Tuesday, December 30, 2014

What I've Learned From a Marriage of Two Imperfect People

Thirty-eight years ago today I was a tax deduction bride. Here is what I've learned in my 38 years of a marriage that has certainly seen its share of joys and difficulties.

I have learned that marriage takes a tremendous amount of work and patience.

I have learned that each person in a relationship has a part in the difficulties and that when each person focuses on their part, there is greater healing and growth.

I have learned so much about my own inadequacies but I have also learned more about the need for and the healing power of the Atonement than I would have learned in any other way.

I have learned that if I want to make improvements, I seek guidance from my Heavenly Father and focus on what I need to improve upon. 

I have learned that differences and disagreement is healthy and to be more understanding of the other point of view instead of just defending my own position.

I have learned to look at the long term consequences of giving up and focusing on the benefits of hanging in there.

I have learned that adversity can be a great teacher and that learning to forgive and being forgiven can be the greatest healer and opportunity for growth.

I have learned to resist taking another person's mistakes and weaknesses personally and be more compassionate and supportive.

I have learned that punishment and the cold shoulder are counter productive.

I have learned that a desire for great achievements can get in the way of developing a close relationship.

I have learned that developing healthy and close attachments are the greatest source of strength and the greatest accomplishment.

I have learned that as I grow closer to God and feel His love, I naturally draw closer my spouse and want to be more loving.

I have learned that it is important to have high expectations for each other but it needs to be coupled with being supportive and responsive if we fall short.

I have learned the power of love and being able to love ourselves and others in spite of our weaknesses.

I have learned to never ever give up on those we love and in so doing have discovered a greater measure of love.

I have learned that I can be happy no matter what life dishes out to me.

I have learned that success doesn't necessarily mean a perfect marriage. The success is having difficulties but knowing where to turn to for help, and recognizing that it is the difficulties that actually teach us the most about the power and the love of God.

Finally, I have learned that marriage can always get better and better, and we can grow even more deeper in love and more appreciative of each other.  

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Life is Good Enough Without Mind Altering

Just tonight I was watching a documentary about drug use, and it was heart breaking. It was dark and depressing.  I also watched a Super Soul Sunday program earlier today about Paul Williams, who use to be an alcoholic and drug addict. His exuberance in being sober for many years was inspiring. He had truly found the brighter side of life.

When I had my wisdom teeth out and they gave me something to relax and slightly put me out, I walked out of the office with such a weird feeling of being out of control that I knew that was something I didn't want in my life. I want to be in complete control and experience life without having to alter my mind or my body.

I am incredibly grateful that I have been encouraged to stay away from anything that could harm me or potentially become addictive. I believe that if I would have started to take something to deal with the pain of some of my hard times, I wouldn't have gained the strength and wisdom that my reliance on my Heavenly Father has blessed me with, and instead I could have become dependent on something that could have ruined my life. I could have been tricked into thinking all was well but it really wasn't and I would have missed the desperate need for and help from my Heavenly Father.

The same goes from using something to make me more relaxed, outgoing, or fun. Anytime I depend on something else besides my God-given abilities that I am encouraged to develop, I can become a slave to that substance. I want to live on the brighter side of life with my mind clear and fully engaged.


Focus on YES!

I love the start of a new year. I am taking on a health challenge that includes all 5 dimensions of my life--Spiritual, Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Social. I have made a chart with positive action items in each area and I will check them off each night as I recap my day. I am focused on what I want to be doing instead of trying to just avoid what I don't want to do. What we tend to resist, persists. So now I will keep my eye on what I want and having a stronger YES burning rather than NO NO NO. It is YES to morning scriptures and journal. It is YES to 7 veggies a day. It is YES to writing in my blog. It is YES to a healthier life. YES YES YES!!! (are you feeling the enthusiasm?)

Friday, December 26, 2014

Endure to the End

Some would look at the admonishment, "endure to the end" and only think that means to suffer until the end of your life. One of the definitions of the word "endure" is suffer but the other definition is continue, persist, stay. I love what 1 Timothy 1:5 says; "the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart." Christ declared that He is the beginning and the end. His birth and life and sacrifice represents the pure love of God. For me, enduring to the end means that I see that all I have been asked to do and obedience to commandments is only a means to that end--to Christ and feeling His pure love and being changed by it and becoming more charitable. Thus "endure to the end" means that I stay focused on truly coming unto Christ. He is the ultimate end in all that I want to become.