Friday, March 11, 2011

The last few months I have found myself with a renewed desire to improve in all things Church-related. I had become way too complacent-even lazy about my testimony and the things I know I need to do to keep it and strengthen it. I started by vowing that we would have family prayers and scriptures every night. This is not something that  was consistently achieved in my home growing up, try as we might. Having a young family of my own, I can see why. I'm sure those reasons will become painfully more obvious as we reach the teenage years, but for now you are willing and eager participants. Especially Bella. You never let us go a night without scriptures, and always beg for one more. (We read from the simplified, illustrated ones for kids put out by the church.) Nevertheless, I knew it was an essential practice in our home and I finally, 5+ years after Bella was born, decided it had to happen now. So for several months now, we have consistently had family prayer and scriptures before bed at night, whether Daddy is home or not.
My next goal is having regular Family Home Evening, another tradition that was not held regularly by my wonderful and well-intentioned parents. We haven't had so much success in that arena yet.
I also committed to my own personal prayer and scripture study in the mornings, which with small children can be difficult to say the least. Bella is in school now, so after I see you off it's just me and Fiona for the day. Mercifully, Fiona stays in her crib for a couple hours after Bella leaves so I use that time in quiet reflection, study and prayer. (Not for 2 hours though! I also get caught up on the internet, occasionally do some housework, and sometimes take a nap. At 8:30 in the morning.)
Daddy and I are also committed to paying a full tithing.
It should be obvious, but I am a slow learner: The blessings that have come from these practices are innumerable! Having struggled with depression for years, I find myself more steady. Of course I have bad days, and sometimes they stretch out longer than that-but on the whole, I find myself more constant. My impressions and promptings from the Spirit have greatly increased as I am more worthy of and sensitive to them. I am more able to receive revelation for myself and my family. I feel uplifted. I have greater patience, peace, faith and acceptance. It is amazing to see my confidence, which is usually so lacking, grow and strengthen, even though nothing has outwardly changed.
When we dedicate ourselves to practicing the basic but essential things that will draw us closer to the Lord, we are blessed exponentially. We are greater in spirit, more able to feel His love, and bless the lives of others-most importantly our families.


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