It’s been a while since I’ve written. Anything. I’ve thought of a dozen different ways to explain where I have been, but it really just comes down to one word: distracted. I’ve just been distracted. And over the last few months I have had to stop and reign it all in. Where were my priorities? What things in my life were falling through the cracks? I’m sure most of you have asked yourselves these same questions at some point. And when I tried coming up with an answer, a simple phrase entered my mind: give it up for motherhood.
As I thought about what this meant, I started making a personal list of things I wanted to change within myself and my family. But then I started thinking about what we can all do. Satan is smart. He doesn’t care if we are thieves, murderers, or if we just slack on Family Home Evening, scripture study, and family prayer. It’s the same result: distance from our Heavenly Father. Satan knows how to distract us and it’s time to start seeing through his lies. Here are 3 ways we can lessen these devilish distractions.
Focus less on culture, and more on covenants.
We moms like to do it all. We want to be amazing cooks while striving to be that perfect mix of slender and strong. We want to succeed in a career while taking kids to soccer, dance, and piano. We want to have a spotless and beautiful home while spending at least 3 hours doing yoga, cross-fit, and running 10 miles. When does that leave time for the important things?
Culture tells as that these things are more important than time spent with family. I’m not saying these activities are evil. They can be very good. But they should not be a higher priority. If they are, consider cancelling these extra activities, if need be, in order to have more quality family time.
I’ve actually talked to a few friends of mine on this subject, and they all agree with me but admit that they are too scared to cut out all, or even some, of their activities. Just do what is best for your family. Don’t be concerned about what other kids or parents might think.
Fight for time with your family.
Worry less about political issues, and more on issues within your own family.
Hear me out on this one. I know that these issues can affect our families, and they are important to talk about with our kids. But how often do we get hung up on one thing someone said or a mistake they made while instead, we could be teaching our kids about repentance and Christ-like love?
Bonnie L. Oscarson said, “How much value is there in fixing the world if the people around us are falling apart and we don’t notice? Begin your service in your own homes and within your own families.”
Don’t confuse success with fulfillment.
Ugh. I am so bad at this one. What makes me feel like I’m successful in motherhood? A clean house, a homemade dinner, and smiling children who always get along.
What makes me feel like I’m fulfilled in motherhood? This question took me a bit longer to answer. But here’s what I came up with. I feel true happiness, which I think is a good definition of fulfillment, during the behind-the-scene moments. It’s my tween snuggling with me, talking about everything and nothing – not his perfect report card. It’s my daughter reading stories to her little brothers – not her latest trophy.
We live in a world of self-promotion. We are not living so much as we are performing. Even when we (particularly women) are “serving others” it is often in vain. We want to be noticed for our selflessness. That last sentence makes me laugh out loud. I’ve been guilty of it many times, but it really sounds so ridiculous. You should serve even if your service and integrity are never noticed by anybody and never result in any morsel of fame or fortune. It should be about the person you truly are, not the person you are pretending to be.
Ezra Taft Benson said, “It may be that you too will need to “renounce the world” and devote above 20 years of the prime of life in hopes to save the souls of your children.” Give up the culture. Give up the world. Give up the material successes. Give it up for motherhood.