"We can do no great things, only small things with great love." - Mother Teresa

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's Musings

There is something very hopeful about the start of a new year. Even though it is just another day in a long succession of days, it is a good place to start. And so, I am starting.

I have been trying to be better about daily scripture study, prayer, exercise, journaling, and budgeting but without consistent success. Last night, as I read President Monson's "The Three R's of Choice" from October's General Conference, I figured out why. President Monson talks about an experience of Clayton M. Christensen playing college basketball. The summary of the experience was "it is easier to keep the commandments 100% of the time than it is 98% of the time." When I make exceptions to doing things I know I should but aren't convenient at the moment (like exercising when I have put it off until 9pm), the exceptions become the rule. I miss more than I hit. So, I am done with exceptions. I am structuring my time so the important things come first, and the goofing around comes after. That means, for me, as soon as I put the kids to bed, I read, pray, journal and budget. Then, when those are done, I can clean the house, craft, coupon, or spend time looking for my newest passion. I have even printed up a daily checklist so I can keep visual track of my progress!

It is interesting how these things work. Tomorrow is Joy's birthday. She spent a bit of time today planning what meals she wanted: crepes and hot chocolate for breakfast, homemade chicken and noodles and milk for lunch, and fried chicken and milk for dinner. I was so busy with all the things I was trying to accomplish, I didn't remember that tomorrow is Fast Sunday, and Joy has made the decision to fast. (She has worked her way into it gradually - first she fasted breakfast and stopped at snack. Next Sunday she fasted through breakfast and snack and ate lunch. This week she is scheduled to fast through lunch and eat at afternoon snack. This was all her own plan and she has stuck to it.) When I remembered it was Fast Sunday, I talked to Joy about it. I let her know, and then told her the decision was hers to make, but told her that if she decided to fast, I would make her special meals for her on Monday. Well, she was not happy. She wanted to fast, but she really wanted her special meals. I just let her mull over it. After a while, she came to me, slouching and upset. She said she just didn't know what to do about fasting tomorrow. So, I shared what I had learned from President Monson. I told her that, in my experience, was that it was much easier to make a decision and always stick to it, then there was no decision to make and fret over. If she had decided to fast, I recommended that she fast and not think any more about it. The amazing thing of it is, she did it! She agreed, and I haven't heard another thing about it! I wish I was that mature. It is also nice to see the almost automatic blessing I received from having read that talk. I wonder if there are any other parenting tips hidden in last General Conference...

1 comment:

Stacie said...

You are doing an amazing job with that one I tell ya!!! I am consistantly impressed with her!