Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Allow your doubts to build your faith

I used to believe that having doubts was a horrible thing. Lately I have had a few questions about things that should already be written on my heart. I felt so guilty for questions coming up in my mind. I had this deep fear of sharing these doubts with anyone. What would they think of me if they knew I had questions like this? I couldn't even figure out why these questions were appearing, where were they coming from? I was living right, I was doing everything I should be doing, so why have such silly doubts?

I finally got the courage to bring up my question to a church leader that I have the utmost respect for and he shared something with me. He said that the question I had is the question he hears most often. He told me that this is the question he heard over and over again from missionaries as he was serving as a mission president. I couldn't believe it. There had been others that had been living a life devoted to the Lord and they were questioning the same things that I felt horrible for even doubting in the first place.

I not only learned the answer to my questions by being brave and asking, I also learned something as well through the outcome of this experience. The lesson I took away from this experience was doubts aren't always bad. Doubt and faith can't co-exist, this is a simple principle that we already know. But faith can't come to pass without first having a doubt. If you already know the answers, there's no need to have faith, so doubts are essential. 

It's what you do with your doubts and fears that can either destroy you or will take you to the top of the mountain you are climbing. 

Doubts make you think, when you recognize a doubt and you take care of it right away, you are allowing something that could eventually demolish all you have worked for to actually be a ladder that has the steps you need to be able to reach the destination Heavenly Father has in store for you. You start to realize when you fight your doubts, it's helping you climb to a higher destination than you thought was ever possible.

Every time doubt tries to sneak into your life, you have to make a decision about what you're going to do about it. You can keep doubting until you reach ultimate misery or you can do everything that is in your control to fight the doubt. I hate doubts, fear takes away my energy and it's depleting to my mind. I don't feel happy when I am full of doubt but I'm starting to realize why doubts come my way. Doubts make me think, they make me search for answers. Any time I have a question that won't leave my mind, it leads me to search, ponder, and pray which gives me a strong foundation of faith and anchors my testimony deeper and deeper.

The key to allowing doubts to become an anchor for your faith is to constantly
"Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith!" 
- Elder Uchtdorf

Every time I've ever been faced with doubt but chose to move forward with faith anyways, I came out stronger and my testimony has been renewed to a greater strength. Ask your questions, it demonstrates strength when you're trying to find answers to the questions you have. Questions are good! Ask away and then act in faith with the answers you receive. The greatest one to ask these questions to is our loving Heavenly Father, He will answer!

Never feel bad for the doubts that come your way, feel bad about what you do or don't do about them! Allow your doubts, your questions, your fears, and the lack of knowledge you have to become a tool and an anchor that will build your testimony. There will be opposition in all things (2 Nephi 2:11). This is expected and we can't do anything about it. Doubts often happen to be the opposition that we face.

Doubts are something that you can't avoid in this life, but do something about them!

Be patient as you search out answers to your doubts. Study, pray, and push through every voice in your head that is telling you to give up! You will find the truth, you will find the answers, and you will become a new person with a changed heart in the process. This I testify of in the name of Jesus Christ, amen!

If you want more on this subject, I suggest this talk.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Reach Out to Your Circle of Influence

Today I met with the nicest lady ever. 
She so kindly took me to lunch and we talked and talked.
Many tears were shed as we talked about some incredible experiences. 
My eyes were open to messages Heavenly Father needed me to hear. 

This woman is my role model, she is the person I would love to emulate my life after. She was so gracious, humble, and spiritual. She has so many Christ-like attributes and she is an excellent mother. She has prepared her heart to always be ready to listen to the messages Heavenly Father wants her to say and do. She is a noble woman.

If you ever find yourself lost or broken, reach out! 
Do you have any idea how many 
people would serve you in a heartbeat if only they
 knew you were in need of some love or wisdom? 

It is my firm belief that we are put on this earth to help one another. 
I truly believe that people come into our lives for a reason. We are put into specific groups, classes, wards, jobs, and situations so we cross the paths of others. Everyone that comes into our life can teach us something and can bless us in a way that no one else can.
There are so many people that are in your circle of influence right now that can teach you and help you, but how will you ever know what you can learn from them if you don't reach out to them? I truly believe in mentors and role models, I believe they all come in many different forms. It is up to us to reach out and ask if they have a moment to talk with us and be our friend.

Have the courage today to send an email, a text, 
or a phone call to someone that is in your circle of influence or you 
could be missing out!
You will never know what lessons you could be learning or what example you
could have in your life until you take the opportunity to listen to those around you.
And just maybe the people you reach out to could learn from you too!

Every time someone has ever reached out to me, I jump with joy that they believe
I have something to offer them. It is never, ever, ever a burden!

I believe everyone wants to feel wanted and needed.

I believe we go through experiences and trials because what we go through 
will help someone that will cross your path later down the road.
I don't want stories from my journey to be wasted.
I want to share them with others that can benefit from what I've 
been through.

Reach out to others! Ask them their stories!
Get to know others and dig deep to find the gems
that will bless your life!
I promise you this isn't selfish, I promise!!!
The other person will leave feeling uplifted and enlivened for
being able to be of some assistance.

Reach out! Reach out! Reach out!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

12 Gifts to the Savior (12 days of Christmas)

#Heisthegift       #Sharethegift

I've seen this video about 10 times and each time I watch it, I'm touched in a different way. I think of how Jesus Christ has touched my heart and blessed my life. It's amazing how many different ways my life has been blessed because of him. Because my Savior Jesus Christ is the gift, the ultimate gift and he has given me everything I will ever want or need, I wanted to give my him something in return. 

What do you give to the one who has everything? What do you give to someone you can't possibly ever repay for all He has given you? I don't have the answer because it's a lifetime full of improvement, love and abiding by all of his commandments and teachings. That perfection will not be achieved in this lifetime, but that doesn't mean I'm going to stop trying. I want to be as prepared as possible for when Christ comes again. So my idea is to spend each of the 12 days we have left until Christmas doing something that will show my unconditional love and gratitude to him. 

Make the 12 days of Christmas devoted to Jesus Christ.
 Create your own rules and adapt any of these gifts to fit your personal life!

1. (Dec. 14th) - A Mighty Change of Heart 

Create a list of attributes that you would like to work on improving or attaining. Create a detailed plan of exactly what you need to change and how you plan to incorporate these attributes in your daily routine. 

What will you need to change? 
What challenges could you possibly face as you try to apply these Christ-like attributes? What will you do when one of these challenges arises? 
What would stop you from being able to hold true to the commitment you have made?

The reason I am asking you to answer such detailed questions is because every time I try to apply a goal or new attributes into my life, I get stuck. I start living my daily routine or handling situations in a way I am used to and then I find myself back to my habitual ways. You will need to plan if you want to change. Habits and changes don't just happen, they have to be planned for. You have to mold these new attributes into what you're used to and planning is the only way it will work. Plan, plan, plan! 

What changes do you need to make to have A Mighty Change of Heart?

2. (Dec. 15th) - Reflection

How has your life been touched by Christ? Reflect on the role Christ has played on your life and journal it out. How has Christ been a part of your life through grace, through his example, through his atonement, through the hope and comfort he has to offer? If you didn't know Christ, how might your life be different? Journal your heart out and you may find answers to questions you didn't even know you had! Writing and reflecting can lead to very spiritual moments.

How has Christ changed your life?

3. (Dec. 16th) - Scriptures: Power of the Word

Find a scripture that speaks to your heart before you start your day! Allow this scripture abide in your heart all day. Try to look for an opportunity to speak of this scripture to others in your daily conversations. Apply this scripture in your daily thoughts and daily routine! If possible memorize this scripture!

How often do the scriptures abide in your heart?

4. (Dec. 17th) - Heart of Prayer

Pray in the name of Jesus Christ, because he is the advocate to Heavenly Father. Pray constantly throughout the day. Pray about every thought, every action, every decision you have to make. Pray before you send a text, tweet a thought, or speak to anyone. Pray when you're in the car, pray when you get out of bed, pray when you come home from a long day. Make absolutely everything you do, big or small to be based upon prayer. 

How often do you have a prayer in your heart?

5. (Dec. 18th) - Sacrifice

What is something that you have been hanging onto that you now need to give up? 
Is there a habit you're hanging onto? 
A selfish desire? 
A fear? 
What would be a challenge for you to give up, but once you do it would bring greater peace and joy into your life?

that is the thing you should be giving up! Sacrifice that today and don't look back! Watch the blessings come flood into your life!

What are you hanging onto that can be sacrificed?

6. (Dec. 19th) - Gratitude 

Give gratitude in all that you do. Send out at least 10 gratitude notes. Thank everyone in sight, such as the grocery store clerk, a janitor in the hallway, the mail carrier, the bank teller. Give as much gratitude as you possibly can. Spend a long time on your knees giving sincere gratitude to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for all the good they have brought into your life. Thank them for the incredible blessings that have been bestowed upon you.

Who can you give gratitude to today?

7. (Dec. 20th) - A Written Testimony of Jesus Christ

Write out your testimony of Jesus Christ. Allow this testimony to abide in your heart all day long. Put it in a special place for your posterity to maybe read one day. If you're not married, save it for your future husband and children to read one day. If you want to go the extra mile, write your testimony of Jesus Christ in a Book of Mormon and give it to someone today!

What is your testimony of Jesus Christ?

8. (Dec. 21st) - Kindness

Jesus Christ is the most humble and charitable individual to ever step foot on this Earth. He loved and continues to love every individual. Because he was the perfect example and we should have the desire to emulate him, this day choose to allow your heart to be focused on everyone else. Have the desire to loose yourself and just love others. Try to forget about what your needs are or how you are feeling this day. Make it a day to give kindness in the most outpouring ways possible. 

Kindness starts with thoughts of others that are up-worthy and appraising. Do absolutely everything you can to control your thoughts and not have one ill thought of another individual. Choose to lift your mind higher and see others as Christ sees them. Do everything you can to share the love Heavenly Father has for each and every one of His sons and daughters.

How can you show kindness?

9. (Dec. 22nd) - Christ Devoted Thoughts

Try to make every single thought that you have to be based on Jesus Christ. I am going to put pictures of Christ in my car. I will add to the 10 pictures of Christ I already have in my room. I will put a picture of Christ in my wallet. Every choice I have to make, I will reflect and ponder about what Christ would do in my situation. 

Sister Hinckley once said she doesn't spend enough time thinking about the Savior, well if that was true, don't we all have some room for improvement?

How often is Christ in your thoughts?

10. (Dec. 23rd) - Share my Testimony with an Individual

Find someone to share your testimony of Jesus Christ with. Whether this be a non-member, someone who is inactive or even an active member, allow your heart to be guided by the spirit to know exactly who you should share it with.

When was the last time you shared your testimony of the Savior?

11. (Dec. 24th) - Give my Talents and Gifts

Your gifts and talents were given to you not for your own benefit, but to be used to bless and strengthen the lives of others. Make this day a day to devote everything that you have to offer, to bless others that need your talents to be shared with them. Pray to be guided by the spirit to know exactly who needs you and what specific gifts and talents you can share.

Spend some time strengthening and fine tuning your gifts and talents so they can be used in bigger ways the next time.

If this day is busy for you, spend some time planning and preparing more than you ever have before so you can be prepared and ready and it will fit with your schedule. You have time for what you make time for.

What talents and gifts can you give to others?

12. (Dec. 25th) - Spend an Hour studying stories and Teachings of Jesus Christ

Christmas is a day when you will most likely be spending lots my time with your family. Choose to make this day a day where you remember the reason of the season. Prepare to keep the purpose of the celebration in your heart by waking up an hour earlier than your family to prepare your mind for the spirit of Jesus Christ to abide in your heart all day long. Spend this hour reading the Christmas story in the scriptures and reading stories and teachings about his life so you won't get distracted by the gifts and the glitter and you will remember the true meaning of Christmas.

This would also be the perfect family activity. Before opening any stockings or presents, spend some time reading the scriptures and focusing your heart on Jesus Christ so your mind is in the right mindset for such a beautiful and special day. 

How do you prepare your heart and mind to remember that #Heisthegift?

Monday, December 8, 2014

I am a Mormon!

I am over here today being featured on Diary of a Brown Eyed Girl. Come Visit me!

Today I dare you to take a stand and let the world know who you are! If you wore a sign defining who you were, what would it say? Go be that! Don't step down, stay consistent no matter where you are or who you are talking to. That's what integrity is all about!

Monday, December 1, 2014

7 Ways to Make a Difference on Facebook

1. Like a post that has a positive message

The more likes a post has, the more it will be seen by others as the highest liked posts rise to the top. If it's a good post, be sure to like it so it can rise, influencing more people! Your like really makes a difference in the way Facebook organizes posts.

2. Use pictures

 Facebook is very heavily based on images. If you have something important to say and want to make sure it is seen, always add an image! Images rise to the top of Facebook, that's why images always get more likes than just words.

3. Wish every friend a happy birthday on their day

If you're going to be friends with a person on Facebook, say "Happy Birthday"! In my personal opinion, if you don't feel comfortable saying happy birthday, should you really be friends with them? It could mean the world to someone when you take two seconds out of your day to wish them a happy birthday. Others just want to know that they crossed your mind on their special day.

4. Write kind notes on others walls

Remember when writing on the walls of others used to be a thing? Yeah? Well let's make that come back! Instead of just these silly comics or links to the latest celebrity news that seems to be all that gets shared, what if we used Facebook to inspire and build others instead? Receiving a note on your Facebook wall feels like you're receiving a beautifully wrapped gift that can be read over and over again. Make others feel important!

5. Share Goodness 

You don't have to use the #sharegoodness to do this (although that won't hurt). But write things that are uplifting and positive on your wall. Your words could change someones day or even life. What you put on social media is a representation of yourself. Sharing Goodness can start to become a part of who you are if you allow it to!

6. Leave a comment on others posts and pictures

 Facebook can be very time consuming and has many negative connotations attached as well, why not make your goal to use Facebook for a good cause. Use social media with a purpose, make your only goal and purpose for using it to build others. Be a people builder, especially on Facebook! 

7. Send a message

If a post someone wrote touched your heart and you don't want to comment, send them a message! I can't tell you how many messages I have received thanking me for what I posted, and it never gets old. The more I know I'm helping others - the more I am compelled to keep sharing the inspiration that I have to offer. Everyone likes a positive and uplifting message in their inbox.