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.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Be Patient With Yourself

 Be patient with yourself!
Those words have become a mantra to me.  I am the person who doesn't care about the sins of another.  It is easy to forgive in most instances.  It is easy for me to believe in the Atonement and sacrifice of the Savior for someone else.   It becomes much harder to believe that it will happen for me.  I really don't understand why I separate myself from others.  Maybe it is because when I look back, I see the person that I Should Have been.  I see the decisions that I Could Have made.  Maybe it is because I look at myself through eyes that want to see perfection, and I always come up short. 
So, I am going to work hard on finding patience for myself and my own short comings.  I know that I am not a very patient person, and perhaps that is the thing that I need most to discover. 

James 1:3 
"Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience". 

President Uchtdorf, in a talk given to women back in 2011, reminded women that everyone has strengths and weaknesses—that no one is perfect, even those who may seem so.
“God wants to help us eventually turn all of our weaknesses into strengths, but He knows that this is a long-term goal,” President Uchtdorf said. “It is OK that you are not quite there yet. Keep working on it but stop punishing yourself. “
“Dear sisters, many of you are endlessly compassionate and patient with the weaknesses of others,” he added. “Please remember also to be compassionate and patient with yourself.”

So, as I seek to make positive changes in my life, I am seeking to have patience with myself.  I am seeking to forgive myself.  I am seeking to have compassion for the person who has made so many mistakes.  Perhaps the problem is that I want so much to be perfect.  I want to change.  I want the storms to cease and the waves to ebb.  I want to like the person that I have become. 
Satan is so good at telling us partial truths and lies.
He would say, Why try, you will never be enough. 
Lie, we might not be enough now, but with God all things are possible.  And with His sacrifice, we can be enough exactly as we are.
He would say, You have made too many mistakes to ever be loved.
Lie, Lie, Lie.  Jesus Christ Atoned for our sins.  Yours and Mine.  He knows what mistakes we have made.  He knows how badly we want to change.  He knows our minds and our hearts and our doubts and our fears.  He loves us in spite of all those things. 
You are enough.  You are loved.  You are wanted.  You are needed.  You are His. 

Friday, December 30, 2016

You are Amazing - He knows

I wanted to do a series of blogs about how amazing you truly are.  It is easy to get lost in the shuffle of comparing ourselves to everyone else.  It is easy for me to feel "not good enough".  The truth is, that we are all good enough, just as we are.  He loves us right here and right now, at what may be our best moment, or our worst.  He loves us no matter what our past has been.  He just loves us and accepts us with all our faults and failings.  Every single one of us has the opportunity to start right now, and change the course of our history.  We can change the ending of our stories.  We can still become exactly who He needs us to be. 
So, each day, I am going to try to introduce a verse of scripture or a quote that reminds you that you are loved, that you are enough, and that you can do this.  We just have to stop looking over the mountain at where we think we should be and study the place in which we find ourselves right now. 

Matthew 14:27
"But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid". 

What a beautiful verse!  Imagine for a moment, what it would be like to have Christ standing next to you and telling you to "be of good cheer, it is I, be not afraid". 
I am a worrier by nature.  I worry about everything.  As a matter of fact, I actually made myself sick this week worrying about whether or not things were going to be alright.  When I read this scripture, I honestly felt as though Christ were whispering into my own ear!  He was telling me not to worry, not to be afraid.  He has got this, and me, through everything. 
How easy it can be to look at the scriptures and believe that they were written for others.  To think that they are for another time and place and don't apply to our current busy lives.  To recognize, in someone else's life, the need for the words in scripture. 
How difficult it can be to take the teachings and apply them to the here and now world that we live in.  To realize that He loves us equally as much as He loved them.  To acknowledge that we aren't alone and that our lives matter to Him.  So, today, I would like to remind you that you matter.  Be of Good Cheer.  He knows you.  He knows what you need.  He knows that you are hurting.  He knows your pain.  He knows your trials.  And in a very real way, He knows the blessings that you will be given. 
Today, put your hand in His and be not afraid. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

A Twig of Faith

I have learned that choosing to have faith can be hard.  I think, as we grow older and see more things, it becomes harder to choose to have faith.  I remember when I was small, I knew that God would answer my prayers.  And He did.  He took that small twig and made it into a tree.  I would not doubt God.  I could not doubt his answers.  I have been told that I am blessed to believe.  I suppose that might be partly true.  But I know that Heavenly Father knew I would go through hard things in my life. 
He knew that I would need the strength that only faith could bring me.  So I have seen prayers answered (not always in the way I wanted but still undoubtedly answered).  I have felt His presence.  I have felt His love and protection.  I have even been able to escape grave danger, not because of my faith, but because of His blessings.  Sometimes, the hardest thing to do is to believe that everything will all work out for the best when we are surrounded by the worst. 
I am a constant worrier.  I worry about things that have happened, things that are happening and even things that just might happen.  Because of that, faith has sometimes been difficult for me.  I constantly have to fight my inner need to KNOW and SEE.  But that twig that was planted when I was small, has led to some amazing moments of faith in my life. 
Heavenly Father works with us in all of our imperfections.  He sees the endless possibilities within our hearts and souls.  He knows how hard it is for us, in this world of quick answers, to trust in His timing.  And so, I hold tightly to the twig from my youth.  I try my hardest to believe that He knows all things.  I anxiously await His growing me to become who He needs me to be.  I let Him plant me where He wants and grow me where He will and as time passes, I bloom and grow, and bloom some more, and my faith continues to grow. 
Heavenly Father works with who I am and makes me into so much more than I ever dreamed.  I don't like the hard things.  I don't like growing pains.  But I do like the person that I am becoming.  And so, I act on the small twig of faith and He continues to grow inside of me. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sabbath Day Scribblings - the Hands of God

I love this scripture.  I need this scripture.  It reminds me that I don't need to worry about everything.  In this time of chaos and despair, He really does have it under control.  He knows what we are going through and He as engraven us in the palms of His hands.  We truly are in the hands of a wonderful, loving God. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Made my day!

So, those who know me, know how very much my family means to me.  My husband and I have eleven children, most of them are grown now, but they are still loved and needed and wanted and cherished.  I love each one of them for themselves.  There are things about each that make my heart swell with love and amazement.  That these special people would be in my life actually makes me cry.  I wish I could share with words how much joy they bring to me. 
Today I received a text from one of them.  It said simply:
Oh lady!
Love you so much!  Thank you for giving me life & teaching me about life!  I adore you!
Such simple sentiments, yet they mean the world to me.  It is a greater gift to receive love and appreciation from my children that anything that money could ever buy.  In this wonderful season of giving and remembering and loving, let us not forget the exquisite joy of simple things done in great love. 


Friday, December 2, 2016

What does God Do?

“I recognize that, on occasion, some of our most fervent prayers may seem to go unanswered. We wonder, ‘Why?’ I know that feeling! I know the fears and tears of such moments. But I also know that our prayers are never ignored. Our faith is never unappreciated. I know that an all-wise Heavenly Father’s perspective is much broader than is ours. While we know of our mortal problems and pain, He knows of our immortal progress and potential. If we pray to know His will and submit ourselves to it with patience and courage, heavenly healing can take place in His own way and time.”
—Russell M. Nelson, "Jesus Christ—the Master Healer," Ensign, Nov. 2005, 86
I know what it is like to feel my prayers are ignored.  I know how much it hurts to wonder "why".  I think that I often ask Heavenly Father the wrong questions.  I want Him to direct every single moment of my life.  I am afraid of making mistakes and losing Him in the process.  I know what it is to be scarred and anguished.  I know how it hurts to want healing and feel like I am just not worthy of it. 
It can be so hard to come to Him when everything is going well, and so hard to come to Him when we see ourselves as being so unworthy.  One of the things that I am really working on is coming to Him no matter what.  Learning that His grace really does make all the difference.  I want Him to be my trusted friend.  Someone that I can tell every thing too.  Not just my trials, but my joys as well. 
I am working on remembering to tell Him how very grateful I am every single day.  I don't want Him waiting to hear from me.  I don't want to be the person who only prays when there are problems.  I think it is important to share my joys as well as my sorrows. 
I have been blessed to feel His healing in my own life.  I have seen how He can work from nothing, and change literally everything.  It is amazing to witness His miracles upon the earth.  I have also felt His joy when I am happy, or when I am trying to be.  I have been comforted in the dark places of life.  I have felt His love amidst the pain. 
I am also old enough now to realize that I can't see the bigger picture.  There have been things that happened a long time ago that we horrible at the time.  I could not understand how a loving God could be so unaware.  Now I know that He never is.  He knows each and everyone of us.  Now I see the blessings that come after the trials have passed.  Now I can appreciate that He does know us and love us, even in our tribulations. 
Heavenly healing does happen, maybe not when we want it too, maybe not even in this life.  But I know for myself that my wounds will be healed and the blessings will come.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

What I learned - "Come Follow Me"

"As the Savior’s latter-day disciples, we come unto Him by loving and serving God’s children"
This talk was given by Elder Robert D. Hales and I found myself eagerly listening to his words. 
"Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel was in the hospital recovering from open-heart surgery when he was visited by his five-year-old grandson. As the little boy looked into his grandfather’s eyes, he saw his pain. “Grandpa,” he asked, “if I loved you more, would you [hurt less]?”1 Today I ask a similar question of each of us: “If we love the Savior more, will we suffer less?”
No matter what your beliefs, this talk about service is priceless, especially in the world we live in today.  I love the idea of serving others.  I actually love serving and doing things for others.  I love teaching the children in Primary and hearing their voices sing.  I love helping neighbors and friends.  I love doing service where it is needed without having everyone else know about it.  Service is not a competition.  It is love in action. 
He talked about parents, whose grown children are lost, and how they cannot pray free agency away.  That is so true.  I find in my children, things to love about them no matter what path they have chosen.  I believe that is my job as their mother.  To love them unconditionally and to help them when they need my help and care. 
He told stories and talked about love and acceptance. 
One of the greatest testaments to love that I have personally witnessed happened when I used to work in a nursing home long ago. 
There was a woman who had Alzheimer's.  It was so far advanced that she could not straighten her limbs and was bedridden.  She could not speak or do anything at all for herself.  Her husband of over 50 years came every single day.  She could not eat by herself and had to be tube fed.  Nevertheless, he made her favorite foods and ground them up in a blender so that they could be put in a syringe and she could have the foods that she had made all her life. 
In the two years I worked there, he only missed one day of coming and that was because he was ill.  He washed her face and her hair.  He talked to her constantly.  He loved her in both word and deed. 
She did not even seem to know he was there, but he did.  He served her every single day until she passed away after 10 long years with that disease.  It brought tears to my eyes to witness that kind of love.  It made me long for that in my own life. 
Often, when we follow the Savior's teachings, it is not glamorous work.   It is hard work.  Changing diapers, making meals, getting no sleep, running on the ambulance late at night, having people yell at me because they want something that I do not have.  But service, when done with the right attitude, is simply love in action.  It is bring Christ into our hearts and sharing Him with everyone around us.  It is learning to come follow Him.