Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Weakness does not become us...

Ether 12:27 - And if men come unto me I 
will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men 
weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is 
sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; 
for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, 
then will I make weak things become strong unto them.  

In reference to my last post, I did not post for people to read in hopes they would feel sorry for me. 

I posted in hope that the women who read it will find comfort in knowing that they are NORMAL. 

How grateful I am to be a Woman in this great gospel. As unstable, emotionally charged and wishy-washy we might appear at times, we are very resilient beings, and in that power of resilience there is beauty. 

President James E. Faust spoke at the April 2000 General Conference on Womanhood. He shared...

"Femininity is not just lipstick, stylish hairdos, and trendy clothes. It is divine adornment of humanity. It finds expression in your qualities of your capacity to love, your spirituality, delicacy, radiance, sensitivity, creativity, charm, graciousness, gentleness, dignity and quiet strength." 

It is who we are. Embrace it, love it and above all appreciate it. Don't compare yourself to the so called "Perfect One" next door, because without the pedestal you have put her on, her perfection fades and realism arrives. 

We are in this together. Build each other up. In gratitude to your Savior, for his patience and understanding, accept your weaknesses and live above them the best you can, so others might find strength in knowing it can be done.

Faust added, "Be proud of your womanhood. Enhance it. Use it to serve others".

Women of our time need to be strong in spirit.  

More often than not our weaknesses try to consume us - this is a crafty way Satan works to tear us down, belittle us and slowly diminish our knowledge of self-worth. We must never forget that we are still and always will be Daughters of our Heavenly Father...and He loves us!

In reference to Ether12:27...seeing our weakness can bring us down...but to what level? Is it a level of humility or a level or self-pity? If we find humility in our daily struggles (something I often forget to do) we will find strength in them. 

I Love Pres. Monson!...what a great compassionate leader for this dispensation. He often shares his very tender, heartfelt thoughts and expressions regarding womanhood, more recently he reminded us: 

“There may be times when you feel detached—even isolated—from the Giver of every good gift. You worry that you walk alone. Fear replaces faith. When you find yourself in such circumstances, I plead with you to remember prayer.”
—President Thomas S. Monson

When life gets us down I hope we find ourselves on our knees, because from there...we will be able to find our feet again. 

You can read Pres. Monson's entire talk here:
As well as Pres. Faust's talk here:

Monday, April 21, 2014

Reaching up...

I'm sharing with you one of my all-time favorite paintings of Christ, my Savior....and ask, "What do you see?"

What I see....
For a very long time I was struggling, and when asked 'what was the matter' the only words I could find, that I felt adequately expressed what I was truly feeling, was the response, "I'm drowning". 

Drowning in my own disappointment, exhaustion, helplessness, struggles, overwhelming tasks....feeling defeated, failing, useless, forgotten, and at times, very...very alone, even when surrounded by the ones that loved and supported me. 

Adjusting to life with 5 kids. Accepting the release from my calling in Young Womens to support and stand with, (once again) my amazing husband through his Bishopric calling. 

I found my self struggling to stay calm and in control through homework, diapers, dishes, laundry, baths, mealtimes, bike rides, playtime, bedtime....Sundays...ahhh Sundays were the worst, the days that I would dread. 

Knowing each Sunday morning I would wake up, dress, feed and usher my not so cheerful children to 9am sacrament meeting, Where my sweet husband would meet us, hug me, kiss me and announce with a smile that he was 'Glad we made it'. 

For more than an hour, seated on a bench...I was shuffling kids, feeding snacks, quietly reading books, complimenting coloring pages, redoing hair, quieting complaints and glancing once in awhile to the speaker at the pulpit, wondering when they were going to wrap things up...but also catching a wink and compassionate smile from my loving husband. Reading on his face, that he would be with me if he could. 

Then one my normal routine, as I slowly strolled the halls of my church building swaying and trying to comfort a sleepy, sobbing baby...wondering what uplifting messages were being shared in class that I was missing that might have been the key to open the door and release me from this dark mental prison. 

I gazed nonchalantly, almost carelessly at the paints that hung on the walls until my eyes fell upon this one. 

One I had passed and glanced at countless times before, and felt a rush of unexplained, yet undeniable love from my Savoir. 

I paused a bit longer. My eyes falling dead center, looking past the raging waves, the vibrant colors and two men in the center of it all....

I knew at that moment, all I needed to do, to save myself from sinking lower was to reach out. 

Christ wasn't just offering a hand to help....when Peter realized he was in trouble, he simply reached up...not finding Christs hand...but Christ finding him, taking hold of his beloved friend Peter and saving him. 

The grip of Christ's hand on Peters wrist in this painting is so powerful to me.....yet unseen by many who pass it by. 

I know my Savior lives!
I know he knows and loves me!
I love him and I am forever grateful for this beautiful reminder that we are never alone.