Monday, February 25, 2008

Character - My train of thought this morning

Why would you devote your life to anything other than being good?  People wonder why we do the things we do, and I'm tempted to say "The question is why aren't you?"  Somehow people think that momentary happiness is worth it, when it's at the expense of values, self-discipline, and character.  Imagine looking back on your life. Why would you want to look back on things you had done that you knew were wrong? Everyone has enough of the light of Christ to know the basics of right and wrong. It just makes sense, when one uses perspective, to just do what's right! I don't know...that's how I see it.

It was these paragraphs that sparked this train of thought. From a New York news story that showed up in the LDS newsroom:

"When asked how she does this five days a week during the school year, she replied: "It's just discipline. You just have to say, ' I'm going to attend seminary every morning.' If you say, 'Maybe I'll attend,' it won't happen. You have to make a really strong decision and make it a priority. It takes a lot of self-discipline."

Consistent self-discipline then begins to turn into confidence and character, and it shows in other aspects of these young people's lives."

That last sentence really hit me. Everybody wants to feel peace, and that comes in a large part from personal confidence and character. That, combined with the Atonement and the mercy of Jesus Christ, is where peace comes from. Peace comes from us doing our part to perfect our lives and do all we can to show the Lord that we are so grateful for His mercy and forgiveness, which is ultimately what brings us back to God and saves our souls.

Perhaps I've just had an "Aha!" moment, but it just seems so obvious today. I think that's a good sign. =)  I know that choosing right is definitely not always easy...but I also know that it is always worth it. No exceptions. With the right perspective, it's easy to see that that's true.

I also know that we can pray to the Lord for courage and help to do those hard things that are right.

So why not just do it? =)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

The hand of God

How have I seen God's hand in my life today?
Through Elizabeth's listening ear and words of reason and encouragement when I was discouraged about my mission (and a few other things).
Through Steve showing me the music from Holst's "Jupiter." That music is nearly sacred in its beauty.
God showed me several different opportunities for helping others through a little extra kindness. And when I obeyed, I was able to stop focusing on myself and my various and multitudinous problems. He showed my how to forget my own worries by serving others. And He showed me ways that I could do it without getting overwhelmed, even though it did take a little extra effort. A lot of people were kind of down, feeling "haggard" and I did what I could to let them know I was glad they were around.
He enlivened the ward choir and helped spread the Spirit, and also got me excited for my mission, because of the Spirit I felt as the men of the choir were singing. (We were singing "Hark All Ye Nations." What a wonderful hymn!) 
I made it home safely, in the big snowstorm.
Joshy was excited when I got home, because he wanted me to play the piano with him.
I got home at just the right time for dinner.
Guy gave me a very kind sunshine note.
The sun was shining so beautifully this morning in a clear blue sky, and the birds were even singing!
My family watched our ward Pioneer Trek DVD and I was reminded about the sacrifices of my ancestors, and realized the part I have to play, to do my part to not be a weak link in our family chain. I was encouraged and motivated to do more and complain less, and to trust God in everything. There is no room for fear or doubt if I have a thankful and trusting heart.
I have the true gospel, and my life is blessed by it every day. I am a member of Christ's church, and He knows and loves me. All is well.

All is well

Why should I mourn or think my lot is hard? 'Tis not so; all is right. Why should I think to earn a great reward if I now shun the fight?
Fresh courage take! I know that our God will never us forsake.
And soon I'll have this tale to tell. All is well! All is well.
(see words to Hymn #30 of the LDS hymnbook)
All really is well. Why should I complain? I have been given so much. This sacrifice of a year and a half is a drop, compared to the ocean of what God has given me. And I know that He's going to bless me for doing it, and I'll be in even deeper debt to Him.  But how could I live if I wasn't even trying to pay back and thank Him for what He's given me? I really will be able to bless the lives of many people, and I can't wait to meet them. This doubt is part of my trial to prove my faith. If I just hold on to the things I know are true, I'll be okay. All will be well. =) As President Hinckley always said, "Things are going to work out."  Don't let go, and you're going to be just fine.
The pioneers left their families with nothing, because they were asked by a prophet of God to go spread the gospel.  Why should I hesitate? My life is in order, I'm in good health, and even my scholarships will wait for me! I can do this. With God's help I can do anything.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

February 23, 2008

The sun was out today, and it felt great outside! I almost read my scriptures on the trunk of my car. But I have a short trunk, and there just wasn't much room. So I read my scriptures in my car with the window down. It worked. =)
I had a good time with Emily O. this morning. We visited so I could give her her birthday presents and she could give me my viola. Things seem to be going pretty well for the majority of her family, which makes me so happy, because it's further evidence that my prayers are answered. I love their family so much, and it's great to see things working out. Though I hope Laura gets better soon; she's been sick with mono for a long time.
I have my viola back. It's gonna be exciting to play the Bach Cello Suites again. Yay!  You know, I wish I had the time and the motivation to just sit down every day and learn the instruments I've been wanting to learn. My guitar just sits in my room, as does the organ book that Gerry gave me. And John's viola that I need to give back to him.
My mom and I are trying to watch a movie tonight (Father of the Bride Part II, in honor of her being in her forties and pregnant)...but I think the boys have taken her away for the rest of the night. And right before one of my favorite parts! Oh well.
Well, I should probably end this entry with what I've been grateful for today.  The peacefulness I enjoyed while reading my scriptures. Shelley's example (I visited her today. She said most of the same things she always does, but she also told me that I'm awesome and that she knows God thinks I'm awesome. That meant a lot...=)   ).  My mom trying to be happy, for my sake. Whitney's willingness to help me take care of the boys. The feeling of accomplishment after cleaning the bathroom really well. Steve giving me a call. Getting to the church on time, to clean it (even though no one was there and I couldn't get least I got there on time!).  The sunlight. Emily being happy and well.  The scriptures. God's assurance that things are going to work out. =)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

February 21, 2008

I babysat my brothers this evening with Whitney's help. I probably spent more time on the computer than I should have. But I did do several quality things, like loading the dishwasher and wiping off the counter, singing at the top of my lungs with Whitney as I played "Hunchback of Notre Dame" music, and played toy cars with Joshy and Charles for a few minutes. I also read my cousin Kaylene's blog for the first time ever, and got simultaneously motivated and depressed about journaling/blogging/writing. I was motivated to do those things more, but I got discouraged about my creative writing abilities, or lack thereof. My cousins and Whitney are all amazing writers, and their posts are so fun to read. I guess I just feel like I'm not a deep thinker, at least not about the things that most people would want to hear, or that I would feel comfortable sharing. So...I'll try. And we'll see what happens.
My cousin Caleb got called to Switzerland, and is going into the MTC one wekk after me! That's pretty exciting.
Work was busy it has been every day for the past two weeks. Though I think the email complaints are becoming sparser. Which is both a blessing and a pity.  All the email problems that I knew how to solve made me feel so competent. Once all those problems are fixed, I'll be back to coding invoices and making spreadsheets and beautifying the office with decorations and watering the plants. But hey, I'll actually have TIME. So I'll just look at it in that positive light. And those tasks aren't so bad anyway. =)
Oops. Up past my pre-missionary bedtime. =(  More later!

At the Beginning

Greatly motivated by my sister and my cousin Kaylene, I have now created a personal public blog. Yay! I just wish I was as good of a writer is they are. I'll do my best. =)