Sunday, February 23, 2014

Spiritual Pick-Up Sunday~Loving Where You Are In Life

Today was a little crazy during the last hour of church when I was supposed to be teaching my 12-13 year old girls.  We had talked last week about what happens after death and I wanted to make a couple more comments on that and segue into how that helps us get a bigger picture and what our purpose in life is.  Not as prepared as I could be, but knowing some basics I wanted to say, I realized that because of  some factors out of my control, my 60 minutes to talk about this amazingly important lesson would be widdled down to 15 minutes.  We didn't have time to read the scriptures I wanted, or the quotes that fit.  Really, we could have spent hours if we had the time.  But God's plan, while it has many intricasies, is also very plain and simple. 

I can sum up, in very few words, why we are here on earth: To learn, grow, and be happy!

I expressed to the girls how we are given families and guidelines (i.e. commandments) as well as other help (scriptures, prophets) to help us do just that-learn, grow, be happy. 

Happiness, that's something that we all want right?  But when will we be truly happy?  I like the quote (possibly by Ralph Waldo Emerson?) that "Life is a journey, not a destination".  I also love this talk about finding joy in the journey.

I hate to say that a lot of my life has been spent in the destination mentality.  Once x happens, I'll be so much happier.  X represented getting married, finishing school, being a certain dress size... I spent too many years single and bitter that Mr. Right was waiting so long to make his appearance.  It wasn't until shortly after I was married, I was at church at a friend's baby blessing for their newborn.  One of my single friends was there and I knew how her heart aches so much to be married to, to have a best friend to start the next chapter of her life with.  We chatted a little bit and the subject came up.  I can pinpoint that few minutes at the moment I had a real shift in the way I think.  My friend has the beautiful baby while I don't, my other friend wishes she were married, while I finally am.  Inspiration came to me and I told her something that I've never been able to forget.  Learn to love where you are at in life.  Don't waste a minute.

I wanted so much to be married when I was single that I didn't look around me and appreciate my friends and ease of finances as much as I could.  Now that I'm married it's hard to find time to see friends nearly as often, and putting my husband through school is no picnic on the pocketbook.  We've wanted to start a little family of our own for about 2 years now, with no success.  For a while I was a little bitter, sad, frustrated.  I've come to accept that it will happen when it happens...and possibly when we have more finances to figure out why it's not happening, but that's not the phase of life that God intends for us right now.  Maybe it's a blessing for me to step back and love where I am, unlike how my single adult decade of life went.  Because you know what?  I get to sleep when I want, at the drop of the hat run to the store, and enjoy my hobbies.  While I don't have an adorable cooing baby to snuggle with, I also don't have to stress about it choking on small toys, or changing those diapers, or the sleepless nights.

If you're single, you'll wish you were married.  If you're married, you'll wish you had kids.  If you're a parent, you'll wish you got more sleep.  If they're sleeping through the night, you'll wish for the days that they cuddled more or the days they'll make you proud as they become adults.  When you're an empty nester, you'll wish the house wasn't so quiet. 

I was reminded of this last week when talking to a friend of mine who is out of work right now.  I can sympathize sooo much!  I know that any time I have been unemployed have been the darkest and hardest times of my life so far.  But you can love any time of your life.  She has the blessing now of taking time to learn new things and having more free time, whereas when she finds a job...she'll have office politics and a rigid schedule. 

Don't focus on what you want, don't stress about what you wish you had.  Open your eyes and count your blessings.  See what you have now!  Developing an attitude of gratitude and seeing the big picture has truly helped me be happier in life.  I've had times when I honestly find it hard to sleep because I'm just smiling and happy.  I don't have children, I don't have a nice house, I don't have a lot of things I want.  But I have a wonderful husband, great family, and superb friends, and I won't dare let the joy that brings me be lessened by wants and dreams.  I will enjoy those wants and dreams as they come in the future or reflect warmly on them in the past.  But for now I will enjoy my present, that's what they say you should do with presents anyway right?

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