4.10.2009

unselfish service

This past week Tim was out of town and Cooper was sick.  Cooper is always sick when Tim leaves town.  It must be some deal that the two of them have worked out.  Needless to say, no husband and a sick baby is a recipe for disaster.  Tim is home now and Cooper is feeling better, but I'm left feeling exhausted.  

Tim had the day off today so I left the house this morning for an appointment and to run some errands.  I thought that having some time for "me" would make "me" feel better.  I was angry when I returned home to a messy house, messy kids and a busy husband hustling about doing his yard work.  I started to feel really angry.  I was exhausted, I needed a break, but because I am a mom, I never get a break.  My job never ends.  I need more time for "me."

After cleaning up the house and pouting for most of the day I decided to sit down at the computer and catch up on my blog and e-mails (you know all the important stuff I have to do).  I pulled up my internet home page, which is lds.org and noticed the conference talks were posted there.  My friend told me how much she loved Elder Dallin H. Oaks talk from conference.  I remember thinking it was good, but couldn't remember anything specifically so I decided to read his talk.  The following portions of his talk, Unselfish Service, were an answer to my prayer today.  I wanted to share them with you.  

"Mothers suffer pain and loss of personal priorities and comforts to bear and rear each child. Fathers adjust their lives and priorities to support a family. The gap between those who are and those who are not willing to do this is widening in today’s world…We rejoice that so many Latter-day Saint couples are among that unselfish group who are willing to surrender their personal priorities and serve the Lord by bearing and rearing the children our Heavenly Father sends to their care. We also rejoice in those who care for disabled family members and aged parents. None of this service asks, what’s in it for me? All of it requires setting aside personal convenience for unselfish service. All of it stands in contrast to the fame, fortune, and other immediate gratification that are the worldly ways of so many in our day.

C. S. Lewis explained this teaching of the Savior: “The moment you have a self at all, there is a possibility of putting yourself first—wanting to be the centre—wanting to be God, in fact. That was the sin of Satan: and that was the sin he taught the human race. Some people think the fall of man had something to do with sex, but that is a mistake. . . . What Satan put into the heads of our remote ancestors was the idea that they could ‘be like gods’—could set up on their own as if they had created themselves—be their own masters—invent some sort of happiness for themselves outside God, apart from God. And out of that hopeless attempt has come . . . the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”

A selfish person is more interested in pleasing man—especially himself—than in pleasing God. He looks only to his own needs and desires. He walks “in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world” (D&C 1:16). Such a person becomes disconnected from the covenant promises of God (see D&C 1:15) and from the mortal friendship and assistance we all need in these tumultuous times. In contrast, if we love and serve one another as the Savior taught, we remain connected to our covenants and to our associates.

The values of the world wrongly teach that “it’s all about me.” That corrupting attitude produces no change and no growth. It is contrary to eternal progress toward the destiny God has identified in His great plan for His children. The plan of the gospel of Jesus Christ lifts us above our selfish desires and teaches us that this life is all about what we can become."

This beautiful talk by Elder Dallin H. Oaks put me right back in my place.  Who cares about me?  I'm ashamed that I was being so selfish.  However, there are so many people in the world today telling us that we should care more about ourselves than others.  Thank goodness for Latter Day Apostles who can guide and direct us, when many others seem to be leading us astray.  I'm now inspired and motivated to get back to serving my family.  I'm grateful for the renewed energy I feel by reading the words of a latter day apostle of God.  I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to serve God's children every single day of my life.  I hope that I never take this opportunity for granted again.  

11 comments:

Camille said...

It is so difficult to hear everything that is said in conference while attending to children...I hate how much I miss. But I remember hearing and loving this talk to. Isn't this the same one where he told the story of the couple at the airport that decided to get a dog instead of having children since it doesn't talk back and isn't as much of a hassle?
Anyway, thanks so much for sharing! It is such a GREAT reminder.

Jensens said...

I loved this talk. The hardest job is mother, but it's also the most rewarding and fulfilling. I keep trying to remind myself that all of the time. It is comforting to hear this counsel from our prophets and apostles.

Tonii said...

Great post Britttany!! You know how bedrest is, you would give anything to be able to take care of your family. I too loved that talk and hope I can remember how I feel NOW, when I can actually serve my family and those around me. How are you doing? I love looking at your blog and seeing what your cute family is up to! Your darling boys make me so excited to see my little guy :)

Reeses Pieces said...

Thanks for posting that. I was in NY over conference weekend and I still need to sit down and watch the rest of conference.

I love the "20 excuses", plus you make birthday parties look like so much fun. You're so dang creative. Happy to see you're still alive.

Us said...

I loved that talk too! It makes you realize that of course it is all worth it. Emilee

johnsen with an E said...

Hey there, this is Alyson (Bulkley), how are you? I found your blog and you have such a cute family! We both have a little Cooper, and it sounds like they are only a couple of months apart. Anyway it is fun to see what you are up to.

Andi said...

Isn't sad how the world is becoming all about "ME" these days. It seems like everyone is trying to look after themselves and they don't care about those around them. It is still important to take time to yourself, especially if you are a mother. I probably would have felt the same way that you did! It is nice to have great leaders in our church that are always there with the right words at the right time. Thanks for sharing this!

Jay and Bec said...

Oh gosh! I am so behind on your posts! I loved the message behind the first, I needed to read that today. I also think that Cooper's party looked amazing!! So put together as always!! Your kids are getting so big it's fun to see how much they have changed!

Kristen and Co. said...

Found your blog through FB...what a great post. Thanks for the reminder!

Patty said...

Wow, Brittany! I remember the busy, frustrating, happy, rewarding days. . . ! You are good to record it all and reflect. It goes so fast! What a good MOM you are!

Brianne-zam said...

Thanks for sharing that Brittany. I love that you are not afraid to show you are human sometimes, because frankly most of the time we forget that you are:-) I do have to say that I was talking to Mike the other day about the funny story you told about leaving Parker and Peyton in the tub together. Then getting mad at Parker because Peyton fell under water. I love that you can laugh at yourself. It always makes me feel like I'm normal. Miss you- I think I already said that, but I do!
Briana