Saturday, August 24, 2013

God Won't Ask

(Author unknown)
1. God won’t ask what kind of car you drove, but will ask how many people you drove who didn’t have transportation.
2. God won’t ask the square footage of your house, but will ask how many people you welcomed into your home.
3. God won’t ask about the fancy clothes you had in your closet, but will ask how many of those clothes helped the needy.
4. God won’t ask about your social status, but will ask what kind of class you displayed.
5. God won’t ask how many material possessions you had, but will ask if they dictated your life.
6. God won’t ask what your highest salary was, but will ask if you compromised your character to obtain that salary.
7. God won’t ask how much overtime you worked, but will ask if you worked overtime for your family and loved ones.
8. God won’t ask how many promotions you received, but will ask how you promoted others.
9. God won’t ask what your job title was, but will ask if you reformed your job to the best of your ability.
10. God won’t ask what you did to help yourself, but will ask what you did to help others.
11. God won’t ask how many friends you had, but will ask how many people to whom you were a true friend.
12. God won’t ask what you did to protect your rights, but will ask what you did to protect the rights of others.
13. God won’t ask in what neighborhood you lived, but will ask how you treated your neighbors.
14. God won’t ask about the color of your skin, but will ask about the content of your character.
15. God won’t ask how many times your deeds matched your words, but will ask how many times they didn’t.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

How Full Is Your Bucket?

I'm reading an awesome book right now titled, "How Full is Your Bucket?" (written by Tom Rath and Donald O. Clifton)

The idea is that we each have a "bucket." Every time we have an encounter with someone we are either adding to someone's bucket or taking away from it. Of course, the goal is to always be adding to the other person's bucket.

The whole book is about being positive, rather than negative - focusing on what's right instead of what's wrong.

The book talks about how important "moments" are. We experience approximately 20,000 individual moments in a waking day. The book talks about how a single encounter/moment can change your life forever. Therefore, it's important to make each encounter with another person a good one.

I wasn't thinking about this until I was leaving church today and driving home and realized how blessed I am that my "bucket" was filled today.

Just before I left the church building I was walking down the hall and a nice person just stopped and said something to the effect of, "Hello. What is your name?" We had a brief exchange and I learned that they are new to the congregation. That brief encounter "filled my bucket." It was nothing amazing - something so simple- but it had a powerful impact on me. It also made me realize that I need to step out of my comfort zone and do the same. By so doing I could help make someone's day a little brighter.

And there was also the time today when I was in the bathroom and a nice girl complimented me on my necklace. 

And then there was also the time today when my friend so willingly offered to give me a ride to the airport this weekend- when she just picked me up from the airport a couple of weeks ago. So nice of her. 

And now I am feeling kind of ashamed because I don't think I did my part to fill other's buckets today. Very selfish of me. The good thing though is I can repent and be better. So grateful for the Atonement.

Anyway, just some thoughts I wanted to share. Go fill some buckets! :)

Monday, August 12, 2013

Two Things

Two things to talk about today. First, this awesome quote from a talk I read tonight:

" One of the challenges of this mortal experience is to not allow the stresses and strains of life to get the better of us--to endure the varied seasons of life while remaining positive, even optimistic."  ("Let Him Do It with Simplicity, " L. Tom Perry)

Second, tonight I had a thought/idea of something I should do for someone else. My first thought was, "oh, I'll do it tomorrow." My second thought was, "that's kind of weird and slightly awkward." And then, my third thought was, "never postpone a prompting." (Pres. Monson) And that's when I knew I had to do what I was going to put off doing. So, yes, I did it. And I did feel a little weird doing it. But, I am grateful The Lord helped me recognize that that wasn't just a thought from me, but it was His Spirit. Sometimes the Spirit prompts us to do things that aren't easy, but that's what helps us grow (and hopefully blesses the person on the receiving end.).

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Peaceful Place

I spent quite a bit of time at this lovely place today. It was wonderful. So peaceful. Just what I needed.

It had been a little while since I'd been there and I had felt a void in my life. I so need the strength and blessings I receive from the House of God! It was good to be back! 

My visit to the temple  today was just so peaceful- more so than any visit I've had there in a long time. I was reminded of the plan of salvation and God's love for me.

I really felt His love for me while I was there. It was amazing. I am one of His daughters. I can't possibly comprehend His love for me - He loves me more than I can imagine. That's such a beautiful, humbling thought. God has so many children and He loves us all SO much. He cares about us. He knows us. He cares about what's going on in our everyday lives. There is no one in this world who loves us as much as He does. We are all precious in His sight.

Life gets so busy and crazy. There are so many worldly distractions. That's why it is so important to go to the temple. We can get away from it all for at least a couple of hours. The temple can help us put things in perspective. The temple can bring us peace. 

I'm just so grateful for this Gospel. It's so wonderful to know where I came from, why I am here and where I am going. I can't imagine how I'd live life if I didn't know that! 

Life can be hard sometimes, but it's such an awesome journey. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Look Up!

A little gem I found while studying tonight. This quote comes from a talk Elder Russell M. Nelson gave in General Conference April 1996.)

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Welcome to Holland

This analogy (written by Emily Perl Kingsley) was read in Relief Society today. I LOVE it. The author was talking about having a child with down syndrome, but I think it can be applied to anyone's life. Life never goes the way we plan, but we should enjoy where we end up!

"...It's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."
"Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned."

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland."

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Onward, Ever Onward!

I couldn't let today go by without mentioning the fact that six years ago this very day I entered the missionary training center to become a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (for a year and a half). It was the day that I embarked on a journey that would change my life.

I may be slightly more (ok, ok, a lot) obsessed with my mission than most who have served. But, missions really are sacred, personal, and special. 

I came to know and rely on The Lord more than I had ever done before. I remember knocking on doors in the bitter cold and getting rejections almost as cold as the weather. I had a precious message to share, but sadly many people didn't want to hear it. But those who did, those are the ones who made it all worth it.

I can't possibly sum up what my mission taught me and means to me in just a few short paragraphs, but know this - my mission changed me and means the world to me.

I feel blessed and lucky (in a way) that a mission was "in the cards" for me. I know there are people who want to serve, but aren't able to for one reason or another. Serving The Lord for 18 months as His representative was an honor. I will always cherish the experiences I had as I served Him.