I LOVE summer. All the memories, all the fun, and all the joy to be found in soaking up the sunlight. I hold many sacred, spiritual experiences in my heart that came more often than not in the summer. From trek, to girls camp, to youth conference and EFY, to the once in a lifetime Day of Celebration event...these events are where a larger part of where my testimony came from.
The lyrics to a particular camp song still ring in my heart often...
To shine is to have a quality of brightness. If we want to have a quality of brightness
within us while taking action, there are things we must do to accomplish this.
Always remember that the power is within YOU to Arise + Shine!
8 Steps to Having an Arise + Shine
Kind of Day
1. Arise -
What a great word, isn't it? Arise is a verb, a call to action. In a Mormon message, the words "I'm awake, I remember Him" pull at my heart strings. I used to use my cell phone as my alarm clock. I would leave it right next to my bed and not even get out of bed when my alarm would go off. After noticing all the notifications from social media, I found I would spend more time on my phones in the morning than actually praying, so... I decided something needed to change.
I bought an alarm clock so I would no longer turn to my phone in the first moments of the day. I made it a pattern to ARISE, roll out of bed onto my knees and seek out my Heavenly Father. For it is only through Him that I can find the counsel to know His will for me on this beautiful day.
ACTION: Buy an alarm clock at IKEA for $1 so you no longer have to rely on your phone and become distracted. Write the words, I'm awake, I remember Him." on the clock and then start giving your thoughts to Him first thing in the morning.
2. Study the scriptures -
One of my favorite things about girls camp was the opportunity for "solo time" in the woods. A time to be alone to seek, ponder, and pray. There is something for me about being alone in nature, God's creation and enjoying all the beauty and every detail. If you can, study the scriptures at a nearby park, take a hike until you find a nice rock to make your spot, sit in front of the temple, or simply study them in your own yard. To be an example for others, you first have to have the truth and light within yourself from daily scripture study.
Action: Study your scriptures outside, see if you don't get something different out of them by being away from all distractions and all electronics.
(Leave the phone in the car or at home)
3. Go outside, explore the sunshine -
If we're being called to shine for the world to see, don't we first need some shine within us? One of my absolute favorite things about summer is the sunshine. I just can't get enough of it's warmth and light. Sunflowers have always been my favorite flower, I love the way they follow the Sun from sunrise to sunset day in and day out.
Action: Take time to be in the sun daily (with sunscreen of course) and reflect on how you can be more like the Son of God. How can you be more like Christ to influence others to do the same? The greatest leader is the one who leads by example.
4. Smile -
To be a light for others to follow, you have to appear as you have light. Look at yourself in the mirror and smile every single morning. Find good things within yourself every single morning and then choose to believe them throughout the day. We are given choices on a daily basis. One of the most important choices we can make is to choose happiness. If you smile at others, others will always smile back at you. Happiness is contagious, pass it on.
Action: Smile in the mirror daily as you name 3 good things about yourself or your life
Read: D + C 115:5 then put this scripture somewhere you will see it daily!