Friday, April 05, 2019

This weekend

This weekend could quite possibly be one of my favorite 
weekends of all time: General Conference.
I am both excited and ready for a weekend full of instruction, guidance,
 and hopeful messages from church leaders.
I have been preparing for this weekend for sometime now,
and Mr. Nielson and I have encouraged our children to prepare too.

One of the ways we are preparing is our social media fast.
I haven't been on Instagram for almost 2 weeks.
It has been quite enlightening and cleansing.
My mind and intentions seem more focused, and 
I am concentrating on what matters most.
One of my favorite nephews got engaged over the week and he was
 sweet enough to send me a personal text announcing his good news along
with a picture of his beautiful new wife-to-be.
I am grateful he thought of me.
It's crazy how much I missed stepping away for awhile-
(announcements, family, familiar faces, accomplishments, news etc.).
And it's crazy how much I've loved stepping away for awhile.
(stupid frivolous stuff, degrading and immoral images etc.)

At dinner our family went around the table and each shared what we were looking 
forward to this coming weekend, and what we hope to hear.
For me these edifying conferences are not just 
hours worth of inspiring messages; they are a call to duty.
It's putting what I have felt and heard into action,
it takes so much work.

One of my very favorite women in the world, Linda S. Reeves
once said a general conference message in 2014:
 "Some of you have heard me tell how overwhelmed my husband, Mel, 
and I felt as the parents of four young children. 
As we faced the challenges of parenting and keeping up with the demands of life, 
we were desperate for help. 
We prayed and pleaded to know what to do. The answer that came was clear:
 “It is OK if the house is a mess and the children are still
 in their pajamas and some responsibilities are left undone.
 The only things that really need to be accomplished in the home 
are daily scripture study and prayer and weekly family home evening.”

We were trying to do these things, but they were not always the
 priority and, amidst the chaos, were sometimes neglected. 
We changed our focus and tried not to worry about the less-important things. 
Our focus became to talk, rejoice, preach, and testify of Christ
 by striving to daily pray and study the scriptures 
and have weekly family home evening.

A friend recently cautioned, 
“When you ask the sisters to read the scriptures and pray more, 
it stresses them out. They already feel like they have too much to do.”

Brothers and sisters, because I know from my own experiences, 
and those of my husband, I must testify of the blessings of daily 
scripture study and prayer and weekly family home evening. 
These are the very practices that help take away stress,
 give direction to our lives, 
and add protection to our homes."
YES YES YES! I can testify of that too!
I was born in these days do this work,
because I can do it.
I promised God I would, and He promised
peace, happiness, and a fulling life in return.
I have NEVER been let down-
even through struggles and heartache.
It's hard sometimes to be committed and "anxiously engaged" everyday.
But I know there is bigger purpose. 
A bigger and better way than what the world views as productive.
And by golly, I'm going to do everything I can for my children
 to get the most of out this weekend.

I also think our traditional Dutch babies and apricot cream cheese bars
help a little too.

Spiritual Enlightenment: A Christ-Focused Home

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