Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Day 263, September 30

"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." ~Theodore Roosevelt

Do you ever beat yourself up because you haven't done enough in some situation?  I do.  One difficult time in my life continues to haunt me.  I blame myself because I didn't act sooner, didn't do the right thing, didn't do enough.

My husband, wise man that he is, reminds me that I did the best I could given the circumstances.  And that should be enough.

Joy for today:  doing what I can, with what I have, where I am.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Day 262, September 29

"This is what I have learned: Within the sorrow, there is grace. When we come close to those things that break us down, we touch those things that also break us open." ~ Wayne Muller

It seems that it doesn't take much to break me down these days.  I cry at commericals.  I cry when I hear Primary songs.  I cry at television shows, ones that would normally make me laugh.

And perhaps that is good.  If I am "broken down," then maybe, as the author of the above quote states, I  am also broken open.  I don't know what his meaning of that is.  For me, however, being broken open means that I am receptive to things of the Spirit.  The tender mercies.  The small miracles.  The quiet moments.  All of these are gifts of the Spirit and, therefore, gifts from the Lord.

Joy for today:  breaking down and breaking open.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Day 261, September 28

"You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair." ~ Chinese Proverb

As I read and re-read the above, I realized that the counsel could apply to any circumstances.  You may not be dealing with "birds of sorrow" as I am at this moment, but you may be trying to cope with other painful circumstances.  Perhaps you are suffering from discouragement over a family problem or worry over a financial setback.  Such things are inevitable in this telestial world.

But we can keep the "birds of sorrow" from taking nests in our hair.  Sometimes it's a simple matter of developing a more positive attitude.  More often, though, simple fixes won't do it.  And then we turn, as we should have in the first place, to the Lord, begging for His mercy, His grace, His infinite love to help us deal with our earthly woes.

Joy for today:  cleaning out the nests in my hair.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Day 260, September 27

"I experience the joy of coming closer to the Savior and of His coming closer to me most often through simple acts of obedience to the commandments."--Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Do you ever think that you have to accomplish some tremendous feat, perform an unbelievably selfless act of service, or maybe give a kidney to a stranger to come closer to the Lord?  I sometimes think that, wonder how I, a sinner, can ever get closer to the Savior.  Then I realize that all I have to do is to follow Him.  To obey Him.

I say "all I have to do," but, in fact, it is a huge thing to follow Him, to obey Him.  If I truly do that, I will let go of my selfish tendencies, my doubts, my hurts.

Joy for today:  obeying the commandments.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Day 259, September 26

"Each difficult moment has the potential to open my eyes and open my heart." ~ Myla Kabat-Zinn

I wish I could say that I have opened my eyes and my heart after difficult moments.  Sometimes I've willfully closed them.  And other times, those times when I am in tune with the Spirit, I open them.  Then I wonder why I hadn't opened them earlier.

After my sister's death, I resolved to be more aware of the needs of others, especially a  particular sister in our ward (congregation).  To some extent, I did this.  But not as much as I would have liked.  The good news is that it's not too late.

Joy for today:  Opening my eyes and my heart.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Day 258, September 25

The month is almost over and I am still trying to play catch-up.  I wonder where the summer went and then cognize that we are now into fall, with winter soon to follow.

Much of my summer was spent at my sister's home, caring for her, trying to cheer her, and then, grieving when I knew that the end was close.  (The end being her mortal life; there is no end in eternity.)

Larry and I had plans to go to a writers' conference.  I had plans to finish a book proposal.  Plans that weren't realized.  Do I regret that?  Of course not.  For I was where I was supposed to be, where I needed to be, where I wanted to be.

I've written before about those times when plans are interrupted or even shelved entirely.  And that's okay.  When family or friends are in need, plans don't matter.  All that matters is being there for them.

Joy for today:  being where I am supposed to be.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Day 257, September 24

A few days ago, my daughter Alanna and I were talking about her eleven-year-old son Christopher who is learning to play the trumpet for his school band.  She told me that there were first, second, third, and fourth "chairs."  Of course, everyone aspires to be first chair.

I remarked that there can be only one first chair.  That is a lesson we must all learn, whether we are eleven or         decades older (like me).  Many times, I have denied myself opportunities because I think that if I can't be "first chair," then I don't want to do it at all.

The truth is, I am rarely first chair at anything. Sometimes I am adequate.  Sometimes I am totally inadequate.  Does that mean I shouldn't participate or try something?  Of course not.  But there it is, that belief that if I can't do something perfectly, I shouldn't do it at all.   It is a crippling condition, one I am trying to overcome.

Joy for today:  being second, third, or fourth chair.  (Or even fifth.)