Sunday, June 14, 2009
Parenting is not about me
Parenting is not about me. I have to occasionally remind myself of this (Check out the quote of the week on this blog.) Today as I struggled to keep my children reverent (this means for my kids, not screaming on the top their lungs =)). I often wonder, what am I getting out of church? But this week I tried to see things a little differently because of a conference talk I read by President Dallin H. Oaks entitled Unselfish Service. He related something his friend had wrote.
"Years ago, I changed my attitude about going to church. No longer do I go to church for my sake, but to think of others. I make a point of saying hello to people who sit alone, to welcome visitors,...to volunteer for an assignment..."In short, I go to church each week with the intent of being active, not passive, and making a positive difference in people's lives. Consequently, my attendance at church meetings is so much more enjoyable and fulfilling."
Pres. Oaks said "...This illustrates the "eternal principle that we are happier and more fulfilled when we act and serve for what we give, not for what we get."
After reading this, I determined to change my attitude about going to church with my young children. It can be outright exhausting after wrestling with your children then also trying to fulfill my callings too. But if I think about about Pres. Oaks talked about, I am not going to church for me but for my children and others that I can serve. My wise husband said, "Sunday meetings are called a worship service. We should think of it as service and what we give to other people. That is another way to worship: Giving service."
I decided I had better change so...this morning, I decided to get up a few minutes early, to be better prepared. I got myself ready and then prepared a few extra things to help my children be more reverent in church. On the Friend website there is printable coloring pages. I printed one out for each of my kids to color, packed crayons, and a couple other church books. I also tried to be more patient with my children as well. I still have a long way to go in having the right attitude but I'm going to keep working on it. I think those few extra minutes of prep time, helped me have a better frame of mind to serve. I would love any other suggestions or thoughts in how you keep everything in perspective
I think you can apply this unselfish service principle in so many other aspects of our lives. Service is not ever convenient. It is foolish to think you are giving service only if it fits into your schedule or agenda. To serve others, inside or outside of your family, their will be sacrifices. Sacrifices of time, money, or something you would rather be doing. But service doesn't have to be huge either. Maybe it's just going out of our way to be friendly when you don't feel friendly. (now that's hard)
The world tells you, to take care of yourself, pamper you, because you deserve it. There is wisdom in this, but I think we need to be careful not to take this advise to the extreme. Unselfish service to our children will bring so much joy, and satisfaction. This joy will go much more beyond the temporal happiness the world offers.
I loved the last quote of Pres. Oaks talk. "Our Savior teaches us to follow Him by making the sacrifices necessary to lose ourselves in unselfish service to others. If we do, He promises us eternal life, 'the greatest of all the fits of God' (D&C 14:7), the glory and joy of living in the presence of God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ."