Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Discipline and Strength

Today on the drive here, my girls were watching the movie Mulan. I love this movie for the music as well as the lessons that can be learned. For those who have seen it, this will be familiar. But for those who have not, it is about a young woman who joins the Chinese army to keep her father from having to go, and to bring honor to her family. There is so much to be learned from this movie. First, love of family over self. I think I've got that one down pretty well. I would do anything for my family, especially my girls! Sacrificing for them doesn't seem as much of a sacrifice when I get to see them happy.

Secondly, devotion to something higher than oneself. In China the best way for a woman to bring her family honor was to get married and have a son, but Mulan didn't do so hot at the matchmaker. I didn't have a matchmaker other than myself, but apparently I didn't do so hot at it either. However, I am absolutely determined to bring my family honor, most importantly my Father in Heaven. I want NOTHING more than to return to Him someday and hear him say, "Well done thou good and faithful servant". So that is the ultimate goal (there are many others along the way), now how do I reach it?

That answer is also found in the movie. At one point the Captain shoots an arrow to the top of a pole and tells the soldiers to find a way to retrieve it, but not before putting weights around their wrists that symbolize discipline and strength. He tells them they will need BOTH to retrieve the arrow. They all try, and they all fail...over and over and over again!

The same is true for us, we fall short of our goals each and every day. But, there is HOPE. The Savior made up the difference for us. We CAN succeed if we have the discipline to go after our goals and the strength to stick with it through the tough stuff. There have been times in my life when I have been sorely lacking in discipline, and I know that. But, I recently proved to myself that I DO have the self discipline to do something I really want. Now I just need to keep applying that knowledge in my every day life. The strength is another story. I rarely feel up to the tasks that lie ahead of me, especially as a single mother of three. I am responsible for these three precious spirits and I refuse to fail in that stewardship. I have heard it said that you usually don't know how strong you are until being strong is your only option. Well, now it's my only option. Except that I KNOW that I don't have to come up with that strength all alone. My Savior provides it for me each and every day. He has carried me through many a tough day in my life, and I have faith that He will continue to do so. Of that I am sure, and feel eternally blessed.


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