Thursday, October 27, 2011

"My strength is made perfect in weakness"

June 10, 2005

2 Corinthians 12:7-9

". . . there was given to me a thorn in the flesh . . . for this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness."

What does Paul mean "my strength is made perfect in weakness?"

Perhaps the struggle against our weaknesses makes us stronger.  My struggle to be healthier is certainly teaching me more discipline, accountability and appreciation for my body.  My struggle to not be critical teaches me to be more thoughtful, hold my tongue and appreciate those around me more.  I have to face weakness with faith and hope in Christ.  I'm so grateful he has overcome.  His grace will be sufficient where and when I fail. 

October 27, 2011

And six years later I feel even more grateful for my weaknesses that have humbled me, filled me with compassion and compelled me to rely on the Lord instead of the world.  I will never stop trying to improve myself but I can do it recognizing my weaknesses strengthen my character and my faith in Christ.  In a world obsessed with perfection it can be hard to see weakness as a strength.

Southern Utah deserts are the perfect example of this principle.  The plants that survive there are not lush or tall but they are strong with deep roots.  They offer a strength and beauty of their own having endured a harsh climate.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Willing Mind

June 3, 2005

I, too often, allow little things to make me anxious then my anxiety sabotages my mothering.  The need to clean this couch I'm sitting on for example (we had a red microfiber couch back then--what a relief to go have leather with attached pillows now). I can't let it go.  And when I can't get to it I become grumpy and irritable.  I'm unwilling to sacrifice then frustrated when the boys ask for things (build a train track, play with me, I'm hungry, I'm thirsty). 

Grandma Heaton is playing with Ty now.  She's giving him her undivided attention.  He provides all the imagination while she listens, responds, suggests and goes along.  No wonder he loves her so much.  She's a great example of how to sacrifice willingly.

2 Corinthians 8:12
"For if there be first a willing mind it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not."

Am I willing to give the sacrifices that have been asked of me?  Life is much harder when I'm unwilling and resentful.  Willing sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven--peace and a lighter burden.  It takes faith and discipline.  I seek for more of both.  The Savior has overcome and I can only overcome through the power of his atonement.  How grateful I am for him.

October 26, 2011

I can look back now and see what a blessing it was Grandma came that day.  We were an hour drive away but her example was so timely.  She must have been inspired.

I'm also surprised to see how long the Lord has been teaching me about willingness.  It's something I still pray for and work toward.  A challenge having young kids is that so much just happens that you can't plan into your day.  Night wakings, dirty diapers, spills, falls . . . it leaves you feeling out of control.  I can't think of a better situation to learn willingness, submission and the hard to explain joy and refinement you begin to feel after doing it every day.  Willing service is the formula to feel true love.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Endure it well

May 26, 2005

I took the boys to the park today.  Jordan was an angel until he got hungry. We took off when the 2nd bus load of kids arrived. Tanner wanted to be carried so I hauled him, the baby in his car seat, a diaper bag, picnic blanket and garbage sac to the suburban. I'm grateful my body can do that.

Ryan gave me a Priesthood blessing this morning. I was told to let go of the less important things (phone calls, home improvement, etc). I was reassured that I won't always be tired. I need to have these experiences to have compassion. The Lord hears my prayers, he aches for me and I will be blessed for my faithfulness. I'm so grateful Ryan is a worthy priesthood holder. I'm grateful I live now when the priesthood is on the earth.

2 Corinthians 6:4
"But in all things approving ourselves as the misters of God, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distress . . ."

When I am down or grumpy I'm learning to patiently endure. Life comes in waves and this too shall pass. Anxiety and fear make it worse. If there's something I can do to help then do it. If not then just wait faithfully. Sometimes I just need the experience.

2 Corinthians 6:6
". . .by pureness, by knowledge, by long suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned"

These are the virtues that help me endure it well rather than just survive.

October 2011

I read this now and remember how much more overwhelming everything seemed when I was getting up at night with a baby as well as caring for multiple children during the day. It is obvious the scriptures and an inspired husband were giving me just what I needed  to patiently wait it out.  I especially like the first picture because you can see the debris on the floor around the kids.  It's okay to let some of it go for the giggling moments!

I also included a picture of a snack plate.  It was another way to simplify dishes and daytime eating to just put a bunch of snacks on one plate, put it on the floor (like a dog dish) and yell "snack time!"  They would swarm and devour.

What do they hope for?

May 23, 2005
The beautiful weather has me in a great mood. We went to a ceremony for a family we know and love at a Unitarian church yesterday. It was great to be there for them. It seemed odd to me that God wasn't mentioned.  They spoke of love and positive thoughts and energy toward humankind. These are great things but what do they hope for? What do they have faith in? Faith in human goodness I suppose. But then what happens after this life? What happened before?

2 Corinthians 5:9
"Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him."

The purpose and hope of our labor is to be accepted of Him eternally.  I am so grateful to know that I am a daughter of loving Heavenly parents and always have been and always will be.  Their purpose is to help me become like them.

I can achieve that purpose through Repentance, faith in Christ, making and keeping covenants at Baptism and in the temple, and receiving saving ordinances.

This journey won't stop with death. I can be with those I love forever. And the flesh is overcome through Christ and the resurrection. It is a glorious plan! My testimony of it is priceless.

I love Ryan and my boys. My heart is full to think that, eventually, I'll never have to be without him/ them. I get a wonderful eternal companion. It is a feel good day.

Rest will come

May 19, 2005
My 3rd boy turned 3 months old this week. I'm finally having a few days where I feel some energy--feel more like myself. Yet my body feels so big. I'm so tired. Both Tanner and Jordan are crying and need to sleep. I can barely move my body to go get them.

2 Corinthians 5:4
"For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened . . ."

But we have the hope of immortality and eternal life. I'm here to learn through repentance and faithfulness. Keep trying: get up when I'm tired with a hope in Christ. Father has promised to help me raise my kids, take care of my body, love my neighbors, support my husband. I need to take more steps into the dark. Life WILL bring moments of rest.

October 18, 2011

I read this seven years later on a morning I was able to do yoga, listen to relaxing music and enjoy a green smoothie. My four boys are almost all in school now. The moments of rest and great joy do and have come. I look back feeling grateful for the reassurance that scripture offered me on that day. yes--I made great sacrifices to bring these children to earth and it is all so worth it.