Here's what my day looked like:
I got up at 6:00am (twenty minutes before my alarm) and panicked a little because I still hadn't quite gotten used to the morning routine of a new school year. The girls were already off to seminary but it was too early to wake the other two, and I really felt like I needed that extra 20 minutes of sleep. So I set out breakfast ingredients and hopped back into bed. But the lists in my brain were already running wild, so all I did was panic for 20 more minutes.
And then I found this in my email box:
"This month, especially if you have a lot to do, try doing more of nothing.If you don’t meditate at all, try 10 minutes a day. If you do meditate,double your time. Then notice the velocity at which things get done.If you don’t notice an improvement in a week, quit. But give it an honest try."
~Doing Nothing… Insight From Martha
Unfortunately that is contrary to everything I typically think on a day like yesterday. I always make time for a prayer, but on days when I start early and run fast, I usually have an abbreviated version of my morning meditation. But, I firmly believe that things cross our paths for a reason...quotes, experiences, friends, etc. So I stopped what I was doing, and took some time to find a quiet place and double the time I normally spend in prayer. Oh man, was it hard! On mornings when I have no plans and no one waiting for me, I like to have long leisurely prayers. So I thought I'd increase "long and leisurely" to "all inclusive and really intent."
At first, I had to really force myself to be calm and deliberate with my words instead of hurrying through. I didn't really have 10 minutes to pray much less 20! The lists in my head distracted me for awhile and I had trouble thinking of sincere words. And then, I turned off all the outside noise and just started listing out loud all the things I'm grateful for. And when I thought I was finished, I made myself think of a few more. After I felt like I had covered absolutely everything, I asked for help to be open to the influence of the Spirit throughout the day, to act quickly on the things I heard, and to be uplifting and useful in the things I had to do. And then, even though I felt pulled to get up off my knees and start moving, I stayed and listened. Those are always the best times...when it's quiet enough to hear specific instruction from the Lord.
22 minutes later I finished getting dressed and went about my day.
Here are the things that I noticed...
- My typically chatty and overbooked dentist office was unusually efficient and I got out of there in a record 20 minutes.
- I used that 30 minutes to catch up on emails and school forms that still needed to be filled out.
- I had a 30 minute break in my 10:00-1:40 volunteer shift at the school, so I got to have lunch which always makes me happy.
- I had time after volunteering at the school to pick up the extras for dinner, come home and put them all away, and cut up fruit for dinner.
- I had time to have a "snack and chat" with my kiddos after school and still get homemade calzones in the oven for the missionaries who arrived at our house for dinner at 5:00.
- I met McKay's baseball coach.
- I made it everywhere I needed to be on time.
- I was in a great, happy, positive, unrushed mood ALL DAY LONG!
I want to write this down because I want to remember ALWAYS...especially the next time a crazy day rolls around...that when you set the tone for the day with sincere prayer, the whole day is more manageable and fulfilling.
There were plenty of things that could have gone wrong yesterday. There were potentially frustrating people and situations that might have pushed me over a few ledges. But none of those things happened. Instead, I had more time than I expected to have. I got more done than I expected to. And I was happy doing all of it.
That little quote is going up on my bulletin board and I will be teaching that principle to all my children. Take time to acknowledge Heavenly Father, to be grateful for the things you've been given, and he will bless your life in ways you cannot even imagine.
I'm grateful for an awesome day, for the power of prayer, and for a Heavenly Father who is aware of each one of us and wants us to be happy.