Carter gets into the pool, ready to swim!
Carter, post swim!
As a perfectionist, I often find myself overdoing things. I push myself to go further and be better than is really necessary. I often catch myself overworking in my household chores. Simple tasks that should take only minutes end up taking hours due to my irrational need for something to be "perfect." As I have left school and am home full time once more, I have found that I lost my balance (if I ever had it) for all of the work that is to be done within a home (not to mention the things that are NOT on a "to do" list- like hugs, cuddles, and tussle break-ups).
Being prone to overdoing a job that composed of recurring tasks is a prime setup for feelings of failure and burnout. I can push myself to exhaustion by making sure every last dish is spotless and in its assigned place. I can drive my energy to nonexistance by putting away the last peice of laundry and starching that one last shirt. and I can certainly labor for hours making a dinner that is organic, healthy, and delicious... But tomorrow there will be more dishes to do... more shirts to fold... and more dinners to make... Perfection is not a healthy way to run a home.
My perfectionist side comes with a very high price. Yes, I may generally look somewhat put together, have amazing grades, and a beautifully kept house- but it can come at the cost of my sanity. I unnecessarily work too hard and become highly irritable- snap at my children, nag at my husband, and go into crying fits. NONE of these things are the traits of a good mother. Perfectionsim in housekeeping is not God's way.
The worst part of perfectionism is what happens when I get burned out... which, if I focus on "perfect," is way more often than I would EVER care to admit. I end up in a sobbing heap on the couch, with my children running wild, and my husband attempting to console me. I end up in bed for days on end in a semi-depression, where I lack motivation to do anything because NOTHING I do is good enough. ICK! Is THIS what God would have me do? NOOOOOOO.
The scripture above asks that we not eat the bread of idleness. It does not say work until your hands bleed (yeah, I have done it...) or scrub until you pass out (yup, done this too). Taking a necessary and healthy rest, or break, is NOT idleness (For an AMAZING thought on breaks, read here). No! This scripture speaks to my heart, because it reminds me that the days when I burn out (for totally unnecessary reasons brought upon myself) IS idleness- and is not what God wants from me.
Now HERE is what God wants from me! Not a spotless livingroom, or perfectly arranged bookcase- He wants me to be the kind of woman whose children call her BLESSED, and whose husband sings praises! I gain such hope and joy with the thought! Instead of fussing over tasks that could be done quickly (or not at all), I could be doing something special and kind for my family. Imagine if my husband came home to a happy wife who may not keep a perfect house, but has the energy to give abundant love to her children and himself. Imagine my childrens' joy if their mother took the time to sit down and play with them, instead of simply supervising while she did other tasks (I am so guilty of this... the location the children play often is dictated by whatever zone of the home I am cleaning).
Proverbs 31 is a really amazing scripture, and I aim to be like the Proverbs 31 woman =)
Years ago our Church came out with Pass Along Cards. These wonderful little cards fit in pockets or purses, and are meant to be shared. Kurt and I are the only ones in either of our families that are members of our faith. So often we want to share our beliefs, but we were never sure of how to do it- especially when most of our family members live so far away. Last Christmas, we took a big step (for us) and we included some beautiful Pass Along Cards in our Christmas cards. It was our first step in sharing.
Last General Conference we heard a wonderful talk from President Uchtdorf, where he told listeners, "With so many social media resources and a multitude of more or less useful gadgets at our disposal, sharing the good news of the gospel is easier and the effects more far-reaching than ever before... My dear young friends, perhaps the Lord’s encouragement to “open [your] mouths” might today include “use your hands” to blog and text message the gospel to all the world! But please remember, all at the right time and at the right place. Brothers and sisters, with the blessings of modern technology, we can express gratitude and joy about God’s great plan for His children in a way that can be heard not only around our workplace but around the world. Sometimes a single phrase of testimony can set events in motion that affect someone’s life for eternity." (Waiting on the Road to Damascus, LDS General Conference April 2011)
Since President Uchtdorf's talk I have looked for ways to share my faith, at the appropriate time and place. I have found that my blog is a wonderful way to share my faith, especially as it will likely be shared with my grandchildren some day! I have used Facebook as a way to share faith as well, sending encouraging LDS messages or videos to friends that need uplifting, or quoting scriptures or leaders.
All of these are nice, I know, but the most important thing I can do is prepare my sons for their missions. By encouraging them in their hopes and plans for missions, I am really able to apply this scripture to my life. The best missionaries are the most faithful young men, and as I continue to grow spiritually, so will they.
I am so thankful for missionary work. My husband and I love our Church, and adore our leaders. We are thankful for the sacrifice that all missionaries make, and the little seeds of faith that they plant everywhere they go. We are so excited for the day that we will welcome home our sons from serving their own honorable missions, and celebrate their dedicated service!