Category Archives: Becoming through change

Life isn’t about being stagnant, it’s about growing and becoming all we have within us to be. That only happens through change. Sometimes the changes are pretty brutal and take a lifetime. But not only do we become more in the end, we learn to see the everyday in a new and clearer light.

My New Year’s Prayer 

It was probably 15 years ago when I bought cheap lanyards for our store team to wear. I wanted something to hold the keys to the dressing rooms as well as laminated cards with reminders of the current store promotions.

Several of them had the letters WWJD repeated in bright colors.

I had no idea what it meant.

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After my team laughed at my continuous naiveté, I decided we would still use them. Heck, I was never very good at political correctness anyway.

Now, perhaps not as naïve as I used to be, but still full of hope for mankind, I understand that it is in fact the real question that we have to be asking if we want to change the natural course of human events.

It’s the only question that can change human nature.

What would Jesus do?

Not just the Sunday School answers, but what would He really do? What DID He ACTUALLY do?

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Moving forward by rekindling old traditions

When our kids were still running around in those great footie pajamas and giggling at any escape of a bodily noise, Ann worked hard to make a wonderful Christmas, both on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.

You know, the kind of Christmas that small children lay awake all night for, waiting in anticipation, until at 3:00 a.m. they can’t stand it any longer and begin the bouncing on top of a sleeping Mom and Dad, who have only very recently themselves pulled the covers up over their heads.

Alex especially loved to unwrap packages. Looking back, we think that she probably helped Nick unwrap the majority of his as well.

Christmas presents

But grumpy and OCD Dad had a hard time enjoying the magic of the morning while seeing all the giftwrap spread around, those bows and ribbons that were still perfectly good and needed to be saved for use again next year, and just the general chaos of it all.

And decorating?

Just imagine a manic perfectionist dad with OCD who sees EVERY detail and has a definite opinion of just EXACTLY how it should be – combined with a mom trying to make the season magical for two young bright-eyed children who loved mixing and matching things that just shouldn’t be mixed or matched – EVER.

Looking back, quite probably all the things that make Christmas so much fun for small children were all the things that could set me off.

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Is happiness a good indicator of genuine faith?

(All images in this post are from LDS media)

This past year my attention has been drawn to the quick glimpses we catch during conferences of our prophets and apostles. Not necessarily the images we are meant to see, but those that are semi-private moments between genuine brothers.

As seers, prophets, and revelators, I can’t even begin to know the depths of what they know.

Or see what they see.

But I see them.

And they are happy.

first presidencyI can’t get the images of President Eyring laughing with President Monson, or President Uchtdorf’s eyes sparkling at something he witnesses.

Our new apostles literally have had the weight of the world placed on their shoulders.

They must realize that there is more to be done than they can ever do; they are overwhelmed, to say the least.

And still they laugh and are happy.

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Not just in the public moments as they stand as witnesses, but also in the relaxed and private ones.

I think it’s actually in these unscripted, unprepared moments of happiness that their greatest witness is borne.

Those with the greatest capacity to see, to know, and to understand just exactly how frightening things really are out there – aren’t afraid.

Instead, they smile and laugh.

And love.

We’ve been told that laughter is the best medicine for what ails us.

It’s true.

But it only works if it is real.

Forced, sarcastic, and bitter imitations have no healing power.

christmas3How do we find the strength, and even the courage, to laugh when things are – frankly – incredibly hard?

We believe.

It sounds simplistic, I know.

There are so many things out there that can make us afraid.

But only if that is all we see.

Believing in those things we cannot see brings light to illuminate what we need to see – what we must see if we no longer want to be afraid.

If we want to be happy.

I’ve watched a lot of people through the years. I think I’m getting pretty good at discerning those of deep and abiding faith in our Savior Jesus Christ.

They are burdened, they are tired, they are in pain.

Christmas4And they are happy.

Just look at the Special Witnesses we have been given.

This season of remembrance is a special opportunity for us to also stand up and witness to others what we believe.

Even if they can’t see it.

Yet.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

ChristmasIs it really possible to be unafraid in terror-filled surroundings, to be peaceful in the midst of turmoil and uncertainty, to be happy while in pain and suffering?

And not the forced, bitter, or sarcastic imitations of happiness, but the real thing?

It is, if we will but just believe.

Be happy this season dear friends.

Be happy.

 

Offering humbly-confident prayers

When Alex and Nick were very young, we knew what they were doing all the time.

No, really, ALL the time.

It was incredibly exhausting.

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As they grew and we had witnessed enough wonderful choices and decisions, we stepped back a bit and parts of their day were their own.

Of course, we’d hear the pitter-patter of feet coming down the hall, giggles, and Nick emerging around the corner.

“Mom, Dad…wait just a minute.”

And then he’d disappear around the corner again and we could hear loud whispers of “what was I supposed to ask”, followed by an intense whisper by his sister of exactly what it was that she wanted.

We’d call “come out you two” and we’d wait for them to come, pushing each other a little so as to not be the one in front.

Soon they were on our laps and we’d talk about just what it was on their minds.

Quickly, however, this magical time disappeared and was replaced by more serious petitions about things that truly mattered to them.

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Is the antidote of pride actually happiness?

We’ve learned for as long as I can remember that the opposite of pride is humility.

That’s true. You can’t be prideful and humble at the same time.

Last year I shared some musings over the connection between humility and confidence.

In my heart, I feel that only true humility comes to the confident, and only the confident can experience true humility.

Of course the best example we have is the Savior. Is there anyone who was as humble as He?

“Not my will, Lord, but Thine be done.”

Jesus Christ 9But at the same time there has never been One so strong, so purely masculine, so utterly fearless, and so quietly confident.

“Jesus sayeth unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

Our task in this life is to learn how to become confidently humble; moving forward boldly in the cause of truth and righteousness while constantly working to conform our will to His.

Continue reading Is the antidote of pride actually happiness?