Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Prodigal Son

This is one of my favorite parables and I love Dr. Stanley's approach.  See here.

Restored By Grace Parts I and II

Thursday and Friday, November 11th and 12th

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Back to the Blog

I have decided to re-open my blog to the public and start posting again.  I started this blog several years ago as an outlet to discuss the (mostly faith) concepts that were banging around in my head.  I have been feeling a desire lately to be more open and honest with myself and the world around me about who I am and what I believe. At the core of that honest expression is the fact that faith in God the Father, his Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit is central to my life.  Over the past year I have been experiencing just how important it is to put that faith into build a personal relationship with them to allow them to love me and lead me.  As I have done so, I have been able to face more truth about myself, who I really am and who I want to become.  Who I am is me.  Quirky, intelligent, neurotic, obsessed, loving, kind, talented, me.  And God loves me just the way I am.  He loves me so much that He sent His perfect Son to die in my place.  And all He asks is that I turn over everything that I am, place myself on the potter's wheel and allow Him to shape me and make me something beautiful.  I believe that "all things work together for good to those that love God" and I am striving to recognize and apply that truth moment by moment, IN the moment. 

In my current "moments" I am working to tackle my weight issue.  I returned to Weight Watchers and the gym, and now just need to figure out how to stop inserting calories into the pie-hole.  I am also discovering how to be a mom from a distance and am working with God on the truth about who He really is and where He wants me to serve right now.  Through this all, I have been extremely blessed with good friends, a loving family, and a best friend who shares beautiful moments with me through music and nature.  God has been and continues to be so GOOD to me.  In spite of these blessings, I have times when I get overwhelmed, feel confused about what direction I should take, and struggle with perfectionism.  My goal through this blog is to get some of those feelings out into the open and share how I am learning to "let go" and trust God more.  Thanks for reading...please share your thoughts and perspectives from your own journey.  I learn so much from all of you!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Recognizing and Feeling God's Love in my Life

This summer, during July and August, my goal is to post here at least a couple of times each week and share how I have witnessed God's love in my life.

I feel like I need to just let God love me...with no strings attached....with no expectations...

I will be documenting how I experience that love.

For example, yesterday I felt His love as I was able to spend some time outdoors in the beautiful--somewhat cool--summer evening and just enjoy the blessing of being alive.  I was able to spend time with a kind and loving friend and feel loved.  I travelled safely from work to home and was able to talk to my two sisters during the day.  The evening drive home offered a view a a beautiful full moon and reminded me of the incredible and beautiful earth I have been blessed to live on.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Searching for Peace

This past year has been quite grueling on a personal level. I faced down a big change I needed to make in my life and while this change is a positive step in the right direction, it has still been difficult to make. I must admit I feel a bit lost. I know that these feelings of confusion and disorientation will pass and are a normal part of transition but it doesn't make it any easier. I swing between emotions of sadness, broken-heartedness, and excitement and freedom. Is there a Ben and Jerry's flavor that will soothe this pain and calm my fears? Sadly, even if there were, the relief wouldn't last (except to show up on my thighs where it does no one any good). The real relief I need comes in the form of the balm of Gilead. I need my Savior right remind me with His peace and comfort, that "all these things shall give thee experience" and that I am safe. I am somebody. He is mindful of me. I am His.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Gift of Friendship

I have always admired humble individuals from all religious (or non-religious) paths....who, with no thought of themselves, power, position, or agenda quietly live their lives and serve those around them. I have been blessed in my life to have several amazing examples of just such people. One of these is a former Bishop from my youth. He was never my Bishop because he presided over the adjoining ward, but he still influenced my life. As an adult--thanks to the merging of the two wards--I have had the opportunity, when visiting, to see more of him and his family. They continue to be examples to me of authentic and genuine friendship. Recently, as I struggled to deal with some transitions in my life, he was a great sounding board....and this humble man, who to the best of my knowledge has worked as a custodian all of his life...was able to lift my spirits during our conversation. He was able to touch on all the areas of which I was concerned and was able to give me a greater perspective of who I really am and what truly lies ahead. I am so grateful for those in my life who "accept me as I am but still gently invite me to grow". I hope to become more like them and offer the same love and acceptance to those in my circle of influence.

Journey of Self-Discovery

I am moving/downsizing to a new apartment in the next couple of weeks. While this change has me feeling a bit anxious, it also feels like an exciting opportunity to move onto the next leg of my life's journey. I am going to be living in my own "four walls" and will be 100% responsible for my shelter and my livelihood. I can do this. This new arrangement is going to provide me with the challenge of continuing to learn and discover about how to build a healthy and fulfilling life.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fragile but Frank Testimony

I fasted last Saturday/Sunday for the strength to have the courage to face down a tough decision I have been needing to make. I was overwhelmed with some important insights as I took time to pray, reflect, and retreat from my daily concerns.

Insight #1: I am incredibly stubborn and can easily slip into being prideful. Daily scripture study and honest and sincere prayer are essential to my ability to work on this weakness.

Insight #2: When I turn away from the Lord and His guidance, I am actually choosing to do things "the hard way" and make it more difficult for myself in the long run.

Insight #3: Change and transitions are difficult for me and my first instinct is to shut down, grit my teeth, and just get through them. Heavenly Father waits there for me to open up to Him, share my concerns and fears, and guide me through the process.

Insight #4: No matter how much I learn I am still desperately imperfect and need the Lord's guidance and forgiveness in my life.

I was humbled as I re-read President Monson's reminder to "never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved." I realized that I had been focusing so much on what I thought were "problems" or "situations" to get through that I had forgotten to just love myself and those around me.

I am one of the seminary teachers this year and I need to remember this as I teach these great youth about the truths of God's love.

I am actually anxious and excited about church this Sunday. I am looking forward to the opportunity to fast again, reflect on what matters most, renew my covenants, and listen to the testimonies of my fellow ward family members.

I am so grateful to a loving Heavenly Father who sent His son to mark the path and show me the way--who continuously invites me to come unto Him and for His spirit which testifies of the truth and comforts me. I have much to learn but I am so grateful that I know of God's love.