Sunday, September 28, 2014

Striving for Consistency

Yesterday, my oldest daughter and I attended the General Women's Meeting of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For those that don't know, every 6 months, our Church holds a conference where we receive instructions and messages from the prophet, apostles and other leaders of this worldwide church. There's 4 sessions for everyone, plus a women's one which is now for girls and women 8 years old and up, as well as the Priesthood session for boys and men 12 years old and up.

The talks seemed to follow a pattern of making and keeping covenants and doing the things we need to in everyday life. With the world constantly changing and, more often than not, straying further and further from the ways of God, it is important that we consistently stay focused on our goal--eternal life and returning to our Father in Heaven..

No one can do it for us. In the parable of the 10 virgins, 5 virgins were prepared and had enough oil for their journey to meet the bridegroom, 5 did not have enough oil. Yet, the oil of the prepared could not be shared with those who had not carefully prepared. So it is with us. The "oil" of spiritual preparedness is added to our lamps drop by drop by consistently doing the "little" things like praying, reading scriptures, attending church, visiting the temple, taking care of those in need and doing other things that help keep us focused.

It is so easy to become distracted. We're busy. Life is so full of things we can do every minute of the day. If we don't plan to read scriptures, say prayers, have family home evenings, attend church and go to the temple, we can easily "forget" to do these things on a regular and consistent basis. This is dangerous because we can then more easily lose our focus.

Being consistent helps us to not forget what we need to be doing, even if you miss a day. Here are some ideas to help implement consistency in our everyday spiritual necessities:

  • Find a time to pray and read scriptures. Our family tried to do this at night, but it didn't work out. We have decided that we need to get up a little earlier in the morning to read scriptures and have prayer. This has improved out consistency tremendously!
  • Plan family home evenings weekly. If Mondays (the church-designated day for FHE) does not work, try Sunday or a different day that fits in you family's schedule. (We still struggle with this one, but we're trying to get consistent!)
  • Write it on a calendar or set an alarm in your phone or other device. When it's time to read or pray, having a reminder set in your phone will help with consistency.
  • If you miss a day, don't give up. Just pick up where you left off tomorrow!
  • Choose a day and time at least once a month to go to the temple with your spouse or loved one. 
  • Take the sacrament weekly. Yes, this also means you need to attend your Sunday meetings weekly. Both of these acts not only remind up of covenants we made at baptism, but can allow time to reflect on the past week and see where we did well and where improvements are needed. During speakers and lessons, we can listen to/feel the quiet nudging of the Spirit helping us know what we can or should do to improve our life and our family life.

Even when things don't go according to plan, we should never give up! Just restart, reevaluate and adjust to get back on course. Being consistent will help us stay focused and stay on course, regardless of the distractions or the way the world seems to be going.

Also remember that God loves you even with shortcomings, mistakes and our fears or doubts. He really wants us to succeed.

As we do as He has asked us to do (keeping commandments and striving to become closer to Him), we will more readily be able to receive blessings from a Father who loves us without conditions.

Lastly, I'd love to share this video from last night. It is so touching as we hear the testimonies of women throughout the world about the blessings of the temple.  Take a minute to watch and feel the spirit of this message.

© Wendy 2014

Sunday, September 7, 2014

God is With You, Always

Have you ever thought of God being with you as literal? I think it is more literal than we might think. I recently watched this video I saw floating around on Facebook that depicts just that.

Whether we are going through happy and good times, or through sad moments or our darkest hours, He IS with us always. If we listen with our hearts, we can feel His presence. Feel His influence, His approval, His gentle corrections when we need it and feel of His love that is unfailing.

Would you act differently if Christ were next to you? What would you change? Would you feel comfortable in His presence based on the way you act and think?

We all have room for improvement and need to rely on His Atonement and grace to truly change and become healed. Work on becoming who our Savior knows you are.

Some more uplifting blog posts: 

© Wendy 2014