Saturday, January 10, 2009

Let’s Try to Make 2009 Better than 2008

The New Year is here!! How are you holding up? Even with the lousy financial news and panic that seems to grip much of the nation, I can’t help but feel optimism about the future.
I base my optimism on the fact that I live in a beautiful, free country and that I’m pretty much in charge of my life. I may have limited influence because I’m just one person. But as a cross stitch motto on my grandma’s wall said, “I can’t do everything; I am only one. But I AM one and I can do something.”
Just because a task seems huge doesn’t mean it’s impossible. A trip of 1,000 miles starts with one step... and another and another....
I also am trying to be sure that I think in terms of what’s going right, rather than what’s not so great (as I tend to do much too often).
Mama is recovering, slowly, from the nasty fall she took last month which bruised her back, as well as broke her left foot and jammed her right ankle. She was in the hospital for three days, then a rehab center. She takes a step forward and a half step backwards. And I sometimes feel stressed-out from being completely responsible for her and watching her suffer. But, sacrificing convenience and time is a small price to pay for the soul-expanding experience of caring for my mother.
Financially, I don’t have quite what I had earlier in the year but we do have enough to share through hiring and buying locally to help friends and family. I’m grateful that my husband cares more about people than hoarding what we have against an uncertain future.
My personal study gives me tremendous comfort. I’m reminded why I don’t have to fear as the world spins toward the Second Coming. Satan seems to have so much power; he’s managed to deceive a huge number of people who love wickedness more than God. But Jesus Christ, Lord of this earth, comforts me with His words, “Wherefore, gird up your loins and be prepared. Behold, the kingdom is yours, and the enemy shall not overcome.”
“...treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you ... but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear.”
I think “treasure up wisdom” means to increase scripture study and to attend church and obey His commandments, whether or not I’m tired or tempted to do something that’s not uplifting. Preparedness refers to both temporal and spiritual preparedness.
Watching news about terrorist strikes around the world makes me grateful to live where I do. I don’t feel vulnerable to such attacks, although I know that random acts of violence and accidents can happen anywhere.
But, I feel Heavenly Father’s protection and love surround me whenever I start to worry about something. I know that fear, worry, and anger are all emotions that Satan fans into retaliation, paranoia, and murder. I cling to my Savior and I try to stay far away from any place the Holy Ghost won’t operate. Illness, sorrow, and grief are negative burdens that Jesus Christ willingly lifts from me, if I allow Him to do so.
Another blessing comes to mind--I’m still relatively healthy, although I’m reminded that old age is creeping up on me. My body isn’t as strong as it was not so long ago; I can’t work hour after hour without stopping, although sometimes I try to! I am learning to be patient and to listen to internal signals. I’m also learning to hear the whispers of the Spirit that help me distinguish between when I need to relax and when I’m just being lazy!

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