Friday, September 19, 2014

Facing Trials With Gratitude & Learning From Them.

I
Life takes us on many unexpected turns and it's up to me to either accept the turn and let it take it's course, or do something about it and change it. I choose the latter. Ever since we moved to Jersey we've had many a hardships but by the grace of God, our faith in Him, and believeing in His love & never leaving our side has helped us to accept every hard turn, have allowed it to let it run its course without any embitterment, and in the end learned from the challenges, and to never ever forget.

Ever. 

Why shouldn't we ever forget about the struggles we've faced or our shortcomings? Because you never know when you're going to be faced with them again.

And we have had to face them over, and over, and over again.

And I'm sure there are going to be more. Which is fine with me because after so many lessons learned I'm ready. One thing I've learned from all the struggles we've had since the beginning of our marriage is the fact that I never forget them. Reflecting back on past struggles, and how we handled them can better teach us how to handle them today. It's crucial to never forget the trial, to remember about what the trial taught us, and to remember all that happened in between that trial. What we did to overcome it, how we handled it, and what we learned from the trials. And in a good way to try to remember all that was good throughout that trial, as well as expressing gratitude throughout that trial. Key word being trial. Just wanted to clarify! 

When our car broke down two years ago that was the very first time in about 17 years of marriage where we actually focused on what was going on throughout the trial. The way we handled things, and how we found solutions in getting to the places we needed to go without transportation was sometimes frustrating, but in between we found the joy & appreciation knowing that this too shall pass, and explored our little borough via foot and discovered things we've never seen before

We used to focus on the beginning and end of past trials, and was never happy in between. Never really strived to find a solution. We'd sulk, and eventually found a resolve, but man did it take a toll on us. We 'd always complain, and say things like "Why us" , and "I can't wait till this is over." We were always stressing, and fighting. Never did any of us any good really, and all it'll do is put stress on the kids if you constantly stress and complain in front of them. Take them out of the equation, but also let them know what' s going on. I recall there was never enough prayer, or even support, and without those things forget it...life will be even harder. We have learned that focusing in the middle of all that is happening throughout the trial will teach us something. I personally often try to find ways to laugh through it all because let's face it...what else can we do. Crying, being bitter, whining, and complaining "woe is me, no one cares" constantly and avoiding the world will not make the situation any better. I have found that it'll only make the trial worse, and focusing on the negativity of it all will not make it go away any faster. 

This is what we are teaching our children. We constantly teach them to think, and pray in the midst of any trial they may be experiencing. To have focus on the purpose of living and to put all their effort into Heavenly Father's hands with gratitude. 

Having our oldest daughter living 2100 miles away from us hasn't been easy for me because while she was here I was always there to help guide her and lift her up in person. We'd go on walks, thrift shopping, and have lunch every chance we get. Even though she is living with my in laws doesn't mean that her life will be perfect. If anything she is learning and growing from all her experiences she has had there with school, and relationships. My mother in law is not her mother, but her grandmother, and guardian and even though they're under the same roof doesn't mean that everything will be built to perfection, and that is exactly why i constantly text, write, and will call her from time to time. It's so important to stay on top of our children no matter how old they get. We think our kids our strong, but in today's society with the adversary hanging around the most valiant individuals will try so hard to bring them down to an all time low. I know this from experience because not only have I experienced it as a single adult, but married with children as well. 

I'm extremely grateful for the gospel in my life because I know that without that my life would have fallen apart a long time ago. My marriage would have fallen apart years ago. It's so easy nowadays to just give up on life, and God. We tend to give up on our children as well, and I see a lot of that. No matter how exhausted I may get when it comes to life as a mother I will always find a way through it all. 

Prayer, service, attending the temple, and laughing are three of the things that keep my spirits high.

Prayer because I know that Heavenly Father is listening, and telling me not to cry, and that this too shall pass. 

Serving because when I think of others it totally makes me forget about my own problems, and the love for it just keeps growing. It never gets old. 

Laughing because it is the best medicine. Especially when our car broke down while road tripping (and there have been so many of them!) Smiling with tears because our nine year old gave you all the money from her wallet after hearing when Jon lost his job . 

Attending the temple is just about the highest of the highs for me. I leave that building feeling I can conquer anything. I have found the peace so deep within my soul that no matter what awaits for me when I step outside that beautiful building no drama, no trial, heartache, loss of a job, or family member can take that away. I have to be strong in this life. I want to be strong in this life. I need to be strong in this life. For myself, for God, and for my family. 

All those things is what helps me guide my way through. I want that for my children, and no matter how far family may live away from me especially my daughter I want her to know that having faith in all those things can make any bumpy road a smoother surface to navigate through. 

Knowing that we survived from all the trials we've had before will help us get through the ones that are about to come, and may be currently going through. And putting all the faith that we can muster into said trials will make us stronger individuals, and our soul worth living. 

***I love this talk by President Deiter F. Uchtdorf. He has such a humble heart, and always assures me that there is always light in the midst of any tribulation.


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