Last week I shared my five basics for showing myself how much I care about me. The list reads: prayer, scripture study, exercise, service, and present planning.

This week we’ll tackle exercise, service, and present planning.

Remember, when we are comfortable and happy in our own skin, we can share that love with others, especially our spouse.

EXERCISE:

For faithful LDS who are blessed with a capable body, regular physical activity should be considered a necessity for physical and spiritual well being. The Lord’s words to Joseph Smith that the body is precious (see D&C 18:10 and 88:15) should be sufficient motivation to ensure we are treating our bodies well, which must involve some degree of physical activity. These bodies are not meant to be sedentary.” (Dr. Benjamin Bikman, Brigham Young Univeristy, 2015)

woman joggingI love to exercise, but it isn’t always easy to just do it. Sometimes it feels like adding another thing to do just isn’t possible. At those times, I remind myself why I exercise. And that exercise doesn’t have to take all day.

Running is my outlet. It keeps me sane in a house full of y-chromosomes; I call it mommy therapy. Yes, I get cramps and running is boring, but I like the way my body feels when I am done.

I also remind myself that God has commanded his children to fulfill the measure of their creation (D&C 88:19). While this is correctly interpreted as continuing the human family, I also think it is an exhortation to use our bodies as they were intended—to keep them strong and healthy so that we can bear all things.

“For faithful LDS who are blessed with a capable body, regular physical activity should be considered a necessity for physical and spiritual well being. The Lord’s words to Joseph Smith that the body is precious (see D&C 18:10 and 88:15) should be sufficient motivation to ensure we are treating our bodies well, which must involve some degree of physical activity. These bodies are not meant to be sedentary.”

SERVICE:

Mormon Woman Teach child“Money doesn’t grow on trees” and neither does love. Love for another is not something that just magically wells up in side of you. It is something you have to cultivate, it is something that you have to give.

Only by giving are you able to receive more than you already have.” Jim Rohn, New Era

 How often have we served outside of our home and are too exhausted to serve in our home?

What if my husband had a bad day at work? Am I there for him, or am I too tired? When my husband wants to spend some time with me when I am enjoying a precious spare moment alone, do I great him with a smile or a grimace?

Service creates love and we should serve those that we should love the most. Service is not always a three-course meal for a sick family. It can be choosing to turn the off sewing machine. It can be listening to the same story again…with a smile. Or It can be watching a movie that you didn’t choose.

When you serve, you think of someone else’s needs, and that fosters love. The more time you spend thinking about someone, the more your heart turns towards them.

“It’s easy to halve the potato where there’s love.”Irish Proverb 

 Present Planning:

woman prayingWhen life is the most crazy and I think my husband and my kids are annoying and awful, it is usually time to sit myself down and ask: Is my heart in the present?

It is easy to get caught up in achieving goals and dreaming dreams. But when doing so makes you resent the present, it is time to re-calibrate. Don’t skim past now because you are too anxious to get to then. Sit down and plan to be in the present.

“‎You can clutch the (future) so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.”―Jan Glidewell

Safegaurd the present. Don’t give it up because you have a to-do list a thousand miles long. If it can wait until tomorrow, let it go. Hug your kids harder. Feel your husband’s whiskers scratch across your face. Those are the memories you take with you into the future– not clean toilets, Facebook status updates, or chevron pillow cases with gold-glitter deer heads.

Having a list is good, but it might be too long if you can’t remember the last time you really kissed your husband goodnight.

Jessica Clark, Marriage From Here to Eternity

To read more of Jessica’s articles, click the picture.

This list of basics can be divided into two parts: me-focused and you-focused.

Scripture, prayer and exercise are me-focused and are important in filling one’s self with spiritual and physical strength.

Service and Present planning are you-focused and require you to consider others first.

Combined, this type of self-love creates a strong individual ready and capable to lift another.

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” –John 3:15

About Jessica Clark
Jessica Clark is a wife, mom, writer, runner, knitter, and proud Canadian. She graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Anthropology, and has been a student of people and cultures ever since. Right now she is busy studying the behavior and cultures of the people of Texas.

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