One line from Sister Julie Beck's conference talk:
"There is much distraction and not enough peace and joy."
Every time I hear or read that again I think, "I KNOW!" This past week has especially felt like a very ADHD one for me. Going/thinking/getting pulled in all kinds of directions, no focus whatsoever. It is not a peaceful feeling.
A few days ago I was especially disturbed by it all. Driving somewhere I was trying to think of what I needed to do to center myself, and had the thought to stop thinking about myself and think about someone else. I didn't come up with anyone until I drove past the office my sister works at and realized that I hadn't stopped by to say hi for a few months. When I drove past it again on my way home, I pulled in and chatted with her for a bit. And it helped.
The next day I was making rolls and decided that I should drop some off to my other sister. That helped too.
I can thus deduce that service is one thing that helps me feel more peace and joy. I actually have a quote hanging on my cupboard door that was put there a long time ago to remind me of this:
"Never suppress a generous thought."
My biggest distraction lately is the greatness of others. I love to read about great things people are doing because it is inspiring! But I've noticed that rather than inspiring me to be more of my own kind of greatness, I become distracted from that, wondering if I should be doing what they are doing, or kicking myself because I'm not doing what they are doing.
I was going to post links to some of those things but I don't want to.
Instead, here's a reminder for myself, even if it's only myself. For every great thing that I see others doing that I currently am not doing, or try to do but really struggle with, I know people that I love and admire that also do not have those qualities. Some of them are the very opposite of those qualities (like me), yet they are incredible people that have wonderful children and they should probably have already been translated, but thank goodness they haven't because then I couldn't love and admire them nearly as closely and easily. TA DA!!!
The lesson in all that is that I need to stop being distracted by everything I'm not doing. I was sent here with my own package of talents and my own mission to fulfill. Theirs is not mine, mine is not theirs. I need to be "distinct and different--in happy ways," not the same and discouraged. My family will be blessed when I'm working on those things, because then I WILL be feeling the "peace and joy" Sister Beck talked about, and will then share that with them.
I read the rest of her talk again and found some more especially applicable quotes.
"A good woman knows that she does not have enough time, energy, or opportunity to take care of all of the people or do all of the worthy things her heart yearns to do. Life is not calm for most women, and each day seems to require the accomplishment of a million things, most of which are important. A good woman must constantly resist alluring and deceptive messages from many sources... But with personal revelation, she can prioritize correctly and navigate this life confidently."
"Good women always have a desire to know if they are succeeding. In a world where the measures of success are often distorted, it is important to seek appreciation and affirmation from proper sources. To paraphrase a list found in Preach My Gospel, we are doing well when we develop attributes of Christ and strive to obey His gospel with exactness. We are doing well when we seek to improve ourselves and do our best. We are doing well when we increase faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and seek out and help others who are in need. We know we are successful if we live so that we qualify for, receive, and know how to follow the Spirit. When we have done our very best, we may still experience disappointments, but we will not be disappointed in ourselves. We can feel certain that the Lord is pleased when we feel the Spirit working through us. Peace, joy, and hope are available to those who measure success properly."
Thank you, Sister Beck!