Yesterday at church I met with a member of the stake presidency, President Van Sant, to renew my temple recommend. The first question he asked was, “How do you feel your spirituality is?”
I said, “Okay, I guess. It’s hard, with the kids, being so exhausted, doing the things I want to do.” Truthfully, I find the physical and emotional effort of raising young children has negatively affected my spirituality. How can you hear the whisperings of the Spirit when you can’t even hear yourself think?
President Van Sant asked, “How many kids do you have?” And I said three. And he started by telling me of the importance of my role as a wife and mother. Then he said something I have heard before, but never quite in the way that touched me.
He said, “Everything you do as a wife and mother is living the gospel. Every diaper you change, every time you coerce a child to sleep, every time you spend 10 minutes strapping kids in car seats is living the gospel. Pray with your children, teach them to pray, let them see and hear you pray, and read those picture scriptures with them. And if you are exhausted when you finally have a moment to yourself, take a nap. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t read the scriptures or do all that other stuff, but there is a season for those things and you will be able to do those things later in life.”
I can’t tell you how much I appreciated those words. Lately, with Ben in full toddler destruction mode, my level of exhaustion has lead to guilt about things I’m not doing. But after President Van Sant’s counsel, I felt a burden lifted. I don’t have to do anything else, because this is the most important thing. This season will pass. And when it does, I’m sure I’ll miss it.