Sunday, December 12, 2010

Giving up what I want most for what I want right now.

I could just leave the title of this blog post like that, and let you ponder this on your own, but I'll ramble along and give you my thoughts anyway. However, I would encourage you to think about how this applies to you in your life now.

Today in Sacrament meeting I had the opportunity to listen to our Stake Relief Society President speak. I'm sorry, but I forget her name. It was enlightening. She told the story of a book she used to read about Cookie Monster. Remember him? I think they've made him a fanatic of veggies now--which is ridiculous if for the simple fact that cookies are WAY better than veggies. Meh, anyway. Cookie Monster was on a quest for the ultimate joy and happiness. Along the way he was presented quite craftily a cookie and he paused...Do I continue on my journey for the ultimate joy and happiness, or do I stop now and eat this cookie...right NOW? He chose to eat the cookie, and he chose here and now.

She went on to talk about how this can apply to us. How often do we give up what we want the most for what we want right now? I know in my own life, it's frequent. This applies on so many levels for me!

Firstly, I was thinking about what I want most in my life right now. And I've been trying so very hard at losing weight and thus far have been successful in losing 36lbs. This is no small feat. I mean, come on! It's a 1st grader! Ha! So I'm really very happy with my success, however, I often reason--at least to myself--that I can have another cookie and go over my daily points and use a little of my weekly points because, well, it doesn't happen that often. And the weekly points are there for a reason. But what I want the most is to lose more weight. I want to be healthier, trimmer, I want to be able to continue to run easier, to wear a certain the question then becomes, am I willing to give up what I want the most for that extra cookie? I mean, I'm already having a cookie, that's within my budget for points...but do I really want another?

I'm going to start asking myself this question more often. Today was my weigh in and I didn't lose any weight. I didn't gain, but I didn't lose. I knew this was going to happen because yesterday was my office Christmas party and I overate and used a lot of my weekly points. I even remember thinking at one point during dinner, actually I had a full on inner monolog going on and it looked something like this:

Me: Do I want to eat dessert?
Me: Well, you don't need it.
Me: I want it.
Me: You don't need it...
Me: But, if I don't use any of my weekly points I'll lose them tonight.
Me: This is true.
Me: Besides, I still have like 30 activity points I could use too if I needed.
Me: This is true.
Me: It's not like you're gonna be even close to using those.
Me: Right. Exactly.
Me: So just have the dessert.
Me: Done.

Turns out I did have the dessert, and it was gritty and I didn't even eat it all, but had to count it anyway. Bummer. So I chose right now. And this particular time, it wasn't worth it. Now, of course, if we were talking an oatmeal fudge bar...

Then I started thinking about this on a spiritual level. Which is the point the RS President intended. What I want most is eternal life in the highest kingdom of heaven. I wonder when I make my choices now if I considered this question before chosing anything, "Will I be giving up what I want the most, for what I want right now?" and then consider that each choice I make will bring me that much closer or farther away from my goal...would I chose the same?

I typically don't make choices that will pull me in a direction that isn't where I should be going, where I want to be going, where Heavenly Father wants me to be. I make bad choices, but I've been given the very real opportunity to repent and be forgiven, and I often do and am.

The last speaker was a member of the High Counsil. And for the life of me I can't remember his name either, but he told stories of his life and how each trial or wonderful event was a gift to him. And I cried like a baby, because I was thinking of the many, many...too many to I've been given throughout my life. I cannot possibly ever repay my Father in Heaven for them, but I'm not going to be discouraged and stop trying. He simply asks in return to have faith, have hope, to live like His son. These are simple things that I make harder on myself, so I'm going to try to make things simpler so my goal...what I want the most is what I'm choosing right now, too.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Do my prayers contain my hopes?

Recently I had the opportunity to attend TOFW. This was my first experience doing so, and I have a lot to blog about as a result of this experience, but today, for whatever reason, I'm being prompted to write about the title of my post.

Sometimes we receive promptings that are so strong, they're impossible to ignore. We can try, but something, inevitably, pops up to make us remember. And that's what I've been doing all day today...remembering. Hope.

This may be a bit scattered, a bit unorganzied, but I'm putting it out there anyway, because there's not time like the present.

So some things that I learned from TOFW, besides the universal message of having hope, was how important hope actually is. There were many speakers who spoke on varying ways hope helped them throughout their lives. How significant hope them, to us. To me.

So here goes: Hope is as important as air. I had never really given this much merit. How can hope be as important as air? We require air, we need is a universal truth and it applies to everyone. I had never considered that having hope was the same or applied to me specifically in this way. But giving it some extra thought and pondering this analogy, I find it to be most adequate. Clever these people are to address the issue of hope this way. Much like air, if we don't have hope--we die. Maybe not in the literal sense, but maybe so. How often have I been so heavy burdened in my life, miserable even? Many times, I'd venture to say, especially in the thick of things, more than my share. Each time, the only thing that pulled me out was hope. Whether it was a person, a thing, a message, a or many of these things struck me and made me hope.

We hope not for what we have, but what we believe is possible. However, is it wrong to still hope for the things that we have? I mean, I have a family, and I hope for them all the time. Maybe I'm refining my hope, then, and continuing to put in the effort for my hope to be realized. I think that's expected of me. I need to work on refining my hope for my family, and focus on the very most important of things. Recently in conference we had the opportunity to hear from President Uchtdorf and he spoke about our lives and the rushed pace of it all--and how we need to refocus on what matters most. He says, " is good advice to slow down a little, steady the course, and focus on the essentials when experiencing adverse conditions." I think that when we slow down, we can see more clearly our hopes, but when we're rushed or pressured we lose sight of those hopes--even if a little--and when this happens, I've found that, for me, my course is unclear.

How much clearer our path, that righteous course, when hope is always in sight!

We were asked at TOFW the first day to list the things that we hoped 'for'. No hope, no venture, no dream was too large to hope for. The next day, we listed what we hoped 'in'. I have to take pause for a moment to reflect on these lists. Wipe my eyes and blow my nose, because my lists are very similar.

I'll show you what I mean, here's some things on my hope for list: A happy eternal life. Jon to be happy with his career choices. Jon to be happy. Austin to be happy. Alex to be happy. Samantha to be happy. For my family to know God loves them. To get to my goal weight loss. Financial security.

And my hope 'in' list: Christ. Jon. Austin. Alex. Samantha. Susan. My ability to lose weight. My ability to provide for my family. Myself to achieve eternal life.

There are other things for which I both hope for and hope in, but I found that these things were the most important to me, and thus were listed first. How similar they are!

Having hope is not something that will weaken us, but strengthen us. Provide us with an understanding that God loves each and every one of us. That He knows our basic needs and will always meet those needs. Which leads me to the one question I've been struggling with...Do my prayers contain my hopes? Or perhaps I should be even more specific...Do my prayers frequently contain my hopes?

Sometimes I find myself asking Heavenly Father for something, but it's once...and it's more of a need. Sometimes a desire. It's not that I think it's not important enough to ask more than once's just that I feel like I ask for so much as it is--that what I hope for isn't as important to Him to hear about, than the things that I geniunely need. And I KNOW that He wants to hear from me always, about anything, but maybe I should consider He hopes for me to ask Him ALL THINGS.

How can I remember to prayerfully contain my hopes on a consistent basis? Are my hopes really too far different than my needs? What will jog my memory while I'm on my knees? A ribbon tied on my wrist? Or is it more that I need to better know that I'm worthy to have my hopes realized? Maybe a combination of those things and more.

As I sit here contemplating what I can do to further clarify and refine my hopes, I'm prayerful that I'll get it right for myself.

But I have to put on roller skates right now and get a million things done. I hope for enough time to do them.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Being blessed.

I honestly don't even know if anyone reads this anymore. It was never my intention to bag out and quit just sort of happened. So many things have happened over the last year, and I do realize that it has been almost an entire year since I last posted.

I do use Facebook though! I'm under Rebecca Garver...which I think is pretty obvious, but you never know.

I guess I just wanted to come on here and say that I feel my Savior's love for me these days. A friend of mine is going through a rough patch, not similar to mine, but she doesn't have the knowledge of Heavenly Father's plan, or feel Christ's love and perfect brightness of hope in her life. I worry for her.

Despite the fact that there is a possibility that I might not be able to have another child, I feel comforted. I feel the strong embrace of the Savior and the power of His touch in my life. I cannot possibly know why the things that happen happen sometimes, but I cannot question Heavenly Father's love for me. I cannot thank Him enough for sparing my life so that I can live it with my sweet husband and children.

The last week has been probably the most painful of my life. Like, considering actual physical pain. But I'm getting through it. Each day the stairs are easier to manage. Last night I slept through the night completely. Today I applied make-up, and despite the fact that I'm still so utterly pale, it helped me to feel better. I went to work, only for an hour or so, but I wasn't too winded, and I managed.

Little things. I'm noticing the little things today that I normally don't give a second thought to--well, I'm grateful for them. I feel blessed to be able to do them.

I'm still slow and have a heavy heart. Ridiculous things still set me off, and I cry. I cry, a lot, for me. But it's okay. I'm going to cry it out if I want to. It's been a week. I need more time and I'm going to take it. And I'm going to cry.

Tomorrow another sweet sister is going to be taking my children for me in the morning so I can rest. The love we've received from our Relief Society has been astounding, and very much appreciated. The meals that have been provided in my absence and since I've been home have been lovely and nurishing and terrific. Last Monday I had my grocery list completed and planned to shop in the afternoon with Sam. I never made it, of course, so those meals provided so lovingly on our behalf saved us. I'm so grateful.

While I've got a ways to go, quite a lot actually, it doesn't seem too far. It doesn't seem to daunting or unrealistic or unmanagable. I'm grateful for this.

I'm grateful for so many things.