all wanted me to do this and they are contributing to making it happen) and I am learning to follow the Spirit on a deeper level.  I can see this all going wrong if I loose sight of why we are doing it and I get caught up in the systems.  I have to stay close to the Spirit to make this work, or my family will suffer.  It's been quite a growing experience so far.  We'll see if we are up to it!  If not, I'll see disorder and disunity in my family, we'll let the youth group go, and I'll go back to getting my family in order.  So far so good (not perfect, but we're heading in the right direction together as before).

LOL, I planned to write more about the different lessons I have learned and I only got to one of them.  I'm out of time, but there is one more that I really want to get to, so hopefully I'll find the time to blog about it soon.  I miss my blogging friends that I don't see in person! I hope you are all doing well!