This week I turned 41. 40 has a way of making you look at life differently, but the permanence of my 40’s became real when 41 came up around the bend. Up until now, this blog has been dedicated to the tender mercies in my life. Tender mercies that help me to see beyond paralyzing anxieties. My blog was titled ‘I Stand All Amazed’. The name has served it’s purpose well, but age and experience have taught me that it’s time to do more than stand. It’s time to leave the anxieties behind and start moving forward. In doing so I’m seeing things I’ve seen a thousand times but don’t ever remember seeing. I guess you could say my eyes feel opened for the first time.
I now see truth. I no longer see portions of truth mingled with portions of “something else” I’ve never even considered to be truth, but too afraid to challenge. I see, “He that has ascended up on high, as also he descended below all things, in that he comprehended all things, that he might be in all and through all things, the light of truth; which truth shineth. This is the light of Christ…” (Doctrine & Covenants 88:6-7)
This light of Christ has opened my eyes – to see things through God’s eyes. I’ve noticed that a gentle confidence has emerged from within, nudging me to courageously live life beyond a place I’ve barely dared to imagine. I feel driven to push beyond the boundaries of spiritual wheel chairs, emotional crutches, mental safety nets, and monochromatic choices.
So….here’s to my next 40 years. Onward and upward!
Today I was studying 1 Nephi 18 with Jonathan and I was struck by Nephi’s ability to remain humble during his time of afflictions brought upon him by his brothers and wondering to myself, “when will I be like Nephi?” While pondering on these things I was reminded of some challenging events in my life right now and how the natural side of me would probably complain, but instead, I feel a sweet desire swelling up deep within me to be humble amidst these afflictions. It is coming very easily to me and it is obvious that it isn’t coming from me.
Rather, it is coming from a deep reservoir within me that contains truth from One who has gone before and paved the way for all mankind – it is from Him whence my humility flows.
The ideas of how to be more patient, the ability to focus on what I can give of myself, to know I need to cling to my faith now more than ever and how to do that, to be given impressions that my trials and afflictions are actually blessings in disguise and then to immediately feel so much gratitude for a wise and loving Heavenly Father that my heart feels like it will burst. No, none of this comes from me – it is given to me – and how grateful I am for that. I learned that being like Nephi isn’t something I can do on my own – it is developed, or rather, gifted through Christlike attributes.
Oh, how I truly am nothing without Him!
So…..last week I gave the kids a homework assignment for FHE. They were to search the scriptures and find a verse that DESCRIBED THE KIND OF FAMILY WE WANT TO BE.
Only one remembered.
The others….not so much. BUT hoping to not be outdone by their sibling, some of them randomly spouted off a reference that was sure to win our hearts over. (I mean, how could they go wrong?) The results were pretty hilarious.
Which one did we choose? I’ll let you be the judge.
Isaiah 28:8, Alma 5:54, Alma 7:23-24, 3 Nephi 16:10
How many of us get to say we were baptized ON our birthday? THIS GUY DOES!! Loved sharing every minute of this day with him and our wonderful family – Heaven was so close.
Three weeks ago Jonathan and I went to the temple for some insight on how to get from Tooele, Utah to Prosper, Texas. It felt like a daunting task and we needed help.
While at the temple Jonathan and I received the answer to take a ‘bend in the road’ and, before moving to Texas, we should rent in the Salt Lake area for about 9-12 months after we sell our home. This new idea took us by surprise although I’m not sure why. Nothing about this journey has been “normal”.
I don’t want to write about the bend, but how I learned (without any doubt) that this bend is about making a friend and letting her know that God loves her.
I have to start from the beginning. I was visiting my mother-in-law’s ward a couple of years ago for a missionary something or other and saw this woman sitting by herself in RS. I felt something special for her and decided to sit by her.
Then on another occasion (about a year ago) we were there for another missionary something or other and I noticed this woman wasn’t in RS. I missed her. It was strange to me to feel this because I don’t know her very well, but I truly missed her. I asked Mona about her and was told she hadn’t been out for some time. I felt compelled to visit her after church. I did, but she didn’t answer her door.
Fast forward to three weeks ago when we were in the temple. This woman’s husband was there as well. We stopped and talked to him for a few minutes. Afterwards when I was pondering ‘why the bend?’ the answer came that staying would give me a chance to reach out to this woman and that seeing her husband in the temple wasn’t an accident.
A few weeks went by and it felt like nothing was happening. Trying to decide what community to live in and what schools our children should attend was frustrating to me plus it felt like nothing was happening on our house. I called a friend about some random Cub Scout thing and we ended up talking about how we wouldn’t be moving directly to Texas. She then helped me by letting me process what I was feeling and then just said how it seemed very clear to her that maybe we needed to consider living near this woman. I hadn’t really thought about that because I just thought being in the Salt Lake Valley would be close enough, but considering the idea felt right. Once I was open to this idea then, of course, all the questions started. The biggest one being “should we really narrow down our area near this woman?” The Salt Lake Valley is big, you know. There are lots of great places to live. Narrowing our options doesn’t even let us consider them. I have learned that you have to ask questions in order to get answers and you have to make decisions in order to get confirmations.
I decided that we should live near this woman.
After I got off the phone Jonathan suggested we go to lunch. About half way through our meal a man walked in. Can you guess who it was? Yep! This woman’s husband, the same man we met at the temple three weeks earlier. The moment felt perfect. The timing was perfect. And you could not deny that we weren’t the ones in charge.
He came over and talked to us and told us he was in Tooele on business. After visiting with him for a few minutes we decided to confess. 🙂 When we told him our story he said, “You know, I’ve been driving past this restaurant for years and decided that today I would try it.” He seemed very grateful that we were paying attention and willing to follow the inspiration we had received. I was grateful he was in tune because I needed to feel confident about my answer.
I have learned that without a doubt we are supposed to move to Texas. I have also learned that there are many reasons why we should stay a little longer and that good things will happen during that time. But most importantly I learned that the real reason I’m being asked to stay is so that I can reach out to one person.
God loves His children.