Something that I have observed in my life . . .
As we miss, even briefly, opportunities to partake of the gospel through our attendance at Sunday meetings, Sunday School, Relief Society etc - it only takes moments, days and very few weeks before we find ourselves slipping and falling behind in our own inspiration, power to receive revelation, how close to the spirit we feel and the capacity to obtain peace in our lives every day.
I can immediately feel the difference if I miss even one Sunday of attending Sacrament meeting, Sunday School and Relief Society. I don't know about everyone else, but I need that constant nourishment in my life to uplift me, inspire me to be better, to try harder each week to follow the example of our Savior Jesus Christ.
When I miss even one Sunday's church attendance and then return two weeks later - I can tell there is a void in my life and I have to work that much harder to regain that previously attained level of the presence and blessings of the spirit.
So for me . . . being in a foreign country, even though technically I "speak" the language, albeit roughly, I struggle each week to maintain the spirit. Even though I attend regularly, I still don't understand 80% of the messages shared during the Sunday meeting schedule. Sometimes I'm striving so hard to catch the gist of the message, I fall short of the blessings of the spirit.
Right now, in my current circumstance, my personal gospel studies have to fill the void that I would usually gain from attendance at Sunday meeting each week with my ward, friends and neighbors. I try to have a "Daily Spiritual Experience", something that lifts, inspires and enables me to experience and share peace in my life. I crave the peace that the study of the scriptures brings. It's truly an "ahhhh" moment as I open the scriptures each day and read and study those things that can bless each of our lives.
Besides the scriptures . . . my favorite place to "hang out" that I try to make time for as often as possible, are the gospel magazines, the "Ensign", the "Liahona" (a new favorite!!), even the "New Era" and the "Friend" magazine. (After all . . . I never know exactly who my audience is going to be next week . . . youth, children, adults . . . we speak to all of them :)
So it did my heart much good to come across this article by President Henry B. Eyring, someone who is even more dear to my heart, as the First Presidency Message this month . . .
Take a minute and go read it . . . I'll still be here when you get back :) Really - go read it or you won't understand the rest of this blog post . . .
(So basically THAT was a very long introduction to the rest of this blog post . . .)
As I exercise faith and approach my Heavenly Father in prayer and offer a prayer of gratitude for my many blessings . . . truly the list is long. Very long. I almost can't even count all the many blessings I am so grateful for. My heart fills with gratitude for the many blessings I experience in my life.
I hope that as I continue to journal, (blog) all things in my life, and the life of my family, children, grandchildren - and those things that touch our life everyday - that it can be more of a "book of remembrance". Remembrance for blessings, an expression of gratitude and thankfulness. That I might be more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance of my life every day.
President Eyring encourages us to write asking . . .
"How did God Bless me and Those I Love Today?"
Heavenly Father has blessed me with an opportunity to live in the beautiful country of Honduras, with a people so lovely and warm and filled with the Spirit. They go about thanking God that they are still alive each day.
Heavenly Father has blessed me with inspiration each day as I prayerfully seek it. Prayers answered, questions answered, guidance received moment by moment.
Heavenly Father has blessed me with a good husband who leads and seeks the Spirit for guidance each and every day. Someone who depends on the Spirit to guide all his actions and decisions.
Heavenly Father blesses the lives of my children daily.
A daughter is getting married and the way has been prepared for her to travel to the temple here in Honduras
to be sealed, so her Dad could also experience this greatest moment in her life.
She has been blessed with a new job in one of the most difficult and competitive markets in Utah currently - nursing. She has found an amazing man who honors his priesthood and will take her to the house of the Lord.
Another daughter enjoys good health during her pregnancy. Her husband has found the employment he was seeking. My granddaughter is healthy, learns quickly, and brings joy to her parents each day. (and to her grandparents!)
A son has a beautiful family, enjoys a choice place to live amongst a busy city, which is safe, secure and blesses their lives each day. My grandson is nurtured and well cared for by each of his parents, is also healthy and the joy of his parents (and grandparents :) He is well respected by his employers and given honorable assignments that he enjoys.
Our oldest son enjoys all the blessings of the gospel in their home. They each serve our Heavenly Father in callings diligently, they experience the missionary spirit in their lives on a regular basis. Their home is warm each time we have opportunity to visit, they have been blessed with many talents they use on a daily basis to enhance their lives and the lives within their circle of influence.
(that's not to say - that each and everyone of us are not without
our own personal struggles . . . we each have those unique challenges in our
lives . . . but after all . . . we are counting blessings here :)
And in the words of President Eyring
" If you do that often enough and with faith, you will find yourself remembering blessings. And sometimes you will have gifts brought to your mind that you failed to notice during the day but that you will then know were a touch of God’s hand in your life."
I could go on and on . . . but it only takes a moment of thought to realize we are so blessed.
And we are so grateful . . .
And we SEEK after THESE things . . .