for-blog-9

Do you ever wonder who you will be when the rug is ripped out from under you? This little quote pretty accurately describes the doorway I’ve come through. Yes, before the accident I was struggling, angry, even broken. It didn’t mean that I loved less or wished for disaster. When someone you love is in danger, you act. It really doesn’t matter if you’re mad at them when it happens or not, you act. You care.

I care.

Don’t, for even a minute, think that I ever stopped.

Journal

For nothing more than the sake of keeping the record, this is a copy of an entry I made on a discussion board last week. It is honest and raw, I wrote it when I was exhausted but needed the release:

I don’t even know how to talk about this unit. Media has not been an issue for my life in any way for about half of the time period assigned. I was able to find a way to reduce the amount of time I wasted with the app I mentioned before. And, maybe I have been given my current challenge because I’ve developed such lazy habits. For sure, I won’t be spending much time doing those things anymore. I was playing one of the games when my week hit the fast track to hell, and I don’t think I will want to play again.
This week has taught me much about providence and looking for a sign of God’s hand in the lives of those I love. Rather than being cryptic, I’m just going to spill it. I’ve been at the hospital for about 15 hours today alone, and I’m tired. I don’t have the energy to keep playing the game of this class. Real life, kids, is messy.
For the last several weeks, my husband and I have been struggling. I’m battling depression, and felt like one of Satan’s minions we talked about a few weeks ago – one who is miserable so makes everyone else miserable also. He’s been battling his own demons. Basically, tired of pretending, we’re on the brink of walking out on each other. He took some time and attended Woodbadge just a week ago. When he got home, it was like a different person. I confessed some of my secrets and he pledged to be loyal and helpful. We wanted to make it work.
On Monday, he suffered a spinal cord injury and is now paralyzed from the waist down. Suddenly, we’re thrown into this state of turmoil and have barely rededicated ourselves to one another. I mean, we already got problems!
But throughout the week, I can see little things that are in place for reasons that I cannot comprehend. I can’t deny them. This sucks. It is hard. We are devastated. But I know that God loves me and He loves my husband. I don’t have very many answers, and I know there are darker days ahead of me, but I know that much to be true.
It has nothing to do with media, sorry. It’s all I can give.

10 Journal Questions

5 rules I have broken
1. don’t sneak out
2. don’t speed
3. always wash your face before bed
4. don’t wash the Mother-in-Law’s tupperware in the dishwasher
5. go to bed early

I love the sound of
creeks and streams

This morning, when I got out of bed I
cried

What scares me the most
failure

What is the best advice I have ever been given
minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day – one thing at a time

Things on my bucket list
Greece

My favorite memory from when I was a child is
going to Grandma Helen’s house

What do you wish for
my kids to have what they need

If you could be a character from a book, who would you be?
“Scout” Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird

The following was part of my SS lesson today, it was just the thing I needed. So grateful for small blessings and the mercy of my Heavenly Father…

Approaching the Throne of God with Confidence

Whenever the adversary cannot persuade imperfect yet striving Saints such as you to abandon your belief in a personal and loving God, he employs a vicious campaign to put as much distance as possible between you and God. The adversary knows that faith in Christ—the kind of faith that produces a steady stream of tender mercies and even mighty miracles—goes hand in hand with a personal confidence that you are striving to choose the right. For that reason he will seek access to your heart to tell you lies—lies that Heavenly Father is disappointed in you, that the Atonement is beyond your reach, that there is no point in even trying, that everyone else is better than you, that you are unworthy, and a thousand variations of that same evil theme.

As long as you allow these voices to chisel away at your soul, you can’t approach the throne of God with real confidence. Whatever you do, whatever you pray for, whatever hopes for a miracle you may have, there will always be just enough self-doubt chipping away at your faith—not only your faith in God but also your confidence in yourself. Living the gospel in this manner is no fun, nor is it very healthy. Above all, it is completely unnecessary! The decision to change is yours—and yours alone.

I would like to share six practical suggestions that, if heeded, will dissipate these evil voices and restore to you the kind of peaceful assurance and spiritual confidence that is yours to have if you only want it. Regardless of the rating you gave yourself on that 1-to-10 scale, by applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ, you can begin increasing your spiritual confidence today if you are willing to listen and act. I will speak boldly, hoping to edify and not to offend.

1. Take responsibility for your own spiritual well-being. Stop blaming others or your circumstances, stop justifying, and stop making excuses for why you may not be fully striving to be obedient. Accept that you are “free according to the flesh” and “free to choose liberty and eternal life” (2 Nephi 2:27). The Lord knows your circumstances perfectly, but He also knows perfectly well whether you simply choose not to fully live the gospel. If that is the case, be honest enough to admit it, and strive to be perfect within your own sphere of circumstances. Spiritual confidence increases when you take responsibility for your own spiritual well-being by applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ daily.

2. Take responsibility for your own physical well-being. Your soul consists of your body and spirit (see D&C 88:15). Feeding the spirit while neglecting the body, which is a temple, usually leads to spiritual dissonance and lowered self-esteem. If you are out of shape, if you are uncomfortable in your own body and can do something about it, then do it! Elder Russell M. Nelson has taught that we should “regard our body as a temple of our very own” and that we should “control our diet and exercise for physical fitness” (“We Are Children of God,” Ensign, Nov. 1998, 87; Liahona, Jan. 1999, 103).

President Boyd K. Packer has taught “that our spirit and our body are combined in such a way that our body becomes an instrument of our mind and the foundation of our character” (“The Instrument of Your Mind and the Foundation of Your Character” [Church Educational System fireside, Feb. 2, 2003], 2; speeches.byu.edu). Therefore, please use good judgment in what and especially how much you eat, and regularly give your body the exercise it needs and deserves. If you are physically able, decide today to be the master of your own house and begin a regular, long-term exercise program, suited to your abilities, combined with a healthier diet. Spiritual confidence increases when your spirit, with the help of the Savior, is truly in charge of your natural man or woman.

3. Embrace voluntary, wholehearted obedience as part of your life.Acknowledge that you cannot love God without also loving His commandments. The Savior’s standard is clear and simple: “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Selective obedience brings selective blessings, and choosing something bad over something worse is still choosing wrong. You can’t watch a bad movie and expect to feel virtuous because you did not watch a very bad one. Faithful observance of some commandments doesn’t justify neglecting others. Abraham Lincoln rightly said, “When I do good I feel good, when I do bad I feel bad” (in William H. Herndon and Jesse William Weik, Herndon’s Lincoln: The True Story of a Great Life, 3 vols. [1889], 3:439).

Also, do the right things for the right reasons. The Lord, who “requireth the heart and a willing mind” (D&C 64:34) and who “is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (D&C 33:1), knows why you go to church—whether you are present in body only or truly worshipping. You can’t sing on Sunday, “O Babylon, O Babylon, [I] bid thee farewell” and then seek or tolerate its company again moments later (“Ye Elders of Israel,” Hymns, no. 319). Remember that casualness in spiritual matters never was happiness. Make the Church and the restored gospel your whole life, not just a part of your outward or social life. Choosing this day whom you will serve is lip service only—until you actually live accordingly (see Joshua 24:15). Spiritual confidence increases when you are truly striving, for the right reasons, to live a consecrated life in spite of your imperfections!

4. Become really, really good at repenting thoroughly and quickly.Because the Atonement of Jesus Christ is very practical, you should apply it generously 24/7, for it never runs out. Embrace the Atonement of Jesus Christ and repentance as things that are to be welcomed and applied daily according to the Great Physician’s orders. Establish an attitude of ongoing, happy, joyful repentance by making it your lifestyle of choice. In doing so, beware of the temptation to procrastinate, and don’t expect the world to cheer you on. Keeping your eyes on the Savior, care more about what He thinks of you, and let the consequences follow. Spiritual confidence increases when you voluntarily and joyfully repent of sins, both small and great, in real time by applying the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

5. Become really, really good at forgiving. “I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men” (D&C 64:10). Forgive everyone, everything, all the time, or at least strive to do so, thus allowing forgiveness into your own life. Don’t hold grudges, don’t be easily offended, forgive and forget quickly, and don’t ever think that you are exempt from this commandment. Spiritual confidence increases when you know that the Lord knows that you bear no ill feelings toward another soul.

6. Accept trials, setbacks, and “surprises” as part of your mortal experience. Remember that you are here to be proved and tested, “to see if [you] will do all things whatsoever the Lord [your] God shall command [you]” (Abraham 3:25)—and may I just add, “under all circumstances.” Millions of your brothers and sisters have been or are being thus tested, so why would you be exempt? Some trials come through your own disobedience or negligence. Other trials come because of the negligence of others or simply because this is a fallen world. When these trials come, the adversary’s minions begin broadcasting that you did something wrong, that this is a punishment, a sign that Heavenly Father does not love you. Ignore that! Instead, try to force a smile, gaze heavenward, and say, “I understand, Lord. I know what this is. A time to prove myself, isn’t it?” Then partner with Him to endure well to the end. Spiritual confidence increases when you accept that “often trials and tribulations are allowed to come into [your life] because of what [you] are doing right” (Glenn L. Pace, “Crying with the Saints” [Brigham Young University devotional, Dec. 13, 1987], 2; speeches.byu.edu).