When faced with life's challenges,
it is Important to Remember
that although Daniel was saved from the lions,
he was not saved from the Lion's Den.


Friday, April 29, 2016

Patience to understand


I have a hard time waiting.  I want it all explained.  I want know exactly what I can and cannot do.  I want to understand everything.  I am not very patient.  However, I am learning that I take in things so much better when I wait until the Lord teaches me to understand.  I can accept many things on faith, that is not a problem for me.  But I really like to understand.  To have that witness.  To be able to explain. 
There are so many things that make it hard to understand what is going on.  There are people I love who don't live the way that I would wish them to.  There are children who are not being raised in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  There are those who are bitter and angry, and blame me for their own sins.  I really don't understand it at all.  So my prayer is for the Lord to give me patience until that time comes.  Honestly, I am not even sure it will come in this life.  I am not sure it will happen in the moment when I think I need it, but I am trying to put my trust in Him that it will all work out in a way that is the best for everyone involved. 
I am starting to figure out that it is not necessary to understand everything.  Sometimes, the Lord is waiting for my perspective to change.  Sometimes, I need to learn something for myself before I can even begin to understand.  Sometimes, my own feelings need to change.  Sometimes, I need to forgive before I can move forward.  All I can say, is that I know the Lord will help me to understand in His own time.  It might not be now, but someday, I will understand. 
I have been doing a lot of reading.  I have a psychologist now who is helping me to work on some things.  It has been a hard road.  But in my reading, one of the things that has happened recently is that I am starting to understand that the Lord does not give us all the answers.  He expects us to question and ask and look for them ourselves.  It makes me wonder if part of the learning is in the seeking. 

Luke 11:9 - 10
9    And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

I believe that we will come to find the answers.  I believe that He wants us to find them.  He wants us to learn and grow and seek and become.  He wants us to have patience to wait until we are ready to understand. 


Thursday, April 28, 2016

What I learned - Keys and authority



Where are the keys and authority of the priesthood?
by Elder Gary E. Stevenson

So this talk was a little harder for me.  I don't know exactly why, but I know that there is something that I am supposed to learn from it.  I loved his story about losing his keys after skiing for the day.  About how the car was waiting there to be turned on and warmed up.  I can totally sympathize with this one.  I have lost my keys too many times.  Once, I even had to walk to work in the cold and snow because my daughter had my keys and took them to school.  I was a little grouchy about it, although his family seems to have handled it much better than I did. 
You don't realize how important keys are until you lose them.  I love the fact that we have the keys of the priesthood upon the earth today.  I too, have a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the wonders that have been restored to us.  I love how Elder Stevenson talked about some of the Church History sites.  Our family has also visited many of them and felt the spirit that surrounds us there.  I love learning about history, especially church history.  It makes it all so real for me and it strengthens my testimony by learning more about the great men and women that lived before me. 
I love how he councils the youth to do missionary work, attend the temple and go forward with faith.  For me, the last example is really key to this life.  We don't always understand what is happening or even why, but we each have to sometimes go forward with faith even though we don't understand.  It is so hard, but when we do that, we learn so much and I find in my personal life that my testimony grows and my faith is strengthened if I just keep moving forward. 

"I testify that priesthood authority and priesthood keys start the engine, open the gates of heaven, facilitate heavenly power, and pave the covenant pathway back to our loving Heavenly Father.
I pray that you, the rising generation of young men and young women, will “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ,”12 that you may understand that it is your sacred privilege to act under the direction of those who hold the priesthood keys that will unlock blessings, gifts, and powers of heaven for you".  Elder Stevenson

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wordless Wednesday - Play


A single photo 

– no words –
capturing a moment from our lives.
A simple, special, extraordinary moment.

A moment
I want to pause, savor and remember.

A moment
that brings a smile to my lips, 
and joy to my heart.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Vulnerable

 
I love Ernest Hemingway. He has a way with words. And he also manages to make me feel like I have virtues instead of vices. I have been wounded so much in my life. I mean, really wounded. I have had physical problems, emotional ones, mental ones and even spiritual crisis in my life. I have felt vulnerable in so many aspects.
I used to wish to be an ostrich, who could hide my head in the sand and not notice what goes on around her.  I wanted desperately not to see the bad and the ugly in the world.  No matter how hard I tried, I always was forced to lift my eyes and see what I was surrounded by. 
Trust me, I haven't always liked it either.  There is so much ugliness in the world we live in.  So many things that threaten our salvation and our sanity.  So much wrong and so much evil.  But, being forced to see has also shown me that there are many things good about the world we live in.  There are amazing, loving people out there.  There are people who stop to help pull my car out of the snow.  There are people who pray for my children and grandchildren, even though they do not know them.  There are people who follow promptings and show up when we least expect them, but really need them the most. 
So, I take comfort is these words, and I know that, deep down, I really am good people.  I love beauty in all its forms.  I have courage and take risks for the ones that I love.  I believe in telling the truth and in doing the best that I can.  I also believe in the commandment to sacrifice.  I am not perfect.  I am so far from it that at times, I am very discouraged.  But I am a daughter of a loving Heavenly Father.  I may be vulnerable, but through Him, I will not be destroyed. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Imagine what we could accomplish


I love this one.  Life is hard.  No matter what is going on for each one of us.  My trials are not your trials, they are mine.  To me, they are hard enough.  Imagine what we could do for each other if we quit comparing ourselves to anyone else and just accepted each other and loved each other.  As is, no holds barred, short-comings and all.  What an amazing thought. 
I look at the world today, and it scares me sometimes.  There are so many people who hate and want vengeance.  There are people who convince themselves that they have been wronged and slandered.  Maybe, they have, but wouldn't it be better if we could just get along?  Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could actually be the adults that we profess to be and stop being unkind, unthoughtful, uncaring and even just plain mean. 
What a difference we could make in the world around us, if we could just accept each other and love each other through the hard times.  Sometimes, wouldn't it be especially meaningful if we could treat those in our own families that way.  Have you ever noticed how much easier it is to get angry with someone you know, rather than someone you don't?  Yet the ones we know deserve our love and acceptance even more than strangers we might meet. 
As we have done foreign exchange students over the years, I have learned to love deeply those with differing beliefs.  I have learned to see their countries through their eyes.  I have shared their food, and their hopes and their dreams.  In teaching them, I too, have been taught.  I have been uplifted.  I have been loved.  I have been so blessed in the sharing of good with them. 
So today, let us try to be just a little more Christ-like in our day to day living.  Reach out a hand, give a smile, help your neighbor, be a friend.  We really can change our small corner of the world.  So, let's bring a little light to the darkness and fill the world with more love and peace.  I know we can do it.  I know I can change this little piece of heaven here on the earth.  I think it might even be worth the extra effort. 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Sabbath Day Scribblings - You are a Child of God



John 13:34-35
34  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
 35  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
 
 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Controlling the Way you Respond



The last three years or so, have been hard.  There are so many things in my life that I absolutely have no control over.  Things that happen through no fault of my own, yet I am drawn out of my comfort zone and into exactly where I don't want to be, like a fish on a line, I even feel sometimes like I might be someone else's dinner!
Live can be very hard.  It doesn't change just because you want it to either.  I often find myself feeling out of control with my world.  There are people who act as if their greatest desire in life is to make me as miserable as possible. 
One of the things I am learning is that it is impossible for others to make you miserable.  It is also impossible for them to make you happy.  We are in total control of those emotions.  We choose to let others influence us, for good or bad.  We choose to let them have that kind of power over us. 
In my struggle with the demon depression in my life, I am trying to learn that I don't have to be in control of anyone else but myself. Sometimes, others actions affect me, but there is nothing that I can do about it.  One of the biggest problems that I have is that I want to be in control.  When something is wrong, I want to fix it and have it be right.  When someone is unjust, I want to show them the error of their ways and have them change their actions.  It has been incredibly hard for me to learn to let go of the monkey that belongs on someone else's back.  Especially when it has to do with my children.
I struggle with a great desire to be happy and to see those I love happy too.  But I am learning that my happiness is not dependent on the choices that others make.  I can be happy even though someone hates me.  I can be happy even though I am wronged.  I can be kind even in the face of unkindness, and most of all, I can feel gratitude to my Heavenly Father, when there is a lot around me to not be grateful for.  I am learning to find joy in the small things.  I am learning that He really does know what is going on and that He knows I am innocent of accusations and others bitterness. 
I am learning that I am not always in control of someone else.  I am in control of how I respond to them.  I get to choose to hate, or to love.  To hold a grudge or to forgive.  To be angry or loving. 
I have the power to choose, and that is helping me to change.