Daily Priorities

One of the reasons I’m taking a break from social media is to figure out how to fit the things that are of a high priority to me into my daily routines and then try to implement them into becoming healthy habits.

Like scripture reading. I did the Prophets challenge to read the Book of Mormon from cover to cover from October to the end of December. It was difficult even though I’ve read it that quickly before. But then as soon as I had completed the challenge, I wasn’t reading my scriptures as often again.

I just remembered that I bought a prayer journal for myself at Christmas time. It was only about $6 on amazon. I started using it this week and it has been incredibly helpful!

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There’s a spot to write a daily scripture verse on each days entry. So what I’ve been doing is reading my scriptures each morning for any length of time I have. Then I go back through what I read and pick out a verse that I feel stands out. I write that one down. Then it has spots to wrtite what you’re thankful for, what you want to work on, and what prayer requests you have. I use the prayer request portion to think about what I would like to pray about that morning; to focus my thoughts. I feel like this process is creating a more “active participation” in my mind. I’m not just saying the same prayers every day. I’m taking the time to think about what is really going on, what I am truly thankful for each day, and what I honestly need to work on or need help with.

Like I said, I just started using it this week but I already love it!

The kids are slowly recovering from the flu that went through the house. Just 2 kids left feeling sick. I’m hoping it will be gone by the weekend and that it won’t make any other rounds through anyone else!

I did have a funny conversation with Vaiden last night. I went in to check on the boys and Vaiden had just gotten into bed when he asked – “How do you do so much all the time?”

The question surprised me and so I responded with – “What do you mean?”

Vaiden – “Well, you take care of 9 kids every day and then when I was doing homework on your laptop, you have like 10 tabs open but they’re all for work.”

Me – “Oh, well I just try to get things done whenever I have the time.”

Vaiden – “huh…”

I was surprised he noticed. I have tabs open on my computer for ceu requirements for my midwifery certification, my email, some research for something I’m writing, and a tab for a few supplies to have on hand I want to order for the birth of our baby in the next few months. So not all of it work related… but most of it!

By the way, it’s completely blowing my mind that there’s only about 11ish weeks until I could meet my baby. Even sooner if he decides to be born early like Tahlia. Thankfully I don’t think I’d go too far past my due date but now that I’ve written it, it will probably happen. Because luck.

 

How to Keep the Sabbath Day Holy

How do you keep the Sabbath day holy? This is different for everyone and each individual and family will have to choose what will be best for them. For me personally, I’ve struggled with this one. Especially with having 10 kids. I’ve limited the types of movies and tv shows that they can watch on Sundays, cut out activities that they can do any other day of the week but probably shouldn’t do on Sundays… like homework. But I’ve felt like this isn’t enough.

I really love what this article said about the Sabbath day.

“The word Sabbath comes from a Hebrew word that means rest, and the word holy means something that is sacred or dedicated to God. The Sabbath is a holy day, a day that’s supposed to be different from the other days of the week. On this sacred day, you should rest from your normal daily routine and dedicate your thoughts and time to God.”

So how do I do this with 9 kids ages 14-4?!

Well…. here’s some ideas. I read through them all and like a few of them. What I’ve basically decided is that it all is going to come down to being more organized. Which is actually pretty difficult for me. It’s just something I have to really try and focus on.

With this pregnancy, my “nesting” has been to really minimize what comes into the house and to declutter what is here. I’ve gotten rid of big items and lots of little items already and it feels like I’ve barely made a dent. I’ve decided that the only way to feel like I’m not living in clutter is to figure out a way to make this home of 11 (12 when this baby is born and 13 when Jordan gets back) is to organize it and make it a home of minimalism. Which again, is going to take some organizational skills… and maybe not sick kids to actually be able to get stuff done!

I feel like the next thing that needs to be done is to go through all of the clothes in the house which is daunting just by itself!

Anyways, back to the Sabbath day… some things that are going to take organization is going to be getting items that will be only Sunday items, like puzzles that we can work on together and maybe a few small puzzles for the younger kids. But then they get put away until the following Sunday. Printing pages to color and activities to do that are Sunday only. Basically, being on top of things to make Sunday feel more special that doesn’t involve just sitting on the couch vegging out on movies that “aren’t bad”.

I mentioned the minimalism thing because this is something I’ve been thinking about but it involves bringing in a few more items to the house. This feels… icky to me while there’s so much stuff already crammed into drawers and on shelves. The clutter drives me nuts. So I need to get this house under control before I feel like I can implement these other things successfully.

I really loved this article too.

The last thing it says is –

“Be consistent.

It won’t do you or your family much good if you do something one Sunday, then don’t do it the next. Children are quick to sense hypocrisy. If you want your Sabbath day activities to succeed, you must do them every week, or else they will become meaningless.”

THIS. This is what I don’t want. I want to create a home where everyone can work together. Where things don’t feel so crazy. Where the kids can expect certain things to happen… and they do. Where good things become routine.

This seems too hard but I know it isn’t. I know it can be done.

This is my goal before this baby is born. To organize this house and family in order to make our Sabbath days truly holy. Not just lazy, or boring, or alright. But holy and family centered. Without the clutter.

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When Music isn’t Enough

My go-to when I’m feeling overwhelmed or stressed is to listen to uplifting music. I have a Lauren Daigle station on Pandora that I’ve spent a year tailoring and it has some really great music! All of it is uplifting and helps to point my heart and mind to Christ when I’m feeling overwhelmed.

But lately, music is not enough. In fact, sometimes lately it’s downright distracting. My mind can’t focus on it. It just becomes noise. More noise than I already have in a house with 9 kids! (Yes, we have 10 but Jordan is on his mission).

The fix? Audio books. Or conference talks. I know that probably doesn’t make a lot of sense. It’s still noise. Still information that my mind has to process. But it gives me something to focus on. Something to learn. Something that’s not background noise. I feel like my mind and heart – while still pointed to Christ because of my audiobook choices – are able to progress instead of stay stagnant.

I think that’s what it comes down to. I’ve felt stuck. Spiritually stuck.

As soon as we got back from vacation, all of the kids got strep. Then a week or two later, we now have the flu going through the house. I have thievsed and even clorox’d the house several times. I’m now limiting sugar intake for the whole family now that Valentines Day is over. I don’t know what the deal is, but this winter has been rough! Thankfully I skipped the strep and haven’t gotten the flu…. yet.

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She NEVER naps anymore. You can always tell when she’s either growing or sick by if she naps.

So far 4 of the kids have gotten the flu and now the tiniest one is down for the count. I am thankful that they all seem to be taking turns rather than all being sick at the same time. But I’m also exhausted! Getting about 5-6 hours of sleep at night, broken up, because of sick kids is not very easy at nearly 28 weeks pregnant!

But like I said – it could be worse.

Because of all the sickness, we haven’t had family prayer as often as we should, haven’t read scriptures as a family as often as we should, haven’t done as much of the Come Follow Me as we should.

I feel like I’m failing at this motherhood thing lately. I feel spiritually stuck. And I feel guilty for not teaching my children the gospel as much as I should.

So music doesn’t work. I was feeling down about it all and decided to do some cleaning and decluttering and spent nearly a whole day doing that while I finished the Christ in Every Hour book by Anthony Sweat.

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It was amazing! I highly recommend it. It helped me to shift my perspective and to remember that this is something I have to work through. And that the kids will not be sick forever. That routines can be re-established and it’s okay to just do our best for now, even if our best just means keeping kids alive and getting 5 hours of sleep.

I’m now starting Angels: Agents of Light, Love, and Power by Donald W. Parry.

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I just started it so I can’t say anything yet but I feel like it’s one I should listen to, so it’s up next!

Things might not get easier, per se. But I’ll get better at handling them… and kids can’t be sick forever.

A Reprioritization

Every once in a while, I can feel myself falling into old habits. Watching shows that aren’t bad… but aren’t good. Reading books that aren’t bad… but aren’t good.

Have you ever heard the phrase “We are what we repeatedly do” or Philippians 4:8 –

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things arepure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

Basically, what we put into our minds become.. who we become!

So every once in a while, when I feel like that might be happening, I take a break from all those things. Social media, books that aren’t my scriptures or other uplifting materials. I go back to my deseret book audio books, conference talks, etc.

This might seem silly to some people, maybe even extreme. But it helps to refocus me. To make sure that my mind is where I want it to be. This isn’t someone else telling me what I should or shouldn’t be doing or that I should be taking social media breaks, etc. (except maybe some nudges from the Spirit) but it’s my choice. It’s something I need. Something I think we all probably need from time to time.

So in the last few days, I’ve listened to a talk by Jack R. Christianson called, “Every Day Power from the Book of Mormon – Fortifying Your Foudation of Faith”. It’s on the deseret book audio app.

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It’s 1 hour long and is phenomenal! You can hear his passion for his faith in his voice. He talks about the challenge to read the Book of Mormon within 90 days that the Prophet extended to the women, which is over now but that’s okay! He talks about many other things too and everyone should listen to it!

The next one I started listening to is “Christ in Every Hour” by Anthony Sweat.

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I’m about half way through it and it is also really moving. It talks about Christs healing power, the power of forgiveness and repentance. And that’s just the half I’ve listened to so far!

I’ve also been able to organize the house more and I completed 6 ceu credits to go towards getting my midwifery certification back as well. The distraction of the world is real! Even in my patriarchal blessing, it states that I will have to be diligent in screening out the things in media, be careful about places I go, etc. That Satan will have no power over me that I do not allow him to have.

Man! I wish I could remember this always! This is why they tell you to read these blessings often! There’s things in there that not only help you with your life, but keep your priorities straight as well.

So here we are. I’m cocooning myself in spiritual things plus goals that I need to accomplish until I feel like I can balance things more effectively.

Thankfully, this journal is one of those things that I feel needs to be more of a priority. Not because I think anyone actually reads it… but because it’s helpful for me to process and get my priorities out of my head somewhere. And this is that place.

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On the Morrow Come I Into the World.

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything here. One of my daughters dropped my laptop and you can no longer see the screen very well. So that was replaced. But then life got busy and writing got set aside.

I’m 26 weeks pregnant tomorrow. Time is flying by and I’m enjoying feeling this new life move around. We found out it’s a boy. Which still blows my mind. God blessed me with 5 boys and now another. I never thought I’d be a mother to boys.

I’ve been meaning to come back to writing here for a while. I’ve procrastinated about it for some reason. But there’s been a topic on my mind, and I wasn’t sure what would be the best avenue to discuss it/get it off my chest, so to speak.

I’ve been wondering, in a purely spiritual point of view – not political. I’ve been wondering – at what point does a spirit enter the body of a fetus/baby? Is it conception? The first heart beat? Birth?

I used to think it was conception. But now I’m not too sure.

3rd Nephi 1:13 says –

“Lift up your head and be of good cheer; for behold, the time is at hand, and on this night shall the sign be given, and on the morrow come I into the world, to show unto the world that I will fulfill all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets”

Christ was doing whatever work he needed to accomplish before being born into his physical body while Mary was pregnant… with him.

Is this closeness I feel to my son because his spirit is in his little body already – like I used to think? Or is it because he is one of my guardian angels and he is sticking close by during this time because he’s just as excited to be here with us as I am to meet him as my infant son?

Again – this has nothing to do with politics. I didn’t want to post this on Facebook because I felt like it would devolve into something I didn’t mean it to be. I am simply curious. I’ve always just assumed that our spirits are “tied” to our bodies once a heart beat is there and we can move in our mothers womb. But after reading the scriptures and thinking about what that implies… I’m not sure.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t love my baby wiggling in my belly any less. I’m just wondering what he’s doing and experiencing. Or maybe he’s free to come and go as he likes and experience both?

Thoughts?

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