March 30, 2015

Brilliant Basics

As a mother, I often feel my loudest and most oft repeated cheer to other mothers is-- YOU ARE NORMAL, YOU ARE GOOD, DON'T GIVE UP!!

My eight year old was so excited to plan and conduct our family night tonight.
I smiled at her carefully compiled agenda and genuine enthusiasm.

I loved the song "A Family is of God" from Women's Conference (you can watch it here, the song starts at minute 9).  My favorite part was the toddler boy who walked around while the family sang.  (I laughed when Anna asked why there is never any "normal" families in these videos, only families from Utah, Iowa or another country.  Haha.  She said, "We never sit in our church clothes with our hair done while we sing.  I told her a video of two kids arguing about where they are sitting while they sing, might not be good to publish at conference.)

Now that I am a mother of eight I sometimes think that I should be past the stage of trying to figure out chores or scripture time or family home evening or piano practicing or eliminating contention.  But, I'm not.

Having a new baby, illness, moving, new jobs or callings, extended family drama, etc., these things really influence the balance of the home.  It takes time to figure things out again.  Actually, it takes years.

I love this quote from a talk "Teaching the Doctrine of the Family" by Julie Beck.  She says, "Live in your home so that you're brilliant in the basics, so that you’re intentional about your roles and responsibilities in the family. Think in terms of precision not perfection. If you have your goals and you are precise in how you go about them in your homes, youth will learn from you. They will learn that you pray, study the scriptures together, have family home evening, make a priority of mealtimes, and speak respectfully of your marriage partner. Then from your example the rising generation will gain great hope."

I really want to be BRILLIANT IN THE BASICS.  I really AM brilliant in the basics, but brilliant LOOKS less brilliant than I imagine it should.  

I posted a video clip on Facebook (Jenifer Moss) and Instagram (moss moments) of 15 seconds of our FHE.  It was fun and good, but not perfectly calm or orderly.  This is my life.  It is a really good life.

As I sat through a temple recommend interview yesterday a kind leader in my church asked, "Is there anything in your relationships with your family that is not in  harmony with the teachings of the church?"  I answered with a smile and a confidant "Yes!  Many things."  Perhaps I need to study more the words "in harmony with the teachings of the Church"?  My friend and church leader looked into my eyes with a smile and asked, "Are you really good at repenting?"  I responded with an equally enthusiastic, "Yes I am!"  He smiled again and moved on.  

The last question he asked me was if I considered myself worthy to enter the Lord's house?  Fire burned in my soul as I answered humbly, "Yes, I do."  I know that worthy does not mean perfect or even precise.

I am brilliant in the desire.  
Brilliant in my intention.  
Brilliant in my testimony that this work that I am doing daily in my home, this is a great work.

I do not believe that you can eliminate contention in a home any more than you can eliminate dirty laundry or disorder.  The law of entropy is, in my opinion, an eternal principle.  Systems tend towards disorder and it takes ENERGY to maintain order in a system.

No matter how precise you are, I'm not sure you will ever be able to design a system that just naturally functions without A LOT of positive effort and energy.  Until we reach our resurrected and perfected state, REPENTANCE is programmed in!! We will NEVER be good enough without God.  Ever.

Practically, this means it is more useful to create positive family experiences than it is to focus on responding to, blaming yourself for, or focusing on negative experiences.  Stop blaming yourself for dirty laundry and start washing your clothes.  Kids will fight unless they are busy doing something positive together!!  You can't teach away CHILDHOOD, immaturity, tests, trials or natural tendency. 

Today, I'm going to spend my ENERGY doing good, creating order, teaching precision in the brilliant basics.  I'm going to look at my family from the distance, like our moments are captured on a video at Women's Conference, and I'm going to SEE the beauty in the ordinary.

Loved this post here-- "Then the still small voice whispered in my ear, as thy day so thy strength shall be."

Be brilliant today friends.
We are doing a great work.


Dana said...

I agree with your daughter. It is discouraging to see perfect and how we fall short. I too am humbled by the question do you consider yourself worthy to enter.......luckily at that the spirit screams trying not perfect. Love the brilliant basics idea. I know I had a list to accomplish today just when I woke up I can't remember it. Oh well will do the usuals for Monday.

Taryn said...

I'm a college friend of Leah and Kaela's, and now a mom to three little girls ages 5, 3, and 4 months. I've followed and loved your blog for quite some time now (maybe I've commented before? Who knows?), but today's post really touched my heart. Thank you for keeping motherhood so honest, real and positive!

Natasha said...

Brilliant! Thanks for another inspirational and insightful post. :)

Jenifer Moss said...

Dana- "trying not perfect" yes!
Taryn- Leah and Kayla are so adorable, aren't they?! I love them so. You're at a fun, tough stage of motherhood. YOU WILL LOVE HAVING THEM SO CLOSE as they get older. It really is SO fun!!
Thanks Natasha!

Rebekah said...

Loved that last quote. It reminds me of this line from a favorite song: "Grace shall be as your day".
I believe that Christ makes up the difference for all our weaknesses, daily, if we are simply, sincerely trying!

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