Thumbing through my list of quotes, I found this one by Marjorie Pay Hinckley. She was wife to one of the most beloved Presidents of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, Gordon B. Hinckley and I admire her so. She always set the example of a true Christian woman and encouraged everyone to keep learning by taking one class a semester on something that is interesting. Here is her thought:
“I don’t want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails.
I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp.
I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor’s children.
I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone’s garden.
I want to be there with children’s sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.”
I had always struggled between the “Mary” and the “Martha” syndrome. When should I clean my house and let the children go off to play and when should I stop to play with my own children? It’s a tough one but I needed to keep what is truly important in the front of my mind.
It’s difficult to make time choices every day but we do whether we realize it or not otherwise time slips by and it’s later than we think.
When I lived in Alabama I would go outside and do some work in the yard work. After some weeding in the front flower bed and edging with the weed eater on the side of the house, I would tackle the weeding of a rose bush I had planted a few years ago.
I hadn’t realized the time had gotten away from me and those weeds had grown so fast over my low growing bush that I could barely see the bush itself. With the blossom season upon us, I didn’t want to miss those beautiful pink blooms popping everywhere. Time slipped away and now the weeds had over taken it and I had to save it from the invasion.
After pulling the weeds away, it was amazing to find how well my rose bush did. I was very pleasantly surprised how my struggling rose bush was growing so well even with those quick growing weeds all around and over it. It was just growing like crazy. I thought all those weeds would hinder the growth. The bush looked as if it wouldn’t have grown at all. It looked as if it would have been smothered. But it flourished and grew anyway. New shoots had grown all over and I actually had to cut it back.
I had to reflect on this idea because humans are so very vulnerable to trials and challenges and time slipping away. We meet bumps in the road or rapidly growing weeds and it discourages us from going any farther. We let time slip away in the “busyness” of life and look back to find that it’s a lot later than we thought.
How many times have we had the weeds of life come upon us and try to smother us and we just keep growing? How many times do we let those challenges in our life overtake our great attitude and we flounder with the thought of “I can’t get through this” and then realize months down the road that it wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be. Many times we let unimportant setbacks ruin our day of other wonderful accomplishments. I’m guilty as well and need to take a lesson from my own rose bush.
Thomas Monson, President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints said it well: “Time is a gift, a treasure not to be put aside for the future but to be used wisely.”
Time choices are tough at different seasons of our life but with some thought we can choose wisely. We come from a godly heritage which helps us to make good choices with courage and dignity which in the end will come back around to lift us up.
Valerie Steimle has been writing as a family advocate for over 25 years. As a convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she promotes Christian living in her writings and is the mother of nine children and grandmother to twelve. Mrs. Steimle authored six books and is a contributing writer to several online websites. To her, time is the most precious commodity we have and knows we should spend it wisely. To read more of Valerie's work, visit her at her website, The Blessings of Family Life.