Saturday, October 5, 2013

Inspired Homemaker

Okay, so I admit it -- I'm a blogging slacker. I get all excited about blogging for a while and then I start slacking off. Lately it has been the start of my last semester of college that has gotten me so lax. I'm kind of one of those people who does that in life too. I get pretty excited about things...until I realize there's some sort of sacrifice involved in whatever task I have my heart set on. It's pretty lazy and inefficient of me. It's also very human of me.

I remember in my last year of high school, I was starting to skip classes and lose interest in getting good grades. I think my mindset was something like, "If I haven't done well enough in school up to this point, what does it matter if I fail now?" My mom was always getting on me about that type of mindset. She'd always say, "Why start the race if when you get two yards from the finish line you quit?" Totally valid point, and she's right! I mean, who gives up as soon as they get close to the finish line?
Me...that's who.

I always have those habits of starting something, losing interest and then giving up on it only to feel the need to revisit it again. Another example of this would be my diet-exercise routine. I need to lose weight...point blank period. Since we're being candid here, I weighed 178 a week ago. I now weigh 171 at 5'6". Still need to lose weight, but I'm off to a good start. At the start of my diet I had the highest hopes in the world! I had the discipline and the drive necessary so I could keep on it! But after the reality of the difficulty set in, I started feeling like that oh so foolish racer. In my defense, I'm on the South Beach Diet right now and if you know anything about the diet, it's pretty brutal on ya for the first two weeks, known as Phase 1. Nevertheless, I can't help but feel like this is a trend of my life that I have to learn to overcome.

My spiritual life is no different. I go to church and am reminded of all the things I need to be doing. So then my husband and I will sit down and really talk about doing those things. We will plan a time, and we resolve to motivate each other so no one falls behind. And we do that for a while! But then there's one day where either one of us has something to do during the predesignated time and we end up falling short. This would be fine if it happened every now and then. The problem is that it starts out with that one event being the cause of our short fall. But then the next day, the same thing happens. And then the next day, and the next day. And before you know it, neither of us have reminded the other person of the agreement we had for scripture study. 

All human beings fall short at some point in their life. Something that was said in General Conference today made me think of something I should be striving for, that might help me.

Elder David A. Bednar talked about his mother in law and how she was an "Inspired Homemaker". Something about that title seemed so interesting to me! I kept saying it in my mind..."inspired homemaker...inSPIRED homemaker...inspired HOMEmaker..." I just feel like there is so much power in that title! I started trying to disect the grouping of those words. 

= being affected by a divine influence; comes through the Spirit, and benefits all mankind; to be filled with an exalted emotion
I thought about what type of inspiration I have received at different points. The inspiration I received to join the LDS church, to serve a mission, to cut an engagement to someone I cared about, to marry my husband, to finish my degree, etc. The Spirit played a vital roll in all of that and it led me to become a better person than I otherwise would have been if left to my own devices. My ability to complete hard tasks and accept hard things was strengthened so long as I stayed true to that inspiration.
Honestly, my feelings towards homemaking weren't so positive. When I thought of a homemaker, I thought of someone who's job it is to clean up after the lazy people in the home as a way of showing "love". I thought of the woman who always wanted to be a doctor but who gave it up so she could have kids. Or the under appreciated family member, who was always looking for a "thank you" but never got one. In other words, she was selfless. And if there's one thing I can say I am consistently not, it is that.

That being said, I found this quote that you see pictured here. I noticed the woman said "privilege". And that actually shocked me a bit! I suppose I've seen so many women complain about all the things they have to take care of just being a mom that I didn't see how it could be considered a privilege. It always seemed like a burden, but I suppose that has something to do with the attitude the homemaker herself chooses to adapt. The next word I noticed was "thermostat". When I think of a thermostat, I think of how many times you have to adjust within the home if the thermostat is out of whack. For example, I remember once when I was in high school, our thermostat broke. It was in the middle of July in Maryland - all humidity - and my mother was on a trip to California for a conference. The rest of us, dad included, just so happened to be home that day. One of us noticed the cat was panting - he was a Persian so he had TONS of fur - and so we decided to cool things down. We thought we had done that, until all of a sudden it was a sauna in the home. The thermostat read 70 degrees, but the actual temperature in the house was 85. I remember we scrambled all over the place to bring the home back to its comfortable state but it wasn't easy. The thermostat, which normally set the comfort in our home, was now leading to the discomfort of it.

This whole thing has prompted me to take a hard look at my role. I learned from my institute teacher once that we should try to go to/watch General Conference with a question in mind. One of my questions was what should I do for a career. Seeing as I'm graduating in December, it has been on my mind lately. Hearing Elder Bednar discuss his feelings towards his mother-in-law have sparked a change in perspective for me. Perhaps I shouldn't be so fixated on finding a career that will allow me to make my own money separate from my husband. Perhaps I should be concerned with more weightier, spiritual things. Perhaps I should be making sure my thermostat reads correctly so those in my home are comfortable. Perhaps the career is the least of my worries.

Maybe I CAN find joy in being a homemaker. I only recently found out that there's actually a website dedicated to becoming a better homemaker. It's almost...a homemaker support group if you will. And I'm going to look through the site!

I want someone to be able to hear those beautifully kind and admirable words Elder Bednar spoke of his mother-in-law said to me someday. But all of that has to do with the choices I make today. Today, I decide what kind of woman I want to be. THAT is the real thing I should be focusing on with regard to my upcoming graduation.

And something tells me that if I really focus on becoming that person, and strive to have a great attitude about it, my life will be blessed more than I would have ever imagined.

Let the inspirations begin.

PS. For anyone who reads this blog (in my mind I imagine a million people do) I'm going to start asking questions so that you can feel free to post! I love getting comments because of the perspective I gain from them. Teach me something!

Question of the day:
What are YOUR feelings about homemakers? Are they negative or positive and why?

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