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What Matters More?: Whose Opinions Truly Count

I remember when my kids were 6, 2 and 1. Getting in the van to go anywhere was a struggle and a stressful time. Kids who hate being buckled up is something that will send parents to the brink of insanity. By parents, I mean specifically Jacquie Fleming.

I remember losing it and yelling at my children, while buckling my toddler up with a little more force than necessary. Because of my frustrations with their lack of cooperation, I became a bit of a mom-ster. (Side bar: When I taught kindergarten, we were learning the letter M. The kids needed to draw a picture of something that started with the letter we learned. I saw one picture and asked my student if he drew a monster. He said that he was drawing his mom. Gulp. I learned to ask questions instead of guessing. For the record, she was a bit of a monster to deal with. I came up with the word mom-ster from that encounter. I thought I was so clever. Turns out, other people are just as clever, but I digress.)

All of a sudden it hit me that if my neighbours were outside, they’d be able to see me spazzing on my kids. And they’d judge me or change their opinion of me. I felt so embarrassed. I feared what they might think of me.

After the intensity of that situation passed, I had the realization that some people DID hear me. Heavenly Father and Jesus heard me. My kids heard me. I felt an overwhelming sense of sorrow at that moment. I realized I was more worried about what my neighbours thought about me than what those who matter most to me thought.

I couldn’t help but think of the lyrics to a special primary song, If The Savior Stood Beside Me. Sometimes the simplicity of children’s songs are the most powerful.

1. If the Savior stood beside me,

would I do the things I do?

Would I think of His commandments,

and try harder to be true?

Would I follow His example?

Would I live more righteously

if I could see the Savior standing nigh,

watching over me?

2. If the Savior stood beside me,

would I say the things I say?

Would my words be true and kind

if He was never far away?

Would I try to share the gospel?

Would I speak more rev’rently

if I could see the Savior standing nigh,

watching over me?

3. He is always near me,

though I do not see Him there,

And because He loves me dearly,

I am in His watchful care.

So I’ll be the kind of person

that I know I’d like to be

if I could see the Savior standing nigh,

watching over me.

(Words and music by Sally DeFord)

Well, I was able to quickly answer the questions posed within the song. I wouldn’t dream of speaking and acting in that way if He was standing near me. This experience has taught me so much. I should care way more about what my sweet family thinks and what Heavenly Father and Jesus think over what the “public” thinks. It was a powerful moment for me. It’s the fear of man versus the fear of God conflict. Sometimes it’s so hard to keep my perspective in check.

I’m so grateful that I can recall primary songs to help remind me of sweet and simple truths.
When I sing primary songs with my children, my own testimony is strengthened. These songs also help me learn alongside my kids in a way that is so meaningful. I love music, in general, but there’s something so special about gospel songs written for kids. My kids are so special. I am working hard at remembering that, even in the midst of my frustrations.

I’m trying to consistently take “holy pauses” before I react, and I have to tell you. I’m way less of a spaz. I’m trying to be intentional with what I invite in our home. That includes feelings. When I yell or overreact, I invite less-than-good feelings. I’m working on it. I’m getting better at it. Having this photo in our living room is an amazing reminder.

I’m so grateful for this beautiful lesson taught to me about what matters more.

(Love Is Spoken Here is another primary song that I love. Here’s a link to the full collection of primary songs if you wanted to have a look-see.)

Update: I just recently had another experience that reminded me about what matters more. This was my Instagram post from December 27th:

Image from Pixabay

I took the kids to see Frozen 2 today. What a delightful experience to share with my kids and my niece!

While sitting in the darkened theatre with my popcorn. (With a combo of butter, dill pickle AND white cheddar seasoning. Magical.) I had a “Read the Room” moment.

The second I sat down with my popcorn, I SHOVELLED the popcorn in my mouth. There were no manners. No regard for how I looked or sounded as I repeated to hoover the popcorn. Lachlan was sitting on my lap and I kept dropping popcorn on him. He didn’t care because he was so happy gorging on his popcorn, too. I looked around and this uncivilized way of eating popcorn was everywhere. It wasn’t just me and my family. This was happening all over the theatre. I’d never eat like this with the light on. But in the dark? You betcha. You feel unnoticed. Anonymous almost. Anything goes.

I pondered this phenomenon a bit more. When we don’t think people see us, how do we act? (I saw a guy pick at his butt today, when he thought no one was watching.) How do we speak? (I’ve been swearing under my breath lately at the kids. They don’t hear it.)

This got me thinking on a more spiritual level. Someone always sees us, no matter the lighting. We are not anonymous. We don’t go unnoticed. What we do and say DO matter.

Anyway, just some thoughts from moi. The things that make you go hmmm. 🍿

By Just Jacquie

I’m (also) just a girl, standing in front of this blog, asking people to read it. (We will be forever friends if you know what movie inspired this sentence.)

I love love. I love God. I love my family. I love to learn, to create, to teach, to share, to laugh, to think, to read, to quote movies and to listen to music. I love lamp.

https://www.instagram.com/iamjustjacquie/

3 replies on “What Matters More?: Whose Opinions Truly Count”

Oh Jacquie! ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ Just read all your posts and cried and laughed and agreed so much! I miss your mom too, and I have the same experience of missing those quirks of my mom or Grandma Jane that used to bug me so much. Now I just wish I could visit with them again and tell them how much I love and appreciate them. Thanks for being so vulnerable and so real. You are a blessing to me! Love you so much! ❤️

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Love you so much M-R! Thank you so much for writing this comment. I felt your love as I read it. ❤️Also, you really nailed it. I wish I could tell my mom the same things! I know my mom is still our cheerleader!

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