Monday, March 28, 2011

Tender Mercies: Sunday School Edition

So lately I have considered officially changing my middle name to Inadequate. It's just a silly guilt-ridden phase I'm going through. At least I hope it's a phase and not that I really truly am completey over my head in every possible capacity. . .
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Anyway, before church yesterday I was in my thinking spot having another personal chat with Heavenly Father and I asked Him to please help me get past this silly slump and find a more confident attitude to replace all the feelings of inadequacy and failure that I have been riddled wih the last couple of weeks.
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He came through. He always does.
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This time it was through the efforts and preparation of Sister Wach, our wonderful Sunday School teacher. She always puts such foresight into her lessons, and she tries to bring out a different perspective or message from the stories we all know so well. Because of this facet to her teaching style, we got into an interesting discussion about Christ feeding the masses with the loaves and fishes. Sister Wach said that for the first time in studying this familiar miracle, she put her focus on the lad with the fishes and loaves.
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There were thousands of people present at that site. Surely more than that boy had come with some kind of provision for hunger, but only that young boy had the faith and the generosity to come up to the Savior and his apostles and offer what he had to try and help with the predicament. The faithful boy knew that what he had to offer would not even put a dent in the need that was before them, but he still brought forth what he had and willingly gave it to the Savior. This 'inadequate' offering was then miraculaously turned into a feast of plenty for the multitude, and that boy got back more than he had started with.
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Sister Wach took this interesting perspective and drew a parallel to herself in some of the daunting callings she had been given in her life. She shared her fear and reservation when called to leadership or teaching positions when she was a new convert. She had felt like that small lad with a meager basket not full enough for a multitude, but somehow the Lord had always come through and helped her magnify those abilities to the point that she was able to fulfill her calling successfully and come out the other side with more confidence, faith, and conviction than she had before those callings.
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This was my answer to my shower-pleading with the Lord yesterday morning. It isn't so much my church calling that is weighing me down at the moment- but the fact that the church calling is just one of the many hats I am trying to balance at the moment. I don't even look that good in hats. I wish I did though. Hmm, that metaphor took a bad turn. . .
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Lately I have felt more than slightly overwhelmed with the weight of my role as a mother and wife and Saint and friend and sister and and and and. Mostly the mom thing, though. The importance of worthy homes and attentive mothers and all that jazz is supposed to be motivating and inspiring but for me, sometimes, all that hype is just terrifying. How am I not supposed to feel frightened when I hear MY influence and teachings for my children will be the MOST integral piece of the puzzle as to whether or not they rebel or succeed? Scary.
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I want good kids, and that takes a good mom, and I don't feel like I am all that great at this sometimes. A lot of times. OK, all the dang time!
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As Sister Wach talked about the young lad with the barley loves and fishes presenting his limited offering to Christ, and about how He accepted it and made it work, I knew that was the message for me. I am doing what I can, and just like the boy, what I have to offer truly is not enough. I am not being too hard on myself when I say that- I am just being realistic. What I have not been allowing myself to think and feel, however, is that I don't have to do this alone. My meager offering will be supplemented not only by Ross and his fathering awesomeness (for reals- the guy is fantastic) but also by the Lord who wants what is best for my children just as I do.
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He will take my mothering loaves and fishes and make them a parenthood feast. Did that take it too far? I hope not.
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I am grateful to a wonderful Sunday School teacher who takes her calling seriously and worked a mini miracle in my life through her valiant study and preparation. A tender blessing for sure.

2 comments:

Grandma said...

Amanda you are doing an awesome job as a mom! and yes much of your time will be on your knees asking, no pleading with the Lord for help.Just like the "lad" in the scriptures offer all that you have to the Lord and then let him do the rest! I thought you were in Primary? how did you get to listen to the lesson? keep going super mom!

emi-jo said...

dear amanda -
you are always such an inspiration to me - i needed to read this today. thank you for being willing to share your personal spiritual insights!
i love you so!

- em