Thursday, December 8, 2011

a world of difference.

Three (recently adopted) practices that have made a world of difference in our family...

1. holding a morning devotional

2. eating at least one meal per day all together at the table

3. giving priority to scripture study and a small work-out routine as a couple once the kids go to bed

Sacrifices we've made to see these goals through...

We've given up... Netflix. Nighttime vegging. Sleeping in until the kids awake.

We've taken up... Efficiently planning and cooking meals. Dragging our bums out of our chairs.

The blessings cannot all be quantified or even identified, but here are a few we've seen so far...

Greater sensitivity to heaven-sent promptings. Increased patience with our children. More energy. Increased efficiency in carrying out our responsibilities. More time for one another. A decrease in the blues. An inclination toward positivity. Better communication between family members. An increase in righteous desires. Less complaining from us and our children. More frequent conversation about our blessings and love for one another.

You know when things get really, really hard and all the lights feel dimmed, maybe even extinguished? I've been there. To myself I've said the words, "I can't imagine being happy ever again." Those times are real.

Today I feel my heart saying, "I can't imagine being sad ever again." These times are real, too.

I love to think of our first parents in the Garden of Eden. I love Eve. I think she was wise and good and loved dearly by the Lord. She is the mother of all living and I feel a great amount of gratitude for her and Adam's fall into mortality.

"It must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter. Wherefore, the Lord gave unto man that he should act for himself.

And now if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end. And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.

But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of Him who knoweth all things.

Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they having become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon." (2 Nephi 2)

I know that mortality offers misery sometimes. Those times spent in the depths of despair school us that we might come to know, and fully appreciate, true joy. An eternal life spent in paradise with Heavenly Father could only be appreciated by one who had tasted sorrow and separation from Him.

Our joy is made possible by a loving Father who set a plan in motion, extended all of us an opportunity to make choices, and provided a merciful Savior so that we can turn our hearts to the things of heaven with hope.

I'm so glad for this time of great joy and I want always, even in the hard times, to remember that this joy is why we are here.


Heather said...

I had never thought of Adam and Eve in that light before... it all seems to make perfect sense, though. You've given me something to think about today, and a reminder that while things can be hard, it's for a reason.

Bridget said...

Yay for the gospel plan! Thanks for sharing that scripture chain.

RoxanasiEliza said...

I love, love, love your sweet blog! You make me fell the magic evrey day!