Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Spiritual Lessons from Pasta

I was listening to a conference talk one morning, reminding us that if we want His spirit to always be with us, we always have to have the Savior in our minds at all times. I stopped and thought to myself for a moment, "How many times am I thinking of my Savior, especially while I am at work?" Of course thoughts of my Savior come to my mind at least a few times a day, especially when praying or feeling alone and needing comfort, but ALL the time? No, sadly that wasn't the case for me. I have at least three pictures on each wall of my bedroom of the savior, totaling about 10 pictures of Christ. They all speak to my heart in different ways and each picture has helped me through a different trial. I took one of these pictures of my Savior and put it in my purse and headed off for work.

When I got to work, I taped it to my computer. I'm an extremely visual person. I knew I needed to be able to see him and visually feel my Savior close to me if I wanted to keep him in my mind and heart at ALL times. As I got to work, it started to be a pretty busy day and I was feeling a bit bogged down. My happy spirit that was shining through so brightly the day before seemed to be lacking. Then an individual did something to me that hardened my heart. I was frustrated and annoyed and didn't understand the why. I quickly forgave and continued on serving this individual, but something in my heart was still frustrated and I couldn't seem to let it go from my mind. After I was done assisting, I sat back down and my desk and there it was, the picture of my Savior and the words instantly followed, "What would Jesus do?" My heart softened a bit more but I was still pretty worn from the day and I just wanted the day to be over.

I headed home for lunch. Deciding what I was going to eat, I put on a cd of peaceful piano music by Marshall McDonald. I then realized I was really desiring pasta, so I decided that's what I was going to make. While the water was coming to a boil, I sat down to read from my favorite book EVER, 'Becoming His'. I read a story in there about a wise heart (you'll have to read it for yourself) but I could feel the spirit start to speak to my heart and energy started to exchange the feelings worn out exhaustion I had five minutes previous. 

I started to pour the box of pasta into the boiling water. Stirring the pasta I recognized my state of mind and the excitement I felt to precede with my day. AND THEN my mind was led to recall an experience from while making pasta three weeks ago. During this experience, the spirit told me to ponder upon lessons I could learn from my boiling pot of spaghetti. I thought long and hard about the concept of hot water and how it softens noodles and makes them so much better, it changes the formation because of heat. I had reflected upon what other lessons to take away from that experiences a few times since but I never came up with anything too profound. I kept wondering what Heavenly Father was trying to teach me. What principle was I missing that he would have me learn? Why would he desire that I reflect so hard on such an interesting thing?

As I was standing in my kitchen, reflecting upon that experience, I looked down at the noodles softening to an edible taste, this experience flooded back into my mind and the words SOFTENED HEART spoke loud and clear and the spirit surrounded me. I really wasn't supposed to learn anything too profound from my boiling pot of water three weeks previously, but I was supposed to learn the concept of pondering. Of really focusing and reflecting on the principles Heavenly Father tries to teach me daily. 

This experience taught me the more I ponder over principles, or scriptures, or spiritual lessons and replay them in my mind over and over again, the more it sticks in my mind and becomes written on my heart. I have been overlooking pondering for far too long. I think of every principle that has ever stuck with me and it's because I took the time to ponder it, mediating over it, and think of it from every angle I could comprehend.

Joseph Smith even says he "reflected on it again and again." {JSH 1:12}. The more we reflect, the more it becomes a part of who we are. I want to reflect more. I want to open my eyes and my heart for understanding of what the Lord is trying to show me. 

This was such a simple but extremely spiritual experience. I find that I learn in the simplest and silliest of ways, and I LOVE it! It wasn't by accident this all happened in the same day either. Heavenly Father helped me to recognize His hand in helping me to soften my heart as I kept praying for it over and over. I LOVE the way the Lord teaches me. I LOVE the way I can fill the spirit so strongly as I boiling a pot of noodles. Perhaps you don't learn this way and that's OKAY! Just remember to PONDER and to ponder often! Pray about what you ponder and you will learn how the spirit speaks to you. Spiritual lessons are supposed to be found in the every day journey of life. Look for them and you will find them. Ask Heavenly Father to teach you and I promise He will, just be sure your eyes are open and your heart is in a place where the message will get through!  

"The Lord has told us continually to ponder His word in order that we may understand." (Knowing what you believe, believing what you know) I STRONGLY encourage you to read this talk!

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