When you joined the church, especially if your entire family joined, you probably became very busy. There were so many new things to add to your new life, and you still kept many of the activities and traditions of your old life as well. How do you fit it all in?
You can’t do everything all at once. You have to set priorities. Even though you may have felt your day was already as busy as it could possibly be, there are still ways to fit the gospel into your life.
A Young Women’s lesson has the following object lesson:
“Ask the young women to enumerate activities they must pursue daily (attend school, eat, sleep, do homework, and others). As these activities are identified, place a stone for each one in a pint jar or bowl. (The bowl or jar represents a twenty-four-hour day.) Fill the jar with stones. Ask the young women to name other things they need to do each day (travel to and from school, make beds, dress, bathe, clean room, care for pets, pray, study the scriptures, prepare clothing, practice music, attend Church meetings, and others). As these other activities are identified, add sand, rice, or salt to the jar of rocks until it looks full. (The sand represents these additional activities.) Acknowledge that the young women’s lives are as full as the jar appears to be. Then add water, explaining that even during an apparently full day there is time for meditation, recreation, and other uplifting activities. (The water represents these activities.) All of us should strive for a proper balance in the use of our time. Accomplishing all we need and desire to do takes careful planning.” Lesson 44: Using Time Wisely,” Young Women Manual 1, (2002),194
In order to live the gospel, we have to choose which parts of our life matter the most. Which have eternal significance? Which will improve our families and our lives? Those things should get priority in our day. As a new Latter-day Saint, you want to begin to create a gospel-centered home and to build your family’s new testimony. To do this, you probably want to make the gospel a priority. What has to change in the morning in order for you to fit in prayer and scripture study? Do you need to get up earlier? Do you need to do some tasks the night before, such as setting out clothing, setting the table, and making advanced preparation for breakfast?
When I first decided to begin a professional writing career, I had three young children and a husband who traveled extensively on business. When I looked over my schedule, I realized the only way I would find time to write was to take other things out of my schedule. You can’t put something into a full day until you’ve taken something out. I stopped watching television and began getting up earlier. I wrote from four in the morning until six, after my husband had left for work and while the children slept.
You can’t fit everything into your day, but you can fit the most important things in. You just have to identify what those things are and make them the top priority.
Terrie Lynn Bittner
The late Terrie Lynn Bittner—beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend—was the author of two homeschooling books and numerous articles, including several that appeared in Latter-day Saint magazines. She became a member of the Church at the age of 17 and began sharing her faith online in 1992.