Saturday, February 2, 2013

Practice, Practice, Practice

Quite the discouraging week (or more).  I'm having a streak of migraines again, and I'm so very walloping tired.

My dear Father in Heaven keeps trying to teach me some lessons about my worth--specifically that it is in no way tied to what I accomplish.  I'm not a very good listener.

He sent this BYU devotional by Brad Wilcox my way.  These may be links to it.  It's titled, "His Grace is Sufficient."  (If not, go to and google Brad Wilcox)

In a nutshell:
He related grace to piano lessons.  Your mom pays for piano lessons.  Then she asks you to practice.  If you practice, it doesn't pay the teacher, and it doesn't pay your mother back.  But because your mom loves you and wants you to have the blessings that come with being able to play the piano, she pays for the lessons and asks you to practice.  She can see ahead, that it will help you in a lot of ways, and she wants you to be the best you and have as many talents and abilities as you can.  If you love her, you show your appreciation by practicing.  Making mistakes is a part of practicing, it doesn't make you less worthy to play.  It's not a Carnegie Hall or nothing proposition.

Nice.  It's true.  The price has been paid for me, because my best is so totally not enough.  The snake that bit the children of Israel was the law, and it was only looking to the only one who could perfectly keep the law, and who had the power to pay for our failings, that the children of Israel could be saved from it.

The atonement of Jesus Christ is the only thing that saves me, and I love Him so much that I will do whatever He asks, and I trust that it will be for my own growth and good.  I want to be like Him.  I want to do my best, and not waste the great sacrifice that was made in my behalf.  The price has been paid, so now all that remains is my decision about using it and becoming who He wants me to be.

So, I've been depressed and exhausted and sluggish and had a mild to moderate headache on the left side of my head for most of the week.  No preschool, some dinner, some laundry, much clutter...Funny, in reality I got enough done, I just didn't feel like it, and it was like trudging through sand all week.

I went to the temple today (with only a mild headache) and a big prayer in my heart.  I told the Lord that I wanted to be a better person and mom.  I struggled to listen to what I was lacking, what He would have me do.  I carried a pretty big burden today.

The first thing that my tender Heavenly Father did was to tell me in an unmistakable way that I am beautiful and of great worth.  I didn't realize how insecure I'd become.  He loves me, and makes me love myself.

Then as I hesitantly asked Him what I should be doing to improve, so that I might be exactly on the course that He would have me on.  I timidly committed to try my best.  (Knowing that it was probably gonna be a big sacrifice and that I was just so dang weary already.)

The answer was so weird, that I had to sit and ponder to be sure that I heard Him correctly.

 He told me I need to smile more.

What?  Seriously?

I guess the best way for me to be a better mother and wife and neighbor and friend and daughter and to smile more.  Huh.

I'll keep practicing.  His grace is sufficient.
Picture drawn by Sarah Keeley age 9


Kristen said...

Dear Friend,

Go look at this blog article. Maybe it will help.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I like it. I liked Kristen's link also.
We give up our bodies to have children. We give up clean houses to let them grow. We give up our sleep so they can have thiers. A little bit of our sanity slips away in there too. And yet, as I am reading this I am holding a sick, sleepy baby who is running her little hand along my neck for comfort. People who have chosen any other route in life has no idea what they have given up. When has a clean livingroom ever filled your heart to near bursting? -brenda

Jeri said...

Brenda's comment made me cry.

Kristen said...

Here is another one. I think He is sending the nearly same message to lots of us. Perhaps we all should listen.