(This is because tomorrow- Fast Sunday- is Something Silly for Sunday day, and I won't be blogging. So here it is.)
I'm not the mushiest of girls. I don't like cliche (too many years in creative writing classes.) I don't like sentiment. And whenever all the women were bawling and wiping their noses during Fast Sunday Testimony meetings, pausing for annoyingly long moments of time because they just couldn't speak through the tears, I was rolling my eyes. I hated fast Sundays, and I still hate them. (Except for the ones that Lilly or Mahone insist on bearing their testimonies. It's so cute to hear the things they believe in!)
I was raised LDS. I'm a Mormon. It's not just a religion, it's a lifestyle. A culture. I spent my life paying tithing and taking the sacrament, disrupting Sunday school classes, and making dinners for families who have just welcomed a baby.
Of course, I have a testimony. I don't believe the church is true. I know it is. I have had those epiphany moments in my life where I realized, with perfect clarity that it was right, and that this is where I wanted, and desperately needed to be. I remember them vividly, and I remember the clarity that followed.
You see, I do not weep, or feel a burning in my heart when I feel the spirit. Instead, I get giddy. I laugh. I talk very fast. I want to run and soar. Everything makes sense in my mind, like it's on a different plane. And if I were capable of writing it in essay form, everyone would know the truth. Because it would be proof.
Unfortunately, a testimony only sticks around if you are constantly nurturing it. It doesn't just disappear, of course- but it fades to just memories of those incredible feelings.
Okay. I suck. I have always been pretty good about praying with my children before bedtime. But we are wishy washy on our determination with Family Home Evenings, scripture studies and family prayers, or even official personal prayers (though I pray in my head on a regular basis) Not for lack of trying, though. We just don't have the gumption to keep it up.
This year, though, my new years resolutions were to have family and personal prayer every morning and night, to read the Book of Mormon each night with my children, and have family home evening every week. I also had a goal to read the old testament on my own this year- but I bombed out on that one. The others, I was, and am still determined to master them.
I think it's okay though, that I bombed the old testament, because all my other goals are going swimmingly. I figure, letting one go is okay because I am trying my hardest to do the rest of them with the best of intentions.
The thing is, I have been continually amazed at the level of reception I have gained in only one short month of making just a small amount of extra effort that I have been putting into nurturing my, and my children's testimonies. I don't want to give that up. I feel better. I feel the spirit in my heart more often, and I know that when i open my front door to step inside, it's there already. And it's because I have been trying.
I have mentioned before that I am an avid reader. I read books; novels, of course. But just as much, I crave poetry like I crave chocolate, the way I crave romance and thrills. In the last month, only one has continually demanded my attention.
This poem is one of my favorites. I have many favorites, but two of them are by the same man. John Donne started out a man-whore and then became a monk, and though he was celibate, he was still sensual and turned it into something spiritual. THIS is what makes ME weep:
Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town to'another due,
Labor to'admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly'I love you, and would be lov'd fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
Divorce me,'untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you'enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.