So Why a Living Room?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Day #5. Creation, Fall, Atonement.

Three important words in the gospel are


These are the three pillars of eternity.   There was creation of the earth, the fall of man, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and that in a nutshell is the plan of salvation.  Well, these three phases are also present on a smaller scale in our lives as we make major transitions or go through processes.

For example:  You get accepted to a college and you get all excited about getting ready, and taking classes, and getting to know people and living "on your own."  That is creation.  Inevitably, though, you reach the time when you have issues with your roommates, the classes are hard or boring, and you start to realize that cooking your own meals and doing your own laundry is lame. This is the fall.  And so, it is because of our "fall" experiences, that we come to need the Atonement.  We need Someone to give us strength, perspective, and assurance during the low times so that we can overcome them and eventually scale to another creation, this time on a higher plane. And in this process we come to know Jesus Christ as He lifts us up to higher ground. 

 Here is one more example of this idea just for fun:
Creation  (literally): "Wow, I'm going to be a mother!  This is incredible. I'm going to go buy cute little onesies and set up the nursery and read books about labor and delivery and tell everyone the exciting news!"

Fall:  "Okay, all of the pregnant people I've seen in my life can't possibly have felt as awful as I feel, can they?  This is so hard.  Nausea. Pain.  Blood sugar roller coaster.  Depression.  Is this ever going to end?!"

Atonement:  "Father, help me to keep perspective and view this as a privilege and to rejoice that I get to bring a child into the world.  Help me to let my spirit emanate light in spite of this mortal prison I am in right now."

I love this concept of Creation, Fall, Atonement,  (thanks, Mom, for teaching me about it!) and it has really helped me during the "fall times" to remember that it's an inevitable part of life, and that it is as we overcome those times THROUGH the atonement, that we find true joy.

So, Monday was definitely a fall day  (That would be day #-1 of this look up/find the joy quest, which was part of the impetus for the whole idea).  Kyle had left, and all the excitement about moving and getting here and seeing family and having fun was totally gone and I was back in the trenches of parenthood.  My kids were grouchy and defiant, suffering from a severe vacation overdose, and I was looking at a looming summer ahead with no money, no structure, no friends, no husband, and no life. I worked hard to prepare a family home evening lesson that turned out to be a total bomb, bedtime was a fight, and everything was a fight.  I was discouraged and feeling like this would be the longest summer of my life.

So, once I recognized that I was in "the fall" phase of this, and I decided to look up.  I plead for help in establishing a routine and being able to re-approach parenthood and figure out how to discipline away from home and away from Kyle, etc.  Since then, I've been trying to determine our priorities and establish some ground rules and a schedule that will work for this unique period of time.  I read in Exodus 25-30 the very specific and detailed instructions that the Lord gives to Moses about how to build the tabernacle and how to ordain priests and how to offer sacrifices, and felt an impression that the Lord could give specific instruction to me too, about the details of my life. I've been trying to ask for guidance and to listen to the promptings that come.

And today, after almost a week of working at it, I felt like things are starting to fall into place.  We're getting into a groove.  We have a bedtime, a wake-up time, a time for family scripture study, time to be outside and get exercise,  and 30 minutes where I'm helping Ethan learn how to read and get excited for school in the fall.  Jake gets an hour nap--no more no less--so that he won't fall apart at 5:30 but yet will also actually go to bed at 8:30.  I have felt inspired to discipline actually MORE, but sooner and calmer and things have been SO much better.  My kids are learning the boundaries and I'm actually having to enforce the rules less as I immediately render simple consequences for crossing them.  So I guess that means that I am in a new creation phase!  (watch out, that means "the fall" is just around the corner...) 

I feel joy in knowing that God really does know me and He cares about the details of my life.  He wants to help me.  I know that He will rain down the manna we need as we travel through this wilderness--during this particular transition, and for the rest of our lives.

 and if you need a good laugh today, to remember you're not the only one who has ever been in "the fall," check this out)