My favorite comma

Matt tried to give me a pep talk this morning in our bathroom before he left for work.  (I think I looked as tired as I felt.)  “You can do it.  Be a laundry demon!  You’re a super mom.  You’re awesome.”  I looked at him out of the side of my eyes and said, “Go walk from here to the kitchen and look all around you the whole way.  Imagine everything you see is your job to take care of today, and then tell me how awesome it feels.”  He smiled.  He knows.

I started thinking about Sister Beck’s recent talk (I already blogged about it some) about the doctrine of the family, and her expressed concern that the youth are not confident about forming families.  I thought about how mornings like mine, and kitchens like mine, might be the reason for some of their apprehension.  I get it.  It’s daunting.  It’s certainly not convenient or easy.  But my mind kept reflecting on Sister Beck’s affirmation that the business of family is a “faith-based work” and that Heavenly Father helps us to do it.  We can’t do family, or anything that really matters, without his help.  We need faith; We have to believe it matters and we have to believe He’ll help us.  And He does.  I’ve marveled recently that despite my February funk (my lazy eye), He has not left me comfortless.  I can think of times that I know He stepped in and saved the day as an answer to weak, mumbled, random prayers.  He has blessed me when I have not endeavored to deserve His blessings.  I think this is why:

Faith is a gift, you know.  And like all spiritual gifts, we have access to it when we want it and seek it, or even simply hope for it.  There’s a scripture that I love in the Doctrine and Covenants section 46 because it uses my favorite comma in the scriptures— a comma that brings blessings within my reach by qualifying a statement that seems otherwise impossible.  In this section, the Lord encourages us to develop spiritual gifts.  He mentions many of them (such as testimony, Spirit, faith, wisdom and miracles), and then He says about these gifts— I’ll highlight the part with my favorite comma—

For verily I say unto you, they are given for the benefit of those who love me and keep all my commandments, and him that seeketh so to do; that all may be benefited that seek or that ask of me . . .

Even when we are in a funk, even when we know there is more we should be doing but just can’t quite get it all together, God knows our hearts, our desires, knows that we seek to love Him and keep all his commandments, and He blesses us with gifts we feel we don’t deserve.  He gives us faith to continue doing the important work we do.  Whether we recognize those gifts or not, they are still gifts and they keep us going.  We do the faith-based work of family because God blesses us with the faith we need when he knows we want to do what’s right.

So I’m off to see what the “laundry demon” in me can do, with a little help of course.  Maybe God will give me the gift to not notice the kitchen while I’m on my way.

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18 thoughts on “My favorite comma

  1. I’ve been battling laundry demons for three days. The good news is that for the time being, or until sometime tomorrow when miraculously I have just as much laundry as I did three days ago, I’m finished with the laundry.

    You can do it… and so can I, and so can we all, because the Lord is there for us, to strengthen, uplift, encourage, improve, comfort – even through the mundane and ordinary tasks of life.

  2. I needed this inspiration. My husband tries to pump me up daily. He can usually succeed if he offers chocolate as the prize. : )

    Now I’m off to fight my own laundry demon.

  3. I’m thinking there isn’t a clean kitchen in all of blogdom! It’s certainly been a theme this week, including over at my place.

    Your solution? Blog about really edifying and meaningful which will have an uplifting effect on your readers.

    My solution? Post pictures of my legs.

    Hmmm…I think you win.

  4. Wow! I have never thought about that scripture quite that way. Thanks for opening my eyes. And helping me feel better about my own laundry pile and dirty kitchen. Those two things are never ending…they will always be there, and sometimes I think it’s okay to let them go. Although, definitely daunting to go back to it. It is a conundrum for me all the time. Good luck! Go team!

  5. I just love this whole concept, and it kepps me going. Than-you for sharing that comma. I guess we should pay attention to more than just the words in the scriptures.

  6. Oh I remember the days! This too shall pass and more quickly than you know. My kitchen and laundry are caught up and I miss the mess sometimes. I too love the comma’s that bring it back to those of us who just have the desire and not just doing it all. You are inspiring!

  7. Thanks for posting this. Yesterday was a particularly bad day for me. Not in terms of household chores, but more in terms of my mothering abilities (and responsibilities). There was way too much yelling going on, mostly by me directed at my three-year-old. I said and did things that I am not proud of. But, knowing that Heavenly Father will help me overcome my patience issues (even if it’s just line upon line) really helps me have the hope that tomorrow can be a better day and I can be better because He helps me be better.

  8. I’ve been digging deep the last few days to find and store up fortitude, patience and patience and some more patience against the drain the coming days will form with a crying newborn and an exhausted set of parents with two other kids to see to siphoning off our energy and good sense. And I don’t know if I’m finding more patience and fortitude much less successfully banking it, but I am finding the faith that it will all work out, and that’s just as good.

    • You know, my friend and I have talked about this before and we believe that in times when you are struggling, you actually can draw upon strength and faith and power that you’ve accumulated by consistent righteous living. Kind of a drop-by-drop oil in the lamp analogy. Even when you feel burned out, you can get by temporarily on your OWN borrowed light.

  9. I forgot I was supposed to choose an article for our study group this week and then remembered the last post you did on that talk and grabbed that to email everyone. It was a beautiful talk, thanks for the inspiration.

    Also, I introduced myself to the laundry demon (again) today. Hoping to start taming it tomorrow.

  10. There’s a great website that helps those who live in “chaos” tame the housework dragon. It’s called Flylady.com. I have her “shiny sink” concept down and am on to the “dress down to the shoelaces” challenge. Look her up and see what I’m talking about. She really is helpful.

  11. I’ve been having a discouraged, apathetic sort of day today. Thank you for writing this. For being so real, so open. You inspire even when (especially when) you’re struggling.

  12. Pingback: Tribute to Sister Julie B. Beck « Diapers and Divinity

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