When the prophets and apostles tell us to choose that which matters most....they mean it! Where that scriptures say not to "run faster than is needful"...it's something we must listen to. I am a firm believer in the fact that we, and we alone, have control of our time. Many people go through their days saying, "I just don't have time" or "Everything I do is a requirment placed upon me." Well, I'm here to say that I recently experienced those same exact thoughts and feelings.
For about 6-8 weeks (basically all of November & December) I did not have control of my time or my life. I ran, rushed, ranted and raved at my children and wanted to run away from it all at the same time. People would say, "Why don't you say no to something?" Like what!?! Was my response. I simply was not in control. And I admit it was nobody's fault but mine.
So, after/during Christmas "break" I knew it was time to make some changes. I did not choose to live life without enjoying it. At that point I was ready (and thought I'd been inspired) to say no to some major parts of our lives. After simmering and then reading a talk from the recent conference entitled, "Time to Prepare," I was ready to discuss what I'd been feeling with my family & prepared a special family night.
We started the activity by playing Minute to Win It. For those who aren't familiar, this game involves performing & completed acts within 1 minute. For instance, one daughter had to keep two balloons up in the air for 1 minute, our son had to try stacking 5 apples, and dad needed to put together two puzzles in one minute. It was great! When we have one minute to accomplish a task every second counts and if you waste those seconds you don't win. Life is the same. Each minute is important and if we waste those minutes we too might find we don't win in the end if we are putting our valuable minutes into events that really don't get us anywhere. These minutes and how they are used are valuable for each individual. So A's minutes might be used completely different than JW's minutes.
This does not mean we need to be "productive" in the world's sense of the word all the time. There is room for leisure. Even in the Proclamation to the World on the Family we learn that "wholesome recreational activities" are healthy for successful family life. I expressed my desire to start pulling back from the activities we were involved in and really evaluating where we were honestly spending our time. And so we did. Each child evaluated their activities to see where they were willing to cut back so we could have more family contiuity.
Another aspect of this major change in our family is recognizing that JW and B can ride their bikes to the events they choose. If they want extra activities, moreso than the other kids, then they now can evaluate if it's worth getting on their bike for or not.
From this whole experience I realized an important lesson is that Mom needs to be at the center of the home. If I'm carting kids from one place to another, I am suddently taken out of the home and can't focus on the things I feel are most important. Yes, there is value in being in the car with the kids...time for conversation and whatnot...but again, there needs to be a balance.
So...those are the slight changes we've made here recently. This next week is our last "HOLY COW" week and then the obligations will be completed and we can step back and breathe (even though my husband reminds me that something will come in to fill that empty space....I will fight it and resist it).