Earlier this summer I wrote about spending “some” time in the scriptures every day. Today I was thinking about that again.
I know you all have been missing me on the blog (don’t tell me if you haven’t – I like to pretend I am important), and if you read my most recent post on Real Intent you might understand why I have been out of commission for a while. It’s hard to write about spiritual things when you feel utterly non-spiritual.
In short, my soul has not been doing a lot of delighting lately.
Part of that is pregnancy hormones (antepartum depression, anyone?), and part of it is a lack of patience and accepting God’s will. Cheryl wrote recently about how she always thought curve balls would come in a certain way, and the curve balls actually came in different forms than she had anticipated. I think part of my failure to endure is because the trials and adversity that I am experiencing are exactly the last thing I thought I would ever have to endure. I thought that because of choices I had made that I would be protected somehow from these trials.
God can’t/won’t/doesn’t (not sure which one) usually protect us from any trials. He gives them to us maybe a little too willingly for our tastes, but He knows that we can handle it. And He provides a way for us to overcome or bear them. Every time.
There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Corinthians 10:13)
You’d think I had failed seminary with all the scripture mastery verses I seem to be forgetting these days.
You’re probably wondering at this point what on earth the title of this post has to do with the actual post. Well, nothing, yet. I got distracted.
This post has to do with me learning (again … funny how Heavenly Father has to teach us the same lessons over and over and over again … if only I would learn it the first time!) that I do not have to do everything all the time every day.
What does that mean?
It means that I do not have to study the scriptures for four hours a day. One verse, even reading my favorite verse is sufficient, and if I have time one day to study for an hour or so, then great. But forgoing scripture study because I can’t study the way I want to or think I should is a dumb reason not to study the scriptures.
“Spend some time in the scriptures each day.” – Sister Beck
It means that I do not have to clean all three bathrooms in my house all the way in one day. There is no way I can feed my children, dress my children, eat healthy food myself, and keep the house reasonably clean, plus have a little time to read or do something relaxing/recreational and clean all the bathrooms all the way in one day. It’s just not possible. Even if I think to myself “I have no plans today, I can do the bathrooms today.” Ha. Not likely, and I am probably just setting myself up for failure. However, not being able to clean every corner of the bathrooms every day does not mean I should never clean the bathrooms at all.
The other day I wiped down the counters and called it good. And guess what? I felt like I had done something! I didn’t need to be perfect. Today I cleaned all of one bathroom, (the counter was already wiped – ha!) and mopped the kitchen floor. There are still dishes to be done, but the floor is clean.
I don’t have to do it all, all at once.
“Oh, please. Just let the Savior cover this day.
Let Him cover my inability to do and be everything I need to be and can’t be today.
Please let the atonement cover it.”
– Becca Riding, Cover Me, I’m Going In
The lie of perfection is that it is required of us to be 100% perfect 100% of the time, or we are complete and utter failures.
Hello – we are, by virtue of our mortal state, imperfect, and thereby “failures” (through this lens of this lie of perfection).
The hope comes in the atonement, and in doing the best we can.
Yes, I am applying the atonement to cleaning bathrooms.
Because of the atonement, I can wash the toilet in one of my bathrooms and feel like I have done enough. Some days it might be an entire bathroom, and some days it might be all three bathrooms but not the kitchen floor. Some days it might be one load of laundry and we eat frozen corn dogs for dinner.
One of the commenters on that post said, “As a mother I tend to put things off til the moment when all is well and no one needs me” But someone or something will always need us, and we cannot do it all, all at the same time, perfectly.
Thank heavens for the atonement.
Have you ever fallen into the trap of “perfection”? Or do you rely on the Savior’s atonement to perfect you, rather than your own works? Do you do nothing, for fear of coming up short? Or do you realize that no matter how much you do, you will always come up short, and then do as much as you can and let the atonement cover everything else?
Image Credit: Heath Robbins