Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What Matters



As a parent, what matters? This was not a question I've been pondering lately, but the answer has been thrust upon me. 

I like to keep our life simple, we're not a "run here and there"-kind of family, but even I found a way to be distracted from what really mattered.

"I want to have kids who love to clean-and-love vegetables-and-I want have kids who are really creative-and-I want ones who are really kind-and...."

I get so excited thinking up different attributes I can ingrain in my kids and make a part of their lives. Like all parents, I want them to be somebody kinda like me, of course, only better. I've had my laundry list of "attributes I want my kids to have" growing since before I even had children.  

I think my enthusiasm for "parenting" was shifting my focus from my true purpose as a parent.

Only one thing matters. And that is preparing your child to return to live with their Heavenly Parents once again.

 And that wicked one cometh and taketh away light and truth, through disobedience, from the children of men, and because of the tradition of their fathers. But I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth. -Doctrine and Covenants 93:39-40

 

For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. --Moses 1:39


I am merely a servant. And my children are not clay for me to mold, but individual daughters and son of a Heavenly Father. They have each come here wired with their own little personalities and strengths, and they each have their own agency to learn from this experience--life-- as they choose.

It is not my purpose to form them, but simply to teach them truth. There are many things they will learn through trial and error, through experience. But truth, the truth found in Jesus Christ and recorded in His church, while the fruits can be seen by others, this life-changing Truth must be taught.


Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:

Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. -Matthew 7:13-14


The truth I am privileged to know and love--- that I am a child of God, that God has a plan for His children, that Jesus Christ was the perfect example of finding true happiness--- it is my charge to share this with my children. Missionaries are willing to share this knowledge with complete strangers. Sharing this knowledge with our children is meant to have its proper place as our entire purpose as parents-- and servants of our Heavenly Father.   

We cannot add reading scriptures on to a long list of 'to do's'. We can't push off Family Home Evening because the kids are too little to listen. We can't lessen our family prayers because they don't seem to get it. For me, it's as if a list of everything I ever wanted to teach my kids have gone fuzzy in my mind, and in their place, in bold black letters are these three rituals.

God's way is completely different than the way we are familiar with. He was born "all wrong"--in a dirty stable. He told Martha to stop doing the dishes and come, listen to the word of God. There is much work to be done in God's kingdom-- but that work should never keep us from taking time to "be still and know that I am God."

This is what I have learned that matters. 


"Some of you have heard me tell how overwhelmed my husband, Mel, and I felt as the parents of four young children. As we faced the challenges of parenting and keeping up with the demands of life, we were desperate for help. We prayed and pleaded to know what to do. The answer that came was clear: “It is OK if the house is a mess and the children are still in their pajamas and some responsibilities are left undone. The only things that really need to be accomplished in the home are daily scripture study and prayer and weekly family home evening.”  -Linda S. Reeves

4 comments:

  1. Oh thank you, this is what I need to hear and write about so I can work with the people that my children already are rather than get frustrated when they aren't exactly the impossibility that I dreamed up. I'm going to try to be refocused on the big things that really matter. Thanks again,
    Jill

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    1. Thanks Jill, always for your kind comments. I wish we could have gotten together while I was in Utah! Thanks for your friendship to me.

      Sincerely,

      Ashley

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  2. please keep writing. you truly understand what this life is about and i'm grateful to be able to learn from you and be reminded of the things that matter most!

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    1. Thank you Carly, always for your kind words!

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