Monday, April 21, 2014

Because of Him

This Easter I have loved reading all the posts on Facebook in reference to this video about the Savior:

When I woke up this morning, this is all I could think about so I wanted to post my own list!

Because of Him, I can be better today than I was yesterday.
Because of Him,  I can be confident that miracles are and will be a regular part of my life.
Because of Him, I have faith that all my struggles and trials are for my own good and will make me a better person.
Because of Him, I know the best is yet to come!
Because of Him, I know I will live again
Because of Him, I know I will live again with those I love who have passed away from this life (like my mother)
Because of Him, I can be with my family forever
Because of Him, I have the courage to do what is right - in spite of opposition
Because of Him, I can patiently wait for my future to unfold
Because of Him, I can overcome my weaknesses
Because of Him, I know my true worth!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Pushing Against the Rock

Have you ever felt like your efforts are in vain? Like no matter how hard you try, you can never get ahead?

We have all felt this way at some point in our lives. There is a story that I read years ago that has helped me a lot... I recently found it again and want to share it:

Pushing Against The Rock
Author Unknown

There once was a man who was asleep one night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and the Savior appeared to him.

The Lord told him He had a work for him to do, and showed him a large rock explaining that he was to push against the rock with all his might. This the man did, and for many days he toiled from sunup to sundown; his shoulder set squarely against the cold massive surface of the rock, pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling his whole day had been spent in vain.

Seeing that the man showed signs of discouragement, Satan decided to enter the picture - placing thoughts in the man's mind, such as "Why kill yourself over this? You're never going to move it!" or "Boy, you've been at it a long time and you haven't even scratched the surface!" etc. giving the man the impression the task was impossible and the man was an unworthy servant because he wasn't moving the massive stone.

These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man and he started to ease up in his efforts. "Why kill myself?" he thought. "I'll just put in my time, giving just the minimum of effort and that will be good enough." And this he did or at least planned on doing until, one day, he decided to take his troubles to the Lord.

"Lord," he said, "I have labored hard and long in Your service, putting forth all my strength to do that which You have asked of me. Yet after all this time, I have not even budged that rock even half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?"

To this the Lord responded compassionately, "My friend, when long ago I asked you to serve Me and you accepted, I told you to push against the rock with all your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. At least not by yourself. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me, your strength spent, thinking that you have failed, ready to quit. But is this really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled; your back sinewed and brown. Your hands are calloused from constant pressure and your legs have become massive and hard. 

"Through opposition you have grown much and your ability now far surpasses that which you used to have. Yet you haven't moved the rock.  But your calling was to be obedient and push, and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom, and this you have done. My friend, I will now move the rock."

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Eternal Perspective

Day 12:

I am reminded of an analogy my father told me years ago when I was going through a difficult time... He said that our life is like a huge tapestry and we are seeing the working side of it with all the knots and what appear to be mistakes.  But one day we will see it from an eternal perspective -- the way God sees it now -- and we will see the beautiful tapestry that we have woven throughout our life!

The knots and color changes are all part of it -- Just because we can't always see the patterns clearly from the "working" side of the tapestry doesn't make the design any less beautiful or amazing!

Trust that your life is amazing and beautiful, even when it doesn't appear that way!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Always Believe

Day 11:

You always have the choice to believe that great things are coming!  

I have a sister who was going through a difficult time when she adopted the mantra: "When I have a choice, I choose to believe.... And I always have a choice!" She was amazed at how much better she felt about life when she said that, and before long some great blessings came into her life. 

Always believe that something wonderful is about to happen...

Friday, January 10, 2014

Happiness IS Enough!

Day 10:

Sometimes we have a hard time being happy because we are expecting more than happiness... We are expecting perfection.

Life isn't perfect so stop expecting it to be...

This past year happiness has seemed out of my reach. It feels like I'm so close to being happy again, and then it goes just outside my reach again.  I realized that there were areas in my life where I was clinging to unrealistic expectations. When I lowered those expectations and increased my gratitude, I found happiness again!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Encourage Others

Day 9:
A large part of being truly happy is helping others to be happy. If you help enough other people find happiness, you will surely find it yourself.

You want to be happy? Bring joy to others!
You want to be encouraged? Praise and encourage others!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Bad Day is Just a Day

Day 8:
We all have bad days - they are just part of life. A bad day doesn't mean a bad life. In fact, several bad days in a row doesn't mean you have a bad life.

I have always followed this simple rule: Whenever it feels like everything is going wrong, just wait 3 days to see if it improves. It always does... especially when you are looking for signs of improvement! I find myself focusing on all the ways my life is looking up and before I know it life is good again!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Be positive to Attract Great Things

Day 7:
To be happy, focus on all the things that are going RIGHT in your life! If you have a computer to read this blog on, and the ability to see and to read, then you already have so much that is going right in your life!

As you focus on all that is right in your world, you will start noticing how much of your life really is great! And more great things will start coming into your life!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happiness is an Inside Job

Day 6:
Always remember that happiness is an inside job! Decide to be happy and move forward... If you wait for your external world to align perfectly to bring you happiness, it is never going to happen!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Best is Yet to Come!

Day 5:

This is one of my favorite quotes to repeat when I'm feeling like nothing is going my way! By now I have lived long enough to know that it is always the darkest before the dawn, and that the sun always comes up - no matter how dark it may seem right now!

All is right and good with the world. And...
The best is yet to come!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Are You Happy?

Day 4:
Are you happy? If so, then keep doing what you're doing!!!

If not, is there something you can change that would help you be happier? Is there someone you can forgive? Is there some false belief that you could let go?

Start with one small thing you can let go of -- or start doing -- that will help you be a little bit happier today!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Part 2: Pursuit of Happiness

Day 3:

Parable of the King's Emerald

Young Rupert stood by the side of the road watching an unusual number of people hurry past. At length he recognized a friend. "Where are all of you going in such a hurry?" he asked.

The friend paused... "the King has lost his royal emerald! ... Everyone is searching, for the King has offered a reward to the one who finds it. Come, we must hurry."

"But I cannot go without asking Grandmother," faltered Rupert.

"Then I cannot wait. I want to find the emerald," replied his friend.

Rupert hurried back to the cabin at the edge of the woods to seek his grandmother's permission, but his grandmother shook her head. "What would the sheep do?" she asked. "Already they are restless in the pen, waiting to be taken to the pasture, and please do not forget to take them to water when the sun shines high in the heavens."

Sorrowfully, Rupert took the sheep to the pasture, and at noon he led them to the brook in the woods. There he sat on a large stone by the stream. "If I could only have had a chance to look for the King's emerald!" he thought. Turning his head to gaze down at the sandy bottom of the brook, suddenly he stared into the water. What was it? It could not be! He leaped in the water...

"The King's emerald!" he shouted.

With shining eyes Rupert ran to his grandmother's hut to tell her of his great find. "Bless you, my boy," she said, "but you never would have found it if you had not been doing your duty, herding the sheep."

I love this parable! Too often we are searching for happiness outside of ourselves. We truly find happiness when we put first things first and when we "tend the sheep." Rupert didn't find the King's emerald by running around looking for it like all the others were doing. He found the emerald by taking care of the sheep and being where he was supposed to be. As we focus our time and attention on loving those around us (whether or not they deserve it;) and learning and growing, we will discover that happiness has been inside us the whole time!

Take a few minutes and think about some of the things that make you happy right now!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Pursuit of Happiness

Day 2:

The Declaration of Independence states: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

We often think of happiness as something we are pursuing, and never quite able to catch up with:
"Once we can afford a bigger house, then we'll be happy."
"Once I find my soulmate, then I'll be happy."
"When I finally lose all this weight, then I'll be happy."

What did the pursuit of Happiness mean to the founding fathers? Jefferson said happiness meant tranquility and occupation. For Jefferson, occupation meant mainly his intellectual pursuits. What if we started defining the pursuit of happiness as the love of learning; the freedom to think for yourself? Or as the ability and privilege of loving another human being?

Take a few minutes to "employ your mind" in learning something new or reflecting on the freedoms we take for granted every day...

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

HAPPY 2014!!!

I have one New Years' resolution for 2014: To be as happy as I can possibly be:

By nature I am an optimistic person, but in the past couple of years I have noticed negativity creeping in. And it feels like it has been harder to be happy. So I am starting 2014 with a 30-day challenge to be as happy as possible every single day... no matter what is happening (or not happening) in my world!

It's okay if you woke up tired and grumpy this morning (like I did) - nothing can take away our hope that this year we will be happier than we ever have been!