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.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

What is Mine, God?

I am so very tired.  Sometimes, it feels as if it will take every bit of my energy to take just one more step.  I am overwhelmed and burdened down.  Often, I am not even sure why.  There is just so much going on and it takes every fiber of my being to just endure and step forward.   
As I struggle, I can't help but wonder just how much of what I am taking upon myself is really mine, and how much belongs to someone else.  There is a saying that I like that says:  "Anxiety is when you care too much about everything.  Depression is when you don't really care about anything.  Having both is just like Hell".
Sometimes, I feel like a drop off zone.  Someone has a problem, they come to me, and I just let them drop it onto my shoulders and I take care of it.  It becomes my problem.  It is a very hard habit to get out of.  It is a difficult thing to do.  Obviously, when I fail, it is spectacularly epic. 
And yes, I fail often when I try and take on more than I can handle. 
My goal is to separate myself from the need to fix everything for others and focus on what is mine to actually solve.   That is a very tall order for me. 
I have decided that the biggest gift I could give myself would be to put everything into the Lord's hands and trust Him to help me in my journey. 
It sounds easy, right?  It is not.  I do not trust easily.  I keep fighting to hold onto things that were never intended to be mine.  I think I want the control so that I know it gets done. 
My way. 
However, my way is not the only way.  I remember going rock climbing many years ago.  I had to learn an entire new way of doing things.  Even simple things, like hiking, take on new meaning when your goal is to reach a point to climb.  And, oh my gosh, the repelling down for the first time is downright terrifying. 
About 3/4 of the way up I mistakenly looked down to the ground that was far below.  I was on belay, but did not trust the rope and sucked myself into the rock.  I could not move.  I was frozen in place.  The people I was with had to wait until my hands gave out and I tumbled from the cliff. 
The rope held, I had beautiful bruises and scrapes, and I kept climbing.  I learned to trust my companions and the rope that kept us safe. 
Faith is the rope, the Lord has each one of us on Belay.  He will keep us safe.  It doesn't mean we aren't tested and tried to our limits.  It does me that we are really never alone. 
Today, I will breathe and let go. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Looking Bad

I love it when a quote resonates with me like this one does.  Our world today is so competitive.  We seem to spend way too much time worrying about how others perceive us, instead of thinking about how God perceives our actions.  I can't even begin to tell you how many times people will try to tell me something bad about someone else, thinking somehow, that minimizes their own sins.  All it really does is call even more attention to them. 
Why is gossip so prevalent today?  I live in a small town.  Which, believe it or not, I actually like most of the time.  The only thing that I have real difficulties with is the fact that people think they "know" all about me.  They pass rumors like they were serving a potluck dinner at the neighborhood church.  I get to learn things about myself that I never even knew!
Perhaps the hardest is when people find it necessary to tell me who likes me and who doesn't.  That is not information that I need in my life.  It is not necessary to my eternal salvation, and could even be detrimental to the person that I currently am. 
Why do we insist on telling each other all the negative things?  It is like we somehow, take secret pleasure in making others feel badly about themselves.  We do not ever know what trials someone is facing.  We may think we have a good idea, but unless we are walking in their shoes, we truly don't understand. 
My trials are unique to me.  You are not asked to go through them.  From where I am sitting, they are hard.  They are painful.  They are as much as I can bear.  To hear others say that they know someone who has been through worse, is not helpful in the least.  In this spot I am in, it is a difficult challenge to face and I have to get through it myself. 
I worry about failing and falling and making mistakes. 
I worry about losing the battle and more importantly, the war. 
I worry about who I might become or who I can't become. 
I worry that I have done something in my life to deserve these particular trials. 
I worry, and I keep worrying.
My goal today, and every day for that matter, is to leave my place in this world just a little better than I found it.  I want people to leave my presence feeling a little better about themselves instead of worse.  I want them to feel valued and respected.  I want to remember that we all have our own difficult places.  And that they are hard for each one of us to endure.  Anything that we can do to make the lives of others just a little better, is something we should try and do. 
I doesn't take much effort to try and be a little more positive in our daily interactions with others. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

God's Choir

Several years ago, I was able to go to Utah and attend Women's Conference on the BYU Campus.  It was an amazing experience and I loved it.  One of the things you can choose to do there is to participate in a virtual choir. 
If you sign up, you are sent the music to learn on your own.  Then, on the first day of the conference, you show up two hours early to practice the songs you have learned.  At some point in the program, the choir sings the songs they are practiced.  It is quite an overwhelming experience! 
It even sounds good, so that makes it especially eventful.  Every single woman there, singing one of four parts that they learned on their own time and in their own small corner of the world.  Those parts blended into a perfect harmony that fills me with joy.
There is so much hate in the world today.  So many who feel oppressed and trodden upon.  I love the above thought by Jeffrey R. Holland.  It reminds me that we were each born to be different. 
We each get to stand out in our own unique ways.  I am not the same as anyone else. 
If I want to belong to something where everyone is exactly the same, I am living in the wrong place for that.  Every single on of us have differences.  Some of them are visible to others.  Some of them are only visible to ourselves.  Some of them are physical, some are emotional, some are mental.  But we all have differences.  We are unique sons and daughters of a loving Heavenly Father.  
When I hear about people who are oppressed or treated differently, I can't help but wonder how that makes Heavenly Father feel.  He created all of us.  He loves each one of us.  He blesses us and walks with us and wants us to love one another the way that He does.  
He doesn't ever ask us to become like anyone else.  He just wants us to become His.      

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Oh, how appropriate this quote is today.  I try not to be political on my blog or in my postings.  I try and keep an open heart and mind toward others and their beliefs and values.  But, with everything going on today all over the United States, I feel the need to address this.  There are too many things going on that are hate related. 
Hate is always wrong.  I amazes me that we spend so much time judging others, that we forget that Heavenly Father has commanded us to love them.  I have a hard time with the things that have gone on in Virginia.  I have a harder time with the acceptance of the things that are currently happening in Oregon and even in Utah. 
Don't get me wrong, I believe in free speech, but I also believe that the right to swing my fist ends where you nose begins.  Why, in this day and age, do we find it necessary to hurt others?  I get that your beliefs are different from mine, I understand that our ancestors come from different places with different ways of looking at things, but that does not excuse unkindness or outright aggression.  It does not excuse the taking of another's life or freedoms because of beliefs. 
I do not like violence.  I do not advocate it in any way or for any reason.  I especially do not like the ugliness that is spreading across our country.  I have friends from all races, and from all denominations.  I have friends who are gay and straight.  I am well acquainted with many different ways of viewing things.  I am also very embarrassed that anyone could believe they are better than someone else because of our uniqueness. 
I am not black, but I have suffered prejudices in all its ugliness.
I am not gay, but I too have been judged because of things I do differently.
I am religious, but don't believe that my right to believe that way should interfere with your right to believe however you see fit. 
My thoughts are that we should spend more time looking for ways in which we are the same, and less time looking for ways in which we can judge each others differences.
In Utah and Oregon, there are people who are putting posters around schools against other races.  There are people who want to say they are superior to others.  It actually causes me physical pain to think that someone else's children see these things on a daily basis, and believe, even if for only a minute, that they might be right.  It makes me sick to my stomach that there is anyone who would cause injury and death to another because of differences in the way we look, or believe, or are.  
I am also an EMT, and have seen  that we all bleed red.  At the very heart, we are the same.  God created each of us in His image.  He does not only claim one people, one nationality, one group, one belief.  We are all His.  Maybe, it is about time we started acting like it.   

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Accidental Believers

I have found this one to be more true than I ever imagined.  Belief is a personal matter, but if you don't study and learn and grow, your beliefs will change.  If you don't have a personal testimony, there will come a time when it will be easier to not believe.  There will be times when others will sway you with their arguments or opinions. 
All my life, I have had a testimony that God loves me.  I can't even begin to explain why I felt so strongly about that.  Perhaps it is because of the fear I had as a child,  seeing a face in the window that terrified me and praying so hard for it to go away.  Feeling the comfort and knowledge that is was gone and I was safe.  It never seemed to matter what church I was going to either.  My testimony at that time was not built upon a church.  It was built upon a Savior.  It seemed to me that I could find Him anywhere if I looked hard enough. 
I think that might be why my testimony today is so strong.  It is because I have looked for Him and believed in Him no matter where I was or what I was doing.  When I searched for Him, I found others who taught me of His love.  When I needed Him, He was there.  He didn't take away the bad things in my life, but He was always there so that I did not walk the path alone. 
I have learned that I have to look for His influence in my life.  He does not shout out to me.  He does not appear beside me to save the day.  Mostly, He is just there.  Comforting my journey, lighting my way, reminding me that I am loved and needed and enough. 
The world would have us believe there is no Savior, that He is a great myth.  That there is no righteousness or unrighteousness.  That we don't need a God in our lives anymore.  I have even heard that we have outgrown our need for Him.  But I say, He is there waiting for you to hear the still small voice.  He is there to carry you forward when your footsteps falter with fatigue and weariness.  He is there to heal your heart and make you whole. 
We never outgrow our need for acceptance and love.  We never outgrow our need for understanding and peace.  We never could possibly outgrow our need for Him.