Monday, March 5, 2012

Gaining through Losses...

About a week ago I set a goal to swim 3 days each week for the next month (at least). Yesterday was the last day of the week and I had only swum twice. It was dark and cloudy and I felt “blah.” So began the search all over the house for my swimming gear (swimsuits, goggles, swim cap, lock, shampoo for getting chlorine out, towel etc). Finally, I realized I had it all in a duffel bag in the truck, and it must have been stolen while I was in a store.

I felt like crying over my lost swimming gear (:o - ?). I was feeling blue, and I needed to be swimming the blues away! I think part of it was also remembering having the fleeting thought that someone could steal it – but not locking the doors anyhow; just as I recalled the fleeting thought to tell Miles to find a different place to store the money, just days before we realized it was stolen. Perhaps I was just angry at myself for not listening to that still small voice…

In hind site it seems silly to be discouraged about losing a few swimming items - but I confess anyhow. Oh well, we all have a hard time with some things no matter how small... :o. I decided that I must need practice coping and following all promptings (I write these here as reminders for myself... :o), so made an effort to just not worry about it and endure well.

I also remembered that some time ago I made the conscious decision not to allow obstacles to keep me from my goals - by staying focused on goals rather than on obstacles. I know this is a small and simple example and not an earth shaking accomplishment, but I would like to share it anyhow...

Upon remembering this I asked myself; “Corine, are you allowing the obstacle of lack of supplies to keep you from accomplishing your new goal? Or are you going to focus on solutions?” I knew what I wanted the answer to be. So even though I still felt somewhat lethargic from sadness I decided to go shopping and get what I needed and go swim. Another obstacle came to mind - I didn't have a whole lot of money. But I decided to trust that everything would be OK and just go get the needed items.

Long story short - I went to two stores and while in line at both stores I remembered I had credit there. A testimony to me that sometimes we think we don't have the means when we do - and that if we just go forth to do what we need to do the lord will open up the way. I'm happy to say I met my goal for the first week which will fuel me in weeks to come!

Now, about that theft… A friend asked me, "What is it with you and the recent theft?" She knows and loves me and I'm sure she knows I have never been a thief; we know this didn’t happen as a form of karma – or getting back what I dished out. No, this was not “what I had coming.” But it WAS SOMETHING... It was A BLESSING for me to learn to handle undesirable situations and go forth with faith. It was AN OPPORTUNITY for me to focus on goals and not to allow obstacles to get in my way. It was A REMINDER of how important it is that I not care too much about money or material things. It was the source of a multitude of blessings; the lord made it all work for my good. :D

Experiences like these are changing me… I continue to like myself better as I pass through them. :D In the past I would have thought about the means to replace the loss and been sad that the money had to go "there" – thinking that I would have had more money if the loss had not occurred. I no longer think that way. Though I know my losses are small compared to Job's; I can learn from him. I look at Job and of his great loss and then at what the lord blessed him with afterwards and I don’t think “gee, he could have had all that he lost AND what he gained.” NO I don’ think that, because he would not have had both (especially the two families). Had he not lost something the lord would not have sent replacements; and the replacements were greater than the losses.

Likewise, my replacements have been greater than my losses... I have applied this to my recent situations. After $2,200 was stolen we had a profitable business dealing in which we had enough to replace the stolen money (which wasn't even ours) - AND then some. And in a way, my husband and I have prospered spiritually, psychologically and emotionally as a result of these seeming financial losses.

In the past I may have lamented over the money lost – thinking of how much MORE we would have had after bills if we didn’t have to replace the stolen money. This time (after an initial experience of striving not to be overwhelmed) I wondered if that big sale was one that the lord sent to cover our losses and then some; something He would not have felt inclined to do had we not first had a loss.

I did the same thing yesterday with the stolen swimming gear (after first whining briefly "why me" and wanting to cry :o). Rather than think of what else I could have gotten with the credit I used to replace the stolen items, I chose to be thankful that the lord provided a way for me to replace the items without hurting my budget. If I would have had to dip into the budget I would still be thankful that the items were replaceable; there is always something to be thankful for. :) It feels good to think this way. I am happy. :D

Upon contemplation I am of the opinion that enduring challenges well may be about 95% perspective – and another 95% gratitude for blessings. And both are in our power to control! I'm totally “wowed”... The lord is so good to us all! :D

PS. Don’t worry about the math… ;)

UPDATE - Mar 5, 2012

I read a post this morning in which a man felt ashamed of his financial struggles. This man is not alone in his struggles... Job was a man of great righteousness, and even his friends, who should have known him, turned against him assuming that he must not be living righteously. Even our Savior, Jesus Christ, who was raised by very righteous people - came into this world financially poor. When giving sacrifices at the temple, Mary and Joseph gave only doves - the least expensive of sacrifices.  

We need not worry about hiding struggles or be ashamed. On the contrary, many who struggle financially do so on principles of righteousness (honesty, sharing, self reliance), while some do things that are dishonest to keep from struggling. A man's pocket book and list of items does not correlate at all with his level of righteousness. Here is a final quote or two to leave with you..

“Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God”
  Joseph Smith, Jr., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 255–56

Happiness - not monetary wealth - is the goal, and the blessing for keeping the commandments.
 
"Living the gospel does not mean the storms of life will pass us by, but we will be better prepared to face them with serenity and peace. 'Search diligently, pray always, and be believing,' the Lord admonished, 'and all things shall work together for your good, if ye walk uprightly.'"
         --Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Finding a Safe Harbor," Ensign, May 2000

We are not promised that doing the will of Jesus Christ will cause storms to dodge our homes, but rather that we may have PEACE and strength to get through the storms as we turn to Him; and that He can turn all things into blessings for our good. This is my testimony that I leave with you, in His name...

Corine :D

 

2 comments:

  1. Hey what about your husband encouraging you to not be discouraged, and just go out have purchase what you needed… The Lord would provide. Man are you so lucky to have such an awesome husband, ha, ha.

    ReplyDelete
  2. So true... Yes I am lucky! :D

    ReplyDelete

There is a ripple effect in all that we do; what you do touches me, what I do touches you...

THANK YOU for your comments; you add so much insight and brighten my day! :)