"...but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer." 3 Nephi 22:8







Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Patience

I often find myself struggling with the same issues over and over and over again. Sometimes it is me that is making and remaking the same mistake. But sometimes it is the choice of someone else in my set of associations that I am affected by. It tries my patience! Yes, it is true that I am not a very patient person. I am often annoyed by those simple things that try my patience. Waiting in line forever at the store comes to mind. Waiting for a stop light to change when I am in a hurry is another. I can also find my patience being tried by waiting for another person, who fails to show up on time. And yes, that is just a short list for starters. I am not sure why one of my weaknesses is the lack of patience. But I freely admit that I must work on acquiring patience, almost constantly.

While it is true that I am often very good at being patient, there are times when I actually find myself blessed with patience from on high. Truly this is an evidence that I am being watched over cuz I can bridle my tongue and my emotions much better. I need it more often. I can say 'no problem' or 'that's ok' and really mean it. I can get over it quickly and easily and it is soon forgotten. But this does not happen often enough.

The truth is also that I understand my need to learn to be more patient on my own. I really just want it to be a gift. I want to unwrap the beautiful package of patience and have it encircle me and be perfectly patient! And so I get more opportunities to practice patience in life.

Sometimes I do an 'impatient' better than others. I can actually look at the fact that I am impatient and realize that Heavenly Father is allowing me the opportunity to practice - AGAIN! I can even express my appreciation for being allowed the opportunity to try to learn patience. I can truly work through it on my own.

Sometimes I am broadsided by my own lack of patience. It comes from nowhere and I wonder if I have ever learned anything about patience and tolerance. It feels like I am beginning again, from the very start of my lessons.

I wonder sometimes if Heavenly Father feels like I do - will I ever improve?

I may tell myself as I find myself messing up again - "How many times do you have to do this before you get it right?" Or "That was such a dumb thing to do." Or "When will I ever learn?" I can be just as impatient with myself as others. Maybe more so.

Of course there are varying degrees of things that try our patience. It is much easier to be patient with a stranger who accidentally chooses to be rude. But to be patient with the same person who has tried our patience so many times and in the same way over and over and over requires a different set of patience. It is so hard to not say the natural man things that come to mind, "Seriously - how many times do we have to do this?" comes to mind. Or "I really believe I just explained that to you - so were you even listening?" Or "If this was offensive the first hundred times it happened, why would it suddenly become less offensive now?" And more.

Bridling the tongue and thoughts and heart are sometimes so hard for me.

Today I am grateful that Heavenly Father has infinite patience. He is watching over me and helping me on the quest to become. His Son Jesus Christ has Atoned for my weakness in patience. His Gift is my only hope to overcome the world and return to live in heaven.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Memorial Day

I grew up celebrating Memorial Day with my family. It was an important day! My grandmothers and my mother prepared in advance for the day. They did not purchase flowers to decorate the graves with. They grew their own. So as Memorial Day approached, they would look at their flowers and decide which were the most beautiful to decorate the graves with. The beautiful bouquets of flowers traveled in buckets of water with us to the cemetery. Also we toted chairs and equipment to clean up around the headstones. It was a day to honor those who had gone before us. It was a day to remember.

It was a long day for me. It seemed that we were there all day. My grandmothers reveled in greeting and visiting with old friends and family who had also come to spend the day at the cemetery. Family members from out of town flocked to visit with cousins and aunts and uncles. It was often the only time all year they had seen each other. In many ways it was the social event of the year. It was exhausting for both of my grandmothers - so they sat in between visits. I wandered the cemetery, looking at flowers and headstones.

I have tried to carry on the tradition of Memorial Day. We rarely spent more than a few minutes at each headstone, but we took flowers. My children did not particularly enjoy Memorial Day. There were few to visit with and in the heat of the sun, their enthusiasm wilted. But we went anyway. One child however reminds me of my grandmother's and my mother. She loves Memorial Day. She would be here if she could. She sent me a text this year - asking if we visited the cemeteries.

She remembers!

Memorial Day was beautiful. The wind was ever present and my sweater was a welcome companion. But we had other companions this year. It was such a treat to have my sister and her husband with us as we remembered our parents and our grandparents and our cousins, aunts, and uncles. We found familiar headstones quickly and easily and spread out in search of others. We shared memories and experiences. And we missed our ancestors.

We visited five cemeteries that day. We stopped long enough to grab a bite of lunch and then carried on. We gabbed and shared our stories, our time, and our lives with each other. We laughed at silliness and sorrowed over past tragedies. And we walked among the headstones - a lot!

My ancestors did not have an easy task to navigate this life. There were hard things. They faced their own brand of trial and adversity. There were broken hearts and broken promises. There were fires and storms to contend with. There were precious crops and herds that were lost to disease and weather. There were human frailties and human suffering.

But they did the best that they could!

Within the hearts of many of my ancestors burned a testimony of the Living God and His Beloved Son. There were miracles of faith and courage as they faced life's hardships armed with only their testimonies. They left a great legacy for me to honor, respect, and revere. Their sacrifices bought me a better world. The fire of their faith planted within me my own budding testimony of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. Their lives laid the foundation for all that I am and could ever hope to be.

It is a blessing to remember!