Sunday, May 25, 2014

Trials and disappointment

Trials and disappointment can suck our faith and sense of humor right out of us.  I know two of my greatest gifts are my faith and my sense of humor. One, of course, light years more important than the other.

But... And I have said this a hundred million times, it is those very trials and disappointments that are my greatest test. I will fail if I don't hold unto both my faith and my sense of humor and especially if I become angry and bitter even if it is just towards those who are practicing insanity (keep doing the same thing and expecting different results. And please know that I am oftentimes in that same sorority. I have often acted insane).

I will only learn from my experience and draw closer to my Heavenly Father if I let those tests refine me and strengthen my need for His strength and direction. My experiences with insanity help me see my need to make course corrections. So to all those trials and disappointments, I say "thank you!" Thank you for helping me increase my faith.  Now if I can just find my sense of humor.....

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Choose Mercy not Bitterness

The last two days my scriptures have fallen open to verses about mercy. Having recently experienced people who have fallen into deep bitterness for injustices,  I have seen the damaging affects of choosing bitterness over mercy.

I love the definition of mercy. "That benevolence, mildness, or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves."

It is the natural woman in me to become bitter, angry, and seek revenge for someone who I feel has injured me. Another randomly discovered verse in scriptures yesterday helped me want to soften my heart. It talks about people who have a desire for happiness and people who have a desire for evil. As I look around me, I realize most people are just trying to find happiness and not necessarily want to be evil. Very few people are intentionally seeking to be evil.

We all make wrong choices thinking at the moment it will make us happy. That doesn't make us evil; just human. We all need to experience mercy. Bitterness makes it worse. I am grateful to be able to see the negative affects of bitterness. It helps motivate me to choose a different way. To choose mercy.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Make a Difference not Just Eat, Drink, and be Merry

It seems like our world is moving into an era where it is all about selfies and self improvement.  I even started this blog as a quest for self improvement but along the way I have realized that the ultimate goal is to make this world a better place. Yes, we start to make it a better place by trying to be a better person but that is just the means to a more purposeful end and is also the result of what is most important. What is most important is to live a life of service and trying to make a positive difference. To leave this world better than we found it.

I am grateful to be part of a church where we are taught to serve and lift others in addition to what we do for our families. We are indeed given church callings in which we are given the opportunity to serve. We don't just come to church to be fed but we also get to feed. What starts out as an expectation becomes a real blessing. It is amazing how good it feels to be an important part in the life of another who is at first "an assignment" but later becomes a friend who is incredibly grateful for the impact they say I have had on their life (What kind of impact, you say? Well I am glad to be an example of what not to do, if nothing else).

This picture on the beach of a footprint is mine. I know that I have a unique footprint to leave. We all do. This life isn't just about eating, drinking, and being merry. Yes, we can and should be joyful and happy and have fun, but the most important part is serving and making a difference, especially without financial reward.

I have certainly had a lot of fun serving in my church callings and other places I have volunteered (well, let's face it, been asked to participate. I am not saintly enough to actually volunteer) because church isn't the only place to offer service.  I have made some of my best friends while serving in church and other organizations. And there is no greater reward than a note like the one I received today from a grown up young woman that I was able to serve and who served me so richly as well. "I love YOU! I also think of you almost daily as I do the many things I do as a wife and mom and try to serve the Lord!"

I am grateful to have opportunities that force me to be less selfish. I hope that I can always make a difference. "Make you mark" was the theme of the year I served as PTA President in my children's elementary school and I intend to make that my theme for a lifetime.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Seeing the Glass Half Full

I love this thought that I heard years ago. Learning to see the best in people and the best in circumstances is incredibly important. Growing up with a loving and wonderful but perfectionist and oftentimes critical father, I was kind of programmed to see what is wrong. That ability was oftentimes helpful when I coached or taught someone something. I could see what was wrong and help them correct it. It has also benefited my desire for self improvement because I can clearly see my own faults and repent and work on changing it. is a focus on the negative and what I tend to focus on builds. I remember something I read years ago about how just like telling someone they are fat doesn't help them become thin, pointing out the negative doesn't actually inspire anyone to become better. It is looking for the best in people that ultimately leaves them better than I found them.

It is also especially beneficial to understand and forgive people for their short comings. In that way it gives me a lot of confidence that they will be more understanding of me and overlook my faults.   

Becoming a Better Christian

I tried to say this same thing a few days ago but this says it so much better than I did.

I. simply. couldn't, agree. more.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

As a Man Thinketh

I know the power of my thoughts. My thoughts have such a dramatic affect on my heart and body. My thoughts can create positive or negative energy depending on what I focus on. For that reason, I benefit from reading good books, listening to good music, and being around people who are a source of positive inspiration. What I read and listen to has such an impact on my thoughts and my thoughts will have an impact on my beliefs and move me to action. Positive thoughts--positive beliefs--positive action.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Valuable Reading

I am preparing a lesson on the witnesses of the Book of Mormon. Several men and a few women were able to see the gold plates from which the Book of Mormon was translated. Even though some of them left the church in which the book is associated with for a time and some permanently, they didn't deny what they saw.

I have to say that my personal witness of the truth and the value of the Book of Mormon doesn't only come from those witnesses some 150 years ago, but it comes from my experience reading it daily. I have experienced my own little miracles praying for specific direction and serendipitously finding the perfect message for me at the very moment I needed it. I have been brought to tears realizing God's love for me knowing that He is watching out for and helping me cope with this journey we call life.

I have also found the recorded truths that are at odds with my current beliefs and what I need to repent of and change in order to be aligned with truth. Finally reading the Book of Mormon first thing in the morning gives me a certain peace and good intention that permeates the rest of the day. I stand as a witness of the value of reading the Book of Mormon.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Commandments Just For Me

I have written about this before, but this is a message that I need to be reminded of often.

I love this visual imagery to remind me that the commandments are just for my benefit. They are give to me  to bless my life and keep me safe and happy. They are beamed down just for my consideration, focus,  and adherence.

They are NOT to be used as a measuring stick to judge or condemn others. Each of us have what we need beamed down to us individually. Yes, most of those commandments are mutually beneficial but how we choose to apply them is very individual and how and what I am doing to keep those commandments is my only concern and I must stay focused on just me. The only thing I should be concerned with in regards to other people is that I love them and am a good example of how keeping the commandments bless my life because they do.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

"To do" list stress

I made a shift the other day that made an incredible difference. I have gotten really motivated lately and had organized my to do lists in my reminders app on my computers and was getting lots done and checking it off. I had started doing some of the little hobbies I have loved since childhood and enjoying them.

I felt so accomplished but I also noticed that I was physically uptight because I realized I was striving for control and perfection. I also knew from experience that the momentum would crash because that state of being was completely out of harmony with true peace and joy.

I realized I had to take my focus off of my to do list and notice how I was feeling because just focusing on what I was accomplishing and checking it off wasn’t my best measure of success. I had to look within to capture that sense of knowing and the right way of being. Looking at that external list was deceiving because internal awareness is key to real success, joy, and peace. It was monumental to realize that I was addicted to the list and checking things off and it had become my end all instead of just a means to the real measure of success which is that internal barometer.

The shift that I made was through the simple statement, “Breath in the moment.”

I discovered that I could still make a great to do list  and stay motivated and get a lot done, but I needed to stay in the moment and enjoy it. Just stopping and taking that deep breath was all I needed to do. I realized that only focusing on my list was creating the stress and body tension. Stopping and breathing in the moment helped me experience the true joy of what I was doing and released the stress.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Less is More


As someone who often takes things to the excess, does more that I need to do, and buys more than I need to have, I need to remember this.

Life is simply easier with less.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

You Can Never Get Enough

This is true. I have found it is a sign that what I obsessively can't get enough of is something I must not really need. That would be self-help books. I know the greatest self help book I can have is the scriptures. Each day as I sit down to read and ask that I might find something that will bless my life, miracles happen and I am brought to tears knowing that I have a Heavenly Father that loves me enough to place just what I need in front of me.

I have spent way to much time buying, organizing, and eventually getting rid of too much stuff that I didn't really need. As I wrote that I automatically took in a deep breath. Interesting how speaking the truth creates a reflective deep breath as if my body intuitively knows that it is something to take in. 

Now I won't say that I am not going to buy anymore self-help books, scarfs, shoes, or anything that I can't seem to get enough of. A girl just can't live without some cute shoes or some fabulous scarfs, and heaven knows I need a lot of help; I will just be more prudent.  I will just spend more time on the things that truly do satisfy and in that satisfied state, the other needs will be displaced.