Getting Ready to Swim

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Today is Sunday and we are snowed in! So you may be wondering why am I talking about swimming?  I had the day to do some pondering and studying and journal writing.  At the one year mark of Scott’s death and then again on our 21st wedding anniversary and my birthday,  I felt this combination of excitement and fear.  Fear to leave this comfortable place I have found in my life (my little SANDBAR that I wrote about in September) and excitement that changes are going to happen this year.  I sense that it is time to move forward and that there is more for me to do.  It’s time for me to get ready to swim.

I find it strange that as I prepare to relist my house, that I am not worried about it selling like I was last year.  I feel very much at peace about the whole thing.  I know that if I am doing what is right and listening to the Spirit that it is in the Lord’s hands.  When the time is right, it will sell, and not a minute sooner. I am curious to discover all of the purposes for the delay and revamping of my plans.  I have found that the reasons are always revealed in hindsight, and that I am often amazed and surprised at how wonderfully orchestrated my life ends up being.  Although it is contrary to the ‘planner’ in me, I am just waiting for that wave to crash over my sandbar before I figure out what comes next.  That seems to be the answer that I get, “Be patient and wait.  You will be very surprised and it will be great!”  I’ve never been much for surprises, but I guess this is just another lesson for me to learn.

In someways, I wish that my sandbar could just exist for the rest of my life here.  That my children would stay and that I would continue to be able to study and serve people like I am doing now.  But time does not allow us to stay stagnant.  Whether we want it to or not, it moves on and the waves will slowly wash and reform this bar of sand that I am resting on.  Eventually, it will not exist anymore.  In reality I do want time to change.  I want Alex and Cooper to return from their missions.  I want them to marry and rebuild our family.  I want to find someone who can love me and help me through the rest of my time here.  I want someone to be a grandfather for my grandkids, and an assistant parent to the ones I still have at home.  I would love for Scott to still be that person.  I would love for all of our plans for the future to return, but God has a different path than that for my life.  It’s sometime hard to see how His path could be better, but I have ultimate faith that when I return to Scott someday and our great big family is reunited, that it will all make perfect sense and that I will clearly remember and know that it needed to be this way.

 

 
Swimming is scary though!  I don’t know how rough the water will be, and I do not know how long I will need to swim before the next sandbar.  I ask myself, “Will I be strong enough? Will the energy reserves that I have stored last me through the task?  Do I have enough oil in my lamp?”  These are the questions that loom in my mind as I watch the sand slowly eroding away under my feet.

Sometimes I ask myself, “What do I want?” but even as I do, I know that question is irrelevant because what I THINK I want is NOT REALLY what I want.  (No, I’m not just saying that because I am a woman!) What I REALLY want is what God wants, and what I feel I agreed to and wanted when I counseled with Him as my father before I came to earth.  I find myself desperately pleading and praying with the Lord to help me remember that plan… to catch some glimpse or clue of it so that I can know which way to go.  For me that has been the previous pattern of my life.  God has always given me glimpses (or I believe memories) that help me to better keep my will aligned with Him and to keep perspective on life.

At times this life seems so trivial to me.  I look around me at all of the focus on acquiring and maintaining things. I look at all of the energy and time wasted on things that do not matter and have no real lasting significance.  Sometimes I feel like most of life is just a distraction that keeps us from understanding and discovering our REAL purpose.  In those moments of clarity, I feel that I could lay everything related to the world aside and just completely devote myself to service and doing whatever God wanted me to do.  Sometimes I wonder if those ‘glimpses of eternity’ are from Scott sharing his vision and perspective with me.

I wish that I could isolate myself and let that vision cloud over everything else, but I find that the world and mortality have a strong pull.  Although I tell myself not to, sometimes I find myself longing for luxuries and indulgences that I have enjoyed before when my husband spoiled me.  It is so easy to lose our focus and place our hearts and minds on things that DO NOT REALLY matter.  I want for God to change my heart.  It would be nice if He could just do that for me without any effort on my part, but it doesn’t work that way.  I have to do the acting first because the gift of that “change of heart’ comes as a result of us choosing to consecrate our lives to Him.

This morning I was drawn back to a PREVIOUS POST that I made while studying Reflections on a Consecrated Life by D. Todd Christofferson.  Here are a few things that stood out to me, but you can read the entire post in the link above.

“We choose to dedicate all that we are and can become to helping do the Lord’s work in our daily lives. ”

I wrote this back on Dec 3, 2013.  What stands out today is that it has to be our CHOICE to do this.

“‘Men are that they might have joy’—a joy that includes a fullness of life, a life dedicated to service, to love and harmony in the home, and the fruits of honest toil—an acceptance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ—of its requirements and commandments. “

Joy does not come from temporary pleasure from worldly things and pursuits.

The FULLNESS of JOY comes from a dedication to…
1. Service
2. Love and Harmony in the Home
3. Fruit of Honest Toil
All of these things that bring Joy require WORK and EFFORT.

To have JOY we have to CHOOSE to WORK and do things that require personal EFFORT and RESTRAINT

To have JOY we have to CHOOSE to GIVE of ourselves and NOT to take.

When we freely give, offering ourselves to God, HE rewards us with JOY.  The true fullness that will only be realized when we have truly given all of ourselves to Him…holding back no part.

 

“Life offers you two precious gifts—one is time, the other freedom of choice, the freedom to buy with your time what you will. “

What will I choose to do with my time?  Will I choose amusement or enduring happiness?  Will I prove myself able to choose good over evil?  Will I develop trust with God by consistently following Him?

 “And your eternal reward will be according to your choosing.”

Will I permit Him to raise me to my highest destiny by choosing to give Him my will?

“Our life on earth is a stewardship of time and choices granted by our Creator.”  

What will I do with my stewardship?  The PARABLE OF THE SERVANTS WITH THE TALENTS comes to mind. (Matt 25: 14-30) Interestingly enough, this parable is from the same chapter referenced earlier that contains the parable about the ten virgins and the oil in their lamps.

The true struggle is to “put off the natural man” and “yield to the enticings of the Holy Spirit.” (Mosiah 3:19)

  • To be able to sacrifice personal ease and comfort by desiring to do what the Lord wants me to do.
  • To be willing to get in the water and swim when that wave comes.
  • To follow in faith and not give in to fear when the direction and promptings come.
  • To move outside my comfort zone into the great unknown and trust that He will sustain me through my swim.
  • To trust that he will rescue me with another sandbar if need be.
  • To know that if I devote myself to Him, I will make it through the ocean and to the shore
…a shore where Scott will be waiting
…a shore where the fullness of joy is ultimately realized