I really appreciated the story by Carolynn R. Spencer entitled "Was I Living The Gospel Fully?" in the July edition of the Ensign magazine. Spencer talks about how, after a day of taking care of a house full of sick children, she felt guilty when she read the scripture in Jacob 2: 19 which talks about how to live the gospel fully we need to "... to clothe the naked, and to feed the hungry, and to liberate the captive, and administer relief to the sick and the afflicted." She felt overwhelmed thinking "How can I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and help people spiritually when I can scarcely take care of my own family?" Then she had an overwhelming insight that what she was doing as a mother WAS living the gospel fully-- she had spent ALL DAY feeding her hungry, naked and sick children and she knew that God had accepted her offering.
Because my own life has been a crazy whirlwind and because I sometimes it is all I can manage to get dressed in the morning and chase around a little 19 month old, I really appreciated this insight. I think one of the things that women forget is that what we do as women, wives and as mothers is IMPORTANT work and that God recognizes and accepts the sacrifices we make. I've written before about how the women at the empty tomb were the first to get to see and touch the Resurrected Christ because they were there doing the nitty gritty women's work of taking care of Christ's body. What women are called to do in the home is just as important and necessary as the preaching and administering that men are called to do outside the home. If women don't get enough credit and recognition for their work that is our failing as a society and not because God doesn't appreciate or value their work. I know that God notices women and that He blesses them for what they do for His children.
This knowledge gives me a lot of peace right now, because in all honesty it has been hard for me to do much more than just take care of myself and my family. While I still think it is good ( and important) to find time to serve others and to respond to the prompting that God sends me, I find peace in knowing that I am
clothing the naked
feeding the hungry
and administering relief to the sick
and the afflicted
and that in a BIG and IMPORTANT way I am helping to build and strengthen the Kingdom of God. I just need to give myself more credit and realize that there I am doing EXACTLY what God wants and NEEDS me to be doing right now-- even if sometimes it isn't that glamorous and probably won't get written down as scripture -- which in my opinion (which isn't much next to God's) is what should have have been written on them ;) So just remember to give yourself a little bit more credit at the end of the day, because God knows what you've been up to.