Prepared For Everyday

The Question: Have I Seen the Hand of God Reaching Out To Touch Us Today?

Around the holidays we seem to live for the big day. The big party, the big gift, the big meal, and the real biggie (at least to our children)—Christmas morning.

I’m all about the big events of life. One of my strengths is to take a thought and build it into something big like a special occasion meal for my family, a blog post or article, a gathering of friends, a creative contribution or an over-the-top presentation.

But, it is also one of my weaknesses. I can create myself into a world of stress, inflexibility, unrealistic expectations and unbalanced emotions.

Even without this weakness, the focus on the big event brings it’s own letdown. My friend bemoaned a lesson she taught at church. The months she had to prepare for it gave her too much time to worry over her preparations, she said.

I’ve been there. I love the build up to such events, but I hate the let-down that inevitability follows.

I teach, too. But instead of presenting something every few months, as I have in the past, I now teach five days per week. The repetitive nature shapes my teaching in a new way. I prepare, but I’m less focused on the before and after, and I’m more focused on the teaching time itself.

This week, I went to teach my 6:45 a.m. class completely unprepared. Or so I thought. I knew the material (Luke 24). I’d studied it. I’d made a lesson plan. Despite this, my outward preparation fell apart. I couldn’t find the picture for my visual. At our just-before-we-go-out-the-door family prayer, I remembered I needed the magazines that were beside my bed, all the way upstairs. I left late. I forgot my scriptures in the rush out the door.

If this had been a BIG event, I may have wallowed in my weaknesses afterward and then tried harder next time. But a small event taught me that that would be relying on myself and not relying on the Lord. When the class started, I was prepared with what mattered most—the principles and doctrines I was to teach.

The result, the lesson developed into the discussion it needed to be, created right in the classroom itself.   The feeling wasn’t just me carrying forward my own enthusiasm and emotion for what I learned in preparation but a collective creation of understanding between the teacher and student on the spot.

I’m pondering the application of this life lesson as we prepare for the coming big events of Christmas. Donnetta at My Quiet Corner shared a quote about the Dramatic Versus Ordinary that inspired my thinking. If I’m living just in preparation for the dramatic days, might I be missing out on what I could be creating in both the little ones and the big? What about you?

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5 Comments

  1. Lei
    Dec 11, 2008

    Definitely something worth thinking about. I’ve reminded myself many time these last several days: A little more Mary, a little less Martha. After I published my recent post about Christmas Spirit I realized I was missing it all together, because it’s not about the bigness of the holiday anyway. Thanks for your thoughts.

  2. Rachel
    Dec 11, 2008

    I absolutely love your posts! Thank you for writing them! This is exactly what I needed to hear. I’m always making a big deal out of things that really should be taking up so much of my prep time, and that in turn leaves no time for the things that should be using my prep time… I’ve got a long way to go with wise use of time. It’s kind of like the good, better, best conference talk. I’m not usually doing something that isn’t at least good. It just should be better or best.

    Anyways, thanks for your insight. Can I draw from it for a post I’m writing for a group blog that I write for?

  3. Rebecca
    Dec 11, 2008

    I think life is so much better when we notice the little happinesses of every day instead of waiting for the big happiness around the corner! Ever since your gratitude challenge, I find myself stressing so much less over things that used to be big deals. It’s nice to notice happy little blessings around us all day. My little baby is sick for the first time ever and I first found myself wishing and waiting for the moment when she is no longer sick because I hate seeing her miserable. Then, I stopped and thought of how sweet it is that her sickness makes her cuddly instead of wiggly- and that I’M the one who GETS to cuddle her!

    You found that when you thought your lesson was going all wrong, there were actually blessings in the mishaps. Drama is already built into life. It’s better to just accept it when it comes and be happy with the ordinary while it’s here!

    Still, though, we can’t overlook how increibly exciting it is to look forward to big deals like Christmases and vacations! That’s part of the fun!

  4. Debs
    Dec 15, 2008

    You have hit the nail on the head, so to speak. I’m all for working on slowing down the sometimes unnecessary efforts for big events and working harder on the smaller ones…especially when relied on the Lord to take us through!
    Lovely post.

    Debsx

  5. An Ordinary Mom
    Jan 5, 2009

    What beautiful thoughts. I need to learn to live in every moment in life … not just when my kids are all older and can care better for themselves!

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  1. Do You Have Too Much On Your Plate? - Modern Molly Mormon - [...] I read an excellent post on TJHirst.com.  It’s entitled Prepared for Everyday.  She wrote beautifully what I struggle to…
  2. Do You Have Too Much On Your Plate? - […] I read an excellent post on TJHirst.com.  It’s entitled Prepared for Everyday.  She wrote beautifully what I struggle to…

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