This is an open blog, to any and all that would like to share their thoughts on ways that you find strength throughout life.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Not On My Watch

Quick thought of the day:

"The first principle of the gospel is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith means trust—trust in God's will, trust in His way of doing things, and trust in His timetable."
Dallin H. Oaks,
"Timing," Ensign, Oct. 2003, 12

So often, we are so busy trying to make things happen for us, conveniently on the time table that we would like for things to happen, that we forget to have faith and trust in the Lord. There have been many times in my own life and in the lives of those I love that I have wondered, "Why has this not happened yet?" or "Why is this happening now?" At the time, it feels like a different outcome or scenario would be much more welcomed into our busy lives and that if things just ran smoothly according to OUR plan, life would be great!

Problem is, we dont' know the big picture. In the "Grand Scheme" of things, the Lord has the full view. We have but a tiny fraction of knowledge living in the present. We can hope for the future, we can plan for the future, but ultimately, we don't know exactly what will happen.

I was having a conversation with my friend a week or so ago. She is moving soon and we were talking about the housing market and buying a house. We agreed on how scary of a purchase it is to buy a house and one of us (can't remember who, we think so much alike) said something about how we can't imagine how people make decisions without first praying about them and consulting the Lord. Truly, I feel like if I did not have the faith to first ask the Lord and second trust him, I would not have so many of the blessings I have in my life and that I would probably be on a completely seperate path than I am on right now.

I thought I wanted to be married many times before I actually found the right one and GOT married. Thank HEAVENS for the Lord's plan and HIS timing!

At a time when I feel as though my life is blessed and at a good place, I know it is easy to say "trust in the Lord's timing". In times of trial is when we experience doubt and fear. I can't say that I've ALWAYS been able to see the big perspective amidst trying circumstances that have left me praying, "Why me? Why right now? Why can't it just work out?" It's a constant learning process to trust in the Lord and the process in which He guides us.

Each trial we are given is a refiners fire. Each time we put things into His hands and let Him guide us where He would have us go, we are strengthening our will to withstand the trials that come in this life. Because then we know...we know beyond a shadow of a doubt, that He will say, "I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you." John 14:18

And with that faith and trust in Him, there is no need to fear. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Why Did I Start This Blog Again?

Back in August or so when I started this blog...I had reasons. I know I did....

....and those reasons were....

Wait, hang on. It's coming back to me. it.

Sorry-got sidetracked from the point of this blog for a little bit.

This blog was the product of a personal search within myself. Hence, "FINDING STRENGTH WITHIN"! We had made some pretty big changes in our lives all at once, went through some trials and I was in one of those "re-vamping my spiritual routine" modes. If you are Mormon-or really any kind of devout member of a religion, you know what I mean. You know that we all go through our little phases. A "funk"...if you will; where we are REALLY good at something for a while and life is good, great, grand...and then, for some unbeknownst (I know thats a word and I also know that's not how you spell it. Whatever) reason, we stop or slack off. Well, this blogwas a way for me to use something I love (writing) to express something I love (the Gospel) and use it to share and receive that strength through others that may come across my humble little scribble. At the beginning, it was something I woke up and couldn't wait for. Everyday had a spiritual thought and opening to it; a little daily devotional and even if it was just for me and no one even read my musings, it didn't matter. It was so that I could remind myself of the strength that I have and can find through searching myself and the blessings of the Gospel.

Then, I entered the "High School" phase of my blogging experience. I started comparing myself to other cooler blogs. You know the kind. The kind where other blogs want to be like them, sound like them, wear the same cool background and layout as them. The kind that get hundreds of comments. The "Homecoming Queen" blog. The "Quarterback of the Football Team" blog. (Funny story- I married the quarterback and one of my best friends was the homecoming queen...nothing against the cool kids. I love them.) But anyway, I started thinking no one cared. Sure, I had friends that commented at first. My dad would say, "Hey, I read your blog. That was a nice post." Then it all kind of died down. And then I felt like no one wanted to sit at my table in the lunchroom.

Okay, okay...before you either feel bad and write a sympathy comment or judge me and think I'm a loser that I even cared- STOP-I'm SO not even saying that. I realized first of all, that again, that wasn't the point of this blog for me. I realized that because of my laziness with my blogging devotionals, I had stopped replenishing my supply of strength that I needed in the first place. I was the one that had left my own blog sitting alone in the lunchroom. I knew it was there. It was like my scriptures that sit on my night stand and sometimes don't get opened. I know they are there. I feel good that at least they are there, and not in a drawer somewhere NEVER getting opened, but really, what good does it do me to have them just sit there?

So then I contemplated deleting the blog. "I'll just write in my journal", I thought. (Although for some reason, typing up a blog seems a lot more free flowing then writing in a journal. Maybe because my hand gets tired from all the writing and because journals are so awkward to write in-seriously, whoever invented the spiral bound kind was a genious.) But then, after thinking about the journal, I decided to check my "Live Feed" down at the very bottom. It kind of monitors the traffic I get on my blog. And I realized, while my blog was being visited about as often as you visit the dentist, I was okay with that. I am okay with everyone coming in for their 6 month check up. Hey, at least we're all checking in on each other and sharing a little hope and strength, right?

Something I also realized, was that some people I don't know (and some people I do know) have linked my blog to theirs. (I love you by the way...that means so much to me. You don't even know). There are a handful of you that actually do care when I update my blog. Again...I really love you. I appreciate all of you-commenters or not. While I would love, love, LOVE to hear from you, that's not the point of it. It's not a popularity contest. It's not a judged paper. I don't need praise (or criticism-whichever is offered). My only favor I that if you have some insightful thought or spiritual strength you could share, spread the wealth. If not, feel completely free to continue to peruse as usual.

One last thing I noticed, was that my blog comes up on some of the COOLEST searches. People searching for "STRENGTH" PEACE"..."HOPE"..."LAUGHTER"..."LOVE"...etc. This feed thing actually shows what someone typed in to the search that led them to my blog. It made me realize that ALL different types of people, from ALL over the world, from I'm sure MANY different religions, all share the same desire. To find strength. Somehow. And so, if my blog is going to pop up on a search for someone that may need something that was written, maybe a quote I posted from a General Authority or something, why would I want to remove that tool? What would I do, if all the blogs and websites that I go to took it all away? Just because they felt insignificant.

And you know what, I may be totally insignificant in the eyes of the blogging world. I, am like, lowest on the totem pole of blogging, I'm sure. But I just realized tonight, that I DON'T CARE.

It's not for popularity. It's not to win the "BEST BLOGGER EVER" award. And it's not to be anything great to anyone. I would NEVER claim that anything I have to say has done anything remotely close to touching or changing someones life. EVER knows how they may affect another.

For example, a very nice bystander at a make up counter stopped me today and said, "I'm sorry. This may sound really weird, but you have gorgeous skin." I almost cried. Especially because I had almost no face make up on and what seemed like pitch black circles under my eyes. It was such a touching thing for me that someone cared enough about a stranger to give them a kind compliment. She did not have to tell me that. She was not a salesperson...just a shopping bystander. She touched my life-even but for a small moment, in a small way. What if she hadn't said that? Yeah, life would be life...but she shared a little bit of her strength, with me. And it was inspiring.

So, I guess my point is, I'm gonna keep doing this. For me, mostly...and then after that, who knows. But whatever it is, I know that my intentions are to strengthen myself to be a better person and if some measly little thing I may write, or an awesome quote from someone great that I may post, makes someones day a little brighter, I am HONORED to have been a part of that.

To wrap it all up, thank you. Thank you if you are reading this. Thank you if you are just reading this for the first time. Thank you if you've read my blog before. Thank you for taking the time to share your strength with me by reading the things that are in my heart.

It means the world.