Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Slowing Down

 My family has often told me that I am crazy, but somehow I seem to thrive on being busy.   Open spaces in my calendar fill me with guilt that I surely could be doing more. 

Today I tried my darnedest to post a new FHE lesson.  It was going to be about the fruits of the spirit.  It's all scanned in and half-typed.  But life happened.  In addition to the normal chaos of Mondays which include it being an early release day at school, today was also Adam's birthday celebration at school since his birthday fell on a weekend.  I found myself decorating cupcakes and delivering them to his school in the time I normally would have spent on a lesson.  In past times, I may have knocked myself out and made it happen anyway, but it just wasn't coming together the way I'd hoped anyway, so I'm throwing  in the towel. 

So instead of a lesson, I'm going to share this little photo essay with you with a quote from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf that particularly struck me during the most recent General Conference.    It may be that Ellie is so exhausted all the time from her medicine or it may be that Ellie's mama is so exhausted all the time from keeping up with the kids, but lately I've been really feeling like we need to slow down more and this talk was just the inspiration I needed. 

"Let’s be honest; it’s rather easy to be busy. We all can think up a list of tasks that will overwhelm our schedules. Some might even think that their self-worth depends on the length of their to-do list. They flood the open spaces in their time with lists of meetings and minutia—even during times of stress and fatigue. Because they unnecessarily complicate their lives, they often feel increased frustration, diminished joy, and too little sense of meaning in their lives.
It is said that any virtue when taken to an extreme can become a vice. Overscheduling our days would certainly qualify for this. There comes a point where milestones can become millstones and ambitions, albatrosses around our necks.

The wise understand and apply the lessons of tree rings and air turbulence. They resist the temptation to get caught up in the frantic rush of everyday life. They follow the advice 'There is more to life than increasing its speed.' In short, they focus on the things that matter most.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks, in a recent general conference, taught, 'We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families.'

The search for the best things inevitably leads to the foundational principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ—the simple and beautiful truths revealed to us by a caring, eternal, and all-knowing Father in Heaven. These core doctrines and principles, though simple enough for a child to understand, provide the answers to the most complex questions of life.

There is a beauty and clarity that comes from simplicity that we sometimes do not appreciate in our thirst for intricate solutions.

Strength comes not from frantic activity but from being settled on a firm foundation of truth and light. It comes from placing our attention and efforts on the basics of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It comes from paying attention to the divine things that matter most.

Let us simplify our lives a little. Let us make the changes necessary to refocus our lives on the sublime beauty of the simple, humble path of Christian discipleship—the path that leads always toward a life of meaning, gladness, and peace." 

Thank you to my friend Katie for the inspiration.  :)



Pops and Bon-Bon said...

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing. You were inspired, my friend.

Jocelyn Christensen said...

That was wonderful, thank you! :)

melissa said...

After an experience last night Alejandro and I were discussing a few things and he said the same things you have... focus on the Lord and focus on that which matters most. Thank you for this beautiful reminder!


Karey said...

I loved the message of this talk - probably because I'm the complete opposite of you, Lara - I'm an underscheduler! But even so, I find that we often spend our time on the good things, and not the best things.

Loved your pictures too!!

Katie said...

Beautiful!! (I'm almost embarrassed to be listed as the inspiration here, because yours is so much better than my feeble attempt! ;) Every picture is perfect, and so moving. The one of the kids hugging you & Glen, in particular, is just pure heaven.

Annette said...

I just printed off that talk and read it for the first time. We missed that session of conference because we were at Kate's soccer game, or was it Jared's soccer game. Wait, it was Jared's baseball game ... no, definitely Ella t-ball game. You get the picture.

What an applicable talk for today! This fall season with all our sports, piano, chorus, scouts, church, RS, etc. I have been feeling completely overrun. Thanks for pointing me to this talk. Mind if I borrow your great photo essay style for my blog? I read your friends post too. Puts things into perspective.