by Kari Diane Pike
Change is all around me. Unfortunately, it is not the kind of change I can take to the bank. Or is it? I looked out my window Monday morning and noticed that over night the leaves had turned. A light frost covered the grass and I had to turn on the heater. When our daughter came down the stairs I noticed how cute her hair looked and I wondered how long it had been since she asked me to braid it for her. After losing our business and our home, I recently experienced my first job interview and and started working for someone other than my family. Actually, a couple of different job opportunities have been presented to me and they all involve writing from home. Now how cool is that? I feel the Lord's hand in all of this. He has prepared me for all of these changes. So why did I feel so overwhelmed and inadequate all of a sudden?
When these feelings of anxiety and near-panic consumed my mind, I dropped to my knees and sent a fervent and heart-felt prayer to my Heavenly Father. I asked for clarity of mind and direction from the Spirit that I might choose the best things that would help me fulfill my measure of creation. I went through my list of tasks for the day: laundry, scripture study, journal writing, canning pears, tomatoes, apples, cooking dinner (company coming), preparing a family home evening lesson (had to be a good one for said company) mop the floor, perform my paying job, do my homework, plan Wednesday's Relief Society luncheon, feed the dogs, the birds, the ducks, clean the bird cages, vacuum, dust, and tidy the bathrooms. There was more, but they were things I knew I would never get to.
As I prayed, clarity did come. My most important calling is that of wife and mother. I knew in my heart that if I took care of scripture study, family home evening, and a meal first, everything else important would be taken care of. Throughout the day, tender mercies appeared at every corner. Time seemed to expand for the things that needed doing, and the other tasks were either taken on by someone else, or I was shown ways to save them for later. I learned humility as I asked for help from the Lord and from people around me. I learned to have patience with myself. I learned the importance of paying attention.
The phrase "pay attention" has popped up in my life several times in the last couple of weeks. I have learned that when I hear the same admonition three or more times in a week that I had better take heed. Paying attention requires us to block out distractions and focus. I have opportunities for change all around me. (Can you hear the hymn going through my head?) What distractions are holding me back? Fear? Feelings of inadequacy? It is time to go and do something today! Change is good. I think I will start writing about it. Who knows, perhaps one day I will even get to take some of that change to the bank.