Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Few Degrees Off Course

"The difference between happiness and misery … often comes down to an error of only a few degrees." --Deider F. Uchtdorf

It is amazing to me how cunning the adversary is and how easily he can slip into our lives. Over the last couple of months, since I was called as Relief Society president in our ward, I have progressively struggled more and more with feelings of inadequacy coupled with pride and seeking after the esteem of man. The more I sought for praise or just reassurance through the words of those around me, the more I felt inadequate and as though I was failing. I was still reading my scriptures and saying my prayers, yet I had not fully repented of my pride.

Today at church one of the talks was about Saul and referenced a talk by Deider F. Uchtdorf that talks about how the difference between happiness and misery can come down to a very small error. The speaker today also went on to talk about pride, in particular in relation to the story of Saul.

It was so hard to admit to myself and to the Lord that I had fallen into pride, but I mostly surely had. Despite my scripture study and prayer, I had distanced myself from the Lord by my pride. As I heard the talk I realized very quickly that that was my big problem right now. I immediately began pleading with the Lord for forgiveness in this area. Just as quickly I began to feel the peace of the Lord fall upon me.

As we moved on to Sunday school, the lesson also talked of the pitfalls of being in leadership, including pride. Again I felt the Lord lovingly chastising me and trying to help and direct me. A main portion of the lesson came from Doctrine and Covenants section 121 verses 33-40. It talks about how many are called but few are chosen, and that they are not chosen mainly because their hearts are set upon the things of the world and aspire to the honors of men, among other things.

How easy it is to take a slightly wrong turn, maybe even only 1 degree, and head slowly but surely toward the things of the world rather than the things of the Lord. There are so many things in this life that have good purposes but can also be used as tools by Satan to drag us down. I love facebook, email, the Internet, and also blogging, but each of these things have proven mighty temptations in their own ways over time. Satan loves to use the tools against me of mismanagement of time, by distracting me on the computer, along with seeking after the praise of man through facebook and even this blog.

I hope and pray that I can continue to whole heartedly and continually seek after the things of the Lord and seek his continual forgiveness. It is awesome how the Lord is so very loving, and forgiving, that he will always take us back, no matter how far we have fallen. He is always there, we just have to seek after him.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ink Notes #1

A friend of mine has started a writing exercise, called ink notes through her blog where she presents music and anyone who wants to participate, writes whatever comes to mind as they listen to the music. It can be poetry, prose, and anything the music inspires you to write. I'm a little late posting my first one, but here it is:

The Man Behind Me

across the room she glances my way
pushing every bit of air out of my chest
as her eyes briefly meet with mine
then just as quickly look away

cascading red brown waves of hair
beckon to me to come closer
her moonlit skin glistens
glowing for want of lips to touch

I breathe once more with one deep sigh
and she turns my way again
one corner of her mouth twists slightly up
as my face flushes a crimson it has rarely been

the boisterous laughter, talking, and music
muffled to a mere hum as thoughts of her
push aside any other sounds in the air
everyone else in the room disappears

it is she and I alone, gazing in pure love
I stand and inch my way towards her
each step is an eternity as I push forward
longing for her embrace, melting in her smile

she is within my reach, just one touch away
I pause and breathe in her sweet scent
as I smile and place my hand forward,
she sidesteps and passionately embraces
the man behind me

My first attempt to write with a prompt in awhile, and a little rough, but it was a lot of fun. Anyone who would like a little inspiration to help them write, feel free to join in on her blog. I hope to see you there!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Riding the Waves of Life

"As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit.” --Emmanual Teney

"You cannot control what happens to you, but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you, and in that, you will be mastering change rather than allowing it to master you.” --Brian Tracy

I spent the day at the beach with a few of my friends yesterday. I had not been in the water past my knees since my youth and had forgotten how enjoyable it truly is. As my friends and I went further and further out, we decided to push past where we could stand and head out a little deeper. We pushed our way out, periodically reaching down to feel where the bottom was.

The first time we went past where we could stand we each got a little nervous and scared and kept trying to touch the bottom to reassure ourselves that we were not too deep yet. We tired quickly with our constant reaching down efforts and decided to go back where we could stand again. However, all mentioned how fun it was and wanted to try again.

The next time we handled it differently, we ackownledged that our constant efforts to be in control by feeling the bottom was prematurely tiring us and decided instead to simply enjoy the deep and the feeling of being moved by the waves. We made slower, smaller movements forward and relaxed our bodies, allowing them to float back and forth in the waves. We were able to stay in the deeper water much longer. We found much more joy in the experience and our fears disappeared. We knew we could ride the waves or even swim in when needed and did not feel the need to exert extra energy searching for the ground below us.

Interestingly, we also found that as we took the more passive approach, the waves consistently pushed us closer to shore. Each time we thought we were quite aways out, we would look around and realize we were not near as far as we thought. When we would occasionally reach down, the ocean floor was much closer than it seemed.

This is how life is. I can choose to fight what is happening in my life, to constantly be searching for the bottom, for something to hold on to, or I can choose to enjoy what my life is bringing me. I can choose to submit my will to the Lord's and gently ride the waves in the ocean of my life. I do not need to waste my energy searching for where the bottom is, instead I can trust that He will not give me more than I can handle and that He is ever so gently bringing me closer to Him.

The waves in life can be gentle and they can be rough, but they are a constant. Why should I fight them or be afraid? Today I choose to be brave, to face my problems head on, to submit my will to the Lord's, and to enjoy waves in the ocean of my life.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Music in Labor

I have heard many different types of music played while women are laboring. I remember hearing Enya over and over and over again at a particularly long birth. At the time I actually liked Enya, but not only was our laboring woman listening to Enya, but she was listening to it played throughout the entire home. After around 24 hours, with no escape, I had heard enough Enya for at least the next 10 years.

I have also heard a beautiful Catholic rosary song set on continual repeat at two different births. At both births, I eventually found myself unintentionally singing along, but also after both births, realized I could no longer remember the words. Then a couple of weeks ago I heard Jack Johnson, one of my personal favorites, but it was short lived, I think it lasted 3 songs.

At that same birth we also listened to her husband sing some beautiful folk music while playing guitar and ukele. We even listened to Cat Stevens "Peace Train", that exact one on youtube, along with a couple other of his songs. Pretty groovy birth to say the least.

I never did listen to any music during any of my labors. However, I think if I was to be in labor right this moment, I would want to listen to either Canon in D (since that is mine and Chalan's song and it is somewhat relaxing) or maybe some Cheryl Crow or maybe Maroon 5.

What music did you listen to when you were in labor? Or, if you never listened to any music in labor or while birthing, if you were to spontaneously be 9 months pregnant, and in labor, right now, if you had to pick music, what would you pick?