One of the biggest challenges I face with the remaining three, is to get these sweet spirits motivated. Their favorite saying seems to be, "but mom, I caannn'ttttt!"
Why is it that they can't do the things they don't want to do? But they can manage to do the things they want to! Take the dishes. Now, they will let those dishes build up to a mountain that even I am afraid to tackle! On the other hand, if they want to go somewhere or do something, it is amazing how that mountain moves.
There are days that all I can do is shake my head and hope this too shall pass.
We went to the mall the other day and my girls went in a store to look at dishwashers! They all came to tell me how little they cost and how they wouldn't mind putting the dishes in or taking them out. I have to admit, they tried pretty hard to get a dishwasher in our kitchen. However, I also have to admit, that it would never have fit. We have a very small kitchen and until we get enough money saved to remodel, there will be no dishwasher for this house.
Sometimes, life is like that. There is something we think we want. Something that we have convinced ourselves might make our lives just a little easier. Something that we can dream about and distract ourselves from getting the job done in the first place. This something, doesn't seem like a problem. It doesn't seem like a distraction. It seems like a solution. But, if you look close, it is just an empty promise. What good would it do to put a dishwasher in a kitchen that didn't have a place for it to go? What good does it do to dream about it, plan for it, and want it, when it is not the best thing for our home.
I have decided that Satan can get to us through these small, seemingly insignificant distractions in our lives. These are the levers that he uses to get in to our hearts. He takes something that we don't need and turns it into something that we want. Than he takes those wants and uses them to keep us from getting what we really need. As long as our focus is on the distractions in our lives, it isn't on the Lord and His Son. So, what empty promises are working as distractions in your life?
I found a great talk from Elder Quentin L Cook. Here is part of it:
"When our children were small, my wife, Mary, and I decided to follow a tradition which my father taught when I was a child. He would meet with us individually to help us set goals in various aspects of our lives and then teach us how Church, school, and extracurricular activities would help us achieve those goals...Having been the beneficiary of this tradition, I had the desire to engage in this practice with my children. When our son, Larry, was five years old, I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. He said he wanted to be a doctor like his Uncle Joe. Larry had experienced a serious operation and had acquired great respect for doctors, especially his Uncle Joe. I proceeded to tell Larry how all the worthwhile things he was doing would help prepare him to be a doctor.
"Several months later, I asked him again what he would like to be. This time he said he wanted to be an airline pilot...Almost as an afterthought I said, 'Larry, last time we talked you wanted to be a doctor. What has changed your mind?' He answered, 'I still like the idea of being a doctor, but I have noticed that Uncle Joe works on Saturday mornings, and I wouldn’t want to miss Saturday Morning Cartoons.'
"Since that time our family has labeled a distraction from a worthwhile goal as a Saturday Morning Cartoon.
What are some of the Saturday Morning Cartoons that distract us from attaining the joy that we desire? Some want to be married in the temple but only date those who do not qualify for a recommend. Others want to be a good home teacher or visiting teacher but are distracted by the constant parade of TV programs, catalogs, and other material maintenance and don’t find time to minister to those they are assigned to teach. Still others want to have family prayer but allow little matters to build into discord that make it harder for the family to kneel together. If we examine the reasons we don’t do what we ought to do, we find that the list of Saturday Morning Cartoons is almost endless.'"
It is so easy to get distracted in this life. But our Heavenly Father has also sent us guidance today. He knew that we would need the extra help in our lives. He gave us the scriptures to study. They (ancient prophets) wrote them for our time. Just think for a moment. Back during the time of ancient Israel, who was able to read the scriptures? They were not printed and pass out as they are today. They were only available for the prophets and wise men to look at and ponder. Today, they are all over the earth. You can carry them with you. You can read them many times. You can make the parts that mean the most to you. All of these things, you can do because Heavenly Father knew how much you would need their comfort and guidance today.
We also have latter-day prophets to guide us and help us in this journey. If we will listen to their words, we will make better decisions, draw closer to our Heavenly Father, strengthen our faith and have His spirit to be with us. The Prophet will not lead us astray. Don't get distracted by the things that you think you want.
An old Cherokee was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, "A battle is raging inside me ... it is a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."
The old man fixed the children with a firm stare. "This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too."
They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"
The grandfather replied, "The one you feed".
The grandfather replied, "The one you feed".
Let us all be more aware of the "Saturday morning cartoon" distractions in our own lives so that we don't keep feeding the wrong wolf. May you remember whose side you are on in this life and above all, may you remember who is on your side!