This post ties in with another post titled “The Work Is Good For My Soul” – you can read it here.
After my experiences with J. and my children, school, church, family time and other things this last week, I have struggled a bit to find my balance again. I need to take care of my family of young children (midnight is NOT a good bedtime for a 3 year old), but feel guilty for not being available to help D. every night.
I am studying King Benjamin’s Farewell Address found in Mosiah in the Book of Mormon, and really appreciating what King Benjamin taught the Nephites about the Savior’s sacrifice and gift for each of us. I am grateful that he took the time to lay out the plan and purpose of the Atonement, our responsibilities once we know the truth, and the promises that accompany our obedience to the baptismal/temple covenants we make in our journey through this life.
I also am delighted that he took time to be specific about our roles as families – both as parents and children. It is such a powerful statement:
13 “And ye will not have a mind to injure one another, but to live peaceably, and to render to every man according to that which is his due.
14 And ye will not suffer your children that they go hungry, or naked; neither will ye suffer that they transgress the laws of God, and fight and quarrel one with another, and serve the devil, who is the master of sin, or who is the evil spirit which hath been spoken of by our fathers, he being an enemy to all righteousness.
15 But ye will teach them to walk in the ways of truth and soberness; ye will teach them to love one another, and to serve one another.”
We refer to this when we are getting out of control behavior-wise within the family. As we read it and begin the repentance process, it is a wonderful invitation to the Holy Spirit to return to our home when we have been fighting or arguing. It also helps me to remember where my priorities must lie. King Benjamin goes on about our responsibilities to others:
26 And now, for the sake of these things which I have spoken unto you—that is, for the sake of retaining a remission of your sins from day to day, that ye may walk guiltless before God—I would that ye should impart of your substance to the poor, every man according to that which he hath, such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and administering to their relief, both spiritually and temporally, according to their wants.
As I am reading this, my heart is feeling heavier…how can I do both?? The children are young and desperately need to return to our normal schedule. But D. is still suffering from her normal problems, plus now she is lonelier than ever. I am worried about her eating right to control her diabetes among other things. Then I read the next verse:
27 And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it is not requisite that a man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done in order.
Suddenly, the weight was gone. I do not have to shoulder all this right now. I can let it go! I will do what I can…and there are things that I can do for D. that she needs and will not interfere with our children’s stability, health, or evening routines. She would love a hot meal at lunch time, a quick phone call during the day, an occasional visit with the family.
That is what I can offer and it is acceptable to the Lord!