Monday, November 7, 2011

Waiting Upon the Lord: Thy will be done

This is the title of Elder Hales talk from Conference this last month and I loved it when I listened to it over the TV but today I re-read it and I have found so many more wonderful insights than I ever imagined I could find when I was listening to it.  This was truly a talk prepared for me and I have a feeling for many of you as well:)  All of you should read the full version for yourselves and here is the link:
but I just wanted to share some of my favorite parts.
He started out by giving several examples from the life of our Savior.  He shares the 6 specific times when our He had to wait upon our Father whether it was for comfort, the time of his ministry, release of pain, or release from temptation.  Then Elder Hale's says this:
"I have often pondered, Why is it that the Son of God and His holy prophets and all the faithful Saints have trials and tribulations, even when they are trying to do Heavenly Father’s will? Why is it so hard, especially for them?"

He later gives this answer:
The scriptures give us an answer in one simple phrase: we “wait upon the Lord.”12 Tests and trials are given to all of us. These mortal challenges allow us and our Heavenly Father to see whether we will exercise our agency to follow His Son. He already knows, and we have the opportunity to learn, that no matter how difficult our circumstances, “all these things shall [be for our] experience, and … [our] good.”13
I especially was grateful for the understanding that he gives.  Saying that waiting on the Lord doesn't mean that we will always understand our challenges.  That there will be hard circumstances where we may fall on our knees and ask, "O God, where art thou?"  He then quotes Psalms and tells us that "yes, weeping may endure for a night, but that joy cometh in the morning." Then in the dawn of our increased faith and understanding, we arise and choose to wait upon the Lord saying, "Thy will be done."  This was exactly what happened to me after my second miscarriage.  That night I had no hope.  I really did not want to go back into work because I didn't want to have to tell close co-workers that I had already told I was pregnant.  And I just felt so sad I didn't think I could hold back the tears when thoughts of my loss suddenly hit me, which I knew they would. We were supposed to be moving a month from then anyways and I just wanted to leave right then and start over, not having to face anyone at work or church. But I went to sleep that night and it was amazing what a difference that night made.  The next day I had a new perspective and a new Hope.  I thought, well maybe I can go back to work and maybe I can get through this. Everything is going to be Ok.  I'm glad to know that we are aloud that night of weeping:)

This next part is my favorite part.  He gives us 7 meanings of "waiting upon the Lord."  What I loved about it is that it was a good check up on myself.  For many years now I have been waiting on the Lord for a very righteous desire.  All of these meanings that Elder Hale's gives are things that I have been taught line-upon-line already through whispering s of the Spirit or other people that Heavenly Father has put in my path and it was just really neat now seeing this all put together and my thoughts confirmed.
 One answer came over Labor Day weekend when Elder and Sister Ballard came to our ward that Sunday and sat down next to us on our bench. I had the chance to chat a little with Sister Ballard and after asking how long we had been married she asked about children.  I told her how much we wanted children but have not been able to have any yet.  She shared with me that it took her 3 years to get married and how hard that was on her.  The advise she gave me was that it takes a very mighty prayer, which is the 2nd meaning Elder Hales gives of "waiting on the Lord."

Here are all 7 meanings he gives:

"To wait upon the Lord means planting the seed of faith and nourishing it “with great diligence, and … patience.”17
It means praying as the Savior did—to God, our Heavenly Father—saying: “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done.”18 It is a prayer we offer with our whole souls in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Waiting upon the Lord means pondering in our hearts and “receiv[ing] the Holy Ghost” so that we can know “all things what [we] should do.”19 As we follow the promptings of the Spirit, we discover that “tribulation worketh patience”20 and we learn to “continue in patience until [we] are perfected.”21
Waiting upon the Lord means to “stand fast”22 and “press forward” in faith, “having a perfect brightness of hope.”23
It means “relying alone upon the merits of Christ”24 and “with [His] grace assisting [us, saying]: Thy will be done, O Lord, and not ours.”25
As we wait upon the Lord, we are “immovable in keeping the commandments,”26 knowing that we will “one day rest from all [our] afflictions.”27
And we “cast not away … [our] confidence”28 that “all things wherewith [we] have been afflicted shall work together for [our] good."
And what a great reminder he later gives us, that when we are waiting we should be reminded that there are many other people in our lives who are waiting for us.  
He says, "In your daily Christlike ministry, you are waiting upon the Lord and doing your Heavenly Father's will."
I'm pretty sure that there are is a lot more that I should be doing as a servant of Christ and I hope that I will not leave many people waiting on me much longer. 

"Let us remember that as we wait upon the Lord, we are becoming “saint[s] through [His] atonement, … submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon [us], even as a child doth submit to his father.”36"

He concludes with this beautiful witness:
"I bear my special witness that our Savior’s promise is true, for He says, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”46 May we wait upon Him by pressing forward in faith, that we may say in our prayers, “Thy will be done,”47 and return to Him with honor." 

I am so grateful for all of our special witness' of Christ that are on the Earth today.  What a blessing we have  in having them to guide and direct us in such challenging, yet exciting times.  

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sad Day

Right now I work at an employment training facility for adults with disabilities and I love it, but I guess it can also have it's hard moments. This morning as I was walking into work my directors husband stopped me and told me that he thought I should know one of my clients passed away that morning. They found him dressed so they know it wasn't in his sleep but don't know what happened. I was shocked, there was nothing that happened with him recently to predict this; he was just at work happy and joking around as could be. I was shocked at first and it wasn't till I got inside that I just couldn't keep the tears away; he was a pretty big guy and so sweet. I always thought of him as our big brown teddy bear(he was also very dark skinned) The part that really gets to me is that just last week was his birthday and during a conversation with him he told me that for his birthday he wanted to go up to heaven to give his angel mama a hug and sing her a song; he wanted to know if that would be ok. I asked him what song he would sing and he said one he made up. I asked him to sing it to me and he just started singing this little tune about going to his angel mama and giving her a hug, it was pretty cute. Then he told me that he wanted to go up to heaven and he asked if he could go up there. I told him that he couldn't go yet because I would miss him to much. Well I guess Heavenly Father decided to give him his wish and I know that he is so happy up in heaven without his physical and mental limitations but I'm still gonna miss him so much at work. He had such a big heart, was never one to complain and always quick with compliments. It took me awhile to get to know him because he was very soft spoken and is definitely one to avoid attention but it was all the more reason to develop a really soft spot for him in my heart. The rest of the morning I found so much more appreciation in each one of the wonderful people that I get to work for. I kept looking at them and tearing up just thinking about how much I love them and how much I would miss them if they weren't here anymore but how easily one of them could pass away any day. Since I have been working here last August there have now been 3 clients from my facility pass away. I hope to do better at helping them to enjoy each day at work and to make the most of my time with them. July will be my last month here and I am not looking forward to saying goodbye.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My Mom; an Elect Lady

I’ve always known that my parents would do pretty much anything for me. But for my Mom especially, it seems very hard for her to see me go through hard times. Throughout the years I have continually seen my Mom sacrifice herself for the needs of our family and I have always thought of her as the most compassionate, Christ-like person I know. She has always been my greatest example of pure love on this Earth. I thought I understood what this meant but a couple of weeks ago she touched my heart in such a way that I did not know was possible. Anyone outside of my family won’t know this but after trying for four years to conceive I was finally able to with the help of a fertility specialist, but then soon after ended up miscarrying. I’m sure you can all imagine the excitement that we felt of finally being able to conceive and then the huge let down that we then felt at finding out I miscarried. We are ok now and will just continue treatments at the clinic and we have hope that it will work again. But just a few days after I found out I miscarried my parents came to visit for the day and make sure we were doing all right. My Mom who is 64 told me that the other week she had been thinking about what she could do to help me and she actually thought about what if she carried our baby for me, and she was serious. I was completely shocked, I just told her that she was crazy and there was no way I would ever take the risk of her health by letting her do that but I was so completely touched that she would even consider that possibility for me. What a sacrifice to be willing to make. I’m pretty sure it’s harder for her to see me suffering than it is for me to actually suffer. I feel so blessed to even know such a woman as her, nonetheless have her as my Mom. She has done and would do anything and everything for me; I love you so much Mom.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Feeling Blessed!!

Maybe I'm speaking too soon and we won't end up liking Hailey but right now it just seems perfect for us. The more we think about it the more it seems like something that could really turn into a long-term thing for us and a great place to raise our family. It really just seems like such a miracle to me and I thought I would share. Since we have been married Liji has asked me several times where I picture us living long-term and settling down in but I have usually always put him off and shy'd away from answering him or discussing this topic because anyplace that I could realistically see us ending up, because of Liji's job and his need for a small town, I just couldn't see myself being happy there as well. All the things I wanted like, being within a few hours of my parents and our children's cousins, being near mountains and a ski resort, being in a smaller town(for Liji) but a place that still had fairly big size schools that would have good sports, music and arts programs for my kids and where they would get a really quality education(for me), being in a smaller town(for Liji) but a place that still seems kept up well and clean(for me), a place with a job for Liji that he would really enjoy and where he could make a decent income teaching to raise our family on, a place where we were both happy, ect., ect., I just COULD NOT actually see happening. For Liji it was a fun and exciting thing to talk about and it should have been for me too but it was just so hard because any of this places that he talked about living in were far from Utah and my family or in the middle of no-where with practically zero population, and just not exciting to me. I mean, I would get really stressed and worried thinking about this and would get really emotional or angry anytime Liji tried to make me talk about it. I just told him there was no point, it just stressed me out thinking about it, and we would just end up where ever we ended up and that would be where Heavenly Father needed us and where we were supposed to be. And then we were guided to this job in Hailey and it wasn't until thinking about it the other night that I realized that it has all the stipulations that I have ever really wanted. I mean it is just perfect for us and I really can't even believe that it actually exists. I felt so loved and understood by my Heavenly Father and for that I am so grateful. He really does know me and my desires(even my little ones) so perfectly and wants me and Liji to be happy(I've always known this but it just really sunk in for me). I don't know why we spend anytime worrying about the future; of course Heavenly Father will take care of us he always has and always will. Even if we end up somewhere else after Hailey and then somewhere else and somewhere else, I know that it will be where the Lord wants us to be and therefore the perfect place for us.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Life is moving us Forward

Liji got a call Thursday for a really good teaching job offer in Hailey, IDaho. They told him that he was by far their best candidate and were really putting the pressure on him to give him an answer right away, but he put them off for a bit by telling them he wanted to see the school and Hailey first. The job is in a dual-immersion program where he will be teaching sophomore's World History in Spanish and from the beginning he has been really excited about it, it fits his abilities perfectly and they have the best pay by far of anywhere in the area.
Yesterday morning we took off for Hailey to find out what we think of it and we'll be here through Sunday to attend church here and see what the ward is like. We arrived around 10 am yesterday and went straight to the High School to meet with the Principle who wants Liji. Right away it was apparent that they really wanted Liji and what Liji loved the most is how supportive the administration seemed and all the other teachers were of him. He really felt appreciated. He stayed with them till 1 to observe, and I went to tour Hailey a bit. Hailey is a pretty small town of only 6,000 people 75 miles down hwy 73 from Twin Falls and it is 11 miles from Sun Valley Ski resort which is a really ritzy resort so this area is a pretty popular tourist place. We are surrounded by mountains and it is just gorgeous. Everything seems to be kept really nice and clean and the school is so nice. The principle told Liji that their budget is $80,000,000 and they only have 3,000 students so they are really supported by the community. They are the only school district in IDaho that is giving their teachers raises while everyone else is cutting back and laying off. After I picked up Liji from the school and they sent us over to the district office to talk to their Human resources department where they really schmoozed us over with the pay and benefits and all the other perks of living in Hailey. One reason that the salary is so high is because of the high cost of housing. Rent prices are higher than Logan, even though Hailey is in the middle of nowhere. It is however just 12 miles away from Sun Valley which really drives prices up. He got to Liji with a lot of talk of hunting just 5 minutes away and getting huge bucks and tons of birds:) They wanted our answer by 3 so we took it all in and then went to a quiet place to pray about it. From the beginning I felt like this would be good for us even though I wasn't that excited about living in such a small town and we still felt really good about it and went back over to the school where Liji went in and accepted the offer! I waited longer than I expected to and he said it was because the principle had to take him around to practically everyone in the school announcing that he had accepted the job. Liji really likes how supported he feels there.
From the beginning we have worried about this job because it means we will be farther than we planned from a fertility specialist but it just feels right and I guess Heavenly Father will help us with the rest. Boise is just 2 hours away which is how far I'm driving to the clinic now anyways. Hopefully I'm just pregnant before we come here in August. Just thought I'd give everyone an update; we are really excited if you can't tell:) We have always loved and wanted to stay in Idaho but knew that the pay in most districts wasn't enough to raise our family on, well here it is and we're just about half-way between my parents and Liji's parents. It will be about 6 hours either way; which is a do-able drive.
Liji still has to graduate (he'll be defending his thesis on July 19th) and then he has a short contract to teach an ESL class at Utah State until the beginning of August, then we will come to Hailey.