Your comments on Tuesday’s post made me feel happy and sad all at the same time. Happy because Sister Beck’s words gave you comfort. Sad because I wish we women weren’t so hard on ourselves. The devil is so tricky, twisting the freeing doctrines of the gospel and making us feel suffocated by them. He convinces us we’re not good enough if we don’t do it all.
Anyway, just as a continuation of yesterday’s theme, I wanted to share this excerpt from a VERY cool talk I just found today by Elder M. Russell Ballard. Read it. It’s worth your time. (Here’s a link to the whole article.)
My dear sisters, both young and not so young, speaking to you for a few minutes tonight is a distinct honor for me. I pray that the Lord will bless me that my remarks will be helpful to each one of you.
I am aware that you are a very diverse audience. Tonight I see beautiful young and innocent faces, shining with a zest for living. I also see white-haired grandmothers, who radiate a genuine love for the Lord. Undoubtedly some of you are newly baptized members, while others have spent their lifetime in faithful service to the Church. Among you are those who are married and those who are single, those who are divorced and raising your children alone, and those who are widows.
Many of you are healthy and happy and are in tune spiritually, while others bear the burdens of poor health and loneliness and may be struggling to find peace of mind.
Some of you very likely are striving to be “super-moms.” You feel a need to spend time with your husband and children. You want to be sure to have family prayer, read the scriptures, and have family home evening. You also feel the need help children with homework and music lessons; keep your home presentable; prepare nutritious meals; keep clothes clean and mended; chauffeur children and possibly their friends to school and to a variety of lessons, practices, and games; and keep everyone in the family on schedule, making sure they are where they should be when they should be there. And that is all within your family and home. It makes me weary just reviewing all of this! It doesn’t include PTA, volunteer service, or caring for family members who are ill or aged. You feel the need to protect you family from the many evil influences in the world such as suggestive television, films, and videos; alcohol; drugs; and pornography. You are committed to and faithfully fulfill you Church callings. In addition, many of you must earn a living because financial pressures are real and cannot be ignored. If anything is left or neglected, you may feel that you have failed.
To you who feel harried and overwhelmed and who wonder whether you ever will be able to run fast enough to catch the departing train you think you should be on, I suggest that you learn to deal with each day as it comes, doing the best you can, without feelings of guilt or inadequacy. I saw a bumper sticker the other day, sisters, that may say it all:
“God put me on earth to accomplish a certain number of things. Right now I am so far behind, I will never die!”
Remember, sisters, we all have our own challenges to work out while passing the tests of mortality, and we probably often think ours are the most difficult. Recognize limitations; no one can do everything. When you have done the best you can, be satisfied and don’t look back and second-guess, wondering how you could have done more. Be at peace within yourselves. Rather than berate yourself for what you didn’t do, congratulate yourself for what you did.
And sometimes, yes, we do need to better (usually only in those few essential items that we tend to overlook while we’re trying to save the world), but that voice from Heavenly Father that is meant to encourage change says, “You can do better, and I will help you.” He does help. I have felt His help to shape me in loving ways so many times. So let’s give ourselves a break, ladies, and stick as close to Him as we can; He’ll pull it all into focus for us and nudge us in just the right ways.