Give Me A Simple Life

Saturday, April 3, 2010

(picture taken by my little photographer Noelle)

I really related to Julie Beck's comments today in the saturday morning session of conference. I have been thinking about those things a lot lately. I want a simple life. I like peace and quiet. I want to feel appreciated. Sometimes I wonder and think about ways to make my life more simple. But then I remember-

I chose to have 5 children. Children who laugh and cry and fight and run around the house.
Children who are masters at making a mess and claiming that they didn't do it. Children who produce more dirty dishes and soiled laundry than could ever be done in a day. Children who play the piano and sing songs..... loudly. Children who want to be inside when I want them outside and outside when I want them inside. Children who can whip up a wild tsunami in the bathtub. Children who wake me up too early and sometimes keep me up too late. I have children who have strong personalities. I did not choose a simple life, but I would not change it.

I chose to be a wife and a stay at home mom during a time in our world where very few consider this position to be of the utmost importance to, not only the future of my family but the future of our world. Do I always even see the importance of this role? On a global level, yes, and if anyone were to ask me what I thought the most important thing I could be doing is, I would of course, without fail answer, "mothering my children". But do I really always feel this in my heart? Would I question my worth if I did? Would I question if I am doing enough? Making a big enough difference? I did not choose a simple life, but I would not change it.

I chose to be a wife to a husband and have a large family with him. I am very mindful of the little children as they demand my attention, but as my husband does not do this in the same way the children do, I can sometimes be neglectful of that sacred and vital relationship. A relationship I cherish- in thought but not always in deed. It takes time and energy and work and sometimes sacrifice to keep a marriage strong and healthy. When the world can degrade marriage and the family is being pulled apart, reverence and respect for marriage must be defended and protected at all costs. I did not chose an easy life, but I would not change it.

I chose to be a member of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints and there are those who do not understand or agree with my beliefs, there are times when I must take a stand and times when I must step out altogether and there are even times when people will accuse me of not being a Christian at all. I do not understand how they could think this aside from being sadly misinformed. But it hurts and yet I will not ever deny what I believe nor will I impose myself on others. My husband and I are busy with church responsibilities and activities which like everything else take time and effort. To assist in the Lord's work is a privilege but also another responsibility. I did not chose an easy life, but I would not change it.

I chose to homeschool my children- 5 very different children with different needs and personalities. I wonder if I am doing enough or if I can really teach them what they need to know or at least what others tell me they need to know. I am with them all day and rarely get any down time until they are all nestled in bed for the night and then I roll into bed and wonder if they learned anything today, if they felt enough love and how tomorrow will go and yet my children are with ME, everyday, where I feel they are suppose to be, being taught the things they will need to have success in this life and also in the life to come. With this knowledge comes confidence and peace and assurance that we will make it through and we are on the right path. I did not chose an easy life, but I would not change it.

As a family we chose to be pet owners, home owners, business owners and gardeners. Each of these things requires time and planning and elbow grease. Would I really feel fulfilled with a life of ease? I know for myself that the answer is no. There is great satisfaction in accomplishing something, something hard. Seeing the results of a garden planted that supplies food and beauty, watching my children care for Heavenly Father's creatures and learning so much in the process, making a house a home and a safe haven for our family and gaining the courage that is needed and the faith that is strengthened by owning our own business. I did not choose an easy life, but I would not change it.

I chose to come to earth and gain a body and go through trials and pain so that I could learn what I need to know to become like my Heavenly Father. I knew that this would not be easy, how could it be? To become like God! This alone is my goal, the whole purpose of everything else I do. This could never have been an easy task, what of worth could possibly be gained from a life of leisure and ease? I did not choose an easy life, but I would not change it.

So when I feel burdened and weighed down with all the challenges and responsibilities that I have, when my children are fighting, when my marriage is not where I want it to be, when I am tired I need to remember that this is the life I chose. This is not about who is busier than who, because everyone is busy doing something. The important thing is what we are busy doing. Is what I am busy doing going to get me where I want to be? That is the question we must ask ourselves. My answer to that question is in heaven with my family, there will be my reward, the peace I seek, the quiet I so rarely enjoy here in this noisy world. Day by day, choice by choice I am where I chose to be but also where I am suppose to be. I do not have the easy life that at moments I wish I did. What can I do? What can I eliminate? It is not a matter of my calendar being too full or biting off more than I can chew, it is simply that I have things I need to learn, I have great potential to achieve and with that comes a life filled with teaching opportunities - to be kinder, to be more patient, to be more long suffering, to be more giving. I did not chose an easy life, and I WOULD NOT change it.


  1. Shelli, This is beautiful. I think we are kindred spirits. I look at this and think how is she writing about my life. Although I don't homeschool. Anyway, I gave a class at a Stake Youth Activity that made me realize "Did I make a difference" We all have different abilities and talents but Today did I make a difference. I know you make a difference in your kids, husband, and peoples life that you come in contact with. It has been such a long time since we have been in Victoria but I am glad to be in contact with you. You make me feel like it is all worth it. Thanks. Carrie