A BIG THANKS goes out to a few people today who really helped me regain some focus I needed: President Nelson, President Eyring and my sweet sister-in-law Michelle.
“My dear brothers and sisters, the joy we feel has little to do with the circumstances of our lives and everything to do with the focus of our lives.
When the focus of our lives is on God’s plan of salvation . . . and Jesus Christ and His gospel, we can feel joy regardless of what is happening—or not happening—in our lives. Joy comes from and because of Him. He is the source of all joy.”President Russell M. Nelson, October 2016, “Joy and Spiritual Survival”
I listened to this amazing talk this morning and jumped on the chance to get the blog post for tonight started. But as my day progressed, I was given a second opportunity to hear another amazing talk by President Eyring. His talk reminded me of the PURPOSE behind my daily blogs. I can’t count how many times this same talk has been given to me over the years.
I’ll be honest. I felt a bit ashamed that I might have strayed from this purpose, but instead of looking back I accepted the “no” answer (something our family is working on) and dropped the subject, after recommitting my blog’s direction.
“Tonight, and tomorrow night, you might pray and ponder, asking the questions: Did God send a message that was just for me? Did I see His hand in my life or the lives of my children? I will do that. And then I will find a way to preserve that memory for the day that I, and those that I love, will need to remember how much God loves us and how much we need Him. I testify that He loves us and blesses us, more than most of us have yet recognized. I know that is true, and it brings me joy to remember Him.”President Henry B. Eyring, October 2007, “O Remember, Remember”
This talk is one of my all time favorites because of one line in the talk that really touches my heart . . .
“I heard in my mind—not in my own voice—these words: “I’m not giving you these experiences for yourself. Write them down.”
. . . I wrote down a few lines every day for years. I never missed a day no matter how tired I was or how early I would have to start the next day. Before I would write, I would ponder this question: “Have I seen the hand of God reaching out to touch us or our children or our family today?” As I kept at it, something began to happen. As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. As that happened, and it happened often, I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done.
The years have gone by. My boys are grown men. And now and then one of them will surprise me by saying, “Dad, I was reading in my copy of the journal about when …” and then he will tell me about how reading of what happened long ago helped him notice something God had done in his day.
My point is to urge you to find ways to recognize and remember God’s kindness. It will build our testimonies.”President Henry B. Eyring, October 2007, “O Remember, Remember”
This sweet message has been there to buoy me up each time I start to challenge or change the tone of my blog. It can be a scary world out there and I have faced times where I fear that my words and testimony don’t help but pull people away from God, and that breaks my heart.
But today, my sweet sister-in-law messaged me and shared with me some wonderful ideas on how I could make cooking a bit easier for me. Not only was her timing impeccable, but I had already been prompted with these same ideas the day before I went shopping. I then realized, through the Holy Ghost, that my sweet sister-in-law had been praying for me and had hoped I would know of these easier options.
But instead of just praying for me, she went out of her way to make sure I knew about them. This did my heart some great good, because not only could I feel her love for me, but I also felt the LOVE and actual presence of God helping me and my family make this time we are having in the “wilderness” special, unique, one-of-a-kind and memorable! Now I am and realize I have been.
Our Savior doesn’t want us to be miserable. It isn’t the best way for us to learn. Instead, He wants us to KNOW He is here, beside us, guiding us, molding us, shaping us into what we know we need to become . . . we just forget sometimes!
I also must say that I want to thank Olivia for her message back to me over WhatsApp. She says she doesn’t quite know what to say to me, but her words buoy me up and give me joy. She is so wonderful to share her life lessons with me. I hope my life lessons help her too!
“Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.”2 Nephi 2:25
I am deeply grateful tonight to be able to feel that this scripture is true. I know that I won’t always feel that what I am experiencing is joy . . . but I hope that after this unique experience our family is now having, I will KNOW that our trials are uniquely created to BRING US JOY and HAPPINESS for all eternity. This is my deepest hope and prayer!! Thank YOU for your prayers! We are receiving them and we FEEL JOY despite the storms of life.
All my love and gratitude (and Happy Thursday),
(Art work in the beginning of the blog is found here. )