Sunday, March 11, 2018

Divine Design

Happy Sunday, friends! This week's post was inspired by Elder Ronald A. Rasband's talk, "Divine Design", given last fall in the October 2017 General Conference. Elder Rasband discusses the term "coincidence" and how there are no true coincidences in our lives. Each detail is looked down upon by a loving Heavenly Father, intent on meeting His children's needs in the only way He is able--through each of us.

Here is the print it inspired.

This topic is near and dear to my heart. As I try to reflect on my life regularly, I can see the hand of the Lord guiding me to where He needs me to be. It amazes me that He can use not only my choices, but the choices of others (both good and bad), to further His work.

Here is just one chain of events in my life that has been a blessing, all guided by the Lord:
  1. Marry my husband in the temple. (Honestly, all good things since this choice have come because of this choice).
  2. Husband encourages me to take time to work in schools to see if teaching is what I want to do.
  3. Work as a paraeducator for a few years, praying to know when to go back to school.
  4. Husband receives a promotion and I become aware of a program to help me receive a teaching degree from my dream school.
  5. Quit job, start school.
  6. Complete school part of degree, enter student teaching.
  7. Have experiences in my student teaching that directly taught me things I would need later in my job.
  8. Stress about finding a job and whether I am being too picky about where I am applying.
  9. Get job three weeks after graduating.
  10. Start job, it's incredibly difficult, but because I was picky I have support that I need.
  11. Pray daily to find those who need to be helped. 
  12. Find numerous ways to serve in my school.
This was a long and drawn out process, but I am grateful for it. There are so many stories behind each item on the list, I can't even begin to tell you how much God has helped guide my life! So here's my invitation to you--how has the Lord guided you recently? Once you start writing it, you might be surprised to see how far back it goes! I encourage you to do this. Write it down, then give thanks! Even in our darkest hours, there is hope glimmering if we can see that the Lord has a plan for us. Have a blessed week, all!

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Choose to Believe

I have been thinking a lot about the ability to choose. I firmly believe that people are born with the ability to choose and that we can make choices to help us become happy, no matter our circumstances. This is a gift from our Father in Heaven. We learn how to choose correctly by making choices at an early age and learning from low-stakes mistakes made by those choices. Without the ability to choose, we are objects being acted upon instead of capable human beings who have the power to make decisions.

I love that the Spirit can guide me to more information to help me perfect my belief and knowledge about this agency that has been given to me. This week's talk is called "Choose to Believe" and was given by L. Whitney Clayton back in April of 2015. As I read, I realized that I have to DAILY  choose to believe in Christ, in the Father's Plan, in the power of the Holy Ghost, and in my own abilities in order to become the person that I am meant to be.

Each of us will go through difficult times. There will always be a trial just around the corner. If we choose to believe, we are choosing hope, and with that hope will come peace. May each of us choose to believe in the all-knowing and all-loving power of God, the Eternal Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ, each day is my prayer. Have a beautiful week, friends!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Seeking Holiness

Happy Sunday, friends! I have been doing a lot of self reflection as of late. Parent teacher conference time always brings that out in me. I try to determine if I am finding ways to make sure student strengths are being utilized to help them overcome weaknesses or areas of concern. I also try to examine if I am doing the same for myself. The only way to do this is by relying on the Lord to lead me to change.

As I've been pondering this, I have been reading the account of Alma the Younger and the sons of Mosiah. They certainly changed. Sometimes I wonder if I really am capable of that type of immense character change. Other times, I look back and can't believe how much I've changed in general! I firmly believe that all these changes need to be leading me back to God. Enter the Lord, yet again, and this conference talk!

If the changes I am making are not leading me towards holiness, which is a word I need to think about more, then they are not changes that are being approved by the Lord. This can get tricky, I think. Especially when other people want to judge our actions and have all sorts of opinions about what we do or think or feel. (If you don't believe me, just go to a blog on any topic that has a larger following than this one and read the comments. YIKES!)

If I can lay down at night, feel that I have done my best, and have peace given to me by the Lord from His Spirit, then I think I am on the right track. I have had times in my life when I have not received guidance from the Spirit because of my actions, and it is not pretty. I am SO thankful to have Heavenly Father's guidance on a daily basis, helping me to do my best in all facets of my life.

Thanks for sticking with the post this week. I know it was very stream-of-conscious. I encourage you to do some self-reflecting on a regular basis. I truly believe that this is a fundamental part of the repentance process and one of the ways Heavenly Father can guide us. Let me know how your time spent doing so goes, should you feel the need! Until next week, sending peaceful wishes for a Spirit-filled week!