Today is my second Sunday in a row home from church. Last Sunday I was sick and kept Madeleine home with me. Today Madeleine is sick (with different junk), Erin is coughing a lot, and Carolyn was complaining about a headache. Interestingly enough, last Sunday was harder to be home, I think because it's no fun laying around on the couch. Today I can at least take care of my sickos, and make some bread to take to the bishopric when I pick up the other kids (they've got an extra long day today).
While working on the bread I was listening to some general conference talks. With the big announcement regarding missionary age during conference this fall, many of the other speakers mentioned the announcement. Conference is always a great time for personal evaluation, but knowing that I have one less year of mothering before I send my sons (and now, more potentially my daughters) to the world for 2 years, the evaluating was especially necessary.
My first thoughts were temporal - we need to vamp up cooking practice, piano lessons, and things like that so they can take care of themselves (not that playing the piano is necessary for survival, but for some reason that thought came along with those).
Next, I asked myself if as a family we are doing everything we need to do to help support their spiritual preparation. Are we having family scripture study daily? Family home evening every week? Family prayer? Gospel discussion and sharing my testimony as often as possible without overkill?
My last strong thought on the matter wasn't necessarily evaluation, but still part of their preparation. During the announcement and press conference afterwards it was mentioned that the discussion and decision regarding changing the missionary age had been kept very tight between the first presidency and tweleve apostles, and that this was news to virtually everyone else. I realized at some point that this announcement was a surprise to Satan as well. He also just lost a year - a big year really - when he can turn young men and women to things other than a mission. We all know someone where that year was the difference, right? And I'm sure he's ticked. I'm sure he's pulling out all the stops, and will be doing all he can to get our kids even earlier. Time to be far more watchful, prayerful, and careful than ever. Be the lioness, and fight. (For some especially inspiring words about that, read
Sister Beck's 2010 women's conference talk).
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love and of a sound mind."--2 Timothy 1:7