Tuesday, April 26, 2016

TRIALS - They Can Make You BITTER, or BETTER; the Choice is Yours! :)

Here I am... posting AGAIN, for the THIRD time within a week - and I hadn't been writing regularly for QUITE some time. I wonder if anyone has discovered this. :o I don't advertise. I should tell my friends and family when I write, but I don't. I just figure those who can benefit from it will stumble upon it. :)

Well, the reason I am writing is because I'm learning A LOT. And that brings me JOY! :D Unfortunately, I tend to learn more when things go wrong rather than right... so that also means I have had some challenges lately. :o I have to emphasize, though, that those challenges ARE BLESSINGS IN DISGUISE. ;) God always seems to use them to teach me something. Here is a quote that I recently came across that sums up what I think of trials and how they CAN bring JOY, if you let them...

Miles and I have gone through several really hard things recently. Thankfully, we have had each other to help us through. :D (I love that man!) And we have had the Lord! :)

I know I need to redirect my thoughts AND find comfort, and I know of nothing better than the scriptures to help with this; so I usually go to the scriptures and ask the Lord to help me to know what to read. I used to do it with just the standard works (Bible, Book of Mormon etc.), but the past couple years, I also do it with words from our current, modern day prophets and seers - through General Conference talks! :D The results are simply AMAZING! :) I believe in the saying, "If you want to talk to the Lord, PRAY. If you want the Lord to talk to you, READ HIS SCRIPTURES."

Sometimes I don't recognize the personal application immediately. Sometimes I have to ponder on them for a while and read them a few times before the pieces come together in my mind. Like they did today... :)

I have been led the past couple days to a particular conference talk, repeatedly. I didn't even realize it until I started reading it for the second time and went, "Hey! This is the same one I was prompted to read yesterday!" That happened before work this morning. I read one, again, for about the third or fourth time... wondering WHY the Lord wanted me to read this, but KNOWING that He did; I was drawn to it!

After reading it I went to work. Towards the end of the day, after hours of pondering and speaking to the Lord through prayer, I remembered things that have happened during these current trials, and a message given in that talk suddenly had personal application to me. I could finally SEE what happened in these situations and WHY they went south. I could see that the Lord was teaching me a principle through these trials, in answer to my prayer for help with another important struggle in my home and family. I was able to see, first hand, the results of heeding the counsel given in this talk, and the results of not heeding it. I was able to see what I could do to make matters better (or worse) in my home... :D

Suddenly, losing THOUSANDS of dollars seemed a very small price, for the huge reward that would come in my family if I learned that principle and applied it well to help my sons. I think the Lord may have caused these things to peak at the same time - just to wear me down, so I could mess up big enough to learn from it! MISTAKES - in this light - now appear to be treasured blessings! They help us to not make the same mistake in other settings where the stakes are so much higher!

So... I am THANKFUL for the trials God lets me go through.
I am THANKFUL for all that I can learn from them.
I am THANKFUL that I have the freedom to become BETTER, instead of BITTER...

Corine :D

Sunday, April 24, 2016

"I'm So HAPPY to See You!" :) - The LORD LOOKS on the HEART -

Church is  SO great! :D

Today was different than usual for me... I went to part of my own Sacrament meeting first, then went with my husband to another ward to listen to a Homecoming Talk from “Elder” Matthew Pereira! :D

While at my ward I sat in the cultural hall. It was just meant to be. :) One of my friends came in with her son, Garret, and I was there to quickly get up and greet them at the door with hugs! :D When I hugged her, I prayed that she would FEEL my love for her. I think she felt it, because she started balling! (wasn't expecting that!) I then sat beside her and rubbed her back as she relaxed and eventually went from hyperventilating to breathing easy. She has anxiety in public places, so it is hard for her to go to church and she has anxiety in public places. I was proud of her for being there. :D She told me that she quit smoking almost 100 days ago, and that despite the stress she has gone through she STIL managed to say NO! We rejoiced together!!!! :D I'm so happy for her!

Then she told me about a coworker who knows my daughter. She said that she was talking to my daughter's friend and asked her if she was Mormon. This beautiful young woman told her that she was indeed. My sweet friend's response to me was, “I KNEW she was. And I told her so. So she asked me how I knew, and I told her you could just tell... " I nodded my head. She continued, "she LOOKED like a Mormon!”

I smiled, pointed out a wonderful, radiant, righteous young man walking by and said, “like him. Right?”


I told the young man, “Do you know that you radiate the gospel of Jesus Christ? Or rather, it radiates through you?” He smiled and thanked me. :) Then I told 12 year Garret sitting beside me, “Do you know WHY he glows?” I paused for him to think, then answered my own question... “He is SO IMMERSED in the gospel of Jesus Christ that the Light of Christ LITERALLY FILLS HIM, and that light of Christ makes him SO HAPPY, that it just radiates from him!" The 12 year old was listening. I continued... "The more a person loves Christ and lives His gospel, the more they radiate His love!”

Garret smiled, proud to be a Mormon I assume... ;) I continued, “Grab onto the gospel of Jesus Christ with both hands, Garret! And never let go! The happiness you will gain from the light of the gospel of Jesus Christ – found right here at church – can be found in no other place! Hold onto it with both hands and run with it!” ;)

That experience... FEELING the Holy Spirit testifying to ALL of us, that His gospel of Jesus Christ IS the surest and greatest path to happiness – was so beautiful and so amazing! It was the feeling of pure JOY! :D

The second great experience I had today took place at the second ward (same church, different building and group of people). Last Saturday my son and husband and I greeted him with his family at the airport.

We got to sit and listen to a fine young man speaking about his mission in Chili and of the people who helped him prepare...

I'm SO PROUD of this young man! ~ Way to go, Matthew!!! :D

HE DID IT! It wasn't easy for him. It was hard to go and hard to stay! He is quiet. Sometimes things come easier for some people than for others. It was harder for him... BUT HE DID IT! :D It made me SO HAPPY to see that HE DID IT! :D It makes me so happy I can't think about it without crying!

Anyhow, things he said at church really touched my soul and made me cry, too (imagine that? ;)) Characteristics needed to be a truly good missionary were discussed: Humility. Obedience... PERFECT OBEDIENCE. These characteristics have to be worked and prayed for. These kids work hard to prepare to do missionary work in so many ways! It was inspiring... :) 

A Mother's LOVE - First, and most important, Hug! ;)
The newly released “Elder Pereira” said some really great things that I took notes on which I won't mention here. But one thing that touched my heart the most today I must share. He talked about an investigator whose outward appearance was not like those seasoned, clean, polished Mormons... He said something about the Holy Spirit testifying to the Elder who had to decide if this man was a candidate for teaching... “If Christ saw this man at church He would not care about how much hair he has or about his personal appearance at Church. He would just say, “I'm glad you're here.” I already knew that. Of course! It didn't hit too hard -yet. Then he continued...

He then said the person he was most excited to see was his little sister, Emily. And then he talked to her personally, and the Holy Spirit was there so strong! I felt like the Spirit was saying the same thing to me at the same time.. “I know you make a lot of mistakes and sometimes you have a really hard time forgiving yourself and just wish you were better. But I want you to know that you're doing great! And when you leave this life and enter the presence of the Lord, He's not going criticize you. He's just going to say, 'I am SO HAPPY to see you!'” :)

I took that to heart to not be too hard on myself for my mistakes. (Sometimes it is SO HARD for me to forgive myself! Especially if I might have hurt someone that I love and care about!) And as I think of my new commitment to not point out things the people who I love do wrong (just trying to help them - :o) – I think I'm going to have an easier time refraining in the future, and just say to them, perhaps not in words, but at least in action... “I'm so happy to see you!” :)

Love - for Christ, and all mankind... is the perfect remedy for sorrow and pain, and the first and best ingredient in the recipe for forgiveness and peace! If you really want that charity for others... pray for charity "the pure love of Christ;" (I plead for it! :o) And  while you're at it, you might also pray for the gift of Sapere Vedere - " the ability to see" :) Pray to see others as God does... to see all they have the potential to become; and treat them as if they already are THAT person! They truly ARE that person, deep inside - even if only in embryo. Treat them so. Help them to see it in themselves. I keep praying to do that for my family and friends!

*I love you, family and friends! I know many of you think I can not hurt anyone. But I can and I do, especially with youth I am really close and take on as kids of my own; because those are the people I worry and care most passionately about! *I have been known to make the mistake of showing them what they are doing wrong - in the wrong way, rather than remembering to show them what they are CAPABLE of...

So, if 've hurt you... I am TRULY sorry! I hope you can forgive me - not only for the relationship that I cherish with you - but also for your own peace. I don't want to cause you pain or sorrow! I REALLY DO love you!

PS. Thanks, Elder Pereira, for helping me to remember to strive to be this way, by reminding me that God is this way!  :D

Hugs to you all!

Corine :D

When Life does NOT Go As You Thought it Would

April 24, 2016 Sunday afternoon

Hi. :) I'm choosing to smile here! :D *sigh...

I have done some crying today. I'm going through a painful loss. It isn't even MY loss! (not entirely, but truly in part!) and I'm still feeling it! It is personal; sorry I won't be telling you what it is. But I will tell you this...

I am learning and coming to understand WHY people respond in a “less than amiable” way when loss comes... IT HURTS! And it feels like a world has just vanished, – and the one that exists in place of the one you THOUGHT existed now has to somehow be figured out/DISCOVERED from some mysterious unknown! And the world beneath one's feet can suddenly feel like it is unstable and crumbling!

As I seek comfort I remember that the Lord is over all. He is not the cause of all; we all use our free agency to make things happen. And others use theirs to change our lives as well. But when we love and serve Him with all our hearts – The Lord works to make everything work for our good. :)

I think we need to remember this when a friend or loved one is struggling and doing or saying things we don't agree with or understand... Maybe they are hurt and confused, and we won't always see things the same way. We all misunderstand, misjudge and believe and say things that may not be entirely best or true. We are, after all... JUST PEOPLE. But we are also HIS people. Children of God... sent here from Heaven. And if we can just look past the mistakes and into each other's hearts, we can find a way to treat each other with the love, forgiveness, and compassion that will help us all to heal... Through loving actions, without saying anything at all... we can be a friend who helps the ground become stable again.

I wrote on FB (during a peaceful moment among the roller coaster) “Feeling at peace. Even when it doesn't work out, it works out.” It really does. :) I need to keep reminding myself of these this. ;O

Church today was a great distraction from my pain! :) I'll tell you more about my distractions in my next post... ;)

Corine :D