Thursday, May 9, 2013

Called and Chosen Part 1

There are many wonderful things that we are CALLED to do that give us great purpose!

One of my favorite scriptures is in Matthew 22:14.

It says:  "For many are called, but few are chosen."  In Doctrine and Covenants 121:34-36 it expands on that scripture that the reason that many are not chosen is...(vs 35)"Because their hearts are set so much upon the things of this world..."

When Abe and I were engaged, our Bishop advised us to spend our money on life experiences rather than nice furniture.  We have taken that advice to heart.  We have felt called to home-school our children and take them on lots of trips for their enrichment.  (I realize this calling is not for everyone.)  Because we have so many young children, our home has a "different" beauty right now with toys and text books as our decor.

Yesterday, there was to be a meeting in our house.

As I walked around our home assessing the cleanliness, I became frustrated as I wiped ketchup off one wall and muddy hand prints off another wall.  I swept cereal and left-over salmon off the floor from the night before because the previous sweeping job had not been done properly.  I put away cups and bowls that had been haphazardly thrown around the room by my little rascal.  I mopped the floor; and less than 2 minutes later, little muddy footprints led a trail straight through the middle of the newly-mopped floor.  My couches were ripped where children tried to "fix" little holes, and of course handprints covered our windows.

As I focused on the stains and smears and smudges, I began to think about the beautiful, newer homes that are spotless with no ripped furniture.  I started to dislike my house more and more.  I wanted a nicer place, and I felt discouraged that our house was so blah.  Let me make this clear... it is perfectly ok to want a clean, nice home with nice furniture that is not ripped if you happen to have that...  WE WILL HAVE THAT SOME DAY I ASSURE YOU!!  :-)

...but it was NOT ok to negatively focus on the things I was missing because of what we chose for our lives.  As I negatively dwelled on the sacrifices involved, my spirit dampened.  An extended negative focus on the sacrifices involved causes us to "settle" for a lesser calling instead of accepting the greater one that God would have us perform.  We even begin to forget what it is we even really desired in the beginning.

When we got married I committed to live in a hut, if we needed to, as long as we could spend lots of time together as a family.  Thankfully, we have much more than a hut, but maybe if I could better remember what it was that I originally desired, the smears, smudges, and messes wouldn't be such a burdensome sacrifice.

I believe that when we are truly CALLED to do something, God places an ability and passion in our hearts to accomplish great things as long as we choose to fully accept the sacrifices that accompany that calling.

When I had my first baby, it took me a little while to fully accept my CALLING of motherhood.  For a while, I was still trying to hang on to my previous schedule of sleep and freedom- thus not fully finding the joy in my calling.  Hanging on to those things that were not congruent with motherhood yielded a sad heart.  My first child was in the hospital a lot, and we carried around a huge oxygen tank everywhere we went for over a year.  People would look at my baby Jackson and exclaim, "Oh how sad!"

I didn't want sympathy; I wanted my beautiful baby to be healthy!  I didn't want the stress of worrying about him losing his life every second of every day; I wanted to experience motherhood the way I saw others experiencing it.

Once I took my mind off of the things that I was missing out on, my joys in my calling in motherhood increased 10 fold!!  Experiencing joy meant that I had fully accepted my calling and pushed away the longings for the experiences that I felt like the rest of the world was enjoying.  God does not want us to push away our deepest desires... HE wants us to rediscover those deep desires and apply them to what HE has called us to do!

Often people ask me:  "How do you do all that you do?"  I respond, "It's what I have been called to do, so God helps me!"  Our efforts are amplified when we choose and accept the path to become who God intended us to become.

We are all called to do many great things!!  Accepting the sacrifices involved requires great faith in our greatest supporter... Jesus Christ.

I testify that with Christ at the helm of our lives, we will be chosen by Christ himself to do a great work in every aspect of life!

What was today's miracle?  I remembered that at one time I joyfully accepted the sacrifices- messes and all-  in order to have the type of family I felt chosen to create.