My November has been crazy insane, with no end in sight. I work three days a week, and I always look forward to Mondays and Fridays because those are the days I have off and can accomplish my long list of Stuff I Have To Do. Saturdays, too, but that’s a little more difficult because the children are home from school and we always have a lot going on. So my list of Stuff I Have To Do usually doesn’t get much checked off on the weekend.
Last Friday—Halloween—I worked at the Elementary School Book Fair most of the day, helped with my daughter’s class party, and watched the Halloween parade before I had to begin the afternoon craziness of violin lessons and getting ready for Trick-or-Treating.
On Sunday night, I went to campus with my husband to help put together his tenure binders which were due the next morning. I never imagined it would take us until 4:00 a.m. to finish, but it did! Needless to say, most of my Monday time to do the Stuff I Have To Do was spent sleeping.
This past Friday (uh—was that actually yesterday?), the girls were off school for parent/teacher conferences. I attended a couple of those conferences, ran them around to various activities, taught a make-up lesson, and frantically ran around trying to purchase shirts and shoes and get haircuts so that we would be ready for our family photos this afternoon. And also because I had had zero time to even think about it before yesterday.
I’d look forward to this coming Monday, but I will be making the four-hour-round-trip drive to the orthodontist with my daughter. It just doesn’t end.
One of the things on my long list of Stuff I Have to Do was to make the visiting teaching printable for this month. I finally got to it this afternoon after our photo session (and I am so excited about these photos, can’t wait to show you!), even though my house is a wreck and I still haven’t taken down the Halloween decorations. And Thanksgiving is in two weeks, give or take a few days.
Which is exactly why I chose Elder Perry’s talk from October’s conference for my Visiting Teaching printable this month: Finding Lasting Peace and Building Eternal Families. Our lives have been more overstuffed than usual lately, and we have all felt the rushing and the insanity and we have not had much time for just sitting and feeling peace. And since PEACE is my word for this year, it makes me feel even worse that I have been running around like a crazy woman because that is not what I actually want for myself.
However, Elder Perry’s talk helped me to remember how important family is in the eternal perspective and that maybe my never ending list of Stuff I Have To Do really doesn’t matter all that much in the big picture. Even though I’d really like to finally vacuum the living room and clean the toilets, the vast majority of the things I’ve been doing instead of all the Stuff I Have To Do is family-oriented.
Volunteering at the Elementary School is so important to youngest daughter. She LOVES it when I take the time to come in, and it made her feel so special to be able to come and help me for a while at the book fair. She loved having me at her Halloween party and it was absolutely adorable how she treated me like a princess, served me up some treats, and made sure I was comfortable sitting at her desk.
Helping my husband—my eternal husband—with his tenure file, was not only important to him, but to our entire family. We do want him to still have a job at the end of the year, after all! But it was a way to show him how much I love him and want him to succeed. Besides, the poor man had been pulling all nighters pretty much all week what with trying to keep up with grading, teaching, and putting together his tenure.
Sleeping is important to me—I’ve learned I’m not a peaceful person without it. This month I am focusing on getting enough of it and not pulling late nights myself no matter how much Stuff I Have To Do.
Spending time with the girls yesterday while they were home from school was important. I took them each on a little mommy/daughter date to buy them new outfits for family photos and we had such a good time together! And even though I seem to spend a ridiculous amount of time in the car chauffeuring them around to their various activities it is a wonderful time to just be with my children and chat with them and strengthen our relationships.
Then there’s the far-away orthodontist. It would be nice if my children didn’t need braces, but they do. It would also be nice if we didn’t live in such a remote area, but again, I do enjoy the drive down with my middle daughter because it’s a great time to really get to know her. Of all my children she is probably needing me the most right now, so being stuck alone with me in a car for four hours is really wonderful.
I’ve learned this lesson before, but it’s sure easy to lose the focus, isn’t it?
It’s also easy to let the world tell me what I need to be doing instead of the Spirit. So the quote I pulled from Elder Perry’s talk is there to remind me to keep my focus on the most important things by letting the still, small voice guide me.
And here it is in Spanish:
How do you keep the focus on your eternal family?