"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." ~Sister Julie B. Beck
Last time, we talked about making an "Essentials" list. Today, I'd like to share some of my thoughts and ideas on "Necessary" things.
Here's my personal list:
- Make our home an environment that welcomes and nurtures the Holy Ghost; model my home after the temple.
- Make creating "A House of Order" more of a priority in my life. Put more effort into cleaning, de-cluttering, and beautifying my home this year. I've done okay, but I could definitely improve in this area!
- SMILE at my children; hug them, kiss them, read to them more often, sing with them daily
- Become a better mentor and teacher to my children. Make our Gospel study together even MORE of a daily priority.
- Comfort and support my husband. Date him, flirt with him, consider his feelings; really LISTEN to him.
- Become more self-reliant; plant a garden, try pressure canning (I need a pressure canner!), inventory our food storage and keep better records of what we use, and how often we use it. Get our 72 hour kits in order and ready to go.
- GET OUT OF DEBT!!! We are doing better about following the Prophet's counsel to avoide debt, but we still have some things to pay off.
- Study great books and set a better scholar example for my children to emulate. Study when/where they can see me!
- Fill all my Church callings with more dedication and joy! (I work with the 8-11 year old girls in my congregation, and also direct our ward choir.)
Now I'm looking at my list, and comparing it to Sister Beck's. (And YES, I did copy hers quite a bit! That's legal, right? ;-D)
I want to share her list of "Necessaries" here:
I started thinking about my home and family and what was necessary to create an environment or climate where the Spirit of the Lord would be. There were some necessary things to take care of. Homemaking took on a new meaning for me. I wanted to make a home where the Spirit of the Lord was present. That meant that even mundane tasks like picking things up and cleaning, became necessary to keep a house of order. I wanted to model my house after the temple. Though that is the ideal, it has never been that perfect. We have to live there after all. A house is peopled with people. People make messes, and we can’t be little soldiers, but it made a difference to me to know that I wanted a house of order. It became a priority to make a place where the Spirit of the Lord could come.
Cooking meals for my family took on added meaning because I needed a place to teach and gather and have the Lord’s Spirit there. It was important to invest my effort in making a home.
At one time I was going through some challenges, and one of my daughters came home from school and put another item on my necessary list. I said, “I don’t feel like I’m contributing what I should or what I could,” and she said, “You could smile. Mother, you could smile.” I thought, “That is a great service.” Smiling took on added meaning for me. Being happy around my family and other people was necessary.
I learned some things from the scriptures—that it is necessary to teach my children to pray and walk uprightly before the Lord. Things like family home evening and time recreating with our family became more necessary and more important. I thought more about my husband and supporting him, and I studied Doctrine and Covenants section 25, in which the Lord tells Emma Smith to be a comfort to her husband with consoling words and a spirit of meekness.5 That took on more importance, and it was more necessary to me to be kind to my husband and to support him in his heavy responsibilities. I also learned from that section in verse 10 to “lay aside the things of [the] world, and seek for the things of a better,” to not ask him to provide things for me we couldn’t afford but value the things that were important for our family—to “seek for the things of a better” and not be tantalized by “the things of the world” that were glamorous.
Becoming self-reliant became more important to me.
I have been reviewing Elder Hales’s words in his talk on provident living and self-reliance about debt.6 When we go into debt, we give away some of our precious, priceless agency and place ourselves in self-imposed servitude. As our freedom is diminished by debt, increasing hopelessness depletes us physically, depresses us mentally, burdens us spiritually. Our self-image is affected, as well as our relationships with our spouse and children, with our friends and neighbors, and ultimately with the Lord.
Becoming self-reliant temporally affects our spiritual self-reliance, and we are going to need to be more temporally self-reliant in the days to come in order to have strong spirits and help the Lord.
Loving one another goes on the necessary list and a few other things. You can make your own list of what is necessary, but there are things that are essential and things that are necessary in order for us to fulfill our responsibilities in the house of Israel and to fulfill our mission.
My little (?) list is really helping me breathe easier and sleep better. I am so excited to see the good this will do in our family!
What's on YOUR "Necessary" list? I'd love to hear all about what goals you are making this Spring! :-)