Thursday, November 26, 2009

Giving Thanks To Him

Each day I deal with the stresses of life. I make a list in my planner of all the things that I need to do, and wonder how I will be able to do it all. There are simply not enough hours in the day tcomplete all of my tasks. My first and last resort for help has become prayer. By trusting in the Lord to be my support throughout the day, I feel empowered with strength beyond my own. I feel calm and comforted in approaching my tasks and inspired concerning which things would be most efficient to do first.

It is divine and wonderful how Heavenly Father wants us to begin our prayers by giving thanks to Him, before we continue to ask Him to meet our needs and wants. This habit has given me a daily reminder of the things that I am grateful for in my life. I don't often sit down and write a list of my blessings, but I do give thanks in prayer, though not nearly enough! :) By thanking Heavenly Father, I see my life in a clearer perspective. While I may have previously thought that my life was in shreds, I think about how life would be without some of my blessings.
"I wish that I had a car" turns into "I have a comfortable house with lots of living space" and "I feel overwhelmed and depressed" becomes "In my previous times of desperation the Lord has been there for me; I know that He will be with me now."

I also become more appreciative of Heavenly Father as I think of my blessings. I realize that the blessings are meaningless without giving full credit to the Lord. Others assist in His work of service, but He is the source of blessings and joy. Because of this knowledge, I have never had reason to doubt His unconditional love for me. I cannot recall a time in my life where I blamed God for my trials. Hardships come with the package of life, and the greatest blessing that comes is by relying on the Lord, and experiencing his blessing of comfort, strength, peace and love. While these feelings are not tangible, there are the most powerful experiences one can have. I have experienced brief moments in my life where these feelings have been so strong, that they seemed more real and undeniable than anything in the world. The Holy Ghost bore witness to me of the existence of Heavenly Father, His son Jesus Christ, and of their perfect love for me.

Today, on Thanksgiving Day, I have the opportunity to lay all of my work aside, and give thanks to Heavenly Father, and to others. I will enjoy a feast of delicious food with my mother and family friends. My brother is visiting my father and his side of the family. It doesn't seem complete not having him with us for this holiday. Expense prevents our extended family from joining together. While we miss each other, and there is no substitute for not being together, we are united in our prayers of thanks. We pray for each other, even though we may be far away.

Today, I am grateful for many things. Mostly, I am grateful for my family, who have always showered me with their love. My grandparents and both of my parents have done their best to provide everything that I needed- physical necessities, love and education. They have taught me the things that I need to do in life to attain happiness- love and serve the Lord by loving and serving others.

I am grateful that my family can be eternal, and be reunited after death. Through Christ's atonement, I can see my great grandmother again, and my other ancestors who I never had a chance to know. It is hard to see my grandparents age, and to wonder about how many more years I have to share with them. Yet, I have joy in knowing that they will be ressurected to their perfect form. My mother's back pains will disappear and she will be completely healthy again.

Lastly, I am grateful for my Heavenly Father. One day I can be reunited with Him. I am grateful that He loved me so much that He would send His most beloved son, my older brother, Jesus Christ to earth. Christ suffered for my sins, hearthaches, physical pains, and burdens during His atonement. By this, I can repent and be washed clean so that I may dwell with God again. By this, I can be with my family forever, after death. I am grateful for my Savior. Every thing that I have is from Him.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

In Small Things

Upon turning five years old, I decidedly told my mother ,"When I grow up, I am going to be a sister missionary [for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints]." From that time on, I was very serious and resolute in my decision and preparation. I even put pennies and coins in my "piggy bank" and asked her to save them for my schooling and for a mission. When I was about ten, I asked her how much money I actually had in my bank account. Ya, I was kinda crushed when she told me that I had less than a hundred dollars. Haha, cute.

Since then, I have continued to have a strong desire to serve a mission. I still have a few years before I can turn in my papers. While I am very excited and am preparing to serve, I am not positive as to whether I will go or not.

Through many meaningful conversations with one of my close friends, I've come to realize the importance of living and fulfilling things in the present. I told this person about all of the things that I wanted to do in the future- serve a mission, earn my degree, become a marriage counselor,etc. While it is wonderful to dream of things to come, and to set goals in life, I was basing my happiness on the completion of these things. I felt that WHEN I became older, and more experienced I could THEN make a difference. My friend helped me to see that it is possible to make a difference NOW. What a realization! I am so grateful for learning this. My life has become so much more fulfilling as I have tried to find purpose in what I am doing right now. While I still look forward to the great things that I plan for in my future, I am enjoying the present. I think about why I do the things I do each day, and if they connect with the goals that I have. By this, I spend most of my time doing worthwhile things and cut out those things that won't provide true satisfaction in the long run.

Also, I have become more patient with myself. I realize that the most important thing in life is to be striving to improve little by little, in the small daily things that I do. I will never be perfect, and I will never be satisfied with how much knowledge I have obtained. I've come to see this principle as a wonderful blessing. It is by relying on my Savior daily, and by seeking after His words and knowledge that I will improve and grow closer to Him. Without my innumerous weaknesses, I don't know if I would ever be humble enough to come to Him. It is only through Jesus Christ that all of my burdens can be lifted, and my weaknesses made into strengths. It is by Him that I can make a difference. This is so beautiful to me.

My Savior, Jesus Christ, has blessed me with His love, infinite mercy, comfort and peace. I have been healed by the sancitifying power of His Atonement, and I have experienced brief moments of the most incredible joy and peace. Now, my desire is to share this hope that I have found with others, in small ways. This is one of the ways that I feel that I can make a difference.