This week, I had neglected some of my duties at home (in order to blog), and it was starting to show. The dishes piled up obscenely on the counter top for days until my poor husband had to break down and tackle them before work one day. And dinner was less than stellar because I just threw something on the table and ran off to mutual on Wednesday night.
Normally, Steve puts up with my shenanigans without complaint, but I guess he was feeling rather neglected himself (and who could blame him?), and when he left for work the next day, he just looked really displeased, which is not a look that I am used to seeing.
So, I decided to spend my day catching up on my chores yesterday, making the house look nice, and doing extra special things to serve HIM, hoping it would be enough to smooth over the hard feelings that I had caused. I worked really hard. But as the day passed, and his return approached I started to feel annoyed and resented the fact that he would get annoyed with me. (At Moi? How dare he!?)
I thought to myself, "If he says one word about the house being a mess, I'm going to blow up, I swear!"
Realizing, that my spirit was not right, I went to my bedroom and read my scriptures until Steve returned.
I was reading silently to myself in Luke 23 about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, but my mind was still swirling with my negative feelings about the situation at home, about my failure to fulfill my duties, and about that look that was on Steve's face when he left the house.
But how to reconcile it? I did not know. I only knew that I should not open my mouth! At all...but just be quiet.
Steve had gotten home late from work, which was probably good, because it gave me extra time to read scriptures and try to change my attitude. We put the kids to bed almost immediately, and then I went back to my room to read scriptures. Steve came in with his Book of Mormon so that we could read aloud to each other from its pages, which is how we try to always start off our 8pm hour (the hour we reserve for each other!)
I did NOT want to read it. I did not want to say those words out loud. I wanted to stay mad! But as soon as I started to read the words of 1 Nephi 11, the rebellious and angry and contentious spirit that was housed inside of me that afternoon immediately vanished. And then the Holy Spirit came instead and so did my tears.
Suddenly, everything was different. I was no longer angry, and suddenly all that mattered was what Nephi saw, not what Steve or I saw. And what Nephi saw was the Savior of the world being slain for our sins.
Now what was different about reading the words of The Book of Mormon that caused me to finally give in and feel peace? Was it the familiarity of those words? What it the juxtaposition of the two books of scripture? Was it reading the verses aloud? Or is it possible that there was just more power in the description given by Nephi? I don't know, but I do know that I felt more peace enter my heart in five minutes of reading The Book of Mormon aloud, than I did in reading for 30 minutes quietly to myself.
And once again, that book changed me.
Now this morning, I wanted to blog about...stuff...and I remembered this book that my Mom had brought to me over Christmas called "Fathers Are People Too." It came from my Grandma's stash of books that my Mom was purging, and she thought I might like it. Steve and I both chuckled about the title when she gave it to us, but put it on the shelf without even opening it.
So today, I finally pulled the book out and opened it. This is what I found:
This inscription was a note from my Grandmother Gladys to my Grandfather Roger on Father's Day 1985. She wrote:
"This Father 'Roger Arthur' is not only a person but the very best in the whole world.
"All his children 'should rise up and call him blessed.' He should be acknowledged every day and especially today.
"I am so grateful for his influence in our lives, and grateful my children love their Dad and grandchildren their 'Bon Papa,' and 'Wild Indian."
"Mizpah, GMO (Gladys Mae Osborne)"
As I read the inscription, I could hear her voice instructing me. She might as well have written, "Jocelyn, one day you will read this, and when you do, I want you to remember that your husband is not only a person but the very best person in the world for you. You would be wise to 'rise up and call him blessed.' You must acknowledge him every day and show him that you care. Every day, not just on special days. You need to be grateful for his influence in your life, because he is a good father to your children and will be beloved by your grandchildren."
It seems like every time I turn around, I am getting a long lost message from my Grandma (who has been gone nearly eight years now!) Who knew that all of her letters, book inscriptions, scripture markings, and personal histories would play such a valuable part in my personal growth, but they have! And I am glad and so lucky to have these timely messages come to me from beyond the grave, as it would seem...from both my relatives and the prophets of old.
The church is true. God lives. The scriptures are power on paper. And I am so thankful for the wisdom that they hold and for the calming influence of the Spirit that they bring into my life. Have a great weekend! And remember that Fathers and Husbands are people too...and they need our love! :)
PS - The girls and I visited Daddy at work today...
and we didn't even say a word about how messy his desk was...ha ha! :)