Sunday, January 29, 2012
"Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come." Elder Jeffry R Holland Isn't this a fantastic promise? I love to look for promises from the Lord and his prophets. This particular promise brings me hope!It makes life's struggles a little easier.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Well, it’s Friday once again, and I’m wondering what I’ve done with my week. Ever feel like that? Of course, I’ve done tons, but looking back, which of it really matters? The things that are truly important, seem to be the things we down play. Take motherhood for example. When some one asks what you do, do you feel unimportant because all you do all day is take care of mundane things around the house, or care for little ones? These things don’t seem to measure as important on the world’s scale. I mean, this week, I’ve made tons of meals (most of which the kids won’t eat), done a gazillion loads of laundry, and cleaned the house so Many times I have lost track. The things we do for our families, whether our family consists of one or twelve are vitally important! No one usually says, “Wow! Thanks for cleaning up!” Or, if you have babies, how many times do you get thanked for all those blow outs you’ve changed? How many days do you wish some one would show appreciation or tell you what a wonderful job you are doing? I know that I wish I heard more reassurance that what I spent my time doing was of worth. So, to you and to myself, thanks for all your hard work! You might have a job during the day and have to come home to yet more work. You might live alone and never hear how awesome you are. You might be drowning in diapers and whining children, wondering if the chaos will ever end. You may be married, yet need your spouse to appreciate your efforts more. Where ever you are, what you do matters! What you and I do is part of Father’s plan. Whether or not we hear it, it is important! Thanks for sharing my personal pep talk. Now, let’s go make dinner!
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
What kinds of fears do you have? Are they paralyzing fears that keep you from doing things you want to do? Are they small and easy to get over? How do you work through fear and worry? I had a smallish situation to deal with today that reminded me that fear can really get in the way of our progression, even physical health. I mean, I just got back from the pediatrist’s office where I had to get a steroid shot in both heels. I knew it would hurt because I had the same procedure done a few months ago. So, it took some effort to get the problem resolved. I made myself go into the doctor, take my shoes off, and stick my feet out for him to hurt. I didn’t want to do it! I don’t like pain. Still, I knew I needed to get the shots in order for my problem pain to decrease. You’ll be glad to know that I managed to do it without kicking the doctor. The kind of small pain I experienced today is infinitesimal compared to the excruciating amounts I’ve had in the past, yet anticipating any kind of pain can be too much. Sometimes, the anticipation is more strenuous than the actual experience; however, our fear is real. I am currently writing a book on fear, and would love your feedback and help. What kinds of things, experiences, situations, etc. do you fear? Do you fear for a child, yourself, about finances, health, what will happen after a divorce or loved one’s death…?How do you get through your fears? What would help you overcome fear in your life?
Monday, January 23, 2012
This was shared with me this weekend, and I thought it was filled with hope. The talk that is referenced is fabulous! I hope it offers help to you in times of need. ”Elder CHRISTOFFERSON’S TALK was given last year about this time and it has been our guide the past year. I read it after the CES fireside he gave it at, then that night sat my husband down to watch it. As we sat together, we felt this strong feeling surround us. There was a glow around the computer and it was as if Elder Kristofferson was speaking only to us, the feeling was pliable. It was an amazing experience. I have listened to it over and over the past year. The only way we have survived the past year is from the mercy of the Savior giving us day by day our "daily bread". At times it was only a morsel, enough to get us to the next day. With no income for months and savings depleted we went quite a while wondering how to make it all work. It was a difficult thing to experience but an amazing lesson to learn. One that has strengthened my faith and trust in my Savior and His care of me and His answers to my pleadings. No words can express what has gone on in our lives the past few years, to say the least it has been gut wrenching, but so far we have made it because of the grace of Jesus Christ and we are stronger for it. As you can tell, that talk has changed my life!! It is my all time favorite. I hope it can propel you forward as well and I hope you can be blessed with the daily bread you need to keep you and your family fed - physically and spiritually!” http://lds.org/liahona/2012/01/recognizing-gods-hand-in-our-daily-blessings?lang=eng
Thursday, January 19, 2012
It’s so much easier to talk and write about things that have occurred in the past, rather than how I’m feeling right now. I guess it is because the emotions are so real when I’m in the moment, as opposed to just remembering what and how I felt. That’s how it is with writing a blog. As I’ve written before, I began this blog thinking that tons of readers would share their personal experiences of how their trials have become places of holiness. While a few have shared such experiences, most of the posts, contrary to my well laid plans, have been up to me. I want my posts to be meaningful to my readers, and offer encouragement and hope. Therefore, I’m continually writing in my head about little things I notice or think of, but it’s a challenge to always feel like posting. Some days, I’m not happy. Some days I’m just plain discouraged or depressed. Who wants to share that side with the world? But, I’ve come to some realizations lately as I have done some self evaluating. I can’t always be on my game, and it’s alright to show that side of myself. Now, don’t worry. My posts aren’t all of a sudden going to me downers; however, I am going to try to share some feelings, thoughts, and emotions that I am currently feeling instead of the more comfortable experiences from the past. Most of the time, I do pretty well being happy, but then there are those other times. Being blind is inconvenient, but usually it doesn’t stand in my way much. Lately, however, I’ve struggled. It seems like the darkness I experience from blindness has gone deeper. It’s hard to throw off feelings of sadness and discouragement. I think there is a misconception that if you are faithful and righteous, you always feel happy. It is true that true joy comes from living the gospel of Jesus Christ, and making wrong choices leads to misery. Yet, we aren’t promised that we will continually feel this massive feeling of happiness. There is definitely “opposition in all things” (2 Ne. 2:11), and there will be times when we feel sad or upset. That doesn’t mean we’ve lost our testimony, or done something incredibly wrong. It is just another chance to turn to Christ, to trust him, to need him. When I am down and need comfort, reassurance or strength, I love to read 2 Ne. 4. In this chapter, we see a different side of Nephi. We don’t see him with Laban’s sword, building a ship, or rebuking his brothers. We see the tender, vulnerable Nephi, who is turning to Christ for needed strength. He’s also reminding himself of the goodness of God, and talking himself through the feelings he has. This is a great example to me. Nephi, strong and mighty Nephi, the prophet that “will go and do” (1 Ne. 3:7), shows that it is alright to be sad. It is alright to realize how much we are in need of help from the Savior. I am so grateful that Nephi recorded his feelings, and taught us that his source for strength was Jesus Christ. Like Nephi, I know that Christ can lead us through the dark times. He experienced exactly what we now feel, and will continually be there to aid us in our journey to true joy. “O Lord, wilt thou encircle me around in the robe of thy righteousness! O Lord, wilt thou make a way for mine escape before mine enemies! Wilt thou make my path straight before me! Wilt thou not place a stumbling block in my way—but that thou wouldst clear my way before me, and hedge not up my way, but the ways of mine enemy.” “O Lord, I have trusted in thee, and I will trust in thee forever. I will not put my trust in the arm of flesh; for I know that cursed is he that putteth his trust in the arm of flesh. Yea, cursed is he that putteth his trust in man or maketh flesh his arm.” “Yea, I know that God will give liberally to him that asketh. Yea, my God will give me, if I ask not amiss; therefore I will lift up my voice unto thee; yea, I will cry unto thee, my God, the rock of my righteousness. Behold, my voice shall forever ascend up unto thee, my rock and mine everlasting God. Amen” (2 Ne. 4:3-35).
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Unlike many women, I hate to shop, and I hate new shoes. Blasphemy, I know. Most of you are reeling in shock. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love new things. I love the feeling of looking great in some fabulous outfit, but I’d rather have my gums scraped then go into a crowded store, not being able to see any of the merchandise, and be surrounded by staring people and lots of noise. Man, I need a personal shopper! To me, new shoes just don’t feel as comfy as my old worn in ones. So, I usually resist buying new shoes. When I heard about Time Out for Women’s shoe party, and what roles our shoes represent, it took some pondering to determine the symbolism in my closet, or under my bed, or wherever I have left my shoes. Dang it! Where did I put my shoes? First, I have my black flats- some dressy some not. They are flat mainly because in heels, I’d be over six feet tall and, now that I’m blind, I’d trip and spend more time face down on the pavement then actually walking. One pair I wear with my TOFW outfits, black because I seem to be drawn to the slimming effect of black clothes. I’m not sure I want to evaluate that topic right now, but nevertheless, I love black. One of my roles is as an inspirational speaker/author. I absolutely love this role! In my black flats, I have traveled across the US and to several cities in Canada. I can’t express the blessing this has been to me. I have met incredible, faithful women who carry humongous burdens, yet trust in the Lord. I have been able to share my story of heartbreak and laughter, and have had the privilege of testifying of the love and power Christ has given me in, literally, the darkest days of my life. I bet Dorothy’s rubie red shoes never carried her on such an adventure. Another pair of my black flats I wear to church. In them, I have taught the Gospel Doctrine class for five years. I’ve loved that calling. I have learned so much about the scriptures and, through them, Jesus Christ., Each week, in my flats; I’ve enjoyed discussing the gospel with my friends in the congregation. Now I get to wear them to Primary, a place I never wanted to wear them. But, isn’t it interesting how we get pushed out of our comfort zones as we accept callings? I trust Heavenly Father that Primary is now the right place for me, and I’ll serve willingly. My tan, furry lined boots are an interesting study. They go nearly to my knees and I wear them when I have to brave the snow. I feel kind of like a Clydesdale horse in them, but I’d rather not get that darn cold white stuff next to my skin, so I wear them. These boots might represent something profound that I’ve never considered before. You see, I’m a California girl. I know, I don’t look like Barbie, and my skin is a bit pasty, but I actually did grow up in Northern California. Winters there got cold, but not like Utah. It snowed all of two times during my growing up years, and that snow didn’t last. It’s what they’d call here in Utah, a “skiff” (a strange little made up word that means just a little snow). Back to my boots- I think they represent my willingness to follow my husband, and live in the cold and snowy Utah rather then in my beloved warm California. Sure, it can be scary trying to walk blindly in the snow and ice, but I do so because I love James. This is where we feel that Heavenly Father wants us to be. This is where we feel we need to raise our family. Naturally, I would rather trade in those boots for flip-flops and sand, but for now, I brave the snow. Come to think of it, I hate flip-flops! They give me toe wedgies. My gym shoes represent my weakness as a mortal. Usually, they give me guilt. Even though I can’t see them, I feel them staring at me every day, saying, “You really should put me on your feet and walk. You’re getting fatter and fatter! Put me on and let’s get to it!” Some days, I hate those darn shoes! They remind me of my weaknesses and how I feel towards my body. Yet, I know it is a process to master self as well as that self’s excuses. Some days, I love my work out shoes. I love the feeling after I have exercised. I feel like I have accomplished a huge feat with my huge feet! The real me is represented by my bare feet. They are callused and sore, but I prefer to go barefoot than to wear shoes. It sounds weird, but I see a lot with my feet, and shoes block my vision. My feet have gotten me through a whole lot in my life. They’ve taken me door-to-door on my mission in Kentucky/Indiana/Ohio, and have allowed me to teach the gospel to many people. My feet have walked all over campus as I studied for what seemed like eons at BYU. My feet have supported my body in recovery after recovery from illness, surgeries, near death pregnancies, cancer, etc. My feet have walked in the dark, helping me trust God to move forward both literally and figuritvely. My feet have carried me as I’ve labored day after day to take care of my family, to cook, clean, do laundry, comfort/love children and so much more. My feet have taken me to the temple where I have made sacred covenants with and worshiped my God. And my feet will someday take me before the wounded feet of my Savior, where I will bow before him in gratitude and awe. I am incredibly thankful for my feet, my shoes, and for the roles I have right now in my life. I don’t know where my feet will take me next, or what shoes I’ll be wearing, but I trust that the Lord will be walking right along side me every step of the way.