Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Things We Learn from Weeds

I've been learning a lot from my weeds lately. It started about a month ago when I started my garden.  It is growing beautifully, but I thought I had gotten all of the weeds.  I spent extra time really digging to the roots of those huge weeds and pulling out, or so I thought, all of the weeds.  Well, I came back a week later and there they were again.  Those darn weeds.  So I started pulling.  Some of them were just barely growing and were easy to pull out, but quite time consuming because there were so many individual sprouts.  Then there were others that looked small and when I went to pull them they just broke off, but left a deeper root at the bottom under the dirt.  I was lazay and just moved on when I couldn't see the actual weed in its place.  

Well, we all know what happens there, leave it to grow a couple of days and there they are "growing like weeds" hence the reason we have that phrase to begin with (I think).  And so I have tried to be wiser.  I went in a week ago and hoed the entire thing.  Turns out I had to do it in the heat of the day, because I had no time otherwise.  So there I was sweating, hoeing and cursing those stupid weeds I thought I had dug up 2 weeks earlier.  I told myself that this was going to be the end of my hoeing days and I was getting every last one.  Well, after hoeing the heck out of the weeds and some of my poor plants (oops) the garden was pretty and weedless.  I laid Preen down and hoped that I had done it right...well, lazy hoeing equals more weeds tomorrow.  So needless to say, I didn't do it right (it doesn't help that the plot I'm working with hasn't had a garden on it in 10 years and so the root system and seeds of the weeds go way back and deep down.)  I have weeded for about 30-40 min every day this week and crazily enough there are still plenty of little tiny weeds growing.  I'm realizing day after day that I'm doing it wrong. I'm being lazy and just ripping off the top part (not meaning to of course), but realizing that it takes some digging and work to get those deep, embedded roots.

Yesterday I did it in the sprinklers so it wasn't so hot. This morning, I did it at 7am so it wasn't so hot and the ground was still moist.  I dug around the weed and its mighty root before pulling, assuring myself and the weed that the whole thing had been dug up.  As I did this, I couldn't help but liken this to life and real weeds that we face.  Divorce, addictions, daily routines we can't break, miscommunications, behaviors etc.  I think we all have our own weeds and we're sometimes fortunate enough to have people help us with our weeds and help us.  We have to get to the root of the problem if we are going to not have to go back and deal with the same problem over and over again. I was thinking about parenting.  (Far be it for me since I don't have kids...but I do deal with a lot of kids...)Not just giving in each time a child wants something, but setting up boundaries and continually being conistent (one of my huge goals!!!) so that the kids know what the clear expectation is and that their behavior will reflect the reward/outcome.  We do that every day, but I think we often get negative behavior because it gives the child the outcome they want (us exhausted and giving in to their whining, fits, tantrums etc) and we are left with one more weed that we only snap off at the top and the root is ready to grow again.

I look at cycles and things that we continuously do and think about how many times we just take care of part of the problem and don't cute it at the root.  We continually fall back into bad habits, because we don't change the habit entirely.  It is interesting.  I have recently lost 30 pounds and have been consistent in my eating habits since I lost the weight, but I'm not eating as well as I did when I was losing the weight. So frankly, if I was doing what I was doing when I lost the weight I could still be losing weight (on to my goal of 10 more pounds so I could weigh what I did in Jr. High when Coach Stephenson asked me how much I weighed and I felt totally bad about it...looking back, I would be 100% okay with that number!!!) but now I'm just settling for maintaining.  But that is not effective, because frankly, it's easy to let a few pounds sneak back on here and there. I haven't been running every day like I used to, but have skipped out on exercises. Even though I formed good habits (chopping off the head of the weed) it's like I'm slipping back into bad habits again (the root still there and the weed beginning to grow).  I'm glad that at least because of weeds (and scales) I'm recognizing it and trying to get to the ROOT of the problem before it becomes a bigger problem.

I think it works this way with many things.  Communication in relationships, marriage, friendship, families etc.  We have the head and we have the root. What are we doing to change those things so they are a more positive experience and don't always end up in confusion we seem to have?  I'm not saying I have the answer, I'm just aware of the problem!  I'm working on being a better sister. That is hard for me, but I'm working on it.  I wrote my mom a sincere email last night (she's in Ecuador so email seems to be convenient) and it felt good to just let down all of my walls and say, "Mom, I'm sorry for not having been the best daughter, but thanks for being patient with me and teaching me all the things you do and for loving me anyway, even though I'm a jerk sometimes!  And I love you for loving me and teaching me through your example of how we are supposed to be." 

If we have boyfriends/girlfriends (or don't have for that matter) and have been in broken relationships before, don't ya think it would do us well to look at the weeds in our previous relationships to help us think about what kind of issues we have in these ones and get rid of the weed completely. Pull up the root, so this one can succeed!!! Hopefully! 

Well, here's to happy weeding, that could possibly turn into a wedding!!! (Had to add that as I mispelled weeding and saw wedding. It's too close and too perfect to pass up!!!)  Get some dirt under those fingers, cry a few tears and get to the root of the problem before the problem becomes an overpowering weed that you can't control!  Happy weeding/wedding!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Atonement and the Book of Mormon for today

Thursday, June 21, 2012  9:59pm

What have I learned about the atonement from the Book of Mormon? I’ve learned a lot, but today, I learned that it is real and there are no things that cannot be covered by it. I know that sounds simple, but I was reading in the Book of Helaman chapter 7 and Nephi the grandson of the original Helaman, son of Alma the younger was praying and a bunch of people came and were “marveling” at his prayers and so he kind of went off on them.  He said how wicked they had been and how they needed to stop being so wicked or bad, bad, bad destruction and even complete obliteration of their people would happen, and then he used a key phrase 4 times; “Except ye repent” I couldn’t help but feel so deeply, “Wait a minute…so he’s saying that they did all of these awful, wicked things and he was still telling them they had a chance.  That yes, destruction and awful things would come because they had done them, except they repent.”  And that was the key.  He kept saying it, “You’ve done a lot of bad things.  And the future doesn’t look bright for you.  I mean really bad stuff and extinction of your people is going to happen…except ye repent.  You’ve still got a chance to stop it right now and just repent and be whole through Christ.”  It was amazing to me. It hit me like a light; like the thing I’ve always known, but hadn’t really understood popped into full view.  Except ye repent.  So that would mean that repentance was an option! Crazy!!!!  No, not at all. God is our Father. He wants us home. He provided a way that even when we made huge crazy big mistakes, that we could make it home.  I have to know what to do to get back home…it’s easy repent. Be humble and give your will to God.  That gave me more hope than I’ve had in a long time!  And then I was reading President Monson’s talk in Priesthood April 2012 that talked about Nephi and priesthood leaders.  He just simply quoted a very well known verse 1 Nephi 3:7. “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.”

I thought to myself, after having read Helaman 7 and pondering on the atonement.  That the part that says, “save He shall prepare a way that they may accomplish the thing with he commandeth them.”  So that means that he prepares an out for us from temptation in the moment.  He prepares an out for us if we fail to take the first out and give ourselves the atonement that covers us.  That means that we can be free from the sins that befall us and all we have to do is repent. “Except ye repent”  there could be a huge list of items we’ve done.  He doesn’t say, “Oh if you did that or this, you’re disqualified.”  He says, “Except ye repent.”  That’s all you have to do.  So I’ve learned a lot from that little bit.  He provides a way.  The way is the opportunity to repent of any sin and then to keep on going.  I’m learning  lot and am so grateful.  It’s been a hopeful learning day.

Sunday, June 3, 2012 we go again and again and again...

I have signed up again on LDSsingles...kind of funny, but kind of my way of showing Heavenly Father that I'm willing and open to whatever opportunities He gives me. Online dating is not my favorite way of finding a spouse (that's what happened before...and look how that turned out) that's why it's been about 2 years since I've done it.  But here we go.  What's the worst that could happen?  Maybe I shouldn't ask that!

These are some excerpts from a talk that I love and has kept me knowing what it is I need to do as I date. It is called, "How Do I Love Thee?" By Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. I highly recommend it!  Here is the link"how+do+I+love+thee"

There are many qualities you will want to look for in a friend or a serious date—to say nothing of a spouse and eternal companion—but surely among the first and most basic of those qualities will be those of care and sensitivity toward others, a minimum of self-centeredness that allows compassion and courtesy to be evident.
I suppose no one is as handsome or as beautiful as he or she wishes, or as brilliant in school or as witty in speech or as wealthy as we would like, but in a world of varied talents and fortunes that we can’t always command, I think that makes even more attractive the qualities we can command—such qualities as thoughtfulness, patience, a kind word, and true delight in the accomplishment of another. These cost us nothing, and they can mean everything to the one who receives them.

In a dating and courtship relationship, I would not have you spend five minutes with someone who belittles you, who is constantly critical of you, who is cruel at your expense and may even call it humor. Life is tough enough without having the person who is supposed to love you leading the assault on your self-esteem, your sense of dignity, your confidence, and your joy. In this person’s care you deserve to feel physically safe and emotionally secure.

If you are just going for pizza or to play a set of tennis, go with anyone who will provide good, clean fun. But if you are serious, or planning to be serious, please find someone who brings out the best in you and is not envious of your success. Find someone who suffers when you suffer and who finds his or her happiness in your own.

Endure to the End

Third and last, the prophets tell us that true love “beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things” (Moro. 7:45). Once again that is ultimately a description of Christ’s love—He is the great example of One who bore and believed and hoped and endured. We are invited to do the same in our courtship and in our marriage to the best of our ability. Bear up and be strong. Be hopeful and believing. Some things in life we have little or no control over. These have to be endured. These are not things anyone wants in life, but sometimes they come. And when they come, we have to bear them; we have to believe; we have to hope for an end to such sorrows and difficulty; we have to endure until things come right in the end.

In a final command to all His disciples for all time, He said, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you” (John 13:34; emphasis added). Of course such Christlike staying power requires more than any of us really have. It requires something more, an endowment from heaven. Remember Mormon’s promise: that such love—the love we each yearn for and cling to—is “bestowed” upon “true followers of Christ.”

This next quote has literally saved my life throughout the course of my dating. I have been able to see right from wrong and truth from error as I have applied this quote, because I have been able to see what is right in a relationship and what isn’t.  I have had to cling to the truth to help me see what I really really want in my marriage and it has saved me from big mistakes and unknown and unhealthy paths.

I’m grateful to Elder Holland for being so bold, when sometimes I didn’t want to see it or hear it, but I knew that he was right.  Because of this quote I was able to be safe in a relationship that could have changed everything in my life and would have made it a very unhappy ending.  I’m grateful that though it’s hard advice to follow when you’re “in love” if you follow it, your relationships of “love” will be deeper and bonded in the right way, with the Savior at the helm of your relationship. It’s so true and so essential.

Do you want capability, safety, and security in dating and romance, in married life and eternity? Be a true disciple of Jesus. Be a genuine, committed, word-and-deed Latter-day Saint. Believe that your faith has everything to do with your romance, because it does. You separate dating from discipleship at your peril. Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, is the only lamp by which you can successfully see the path of love and happiness. How should I love thee? As He does, for that way “never faileth.”

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A Cottage or a Mansion?

I have been recenlty thinking of "Jonah and the great fish" the play I saw a few years ago at the Scera Theatre.  Before that play I really had no clear understanding about Jonah. I didn't know why he was in the belly of a great fish...i just knew it was a story in the Bible!  Well, as I watched it I learned that he had been running from what the Lord told him to do; go to Ninevah and tell the people to repent.  He didn't want to so he stowed away on a ship.  The Lord was unhappy with him for doing that and made huge waves and so the people on the ship were like, "Who is to blame for this?"  Jonah told them it was him so they cast him overboard.  Then he spent some time in the belly of a "great fish" and came to himself. I guess if a prophet of the Lord had to have some refining like that, I think it's okay that I do too. 

I have recently been reading in the Book of Mormon about Abinadi (He wasn't rebellious to the Lord) the Lord told him to go back two years later after he had already gone to a people and was cast out.  He was told to go back 2 years later and call the people to repentance, because the Lord had given them time enough to repent.  Abinadi didn't run. He was very clear to them and made his purpose clear and said, "I have a message and I'm going to share it, so don't try and kill me, because the Lord won't permit me to die until I say what I need to say."  That is a great example of faith and not cowardice.

I look at those two stories and compare my life.  I'm kind of like Johah in a way at times when I'm asked to do hard things.  I ask myself sometimes, "What am I running from?" "Why do I not want to do things the Lord's way?" "What am I so afraid of?" I'm afraid of coming to myself and realizing that I may not be perfect (imagine that!!!!) and that the plan the Lord has for me might be hard, but I always (when I really think about it and pray hard) come to the realization that He would never want me to do something that wouldn't ultimately bring me happiness.  That is so hard to believe sometimes when He sends me down a road I don't want to go on.  I think of the whole tearing down the cottage story and I'm like "Wait a minute. What are you doing? I'm a pretty cottage!"  And Heavenly Father is like, "I have to tear down some walls so I can put up even bigger and better ones, because I don't want you to be a small cottage, I want you to be a mansion." 

The tearing down part is sooo hard and painful, because it's hard to believe that hard things and painful things will result in good things.   But as I have learned, they really do and that is the faith inducing part!  I've been figuring out a lot and literally crying to the Lord and leaning on Him more than I would if my cottage walls were I guess that is why we're here.  To become a mansion.  Some settle for a cottage, but in the true end, I want a mansion.  So I tell Him through my pain and tears, "If this is going to get me happier and where I need to go, then I'll go.  I'll go with you there and I'll do that hard thing (like breaking up with a guy I really didn't want to break up with) and know and trust that in the end it will all be okay." I know it will. It has to, because the Lord tears us down only to put up bigger and better, stronger, cleaner, brighter walls and windows!  It's going to be alright. It is always going to be alright in the end and if it is not alright, then it's not the end!  That has gotten me through a lot!!!

A really pretty cottage, but just imagine that we can become more than even we can imagine!
What I want to become: A mansion...even through all the pain! Pool, green grass, towers and all!

This is a link to an amazing talk that helped me so much when I was trying to get over my engagement.  I know it's been 2 years, but it still helps me remember that God has a lot more planned for me than I can even comprehend!