April 09, 2010


have you ever tried to take a day off?
stayed in your jammies, stayed in your bed, totally VEGged out.
(watched crap tv, read books that don't edify, zoned out crafting while your kids destroy your house, spent hours blogging or serfing the internet, volunteered or served in excess, obsessed over your clean/organized home, slept way too much, wrote to-do lists that you will never do, spent too much time coveting or feeling sorry for yourself or feeling victimized by your life, spent too much shopping for the thing you need to fill the hole you're feeling, ate, drugged out, sought numbing by any worldly counterfeit for peace???)
we all have tried.
How do you feel afterward?
No matter how many times I try to ESCAPE my life i always come away with the same feeling.
It's not worth it.
there is ALWAYS a monday morning hangover.
I've heard a saying, "There is no rest for the wicked and the righteous don't need it."

(i know, i know, you are shaking your heads and disagreeing right now, but hear me out...  or maybe you know exactly what i'm talking about-- cause you like me have learned this 100 times...)

my church does not believe in HELL... well, the fire and brimstone burning hell.
our view of HELL is DAMNED.  Stopped in our progression.
(fire and brimstone-- figurative of the internal burning of regret.)

we get a lot of crap because we believe we can become like God.
we believe that we are CHILDREN of God and ever progressing towards becoming like Him.
not replacing Him. not competing with Him. just becoming like Him.
the same way Christ is like His Father...  ONE, in purpose, in mission, in love.

our children sing, "I am a CHILD of God, and He has sent me here, has given me an earthly home, with parents kind and dear.  Lead me, Guide me, Walk beside me, Help me find the way, Teach me all that I must do to be with Him someday."
it is the way of nature.
children grow up to be like their parents.
we have an eternity to progress...  to learn... to grow... to become...
as we become, as we learn TRUTH, we become like God.
we receive His image in our countenance.
As we partake of the Sacrament each week, we symbolically eat of Christ's blood and His body...
we are changed, He becomes part of us.
We become more like Him.

This is a truth that rings TRUE to my soul.
I will be LEARNING forever!!
I don't like the thought of a Heaven where one sits on the clouds and floats.
Stopped.  Damned.
To me, that is HELL. 
(Just ask any woman who is on BED REST.)
I want to ALWAYS learn and progress and create and become.
I love TRUTH.  I feel it in my soul and I will ALWAYS seek for a greater portion of LIGHT.

Some days I damn myself here on earth.
I curl in and think that REST comes from inactivity.
No matter how many times I try to prove that a "break" will make me happier, it NEVER works.
I feel crappier when I stop and veg out and try to escape.
EVERY DAY i need to pause, to find myself, to search the scriptures, to ponder, to learn, to be alone with my thoughts and my prayers.
This is not STOPPING, this is great progressing.

On our trip we listened to a book, Worthington.  In it someone says,
WORK is the best medicine for DESPAIR.

Ooooh how I love that wisdom.

WORK includes doing your job, cleaning your home, paying your bills, taking out the trash, caring for your children...  it includes those things, but it isn't limited to those things. 

Our Bible Dictionary under PRAYER says,
"Blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them.  Prayer is a form of work, and is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings."

Learning is work, study is work, pondering is work.  To love is a verb and requires ACTION.
To love is work.  (Don't believe me? ask any mother)

Being a MOTHER is hard WORK.
I don't understand how people can say that being a mother is a thankless job, a job without pay.
When I wake up in the morning, cheerful and happy... cleanse, feed, clothe, heal, nurture, nourish, teach, order, etc., i feel POWERFUL and strong and alive and successful.
My payment is greater than money.
When I successfully navigate the grocery store with two toddlers or teach leah a new nursery rhyme, or take my boys to the store at 9pm because i promised i would and they say, "you're the best mom ever."
Then, i am paid.

I have recently changed my goals.
for 12 years i have had a goal to clean my house, to FINISH so i can REST.
that goal sucks.
Now my goal is TO NURTURE.

to nurture while doing.
nurturing doesn't end.
i nurture as i clean, teach, order, nourish, watch, become...

cleaning is something i do.  Nurturing is what I AM.
REST comes from DOING.
From learning, from progressing, from knowing that I am not there yet,
but I am where God wants me to be TODAY.
i have a poster in my house that says, "Let what you LOVE be what you DO."

i want to LOVE, to DO and to BECOME what I am.
i want to KNOW, NURTURE and NOURISH myself, my family and my friends.
i want to REST while DOING.  to DO while LOVING.

I am grateful for a God who teaches me daily.
I am always learning.
to REST in the LORD doesn't mean to stop.
i may have to STOP physically to FEAST mentally...
but REST comes from learning and growing and feeling the peace of the Savior.
i look forward to eternal growth, eternal learning... God's REST.

ESPECIALLY on the days when i feel down.
my natural body says "you are depressed, you are sick, you are tired, you need a BREAK."
that is a lie.
During challenging times it is EVEN MORE IMPORTANT to LEARN, to PRAY, to SERVE, to LOVE.

The prophet Joseph Smith taught,
"Knowledge does away with darkness, anxiety and doubt; for these cannot exist where knowledge is." History of the Church 5:340

i love learning this.
please remind me,
when i'm running to NOT STOP till i get to the next tree.
when my kids are out of control, that PEACE will come if I just take 10 more minutes to tuck them in bed.
when my husband is crabby, that he is good and kind and that i love him... that i can NURTURE him when he's down instead of judge him.
when my laundry drier beeps that if i go, fold, put away, i will feel peace.... if i leave it sitting there it will become a beast that haunts my dreams.
with the Savior, i will be able to calm the storms of life.
He can not bless my home, my soul, unless I open the door to him.

Nope-- not by being careful and troubled about many things, not by being BUSY.
And not by STOPPING or ZONING OUT or ESCAPING my life.
But by seeking His REST.
By turning to Him, by SERVING and LEARNING and BECOMING.

Julie Beck said (you can read the whole talk here),
A good woman must constantly resist alluring and deceptive messages from many sources telling her that she is entitled to more time away from her responsibilities and that she deserves a life of greater ease and independence....
Revelation can come hour by hour and moment by moment as we do the right things. When women nurture as Christ nurtured, a power and peace can descend to guide when help is needed. For instance, mothers can feel help from the Spirit even when tired, noisy children are clamoring for attention, but they can be distanced from the Spirit if they lose their temper with children. Being in the right places allows us to receive guidance. It requires a conscious effort to diminish distractions, but having the Spirit of revelation makes it possible to prevail over opposition and persist in faith through difficult days and essential routine tasks. Personal revelation gives us the understanding of what to do every day to increase faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and seek those who need our help. Because personal revelation is a constantly renewable source of strength, it is possible to feel bathed in help even during turbulent times.
oh.  i love this.
now, i will leave you and proceed with my great Friday...  DAY OF REST.


corrie said...

Hear, Hear! Love your insights and abilities to put it into such eloquent words.
When I am "working" I am at (relative) peace because I know I am doing what I am supposed to do. Good things. And that brings rest to my soul. No despair...just hope in great things to come and appreciation in great things that are here.

Von and Maureen said...

i sure hope some of your spiritual passion will rub off on me. i lovethat you are always seeking for truth and that you take your beliefs so seriously. thursday night was good for me. you are good for me. thanks

Von and Maureen said...

last comment- not really my parents... :) rachel

Rebekah said...

So good, and so important to remember!

I really loved being with you and talking face to face. I always come away from our conversations a little lighter--albeit very tired (2:00 am!!!!!).

Love you, jen!

Jenni Taysom said...

thank you for sharing this - and for letting your blog be open, so people like me - virtual strangers (even though I did know Todd back in college) - so I can benefit from your insight, things that help me learn and grow.

Steph said...

Good thoughts, Jen. I'm only recently coming to a place where I can understand what you're saying. I've spent my whole parenting life trying to reach an "end" of something, trying to get something finished. But I'm realizing it will never be done. . .and that's OK. Thanks for the insight.

Tiffany said...

Mmmm... I am feeling more peaceful (and more motivated!) just reading this! I think I need to print out most of your blog posts so that I can read them more often than just the rare odd moment when I have access to the computer. Thanks for this post--LOVE IT!

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