Today has started off pretty well. I went to play basketball this morning and invited Adam with me. We had a great time and I felt good about how I played overall.
I definitely am not in the shape I was once in. My whole body seems to ache after playing.
But, I’m glad I got out there and played.
Yesterday, I didn’t read, write or connect very well with God, and I felt it.
I was part of the Mastermind group call, and it was a good experience overall, but I feel like it’s almost like social media and I don’t want that.
I also did work for the U and caught myself browsing Google circles for a few minutes.
I didn’t like this either and surrendered these things to Becky last night.
I felt vulnerable. I felt overwhelmed. I felt stressed with not being good enough for the task. I felt a little resentment at how the U meeting went. I felt anxious about the next steps to take.
But today is a new day. Today I’m writing things out and looking to connect with God. Today I look forward to being more present and having faith that I can do tough things.
I’m reading an article titled “If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments.” It’s from the recent General Conference.
I really like what it says at the top of the article:
God’s commandments are a manifestation of His love for us, and obedience to His commandments is an expression of our love for Him.
How do commandments show me that God loves me?
How does keeping the commandments show God I love Him?
These questions make me think of interacting with my kids. What kinds of rules or direction do I give them?
Well, with Caleb, we like him to come in at a certain time. Why? Because he needs to eat, he needs to do homework, we want him to be with us, and we don’t want him to wear out his welcome with friends. He also needs to get good rest so his mind is clear and can work best.
With the girls, we like them to clean their room. Why? Because we are trying to teach them to be responsible. We are trying to teach them that it’s important to take care of your things and be grateful for them. We want the house to be a place where the Spirit can be present, and we believe that a messy house doesn’t necessarily invite that spirit.
How are these rules showing the kids that we love them? It’s showing them that we care about them. That we worry about them. That we want them to be happy. That we want them to develop good characteristics that they can use when they are parents. That we want them to treat others with respect.
We set rules to protect the kids.
We set rules to help the kids become what we hope is their best self.
We set rules because we know what some of the trials and temptations can be and we don’t want the kids to have to go through those things.
We set rules because we love them.
Rules, commandments – I feel they are the same thing in this case.
Heavenly Father has given us commandments because He loves us and wants us to be safe; He knows about the consequences of sin and wants us to be safe and happy.
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.”1 We have rules to teach, guide, and protect children. Why? Because of the great love we have for them.
But until Chloe understood that my desire for her to remain securely fastened in her car seat was because of my love for her, she was unwilling to submit to what she considered a restriction. She felt her seat belt limited her freedom.
This is the key. I have to help the kids know that I’m giving them rules and regulations because I love them and want them to be safe, protected, and happy. If a rule or restriction I’m setting is more about ME and what I want – peace, quiet, order, CONTROL – and it’s not really for those previously mentioned reasons, I need to reevaluate.
Each of us is “a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents.” Their love for us is apparent in commandments. Commandments are vital instructions to teach, guide, and protect us as we “gain earthly experience.”3
Just like I want what’s best for my kids, Heavenly Father & Mother want what’s best for me. They want me to be happy and realize my potential as Their son.
As I think about how the commandments have worked in my life, I realize that there is a reason some commandments are harder to receive forgiveness for than others: they pain, the sorry, the loss – all these things are much more prevalent if I break some of the commandments. Instead of just affecting me, they affect others substantially too.
Becky and I read Jacob 2 and 3 the last couple days and it was interesting to associate with our life right now. I’ve been that Nephite who was not true to his wife and children. I’ve been that person that was looking on others, pointing fingers, and saying how “bad” or “apostate” they were, when look what I was doing behind closed doors…
I’m going to study more about Jacob 2 and 3 tomorrow.
I’ve felt good studying today and have had things come to mind that I feel are the Spirit talking with me.
I’m grateful for this connection today.