Tuesday, March 30, 2010

From the mouth of babes...

My youngest son came to me this morning and told me he had a nightmare. He said, "I had a dream that we were in a tornado and a flood, and we were not prepared." Those are his exact words.

My husband and I will be going through our 72 hour kits and food storage tonight.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

To teach forgiveness as well as to teach to be forgiven

I am generally a very forgiving person. I do not hold grudges. I do not harbor resentment. I have learned throughout my life that harboring ill feelings only affects me. It does not affect the other person. How can it?They do not know the thoughts in my head. So, in general I am a forgive and forget kind of person.

BUT....
I have been harboring a grudge for some time. It has been a difficult one for me to let go. I have tried, but these two people really hurt me. I thought they were my friends, but friends do not say such mean things about each other. This happened almost a year ago, and every time I think I am finally over it, something happens to slam it back in my face.

I was recently reminded by the still small voice that the Atonement is to teach forgiveness as well as it is to teach to be forgiven.

I heard these words in a talk almost 20 years ago. I know that my Savior and Heavenly Father love me. I know that my Savior and Heavenly Father forgive me. I know that my Savior and Heavenly Father are merciful. And so I am left wondering, why have I struggled to be loving, forgiving and mericiful to these two people? When I realized this thought this morning in my personal prayer, I broke down in tears. If I cannot forgive these two people, then how can I expect the same of my Savior and Heavenly Father. Why did it take me so long to realize this?

I have felt more peace today than I have felt in a long time.

So I am left with the peace and the remembrance that the Atonement is just as much about teaching me to forgive as it is about teaching me that my Savior and Heavenly Father will forgive me.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Something I read that got me thinking...

I read this yesterday and I have been thinking about it ever since. I thought I would blog a bit about it.


"There is a seventeenth century proverb that reads: 'Believe no tales from an enemy's tongue.' But perhaps we can believe our own examinations of ourselves."

It continues..."If you were choosing someone to trust, could you trust yourself? ... Would you like to be at your own mercy?... Would you like to live with yourself?"

There are admittedly many questions that I left out of the quote, but these are the ones that spoke to me. The other questions were easier for me to answer. Questions like, "Would you hire yourself?" Yes, I am a good worker. I take pride in what I do. I am sincere in my love of teaching. and "If you were your own partner, could you trust yourself? If your partner were to die, would you treat his family as fairly as if he were alive?" Answering both...Yes, I would. That was simple, but the first questions...those are more difficult.

It is sometimes difficult to be honest in a blog, but since I there is not a single soul other than myself that knows who I am, I can write without trying to live up to something. In my personal blog, there is a bit of censorship. I ask, "Do I really want people to know this about me?"

But on this blog, I am merely an LDS woman, who happens to be a wife, mother, and teacher. Fortunately, I know many women with the same titles. So here, I can write without second guessing what I am writing.

Back to the questions at hand. ...

"If you were choosing someone to trust, could you trust yourself?" The answer to this one seems simple; I am a trustworthy person. I trust three people with anything and everything. They trust me the same. However, it is only those three people that I trust. Would I trust myself? That is tough. Yes, I want to trust myself, but am I worthy of the trust that I place in others. This, I am not so sure of. I am not a gossip, but sometimes I feel that I share too much of myself. Is this the type of person that I want to share things with? Again, I am not so sure. I have struggled with talking too much my whole life. Even as a child, I was precocious. I talk. I share. I am trustworthy, for sure, but in looking at my closest friends, they are not like me. They do not talk as much as I do. They listen better. Maybe that is the issue. I need people to listen to me. Would I listen to myself talk? Would I trust someone who talks as much as I? I am guessing, probably not.
Alas...something to work on.

"Would you like to be at your own mercy?" An old friend described me as genuinely kind. She said she hated to use that word, but it fit me. I think I am kind, but I also know that I am a realist. There are times when reason beats out kindness. For example, the educational system in which I live is under tremendous economic stress (and by stress, I mean educational cuts). In my building alone 10+ teachers will find out this week that they will not have a job for the next school year. I do not envy the principal. He has a tough job. This is the part where I am not sure if I would like to be at my mercy. I am a realist. Jobs must be cut. There is no choice. Were it my decision, I would be forced to have difficult conversations with people in my department; with people I call friends. I would do this in a kind manner and would undoubtedly shed a lot of tears. I am a harsh judge when it comes to teaching. I am critical. In essence, I show very little mercy when it comes to teaching and teaching well. If I were to sit back in judgment upon myself the way I judge others, I am not sure I would want to face myself.
Ouch...that one hurt. Yet another thing to work on.

"Would you like to live with yourself?" First off let me say that I love my husband. He is good and kind and patient. I am not patient. I would not want to live with myself. I know that I can be irrational and confusing. I know that I am demanding. So, alas, I am grateful that my husband is not like me. Sadly, I would not want to live with myself, but I am grateful that my husband does!

So there you have it. Honest self reflection on a blog. Now, I must get to work on becoming a person that I might like a little bit more.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Temple

I love leaving the Temple. I know that may sound strange to some, but I do. All too often, I enter the Temple feeling rushed. I try not to feel rushed, yet somehow, rushed is how I feel.

BUT, I leave the Temple at peace. I am not rushing to get my children, to get dinner, to do anything. I leave in peace. I leave more focused. I leave with the Spirit. Don't get me wrong, I enter with the Spirit, too. The 40 minute drive to get to the Temple helps this. I can take the time to talk to my wonderful husband. We can talk about our children. We can talk about the Gospel. We make a conscious effort not to talk about work or our frustrations with the world. We simply talk and let the Spirit guide us to the Temple.

It is a good feeling going to the Temple, but there is a complete feeling when leaving the Temple.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Right Combination


I was not in the mood to go to church yesterday. I had a bad week between my calling and my job and the collision of the two. All I wanted to do was hide. Be off the grid for a weekend.

But Sunday rolled around, and I felt very strongly that the one place I needed to be was at church. I needed to take the Sacrament. I needed to feel the Spirit. I am grateful that I went.

It was a missionary farewell, and while I enjoyed the talk given by the future missionary, it was the talk by the current young missionary serving in my ward that made the difference. He said,

"There are currently 117 scientific elements, and when they are combined correctly, they can make something really beautiful and amazing. The same can be said of the elements of the Gospel. When combined correctly, they can make something more beautiful and amazing. The first element is faith. When faith is combined, beautiful combinations occur."

I will admit that I was not listening too intently at the beginning of his talk. My mind was wandering. Then, I heard this simple statement, and I was hooked. I began to feel the warm comfort of the Spirit that I needed.

I know that when faith is combined with other elements of the Gospel beautiful things happen. Faith is the first element needed for miracles, but, more importantly, I also know that faith is the first element needed for tender mercies to occur.

"But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance" (1 Nephi 1:20).

After Sacrament meeting, I sat in the foyer. I sat and talked with a friend about the struggles in my calling and in my work. And then, in a tender mercy, the Bishop came out of his office and invited me to talk with him. I sat and cried in his office. I told him of the struggles that have weighed me down the last two months; teaching, living, and serving in a very small city. The conflict with girls who are both in my classes at school and in my calling at church. He told me that I was on his mind a lot the last two weeks; he knew that he needed to talk to me.

In his quiet and protective manner, he made me feel better. A lot better. He encouraged me in my calling. He told me that he knows I am where I am supposed to be. He told me that the Lord wants me in this calling at this time. He told me that he has witnessed the difference I have made in the lives of the youth. He reminded me that regardless of my struggles, my own two children must come first at all times. He also admonished me to acknowledge my feelings, both good and bad. He told me that it is natural to feel a sense of pride in my calling, but he warned me of the bitterness and resentment that can come from pride. He took words from my heart and my mind and made me understand them.

My worlds may be colliding and even exploding, but I have faith that all things happen for a reason. I am grateful for the reminder that faith is the first element needed for beautiful and amazing things, but more importantly, today I am grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord.