Oct 30, 2011

Spiritual Feasting #1

I’ve had a nagging thought on my mind since General Conference that I need to start Spiritually Feasting. It’s gotten stronger and stronger ever since and it’s getting to the point that I can’t ignore it anymore.
A few months ago I had this same nagging feeling so I started listening to the scriptures via ‘The Mormon Channel’ app on my iphone. I finished the Doctrine & Covenants, The Pearl of Great Price and I’m starting on the Book of Mormon. But it still doesn’t feel like enough.
During General Conference, someone talked about sharing your “spiritual feast” with your friends and those around you. I’ve never been good at that since an unfortunate incident when I was a kid, but I have been open to answering questions whenever the situation arises.  They talked about how sharing little tid-bits here and there via Facebook and Twitter can make a difference not only in your own life but in the lives of others. Well, I got rid of Facebook back in March, which I’m very proud of, and I’m not going to get sucked into Twitter. So, here is my outlet.  I want to make sure that I spend the time during the week to really find something to feast on. Not just listening to the scriptures like ambient noise in the background but really feasting.
There may be an experience I want to share, a Mormon Message that touched me, a scripture that hit home, or just a quote that made me smile. This is where I can share, with those who want to read, how I’m feeling and what has inspired me.

This year I am very grateful for the General Relief Society Broadcast. I have to admit that I wasn’t going to go. There was a dinner thing and then the broadcast and in total would take like 4-5 hours… At first I had no desire to go. I don’t feel like I fit in right now and that could just very well be me. I’m in the awkward stage of newly-married (2 ½ years) and no children yet. I even had someone say to me at a baby shower a while ago “How do you feel being the only here not expecting or having children?” I was stunned at that remark!  But anyway… …My mom pushed, my Relief Society President pushed, even my husband nudged. He was more encouraging than the others. Me, I wanted to stay home with him. I wanted to cuddle on the couch with my husband and enjoy relaxing with him and eat dinner with him. I hate spending time away from him. He makes me feel better then ever! And the last time I went to a luncheon someone thought that I was18! Thanks but I’m 23!! (Well, 22 at the time) So, I made a compromise with the whole situation. I would have dinner at home with my husband and show up right before the broadcast started. In this instance, I could have my cake and eat it too!!! :)
I love President Dieter F. Uchtdrof. He always has uplifting messages that hit me to the core. His words at this conference were definitely something I needed to hear.  You should read the whole talk HERE. He tells this story of the Forget-Me-Not flower and how it got its name. Then he gave us 5 things to “Forget Not…”
1) To be Patient with Yourself ~ How important is that? We women in general aren’t patient with ourselves. I know that I’m not. Patience is not my strong suit at all! We need to be patient in all things.  Example: I want to feel skinnier but unfortunately that isn’t going to happen over night. Patience is a virtue and it’s something I work on daily!
2) The difference between a good sacrifice and a foolish sacrifice ~ When President Uchtdorf started talking about this one he gave some funny examples. It made all of us in the chapel laugh because we’ve been there or we’ve watch our mothers and friends go through a potentially bad sacrifice or exasperating sacrifice. But my mother is an amazing example of “good sacrifice”. For Winter Formal my senior year of high schoo,l she made my dress. Well, she made all my formal gowns… My sister came to pick out fabrics and I decided that I wanted to do something a little different and went with a Cinderella cut for the dress. The fabric was hot pink satin. My mother worked on that dress for weeks. She finished it 3 days before the formal. I tried it on and instantly cried.  It was horrible! It was the worse dress ever. And not because my mother didn’t make the dress right, but it was the most unflattering pattern and color on me.  I was freaking out. My mom was freaking out. We ran to JoAnne’s and bought the most gorgeous satin maroon fabric and defaulted to the peasant style pattern that had never disappointed us with the empire cut. In 3 days she made me a whole new formal gown and it was stunning. I felt like a princess! What was an exasperating and frustrating sacrifice was in my eyes the perfect sacrifice from my amazing mother. She has always shown to us that she loves us through service and sacrifice and boy oh boy… does my mother love me! (I started tearing at that memory. I have lots of dresses that show great sacrifices my mother made for me. :))
3) To Be Happy Now ~ You’d think would be easy right? But I’m learning that it isn’t always as easy as it should be. My goal this year was to be in the moment and stop living in the future. In living in the future and constantly planning, I was not in the here and now and was stressed and grumpy all the time. I still have my “future planning” moments where I get stressed and grumpy and my husband can attest to that. But I’m trying and harder now more then ever before to be happy now!!!! We need to be in the present and enjoy the present and stop stressing about our futures. It’s a whole lot easier said then done, but I’m earnestly working on it.
4) The Why of the Gospel ~ You hear all the time that the church is true. It’s not necessarily the church that is true but the Gospel is true. The church is full of people and people make mistakes. We’re only human. But the Gospel is magnificent.  In the church, we feel like there are a lot of to-do lists with callings and keeping everything put together… But when you subtract out the to-dos and focus on what lies underneath, you remember that there is a reason for everything that we do. The reason is that Heavenly Father gave us this great Gospel with the Plan of Salvation to help us so that we can live with Him again. The understanding of the Plan of Salvation and what the Gospel really is, is what we need to cultivate. We need to break it down to the bare essentials and feast on the “whys” to fully understand. I melt over President Uchtdorf’s words. READ what he says again and again and it will make more sense. I promise!
5) That the Lord Loves YOU ~ How many of you have felt like you were forgotten? I know that I have. I had a horrible summer a few years ago where I felt like the Lord had abandoned me and I was left on my own… struggling to keep my head above the water. When I look back on that summer, I realize that the Lord was teaching me patience and how to be humble. Out of that horrible summer came the best and most amazing thing that could have ever happened to me and that was my husband. If I hadn’t been brought down to a more humbling sphere, I don’t think I would have ever seen him. I needed to be melted, before I could be molded. From that experience I’m still learning and understanding how much the Lord does love me. He loves me so much that He let me struggle and learn and meet the man who has changed me for the better. The Lord loves me more than I will ever know. He loves me so much that He led me to a man that is ever encouraging and never ever lets me give up no matter what! My husband has helped me learn and grow in ways that I could not have done with out him. The Lord places people in our paths to help us when He can’t physically do it for Himself.  Don’t ever forget that you are loved! The Lord loves us so much that he gave us the agency to choose. To choose to do the right and make it back home. Many of you have kids, you see how hard it is to watch your child choose and in some cases choose the wrong and struggle for a while. That is a glimpse of what the Lord goes through with all of us. He aches when we struggle. He cries when we cry. He carries us when we can’t walk any further. But we have to make the ultimate choice to follow His path and return to Him. He will always love us. Regardless!

These inspired words from President Uchtdorf have meant the world to me in the last few weeks since the Broadcast.  I made myself a little flower cut out. I have it in a spot at my desk where I can see it every day. I hope that his words bring you as much comfort and peace as they bring me.

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