Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sunday, November 1, 2009

He Gives Us Bitter To Know The Sweet

I have been going through one of the toughest times ever in my life. My spirituality has definitely not been what it should be in these last few months. I have felt as though I am lacking? Of what I have not been too sure.
Things have just been hard in general, it has seemed like one bad day after another. I've tried hard to stay positive and overcome, but its been hard. Because I've been having what seems to be like more bad days than good days as of late, I have been really hard on myself, and thinking there must be something wrong with me. I really thought I must being losing it. Normal people aren't angry and mad like I have been. Normal people don't have consecutive bad days.
While attending stake conference today I heard some of the most inspired words, it was as though they were just for me, the speaker was quoting someone as saying that it was normal to have highs and lows in life. It's normal to have bad days and periods of depression. This is one way we are tried by our Heavenly Father. Its who we choose to become during these periods that proves who we are.

I know that these hard times won't last forever. I know that there is peace and happiness at the end of this dark tunnel. Most of all I know I have a Heavenly Father who loves me. Who inspires those around me to guide me through this maze of life. And sometimes when I feel I am so lost, he provides the light to help me find my way.
I am truly blessed to know the bitter and the sweet.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

He Lets Us Choose Our Path

The past few weeks have been fraught with stress and turmoil. (What's new right?) We found out that the assets of Dylan's previous job were being sold and the store taken over. Mixed emotions soon followed. Shock, disbelief, and anger, were just a few. We have spent the last two weeks trying to prove that we had some claim to the business and should have had an first opt to buy.

To those of you who are confused, I'll clarify. Dylan has been working his buns off the last few months building his business through existing customers in our area. He has been quite successful, just on a smaller scale than before. We were comfortable with the way things were going. The sale of the assets greatly affected our progress. Not only would the customers we've been serving go back to where they were buying from because there would now be a store again, but any future customers would more than likely disappear too. We saw what we had slowly been building crumble in a matter of minutes.

My body was physically ill. The stress level has been through the roof. My husband, cool as a cucumber has been enjoying the intensity and his clarity of mind every step of the way. That's why I married this man.

So, we were faced with the dilemma, to fight or not to fight-- for the business that is. We were lacking one major key-- MONEY-- or so we thought. As we were faced with yet another stumbling block it became quickly apparent that our previous choices in choosing to live a different financial lifestyle the last few months had us prepared for just this situation, that and Dylan has been putting any penny earned from helping customers right back into his business, we have not personally seen a cent of it. So, as usual when faced with the thought of having to come up with money, our first thought was, no way. We can't do it. We don't have the money. And of course a million other excuses. As we continued to discuss, pray and take a deep personal inventory of what we want and have planned for our future, things unseemingly began to make sense and fall into place.

Something did not sit right with us purchasing the assets of the business, it may have had something to do with feeling strong-armed into a lease in a not so good location, for an outrageous price for the next three years on top of the purchase price. After fasting and prayer, we both decided to just let it go. It was amazing that as soon as this choice was made, the bank called to inform us of our lending options for the business-- we have lending options??? We have found better retail locations for more reasonable prices. And so on and so forth.

I realized yesterday, that sometimes Heavenly Father just waits for us to make a choice, and then clears a path once the choice has been made. We are on this earth to exercise our agency, not to be told what to do, but to decide what is best for us to do. I am so blessed to have the power of prayer in my life.

On a side note, last night in family home evening we were discussing the power of prayer and Heavenly Father answering them. The topic of us praying for a baby came up. My sweet, tender-hearted, all knowing child spoke very plainly, and answered a prayer that I have been thinking has gone unanswered. She said, "Mom, maybe Heavenly Father wants us to get a baby by adopting. I think that you are only going to have one baby and that's me." Yes, people she's four, and more aware of things than I can ever give her credit for. Once again, I think Heavenly Father is allowing us to make a choice, all he is waiting for is us to exercise faith in knowing that he will provide a way for us.

Monday, June 1, 2009

He Places In Our Path Angels

I am forever amazed at the people who have come into my life at certain times. Its as though Heavenly Father is handing me a neon sign saying, "I told you I am here and know what you need."

As I have been fighting to stay spiritually afloat the last few months there are a few people whose testimonies and strength have buoyed me, in my lack of spiritual strength. I have truly struggled with going back to work. Which might seem silly, but it has made me question just about every aspect of my life. I don't quite understand why this is so hard for me. At this time I have been blessed to work with the most amazing woman in the Relief Society presidency. She has been through so much in her life and her resiliency and faith are amazing. She has overcome so much, and continues to be so strong, even when I think I would not be able to go any farther, she continues to amaze.

As I have suffered through my poor me mentality, I have watched this woman. I have come to realize a few things. 1st that I am pretty selfish and judgemental. 2nd I am constantly reminded of how Heavenly Father works in VERY mysterious ways.

I spent Saturday evening in tears with my husband, not knowing if any aspect of my life was what I wanted. After wallowing in my self-pity and deciding I was being rediculus, and I have a little work to do on myself, I realized how judgemental I have been at certain times in my life, only to turn around and be in some of the exact situations that I had been judgemental about.

I hope that I am learning, to love and accept all my brothers and sisters and not judge them. I also hope that I am improving myself, despite my weaknesses. I know now, the things I am experiencing are to make me stronger. I also know that we are on this Earth to learn from and strengthen each other.

Monday, March 23, 2009

He Calms Our Troubled Hearts

Since September we have been holding our breath. Dylan got the call that the store was floundering and his boss was thinking of calling it quits. It was amazing how blessings appeared out of the woodwork. Little things here and there. But the feelings of anxiousness didn't subside. I continued to stress and wonder what was going to happen to our little family.

I had plenty of time to observe friends living through, what I knew my family surely would face. During this time, I welcomed advice and took careful notes.

I feel blessed to go through this trial, when so many others are experiencing the same thing. Its bittersweet. Yet, I can't imagine how much harder it would be if we were the only ones.

One crucial piece of advice, that I truly feel was inspired, was from the dearest of friends. She shared with me of how she and her husband prayed, fasted, and attended the temple with a very specific purpose and plan. She bore her testimony of the peace they found after taking these small steps.

Prayers have left my lips, millions of times over, ever since my mouth could utter words. Never before did it occur to me to create my own detailed and specific plan, not to mention developing this plan with my spouse. I felt as though my teenage spirit had just entered adulthood.

Sure I had prayed for things before, and you would think that I would have even created some kind of plan in the past. But truly, I really only think I've prayed for help with A, or to know if B or C was the right thing to do. Never did I say, Okay, this is what we feel we want/need x, y, and z. And this is how we are going to do it and we would like to do it within this time line. Please give us confirmation.

To many of you this may seem like information I should have learned in primary, but it truly never occurred to me to approach my trials in this manner.

I discussed the idea with Dylan and we decided we had nothing to lose and the whole world to gain. In January we attended the temple. Planning, discussing, and praying before we entered those hallowed doors. When we left, it was amazing, but we both walked away with the same exact feelings. One of which was PEACE.

Within a week things that were out of our hands were set into motion. A job offer for me. It left us confused, but quickly that confirming peace was there.
Within a month, news of Dylan's job coming to a real end. We didn't even seem to bat an eye at this. Total and complete peace.

Within two weeks, my frustration with Dylan's lack of job searching was coming to a head, when he approached me with, not just one miracle, but a handful. Offers were made, trust was given, and my husband tells me he wants to open his OWN store.

Don't forget I'm the one lacking faith in this relationship. So true to form. I put on the brakes. Causing opposition and anger all around me. I second guessed everything. I mean really, him losing his job, was supposed to be his chance to get a real job, with benefits, and a chance to move up and all those necessities I'd been longing for. My force of opposition was gaining strength now, and of course, my feelings of peace had dissipated.

The one thing that kept screaming to me loud and clear was, you need to talk with your bishop. I begged Dylan to make an appointment. He wouldn't-- see he's just as stubborn as I am-- so I did.

The counsel we recieved was, you need to make this decision together. He gave us other great counsel too, but he kept coming back to us making this decision together. All I could think was-- wait a second. We did make this decision together. Two months ago at the temple. Everything felt right then, what has changed?

The peace in my heart was back. My eyes were opened.

Dylan and I talked, we discussed. We refined our plan and again, we will fast and pray, and take it to the Lord. I know, we both know the answer. But it never hurts to make sure. Because we are human, and there must be opposition in all things. That's what this life is all about, knowing the bitter from the sweet.

Monday, January 26, 2009

He Humbles Us

A week ago, Sunday an anonymous gift was graciously left on our doorstep. Dylan and I were shocked and even stunned. I wish I could say that it was easy to recieve this gift-- but it was not. Because we both are prideful. Dylan was mad at me for blabbing about our situation. I was a little embarrassed too. In the midst of our prideful arguing-- I came to a realization and expressed it with Dylan. We needed to accept this act of service. We have served diligently and will continue to serve-- we love how we feel when we serve and we love knowing that we are also serving our Heavenly Father-- doing what He would have us do. Never before have we been in a situation where we have needed others to serve us-- accepting service is sometimes harder than giving it. Together we realized how we needed to allow others to serve us-- no matter how hard it might be.

This act of service was invaluable because as a result it made Dylan and I create a plan, and pray about our plan and what we want and need for our family. We attended the temple searching and praying for answers. We both walked away with the same answer and have found peace with our situation.

Thank you to whomever blessed our lives-- and what Dylan and I want more than anything is to be able to be in a position in the future to bless lives as you have blessed ours. Your gift meant more to us than you could ever know.

He answers our prayers, he humbles us when we won't listen and he loves us unconditionally-- these things I now with a surety.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

I Have Seen His Hand

With the coming of the new year, Dylan and I decided to cast out all that had gone wrong in 2008. Literally. We wrote each one down on a slip of paper and discussed them briefly and then threw them in the fireplace. As we began writing we both noticed how some of the hard things, or things that had gone wrong had indeed been blessings in our lives.

As we've struggled through the last year, especially with Dylan's job, we've both had the same feeling. The feeling is what we are going through is supposed to be happening and it will turn out to be a blessing to us. It's been so hard for me sometimes to have faith at look at things this way. Especially when it seems the whole world is against you and there is no end in sight. Taking a moment last night to look back, I realized how truly blessed I am.

My husband and I have overcome many things together our relationship couldn't be stronger. I am looking forward to this next year regardless of what it has to offer. I know that if we continue to do what is right our lives will be blessed.