Sunday, January 5, 2014

my one big goal for 2014

this is the time of year to contemplate change and improvement and fresh beginnings.
but i have been muling these type of thoughts over for a couple months and have tried in a couple different ways to invoke change but to little success i feel.

i spent the first half of 2013 in one relationship, and the last half of 2013 in another. 
2013 for me held a lot of anxiety.
a lot going on in my head.
and a lot of personal growth internally for me.
i feel stronger from the experiences ive had.

in the middle of the year, i spent several months serving in a calling that required a lot of my time and energy, a lot of my heart and love.  and it was probably one of the most rewarding and definitely the most spiritual times of my life.  i know that a mantle, a power, a strength was placed on me during that time in that calling.  i had the Spirit with me in a way, a strength, that i've never felt before.  it was remarkable.  i felt like i was constantly seeking to know what the Lord's will was, then went and did it.  
this may sound like a boast, but i don't mean it in that way at all.
i was just willing to be an instrument. thats all.
everything i did and said, the work that was done--was all Him.
he led me.
it was the best feeling in the world.

the beginning part of the year, i was wrapped up in some big problems.
i have been in 2 serious relationships where the men were pornography addicts and last year, i finally found myself attending the Church's 12 step program for wives/families of addicts.  
it was one of the best, scariest, most painful, and most rewarding experiences ive ever had.
the Spirit in those meetings is only comparable to that of the temple.  i became close to the women i met there and learned what it really means to edify one another.
there i learned SO MUCH.
so much about myself.
so much about the pain others carry.
so much about addiction and the sweet men that struggle.
so much about my Savior.
i finally began to heal internally.

i learned COMPASSION for what i felt like was the first time.
i would look at people i knew, strangers, people that annoyed me—and i knew they too struggled with insecurities of their own, they too surely had quiet things that pained them
and i felt love.
i wanted to help people. i wanted to take everyones pain away.
i had true compassion on people.
i judged people so much less during that time.
i saw people differently.. i began to see them more like Heavenly Father must see them

following my calling, i felt prompted to move.  6 months ago i moved to Farmington, Utah.
an adorable, pretty small town.  i truly love this quiet town. 
its a safe little wedge cradled against the mountains here.
i found myself, here, in a spiritual lull though.  
i'm trying to think of all the reasons why i got myself into this rut, and perhaps there are many.
one thing i thought of today was that ive stopped writing on this blog.
writing here is not for the purpose anyone elses benefit but for time to reflect. time to document what i learn and experience.  a place for my thoughts.  
in my patriarchal blessing, there is a line that ive considered often concerning taking quiet time to be alone to ponder.  
writing does that for me.

so in effort to lift myself out my lull,
im going to write more.

i have a list of other things i want to do and try as well, but this is a big one that i want to commit to.

today in sacrament meeting, a gentleman got up and spoke about how awesome it is to be perfect with scripture study 7 days week, but that its also ok to only find yourself reading 5 times a week but still trying for 7.
i looked around the room.
i chose not to take the sacrament today.
i've repeatedly made mistakes and felt i had repented but obviously not.
i keep thinking in my head about what i can do to really change.  i know i want to.
its not a matter of will. its a matter of what will motivate me. 
nothing precious enough has been taken away..
so i didn't partake of the sacrament.
something very sacred and meaningful to me.  
something i truly don't take lightly, despite my previous actions.
as i scanned the crowd, i knew no one very well.
a bunch of strangers, giggling and passing notes. 
i was happy to be in the right place, but felt disconnected.
like the weeks, months before—i sat there telling myself 'somethings gotta change'..what should i do…i made a mental list and resolve to be better at x, y, z…
and the thought came to me to get up and DO something.  
start now.

so i walked up to the pulpit.
its fast sunday, so this was appropriate haha.
but i went up and said something along these lines:

jeff spoke about something that reminded me of a great lesson i've learned. i feel like im the one jeff was speaking about. the one that reads 5 days a week, but somehow, despite all my desires and efforts, i can't get 7 days in for the life of me. life hasn't been perfect or easy the past couple of months, and it shouldn't be.  i don't know why i ever expect it to be.  but i've been sorely imperfect.  ive been incomplete.  ive fallen short.  ive made mistakes.  but i wont stop trying.
i never will stop trying.
my testimony, even though i struggle to always be obedient, is steadfast. and it is immovable.
i may fall down.
but i will ALWAYS get up again.
i know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true.
and how grateful i am to have truth in my life.
i know so many that do not, and my heart aches for them.
many years ago, when i was a recent convert, i asked my bishop "how do i prevent the spiritual highs and lows in life??" i just wanted to consistently, always be awesome.  he didn't give me much of an answer but left it up to me to figure out.  it wasn't until about 2 years ago that i think i figured out the answer.  it is: continued repentance.  DAILY repentance.  immediate repentance.   there must be an Uchtdorf analogy of the airplane, but if we DAILY are correcting our course— realigning often with God, then we will never get so far off.  
this consistency is important.  
i knew this.
i learned it.
and i still got myself off course, because i didn't take action.
i didn't work on it.
and like changing any of our bad habits or personal weaknesses, it is really hard to control.
but if daily, i realign myself through repentance, i have no doubt i can improve myself and my situation.

so instead of feeling overwhelmed by new years resolutions to be a super human, im going to commit to quick and continued repentance when i do fall short this year.   i will never stop trying.  
this is my number one goal for 2014.