"When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives. Our love of the Lord will govern the claims for our affection, the demands on our time, the interests we pursue and the order of our priorities. We should put God ahead of everyone else in our lives."
This is great food for thought. It so happened that DH went to a Priesthood leadership meeting the same day that I had been thinking about this quote. When he came home, he shared some thoughts he had and notes he had taken with me. Here are some of the questions he wrote down that are also great food for thought:
- Am I focusing on activities vs actions when I look at the gospel goals I have for my family? (ie testimony of the scriptures vs only daily reading)
- What am I doing to involve the Lord in my life so that I can see miracles in His work?
- Am I making myself available and actively seeking opportunities to be an instrument in God's hands?
- As a family we must learn to fast and pray together for specific purposes.
- Do I radiate the joy of Gospel living in my own life?
- Do I FEEL the joy of Gospel living?
- Am I looking for opportunities to lift up the hands that hang down and strengthen the feeble knees?
So...the question that comes to my husband and I is are we doing what we need to do to achieve this goal? We read the scriptures most days as a family, we usually have Family Home Evening weekly, we say our prayers, we fast, we go to church, but it is NOT ENOUGH. The world has stepped up it's evil, or I should say Satan has stepped it up, so WE MUST step it up, or our kids won't have a chance in the world the way it is today.
We have been feeling like we need to make some changes in our lives to achieve these goals. Our daily scripture reading needs a shot in the arm, to say the least. We are barely awake in the morning when we read but there is no other time that we are all home together on a consistent basis. Here are some of the changes we need to consider:
- I think we may need to move bedtimes (including mom and dad) up a little earlier so we can get up easier and be more awake.
- Instead of reading straight through the scriptures again, maybe read by topic.
- Change our reading goal--rather than trying to finish a chapter, read a few verses and then discuss them. Maybe use pictures from the gospel art kit to help in discussion.
- Make sure we talk about what to pray for before we say our prayers so they are more meaningful.
- Our family fasts together each month on fast Sunday, but we usually don't remember until the last minute. We really need to prepare for this and make sure the kids understand the purpose of our fasting.
- We need to be sure to point out when the Lord answers our prayers so the kids can gain a testimony that God does answer our prayers. We have done this many times with them, especially lately as we have seen the hand of the Lord in our lives a lot the last few years. It feels like lately, though, we have become a little slack in doing this.
- Cut back on extraneous activities. This goes for every one of us. I'm talking about T.V. time, computer time, crafting (gulp), texting, etc. And I'm talking about clearing things out of our heads as well as actual activities. I know my mind wanders all OVER the place when I should be thinking about more sacred things.
- Focus on the basics--school work, chores and duties in the home, playing together as a family, taking care of our bodies through good nutrition and exercise, and working on gospel goals together. (we need to help the kids set their own goals in this area, as well as set ours as adults. Like attending the Temple more often, etc.)
Here is one last quote to ponder:
"We become so caught up in the busyness of our lives. Were we to step back, however, and take a good look at what we're doing, we may find that we have immersed ourselves in the "thick of thin things". In other words, too often we spend most of our time taking care of the things which do not really matter much at all in the grand scheme of things, neglecting those more important causes."