Women’s Conference chapter 2: Integrity

I want to share my notes from a class called, “Till I die, I will not remove mine integrity from me.”

Before I do though, wow, did I get a lot more chatter on that home organization post than I expected!  It was great.  There are two afterthoughts I’d like to add on to that post:

  1. That particular class was more practical in nature than spiritual, thought it obviously had some spiritual underpinnings and spiritual applications.  Two different speakers basically presented in a “here are some things that have worked for me” attitude.  The things I included in my notes were simply things that I thought might work in my family, or at very least, were worth remembering and trying.  Trying to implement them all, especially all at once, would probably lead to certain death.  I just thought there were many good ideas.
  2. celestialroom2I need to make a confession.  A couple weeks ago, for the General Conference Book Club, I planned on doing that talk about the “temple home,” but when I read the part about your home being clean and orderly, I immediately disqualified it, because as I told my friend, “I just wasn’t ready for that yet.”  I didn’t want the guilt, and I needed to come to better terms with what realistic expectations are for myself and my own situation. 

    So I’ve given it quite a bit of thought, and I’ve decided that it would take some kind of heartless, robotic mother to keep her home in temple condition around the clock.  However, I’ve also felt that if we approach our housekeeping as an extension of our covenants and with the desire to make our home a welcome dwelling place for the Spirit, and if we go about our duties with that kind of purpose in mind (recognizing the work as a symbol of our Savior’s mission and also as a service to the spiritual development of our children), I think we’re in a good place.  Then it becomes like what I’m realizing a LOT of the gospel is about:  a PROCESS.  And what we become as we try is much more important than actually achieving a playroom that looks like the celestial room. 🙂 

    As I thought about that, I got a new insight into the whole Mary and Martha story.  Martha’s mistake was not trying to clean up her home after dinner, it was simply missing the whole point of doing it in the first place.  We do all that cleaning and organizing, etc. in an attempt to make our homes a place where the Spirit of the Lord can dwell, but He was already THERE.  In person.  She had already made a marymarthaplace where He felt comfortable and welcome, so she needed to LET IT GO, sit down, and just listen to Him teach.  We need to do that, too.  Pause from all our DOING, and make time for more LISTENING.  He doesn’t want a perfect home; He just wants to know you want Him to drop in.   Hope that makes sense.

So, um, yeah, how ’bout we actually learn a little something about the title of this post?  The first speaker told a story about how she was shocked when one of her 7-year-old daughter’s friends invited her to a play date and then the girl’s mother nonchalantly explained that they lived in a “clothing-optional” community, and would that be a problem?  More shocking to her than the actual question was the fact that she was now going to have to have a conversation with her second-grade daughter about why clothing was not optional in their family.  We have to start early to explain what we believe and why we choose the right even when others do not share, understand, nor applaud our choice.

You know what?  This post is getting too long too fast, and I need to go to bed!  Let’s chew on that home organizing stuff for one more day, and let your brains think about what this — my favorite Young Women’s Value (Integrity) — means to you:  “I will have the moral courage to make my actions consistent with my knowledge of right and wrong.”  I’ll finish up what I learned from the class, and we’ll discuss.  See you tomorrow night.


13 thoughts on “Women’s Conference chapter 2: Integrity

  1. This is great that you are sharing all this. As I was reading this, I made the connection with my post about the unprofitable servant. It is about the process. We are allready like him. So reading your post was like a comformation that what I was feeling was true. Even though we had allready had the conversation, reading it after I had come up with my part made it come all together. You can count that for VT for the month.
    My house should be comdemed. It is REALLY bad. I am going to be kicking my own hiney tommorow. I have SO Much to do!!!!

  2. Reconciling the whole process of having my home be like the temple vs. having me be a happy and patient mom (like the attitude we should have in the temple) is really quite the trick in our home. I LOVE having my house in order and nothing gives me more a sense of peace and accomplishment than having it clean and smelling nice. But I have to keep myself in check when my children are miserable because I have unrealistic expectations and they don’t even feel like playing with their toys because they have to pick them up right away and I’m grumbling because of having to change another poopy diaper, then maybe my family isn’t taking center stage- after all that is why I’m here at home anyway. I am a MOM not a MAID. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. I love your insight about the Mary and Martha story. I tend to be more like Martha than Mary. I don’t know that I would complain about it, but I would definitely be annoyed that I had a guest and I was the only one doing what was “necessary” to see to the “needs” of my guest. I am uncomfortable at ward dinners and similar functions unless I am in the kitchen prepping or serving the food. I don’t know why, but if I see something that needs to be done, I’m much more comfortable doing it, even if it is not my assignment, than sitting and talking. It’s easier to serve the guests than to sit and listen. I take care of everything. It’s hard for me to let someone else serve me.

    I think that maybe part of Martha’s issue (and it’s definitely mine) was giving up trying to control everything around her, in order to care for herself sprititually and listen to the Lord. When everything is done in the proper way, and I’ve had time to clear my head, then I’ll find my quiet time and study my scriptures. The problem is, I rarely get to that point. I’ll never find a time when my world is quiet, peaceful, and clean enough to work on my spiritual development. I need to find ways to listen to the Savior in the midst of chaos. (OK, that last bit, is really just a restatement of what you said, and not quite as eloquently said.)

  4. I love your thoughts, lady. And the comments too. I was just thinking about Mary and Martha and how I struggle with the kind of martyr attitude Martha seemed to have that day. And what I often thing about is how much I’m missing out on sitting in the presence of LOVE. That’s what Jesus was there to do, speaking truth in love, teaching in love, because He loves us so much. And isn’t it amazing how our attitude shifts when we take the time to sit in that love for awhile?

    You rock 🙂

  5. I was all geared up to go to Women’s conference. We went to Vegas instead.

    That’s right, I chose the Devil. What an idiot.

  6. Annie,

    Sorry you missed it. Why don’t you make plans to come with us next year? The more the merrier, right?! 🙂

  7. Sounds like you had a GREAT time at womens conference! I’m glad you were able to go. I LOVE this line in your thoughts about temple and home: what we become as we try is much more important than actually achieving a playroom that looks like the celestial room. 🙂 I love that you see the value in PROCESS.

    I think I chose a similar line to comment on your post on Mormon Mommy blogs.

    Nice thoughts.

  8. Integrity is my favorite yw value as well.

    You know I love your take on the Mary and Martha story and on making our houses like the temple. When I first heard that I felt badly because my house isn’t “perfect” and that I wasn’t organized. Your thoughts on this have made things a bit more clear. Thank you.

  9. I had never thought of the Mary/Martha story like that! See, this is why I come here. You give me mental meat every time I read!!

    Thank you for your comment on Small and Simple. I’m glad you think so–it’s a long road!!

    Hey, I was wondering if you would mind if I quoted you–I’m giving a talk on Sunday for Sacrament about mothers, and I just loved the post where you talked about how everything we do as moms is a reflection of the Savior. Is it ok if I quote you?

  10. Having just gone through the process of keeping my home in “show condition” for one month as we sold it, I can tell you without a doubt that an immaculate home, while it is a beautiful thing, doesn’t lend itself to a peaceful, happy, contented environment. It leads to a stressed out, snap at you kids if they put their hand on a wall, frazzled, most un-celestial mommy which sets the tone in the home, thus leading to a most unhappy family. I honestly think I have some sort of visual processing problem, where if my environment around me is cluttered, my mind becomes cluttered, and disoriented and unsettled (OCD???). I can’t sit down and read my scriptures, or ponder on a spiritual topic while there are dishes in the sink or toys strewn about the house. As you can imagine, with 4 kids, that means the scriptures never get read. Everyone comes into my house and comments about how clean it is, but I see it is “martha syndrome” to the extreme, and I lament that I can’t just sit and read in the midst of clutter. Of course, I also have a handicapped daughter that we have nicknamed destructo-girl, and if it is left out it is destroyed (even within their own rooms). This leads to a host of other issues about feeing responsible for putting all of my other children’s things away for them because they can’t just be normal kids with destructo-girl around, and we don’t have money to replace the things she breaks/cuts up/tears up/stomps on, and I can’t follow my 11 year old around the house 24/7. That’s a post for another day. Love your thoughts, Steph, and thanks for letting me use some of your ideas for my talk on Mothers, and for the phone conversations about Mothers. I’m having a battle with the Lord about what I feel inspired to talk about and what I think I would want to hear on Mother’s day. He’s winning, because when I go to write the talk I want to hear, I got nuthin’. When I go to write what he wants me to say, the words flow. I thought I was going to finally give the mother’s day talk I’ve always wanted to hear, but the Lord has other plans. Bummer. Sorry for the novel.

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