"Today in Young Women's, I realized there were only two qualities my husband has to have: complete love for God, and complete love for me. Within these qualities is encompassed all that is important to me. Righteousness, loyalty, respect, and kindness, among many others, are included there."
That is an excerpt from a journal entry I wrote as a junior in high school. Meanwhile that future husband was nearing the end of his mission.
And you thought I looked young now.
Anyhow, yesterday I was thinking about all the rules we have,
and I realized that the same principle applies--
all rules trace back to love for God or love for others
or they probably shouldn't be rules.
We had our Family Home Evening lesson tonight based on this concept,
and Sam and I are trying to enforce rules while giving this framework.
("You can't throw that toy at your brother because it's not showing love to others.")
When my Young Women's leader posed the question
about qualities our future husband should possess,
the typical list of traits started going through my head,
and then I had that 'aha' moment when I realized everything I was listing
ultimately came down to charity.
I thought it was profound at the time,
but I've since realized that Christ gave us that instruction long ago,
We just love these! My Mom introduced them to us as part of the South Beach Diet, but they are a wonderful appetizer or side dish for non-dieters as well. The feta and sweet potatoes complement each other beautifully, and the feta isn't too overpowering as it sometimes can be.
3 long, thin sweet potatoes
1 pkg. feta cheese (I believe I use a 4 oz. pkg, but it might be 6 oz)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut sweet potatoes into discs about 1/2 inch thick. Scoop out a small dish-shape in the middle of each disc, being careful not to cut through the bottom of the potato. Toss with a small amount of olive oil and salt to taste. Spread in a single layer on a cookie sheet and roast for 15-25 minutes until tender. (But not too tender! You'll still be cooking them a bit more, so take that into account.) Combine feta cheese with a couple of teaspoons of olive oil to make a thick paste. Scoop a small amount into the center of each sweet potato round and bake at 350 degrees for another 5 minutes until cheese is heated through.
If you haven't read this book, I suggest you make it a priority to do so soon.
I can guarantee you will be inspired.
I decided to do a Pudding on the Rice bar (recipe here), and I couldn't remember how many servings the recipe made. I quadrupled it, and let's just say I have a huge amount of pudding in the fridge. Any takers?
I am also trying to decide how to fit 12+ people in my postage stamp-sized living room...
I open up my Facebook page and scroll through the updates of my friends and acquaintances.
There are pictures from an exotic honeymoon cruise.
As I click through the pictures,
I think of our own honeymoon to the glamorous town of Roosevelt, Utah.
In an effort to save money, Sam and I weren't going to go on a honeymoon. At the time, my dad's company was renting a basement apartment in Roosevelt for employees to use during jobs they had in that area. Since it wasn't being used in the week following our wedding, my mom suggested we go there. So we made the drive and thoroughly enjoyed our little getaway as we ate meals composed of chips and peanut butter we found in the cupboards and chocolate covered pretzels from Christmas.
I continue to scroll down the page and see elaborate bouquets of flowers from significant others. I admire their beauty, and recognize that grad school allows for bouquets of wildflowers, which are just as appreciated.
I see photos of trips to the beach, storytime at the library, and visits to Grandma's house. My mind briefly flits to the fact that we are living the one-car life, the boys and I get to spend every day within the walls of our own home, and our extended family lives thousands of miles away.
The beautiful babies and videos of laughing toddlers are a stark contrast to the meltdown we just had and the faint smell of spit-up that seems to accompany just about every fabric we own.
And as much as I love this wonderful life I live, every once in a while the little monster of discontentment begins to creep in. It beckons me to compare my entire life with the highlights of others'. It whispers to me that what I have simply isn't enough. It distracts me and urges me to forget the beauty in this simple, blessed life filled with love and harmony and generosity. And it takes some effort on my part to remind that monster that I am dizzyingly happy and each night I feel acutely undeserving of the privilege of living with such joy.
I have to remind the monster that each of our lives have highlights, and while I love being able to stay connected with hundreds of acquaintances through social media, it's unrealistic to think that life is completely and accurately portrayed through the snippets we share. Seldom do we share photos of dishes in the sink, toddler temper tantrums, and bad hair days.
And as I stop comparing, start appreciating, and send that monster away, I love and feel gratitude for the fact that I can see glimpses into the lives of others while recognizing that glimpses do not compose a life in its entirety.
And with that, I bid discontentment adieu.