Here are the things that really stood out to me this past week (these chapters are PACKED with important stuff and messages that totally hit me):
- Faith in Christ and understanding of His character, actions and sacrifice is the key to everything. I want to get to know Christ better through reading and prayer and through thinking daily about how my actions and thoughts can be more Christ-centered (I've been thinking about my mom's story of her converstion to Christ that she shared with us this summer - she's shared it before but it really hit me this time. And my sister Shawni has obviously been thinking about it as well since she did a beautiful blog post about it here.) I love how Mosiah points out that when we truly believe in Christ and believe Christ, so many good things follow including that we are able to teach our children to love and serve one another and to be faithful themselves.
- Loving and full obedience to Christ's teachings should result from true faith. This week, I was led to really examine how obedient I am and I found some important areas I need to focus on more. I asked the Lord, "what do I need to work on?" and as I read, these answers came to my mind. I need to be a better follower and a better listener. I need to be more open-minded and open-hearted (especially towards those who seem to lack in open-mindedness). I need to love more and praise more. I need to be more like my kids in many ways (and I have on my list for this upcoming week to write out what characteristics in each of my kids I should emulate more). I need to pray more throughout the day rather than just at the regular times. I need to be more in awe of God so that I can be more full of the joy that comes from gratitude and the softness that comes from humility.
- Do all things in wisdom and order (Mosiah 4:27). I don't need to do everything. I just need to do the right things in the right order. And that takes some stopping and thinking as well as some trial and error (I think wisdom is something gathered from looking back and seeing what you've done right and wrong. We gain wisdom as we take the time to analyze and gain perspective.) I need to apply more wisdom and order to my life. The question came to mind: What order should I do things in? And the obvious answer came: Jared and the kids come first alongside my personal development and progression. Then comes my extended family. Then my church callings (Primary presidency and visiting teaching) and personal callings (friendships, community involvement, and Power of Moms). So I've really worked this last few days to order my days based on what my true priorities are by spending a few minutes each evening to prayerfully choose just a few simple actions I'll do first thing the next day ahead of everything else on my "to-do" list. It's helping.
I don't know if I'll ever find any one picture of Christ that will fully resonate with me. But I can find bits of many pictures that do resonate and looking at the pictures is beneficial to me, even if none of them feels just right to me. Similarly, I love learning from the way that different people emulate Jesus (many of them without really realizing they are emulating Him) and putting together my testimony and practices using many sources.
Here are some pictures we had on our walls growing up and some others I like for various reasons. But I like the picture in my mind best and even if I were a great artist, I doubt I could capture it.