Recently I seem to have read, heard, and even conversed often about the topic of how to take time for yourself as a busy Mom. One blog I read even compared the subject to flying. When you fly with children the flight attendants direct you to put on your own oxygen masks before attending your child. Her analogy was simple: if you are not taken care of, then how can you care for others? While the message was directed at young moms, I believe it to be a very important message for each of us as members of the church.
Every one of us is surrounded by our own whirlwinds of life. We have school to get ready for, children and grandchildren to worry about, careers to work at, and finances and homes to maintain. I am in constant awe as I watch the women around me maneuver their way through their whirlwinds. And sometimes I wonder how they do it. Recently my husband, children and I were in Sacramento where he spent almost the entire time there arranging for the care of his elderly grandmother. He was overwhelmed with responsibility and I was exhausted from dealing with the kids. We stopped to get lunch and the two boys were in the back seat asleep so my awesome husband ran in to grab sandwiches while I stayed with them. My mind was racing and I could not calm down. I remember carefully bowing my head and just saying "Heavenly Father, how can I do it all?" I felt as if to say "Master, the tempest is raging..." I raised my head and stared across the street, only then to notice an LDS chapel that I had not previously seen. His answer was so obvious to me. "Peace. Be still." The only thing holding me together at that moment was the knowledge and testimony I have of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Our huge trials might seem insignificant when compared to those of others, but they are real and they are our own personal challenges. I want to tell you that while it is important to take care of your health and well being in order to be able to care for others, it is even more important to take care of your spiritual well being in order to provide yourself with the peace and happiness you need to make it through your storms. Helaman 5:12, in the Book of Mormon, is one of my favorite scriptures:
"And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall."
Most of us would never forget to brush our teeth, rarely ever forget antiperspirant, and manage to feed ourselves and our families on a regular basis. Our spiritual care should be just as common, just as important for us as our other daily tasks. That foundation of faith and spiritual strength which we can easily build each day should already be there before the trials begin so that they can carry us through the difficult times. Please remember to take "spiritual" time for yourselves.