Thursday, April 27, 2017

I am a talented sleeper

I am a talented sleeper. As with any talent, it takes practice. Here is what I have done to acquire this amazing ability.

1. I don't drink caffeine and I never use sleeping pills.

2. I try and go to bed (about 10 pm) and get up (about 5 am) at close to the same time every day; even weekends.

3. I don't use an alarm but wake up naturally.

4. I don't watch TV in bed and I rarely read in bed. Trying to read in bed is fruitless for me because I am so programmed to sleep when I get in bed that I doze off too quickly.

5. If I have trouble falling asleep, I just relax and focus on my breath. I don't stress about falling asleep and just acknowledge that laying there is good enough. If I still take too long falling asleep, I will get up and read or write.

6. If I get tired during the day, I will take a power nap for only 10-15 minutes. I just lay on a couch with lights on, but never in my bed.

7. I talk to my Heavenly Father before I get into bed and sometimes while I am drifting off to sleep.

There you have it. Sometimes I wish I had musical talents but have realized that a great ability to sleep is a precious gift. It just doesn't come in handy at a talent show.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Making the Sabbath a Joy

This morning I woke up excited it is Sunday. I have to admit that often I wasn't as excited about Sunday as I could have been. For years I had callings that took a lot of time and focus. Not to mention six little darlings to get ready and try to convince that yes, church is where you want to be. Did I forget to also include the big, adult darling?

Now I realize how I was trying to do too much and consumed with control, perfectionism, and any other dysfunctional attribute that I like to embrace so that my life can be hard and I win martyr of the year.

In an effort to serve valiantly and let's face it, sometimes to just prove that I could do an outstanding job (see the definition of priestcraft 2 Nephi 26:29), my focus was on the task at hand and not on the peace and joy the Sabbath is meant to offer. And my focus certainly wasn't on the Sacrament, which is the most important part of the day.

I love the admonition given in the scriptures in the simple words, "hold thy peace." It isn't performance nor certainly any one's approval of us that should be our measure. It is the peace and joy we feel when we are progressing at just the right speed that can hold unto those feelings. And Sunday should be the one day of the week that peace and joy can reign.


I know when something is important for me to understand when I get the same message from more than one source. I ran across this thought right after reading these words from the scriptures. "For they did prick their hearts with the word, continually stirring them up unto repentance."

Pricks, whether they be words or people, cause us sharp pain. We can either resent the intrusive violation or we can realize it is for our good. To bring us to repentance and thereby help us change and be polished. 

So now, rather than retaliate or recoil at the pricks; and can take a hard look at myself and with proactive faith, see it as a blessing and a great opportunity to repent and draw closer to Christ. 

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Life Derailment

Oftentimes I get a burst of inspiration and enthusiasm and then have a tendency to load up my life with a variety of ambitious plans. Then this happens. I get derailed and there is a gruesome pileup. It is a great reminder to just put a couple of plans on the track at a time and move forward at a reasonable pace. Derailment is costly.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Joy is the essence of success

In a world where fame and fortune are a false measure of success, I declare that joy is the essence of success. Joy comes from deep within the heart. It can't be seen or measured by outward trappings. It does, however, show up as light and love in the face of those who possess it and live with it. 

We would do our children a big favor if we teach them to always be in tune with their heart and know when they are feeling joy and knowing that joy all by itself is success. Joy doesn't necessarily come because of someone's validation of us. We can be forever seeking validation and not experience true joy. Seeking outside validation usually comes with a life filled with stress thinking joy will come after accomplishment. But joy is in the process. It is in the moment. It is in our heart and no one else can measure or validate our own joy, so tune in and tune up because Heavenly Father is the source of joy. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Restore the physical self

On Christmas Day my cute daughter gave us a photo book of pictures from our family vacation. It captured the fun memories we made but it also captured a picture of me in a bathing suit. Wait a minute, that's me? WAKE UP CALL! My real self is hidden under too many wrong eating choices. It is time. Time to restore my old physical self. Not only didn't I recognize myself (I've done a pretty good job with self deception), but I suspect because of too much sugar and other unhealthy foods, I don't feel as good as I know I can and should.

Isn't it crazy that to celebrate our Savior's birth, we overdo--eating, drinking, spending. He came to sacrifice Himself to redeem us, and we abuse ourselves. Crazy.

So the next day after Christmas I set out to restore my health. I am committed to eat foods that support a healthy lifestyle. I am determined to "eat the rainbow." And I'm not talking about Dots candy; although they are pretty dang good, and they are the candy that keeps on giving as you pick pieces out of your teeth for the rest of the day.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Storms of Life

Mormon 5:18-“But now, behold, they are let about by Satan, even as chaff is driven before the wind, or as a vessel is tossed about upon the waves, without sail or anchor, or without anything wherewith to steer her; and even as she is, so are they.”

For me, praying, scripture study, and learning and worshipping in church are all about gaining an anchor and a sail in order to give my life direction and meaningful purpose. Being anchored in Christ is the only thing that can adequately keep us stable and at peace in the storms of life. Any material or purely pleasurable pursuit is a false sense of security that has no anchor; and when the winds come, which they will, we will have turmoil and confusion as we are tossed about upon the waves.

I have had storms in my life, but I also know especially from reading my journal before a major storm hit, that I was spiritually prepared before and during the storm, for which I am immensely grateful. 

I just watched an interview with Cookie Johnson, Magic Johnson’s wife, and she shared how she had to turn to God and to Bible study in order to deal with the major storm that hit when they found out Magic has HIV. Back in that time AIDS was a death sentence and people were afraid of any contact with someone with AIDS. I loved hearing her talk about the spiritual strength it took to steer through and survive that storm in her life.