I had the lucky/unlucky ;) opportunity to speak to a group of woman at a church event. (In the LDS world it is called a relief society). One of my friend's in that ward asked me to come and speak about my trials and what has gotten me through them.
I have said it before and I'll say it again...public speaking is not one of my most favorite things to do! I'm a little shy and don't love the spotlight. But as it always is, it is an opportunity for me to learn and grow more for myself then for anyone else...so I gladly/reluctantly agreed to do it.
Speaking about my life's trials is the easy part...there is PLENTY to say there! ;) BUT taking the time to think about what SPECIFICALLY has gotten me through them was a sweet experience. I have already got a page on my blog entitled What Gets us Through. This list is the general basic list that has helped us through the hardest of times. But I took the time to really think about what has gotten me through the day to day trials that I deal with on a regular basis. As I prayed and thought about them in the weeks leading up to my talk...one or two would pop into my head until I came up with exactly 10 that I think sum it all up.
DISCLAIMER: ALL trials are SO different and unique in and of themselves so what has helped me, might not help you. I think often times there are unique things that may help someone through something that may not help someone else. So by no means am I trying to tell you how to deal with YOUR trial. But maybe...just maybe...one, two, or maybe all ten might help at least one person that reads this. If so...I will be SO SO happy!!
I think life is SO hard and we are all trying are very best. If we are willing to open up and share are lowest of low times as well as our highest of highs and what we have learned from it all...we can all help each other! I still feel like I am learning on a daily basis. I am still climbing this crazy mountain trying to just get a glimpse of the top. I have learned a lot on my way up and I feel like my mountain is not quite as steep as it once was but I know I still have SO much to learn and to do to get to where I want to be and where my Heavenly Father wants me to be!!
BUT the Apostle Peter said, "Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh...a reason for the hope that is in you."
So here they are in no particular order!
1. Look for your DAILY blessings!
It is SO easy to dwell on the hard and crappy things in your life but it takes real effort to look for the blessings that are all around you. It took Ashley Sullenger to comment on my blog and tell me how lucky I am to get to hold, love, and experience life with Dakota to get me out of my sadness of missing the boy I HAD and appreciate the blessings of the boy I HAVE. Learn to appreciate the simple things in life. Dakota's smile is my BIGGEST blessing these days! I promise if you take the time to look around you will be "counting your many blessings" and find JOY in each day, instead of misery!
2. Learn to Laugh
I really believe "laughter is the best medicine." There are a lot of things that could offend or make you mad but if you learn to laugh at them instead it makes life SO much more enjoyable. There are a million and one comments people say to or about Dakota or Zach that we could be easily offended by, but we just laugh and see the good intentions behind it all! I love Elder Worthlin's quote, "Come what may and love it.”
3. Your Future is as bright as your faith!
You all know my favorite quote that is on the top of my blog, "Your life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful." It is TRUE!! I promise! YOU determine your happiness and your future...not the events in your life!
There is SO much to look forward to!!!!
D&C 58: 2-4 "...he that is faithful in tribulation, the reward of the same is greater in the kingdom of heaven. For after much tribulation come the blessings. Wherefore the day cometh that ye shall be crowned with much glory; the hour is not yet but it is nigh at hand."
4. Read your scriptures and words of the latter day prophets and apostles.
There are SO many people in the scriptures that have been through the ringer themselves!! They have written down their lives and experiences for OUR benefit...to help YOU and ME through this difficult journey of life. If you take the time to really read and study them you will find specific answers and help to get you through ANYTHING!
5. Go to the temple often
I wrote a blog entry about going there recently after Dakota's accident. There is PEACE inside those walls! Since the Brigham City temple opened around the same time Dakota started school I made a goal to try to go once a week. I didn't make it EVERY week but it was pretty close. EVERY time I left there I left a better person then when I went in. It gave me an hour or two to leave my troubles at the door and focus on something great! I left with strength to take on all my challenges...at least until the next visit! ;)
6. PRAY, PRAY, PRAY
If there is ANYONE who wants to listen to ALL your troubles and help you through them it is your Heavenly Father. He is EAGER to help but you must come to him. Communicate your feelings, your fears, and your worries...He is there and will listen when no one else is!
7. Lose yourself in SERVICE
There is nothing that can bring you more joy and take your mind off of your own trials then serving others. If you look, it is SO easy to find someone in need of service...sometimes overwhelming at times. But when you give of yourself, your time, and your love...the trials you are facing are easily forgotten. You become more like your Savior and forget about yourself.
8. Take it 1 day at a time
Sometimes trials are overwhelming and you don't see ANY light at the end of the tunnel. I have A LOT of fears about the future. How will I take care of Dakota as he gets bigger?? Will we ever feel capable and ready to have another child?? I am COMPLETELY unsure of how everything is going to workout and look and that is SCARY to say the least. BUT I have learned, "Don't waste today worrying about tomorrow." If I focus on TODAY and what I need to do to get through today I can handle it! I do what I can for today and trust that my Heavenly Father will be there to help me get through the tomorrows.
9. Remember you are NEVER alone!!
I have felt at times that NO ONE can understand and no one can help me! But I have learned that my Savior has been with me through it ALL! He has outstretched arms willing and wanting to help IF we let him!
My favorite scripture is, D&C 84:88
“For I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you to bear you up.”
10. Trust in your Heavenly Father's plan for YOU
This has been by far the hardest lesson for me to learn. I think I know what's best and I think I know how my life should look and it doesn't look ANYTHING like it's supposed to!!! But I have come to truly know and understand that there is SO much more to this life then I can comprehend and see in my limited knowledge and view. I know my Heavenly Father sees the big picture...the end from the beginning...and He and only He knows EXACTLY what I need. It has been hard to accept that I may not get all the answers to all my "Whys" right now! But I know as I trust in my Heavenly Father one day I will understand. I have already seen some of the HUGE blessings that have come from Him messing up MY plans! And I am grateful that He loves me enough to let me struggle through my trials to learn and become who He wants me to be. I can only imagine how hard that must be for Him to not step in and fix it all when He most definitely could...just as we as parents have to let our kids learn the hard way sometimes too!
I shared this AMAZING video at the end that my AMAZING sister Annie sent me. I'm kind of obsessed with it so I thought I would share it on here too!