We have a wonderful Relief Society presidency in our ward, their love and concern for the sisters is amazing. The latest emphasis is to help us in our Visiting Teaching. The principle is simple - We need to love our sisters more, and we develop that love by getting to know each other. As we come to know each other we will care for each other more. To help us, they will issue us a challenge every month. For October the challenge is to ask our sisters
"If you had an afternoon to yourself, how would you spend it?"
I love this question. Our sisters are at different stages in their lives, but they are all busy women. I am sure that an afternoon all to themselves would be lovely! But there is a deeper question there which I have pondered myself.
5 weeks ago I injured my ankle, and then developed a blood clot in my calf which set recovery back a little. I have spent a lot of time confined to the sofa which (as per the kids) became "Mummy Command Centre" or "Mummy HQ". I had my phone, iPad, laptop, scriptures, journal, stationery, books, woolbasket and more all around me. I have to admit I spent a lot of time floating aimlessly between email, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and other social media until one day I sat pondering the issue of "time". I had been thinking about adversity and trials, reflecting on Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail and the Lord's admonition to "endure well" (D&C 121:7-8).
Enduring vs enduring well.
The thought struck me that I was not enduring well. I was certainly cheerful and filled with faith in my recovery, but I was not enduring well. I was passing time. I was not actively seeking to learn from my time of relative adversity.
I realised that trials or tests of faith can come in many forms, and that one of the biggest tests I was facing was simply in how I spend my time during this period where I had no specific demands for it/me. I couldn't do cooking, cleaning, school run, work, shopping or any of the other many tasks that would normally occupy my day. My time was completely unstructured and at my disposal during the day. So, how was I choosing to spend it? The question went right to the core, to my priorities. I saw that there were still lessons for me to learn and truths to ponder. There were things that I could do to serve, to lift, to love even from my sofa. There is nothing inherently wrong with spending time on social media, but if I am reaching out for entertainment before reaching out to the Lord or to others, then my priorities could do with a little tweaking.
" We are responsible for our own actions and accountable to God for what we choose to do with our lives. Life is God’s gift to us, and what we do with it is our gift to Him". - Elaine Cannon "Agency and Accountability" GC Oct 1983