Wednesday, May 20, 2009

How do I prioritize so I can accomplish all that is expected of me?

That was my question today...and then I quieted my soul and went to the scriptures. Here's what I found:

2 Nephi 31:20: "Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the words of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life."

Notice there is NOTHING in this about priorities really. No magic to do list clearly spelling out what my priorities should or must be...but then I went to the footnotes about the word steadfast and it says to also see commitment, dedication, perseverance, steadfastness, and walking with God in the Topical Guide...ut oh, NOW I get it.

Commitment...the way to prioritize and accomplish all that I need to do is to develop a commitment and dedication to CHRIST. In being committed to Christ I will not have to stand alone and will have everything I need, more even actually, to do what I'm responsible for doing. Remember, that's what grace is and HIS is always sufficient for our needs.

I honestly thought I WAS already committed to Christ but then I decided to look up commit in the dictionary and here's what it says at "to put into charge or trust; to obligate or pledge oneself" and I realized that I am not always (though I am getting better) putting Christ in charge all the time. In intent sure of course, but not always in application.

Sometimes I honestly forget Christ...I get so caught up in the mundane necessities of life I forget to read my scriptures and often fall asleep before we can get a family prayer. I'm so busy sometimes just thinking about everything I need and should be doing that I fail to actually DO anything. Can you relate at all? So I again think about this word commit.

I know that I am DEEPLY commited to my kids and would do anything for them but would I do anything for my Lord? Sure the answer we all hope everyone says is yes but really would we, do we? Do we do all the things He wants us to do on a daily basis? For me, I've been in a viscious cycle...I know I SHOULD be doing a, b, c, and x, y, and z but can only manage to get a and y done and so I feel guilty and then that guilt makes it so I don't want to try anymore and that sense of defeat is the very moment Satan is in control. Have you ever felt defeated? Have you ever struggled to do things when deep down you're thinking "what's the point" anyway? I know it's just me that this happens to right?!?!?

I have decided it's time to re-commit to my Lord, to give him back the keys and scoot over and I am trusting that, as I put Him first in my life both in ACTIONS as well as thoughts, He will intercede on my behalf when I feel indequate thereby making me powerful beyond measure. With this realization has come some's what I've decided to do differently:

1. AM scripture study and personal prayer
2. Establish a PM routine that involves family prayer and bedtime
3. PM journaling and prayer
4. Weekly FHE even if I don't teach it, we have no official program, and it's not on Monday (there will be more on this at my main blog later)
5. Time management and allocation.
6. Taking care of me spiritually (see 1-4) and physically.

I'll let you know how it goes...tune in tomorrow for another quesiton and perhaps answer.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

How do I find balance?

In a post I created on my main blog regarding TOFW, we were challenged to take one question to the scriptures every day and in them, we'd find the answers. I accepted the challenge and got started on this today. My question is "How do I find balance with all that is expected of me."

The answer I found was in Matthew 25 beginning in verse 15. It's the parable of talents. The word talent in this time is used for money. I'm sure you all know this paraphrase it though, everyone got a different amount of talents, some invested/spent theirs and one hid theirs in the earth...the ones that invested/spent theirs got it back double and the one who hid or buried his got scolded and of course ultimately loses it.

A very strange thing occurred to me as I read this passage this morning...let's look at talent as we use the word today. When someone says "oh you are so talented" it usually relates to some skill (or in my case I'm being super sarcastic with my children sometimes too) this person has. For example, some people think I'm very talented when it comes to graphic design.

So thinking of talent THIS a skill, let's visit this same passage. "And unto one he gave five skills, and to another two, and to another one, every man according to his several ability...then he that had received the five skills went and traded with the same, and made them other skills... his lord said unto him well done though good and faithful servant."

And I realized how true this is. Heavenly Father has given each of us different talents and skills. Some of us are very talented, while others of us aren't but I've yet to find anyone devoid of talent. Some of us share or "trade" our talents and learn or receive more, some of us don't. The way to find balance in my life is for me to use my talents...that was the answer. In using my talents to the best of my ability it will allow me to achieve balance. I'm not expected to do it all, I'm simply expected to use what I've got so that when the time comes, my Lord will likewise be able to say "well done though good and faithful servant."

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Favorite Mother

Yesterday was Mothers Day. I'm sure everyone everywhere thought about their mother's and, if they are still living, likely sent cards, gifts, made calls, went to visit and the like. I bet many of flowers were placed on many of graves belong to mothers who have passed away too. I spent my day sick and afflicted so it gave me a LOT of time to think.

I'm not sure why it never occurred to me until now, but I am so profoundly grateful to Mother Mary. What faith she displayed by being the Savior's mother. Can you imagine the gossiping people did about her...can you imagine how angry and frustrated her betrothed was until his angelic visitation cleared the air? I mean SERIOUSLY...what would we think of a woman who was visibly pregnant but claimed she had NOT been with a man....we'd think she was drowning in a river called De Nile right (or maybe that she had been inseminated but still)? I personally think Mary was one of the bravest and noblest mother's in the history of mothers. Hers was the task of raising the Savior of the about pressure man. David O. McKay said "the noblest calling in the world is motherhood." Surely then, Mary then was one of the most noble mothers of all time.

One of my all time favorite renditions of Mary and Jesus is by Liz Swindle. It appeared in an issue of the Ensign...and I'm putting it here for you to enjoy.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

For this cause

"To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth." John 18:37

How many times have you heard "lead by example"...I submit to you the ONLY perfect example. May we all strive to bring our lives ever more in tune with HIS will for us.

My Wish

Many times I'm asked how it is I can have the attitude I do about life after having endured so much heartache and tears. Frequently I hear how justified I would be in hating Ex Knight, wishing him dead, or whatever and people are always surprised to learn I wish him nothing but the best. I heard this song a while back and it PERFECTLY explains how I feel and Elder Scott gave a beautiful talk last year on healing from abuse...The full talk can be found here, but below is an excerpt.

"I testify that I know victims of serious abuse who have successfully made the difficult journey to full healing through the power of the Atonement. After her own concerns were resolved by her faith in the healing power of the Atonement, one young woman who had been severely abused by her father requested another interview with me. She returned with an older couple. I could sense that she loved the two very deeply. Her face radiated happiness. She began, “Elder Scott, this is my father. I love him. He’s concerned about some things that happened in my early childhood. They are no longer a problem for me. Could you help him?” What a powerful confirmation of the Savior’s capacity to heal! She no longer suffered from the consequences of abuse, because she had adequate understanding of His Atonement, sufficient faith, and was obedient to His law. As you conscientiously study the Atonement and exercise your faith that Jesus Christ has the power to heal, you can receive the same blessed relief. During your journey of recovery, accept His invitation to let Him share your burden until you have sufficient time and strength to be healed.

To find relief from the consequences of abuse, it is helpful to understand their source. Satan is the author of all of the destructive outcomes of abuse. He has extraordinary capacity to lead an individual into blind alleys where the solution to extremely challenging problems cannot be found. His strategy is to separate the suffering soul from the healing attainable from a compassionate Heavenly Father and a loving Redeemer.

If you have been abused, Satan will strive to convince you that there is no solution. Yet he knows perfectly well that there is. Satan recognizes that healing comes through the unwavering love of Heavenly Father for each of His children. He also understands that the power of healing is inherent in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Therefore, his strategy is to do all possible to separate you from your Father and His Son. Do not let Satan convince you that you are beyond help.

Satan uses your abuse to undermine your self-confidence, destroy trust in authority, create fear, and generate feelings of despair. Abuse can damage your ability to form healthy human relationships. You must have faith that all of these negative consequences can be resolved; otherwise they will keep you from full recovery. While these outcomes have powerful influence in your life, they do not define the real you.

Satan will strive to alienate you from your Father in Heaven with the thought that if He loved you He would have prevented the tragedy. Do not be kept from the very source of true healing by the craftiness of the prince of evil and his wicked lies. Recognize that if you have feelings that you are not loved by your Father in Heaven, you are being manipulated by Satan. Even when it may seem very difficult to pray, kneel and ask Father in Heaven to give you the capacity to trust Him and to feel His love for you. Ask to come to know that His Son can heal you through His merciful Atonement.

It was Satan’s proposal that Father’s children be forced to obey, that there be no moral agency and therefore no personal growth. To preserve moral agency, the Lord does not restrain individuals from improper use of that agency. However, He will punish them for such acts unless there is full repentance. Through the Holy Ghost, He sends warning promptings to the abuser, but often that individual’s degrading appetite is so powerful that it blocks out that spiritual guidance. That is why our Father provided a way to heal the consequences of acts that, through force, misuse of authority, or fear of another, temporarily take away the agency of the abused.

The beginning of healing requires childlike faith in the unalterable fact that Father in Heaven loves you and has supplied a way to heal. His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, laid down His life to provide that healing. But there is no magic solution, no simple balm to provide healing, nor is there an easy path to the complete remedy. The cure requires profound faith in Jesus Christ and in His infinite capacity to heal. It is rooted in an understanding of doctrine and a resolute determination to follow it."

Not a single moment of my life passes by without me being very conscientious of the healing power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. My testimony has given me strength I didn't realize I had, courage beyond all explanation, and comfort when nothing else works. Because of the healing power of the Atonment, I am able to wish only the best for Ex Knight... this song I heard details my wish for him more poignantly than I'd ever be able to do. Here is the chorus:

My wish for you
Is that this life becomes all that you want it to
Your dreams stay big, your worries stay small
You never need to carry more than you can hold
And while you’re out there gettin’ where you’re gettin’ to
I hope you know somebody loves you
And wants the same things too
Yeah, this is my wish

Ex Knight, if you happen to stumble across this blog somehow I want you to know that this is indeed my wish for you...the somebody that loves you is Jesus Christ and he wishes all of this for you and more...even though you don't believe in him, HE believes in you.