What does a typical day look like for you?
A typical day for me would probably be a pretty unique experience for most people. If my day has not already begun before dawn by nursing a crying baby back to sleep, I am usually woken up by husband’s alarm or a bit later by my husband himself. I help my husband gather our children into the living room around 6 am for family prayer and scripture study. Afterwards, my husband hugs and kisses each of us and leaves for his job.
At that point, I have to put my leadership hat on and remind all the children to straighten their bedrooms and gather any dirty laundry into the laundry room. I usually hear a bit of tired grumbling from at least one of my children and have a child or two I have to remind SEVERAL times to stay on task. On most mornings I make a breakfast of eggs, muffins, or cottage cheese with fruit while everyone does a “breakfast chore.” These usually are chores such as unloading the dishwasher, sorting the laundry that was gathered by everyone, taking care of our dog’s needs, setting the table for breakfast, helping me with breakfast, or changing the baby’s diaper. I’m often holding the baby and trying to drink my morning water while doing this. We all sit down to pray and eat breakfast together. Usually the baby is being really cute and sweet or screaming at me because I am not feeding him fast enough! There’s probably at least one child who is sad because I did not make a favorite breakfast. I have to tell that child maybe I can make their favorite another day and to be grateful there is food on the table!
After breakfast everyone clears their dishes and gets out their school books. They each have math and writing assignments. Science, Spanish, history, and reading are also included as well as other subjects, life skills, and healthy emotional management depending on the day and the age of the child. I enjoy a bit of spontaneity, so I try to incorporate some flexibility into our school every day!
I usually plan and make preparations for dinner that night and wash and dry laundry while helping with school questions and trying to help the younger ones settle disagreements or snuggle with them on the couch. My older children each have a monthly check-list that helps them see what their responsibilities and assignments are for each day.
One of the older children is often assigned to help get lunch for everyone while I am finishing up chores around the house and yard and the younger kids are running in and out of the house! My husband calls me most days to chat for a bit while he eats his lunch. After lunch, I give each child an assignment for an afternoon chore. I drive to town a couple of times a week to take my children to music lessons or a home school group field trip. I pick up any groceries I need for the next week while I’m out to conserve fuel in our car.
When I get home, we all work to finish up dinner and get the table set. When Dad gets home, we pray and eat. After dinner, we all clear the table. My husband loads the dishwasher and starts it. He also makes his lunch for work the next day using any leftovers from dinner or other items from our pantry and refrigerator.
We spend time talking, laughing, and finishing projects for Church service or around our home and then we get ready for bed. My husband, myself, and the older children generally are each responsible to get one of the younger children ready for bed by brushing teeth, putting pajamas on, changing diapers, etc.
Personal scripture study, personal prayer, brushing my teeth, exercising, and showering are interlaced throughout my day when I get a few free moments! I also embrace Gospel teaching moments, pause in the middle of projects to acknowledge my children’s successes and antics, discuss hopes and dreams with my teenagers for their future, and LISTEN a lot. With 6 children, that takes up ample time! At least once a month I have to pay bills, be a helpful visiting teacher and friend, and stay in touch with family and friends who live far away. Just writing this is making me feel a bit exhausted, but grateful for all my luxuries and good health that help me accomplish these responsibilities in my life! Thank goodness for the weekends as well, when I can go on a date with my husband and attend Church to refresh my spirit and refill my cup!
Tell us about something that has been essential in your personal conversion to Jesus Christ and His gospel.
‘The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ’ is an essential part of my conversion to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is difficult to convey in words how much I love this sacred book of scripture. It broadens my worldview and testifies that Heavenly Father truly loves ALL of His children regardless of where they lived before our world had the technology to share the good news of His Gospel! It complements the Bible and helps to bring us to Christ through pure doctrine.
The Temple is also essential in my faith in Jesus Christ and His Church and priesthood authority being restored to the Earth in these latter-days. Baptism is essential as exemplified by the Saviour himself. Because of God’s holy temples multiplying throughout the world, baptism is available to all who never had the opportunity to receive that ordinance on this earth! ALL of His children also have the privilege to be endowed with power to inherit all our Father has if we obey His commandments! The temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints truly testify of God’s perfect plan to make possible the return of His children to their heavenly home, regardless of their life circumstances and era of existence.
I have had multiple experiences while reading the scriptures and attending the Temple when the Holy Spirit has given me crucial information and guidance that I never would have thought of on my own.
How does the restored gospel affect your life on a day-to-day basis?
God’s commandments are constantly on my mind throughout the day. How I choose to dress, the words I speak, what I choose to look at or listen to either invites the Holy Spirit or, in contrast, turns my thoughts to the world. I have hope in Christ’s sacrifice that I, my loved ones, and the entire human family can choose to have faith in Him, humbly repent, and continue trying to obey His commandments to return home to the embrace of a loving Father someday. Although I make mistakes every single day, I can also repent every single day. As I stay true to my baptismal and temple covenants and pray for forgiveness and strength through the atonement of Jesus Christ I can become a living witness of the culture of the Gospel, rather than the culture of the world.
On a daily basis, the Restoration of the Gospel allows me to see more clearly with my spiritual eyes. The Gift of the Holy Spirit, modern prophets, and the scriptures allow me to discern between good and evil with purity. Heavenly Father’s plan for me and all of His children is beautiful and intensely outshines the desires of the natural man and the culture of the world, when viewing through the lens of the Plan of Happiness made plain through the Restored Gospel.
My divinely appointed role as a mother and wife in our family is more apparent to me. That knowledge helps me get through so many difficult days by understanding the eternal significance of my responsibility to dedicate my time and talents to teaching my children the Gospel and guiding them toward the Savior, as well as the joint effort needed for my husband and I to realize our eternal potential. Without the knowledge I have of the Plan of Salvation, I would not have the same conviction to stay focused on the MOST important lessons and purposes of this life. Caring for a family is truly difficult, but when I feel helpless I know I can pray to a Heavenly Father who truly cares and values my efforts. I know He will help me with my most important work of being a mother and wife.