Sunday, November 28, 2010

Prayer and Depression

It seems lately I've been experiencing a bout of minor depression.  I believe it's due mostly to life in general (funny how that works).  I've spent quite a bit of time kicking myself for allowing such a pity party, which contributes to the sour mood I have going.  During this time,  I have kept saying my prayers, reading my scriptures, and trying to remember how ridiculously selfish it is to feel sorry for yourself.  I even neglected my new"ish" blog posting habits, which again, added to the guilt and general bleckiness I've been feeling. 

Even though I felt for sure I deserved to stay home today and wallow in my lovely blanket of miserableness, I  got up, got dressed and went to leadership meeting (I serve in the Relief Society Presidency of my branch).  The Branch President gave a spiritual thought that I felt was "just for me".  He quoted Richard G Scott by saying "Our characters are forged in the service of others" and several other things that reminded me to get over myself. 

Then, in sacrament meeting, our Stake President issued a reminder of our temple covenants to consecrate our time and talents to The Lord.  That was below the belt :)  I started to cry (this has been happening lots the last few days) and had to leave the room for a moment to blow my nose and clean up a bit. 

After church, I received a blessing of comfort from a few of the wonderful, worthy Priesthood holders in our branch.  This helped almost immediately, which is wonderful. I consider it one of the greatest blessings of my life to have access to such worthy Priesthood holders since I do not have the Priesthood in my home. 

So what's the point of all of this?  Well, I'm just thinking of our Relief Society lesson we received today regarding lines of communication.  I tend to not open my heart to Heavenly Father when I'm feeling this way because it just seems so silly and stupid to feel sorry for myself when I have been given so so sooooo many blessings.  In short, I feel ungrateful.  Thusly, even though I am still saying my prayers, I am not "there" and my listening is affected.  If I had kept my lines of communication open and honest and as humble as they should have been, I could have felt much better much sooner.

If I knew that one of my children didn't come to me with a problem they really needed my help with because they were ashamed or embarrassed, it would make me quite sad that they did not realize my love for them in any instance.  How much more then, is Heavenly Father saddened to watch us do that same thing?  To sum up, I suppose in all of my trying to be what I should be, I missed  a vital point.  Love.  Heavenly Father's love.  Hopefully, I will remember a little sooner the next time and save a few tears for happy occasions rather than pity parties :):) 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Missing Out

Today my husband and oldest stepson are traveling 2 hours north to visit the Little Bohemia Lodge.  For those of you who may not know, this is where the famous shootout occurred between the police and Johnny Depp :)  Not really--between the police, John Dillinger, and BabyFace Nelson.  It is a cool place and we have all been wanting to go there.  However, it was not a doable thing for my daughter and myself to tag along.  So we stayed home to do things like laundry, baking, and getting ready for a Stake Standards Event that the parents are invited to (I get to go to the planetarium with the kids----super duper YAY!!!)  Here are some pictures of Little Bohemia Lodge then, and now.  Enjoy!  I know I'll be enjoying the planetarium! 

Don't those chairs look inviting?  I would love to sit there with a glass of lemonade and watch the wildlife go by! 

Friday, November 12, 2010

I've gained some new insights on prayer and the Atonement

This week I've been studying the Atonement as I do fairly often.  We hear it spoken of so much that I feel as though I'm missing something in my studies and, I did have something new hit me this time.  I'm probably the last on board with this,  but the comment that The Savior took on not only our sins, but our troubles and sorrows particularly hit me this time.  So He would know how it felt to be "us".  Does that really mean that every time I feel I've been inadequate, He felt that?  Every time I allow myself to be burdened with guilt over past parenting errors or not fulfilling my calling to my best capabilities or whatever, He felt that  too?  Every pity party?  Every betrayal?  Every hurt feeling?  Disappointment in myself and/or others?  I'm not sure about anyone else, but for me and how often I've allowed myself to slip into the "depths of despair", that's quite a load.  Not to mention the fact that I've added to it especially regarding the  parenting issue by feeling that no one could possibly understand the extent of my disappointment, grief and guilt over this one issue.  As one who has suffered a lifetime of serious issues with self esteem, this concept adds to the disappointment I have in myself for allowing those feelings to creep in, now knowing I added to the pain and discomfort of  my Savior.  But it helps at the same time knowing He knew and felt I was well worth the effort.  Yet another layer.  I am grateful that we so often receive reminders of The Atonement and grateful there was enough love for all of us that our Savior felt we were all well worth the effort.

And a small note on prayer.  I've also been trying to pray more specifically and intricately for the help I and my friends and loved ones need.  I can just testify it absolutely works!  SKW (a brother in our branch) testified this past Sunday that you receive inspiration more specifically when we pray more specifically and by name so I decided to try it out and put even more effort into my prayers.  I have been blessed this week beyond measure.  I have been strengthened and humbled by the power of a simple "please help _____ to be able to feel the spirit and gain a desire to do the things they should be doing".  I am once again in awe of the power within our grasp and the amazing blessings that are available to us. 

Because no post would be as fun without a picture--here is a picture of myself and a group of sisters in front of the St. Paul Temple in October.  What a wonderful day we had!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What I love about scripture reading

Have you ever noticed, no matter where you are reading in the scriptures, no matter what is going on in your life, there is something for you to identify with?  For instance, Read 2 Nephi 1.  Now this is Lehi speaking to his children before he dies.  However, if you read it with any situation or struggle on your mind, the advice still applies.  Plain and simple---keep the commandments, blessings follow--don't keep the commandments, life is sure to be extremely blecky.  We know that each commandment we follow has specific blessings if obeyed and specific consequences if disobeyed, but are we sure exactly what the blessings and/or consequences are?  Which blessings am I willing to give up for a moment's disobedience?  It's a risky game.

I've been praying for help recently on a struggle my family is experiencing, pleading for guidance on how to find my way through and I kept coming back to the same thoughts----keep doing your best and living as you should.  Then I read the 1st chapter of 2 Nephi and received the same advice.  It seems simple, but when you're mid adversity, "hang in there" isn't exactly the response everyone desires.  But it inevitably is the answer.  Just a few thoughts.  :)