Thursday, April 25, 2013

Almost There!

We were all on a little bit of the grouchy side yesterday...   

In the winter time, I know it's going to be cold and dark with not much sunshine here in Michigan.  I can deal with it because I have prepared my mind to accept that condition.  I even learn to enjoy the cold and the darkness.  We do snow sports; I wrap myself in extra cozy blankets while working on projects, and we are genuinely intrigued with how cold it can actually get.

...but once springtime hits; and we have a few beautiful days, I let my guard down a little bit.  My mind gets ready for the warmth.  I start to think about all of the hikes and days at the lakes we'll do as a family.  I even go outside for a few days with short sleeves on....then a storm hits!  It snows, and for several days it feels like winter again.  I lose my patience because I had already changed my frame of mind of what I was going to accept!  I was done accepting cold, dreary, dark days!  I only wanted the sunshine and warmth!!  

A similar frame of mind occurs when I go on long runs.  I can enjoy the run for several miles.  My legs hurt, but the pain feels good because I'm getting stronger... until the final mile.  It doesn't matter if I run 8 miles or 3 miles... for me, the last mile is excruciating.  Once I see the end, it's not hard anymore... it's just the final stretch before the end is in sight that's the most difficult.  

Abe and I ran a marathon together; and for about the last 4 miles, people kept yelling from the sidelines, "You're almost there!!  Just around the corner!!"  That was actually very disheartening for Abe because around each corner, we WEREN'T THERE!!

Right now, my daughter is learning to potty train.  She is almost there.  We have been having fun cheering for each of her successes.  Yesterday she did great the entire day.  We didn't cheer as much because I just expected her success now.  I thought, "Finally she's figuring it out!  We're almost there."  Then, right before bedtime... standing beside the toilet... looking straight at me... she peed all over the floor.  So close... yet seemingly so far away...

After thinking about the weather, the running, and the potty training, I realized that I have a problem with being so close... yet seemingly so far away...  with being "almost there."

It's kind of a confusing dynamic... I KNOW that it will be very warm in a few more weeks... I KNOW that my run is finished in only a few minutes... I KNOW that Juliana will figure out her potty training... It's just hard to maintain the perspective when I have let go of the joy in the journey.  

Recently, I forgot to enjoy the cold. I forgot to enjoy the beauty of the run.  I forgot to make potty-time joyful with the cheers.

The kids and I had forgotten that perspective yesterday as we moaned about the difficulty of the way.  They were struggling with school work, and I was struggling with what seemed like... everything.  

Jordan had our answer and gave us perspective.

Throughout the day, Jordan kept carrying around our scripture study book and saying over and over again, "Mommy, can we please have our family scripture study?"  A bit grouchy and not in the mood, I said, "Yes, Jordan... we will later.  I have a lot to do right now."  He kept persisting and persisting for quite some time saying, "NOW can we read the scriptures together?"  

Finally, I called the family in and we read... 

As we read the following verses in Mosiah, ALL of us just froze and looked at each other in amazement!  We KNEW we needed to change our perspective and accept God's help.

Mosiah 24:14-15 

 14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witness for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.
 15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.

I began to ponder about my life as a whole.  Why is it hard sometimes to keep motivated?  Why do I have to keep giving myself pep talks when my life is so wonderful?  Even though we are God's army and fighting with a passion for HIS work, the last days are filled with wickedness and deception, and sometimes I feel impatient with the dreariness of the fight.  Sometimes the wickedness in the world seems so never-ending, and I just want the happy sunshine and warmth of peace with Christ.  I KNOW that Christ will come... sometimes HIS coming is seemingly so far away.  What have I forgotten in those moments?  

In those moments, I have forgotten about the joy in the fight for righteousness because I got caught up with wishing the bad influences would just go away.  Sadly, the bad won't go away yet, but we are closer than we think!  We are blessed with the opportunity to find joy in that fight for Christ.  It's exciting!  The Lord will ease those burdens, strengthen us, and give us a pep talk in the scriptures when we forget and our hearts and minds get weak. 

We can remember to submit cheerfully and with patience to HIS will.  I woke up with a MUCH better attitude this morning... it's still cold and dreary... but not miserable!!  It's a GREAT day!!  God has given us great strength in our minds!!