Saturday, September 2, 2017

Forgive

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What keeps coming to me lately is to forgive. Forgive the driver who cuts me off. Forgive past offenses against me. Forgive myself if I don't live up to my own expectations. If Jesus Christ could call for forgiveness while hanging on the cross in brutal physical pain, then I can forgive. I can also assume that "they know not what they do."




Friday, September 1, 2017

Faith has a short shelf life

Today I read this thought. It's true. Just like the manna from heaven given to the Israelites, faith doesn't store well. I have to partake of something that feeds my faith every day. Sometimes every minute. Whether it be reading scriptures, other good books, praying, writing about my faith, enjoying God's beautiful creations, or just noticing and being grateful for all the miracles and blessings that surround me, I have to have a constant source of faith-promoting experiences. My soul needs constant nourishment.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Thank you all for a Happy Life

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It's not only my birthday, it's my 62nd birthday. My how that time has flown by. I blinked and now I am way up there in the years. But I refuse to feel old because I truly believe I am as young as I feel (please don't burst my birthday balloon bubble).

One of the memories I have about my birthday from my childhood is being disappointed (let's be perfectly honest, I have done my share of whining even as an adult). I remember having birthday pity parties because people weren't nice enough or thoughtful enough. Wow, a big sign of entitlement. Somehow I felt entitled and expected people to make me feel special.

I have come to realize that feeling special is an inside job.  It is simple too risky to put that responsibility on a flawed human being because we are all flawed.

If I want to have a special day I can make that happen both in my attitude and planning. I don't have to wait for someone to make my day special. I can do that for myself and if other people do nice things for me then it is just icing on the cake. But baking my own cake happens when I feel gratitude for the life I have been given.

That gratitude for life starts with all the gifts and blessings I have been given from my Father in Heaven. The gratitude continues for my parents who sacrificed to provide me a life in a happy and comfortable home. And finally, gratitude swells in my heart as I realize that everyone in my life has offered so much to me already, so I really don't need to expect my birthday to be extraordinary because my life already is. I have a happy life. Thank you to all who have made my life special.


Sunday, August 27, 2017

We seek sameness but should value differences



I have come to know that when I am feeling insecure about myself and my beliefs and behaviors, I seek out people with the same beliefs and behaviors. If I am having a hard time keeping my house clean, then I love the slob next door. She is my soul sister. When I am down on myself, the woman who has a clean and organized home I automatically want to assume is neurotically OCD. No, not just more on top of things than me, but a psychotic overachiever. We wouldn't have fun together because I assume she is looking down at me all the while I am going to accuse her of neurosis to be able to stay on higher ground myself and feel better about myself.

But when I feel grounded and confident in what I believe and how I am behaving (okay, that rare moment), I am more accepting and can enjoy people who are different and yes, even people who are better than me. In fact, I want to seek them out.

In my pursuit of personal growth, I know how valuable it is for me to be around people who stretch me beyond my current comfort zone. It is comfortable to be with people who are the same as me. I don't see any need for growth.  But it is challenging and fun to be with people who are more adventurous than me. It is inspiring to be with people who are more creative than I am. The list goes on. It is true, however, if I am feeling pretty lousy about myself then I can't appreciate those inspiring examples. I see them as a reminder of how I am lacking. I see them as a threat and assume the people are purposely trying to diminish me thus I want to diminish them first.

It just boils down to whether we choose to see people as a threat or as an inspiration. I think it starts with humility. When I am humble (which begs the question, can you really declare humility and be humble? food for thought). Humility and insecurity are miles apart. One is ready for growth; the other is threatened.



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.

Pricks


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.