Monday, September 12, 2011

Prayers Unanswered?

by Vector Graphic
Approximately a month ago, I asked Heavenly Father for confirmation that we were supposed to move and that he supported us in it and that it was going to happen. I got that confirmation. I won't go into more detail because it was definitely a sacred experience for me, but I did get it. I am 15-30 days out from my due date and starting to question whether or not that meant the move would happen before the baby is born. Also I have been among those praying and even fasting (in a nontraditional way, afterall I am pregnant), for rain for Texas. The fires that have raged in Bastrop have destroyed my In-law's home. My mother, brother, two teenage boys, and grandmother have been threatened from all sides by fire. Closer to home, water mains are breaking left and right which not only threatens water pressure but reserves and we have been on stage 2 water restrictions for weeks. I know we aren't the only ones suffering. I look at the flooding in the East and empathize because in the past that would be us and right now we would definitely take some of that rain from them. House structures, foundations, roads, plants are all being destroyed by the lack of rain. Not a great time to be trying to sell a home. I know many of us wondering why our prayers are seemingly going unanswered. As I've pondered this thoughts of the early pioneers came to mind. They were really good people, but they went through some unbelievable trials. From persecution to traveling thru some mighty harsh weather and sickness as well. I know some of them wondered why God didn't atleast make the weather unseasonably beautiful for traveling if they had to be driven from their homes, or couldn't he keep sickness from their midst or or or...
I know all of us have these feelings at one time or another. So here is what I reminded myself. I chose to come here to get a body in the premortal exsistance. I knew it would be hard that this was a proving ground. The pioneers had to go through the refiners fire to strengthen their testimonies and strengthen them in their unity. I think that's what is going on now. Texans are known for our generosity and for our belief in Christian values. Living in Texas and it's contrary weather has always made for attracting those that can endure. But I think that we are being asked to endure just a little more, and to stretch and grow that our testimonies in God might be strengthened and that our humility and charity might be tested. Which means that he is preparing us in a big way to continue to be a strength to this nation. What a great blessing ! Doesn't feel like it now, but I know that we will look back and see it as that if we continue being faithful. So then I changed my pondering to what do I need to do to combat the feelings of doubt stirred by the adversary and I thought, oh yeah, count my blessings that I can see now! Duh! So here they are...
1. I have never been put on bedrest and have had a relatively healthy pregnancy and the strength to handle my challenges physically through it.
2.My in-laws have wonderful sons and daughters that have all stepped up to the plate to help them
3.My family including my 2 sons have been kept out of harms way.
4.I have been able to find multiple ways to serve
5. I have had the pleasure of deepening relationships with friends from my church that have come to serve me and help me with keeping up my house for showings
6. My husband and I have strengthened in our communication skills with each other
7. I have a supportive husband who has strived to uplift me and keep me cheerful through out these external pressures
8. My Mom has been able to continue taking my boys to seminary
9. I have a bigger appreciation for anything green :)
10. Most importantly I am thankful for the blessing of happy moments through out like in my new blog picture. Moments that we find to have a good time and enjoy each other even if it's just to take a walk with each other. We have many of those moments all the time. Why is it the most important to me? Because man is that he might have joy. I know Heavenly Father doesn't want us to be miserable, so I need to focus on those little moments, so when I read our no rain forcast I won't start bawling again. I will be able to say,  'okay I guess I need to pray a little harder and endure a little longer'
Afterall, prayers don't go unanswered. Sometimes it's 'yes' and sometimes it's 'no', and sometimes it's 'be patient and this will work out for your good'

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sharing A Slice of Life: Beautiful Me

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So my sister's prompt this week is to write what is good and wonderful about ourselves for family history. I hate this, why is it so hard to think of unshallow stuff when put on the spot. So I asked my teenagers what was great about Mom to get me started. Never ask two teenage boys a question like that, lol. "Well Mom, your nice and kind." Geez! Could you be more specific?!? Arghhhhh!
But I am nice and kind. I love looking for ways to show random kindnesses, to find ways to sustain my fellow church leaders, to look for ways to express my love to those close to me. I was thinking about people that start malicious gossip or do things to intentionally hurt others, and I just don't get it. I think there is only one person that I ever prayed that God would curse them and it was a mean bill collector that was super ugly to me and I was pregnant and hormonal, that's my excuse ;)
I'm also very forgiving. I think I've been very blessed to be able to learn how to let go of hurt feelings, to try and see the other side of things, and even when I don't receive the apology that I know I deserve (wink wink), with a little prayer and a bit of a struggle I can look at it eternally and forgive and move on.
I'm a very positive person. Some might accuse me of being Pollyanna. And I don't have a problem with that. Even Pollyanna had her moment of clouds but for the most part she radiated sunshine. That's me, I hate seeing somebody down and will quickly look for ways to uplift. I have developed a great appreciation for nature. I don't think I always noticed anything beyond the sky till these past years with my new husband. Except maybe bodies of water. But now I notice the green of the grass, the trees rustling in the breeze. The dust devils being kicked up by the wind, the way the mocking bird imitates walkers' cell phones ;)
I have always loved jewelry but have just begun to enjoy learning the ability to create beautiful pieces to give as gifts or to uplift myself. I love matching the different colored beads and textures to create an original unique piece. I keep a clean house. My husband might argue that point at times, lol. But I've been in and out of many houses and apartments of Mom's with young kids, and whatever he says, I know that I keep a very clean house :p
I am not afraid of sharing my testimony. I struggle with knowing how to share the gospel in a way that will move beyond planting seeds, but I keep trying. Which I guess leads me to one of my best assets. I do not know the meaning of giving up. It has been my saving grace. I have made many mistakes and had to make many painful decisions in my life. I know some might say that I quit on my first marriage, but they couldn't be more wrong. I never stopped hoping that my ex would turn his life around. I may have been angry at him multiple times and had many stretching and growing moments in learning how to communicate better with him to enable better relations. We now have a tenative friendship. My husband and I have served him and he has served us. We have had forgiving conversations and I have hopes that one day for the sake of our boys and his happiness that he will come more fully into the gospel. But my decision to leave him was for my safety and was a difficult decision. It was not because I quit. Otherwise I would have no real communication or relation with him now. I know my ability to not give up comes from a strong testimony of my Father in Heaven's love for me. From my desire to show my love to the Savior for all that he sacrificed for me. Knowing that I am a divine daughter of my Heavenly Father has given me much strength in my life even when I haven't felt worthy of such an appointment because it didn't matter whether or not I was worthy. It's just a fact. God doesn't disown us when we make a mistake, he reaches out to us to help us dust ourselves off and to do better and that's what I've become very good at :)
"picture from"