December 10, 2009

unwearyingness... and a letter to santa

[yes, i am by nature a strenuous striver, so if my continual 'i wish i were better' rants drive you crazy, don't read on...]

self discipline.
it is perhaps the most eternal, difficult task we must learn.
to control our emotions, our words, our actions.
to get up when we want to sleep.
to sleep when we want to project.
to love when we want to scream.
to wait when we want to go.
to serve when we're selfish.
to practice when we want to play.
to exercise when we're cozy.
to clean when we want to escape.
to listen when we know how to fix it.
to keep on when we want to stop.
to cook when we're not hungry.
to wash when when the mountain is overwhelming.
to have faith.
to be grateful.
to enjoy.
to hope.
to praise.
to continue when it seems like all our efforts aren't enough.

self... is the hardest to overcome... yet, as we overcome our natural selves, we find our true selves.
in forgetting we our found.
isn't that beautiful and hopeful.

that which we persist in doing becomes easier... not that the nature of the thing itself has changed, but our capacity to do has increased. --- henry david thoreau (i think)

Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those thigns which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people.  And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but has sought my will, and to keep my commandments.
And now, because thou hast done this wiht such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and i will make thee mighty in word adn in deed, in faith and in works... (Helaman 10:4-5)

it is easy to see in my children... they are very good at homework.  completely indapendent.  they come home and just get it done.  they find me and ask me to sign.  they sometimes cry at night because they need more time and i "make" them go play.  they have learned self discipline in their school work.  ellie just learned this year.  because she got a hole punch for not doing her homework.  (actually, she has always done her homework, she's just not organized so she leaves it strewn across the family room... now she's VERY concerned about getting her paper signed and in her backpack... it's her responsiblity, her motivations, her grades... not mine.)  piano and chores are different.  drew, he's amazing.  comes home, practices, does his chore and he's out to play.  he doesn't argue or question.  it's quick and painless.  jakob, most of the time is incredible... a few days a week he spends 30 minutes arguing with me... he doesn't want to take piano anymore... he wants his chore changed... why does he always have to do things he doesn't like... anna, really enjoys doing her job and it takes her hours because she dreams and creates.  she doesn't just clean her room, she re-designs her room.  she doesn't just set the table, she creates a table masterpiece, and it takes her ALL NIGHT.  (oh how i am like her)  ellie hates emptying the trash... sometimes she just does it, some days she complains for an hour and her 10 minute job takes her an hour.  jakob is amazing with his bedroom and schoolwork and backpack... he's just organized and clean.  the girls are more like me... huge mess then bedroom overhaul.  somedays i don't even have the self discipline to help them learn self discipline.

watching them, i have learned that
this is not about my kids... it's about me.
i need to get better at just DOING it.
i am always changing my plans.
i set a goal and don't stick with it...
there are so many variables that weigh into my life,
i'm wondering everyday if i should take piano or tai kwan do  (not really, but figuratively)
i make a plan, then it's hard and i doubt myself... i re-plan.
someone calls and needs me and i re-plan.
i'm tired or not feeling well or not loosing weight and i re-evaluate.
there is something to be said for making a plan and sticking to it.
kids thrive on consistency and routine.
and, so do i.

yes.  i do realize that one of my greatest gifts is being patient and flexible.
but, i still want to be more consistent and self disciplined.
i see it in my kids.  i see what i want them to learn and, i need to learn it first. 
i don't think this is a lesson you learn.  i think it's something that we are all continually learning.

self discipline.
hmmm.  i wonder if self-discipline is possible.  i wonder if we need more than self to overcome self.

i'm reminded of a few of my favorite scripture.
psalms 113:9 HE maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children.  Praise ye the Lord.

ether 12:27 And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness.  I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.

ooo.  i love remembering this.

dear God.
i'm grateful that i can see my weakness.
i'm grateful for your strength.
i'm grateful for your peace and the love and acceptance and grace.

i'm grateful for my home, my family, my friends, my school, my husband...
for those that need me and for a desire to do more each day.
i'm grateful for everything i can do and accomplish in my days.
i'm grateful for the quiet promptings i receive to be better.
please help me overcome.
help me be more disciplined and scheduled and consistent.
help me to go to bed early and wake up rested.
help me find a time each day to study and feel thy will in my life.
help me to create a house of order and peace.
help me to work hard and slow down to enjoy the moments
help me to learn and then teach my children to work hard and be disciplined.
help me to be consistent in exercise and to feel healthy and strong.
i believe that as i do these things, i will be able to serve more.
i believe that as i give up the lazy parts of me, i will become more like Thee.
help my weakness become strengths!

dear santa.
for christmas, i want a stocking full of self discipline.
(clean laundry, an organized and tidy house, to loose a few pounds, dinner at 5pm, daily, meaningful scripture study, a cheerful disposition, more kindness at bedtime, more empathy for dissertations)
and big muscles. (the invisible kind)
love, jen

and now, i will stop talking and start DOING.


Heather Witt said...

Hey. Are we still on for Saturday? Email me...

Taneil said...

Watson....I think she's got it!!!!! Jen it's exactly right seiously. All those years of analyzing together ....finally we've found the answer! This is it!
Love you

Shelley Gee said...

We are so much alike! I had to grin as I read because I was thinking to myself last night and I thought why can't I just start DOING instead of THINKING. That is why I am blogging instead of getting dressed or ready for my first achievement day activity or making my bed and cleaning me room because I haven't slept in my room for 3 months because it is to cluttered. And Christmas, I have so much sewing to do! :D

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