Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Beautiful and Simple is the Way of the Lord

The way The Lord works is BEAUTIFUL! I don't know how He does it. I don't know how He turns every possible thing to our good. I don't know how He has the ability to love us in spite of the inadequacies we have on a daily basis. I just don't understand...and yet He does. 

God is good.
God is merciful.
God is so loving.
God is forgiving.
God is one of hope.

I often overthink and overcomplicate things. I don't know sure makes my life HARD! And yet He makes incredible things come together. He testifies of truth when I finally settle my racing thoughts and He reminds me to look in the simple things, for His ways may be MIGHTY but they are simple. They are beautiful. Sometimes I struggle to just let go and to trust. (Funny story for another time, remind me.) But seriously, every time I forget or struggle to trust Heavenly Father, He is oh so very patient with me and then it works out so perfectly. Better than I could have ever hoped for or planned on my own. 

I'm so blessed to serve in the calling that I do. This week I have had three beautiful experiences that show me I am meant to be where I am at this moment...proving God is involved in all the details. Tonight I had the beautiful opportunity to sit down with my presidency and we had some great gospel focused real conversations. We were talking about the empathy we gain through the experience we go through. We discussed the perfect timing of God and the way He prepares us perfectly, we may not be perfect when we arrive but God's timing is one we can't understand but it surpasses anything we could have the ability to plan. We talked about the lessons we need to learn and we are all learning the same things, just on different roads to get to the same destination. 

These ladies are a huge blessing in my life, more than I give them credit for. This presidency is a team and not one of us runs the show above the other...we are all in this together and it's a beautiful journey. We help, we lift, we support, we encourage, and we celebrate with one another. 

I'm so blessed that God puts people in our lives at the times that He does. I'm so thankful that those that open their hearts to the Spirit can often say the things that are so needed at the times they are said. I'm incredibly impressed by the compassion of the Lord to give us second chances to learn lessons we have learned once before but possibly forget to apply.

I don't have too many answers right now, but what's beautiful is I have every single answer I need at this moment. Heavenly Father will guide me to more and more as the moment's press on. 

I know this post was random, just so many thoughts have been on my mind today and I wanted to testify of the beautiful spirit that's been with me today because I was willing to put my life in a greater balance He could be pleased with. Obey the Lord. Trust Him. Be accountable. Blessings will flood in your life, this I testify of. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Overwhelmed in the Grace of Christ

The thirteen-year-old in me decided this was the picture that was going to pull me through the rough times in life. Life is beautiful in so many incredible ways, but sometimes it gets hard. I don't want to focus on the hard today, I want to focus on the grace; the grace of Christ. Lately, I have felt a little overwhelmed. 

Overwhelmed with time. 
Overwhelmed with planning.
Overwhelmed with mind games.
Overwhelmed with chasing perfection.
Overwhelmed with cooking and eating healthy.
Overwhelmed with a lack of balance.
Overwhelmed with inadequacies. 

In life, as seasons start to change and new chapters begin to unfold it can be hard. Even if they are the very seasons we have been pleading Heavenly Father for, they still take a time to adjust. I've been stretching myself so thin lately that my life has been missing a little balance...or maybe a lot. My Savior has given me everything and I mean EVERYTHING. I wouldn't be the girl I am today without him and his atonement. 

For some reason, I keep stressing and problem-solving as if I have to do every little thing on my own. Why would I take my problems on myself when I've not once been able to overcome them on my own? My Savior has always helped Him when I let Him. When I don't let him, I sure make a mess of things. And it's not like worrying solves my problems for me. It adds more stress, more chaos, and subtracts balance out of my life. 

I may be imperfect as I desire perfection. I may lack faith at times I need it the most. I may let inadequacies in myself get the best of me and at times stop me right in my tracks from even trying. I may not have every single thing in life figured out quite yet. But it doesn't matter because I know my Savior. I know He walks this path with me. I know as I turn to Him, the powers of Heaven are opened and prayers are answered. I know every single answer I need is found in the scars of His hands. He paid the price for me to have hope and every single day He will without a doubt bring me that hope if only I ask and then allow Him to do so.  

Why fear? I don't have to do this on my own. Christ is on my team!!

The scripture doesn't say I or Him - it says WE!!! How exciting is it to have Christ on your team and on mine? The only perfect person to ever walk on this earth. The only one with complete faith to always have the ability to draw down the powers of Heaven. The only one with perfect patience in spite of my countless imperfections. I have CHRIST ON MY TEAM! And so do YOU!! 

I've been pondering lately on how to access the atonement. We hear all the time that the enabling power of the atonement is for us to use, but how do we access it?

Here is what works for me:

1 - PRAYER! 
Pray morning & night every single day without fail! Tell Heavenly Father EVERYTHING...seriously, don't leave anything out! 

Sometimes if you need more divine help or to develop a stronger relationship with Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father it's going to take a TON more prayer. I have had days where it feels like I'm not doing anything but prayer. Praying in my car, while I'm exercising, praying with my scriptures open, praying through the tears. Embrace the moments that call you to your knees. These are the moments that build your faith, that shape you, that help take you from a piece of coal to a diamond.

You can't know Christ without studying the words of Christ and His stories. To access the atonement, you must invite the word of God into your heart and mind and allow it to be written on your heart. This is one of the basics which means EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Striving for exact obedience and honesty in all things is what helps me to access the atonement and invites the Spirit into my heart. Even if you come up short a time or two, trying counts. 

Accessing the atonement is really hard when your heart isn't focused on giving love. It's hard for love and forgiveness to warm your heart if you're not seeking opportunities to extend it to others.

"After all that Christ and you" do together, as a team, do you believe? Do you believe that the atonement and it's enabling power will be used in your life? FAITH is the answer to just about everything you hope and seek for in this life. Without faith, nothing matters. Faith drives us to action. It drives us to beliving in possiblities and things we never thought were possible. Believe, and if you don't believe just yet ask for help in your beliefs.