Thursday, November 1, 2012

If Ye Love Me Keep My Chore Chart

As a kid I was a slob. My room usually looked like the aftermath of when an F4 tornado goes through a Piggly Wiggly.  Rock collections, books, wrappers, stuffed animals, clothes, you name it, and it was on the floor. It was dangerous to enter without climbing gear and there were times my mom would send in search and rescue teams in to find me amid the rubble. This situation although highly upsetting to my mother, didn’t even register as an issue for me. I was perfectly happy in my mess and didn’t see any logical reason to clean it up, other than the fact that there seemed to be a lot of threatenings about it issuing from my maternal parental unit. 

This lack of organization spilled into other areas of my life like school, where just about every report card had notes on it like this: “Brenda is bright; she just isn’t applying herself and isn’t prepared for class. Lots of papers seem to go missing.” Groundings would ensue and life just wasn’t very happy because of my slobbiness. 

Then sometime in early adulthood reality dawned on me; being neat and organized makes life easier. You can accomplish so much more when you aren’t always endlessly searching for things like they were buried treasure. Not only that, but once children enter the scene if you aren’t organized and have your house up to par life comes grinding to a halt for everyone. Organization is the antidote to most types of frustration.  If only my 12 year old self had known this!

Now I’m no Martha Stuart but if the house is a mess I can’t relax until it is cleaned up. To help with our busy schedule I created a chore chart that rotates the daily jobs from person to person. If it is followed the house is taken care of and stuff gets done when it is supposed to. 
Homework, check. 
Baths, check.
Family prayer and scripture study, check.
Dishes, dogs fed, living room straitened, check.

With everyone doing their part we operate effectively and efficiently and stress levels go down. When we don’t follow the framework things start to fall apart.

I say to the kids, “if you love me then please stick to the chore chart! If you want me a sane and happy mama, instead of a raving maniac who is overwhelmed by the enormous amount of work our family has to get done each week then please, for the love of Pete, do your chores!” 

Luckily, I have quite a wonderful family who in most cases follows the framework and views their mother’s mini-meltdowns with humor. What I had not realized was that this is exactly what the Lord is asking us to do by following the commandments. Obviously He isn’t like me but what He has done is set up a way for the human family to work efficiently and effectively in a way that takes care of everyone in the best possible way. It allows for growth and love, and it allows for tremendous amounts of work to get done without burying anyone. In the same way that I set up a chore chart for my family to reduce stress, conflict, and help us move forward, He has done the same thing only in a much more perfect form. 

Think of what the world would be like if everyone followed the Ten Commandments. Families would be happy, war would not exist, people would take care of one another, and trust would abound. It would be an absolute paradise.  Then add the Sermon on the Mount and latter-day revelation about the plan of salvation. That is what heaven is. It’s just family working together, following the chart because they love the Lord and He loves them. 

That’s it. 

“If ye love me keep my commandments.” It is simple and beautiful and hands down the way we will be the most productive, happy, and able to navigate the turmoil of this world. Now if I could just go back and teach the twelve-year-old me this.



"The foundational principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ can affect our life’s direction for good, if only we will apply them." -Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Of Regrets and Resolutions", Liahona and Ensign, November 2012

P.S. The main idea for this post was brazenly stolen from a phenomenal talk given by our Relief Society President last week, although I don't think she mentioned the Piggly Wiggly... I just like saying it. Try it. Piggly Wiggly. :)

1 comment:

  1. I've always wanted to go to a Piggly Wiggly, just so I could say later, "Hey, I stopped by the Piggly Wiggly today..." Sigh. Someday.


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