Monday, October 4, 2010

serenity in simplicity: LOVED!!

In my church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we hear truly inspired leaders of our church speak to us two times a year. Over 20,000 people meet at the beautiful conference center and millions more listen in church buildings and homes around the world. We also get to hear the angelic Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

These are not just sermons or lectures that we hear, they are messages from our Heavenly Father, sent to us through these inspired men who study the scriptures, ponder, and pray to prepare these talks. These messages, if listened to and applied, will truly bring more joy, peace, and direction in your life. They have in mine!

I had recently been feeling a little bit overwhelmed and stresssed. I knew conference was coming up; and I prayed that I would be able to be comforted and receive, through the Spirit, the messages I need. My prayers truly were answered perfectly. I have felt so much peace and love in my life, just in these past few days. The messages I heard were for me, giving me those answers I had been praying for. I received promptings from the Holy Spirit and now feel equipped to go on with my day and face my challenges with strength and faith.

My testimony is humble, yet it is one of faith and commitment. I know I have a Heavenly Father who loves me, who is aware of me every day, who answers my prayers, and who has given me tools to make it through the journey of this life, happy and loved. {And isn't that really what we all want?}

President Uchtdorf's words struck me right in the h-e-a-r-t:

"It is good advice to slow down a little, steady the course, and focus on the essentials when experiencing adverse conditions. This is a simple but critical lesson to learn. It may seem logical when put in terms of trees or turbulence, but it's surprising how easy it is to ignore when it comes to applying these same principles in our own daily lives.

When stress levels rise, distress appears, or tragedy strikes, too often we attempt to keep up the same frantic pace, or even accelerate, thinking somehow, that the more rushed our pace, the better off we will be.

One of the characteristics of modern life seems to be that we are moving at an ever-increasing rate, regardless of turbulence or obstacles. Let's be honest; it's rather easy to be busy. We all can think of a list of tasks that will overwhelm our schedules. Some might even think that their self worth depends on the length of their to-do list. They flood the open spaces in their time with lists of meetings and minutia, even during times of stress and fatigue. Because they unnecessarily complicate their lives, they often feel increased frustration, diminished joy, and too little sense of meaning in their lives. It is said that any virtue, when taking to an extreme, can become a vice. Over scheduling our days would certainly qualify for this. There comes a point where milestones can become millstones, and ambitions albatrosses around our neck. The wise understand and apply the lessons of tree rings and turbulence, they resist the temptation to get caught up in the frantic rush of daily life... They follow the advice, "There's more to life than increasing its speed. In short, they focus on the things that matter most.

There is a beauty and clarity that comes from simplicity that we sometimes do not appreciate in our thirst for intricate solutions.

You can listen to the whole talk here [last talk of the Saturday morning session]. I hope I can really do this! I will keep you posted, but I'm going to need some encouragement. :] Well... I clearly loooved conference. What were you favorite talks?

[Dan and I started a new tradition to go on a "family walk" between sessions on Sunday. We started it out with a bang this year and went to the arboretum. It was simply blissful!]