Sunday, November 1, 2009


I came home from church today feeling a little overwhelmed.

During the meeting, Ryan had his arm around me--trying to peacefully meditate, I'm sure--and I just kept sighing, adjusting, crossing and uncrossing my legs, sniffling.  Basically, I was grumping.

"What's going on??" he finally asked.

"I'm mad," I stated, matter of factly.

"At me?" he asked.  (Poor Ryan, he puts up with a lot.)

"No, at everything else," I responded--and left it at that.

Do your family history.
Serve your neighbors.
Keep your house clean.
Cook healthy meals.
Exercise daily.
Read your scriptures.
Pray fervently.
Be a missionary.
Engage in your community.
Keep a journal.
Stay informed on current events.
Be a good wife, teacher, daughter, sister, friend, Relief Society member...someday, mother...

It's all a little much for me sometimes.

And that list of basics doesn't even include some of the "non-essential" goals that I have for myself, such as writing a book, learning Spanish, helping at the orphanage...SIGH SIGH SIGH.

This week, Ryan asked me what the meaning of life is.  (I think he is discouraged by school and trying to figure out how to find more joy on a daily basis.)  I thought about it, and I told him that I think it's "love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself." Luke 10:27.  I think that's the reason why God sent us to this crazy see if we would love Him and love our fellowmen.

Two simple commandments.  Yet, life's not so simple, is it?


  1. That's why I skip church. It keeps the angst (and the blood pressure) down!

    Just kidding. (Mostly.) I have Sundays like that too, when I leave church more agitated than when I arrived. But I just figure next week will probably be better. I hope it is.

    And for what it's worth, your dedication to commandments 1 and 2 leaves me in awe. You love God. You love your neighbor. And when you don't, you keep trying. That's really all anyone can ask.

  2. It's hard to do all of this diligently, vigilantly, and every day. Only Batman could do that. So instead, I just give myself a pat on the back when I do something well. I mean, as long as I've been doing my best (even when that includes napping or otherwise recharging), I'm doing great!

  3. Haha, I laugh because I know this is a true story. True for many of us, but I can see you taking it all on. There is no scripture that says "Rachel, you have to do it all, and you have to do it all right now!". Right now I do my family history by keeping a blog, that's the extent of that. I keep my house clean in the living room and kitchen. It's not that I don't think that my ancestors deserve their work done or that I don't want to clean my bedroom more often, it is just that I don't (and likely can't) do it all and do it all right now. I am becoming perfect. I am working. Just like I know you are working. Keep working. Don't be discouraged. Perfection is not to come to us in this life :) Although you are pretty good at those first two commandments.

  4. I have been feeling that EXACT same way lately. It's a lot more than two simple commandments. Those two simple commandments take in a TON of little stuff that you have to do to achieve them! A TON! Boo.

  5. Josh says he is glad someone else was grumping in church today because he was too! Funny, I taught the YW about this today. Well, the lesson topic was time management, but as part of it I made a list of all the millions of little and big things that I should or could be doing in any given week. Talk about overwhelming! There is just no way...

  6. Hey, read 'Four Essays on Love' by Madsen. It's awesome - you can borrow if you'd like. I loved it and think you would too. I could go on about the subject of your post, but will leave it at that.


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