Thursday, March 14, 2013

Scripture Power and Swimming in Jeans

Several years ago when our second child was under a year old, I remember moaning in my bed because our two boys were waking up.  It made me tired just thinking about the nonstop action I would soon be facing.  I decided to ask God to help me with my morning anxiety, and this is the thought that came very strongly into my mind:

"Rachel, you pay 10% tithing on everything you earn before you do anything else with your money.  You do that easily because you've seen miracles from paying your tithing first.  You know that God can do more with your money than you can on your own... so you show HIM faith in this principle by giving to HIM first.  Why aren't you showing him that HE comes first in your day?  If you read your scriptures before you do anything else, you are showing God that you trust HIM to do more with your time than you could do on your own... so show your faith in HIM by reading your scriptures first thing in the morning."

It was a very clear thought, and I could feel that it was a thought straight from God.

I had been reading my scriptures most every day, but I usually did my reading at nighttime.  It is by no means bad to read them at night.  It's better to read them than not!!  I just felt a very strong impression that this principle of taking time to read and ponder the things of God before I did anything else, even if for a moment, would help me to cope and use my time more wisely throughout my day.  I would be opening the door and inviting God to be a part of my life first thing in the morning.

I experimented with this idea, and God helped me to see the miracles immediately:  

When I started to do things that weren't really that important, I felt a gentle guidance to go in a different direction or to completely omit that particular activity altogether. I looked at my list at the end of the day and was shocked over and over again that I had accomplished so much.  When stress would begin to well up in my heart, I was quickly reminded that God was helping me with my day, so I could just let the stress go!! God was my constant guide because I had invited HIM in!

My thoughts were clearer.  Because I am quite scatter-brained by nature, God actually organized the "scatter" in my brain!!  We are all different, and I believe God strengthens whatever weaknesses we have... but we have to invite HIM in to do that.  Prayer is obviously an important aspect of my morning routine of scripture reading and pondering as well.

Eight years and 4 more children later, I continue to be amazed at what God does with my time!  Sometimes, however, it gets tricky because things jumble up my morning routine like a trip, a crying baby, a sickness, or sleeping in.

Recently, we all woke up very late for an important activity, and we were racing around the house feeling very stressed.  I saw all my children running past me getting ready- except for Jackson- my 11 year old.  I called out to him, "Jackson!!  What are you doing?  Where are you?  Why aren't you getting ready? We're in a huge hurry!!"  

He called back,  "Just a minute Mommy!  I'm reading my scriptures first." 

Wow!!  I had born my testimony to them over and over again about the power of reading their scriptures first thing in the morning.  Embarrassed for my lack of faith, I quickly sprinted to my room and read my scriptures.  It wasn't the best scripture study, but it was just enough to clear my mind and give me a better perspective on our day... I felt the stress begin to dissipate, and I returned to my "fast mode" of getting everyone out the door.    

This morning, I woke up to 3 children bouncing and giggling in my bed, so I didn't really have a quiet moment to lie there and ponder my scriptures.  I told myself I would read them later.  That later never came until late tonight; I could not figure out why I felt like I was walking in circles today.  I was so unproductive!!  Finally, I realized I hadn't invited God into my day.  I had just jumped into my morning!!

It's like going to the pool and jumping in with jeans on!  Sure, I can swim with my jeans on, but I'm way more effective when I take the time to properly prepare for my swim.  Putting on the swimsuit takes a little extra time, but it's so worth it once you're in the water!!

I know for a fact that if I would have pulled out my scriptures even while 3 little ones were climbing on me, my meager effort would have opened the door enough to show God that I'm doing the best I can to put HIM first.  In turn, HE would have gladly accepted my invitation and perfected my day.  Inviting God into my day first thing in the morning does not mean that my day runs perfectly, it just means that God is helping my day be what is perfect to HIM for my growth and greatest happiness.

Despite my continual mistakes, today I am recommitted!!  I have seen the effect of my lackadaisical attitude towards my morning scripture study... I like my life so much better when I've invited God into it at the beginning of the day through prayer and scripture study.  I will do better- no matter what comes my way to distract me!!  I didn't like "swimming in jeans" today.