Friday, March 21, 2014

Motivation for a Righteous Life

 Every once in a while I have moments that hit me almost out of the blue that help me understand my purpose, or why I feel passionate about something, or why I'm striving to live a certain way. I've been working a 3 PM to 11 PM shift this week during our company's annual maintenance outage and I finish the work I have pretty quickly. Isn't it amazing how much you can do when you don't have interruptions?? I've been spending quite a bit of time perusing Pinterest and just a few minutes ago came across this gem.

I didn't serve a mission. There was a time last year where it was a serious question and I thought about it for weeks. I prayed A LOT because it wasn't something I had ever counted on or really wanted to do. At one point I even told some friends (amongst a lot of tears, because apparently that's what I do) that I thought I needed to go. I started mentally making a plan of how it would work and what I needed to do to make it happen. And as much as I felt that it was a good thing, I began to feel that it probably really wasn't for me. I guess what I really felt was assurance from Heavenly Father that it was MY decision and that He'd support me whether I stayed or went. 

Since moving to Georgia I've made some pretty major life changes as my standards, the way I live the Gospel and I guess the commitment I have to living a righteous life. About a year and a half ago I felt the need to make these changes and to commit to becoming the woman Heavenly Father wanted me to be. I felt a desire that was stronger than my own and with such an urgency that it couldn't wait. 

During this time I've caught glimpses of my potential and an understanding of what Heavenly Father has in store for me. After reading this quote though, the part Heavenly Fathers sending His Priesthood Army to earth and wanting to send them to mothers who have been properly trained, I felt immediately that that's part of the reason there is an urgency in my own personal preparation. 

A mission is an absolutely wonderful thing and I have the utmost respect for those who serve. They do receive training, experiences, and preparation that isn't available anywhere else. But that isn't the only way Heavenly Father prepares us. If we are living righteously we will be guided and led to make changes, to do do or be in certain places. Through the Holy Ghost we will be shown how we can improve. He will give us the experiences and training we need. Of this I have NO doubt because I've seen it in my own life.

So this post is more for me than for anyone else (I think they all are). This is why I'm doing what I'm doing.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A House of Order

I had one of those "aha" moments where everything clicked and made sense, not just in a logical sense, but even in a spiritual sense. Let's see if I can explain.

At the workshop this past weekend we talked about how the temple is a house of order, and I even highlighted this point in my post. Without exception, the temple is kept in perfect order at all times. They haven't been very long lasting but I've had times in my life where everything was in order and I was amazed at what I could accomplish. Last year when I had so many goals that I was working on, school, work, callings, family, life in general, it wasn't easy but when I had everything in order I did it all.

I've been struggling a bit in trying to complete the things I have going now, and in comparison I don't even have half of the schedule I had then. I couldn't figure out what the difference was, and then it hit me! I have some things that I have become complacent about or that I've allowed myself to slack off on. And they are sort of surprising things! Reading my scriptures every night (in my defense I was listening to them every morning while I got ready, but there really and truly is power in actual study of the scriptures), tidying my kitchen/living room every night before bed, folding laundry, etc. When I started becoming lax about those thing I started having trouble in other areas and especially in feeling motivated and empowered. I had lost that since I stopped pushing myself so hard and day by day felt myself growing weaker, for lack of a better term.

So last  night I made a command decision. I will live each day with no excuses. No excuses for not reading the scriptures, no excuses for not putting the dishes away, no excuses for leaving the laundry in the dryer for 3 days (not that I ever did that...cough, cough). I consider my home a temple, my sanctuary. I want it to be sacred and in all aspects prepared so that if the Savior came to my door I would be ready. And that's the miracle of the atonement; that I can change, and repair my ways, and not be permanently trapped by sins, mistakes, or sheer laziness. Each day is a new start, a miraculous beginning, an opportunity to make each day the best day ever!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bucket List - Ride a horse!!

When I created my bucket list originally, riding a horse made the cut but shortly thereafter I removed it, both out of fear and of pain management (it's one of those things I'm not supposed to do because of the dandy rod in my back). But at the Hoe Down they had horses that we could ride and our new friend Ashley also wanted to cross riding a horse off of her bucket list. So I mustered my courage and got on the horse. And do you know what I found out?? I LOVE being on a horse!! I was completely okay with the fact that my horse showed NO desire whatsoever of walking quickly. We took a nice slow turn around the ring and then I promptly returned to the good ol' ground.

For the record my back hasn't been the same since and I can't decide if it was from the horse or from the lassoing I really tried to do but couldn't figure out. I had great teachers (thanks Nathan and Lori) but I must be unteachable in this area. I did finally learn how to twirl it over my head properly (sort of) and I can even lasso myself with some degree of accuracy (okay, okay, entirely by accident). Lori, on the other hand, is a master lasso-er! You should see her in action!!

Regardless of the reason I'll likely not try riding a horse again, but it was completely liberating to have been able to cross this off my list!!

YSA Workshops and Hoe Down - 2014

This past weekend Lori and I packed up the car and headed to Orlando for their annual Hoe Down. They had several workshops prior to the fun filled evening and it was just what I needed. I typed this post once already and felt like I had written a novel and when I went to reread it not even I wanted to finish it. So here is the abbreviated version of the day.

The workshops were PHENOMENAL and were exactly what I needed! I took quite a few notes but I'll only share my favorite three (if I can narrow that down).

1. It is our responsibility to prepare for the return of the Savior. The division between those who believe in Christ and those who do not is rapidly growing and we need more souls on the side of the Savior to be an influence for good in the lives of others.

2. Missionary work is not a spectator sport...participants only!! (I have work to do!)

Okay, it's a tie for third:

3A. A member of the Orlando temple presidency and his wife spoke to us and they shared how everything truly is done in order (work performed) and kept in order (cleanliness and tidiness). There is a procedure and proper order for how everything is to be done. He pointed out that this is done because temples truly are the house of the Lord and none of us ever knows when the Savior is going to come. The temple is kept in perfect order for His return. From that I felt even more inspired to create a life and home that is the same way, set in order so that if the Lord came at any moment I would be ready.

3B. One of the speakers told of a man who sculpted things out of wood. He would take a block of wood of any shape or size and visualize what it could become in his hands. We should each consider ourselves this block of wood (anyone hearing quotes from the movie "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium??) and visualize for ourselves what we want to be, what our end product looks like. We can create from that anything we want and if we seek the Lord's guidance He will help mold us further into who and what He wants us to be.

From there we took off to the rodeo grounds for an evening of horseback riding (a special post to this will be forthcoming, it was that big of a deal!!), lasso-ing (I have NO skill whatsoever...Lori, however, is awesome!!), dining, and dancing! We got to spend the day with friends, some we knew before, some we just met. I've only been to two YSA activities here and they just keep getting better and better! I LOVE being here. I love the friends we're making, the memories we're building, and the all around good time we're having!