If you have been following me, this week was a rough one for us all. We had things happen that can occur in everyday life, but added upon our current situation, it left us feel drained, overwhelmed, a bit unfortunate, and even troubled.
As I have given myself some much needed time to rest and then reflect, I have been amazed to see a huge difference in how I normally would have reacted to such challenges.
The first thing I noticed was the gift of virtuous thinking!
I was delightfully surprised that as my heart and mind battled, not knowing what next to do, the back of my mind kept speaking to me the truths I hold most dear. . . that I am loved, that God loves and needs me (the me that I currently am!), that I have true friends who love who I am and depend on my friendship with them, that although I have had several experiences with the challenges I had this week – those experiences do not define me – the way that I seek to serve God during challenges defines who I am! Virtuous thinking saved me this week!!! But had I not been practicing it for so long, would those background thoughts even have been acknowledged?
The second gift I noticed was positive, purposeful reflection of each day!
Despite having several challenges thrown at us this week, Paul and I still had a family to raise and care for, as well as friends to support, and people to serve. I found that when the temptation to curl up into a ball and pull the covers over my head came over me, my daily list of positive moments spoke to me and declared that we still hadn’t found the good in this day! So I felt propelled to stand up and keep living the rest of each day, although the answers to our issues still hadn’t presented themselves.
I love that despite having a challenging week, we still experienced tremendous joy. . . Like watching Curly Cook interact with the farm animals and make sure to hold each baby chick at least a few times each day. Or how GingerSnap folded our family’s laundry in the Marie Kondo method and that she taught Paul and I why balling up your socks actually stretches the elastic and makes the sock sag at the shin.
Or how Joy Boy got to play with 3 other boys today, like he has desired for so long! And how Paul got to participate in a symposium led by a favorite mentor of his. Or how I was able to eat out 3 times in 7 days . . . That’s a record for our family!
The third gift I noticed was that my desire to hear God’s voice was necessary and not a burden.
I found that I needed, wanted, willingly sacrificed time to read my daily scriptures because I wanted to be closer to God. I loved the feeling I received that God loves ALL of His children, even the ones who make life seem particularly challenging for us, or cause accidents/inconveniences in our lives.
This brought me immense peace, as I am currently on both sides of this equation. But regardless of which side, I am loved and the scriptures are a remarkable source that help me tap into that love immediately!
My fourth gift was from my meditation practice with the Calm app.
My mind wanted to solve the issues we had this week, but stress only exhausts our minds quicker and creates cortisol from the stress of overworking our minds. Once I felt stress building, I found that choosing to have a calm face, calm voice, and calm body allowed me to breath, which allowed me to give my mind something to do, like focus on meditating, instead of ruminating on what challenges could come, what blessing could be lost, and what damage will occur. Fretting only creates the worries into truth. No thank you! Let’s not make matters worse. So choose to be calm, let agency occur, and trust that we will have the help we need to see us through what will come. 💕
My last gift was HOPEFUL thinking!!!
How is this moment perfect for me?? For my family? For my spouse? For my children? For each child? As I would purposefully think about answering this question, I was able to give my mind something to work on and come up with “solutions.” Now I have something to ponder when things get tough. I have something to be grateful for and won’t waste while I have the opportunity to use it. And now I can see the hand of God in my life, despite the challenges that I am facing.
- The gift of virtuous thinking
- The gift of positive, purposeful reflection each day
- The gift of having a desire to hear God’s voice
- The gift of a meditation practice
- The gift of HOPEFUL thinking
Guys. . . Look at how “how we think” has the greatest affect on how we can handle stress, how we can process despair, and how we can let go of what we can’t control.
I have found that choosing my friends is my most important assets! My best friends include: positive, supportive people who can testify of the good I bring into this world; uplifting music/art/books/tv/movies/videos/conversation/language; good foods to eat (not too much salt or sugar); not too much sleep but not too little; serving others the way God needs me to, so I can have a break from my problems and give my soul a rest.
I am profoundly grateful for the lessons I have been taught to learn these important truths that work for me to stay mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually healthy . I also appreciate watching for the help that God sends as I practice faith and trust that He is there for me and He is helping me!
Here’s to a great opportunity to reflect on the progress I have made and on the blessings I have been given in preparation for the trials I am experience presently! I am richly blessed. All of us can be! I truly believe this.