Thankfulness Project Days 19 and 20
November 19, 2011, Saturday
I am thankful for an adequate paycheck. To be able to finally go grocery shopping and buy what we need without having to sacrifice something ELSE we need.
November 20, 2011, Sunday
I am thankful for a handsome, loyal dog who checks on my children multiple times each night, and is trustworthy, when left in my house alone, not to mark territory, chew my furniture, or get into the garbage. I can't seem to keep him OFF the furniture when I'm not home, but at least all the does there is sleep.
I have a restless, noisy soul. I attribute that to my family history of strong,creative, independent women. It's a good thing, not a bad thing, but sometimes it gets in the way, spiritually speaking.
As has been mentioned multiple times before, I am a teacher in the primary. I have been there for nearly 2 years now, and I swear I learn more there than I ever learned in Relief Society (the adult women's class.)
Today, the primary president stood and told us that she was going to drop a pin onto the pulpit, and asked the kids (and teachers) to to close our eyes and talk to the person next to us, and that we should raise our hands again when we heard it drop. No one stopped talking until the primary president told us to stop- she had dropped the pin and no one heard it because we were talking so loudly. Then she told us to close our eyes once more and be very reverent and listen very carefully. The children (and teachers) did so, and when we heard it drop, we raised our hands. Everyone could hear it.
At church and through reading the scriptures we are taught that the Spirit whispers to us with a still small voice. By the time we reach Sunbeams (the 3 year old's class), it's common knowledge. We sing songs about prayer, and the steps involved. And when you're done praying, the final step is to sit still and listen. We also have a song about being reverent at church, and the last words in the song are "shhh. Be still."
In my younger days, I took that literally. Sit still. Sit still while the sacrament is being passed. Sit still in class. Sit still during family home evening and while we are reading scriptures. Stay on your knees after you pray and listen for the answer.
As I have gotten older, though, I find little trouble in remaining physically still. I've become not just accustomed, but even GOOD at waiting- at the store, for the doctor, in line, for my turn when playing games. And silence, while rare in the daytime hours due to my vast number of children, and, of course, my ridiculous dislike for lack of sound in my home, is still something that I come by regularly in the evening hours. And I have also come to learn that being still in it's "physical form" - sitting still in a quiet room, staying on my knees after my prayer, listening to appropriate music on Sunday- is not enough. It's isn't really ABOUT being STILL. One can receive answers to a prayer in the loudest street of the biggest city. One can receive revelation in an upbeat conversation or in the lyrics of a vibrant song. That is, one CAN- if, in the midst of chaos, one's HEART is still.
I have trouble with this. It seems, in every trial of my life, I have followed the proper procedures. Have faith. Pray- especially when it's hard. Continue to pay tithing and Fast Offerings. Be generous to those that need it. Read the scriptures. Be still and listen for the answer. It WILL come.
I find it difficult, in this situation, to wait. I am impatient this way, though I try very VERY hard. And sometimes, I think that Heavenly Father must think it a great game to see how long he can make me wait before I lose my mind and he finally gives me an answer. The problem is, actions are easy. I know what I am supposed to DO. I know that I should pray, I know that I should go to church. I do those things. I lead my children in family prayer and in Family Home Evenings. We read scriptures and talk regularly about the gospel. I even think that, though I might explode from built up pressure, I COULD get along without complaining at all- the way good, strong, Christian women are SUPPOSED to bear it all with a smile. The problem, for me, is changing the way I FEEL. I can DO the things I've been taught to do, but if my heart rages and stirs and cries out inside of me, I am at a loss as to how to calm it. Be still, my heart- or I cannot receive the answers my Heavenly Father has for me. Easier said than done. When one is disappointed or angry- an appropriately calm outward demeanor is fairly simple to achieve. Even the right words at the right time, no matter how differently you FEEL are easy to give. It's the mixing and brewing inside that cancels out all the correct things I have done and continue to do. Until my soul is utterly broken, I can't be compelled to "shhh. Be still."
My conclusion is weak. And I pose the question: How DOES one change the way they feel?
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