My church has several publications for its members, and one of them is The Ensign. I really enjoy reading The Ensign. I kind of chuckle to myself. I remember when I was younger, a teenager, I would sometimes flip through it and think how incredibly boring it was. I even thought this after I was "too mature and old" for The New Era (the Church's magazine for youth). I didn't think I would ever enjoy reading The Ensign.
Now I devour it.
Life is funny that way.
I like onions now, too.
I was reading this month's Ensign and one short article in the Latter-day Saint Voices section was written directly for me.
You can find the whole article by clicking this link and scrolling down to the third story, "Was I Living the Gospel Fully?"
The part that really struck me was the answer to an issue I have been dealing with recently. I am not longer volunteering, participating in community events, giving much time to family history, working to support my family, and (until recently) serving in a calling. I was feeling a little worthless. Lazy. Like I wasn't good enough at managing my time to be able to get more done in a day.
I have blogged about it, and your comment all helped me immensely, but this short article made all the difference as well.
The author (Carolynn R. Spencer) wrote how she realized that she was living out the gospel by being a mother and tending her children. The Savior has repeatedly asked us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the sick, give shelter to the homeless, etc. And He has said that when we do that for others, we do it for Him.
Well, until reading this article, I had not connected the dots. Jill is often hungry. She is often naked as well. I feed her. I clothe her. I care for her, shelter her, and love her. And as I do it for her, one of God's special, beloved little children, I am also doing it for His son.
As my sister reminded me, my job right now is keeping Jill healthy and happy, and there is nothing else more important than that.
And there are lots of things that I can do while I take care of Jill that will help me not fall into a pit of stagnancy. I can keep my scriptures next to the chair I nurse in and read those instead of watching TV. If I do watch TV, I can watch BYU TV or other uplifting, educating shows, like the Food Channel or HGTV. I can have my laptop next to my chair (like it was today!), so I can type while Jill eats or sleeps on my lap. There is so much I can get done on good days.
And even if I do have a day every now and then when all I did was change 12 diapers, 4 outfits, and 2 crib blankets and then sleep while Jill slept, well, I still fulfilled my second highest calling: being Jill's mommy.
Number one priority is, of course, being Jeff's wife. ;)
Another Ensign article that struck me this week was the one in the middle. You know those ones. They have a bunch of pictures, paintings, quilts, pieces of art, etc.? I usually skip them and keep flipping to the "more interesting" stories. Well, I decided to read it through this month for some reason, and it really made me feel grateful to be a member of my Church. The article is "Pioneers in Ghana," and you can find the pictures and text by clicking this link.
The one that struck me was of the mother with a child kneeling in front of a doctor. The child was very malnourished and the mother had no means to feed her child. The doctor was a member of the Church with access to food supplies provided by our Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). At no cost to the mother, the doctor was able to give her rice, corn, beans, and cooking oil.
Isn't it so wonderful to belong to a church that does things like that? Isn't it so wonderful to be able to be a part of things like that through our tithing and offerings?
I think it's wonderful.