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MustardSeed

Yesterday was a hard day for me.

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I’m a pretty positive person, my life is pretty good generally.  But I’m starting to see a few things clearly and it’s disappointing to me. 

One thing I recognize clearly is my shortcomings as a spiritual leader in the home. 

My husband is not a leader.  I didn’t want the role so I didn’t do enough. 

I have three very active children and two who are not so active.  Good people, all of them . 

Anyway, yet another combined lesson on come follow me yesterday.  I just couldn’t sit through another one.  I feel beyond inadequate and hopeless.  The Chaff, I suppose.  Someone has to fulfill the prophesy for you all, you’re welcome ;)

I did not fulfill my calling as mother.  We did all the activities, but missed the spirit.  I know my original error but could not have seen it when I was 23 and setting my course.  

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I was moved by your post.  We naturally look at the present as human beings and project that into the future.  The scriptures testify that changes can occur from the present to have a better future.  When the pain is great we despair and that is a very human trait.  I will pray that Lord will show forth blessings to make manifest His mighty power of change and hope in your life

Edited by Metis_LDS
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57 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

I’m a pretty positive person, my life is pretty good generally.  But I’m starting to see a few things clearly and it’s disappointing to me. 

One thing I recognize clearly is my shortcomings as a spiritual leader in the home. 

My husband is not a leader.  I didn’t want the role so I didn’t do enough. 

I have three very active children and two who are not so active.  Good people, all of them . 

Anyway, yet another combined lesson on come follow me yesterday.  I just couldn’t sit through another one.  I feel beyond inadequate and hopeless.  The Chaff, I suppose.  Someone has to fulfill the prophesy for you all, you’re welcome ;)

I did not fulfill my calling as mother.  We did all the activities, but missed the spirit.  I know my original error but could not have seen it when I was 23 and setting my course.  

 

 

 

In someways this post reminds me of mother.  Please..please..for all the expectations of others and expectations of your self, don't let this take away your worth.  You are worthy to love and to receive it. 

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Since this talks about Come Follow Me - I wonder how many people feel like they  have failed as parents because Come Follow Me isn't working well for them, especially when it seems to work so well for others. 

We currently have 2 children at home (17 and 20). Both are good kids, gospel oriented and spiritually minded.

As a parent with our family CFM sessions it has not been easy. In fact it has been frustrating and I get a little irritated when I hear "it is surprising because some of the best families are not doing it" because depending on what comment my son might make you might think they were talking about us.  Not that it matters what someone else thinks, just it isn't rosy for all if us even if families where everyone participating IS spiritually minded so I can imagine it is tougher when everyone is not.

I think we are finally getting to a spot where things are going well. We just needed to adjust things to fit what our family needed. That is going to be different in every family and will change as people change and come and go.

And that was stated from the start - that you fit it to your family, but when you hear all these great stories of it going well, and condemnations you perceive of your family you may start to think "something is wrong with me" when really it just takes time/prayer to see what fits for you.

Edited by Rain
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I am sorry to hear it.  But, as life goes, there are better days ahead.  There's no need, at all, to treat a bad day as a sign that your life started the wrong course 23 years earlier.  I get down like you describe above too, and honestly for me, it feels good to put myself in such a place from time to time, because well....there are so many with the toughest roads to venture down.  

I'm feeling confident you are a delightful person to be around.  I"m sure I'd be blessed to know you, beyond this world of frank religious talk.

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Rain, I hear what you're saying!  My Wife and I discuss this topic quite a bit.  All I know is this...my Wife and I are doing our best.  Like you...it was very difficult for me not to compare my "faithfulness" to that of others.  But, looking back on my life...my Wife and I met in 5th grade, got married the summer of our Sophmore year..she didn't finish HS, I barely did.  We had 3 kids before we were 19 (I know I know! haha)….I had no education....and seemingly no future, at least not financially.  We were the "Ward project", and I say that lovingly and with gratitude.  But, we kept fighting the good fight...and as kids raising kids....I was a mess.  I made SO MANY HUGE mistakes....but my wife was patient with me for the next 24 yrs until the Lord blessed me with a job that I could finally pay the bills.   So, although I wasn't the best at many things...I tried to do be good at the two most important things....loving my wife,   and loving my children.   I suppose that is what I want that Sister above to always remember.  She IS a wonderful Mom in all the most important ways.  She may not be a scriptorian, or have 100 percent attendance at all activities etc....but, I've come to learn and understand (finally)...that is not what the Lord was expecting of me.  He expects me to love my family, provide for my family, be the best Priesthood man I can be (not comparing myself to anyone else) strive to be a good Husband and Father.    The rest is "as I am able".

Watching our kids make choices that we know will bring serious repurcussions….brings such heartache.  Then Satan of course is right there ready to convince us that it's OUR FAULT!   Yes..TRUST IN GOD!!   That's it...it's all right there in those two words!  Thank you!

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2 hours ago, MustardSeed said:

I’m a pretty positive person, my life is pretty good generally.  But I’m starting to see a few things clearly and it’s disappointing to me. 

One thing I recognize clearly is my shortcomings as a spiritual leader in the home. 

My husband is not a leader.  I didn’t want the role so I didn’t do enough. 

I have three very active children and two who are not so active.  Good people, all of them . 

Anyway, yet another combined lesson on come follow me yesterday.  I just couldn’t sit through another one.  I feel beyond inadequate and hopeless.  The Chaff, I suppose.  Someone has to fulfill the prophesy for you all, you’re welcome ;)

I did not fulfill my calling as mother.  We did all the activities, but missed the spirit.  I know my original error but could not have seen it when I was 23 and setting my course.  

 

 

 

I did not want to 'like' your comment, because that seemed inappropriate to what I wanted to express.  Know that you are not alone - there are many of us who struggle to understand where we failed as parents when we have wayward children.  I know I beat myself up daily.  

 

I believe that, 1.  The Lord knows your heart and will judge you efforts as much or more on your desires than on your efficacy., 2. Every parent will mess up in some way or fall short., 3. Time will reveal many things you did right as your kids grow and change - even now, if you choose to measure your kids by the content of their overall character, rather than their current level of activity, you will likely find things to be very proud of., 4.  All of us would fare much better if we could go back in time knowing what we know now., 5. The Atonement is real and will take care of a ton of this - especially in the eternities.

 

Easy things for me to say, since it is my struggle too - but try to be kind to yourself.  I am sure you are a great momma!! 🙂

 

 

Edited by Maestrophil
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Mustard Seed,

[PLEASE NOTE: BEFORE YOU READ FURTHER, THIS IS INTENDED AS ENCOURAGEMENT AND NOT CRITICISM.  IF YOU'RE INCLINED TO SEE ONLY CRITICISM, COME BACK LATER!!!! :D:D ]

With all due respect, I ain't buyin' what you're tryin' to sell!

Are you any better than the average Latter-day Saint?  Maybe, maybe not.  I couldn't say, because I don't know you.  Are you any worse?  Again, I don't know you, so I couldn't say for sure, but based solely on my interactions with you here, I have to say that I seriously doubt it.  That makes you ... pretty much the same as any Latter-day Saint who posts here (more or less), and pretty much the same as any Latter-day Saint you see in the pews of your local chapel every week.

I'm not sure if you saw my response to your recent my-family-probably won't-be-exalted-and-I'm-OK-with-that post on another thread, but here it is again (not completely verbatim, and with some additional embellishment, but as best as I can reconstruct it):

You're not finished.  Members of your family are not finished.  Yes, mortal life is important.  Yes, it should be used wisely.  Yes, some of us are going to use it more wisely than others.  But the work of salvation and exaltation doesn't end, for you, for me, or for anyone else, just because mortal life ends.  This is only the Second Act.  There was a premortal First Act, and there will be a post-mortal (eternal!) Third Act. 

God exalts people.  It's what He does.  Pretty much, it's all He does.  (See Moses 1:39).  He's very good at it.  He's been doing it for a long time.  He'll be doing it for a long time yet.  He has a long time (Eternity!) to do it.  God's only real limitation is that He can't make someone into something s/he doesn't want to become. That's it.  (Maybe that's what you're worried about, but the good news is, He's also very persuasive. ;):D

The only real questions, then, are "Do you want to be exalted?" and "Do you want your family to be exalted?"  That's 99% of the battle right there, and if the answers are "Yes," then you're already up on most of the people in this world.  Again, God's only real limitation is that He can't make someone into something that person doesn't want to become.  Stephen E. Robinson (God rest his soul), told the Parable of the Bicycle.  His daughter wanted a bicycle.  He encouraged her to save her pennies, nickles, and dimes, and eventually, she would have enough for a bicycle.  She did odd jobs for a little here and a little there for quite awhile, finally going to her father in tears and lamenting the (very real, in her tender little heart) fact that she would never have enough for a bicycle.  Her daddy asked her, "How much do you have?"  She said something like, "Sixty cents."  So they made a deal: Brother Robinson said that since she was his daughter and he loved her, she could give her father the sixty cents, a hug and a kiss, and in return, she got the bicycle (which, although it wasn't very expensive, still was something she was unlikely, at that rate, ever to be able to afford on her own).

Well, that "sixty cents, a hug and a kiss" is the equivalent of what God wants from us, and the bicycle is the equivalent of what He gives to us in return: Something which, no matter how much we might try, and work, and scrimp, and save, comparatively speaking, we'll be unable to get on our own. The Atonement isn't about what you do, or what anyone in your family does (or doesn't do): God neither wants nor needs our piddly little sixty cents; He simply wants us to show Him that we want what He wants to give us.  The Atonement is about what Christ did for us.  As Jim's wife, Joann, told him in the Church of Jesus Christ production The Prodigal Son, "None of us can make it halfway through this life or into the next without the Savior."

Someone, Brad Wilcox, I think, once wrote (paraphrasing) that we all have this image of God as a Stern Task Master who will be the one explaining all of the reasons why we won't be allowed to stay when we return to Him, while we plead to be allowed to stay.  In reality, he says, we have that exactly backward: God is the one who pleads with us to do what's necessary to be allowed to stay in His presence, while we, when we do return to His presence, will be the ones who (since we feel so uncomfortable and awkward) will be the ones saying, "Get me outta here!"

If you're finally waking up to the fact that you and those around you are imperfect, mortal, fallible human beings, welcome to the club! ;)  "Lord, I believe.  Help Thou mine unbelief" (Mark 9:24).  As Elder Jeffrey R. Holland once said (paraphrasing), imperfect, fallible, mortal human beings are all God has ever had to work with.  That must be terribly frustrating to him, but He deals with it.  :D

So I guess the bottom line is, "Do you want it?"  Again, God's only real limitation is that even He, powerful as He is, cannot exalt someone against her will.  (But again, even given that, He's very persuasive, and He has Eternity). Just as with the parable of the bicycle, Brother Robinson didn't take his daughter's sixty cents because he needed it to pay for the bicycle.  He could have bought the bicycle with his own money, period.  It was simply his daughter's opportunity to show her daddy what she wanted.  God is like that.  Comparatively speaking, He doesn't need our piddly little sixty cents.  He just wants to know that we want what He already wants to give us in return for those sixty cents.

Edited by Kenngo1969
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4 hours ago, MustardSeed said:

... I did not fulfill my calling as mother.  We did all the activities, but missed the spirit.  I know my original error but could not have seen it when I was 23 and setting my course. 

Did not?  You're finished?  Gave it your best shot, but, "Shut 'er down, Clancy!  She's pumpin' mud!"?  I got news for ya.  I know mothers on the other side who ain't finished.  They still got the job, and they're still on the job.  One of those is my grandmother.  (We only "met" once before she passed away, and I was only a few weeks old at the time: I've heard all of the stories.  She was (is!) quite a lady, and I'm told we have quite a bit in common.  Of all of the "reunions" I'm looking forward to, that's one of the ones I anticipate the most.)  My father had an interesting experience in the Temple, once.  He got some information that he would not have been able to get otherwise that averted a family tragedy.

Edited by Kenngo1969
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3 hours ago, BlueDreams said:

We can't measure our success as parents based on the activity of our children.

Correct. Otherwise, Heavenly Father may be deemed a miserable failure because of the hell-acious choices of a third of His spirit children. 

Besides, our children who go inactive and astray are also God's children.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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28 minutes ago, bsjkki said:

I do like this quote from conference, "It is hard to understand all the reasons why some people take another path. The best we can do in these circumstances is just to love and embrace them, pray for their well-being, and seek for the Lord’s help to know what to do and say. Sincerely rejoice with them in their successes; be their friends and look for the good in them. We should never give up on them but preserve our relationships. Never reject or misjudge them. Just love them! The parable of the prodigal son teaches us that when children come to themselves, they often desire to come home. If that happens with your dear ones, fill your hearts with compassion, run to them, fall on their neck, and kiss them, like the father of the prodigal son did." 

I heard the talk but this marvelous paragraph escaped my notice. I am so grateful to you for posting it. It should be made into a poster.

For those interested, the talk as by: Elder Ulysses Soares, on How Can I Understand.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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4 hours ago, MustardSeed said:

I’m a pretty positive person, my life is pretty good generally.  But I’m starting to see a few things clearly and it’s disappointing to me. 

One thing I recognize clearly is my shortcomings as a spiritual leader in the home. 

My husband is not a leader.  I didn’t want the role so I didn’t do enough. 

I have three very active children and two who are not so active.  Good people, all of them . 

Anyway, yet another combined lesson on come follow me yesterday.  I just couldn’t sit through another one.  I feel beyond inadequate and hopeless.  The Chaff, I suppose.  Someone has to fulfill the prophesy for you all, you’re welcome ;)

I did not fulfill my calling as mother.  We did all the activities, but missed the spirit.  I know my original error but could not have seen it when I was 23 and setting my course.  

 

 

 

Hello. So sorry to hear you are struggling. Its a tough road we all walk. I recommend two easy read books by Stephen Robinson.  They are each about 120 pages. First one is called Believing Christ and the second is called Following Christ.  They both helped me very much at a point in my life where I was feeling like you are.

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God set it up that we most likely have our children while we are still young ourselves and haven't begun yet to figured things out or even the most important question to be asking.  And a lot of parenting requires on the job training.

He could have set it up differently, have women mature reproductively twenty years later so parents are older.  He did not.

Whatever lessons he wanted us to teach our children, apparently he didn't want us to be examples of how to get it right all the time.  Apparently he sees us needing only one example of perfection, Christ, and as far as we know that man was never called upon to be an actual parent in this life so maybe not our parenting skills we should be focused on when asking the question what do we HAVE to get right? (personally I don't think we have to get anything right, this is a time of learning, preparation...we are here to figure out what we really, really, really want and few things teach us that as well as the pain of not having).

Not that we should give up, just saying I think God is asking us something a bit different than we usually think.

Edited by Calm
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56 minutes ago, Wade Englund said:

Correct. Otherwise, Heavenly Father may be deemed a miserable failure because of the hell-acious choices of a third of His spirit children. 

Besides, our children who go inactive and astray are also God's children.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Well put Wade. That is something my wife struggles with since all of her children have fallen away. I have pointed out to her that she never had any support from her first two husbands and that she did the best that she knew how. I also used the point that you just made. But it still is difficult for a woman who loves her children so dearly and has invested so much of her life trying to raise them the way she believes that God wanted, to see them reject those teachings. It is like losing a part of herself in each case and no amount of logic can overcome that feeling of loss. At least she has me to help comfort her. I am pretty third rate but compared to what she had before I guess I win by default. I do really like all of the positive and comforting comments that have come forth in this thread. This is one time I feel all of us are on the same page.

Glenn

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

God set it up that we most likely have our children while we are still young ourselves and haven't begun yet to figured things out or even the most important question to be asking.  And a lot of parenting requires on the job training.

He could have set it up differently, have women mature reproductively twenty years later so parents are older.  He did not.

Whatever lessons he wanted us to teach our children, apparently he didn't want us to be examples of how to get it right all the time.  Apparently he sees us needing only one example of perfection, Christ, and as far as we know that man was never called upon to be an actual parent in this life so maybe not our parenting skills we should be focused on when asking the question what do we HAVE to get right? (personally I don't think we have to get anything right, this is a time of learning, preparation...we are here to figure out what we really, really, really want and few things teach us that as well as the pain of not having).

Not that we should give up, just saying I think God is asking us something a bit different than we usually think.

Beautifully said. One of the best examples parents can set for their children is to model how best to deal with disappointments and when things are not going the way we hope.

Thanks, -Wade Enlgund-

Edited by Wade Englund
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1 hour ago, Wade Englund said:

I heard the talk but this marvelous paragraph escaped my notice. I am so grateful to you for posting it. It should be made into a poster.

For those interested, the talk as by: Elder Ulysses Soares, on How Can I Understand.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Thank you for providing the link...I usually don't forget but was in a rush. It is a really great quote and I will share it far and wide. So many of my friends struggle with blaming themselves for their imperfect children.

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15 minutes ago, Glenn101 said:

Well put Wade. That is something my wife struggles with since all of her children have fallen away. I have pointed out to her that she never had any support from her first two husbands and that she did the best that she knew how. I also used the point that you just made. But it still is difficult for a woman who loves her children so dearly and has invested so much of her life trying to raise them the way she believes that God wanted, to see them reject those teachings. It is like losing a part of herself in each case and no amount of logic can overcome that feeling of loss. At least she has me to help comfort her. I am pretty third rate but compared to what she had before I guess I win by default. I do really like all of the positive and comforting comments that have come forth in this thread. This is one time I feel all of us are on the same page.

Glenn

Actually, I wouldn't want to overcome those feeling, logically or otherwise.  Loving deeply, even given the pain, I see as a good thing. In some respects within a world of agency,  you can't have the one without the other.After all, Jesus wept (one of my favorite scriptures).  It would be disturbing were Jesus to have said, "Oh well, ho hum....just lost another million souls.

To me, your wife's distress is to her credit. She isn't broken and in need of fixing. She is responding naturally as a mother should (in some ways I think the maternal protective instinct is stronger than the paternal instinct).. You likely get this  given your mentioning that you are there to comfort her--which is all she likely need.

Granted, such feelings can, at times, spiral out of control and become detrimental to the mother and children and spouse.. But, I don't get the sense that is the case with your wife--at least I hope it isn't.

Thanks, -Wade Englund- 

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