Tuesday, September 20, 2011

'Seeketh Not Her Own'

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So, a month and a half ago, I wrote a posting and included this scripture in that posting:
'And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.'
~ Moroni 7:45

I had decided that I needed and wanted to study more about that scripture as it pertains to my life and how I want my life to be. So then, after a lot of soul searching, I wrote another posting last month about some of my thoughts and what I have been learning.

Aaron Jr and I watched the newest Narnia movie recently called: Narnia, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. As most people probably know, the lion called Aslan in these movies is a representation of Jesus Christ. As we watched this movie, one of the characters, Eustace, was somehow changed into a dragon, and later in the movie, Aslan changes him back to a boy.
This conversation at the end of the movie caught my attention and I wanted to share it because it hit home to me as I seek to listen and learn from my surroundings.

Edmund: So what was it like when Aslan changed you back?
Eustace: No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't do it myself. then he came towards me. It sort of hurt, but it was a good pain... like when you pull a thorn from your foot.

As soon as I heard that conversation in the movie, I immediately thought of my situation and thought about the posting I did last month called 'Good Grief'. I talked a lot about pain in that posting. As I heard that conversation in the movie, I thought about my journeyings in the past several years... and the pain that I have felt and tried to endure. It reminded me of all the times I have learned about how the pain we endure through our trials and hardships are Heavenly Father's way of molding us (or changing us) into what He needs us to become. Of course, in the moment, the pain is not easy... it hurts, but once you feel like you are pulling through it, you realize how strong you have become and the pain becomes a blessing. The part where Eustace says that no matter how hard he tried, he just couldn't change himself back reminded me of the atonement of Jesus Christ. There are countless thing in this world that we cannot do unless we have the help of the Savior. There are so many things we cannot do for ourselves, but can do them with the help of Jesus Christ. Changing into what we are meant to become is one of those things. But there IS pain involved.

This reminds me of something I was talking to my friend Alisha about. She was telling me about CIPA -- congenital insensitivity to pain with anhidrosis. It is a disorder where you cannot feel pain. You can feel the sense of touch, but cannot feel pain. (here are a couple of news articles about kids with this disorder, very eye opening: Article 1, Article 2). At first when I heard about this, it sounded like a dream come true... not feeling pain, but its not a dream come true. My friend told me that the life span for someone with this disorder is young because they do not learn from the pain that they might feel in their life. If they touch a hot plate, they don't feel the pain, but their body still gets burned. But because they didn't feel the excruciating pain, they might touch it again. They end up damaging their bodies because their bodies don't give them the response that the need in order to stop doing something harmful. Think about how well this disorder relates to emotional and spiritual pain as well. The pain we experience in our lives is what helps us to become stronger and helps us to grow. Pain hurts, but imagine if we didn't progress in our lives because we didn't feel the pain from those things that stretch us, that build us, and that help us to grow and become strong. Imagine the lack of strength we would receive if we never experienced pain in our lives. We would be weak physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally.

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Anyhow, back to the movie... a few minutes later in the movie, Prince Caspian says something else that really struck me and made me reflect on my life all over again, he said:

Prince Caspian: I've spent too long wanting what was taken from me and not what was given.

This line hit home to me because I have spent years doing just that... wanting what was taken from me and not what was given. If only you all knew exactly what this means for me.
I saw this movie after I had been studying out that scripture in my mind. This line went perfectly with what I had been thinking about for a couple of weeks and it had to do with the line in that scripture that says:

'seeketh not her own'

This line of that scripture has caused me to really take a good look at myself and I didn't like what I saw when it came to that part of the scripture. 'seeketh not her own'... I realized while reading that scripture that I had been trying desperately to 'seek my own' will, and I had not been 'seeking' and accepting the will of God.

I didn't realize it before, but I now realize that, in the past several years, I have been fighting against my reality. I know that I really am a widow, but because I have hated that reality so much, I have been fighting against LIVING that reality. I hate the reality of being alone (without a husband), so I have spent years wanting that back, wanting what was taken from me. I have tried my hardest to put my life on hold... and live in limbo... while I waited for my life to become the reality that I actually want it to be. I have been appearing to live, but in reality, I have been going through the motions of life as I waited and waited to meet someone, get married, and finally begin living again... living the reality that I want most.

So, yes, I have been spending my time wanting what was taken from me instead of what has been given to me.

But its time to stop. I know it is time to stop fighting my reality and accept that this IS my reality. Of course this is easier said than done, but if I am going to learn what I am meant to learn, I have to do my best. I am sure I could have learned so much more of what I need to learn by now if I had not been fighting against the Lord's will. When I think about what I have been given, I feel so ungrateful because of the time I know I have wasted as I fought against what the Lord has tried to teach me and what He has given to me through this trial.

Its kind of strange to even talk about fighting against the Lord's will. Its not like I have thought that I could change the facts of my life, but when I say fighting... I guess it means that I am rebelling against my own reality, not wanting to face that it is real. All I have been really doing is 'seeking my own' will instead of submitting to the will of my Father in Heaven. Obviously, THIS is His will. So, what do I do with THIS reality? That is what I should be asking myself.

I don't know how long it is going to take me to learn that the will of Heavenly Father will bring me so much more JOY and happiness in the long run than trying to force my own will. He sees the big picture, I don't. He knows truly who I am and what will be the best path for me, I don't.
I know that I am a daughter of God and that He loves me, and I know that I need to put more trust in Him.

I even bought a book at our family yard sale this past weekend about this very subject by Elder Neal A Maxwell. I look forward to beginning to read it and I hope it gives me even more insight for myself and also to share.

So, this is the next installment of my 'Good Grief' series. Seems a little silly, but I am learning a lot. :) Something I need to work on:
accept THIS reality, instead of fighting against THIS reality; seek the will of God, instead of seeking my own will.

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Monday, September 19, 2011

Random August ~ 2011

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 Spent some time at Lagoon with my sister Lisa's family.
Henry, Aaron, Angus, Stella

 Gus, Stella, Aaron

 Aaron Jr helping Grandpa put together a bistro chair.

 And the finished product.
Aaron had bought about thirty of these chairs in boxes before he passed away. I put about 15 ish of them together a few years ago and sold them, these were the last four that we were putting together that day. They are now sold as well.

 Another trip to Lagoon with my friend Lisa and her kids.

 Kris, MiRanda, and Zellie
This is the day their little girl Zellie was sealed to them in the temple.
They adopted her earlier in the year.
It was a beautiful ceremony.
MiRanda asked me to take photos of them afterwards outside the temple.
Here are a few shots.

 An eternal family.


 Me (Leslie), MiRanda, Zellie, Kerianne

Ethan, Ashton, Averie, Aaron Jr 
We spent the night at my friend Lisa's house (my fellow widow friend) and we had a blast. Aaron played with her kids and Lisa and I just relaxed.

Aaron Jr.

This was Aaron Jr on the drive home. He was SO tired and worn out.

I didn't even realize Aaron's hair was this long until my brother used a lawn blower thingy on every side of Aaron's hair. He was lookin' pretty fly. :)

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Boating / Tubing

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Before I get started, I have to say that I am not in love yet with the new features of blogger. I don't like to learn how to do something all over again when the original way has worked out just great for me... but I hope to love it once I get used to using it.
We will see.
So, Scott and Lori's family invited us to go boating with them in August. It felt a little strange being on a boat again. We have not gone boating since Aaron passed away, so Aaron was the last person we went boating with on his boat. It felt like a breakthrough and we had a lot of fun. They invited Robert and Teresa's family to come along as well.

Aaron Jr had to be talked into riding on the tube, but once he was on there, he had a blast. Can you tell? 

Zach, Aaron Jr, Anna
The first tube riders of the day.


At one point, the tube caught a LITTLE bit of air and that is when Aaron Jr had it. He started crying and then was just not happy. :) So, his turn was over... for now.

Zach, Julia, Sophie

Julia, Robert, Anna

 Me (Leslie) smashing Julia. Robert was bounced off into the water.
This was so much fun.
Sorry Julia. :)

 Robert, Julia, Me (Leslie)

 My turn to be bounced around pretty good.

 I was being bounced right out of my seat... and trying to hold on for dear life.
But I did finally bounce right off and into the water.

So, we switched sides and then Robert got bounced off again. :)
 
 Julia, Sophie, Anna

 Robert and Aaron Jr.
Scott and Aaron Jr.

 Aaron Jr, Teresa, Lily
Teresa's bad back made it so she had to go on a ride where they took it easy. And after coaxing Aaron Jr back onto the tube, Lily reluctantly got on the tube as well. It took a while for Lily to warm up to it, but eventually was smiling from ear to ear.
 
 Zach, Anna, Sophie

 Lori and Michael
and Scott

 Then these seasoned veterans on the tube decided to show us a few trick rides.
Julia, Sophie, Anna

 Julia, Me (Leslie), Anna
Another wild ride.


 Robert went on a ride solo because he wanted Scott to try to do anything and everything to get him off of the tube. He was going so fast, it was crazy. He finally did come off of the tube... and was SO worn out after that ride.

 Zach, Julia, Sophie

 Aaron Jr, Me (Leslie), Lily

 I thought I would try a trick as well.

 One last ride for Aaron Jr, Teresa, and Lily.

Aaron Jr was getting brave...

Then with a little help from Teresa, Aaron Jr and Lily both got brave.
 
 My sweet boy.
He had a blast and so did I.

Thanks to Scott and Lori and their family...
it was SO much fun.
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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Aaron Junior is Learning to Read

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video

This is Aaron Jr.
He brought home his first sight reading book today.
I read through it part way, then he got the hang of it and took over.
This was his third time through it.
Memorization is great! :)
He was so excited and so was I. :)
He is loving school.


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