Monday, August 22, 2016

Parenting Tip - "Not Shrinking" is More Important Than Surviving

Elder Neal A. Maxwell served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) for 23 years.  His last few years were spent painfully battling leukemia.  After undergoing chemotherapy, he was asked by Elder David Bednar, also an apostle in the LDS church, what lessons he had learned through his illness.  Elder Maxwell replied, "I have learned that not shrinking is more important than surviving."
Not shrinking?  What does that mean?
        The scriptures say:  
“Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.
“For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
“But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
“Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—“Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men”.  D&C 19:15-19

Again, the phrase, not shrink.  We know Christ did not shrink from the agony he suffered for us in the Garden of Gethsemane or on the hill of Golgotha. He did not shrink and he did much more than "survive".  He overcame!  He was triumph!  His path led to a glorious reward.  And while He was on that earthly path, He walked in love and humility, taught with gentleness and compassion and set the perfect example for us to follow.

How can we apply this concept to our lives, to our daily struggles, to our trials.  How can we not shrink and do more than just survive?

When we are tested, when we have situations arise that are not fun, be it financial loss, health issues, problems with children, depression or a myriad of other concerns, how do we face these situations?  By not shrinking from them, I picture us as meeting our problems head on.  We deal with them.  We have faith that they will pass and that a wise Father in Heaven will give us strength to get through them and learn from them.  

If we don't shrink, we have patience and longsuffering.  "But how long is longsuffering suppose to last," I ask myself?  "I do have patience.  But come on, how long do I have to have patience," I ask impatiently?????

If we don't shrink from our problems we are cheerful as we go through them.  We think positive thoughts, and are kind when we feel miserable, are gentle when we want to hit something or someone and refuse to let the adversary lead us into depression and bitterness. 

When I have big trials and problems, not shrinking is my goal.  But what about those little pesky or middle sized trials and problems.  What about a house too small for your family or a 3 year old who doesn't want to be potty trained?  What a spouse who doesn't agree with your spending values or a teenager who wants to be more independent? What about your boredom in staying home with the kids or your jealousy of your friend's slim body? Here's one, what about what to fix for dinner every night when you hate to cook?

The answer to not shrinking is the same for big or small problems and trials.  Face them.  Problem solve them. Pray for strength, insight and faith to overcome, learn and grow. Listen to the answers that will come.

Not shrinking is more important than surviving.  Surviving means you got through it.  Not shrinking means you were faithful, you learned and you made it to the end with glory and honor.

Here's to not shrinking!!

Thanks for reading,

Cathy

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4 comments:

  1. Wow Cathy! Thank you for the insight! I've often thought, "I just have to survive for this or that", but I always thought in the same moment "I never just want to survive!". This idea has given wings and direction to a thought I've been mulling over for many years!

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  2. Wow Cathy! Thank you for the insight! I've often thought, "I just have to survive for this or that", but I always thought in the same moment "I never just want to survive!". This idea has given wings and direction to a thought I've been mulling over for many years!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for your comment, it meant a lot to me!
    Wings and directions.....what a cool visual

    ReplyDelete

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