Thursday, November 5, 2009

Be Dedicated and Be Content

As I was thinking of a new post, these two ideas came to my mind. "Be Dedicated" and "Be Content" (if you haven't noticed, I've been running with the "Be" theme since I seem to get so many ideas that work with it). At first they seemed like different ideas, but as I started to write them separately, I realized that they go together.

I was thinking about being dedicated while I sat in church listening to a Sunday School lesson (way to focus, Lindsey). I was overwhelmed with thoughts of how being a member of my church has effected my life. The things I have done and the people I have met all because of my decision to dedicate my life to living up to what I believe in. I thought of all the ways a person could be dedicated and all the causes one could dedicate their life to. Even if you were an evil villain, you would be dedicated to a cause (an evil one, but whatever). You can focus on smaller goals and larger ones at the same time and accomplish each one step by step. Maybe you feel like writing so you, like many others, decide to dedicate the month of November to writing a novel. Maybe you feel like reading so you decide to dedicate an hour each day to reading, no matter what else happens in your day. There are so many things in this life we can devote ourselves to, the question is how can those things uplift us and help us as women?

My thoughts turn to motherhood. Is there a better example to set for your daughters? To be dedicated to them, to your family, your faith, your livelihood? To be dedicated to being happy and confident? Being actively engaged and committed to a cause can help us in our effort to becoming lovely. Dedication leaves no time for self pity or doubt. There is no time to listen to discouraging words and, better yet, there is no temptation to believe them!

I also thought of being content while sitting in that Sunday School lesson. The two concepts seemed to be connected in my mind. Dedication turned to thoughts of being busy and being busy made me think of being stressed and being stressed made me think of appreciating the small happy moments and then I felt content.

I think, as women, we can focus too much on progress. Have we finished the laundry? Are there dishes in the sink? What is due tomorrow? What have I accomplished today? What have I accomplished this year? There are so many tasks to complete and chores to do. How often do you stop and just enjoy your surroundings? Progress and improvement are necessary and important, but they should not be placed above our personal happiness. It's also important not to get caught up in deadlines...don't set yourself up for failure and disappointment. Look at what you have accomplished and be happy with that. There are days when I'm watching my nephews and absolutely nothing has been accomplished around the house, in fact, it actually looks worse. A lot of times, though, those are the days when I most enjoy being with the boys. Chores are put aside in order to enjoy and take part in their crazy toddler antics. Likewise, when I was in school, I would stress about whether to continue working on an assignment I had spent all day working on or to take a break and go do something fun and pointless. I usually talked myself into being frivolous pretty quickly, but in the end, focusing on both things made college a much better experience.

So, yes, it is good to be dedicated and keep busy, but don't be so busy that you miss out on the joy and satisfaction that surrounds you...the joy and satisfaction that come from devoting yourself to your family or your friends or your career or your favorite cause. Look at how your dedication is effecting others and be content.


abnormallyawesome said...

Coming home from Youth Conference last year I had a new hero. We learned a lot about Lucy Mack Smith(ooh, I wanna be just like her)and I don't know, something about this post sparked a thought about her. I love it. I'm reminded that it really isn't about how much I got done, but how hard I tried. If I'm pushing my work, my temperance, and my faith then that's enough. When I know I'm doing enough, that I am enough, that's when I'm content.

Melissa said...

My husband recently asked if there was one quality that my mother has that I desire what it would be. I said I admire her attitude of contentment. Although she has accomplished, and continues to accomplish great things, she is never chasing rainbows or spending her time wishing to be somewhere or someone else. This post reminds me of my mom :)

annie said...

i really like that you mentioned the example we set of dedication and contentment for our children or other people around us. these are two attributes that can really be a light and comfort to people around us when life is tough.