Have you seen this Hope Works video?
Do you know who Stephen Jones is?
I know him from this hilarious Old Spice parody that our family loved when it came out in 2010:
And that’s all I know about Stephen Jones, except that I really appreciated his question (from the first video): Will what I am doing now matter in 1,000 years?
I also appreciated his search to find what he could do to support his family that would not only provide an income and insurance but be meaningful.
A magical stage of life
I’m at that magical (middle age) stage in life when I want to be doing something meaningful.
Ta-dah! I am! Being a wife and a parent–and particularly a mother– are the most significantly influential jobs in the entire world. What I do matters every day to my husband and children. They need love, food, structure, organization, emotional support, fun, inspiration. I help provide that. It’s a hard job! Some days I do it better than others.
Like the day over Christmas break when we went skiing, and Nate saw how much I love to ski fast. He loved seeing me take a jump and how I wanted to race him down the hill. Who knew that would be so fun for me at my age? I didn’t! “Mom, you’re the funnest when you’re skiing!” he remarked. 😂
But sometimes I want to do something more. I yearn to help people, to connect with them, to love them, to make a difference in their lives. I am preparing myself now to be able to get more education, to be able to reach out more, because there are so many people who need help. And I am capable of doing that.
It can be hard to wait. I mean, some days we all get tired of the daily routine. I know I do. Cooking? Cleaning? Laundry? Going to tutor a child who needs help sounds so much more inviting. Helping in a 100 different ways sounds so much more fun.
The reality of life
The reality of life is that there is a foundation that has to be built upon which we can serve. Someone has to earn the money to provide for the food, shelter, clothing, and other resources that allow us to get out and do more. Lane works so hard to do that for our family. Someday in the not-too-distant future, our children will be gone, and I will have more opportunities to work and serve than I can handle, probably.
For now I am blogging, because writing is second nature to me. I am not Emily Dickinson or Laura Ingalls or Anne Morrow Lindbergh or Lucy Maud Montgomery. I am Elizabeth Abigail Livingston with my own story to tell and my own grandchildren who might be interested in my voice someday, and they will hear it in my writing.
And someday I hope I can speak. I love to teach and to speak. Public speaking makes me nervous, but it also makes me excited. I’m unique (read “weird”) that way, because I love it when I’m asked to speak. (You won’t find me starting out a talk saying that I tried to avoid the Bishop so he wouldn’t ask me to give a talk on Sunday!) I love being around young mothers and encouraging them. I love being around young children and reading to and singing with them. I love encouraging young adults who are in the midst of decision-making. I love empathizing with someone who feels anxious or depressed. I like to feed people (but I don’t love to cook. Haha! How does that work?). If I had millions of dollars to spend, I would plan for building libraries for children to go to, beautiful libraries like the Orem Public Library, and community centers for music recitals and art exhibits and plays to be performed. I would foster literacy programs so that people could learn to read to their children. I loved reading to my children!
Nearing the precipice
I feel like I’m nearing the precipice of a new and exciting time in my life. Someday I’ll be a grandmother. I can’t wait for that. Someday I’ll get to help others more. I can’t wait. Someday I’ll write a book. I will keep working on my bucket list. I am going to make wonderful memories with my family, with my friends, and with people I have never met before.
Once upon a time I was a little girl whose family was in turmoil. My dad left, my heart broke, and the future looked terribly frightening and bleak. But things have a way of working out. Christ can heal things that are broken, and my own life has gotten better. I have grown up, I got my undergraduate degree, I served a mission in the middle of that, I married someone who gets more wonderful each year, and we have some of the best children I could ever have asked for. Together, we are all learning and growing, making mistakes and seeing successes. I put my trust in God, and He keeps helping me along my path.
Excited for the future
I am so excited for the future! The future is as bright as our faith, and I have faith that I am going to get to love grandchildren and serve in my community in the not-too-distant future.
Action an antidote for anxiety
Some days I get anxious about the future. Some days I feel filled with anxiety. But one antidote to anxiety is action. I want to make a difference. I want to fill the world with love. I want to share the gospel. I will prepare now so that I can.