Today was our ward's first day back in-person since December.
At-home church has its perks, but I have missed hearing from others, too.
Maxwell and Benson have often been pretending to bless the Sacrament throughout the week. They are so serious and cute about it that it feels acceptable to me to let them pretend. I think there was a water bottle under this towel and they both took a drink after their little prayer.
I've been studying Preach My Gospel, but as a parenting manual. I replace the word "missionary" with "parent," the word "companion" with "spouse," and the word or form of "investigators" with "children."
Because really, is not our primary parenting goal to bring our children to Christ?
I find this method of study to be eye-opening and I gain many insights.Today I was particularly struck by the things I read about success:
"Avoid comparing yourself to other [parents] and measuring the outward results of your efforts against theirs. Remember that [children] have agency to choose whether to accept your message. Your responsibility is to teach clearly and powerfully so they can make an informed choice. Some may not accept your message even when they have received a spiritual witness that it is true. You will be saddened because you love them and desire their salvation. You should not, however, become discouraged; discouragement will weaken your faith...
You can know you have been a successful [parent] when you:
-Feel the Spirit testify to your [children] through you.
-Love your [children] and desire their salvation.
-Obey with exactness.
-Live so that you can receive and know how to follow the Spirit, who will show you where to go, what to do, and what to say.
-Develop Christlike attributes.
-Work effectively every day, do your very best to bring your children to Christ, and seek earnestly to learn and improve.
-Help establish and strengthen the Church wherever you are assigned to work.
-Warn your [children] of the consequences of sin. Invite them to make and keep commitments.
-Teach and serve your [spouse.]
-Go about doing good and serving your [children] at every opportunity, whether or not they accept your message.
When you have done your very best, you may still experience disappointments, but you will not be disappointed in yourself. You can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when you feel the Spirit working through you."
I love that every bullet point is focused on my OWN actions. My success does not depend on outcomes or the choices of others--my success is entirely dependent on my own efforts! That is a tremendous comfort to me as we navigate this tricky road of parenting.
In other news, Lincoln told me that on Friday his PE class got a 15-minute time-out because a few kids were misbehaving. He and his friend were not misbehaving and were upset that they were being punished regardless. So Lincoln turned to his friend and explained to her that it was okay because the 2nd Article of Faith says that we will be punished for our OWN sins...so they wouldn't be punished unfairly in Heaven, even if they were in PE. :D
That boy's thought process can always make me smile.