Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hope = Possibilities

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Can you tell Aaron Jr. would rather be playing? :)

So, I have had a tough couple of days. They weren't horrible days, but minor things just kept going wrong. I have learned that when I let minor things bring me down, I allow myself to dwell a little more on the major issues that I am dealing with as well. I then start to reflect on the overwhelming circumstances I find myself in. Most days, I seem to be able to find joy in the day and look on the bright side of things... but then a day like today comes and I let myself dwell on the negative. So, I had some time today when I was feeling sorry for myself and I wanted to crawl into a hole to escape it all. Then, tonight, I was reading some Daily Gems that are sent to my email each day and there were quotes from a talk that Elder Uchtdorf gave in this past October Conference. He said:

"The adversary uses despair to bind hearts and minds in suffocating darkness. Despair drains from us all that is vibrant and joyful and leaves behind the empty remnants of what life was meant to be. Despair kills ambition, advances sickness, pollutes the soul, and deadens the heart. Despair can seem like a staircase that leads only and forever downward. Hope, on the other hand, is like the beam of sunlight rising up and above the horizon of our present circumstances. It pierces the darkness with a brilliant dawn. It encourages and inspires us to place our trust in the loving care of an eternal Heavenly Father, who has prepared a way for those who seek for eternal truth in a world of relativism, confusion, and of fear."
"Hope has the power to fill our lives with happiness. Its absence—when this desire of our heart is delayed—can make 'the heart sick' (Proverbs 13:12)."Hope is a gift of the Spirit. It is a hope that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the power of His Resurrection, we shall be raised unto life eternal and this because of our faith in the Savior. This kind of hope is both a principle of promise as well as a commandment, and, as with all commandments, we have the responsibility to make it an active part of our lives and overcome the temptation to lose hope. Hope in our Heavenly Father's merciful plan of happiness leads to peace, mercy, rejoicing, and gladness. The hope of salvation is like a protective helmet; it is the foundation of our faith and an anchor to our souls."
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf

After I read these quotes tonight, I was renewed and I had a brighter hope. I realized that I need to let the little things go. I have enough to deal with... I don't need to let the minor setbacks in my life have a negative impact on my days. I liked how he talked about losing hope being a temptation that we need to overcome. I also liked how he said that hope has the power to fill our lives with happiness. Happiness... isn't that what we are all striving for? Who knew that we just needed to have hope in our lives to be happy? I wrote to a friend of mine tonight that the word HOPE is one of my favorite words. It brings joy to me when I talk about things that I have hope in and things that I hope for. It just gives us a sense of the possibilities in our lives, don't you think?

So, hang in there...

...have HOPE ... things are looking UP.

'...this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching for those things which are before,' - Philippians 3:13-14

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Mindy said...

Your last two pictures and captions are perfect!! I love them! I love the whole post... thanks, Leslie!

Sarah said...

Many times when I am feeling hopeful or enjoying the little things, I write them down so I cannot forget. It then can bring me up on the not so happy days as well. When you have a book saying how lucky you are and all you have, how can you not feel hope then that the day can get better? That picture of Aaron Jr. looking up would be on the cover of my book. How can you not smile looking at his sweet face?

Joann said...

I hope you are doing a little better today. If not, take a look at my Pigs and Ponies blog. I nominated you for an award (twice actually)!

Marc and Megan said...

Leslie, this is so beautifully written. It is so hard to cope when the little things add up, when you're already trying to deal with much heavier things. It wasn't until our loss that I finally understood what people meant when they said "be kind to yourself." Anyway, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.

I loved Elder Uchtdorf's talk from conference... and I needed to be reminded of his words. I'll have to go back and re-read the whole thing. I don't know if you've heard this quote by Samuel Smiles, but I've always loved it:

“ ‘Hope is like the sun, which, as we journey towards it, casts the shadow of our burden behind us.’ … Hope sweetens the memory of experiences well loved. It tempers our troubles to our growth and our strength. It befriends us in dark hours, excites us in bright ones. It lends promise to the future and purpose to the past. It turns discouragement to determination.”

Anonymous said...

I have enjoyed following your blog as you have shared your sorrow, feelings and hope over the last year or so. I thought sometime you might be a strength for someone who lost their dear husband a few days ago-thedaileyz.blogspot.com

Kristi said...

I loved that talk last conference. It is funny how we can change our perspective so quickly, by choice. I am glad that you were able to change a crumby day into a good one by having hope. We love you and are so anxious to come and visit.
By the way, cute hat on Aaron. He can probably wear the one I made Aaron too.

Amberly and Jesse Schiffman said...

Boy, did I need to read that post. I needed to be reminded about HOPE. Things have been tough lately and it is easy to get down and feel despair, so thanks again for reminding us all to look into the future with HOPE!

Allred Mom said...

Thanks for the reminder of "Hope"!
And your pictures were perfect! What a great subject you have there!

Tabitha said...

What a wonderful post Leslie ~ you are so right, we all need hope!
Thinking of you and sending a big hug XXXX

Brandy said...

Not surprisingly, I so needed this post the last 2 days. I only read 1/2 yesterday before I stopped to focus on Rob Thomas' song, again. I'm glad I came back to it tonight. Hope is an amazing word. It's like faith. I actually had a heart-to-heart with Mom in the last few months regarding hope. She tried so hard (as only a caring mother would) to tell me that my goals for 'happiness' were going to let me down. All I could do was tell her that if I didn't hope my kind of happiness exists, what's the point of trying.

I finally found the quote that I had mentioned before to you that I wanted to share. You'd think that I would have it in more than one place or on more than one tiny strip of paper, which is how I originally read it. Anyway, here it is:

'Light dispels darkness. When light is present, darkness is vanquished and must depart. More importantly, darkness cannot conquer light unless the light is diminished or departs.'

Anonymous said...

I hope you have lots more hope-filled days my friend.

That last picture of Aaron Jnr is just so beautiful.

Love to you,


dani said...

hope is a beautiful gift, leslie... so is your little aaron jr.!!! rejoice:D

Matt and Shauna said...

I love this post Leslie. You really defined hope in a way that made me try to have a better outlook on those not-so-great days. Thanks for the insight! Love ya!