It’s not that I don’t accomplish a good number of things on my mental TO DO list each day, it’s just that I have had the annoying habit of focusing on what is left undone rather than seeing with clear vision what I have finished on any given day.
Although I had a morning devotional with the kids completed, 3 carpools driven, showers (with soap!) for all the kids still at home taken , a doctor visit, diagnosis and trip to the pharmacy squeezed into the morning, along with a short shopping trip to pick up some essential items, the bathroom partway cleaned while I talked on the phone with a friend, other random phone calls and texts completed throughout the day, dinner cooked (and relatively well-balanced), an extra serving of it delivered to a friend in a dinner exchange, a random act of service completed (driven by a prompting), and a couple of invitations to an upcoming ANWA open house hand-delivered, I still heaved a weary sigh after dinner was done and I stepped to the sink to do the dinner dishes. This job, claimed tonight by me, allowed my sick son time to recover. For me, however, it created a lingering, final frustration. Our family dinner dishes seldom fit into one dishwasher load, and in my mind, the dishes that would be left on the counter would just be a tangible reminder of all the things on my list from today that I hadn't been able to accomplish.
It wasn't until this past Sunday, when I was sitting in the middle of Sacrament meeting that I was touched by an understanding, a glimpse into my own heart that helped me to draw a parallel into what I can do to change the incessant drive I have had to accomplish more…to expect myself to be able to do everything on my list each day. The parable of Mary and Martha was recounted from the pulpit, with the words "Martha was cumbered about much serving" and requested that the Savior ask her sister, Mary to help her. The Savior answered simply, "Martha, Martha, thou art careful (or worried) and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:40-42)
The words of the Savior touched my heart that day, and I knew of a surety that I had been a Martha. I worry, even when I serve all day long, that it's not enough, just as Martha did. Just as assuredly as I knew I had been a Martha, I also knew that the counsel given her was now being given to me. In order to find the peace that I desire, to feel like I have completed each day doing the things that are most important, I need to choose "the good part", the part that will not be taken away from me.
Children need constant teaching, and as the primary driver for my family, I will be delivering children to activities for many years ahead. We all need to shower repeatedly, and assuredly, we will get ill more than once in our lives. Friendships need nourished, rooms need to be constantly tidied. Dinners need cooked daily and dishes always need rewashed. There is no end to the jobs I do, and each of them can be "taken away from me" as they do not remain completed.
If I choose however, I can make the good part, the part where I seek the Lord and the Savior, a more comprehensive part of my day. Focusing on that "good part" alone can change my heart enough to help me to see what I accomplish daily in a different light. As I focus on making my morning prayers ones of supplication to know the Lord's will, as I stretch my scripture reading into scripture study, and as I strive to listen daily to the promptings of the Holy Ghost, I will feel a deeper peace, an assurance that I am accomplishing something of worth, and ultimately succeeding in my role as a mother, a friend, and a daughter of God. Truly, "the good part, which shall not be taken away."