Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Temperate and Diligent

My favorite scriptures change from time to time, depending on where I am in life. Right now my favorite scripture is Alma 7:23. It is a scripture that describes perfectly who I want to become. When I think of this particular scripture, it makes me want to be a better person and to try really hard to obtain these particular characteristics. And so I memorized it last week while waiting in the temple to do initiatory. This is what it says:

"And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive, and gentle. Easy to be entreated; full of patience and long suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye may stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive."

I love the words temperate and diligent. I want to be temperate and diligent at all times. I've never been a screamer or a hitter (I agree with Marjorie Hinckley, our former prophets wife, who said that all hitting does is teach that it's okay to hit) but I do raise my voice sometimes, and I do get frustrated and will snap or jump to a wrong conclusion on occasion, but I don't do it nearly as often as I used to. I've been able to improve over the years because I continuously go to the Lord for forgiveness help and He gives me lots of opportunity to practice and refine those skills :). Right now, what I'm really working on is being diligent with my temperance when it comes to our children. I'm learning to stop myself when those feelings of frustration rise, and instead, learning to react with more respect, love and kindness, which is basically giving a temperate response and doing what Jesus would do.

Just this morning after the kids took off on their bikes to school, I found Elisabeth's homework(she's in third grade) on the kitchen table. I had asked her last night before bed, and again this morning during breakfast to put her homework in her bag, so I was a little irritated. I had a couple of solutions pop into my mind instantly. The first was 'fine, she'll get in trouble at school and hopefully learn her lesson.' The other was, "or I could take it to school and say, 'See. That's what happens when you don't listen.' They weren't really bad thoughts and they may have taught her a lesson, but it also wasn't a very temperate or compassionate solution...and would I really be teaching her the most important lesson that could be learned from this situation? Since Annabelle had swimming lessons that morning, I decided to go with the second idea and I'd take the homework to Elisabeth while we were out. I asked the receptionist in the front office to send Elisabeth out to see me and while I was waiting in the foyer for Elisabeth to arrive, a warm and peaceful feeling washed over me(read: prompted by the Spirit) and I felt I needed to use this opportunity as a loving teaching moment. When I saw her walking down the hall I smiled big and held out her homework folder. She smiled back and stopped in front of me. "Hey Elisabeth. Here's your homework folder." She smiled in response and I could see from her eyes that she knew she hadn't done what I'd asked. I didn't need to say anything about that so instead I said,  "In the mornings we're a bit rushed trying to get out to school on time, so maybe in the future, as soon as you're done with your homework, you could stick it right back in your bag so we don't forget it again." She smiled and nodded and gave me a hug. "Love you" we said together and she walked back to class. As I walked back to my van, I felt happy. And I felt grateful to the Lord for being with me and sending me promptings through the Spirit to help me be a better mom in that moment. I love this family of mine and I need all the help He'll send me! (here are a few pictures from our backyard soccer game the other night. Now that soccer season has started up again and Lis is  playing, we do this fairly often)


Angela said...

I love you and your happy little family!! I feel at peace:)

Vanessa said...

Elisa, you continually inspire me. I hope that as our family grows (no that is not an announcement) I can have the patience and faith you have.

April said...

Love. :)