Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Guided By The Holy Ghost

Virtue #2

When we keep our covenants we are promised the blessing of the Gift of the Holy Ghost who can act as a guide and warning voice to us in our lives. The journaling part asks me to write an entry of a time I felt guided by the Holy Ghost. I have written that for another entry. I think for this one, I will write about a time I was specifically NOT guided.

I feel like I am fairly aware of my standing with the Lord on a daily basis. I am pretty good at sensing when I am close to Him and when I am further away. While this varies hour by hour to some degree, I don't stray too far from a general vicinity. I can feel it when I do something that offends the Spirit and it withdraws. I am so used to feeling the Spirit as my companion, even if only subtly in the background, that I am sensitive to it's withdrawl. It is a terrible feeling to me.

So I know that back in the summer of 2008 I was not too far from the Spirit to not hear Him warn me. I had felt His warning promptings about things in powerful ways not long before that fateful day in June. And yet THAT day - the day my daughter drowned. There was no warning voice. It wasn't that the Spirit withdrew from me. It was just a silence from the heavens.

I sometimes have dreams that later happen. I had a dream the night before that Camille drowned. But I totally forgot the dream that day. It didn't come into my consciousness until I saw her floating in the hot tub. In that moment the dream from the previous night came rushing back. The details were different but the drowning the same.

I guess I choose to share this because knowing that, while I wasn't living perfectly, I was close enough to Spirit to be warned, and feeling a total SILENCE and a blockage of my memory of dream until after I found Camille, well that helped me. It helped me to cope with the guilt because it helped me believe that this was all part of some greater plan I could not see.

I won't lie. There is still a lingering sense of ... I am not sure what to call it. It isn't exactly guilt and remorse isn't really the right word. All I know if that when I think of what I would say if I were to see Camille again the very first thing that comes to mind is "I'm so sorry." But not I'm sorry for what I did to you kind of sorry. It's the I'm sorry you had to go through that and that I wasn't there to save you or be with you or that I failed to sufficiently protect you. I'm sorry you didn't get to grow up and I didn't get to watch you grow up. I'm sorry we had to be seperated. I'm just ... sorry.

So knowing that I was worthy and NOT guided to do something that would have prevented that tragedy helps me cope. I hope always to live closely enough to the Holy Ghost to be warned and so I may know if I am unwarned about a trial, it must be one of those necessary for my development.

Comfort Others

Good Works #3

Some ways we can comfort others are to pray for them, reach out to them, express love, and listen. I have been on both ends of this. Perhaps the greatest comfort I have ever been given in a time of need has come in the form of prayers of others. When we pour our whole soul out to God on behalf of another, we are truly remembering Christ and taking His name on us. We are becoming like him.

And when others are praying like that for us, they feel a bit of what we feel and somehow that makes what we are feeling a little easier to bear. There is serious power in those kinds of prayers. I have felt them. Those are the kind of prayers that prompt the Lord's hand to manifest itself more plainly in the lives of those being prayed for. And nothing is more comforting than God's love and feeling His presence with you.

Life Plan

Individual Worth #4

Write a life plan - write your hopes and dreams for the future including education, home family, etc.

Ha! This is a very different task at 44 than it was at 14! But considering I still have about half of my life to live, it is still relevant.

Education: I really like school. I am not sure I will ever go to school again. I went to a lot of school. But I do like continuting to learn. I guess my goal then, it to keep learning. I want to further my spiritual and secular knowledge. I have been working a bit and that does help me learn. I also have taken on some new challenges in volunteer organizations that will help me keep learning. I guess I just want to be like my mom who always has pushed herself, and still does, to learn new things and do scary things becuase they help you grow. Never stop growing. That's the goal.

Family: My goal here is to do all in my power to ensure my children come unto and know Christ. There are lots of other things I would like from my family. I would love to have a kid who is a brilliant doctor or married to one. I would love grandchildren someday and good marriages for my kids and financial successes etc. But really those things are not MY goals. I have no control over those things. And in the end the only thing that REALLY matters to me is that they Come unto Christ. My goal as a mother is to point them to Him because I will not always be here but He will and He can help them through things I can not. And He is the only way we can return Home again. I can't control if they will turn to Him, but I can be a good arrow to point the way. That is my goal.

Things I want to accomplish in my life: I want to serve a mission with my spouse if possible. I want to be a productive contributing member of my ward and community be that through working or volunteering. I have a secret sometimes wish to write a historical proper romance novel. :) I want to raise all my children to be independent and self sufficient financially, spiritaully, and emotionally - but I still want them to love me enough to keep close. I'd like to be a fun Grandma someday that really knows her grandkids and makes them feel unconditionally and unreservedly loved. I want to become the kind of person that makes people feel loved as soon as they meet me.

That's it.

Building Others Up

Individual Worth #3

On Instagram and in person I did things to build others up. It was particualarly wonderful to reach out to lots of old friends and tell them things I love about them. I feel lots of great feelings about other people that I never get the opportunity to express. There just isn't enough time in the day. But it was nice to carve some out specifically for that purpose.

This has also helped me be a better mother. Often I can be like the monkey mom who is always picking at her kids to clean them up and make them better. That is part of mothering, but it should be a smaller part than the building them up part. And I find that building them has a better effect than pointing out weaknesses or flaws to improve.

Seeing my children and others in the favorable light of pointing out their great qualities reminds me to treat myself the same way and not get down on myself for my many flaws. Rather I can focus my energy into doing well at what I can. And when I fail, I can brush it off as a practice and try again.


Divine Nature #6 and #7

I have been praying each morning for help to be a peacemaker. It is crazy how something so simple really does help. It's like Moses holding up the brazen serpent. Sometimes we think a think is too small and it won't really help. But prayer is powerful - simple but powerful.

I am not going to say that I kept the peace for the last 2 weeks in our home. Let's be real. There have been arguments and yelling and some of that has included me. But praying for help to be a peacemaker and focused my energy more fully to that task. Combining that with the other attributes I have been praying to have for other personal progress experiences has exponentially helped me to be a better mom. Not a total makeover, just subtle improvements that I notice.

Our home feels more like heaven when it is filled with peace. Our Father is a God of Peace. I feel Him most in times when my soul feels peace. Or perhaps it is He that brings the Peace. I aspire to be like Him in that. To be a bringer of Peace.

Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the Peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God"

When we are peacemakers we are showing our divine ancestry. Thus we are called the children of God because we are being like our Father, the King of Peace, and his Son, the Prince of Peace. It is in all of us to bring peace. Sometimes that is as simple as holding our tongue or changing the subject. There are very few things worth fighting over. Most of our daily greivances are not on that list.

The Sacrament

Dinne Nature #4

For the past couple of weeks I have been focusing on keeping my baptismal covenants and really pondering them during the sacrament on Sundays. I will admit that staying focused during the whole sacrament blessing and passing time is a struggle for me. There have been times when it has been easier to focus my mind completely. But those times have been polar for me. I find in times of great trial or great joy it is easier for me to wholey focus.

But I don't think the Lord expects us to live always in polar times. He knows we will live great periods of our lives in valleys in the middle. I think this is WHY we are asked to focus once a week on these covenants. This is a time of practice and training. It is okay if we aren't perfect at focusing. It is only important that we try and keep trying.

When we lose focus and our grocery list pops in our head or a family member says something to us etc. We must refocus again. We just keep working at it. And as we do so we will have moments, even if brief and mild, when we feel the depth of the covenants we are renewing and have a glimpse of understanding given to us of what and who exactly was sacrificed so that we could have hope in this life and Eternal life in the world to come.