I forget to find joy in the moment. I have an entire laundry list of Should have's and could have's, but I really need to figure out how to burn that list and come up with all the things are really ARE.
When I was young, I really wanted to be a doctor, but life stepped in and I became a mother instead. I am not sorry for a single moment of not doctoring that happened. I am sorry that that dream took me so very long to let go of. I started going to school to be a nurse, but found myself in the position of being a single mother instead. So, I went to work. I have waited tables, been a nursing assistant, delivered papers, taken pictures, been an EMT and even been a telephone solicitor. I have done anything and everything that I could to support my family and raise my children.
But I have never let go of the should have's and could have's. Perhaps it is time now.
I love my EMT job. It doesn't really pay, but it is truly a job of love. I love being able to help people who are hurting and see direct results because I get them to the care they need. I love my family. I have been able to raise and love my children. They have become adults that I can be proud of. They are truly better than I have ever been, and that is all I could ever ask for. I think that my life looks exactly how it is supposed to. It might not be the way that I imagined it, but it is a life that I can celebrate.
2 Nephi 2:25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.
Heavenly Father did not send us here to be miserable. He wants us to be happy. He wants us to have joy. He wants us to celebrate the good things in our lives. He wants us to celebrate our blessings. I love that He is mindful of our happiness. I love that He wants us to be positive about our lives. So today, I am going to trust that He knows exactly who I needed to be and that all these experiences shall be for my good.
Today, I am letting go of the past and moving forward toward a new future.
Today, I am going to find my joy.
I need more patience! I don't want to have more, but I really do need it. I am doing better that last year, but still find myself impatient and grumpy way too often. That is one attribute that is really hard for me to develop. I am not sure why I am so impatient with things and people. I find myself knowing what I mean to say, but having others misunderstand it. Then everyone gets a little bit snappy.
That is not what I want at all. I find myself constantly having to explain what I mean so that people don't take it badly. I am going to try and experiment. I read somewhere, (I really wish I could remember where!) in the past couple of days about trying to turn your words around and making what you say come out as gratitude to the person listening.
For instance, when someone complains, tell them thank you for bringing that to my attention, I am so sorry that you feel that way. It is supposed to defuse situations and reduce misunderstandings. Hopefully, if I can be successful at it, I will also be developing more patience to go along with the gratitude.
Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
I found this scripture and it actually made me smile. Who doesn't need help with temptations? I know, right? We all do, so if we keep the word of the Lord's patience, than He will keep us from temptation. That is a promise that I really need in my own life. I know that I certainly don't need more temptations!
Every gift that He gives me helps me to learn and grow and to develop
It is so easy to get caught up in everything that is going on. It is easy to put our Christianity, our religion, or even our good works aside. In today's world, it is way too easy to become self-centered and selfish. It is also too easy to get caught up in the negatives and forget how many blessings we are given. I had a hard experience this week. I was told that everybody in town hates me. That I am way too mean. That I make everyone angry. That they were warned about me when they came here. It was quite hurtful actually and made me want to lash out and retaliate. It can be hard living in a small town. Sometimes it feels like I am in a bubble and everyone knows my business. It can also be rewarding. Several times a year, the community gets together for service. I love how I feel when my brothers and sisters from every religion meet together and participate in something that has meaning and inspiration for my soul. Sometimes I have to balance the bad of a moment with the good that I know is really here. It can be easy to get caught up in the negative and forget the positive. If I am honest with myself, I am probably not always as nice as I should be. I still react to things instead of thinking them through. I still make mistakes. I still get angry. I still get hurt. I still want people to see things from my perspective. We all make mistakes. We all sin. We all forget. That is why it does my heart so much good to remember that I am loved by Him. I am blessed by Him. Even when I don't feel like it, He is there and loves me through it all. Today, I turned to a scripture in James and it reminded me that each one of us needs reminding once in a while. James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
Sometimes, I think I try too hard to deceive myself. I hear the words that are spoken, but my own habits and responses let me down. I forget to be a doer. It makes me wonder what I could or should do differently. What would make me calm instead of angry? What would make me happy instead of stressed? What would make me a doer instead of a hearer only?
I am thankful that He doesn't lose hope in me. I struggle and I reach and hopefully, eventually, I will achieve what I am looking for. I hate to even think of praying for patience and understanding, I never have liked the results of that! But at this time in my life, I think maybe it is time to let go and trust Him. To have Him help me become a doer of the word so that when others see me, they also feel Him near. I really want others to feel the love in my heart that I have for them. I want them to know that they are cared about. That they are loved and needed. That they always have been, and always will be His.
“God’s promises are not always fulfilled as quickly as or in the way we might hope; they come according to His timing and in His ways. … The promises of the Lord, if perhaps not always swift, are always certain.”
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, “Continue in Patience,” Ensign, May 2010, 58.
Life never seems to go quite the way we plan it. I am learning, through my own experience, that is ok. I used to love to go to Women's Conference up in Utah at BYU. It is a weekend with speakers who talk about all kinds of things. I take it pretty seriously and go through the entire schedule to circle the speakers I would like to hear and also back up ones in case the session is full. It can get crazy there as it seems to me that all the speakers I want to hear, there are several thousand of my sisters who want to hear the same ones. I can't tell you how many times I have had to go to a class that didn't even sound interesting to me, only to find it was exactly what I needed to hear.
Life is a little like those conferences. We go through lots of trials in this life. Most of us have a plan for dealing with them. However, if you are like me, often plan A does not even come close to dealing with the problem. Sometimes, it seems as if I get all the way to plan X or Y before I find something that will work.
I can get so caught up in my own visualizing of the situation, that I don't take into account what is really needed. For instance, I get so excited about serving someone, that I forget to take into account others might not want to serve with me. In my mind, everyone is on the same page. They all want to do the same things that I want to do. Of course, that is not true, I just forget and want everyone else to find the same joy that I do in service. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. We each find joy in our own types of service. We don't all find joy in doing the same things.
I am a planner, and often, when things don't go quite the way I planned for them to go, I get upset and stressed about what is going to happen. I am not sure that I will ever deal with stress in a positive way, I am trying to see stress as simply more changes. I keep telling myself that "change is good", right???
Or, if it is not good, perhaps it is good for me. Nevertheless, much like my experience at BYU, I think that my Heavenly Father knows the things I need to do and He will put them in my path if I will just trust in Him. He knew I needed to hear those speakers at just that time. It can be hard to trust when you can't see where the road you are on ends. It can be even harder to let go and simply believe. However, I know that He is ever mindful of us. One of my favorite scriptures, that brings me peace is found in Alma
Alma 36:27 And I have been supported under trials and troubles of every kind, yea, and in all manner of afflictions; yea, God has delivered me from prison, and from bonds, and from death; yea, and I do put my trust in him, and he will still deliver me.
I might not have been in prison, but I have been made a prisoner because of the actions of others. I know that He is with me and watching over me. As I look back over the past several years, I can realize that my Plan A, was never His. He wanted me to work through it, but He did not leave me alone. Eventually, I got there.
I have come to discover that, only after our trial, comes the blessings. Today, I can be thankful that the Plan A's of my life have seldom worked out. I an appreciate the struggle. I can recognize the strength I have gained, and I can appreciate the Love that He has for me.