Much like my annual vacation at BYU’s Education Week each August, the semi-annual General Conferences always give me more than enough ideas about what needs fixing in my life (as if I didn’t have enough already). But, as nanacarol posted today, that excitement and drive to improve can wear off as quickly as it came. By next week I’m likely to be back at my old habits, having all but forgotten the things the Spirit confirmed today.
One of the speeches I give is on self-improvement and goal setting. In fact, I’m giving that speech at a women’s retreat in Idaho next Saturday. I know how to set manageable goals, but somehow I don’t often apply those principles to the conference counsel.
This year it will be different! (Famous last words ?)
I found a bit of advice I think I can start on right away. Elder Bednar suggested that on occasion we give prayers that are strictly of thanks and praise.
For over a decade now, I have sincerely tried to acknowledge God’s hand in every good thing in my life. My children have become fairly accustomed to stopping many times throughout the day to give thanks when a “tender mercy,” large or small, comes our way. But other than those short tributes, I have only very rarely given a “thanks only” prayer for one of my “big two” morning or night prayers.
As I thought about it, it actually frightened me. “But Heavenly Father, I need so much! How can I not tell you? Will you forget? Will you let something bad happen if I don’t remind you to keep it away from us? How can I not pray for protection for my children? my husband?”
How can I leave it all up to you?
So, this week, in my personal prayers I’m going to try to give thanks and praise and ask for nothing. And I’ll try not to load up family prayers and blessings on the food with all the requests I’m leaving out.
I’ll let you know how it goes. And please feel free to post here anything you’re working on and the progress made. We can be accountable to each other.