|"Mary" by Howard Lyon|
"Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God;"
This past week has been one of "house recovery" and organization for me-- and I'm nowhere near "done," (Are we EVER done? I have suspicions that there's no such thing...) but I see improvement, and that's encouraging!
But in the midst of the dust flying, and all the attempts at establishing "Order," I realized that my heart is not yet in the right place. And if my heart and priorities are not in order, then of what benefit will my clean house be? So, I asked the Lord for His help and guidance, and what He sent me has given me great peace.
THEN, as I sat down to write this post, I found that prioritizing is not a quick, once-a-week topic to cover! So, please bear with me as I post a few times this week on the subject of "Organize Yourselves."
Sister Julie Beck's address at BYU Women's Conference in 2010 went right to my heart. The second I read it, I knew that the Lord had placed the help I need right in my hands. I printed it out and marked it up, and I'm excited to share what I've learned!
Sister Beck said:
I have said lately that women are like lionesses at the gate of the home. Whatever happens in that home and family happens because she cares about it and it matters to her. She guards that gate, and things matter to that family if they matter to her.
Sisters, you are each like the lioness at the gate. This means that there has to be some prioritizing. I was taught years ago that when our priorities are out of order, we lose power. If we need power and influence to carry out our mission, then our priorities have to be straight.She then shared her system for prioritizing her life, and I decided to try it in my home, too.
There was a time when I needed to prioritize, and in one of those sacred meetings between me and the Lord, He gave me three categories that I have worked from, and they have been a guide in my life. The categories are the essential things, the necessary things, and the nice-to-do things. I started writing those things down. I asked, “What has to go in the category of essential?” What things must be taken care of, and if I don’t take care of them, the blessings of eternal life won’t be mine nor will they be my family’s?Her entries in the category of "The Essential" was a perfect guide for me. (Her direct quotes will be written in italics below.)
- Revelation: What does Heavenly Father want me to do? "I have to be able to know the mind and will of God. therefore, I have to do the things in my life that put me in a position to hear His Voice."
- Scripture Study: In order to stay in tune to the will of the Lord, we MUST spend time every day studying the scriptures.
- Personal Prayer: "I have taken a paper and pencil with me most of the time since then to my prayers. I don’t always receive an answer or instruction, but I am ready. I want to be ready to learn what the Lord would have me do in my day. Who needs my help? How can I increase my faith this day? How can I strengthen my family? What things do I need to correct in order to be worthy to receive His Spirit? He will tell me."
- Taking Time to Ponder and Fast with Sincerity: I often forget how important pondering is in my life. And I sometimes inwardly grumble about fasting-- at worst-- or I simply go through the motions-- at best. I realize I need to fast with more sincerity and humility.
- Making and Keeping Covenants
- Going to Sacrament Meeting and Repenting Every Week
- Going to the Temple: I know that my sporadic attendance has not been done with a spirit of service. My baby is weaned, my older children can babysit, and so I have decided to attend a temple session once a week.
- Sharing the Gospel: This is not an easy one for me, and I too frequently tell myself that I am doing my best "by setting a good example." But I know in my heart that I am not doing all I can to bring people-- especially those I love and care about-- unto Christ.
- Service: Am I caring enough for those who are in need? Am I serving my family with love and patience, or with feelings of resentment or indifference? "The Lord said if you want eternal life, give all that you have and follow me."
See you tomorrow for Sister Beck's next list: "The Necessary."