Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity. ~ Margaret D. Nadald
Our Father also gifted us with the nature to nurture, keen sensitivity to the Spirit, selflessness, discernment, and heroic faith. No wonder our Father placed us at the heart of the family and thus at the center of the plan of salvation. We are the Lord's secret weapon. ~ Sheri Dew
I had a conversation with a dear friend of mine last week that made me think a lot about distractions in our lives. This friend has 9 children, also homeschool's, and is someone that I met once at a homeschool picnic for our county over 3 years ago and now the poor thing is stuck with me for life, despite the fact that I've moved 3 times since then!
Anyway, she and I got to talking this particular day, after only brief notes back and forth since we saw each other almost a year ago, because she knew my daughter had gotten an ear infection and she had a remedy for me that didn't involve a prescription (and yes, a combination of bronchitis/ear infection/craziness ensued in our family shortly after my last post... hence the break this mom had to take from the blogosphere!) Okay, so if you're wondering about the alternative for ear infection that would be garlic oil, which I went out and bought since I didn't have time for it to sit and cure when making myself, but I'll definitely be doing that when I get close to running out... I hear the garlic actually warms the oil as it's seeping, isn't mother nature awesome!! Oh, that also led us to a conversation about oils, after which I immediately bought my own "Physician's Kit" and I've been one happy momma! I put On Guard on all my children and my husband's feet after church Sunday (YEP, my husband got home Saturday!!! No, I don't know how long he'll be around, I don't hold my breath for such things, but we sure are enjoying him being home!!!). So, *laugh* my post is about distractions and here I am getting distracted. Anyway! The On Guard stuff is an Anti-Viral, i.e. I just wanted to take a prohibitive step in taking out anything they may have picked up at church. I also used Lavender that morning on a really bad burn I got (think cast iron pan, 425 degree oven, and for some reason my hot pad wasn't actually working OUCH), I put the lavender on, it burned maybe a minute longer, and then the pain was completely gone and my finger didn't have any trace of being burned. Yes, that sold me! The oils that I bought were from DoTerra Oils, and then another sweet friend that I bugged for information on Saturday that's used oils and alternative medicine for years told me about YoungLiving Oils. You can think I'm nuts, well that goes without saying most days, but I really don't think that the weird thing is using plant life etc. that has been put here for our use by a loving Heavenly Father. I think everything here has a purpose, and if you find something that works, go with it! I blogged last year about the movie the Beautiful Truth that highlights the Gerson therapy response to cancer and other ailments, I'm a believer! (You can watch the full movie if you follow that link). Modern medicine is a beautiful thing (hence me even being alive after April's close call), but it does have it's limits and I think sometimes a go at a "natural" remedy before taking medications that require medications to cover the adverse side-effects of the first is definitely worth looking in to. My friend had also mentioned a passage by Joseph Smith that stated his worry for the coming of Eastern Medicine to the West wasn't that he was against the developments, but that he didn't want the people to stop turning to God in their time of need for healing. Anyway! All these things work hand in hand I think, so I'm happy to learn something new (and have some AMAZING cures for simple things hanging around... my finger is very grateful!)
So, on to what I was really thinking about when I started this... again, my husband and I have discussed this issue too, but it's nice when other people outside my home come up with similar conclusions.
DISTRACTIONS.... I'm sure if we pooled our thoughts we could come up with about a million of them from t.v. shows, to jobs, to the latest and greatest car/boat/appliance/electronic. In my opinion, so not a definition straight from the dictionary but perhaps close if you actually look it up, a distraction is something that keeps you from doing what you're supposed to be doing. And what are you supposed to be doing? Well, that is a loaded question isn't it? From what I've studied and researched and yes, have felt, is that the whole purpose of life is to make it back to your creator. I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I believe there is a God who watches over us and wants us to return home to Him, and that our main goal is to do so and to take as many others with us as will come. So, if there is something in my life that keeps me from not working on this goal everyday (my 'work' contains furthering my knowledge both spiritual and temporal, caring for my family, serving others, etc.), then it goes on the distraction list. I know, it's rough how black and white that can be! But isn't it true? Is that extra show or pop culture such and such helping you attain your ultimate goal? My husband and I are way different people today then we were when we started this crazy journey together almost 7 years and 5 children ago... we've had to make decisions and continue to do so. What helps us move forward, and what's a distraction leading away from our ultimate goals? And while we're at it, do we really truly believe in that ultimate goal? That it's attainable? And have we prayed for help in creating a reality that works towards that goal... because if you have the one that I mentioned above I can promise you wholeheartedly that there will be trials and tests ahead because there is an adversary who is very real that doesn't like to see you succeed at the goal you hold most dear to your heart.
So, my sweet friend and I were talking... neither one of us are millionaires or anywhere near being such... neither one of us have anything more then functional vehicles to transport people where they need to go... we have homes that aren't going to be put into a popular magazine anytime soon (well, at least not on the most glamourous list! Maybe on the loud and slightly to mostly disheveled list), but we're happy and despite trials and lack of funds, we both want to add to our family's (which is one of those things we don't say to most people :-D). Why? Well, I'll tell yah, walking around with my 4 children in like having a laser beam attached to my forehead that draws people in and says "please, oh please will you comment about my 'sorry state'?" It doesn't matter how many you have, I think starting at about 2... especially if you have a boy and a girl... people start hoping that you're finished reproducing. Why? Well, my husband and I have wondered if some of it may be guilt driven, but that's all speculation. What kills me is that people think that I care :-D. I enjoy my life, we're mostly happy and somewhat put together most days, and we can't imagine life without any one of our children. So, if I find joy in my life why not add to it? I'm not asking anyone's permission, and I really don't think anyone has the right to be mean about it. Some people can't have children, some have 20 or more (yep, gotta throw out a Duggar comment), and some don't want them or don't want more than "x" amount. You know what I say? MORE POWER TO YAH!
It's important to re-read that last sentence. Your personal choices are just that, YOURS. My commentary here about distractions is just a broad "throw it out there" kind of thing, because that's what I do best :-). I NEVER WANTED CHILDREN, so don't think I don't understand the thought process of most people, been there, done that, I don't need to give that point of view credence here, so I won't but I just wanted you to know that I know the other side and don't need to be informed of it, k?
Moving on. I've read and heard this saying a lot lately, so I thought I'd share it... and no, I don't know if anyone has actually coined the phrase. The gist of it is... the bible tells us to avoid debt because it's a curse and that children are a blessing. Nowadays people apply for curses and deny blessings. Clever isn't it? I bring this up because even in "Mormon Culture" where once it was normal to have a large family, people think you've lost your mind if you have more than 2! Some of the questions posed to us are "how will you pay for college?" "how will you pay for braces?" "what about a big family trip every year?" "what about new clothes?" "what about cars for all the kids?" CAN YOU SAY DISTRACTIONS? I honestly don't care what other people have and how they choose to spend their money. I've seen some heavily spoiled children that come from homes where they are provided everything and I think that's sad for the child that they didn't have to learn to work, but hey, that's the parent's choice and SO NOT MY BUSINESS! My husband and I both paid for college ourselves, I didn't have braces till I was married so my husband and I paid for that, we've paid for our own cars, etc. etc. you see a pattern here? I think we've turned out alright :-).
Okay, so drumroll as I try to pull this all together. President David O McKay taught "that the pure love between a man and a woman is one of the noblest things on earth, and the bearing and rearing of children the highest of all human duties." -This came from Quentin L Cook's article "The True Path to Happiness" in the June Ensign. We also read in the book of Moses that God's work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. I'm sorry, but I just don't see how that can happen if God's spirit children are not able to come to earth because we're being distracted by other things. I'm not saying that there aren't good reasons to not have more children, I'm not saying that there aren't good times to wait a certain amount of time between them.... but what I am saying is that if you are able to have more but are scared because of other people's commentaries (yes, family counts as 'other people'), or are worried about financing the above nonsense completely for your child, take a breath. What else do we have in life if not our families? Here is a great article on Defending the Family in a Troubled World.
Only you will answer for you in the end. Nathan and I have often talked about what really matters. When he retires from his current position will it mattered the hours that he spent at work or the titles he held, will anyone really care? Is that how he'll introduced himself when he picks up a job nowhere near related to what he's done for the government over his first career? Who cares and who matters? Well, I'm pretty sure our children will know and they'll care about the time they got to be with their dad or the days he took off to go camping. I'm pretty sure that the Disney vacations we don't get to take will be overshadowed by the time we spend together and the relationships we've built. And in the end as our lives are coming to a close our grand picture involves our children and their children and even there children coming together for reunions, holiday's, or just because. I never had that dream before, but it is a driving force in my life since our family starting growing. Yes, I get funny looks, but who cares? I get to have real joy. Even if we only were blessed with 2 children or even none, finding joy in children and spreading the message of happiness and good cheer is something to get excited about! Everyone has their own path in life, we're not all the same and I'm so glad for that!
I feel like our family isn't complete and I don't want that feeling to persist knowing that I had control over the outcome and decided that what popular culture thought was important was more important than my job here on earth. Honestly, even over the last year or so I've had to come to terms with what I thought the right age to stop would be. I never wanted to have a child going on a mission and have a new baby of my own... or have a child getting married or having children of their own and having a baby myself. Why? Well, that would be WEIRD! Right? *laugh* Anyway, who knows if it will actually happen, but I've had to let my own timeline goes. Who says it's weird? Why did I have that preconceived notion? I just wanted to be finished in the next 10 years and have everything work out perfect and then I can move on and we can do "xyz" without worrying about having a little one. Not that that wouldn't be nice :-). But I don't know if that's the right thing and I don't think that I really have any excuse to try and force that will in any direction.
Moral of the story? Pray :-). Find out your family's ultimate goal and work toward it unceasingly and personally take your sword (metaphorically of course), and beat away the distractions that are keeping you from doing what you feel needs to be done.
In the end, only you will be responsible for your decisions. It doesn't work for our children to try and say that they didn't complete a task because so and so was distracting them, and it won't work for you either. However, know that there ARE other people along your path who are placed there to be an encouragement as you act upon the spirit... seek them out and shut out the voices that keep you from your potential!