Thursday, April 13, 2017

Running Hills (Part Four)

I've written a lot about running hills.

Running Hills (part 1)
Running Hills (part 2)
Running Hills (part 3)

But, not recently.

I was thinking about that the other day on my early morning walk.


My goal this summer is to do a lot of hiking, so I'm trying to get stronger.


Why don't I run hills anymore? Am I missing out on those lessons? Am I doing something wrong?


Actually, I don't mind not running right now.

Walking is what I need. 

I can talk when I'm walking.

There's more chances to look around and notice the beauty around me, than when I was trying to make a certain distance or time.


I do miss the sense of accomplishment I felt when I conquered a hill.


And, I still should probably find some hills to practice on.

But mostly, I'm just walking as much as I can.

So when I start hiking, and come to a hill, I'll already have some strength built up.


Walking can feel like I'm doing the same thing over and over again; without really progressing.

The way that sometimes saying prayers, reading the scriptures, going to church, etc. starts to feel.

But, walking (instead of running) is not the same thing as coasting.

I'm still walking and moving forward.

Saying my prayers and reading my scriptures every day is moving me forward.

Slowing down has helped me notice more of the beautiful things in my life.

It is still strengthening me.


And so, if/when I come to a "hill" in my life, I'll have the strength I need to conquer it.



Friday, January 20, 2017

Stuck in the Snow

We have a lot of snow here! I love it.

But, sometimes, it's not awesome.

This morning, I saw someone stuck in the snow.

I parked my car and got out to help the other woman who was already there.

We pushed.

And we rocked the car.

And we pushed some more.

That car did not want to get unstuck.

Then someone else stopped to help and they pushed with us.

It kept seeming like it was going to get out.

It kept being stuck.

I kicked more snow under the front tires to give it traction.

We tried it in drive. We tried it in neutral.

A couple of more people stopped to help.

Someone even brought some ice melt to put under the wheels to give it some traction.

Pushing it forward actually started getting it stuck more!

Finally, I suggested that she try to drive backward more before we pushed again.

Why would she want to go backward?! 

There was a lot of snow behind the car and she had just made it through all of that!


It worked!

She got the traction she needed, she found a new way forward, and upward and onward she went.


There are times in my life when I have felt stuck.

And I have done so much pushing to try and get myself out.

Sometimes that's worked because there have been others there with a little extra push to help me go forward.

But, many times, what I really needed to do to was to go back.

Whether that was going back to things that I didn't want to revisit and repenting.

Or just stepping back far enough to see a different way forward.

Sometimes, the only way to get unstuck, is by going backwards for a bit.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Seasons

I have been thinking lately about  the seasons of the year.

I love the changing of seasons.



Winter has such a peace about it for me. 


I love seeing the newly fallen snow and how it covers everything in white. 


And everything seems to get so quiet. 


If only it didn't have to be so cold!!



Spring is so fresh and I love seeing the new buds growing on the trees. 


And all the birds coming back and new animals being born.


But, it's also always seemed a bit messy to me. 


Everything is wet and muddy and just when you think it's going to warm up, it gets cold again. 



Summer is such a great time to relax and play. 


And to be busy with family and vacations and gardens, and plans, and ... everything!!


At least I finally get to feel like I'm warming up!


But, it's also too HOT!! 



Then, there is Fall, my favorite season of them all!


I love the beautiful colors in the trees and crunching in the leaves!


I love that the weather begins to cool off and I can start wearing sweatshirts and sweaters!


I love that Fall usually means the start of the school year and all the possibilities that come with that!


Maybe that's why Fall has always felt a bit like a new beginning for me each year?


I always get disappointed when the Fall ends up being too short because summer lasts too long or winter comes too soon.



The other day I had a thought.


What if I divided my life into seasons?



Spring must have been my young, growing up years from baby to early 20's. 


Life was filled with newness and exploration and growth.


But, it was also pretty messy.


There was probably a lot of rain and noise.

And not a lot of consistency.


My married life and starting/raising my family has been my Summer.


Its a lot of fun.

And busy.


And it's been HOT!  


I feel like I am in the middle of everything and just sweating a lot.



And then there is Fall.


My kids are starting to grow up and I'm starting to see this light where I'm going to be without a bunch of kids around me all the time.


I'll eventually be out of the "heat" of raising kids. 


It will be a new beginning. 


A cooling off in a way. 


And if Fall is my favorite season, then I want to be excited for this season of my life, too. 



I love the changing of the seasons.


So, I need to recognize how beautiful each season of life is. 


Whether it is the mud and wind in the spring. 


Or the heat of the summer. 


Or even the chill of winter.


The world is beautiful.


And so is life.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Putting God First

I had a wonderful summer of exercising with friends almost daily.

We walked, we ran, we jogged, we pilate-ed.

Exercise (especially with friends) is good for my soul.

I knew when school started back up that I would need to find a different routine to get my exercise in.

Because of my awesome summer, I decided that I wanted it to be a priority.

Instead of trying to figure out how to fit exercise into my life, this time I would try and fit my life into exercise.

I knew it was a good priority to have because of how good it made me feel.

Then school started.

And I just wasn't feeling it.

Well, I was feeling something.

Unease.

Stress.

Discombobulation.

Finally, this morning, I decided that I had had enough and that exercise was just going to have to be put on the lower priority list.

I knew this was the right thing to do, but I had been fighting it.

And justifying it.

Even so, I prayed so intently this morning to God and pleaded that if I was going to just try and "fit" exercise into my life, to please help me find the time.

I got ready to get into the shower and head off to work.

Except....

I didn't have the clean clothes I needed.

Are you kidding me?

So, instead of showering (sorry, co-workers), I started the wash, put my exercise clothes on, and headed off to work.

Ha, Ha. This is how my prayer is answered? with dirty clothes?

I still have to work though; that has to come before exercise.

But, guess what happened when I got to a stopping point at work?

My friends were just starting a workout around the corner from me.

Do I want to come join them?

What do you know? I already have my exercise clothes on! I can totally join!!

I decide to put God first (following the spirit, instead of my wants) and my prayers are immediately answered (having my desires as well as my needs met).

Amen.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Through Trials

Most of us have to go through trials.

It's just part of life.

When I think about going through trials, I envision myself on a clear path.

And suddenly its a dark forest and there are scary things.

But, I know that if I just keep moving along the path, I will eventually come out.

Back to the bright sunshine of life.

Through the trial.


I'm experiencing a trial right now.

My brother is very sick and was only given a 50/50 chance of making it.

I've done a lot of crying and praying and hoping.

I'm trying to get through this dark time and get to that sunshine.


Then I thought about all the trials my brother has had to go through in his life.  

I realized that after every trial, he seems to come out changed.

Through the trial.


Through trials........

I want to learn to focus on what's really important.

Through trials.......

I want to strengthen my testimony of prayer.

Through trials........

I want to come closer to who the Lord wants me to be.

Through trials.


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Thoughts from the Women's Broadcast

I loved being able to go to the Women's Broadcast tonight with two of my daughters.

Even better was when we got home and started comparing notes.

Ginny (age 11) - I like how when we go to the women's conference its different than the regular conference in that we know exactly who they are talking to. We don't have to wonder who the talks are directed to, we know for sure that its for us. Some quotes that stood out: Hope will conquer despair; good will conquer evil; joy always comes after sorrow. And, "There's a great need to rally the women of the church to stand with the brethren to stem the tide of evil."  This really shows that the women of the church are totally equal to the men.

Maggie (age 16) - It really stood out to me how much they talked about how the Lord has His own timetable. It's not in our time, it's in His time.  And Sister Oscarson said, "Life rarely works out as planned."

Me (the mom) - There seemed to be a lot about standing up for what we believe in. Sister Stephens said, "If you strengthen a child you strengthen a family."  She also talked about how part of the plan is to be tested. But that it's not just to learn from our own challenges but we can learn as we support others in theirs.  And President Eyring really helped me realize that I cannot fix or even understand other people's sorrows or problems. Only God can really say, "I know how you feel." But, I can try and bring the Spirit with me and love others as I try to comfort them.

It's interesting that we all heard the same talks but different things stood out to each of us.

I think this is what is meant by "differences of administration"(D&C 46:15) in the scriptures.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

My Part in His Plan

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf posted this on Facebook recently:
"April general conference is a time when seasons change. In the southern hemisphere, the leaves turn colors as autumn begins, and spring flowers bloom in the north. Conference provides an opportunity to gather together as friends and families to become more united in our faith in Jesus Christ and in our efforts to serve Him.
 As I have prepared for this conference, I have felt impressed that each one should ponder again about God's plan for our lives and consider our individual place in this divine plan as His children.
Please, always remember that each one of us matters to Him, wherever we may be. "
I've been thinking a lot about this question:
What is my role in Heavenly Father's plan?
The answer that I came up with:
I am my Heavenly Father's daughter.
My part in His plan is to learn and to return to live with Him again some day.

I don't need to do any BIG thing for Him.

I just need to learn who I am again (and again, and again).

He will tell me through the scriptures and prayer.

He will tell me through my obedience.
 
We are all on the same journey.

So, while I am walking this path back to my Heavenly Father I will help others on their path, too.  

It really is as simple as that.