Welcome Love and Kindness

Last night, my husband and I had dinner with another couple whom we hadn’t seen in a couple of years. All seemed to be going okay until the conversation shifted to mutual acquaintances. There was an abrupt comment made by the wife as if to basically shut the conversation down.  I was about to respond when I felt the immediate urge to close my mouth. In my mind I saw the sentence: “It isn’t about you. I was about to take her comment personally and counter-attack with lady like venom and prestige. (As you do.) Yet, having the immediate urge to not speak and take a minute-I saw the statement made from her perspective. It wasn’t towards me or my husband at all. It was a statement, pure and simple. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Creating drama in our lives with snappy words and harsh comments is a symptom of resistance. We are resisting relationships and are robbing ourselves from seeing the good in people. This type of drama is baseless and a waste of time. Words should always be spoken to lift others up, not bring them down. When we’re always ready to be on the offensive by what words are thrown our way,  it’s time to take a step back and think for a few seconds before reacting.

It isn’t always about you.

One of the things I’ve found to help me keep this thought always in my heart is to begin each day with a plan to love. If I’m about love and kindness then I will attract love and kindness. Even if I find certain words spoken by others to be rude or hurtful, by coming from a place of love and kindness, my first assumption would be that they too are coming from the same place.

It’s easy to find a way to twist words around and make them into something they’re not. If we resist love and kindness and strive for drama and chaos, then that is what we’re going to get.

Love and kindness are two wise attributes for a person to have. True kindness is described by the apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:32:

“Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

 

It is in kindness and love I write this post. If you do not get anything from this post other than the fact that you can finally say you are reading a blog created by a half Puerto-Rican, half Hillybilly who is a recovering alcoholic with a mental illness who converted to Mormonism and lives in Alaska…then I’ve done a great job.

You’re welcome.

*Charm and wit were also included in the writing of this post…and again…you’re very welcome.

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Take 5 Friday Quick Notes (3)

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Oh look!! It’s Friday again and this is the third installment of my carnival: TAKE 5 FRIDAY QUICK NOTES. No playing members of yet, but I will not be discouraged. I realize the lack of players are mostly due to my lack of commenting on other blogs and not participating in carnivals hosted by other bloggers. I’ve been a blogger for eight years, I know the drill. However, in my defense, reading blogs is a luxury of mine…and one in which I do not like to ‘skim’ or read in haste. Plus, I try to comment in a very considerate manner and sometimes have the same thoughts and feelings as expressed by other commenters which feels redundant when I comment. WHICH let me tell you as a blogger who gets giddy when I receive comments…it doesn’t matter!! Comment on my posts that grab your attention, make  you think, make you angry…happy, sad, etc!

Comment and let me know! 

I will make a goal to participate in carnivals that I find interesting and if you’ve noticed on my sidebar, I’ve already decided on one already. You’ll get the first post later today. 😉

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This weekend, I will be attending the Alaska Writer’s Conference. I have actually never been and have only joined the guild a couple of months ago. I have to tell you…I’m a little nervous. I’ll be attending the conference solo. I am very excited as I booked time with two of the speakers concerning my own writing projects, but this also leaves me with a stomach of fluttering butterflies.

I also find myself nervous about my wardrobe. (As you do.) What does a person wear to these things? ::shrug:: When it doubt…go with sequins and feathered boas. Am I right?

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I found myself saying, “Limit your complaints and count your blessings” to four toddlers today. They did not appreciate the advice and promptly threw themselves down on the ground and screamed. Freaking Drama Queens, I tell you.

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I have found that homeschooling a sixth grader who has the get up and go as a snail to be the most difficult task I’ve ever encountered. The first week there was this sense of ambition and a passion for learning that I thought to myself, “This is going to be awesome! This kid and I make such a great team!”

Fast forward to the third week and he’s sneaking upstairs to nap under his bed when he’s supposed to be reading from his Science book. He’s also having intestinal problems because whenever it is time to do actual school work  he has the immediate and dire urge to use the bathroom which has him in the bathroom for a good hour.

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This weekend marks the tenth anniversary of 9/11. I have purposely avoided the television and reading the news in regards to the anniversary because of how sad it makes me. My youngest son was only three months old and I remember trying to grasp the extreme contradiction of watching individuals jump to their deaths at the same time as I was nursing my infant son. Same planet, two different realms, complex emotions. It was surreal.

I read earlier today that our God is outside of time and so I’ve been praying for not only the survivors of 9/11 but for the victims and peace during their last moments on Earth. It may sound silly…but I like to think that prayers…no matter when uttered…are still powerful.

 

Below is a linky list if you’d like to add a link to your own TAKE 5 FRIDAY QUICK NOTES

  1. Make sure the link you submit is to the URL of your post and not your main blog URL.
  2. Include a link back here.

 

Being Humble in a Humble Way

“I can’t believe you’re Mormon.”

“I can’t believe you still think that hairstyle looks good on you.”

I’m not good at being tactful. I do try though and there are these moments in which I surprise myself with how amazingly subtle I can be. However, my being subtle is usually premeditated in regards to getting some much-needed information from a teenager.

Lately, I’ve been struggling with a few irritants of my fellow siblings in Christ. Before I joined the Church, I thought I’d never fit in because HELLO! MORMONS ARE FREAKING HAPPY AND PERFECT. My happiness usually stems from kicking back watching a UFC fight with The Husband. Obviously, not exactly ‘Mormon Mommy” behavior. Yet, not long after I joined, I realized, rather quickly, that Mormons are not perfect. They were not always happy. And I knew some to let their hair down and even shout: “Oh my heck!” You know, all ghetto like.

With the realization that my fellow Christian siblings were imperfect, I found myself torn with my feelings. On one hand I was relieved. I didn’t have to try to be something I wasn’t. Yet, on the other hand, I was disappointed. If they were perfect and their life was filled with hot cocoa, rainbows and jelly beans then I had a shot at having that too. I mean, C’mon? Who hasn’t wanted to have a little part of their life resemble the children’s cartoon Little Bear? Tranquil days filled with talking animals who normally would want to eat you, but have decided to be your friend because…YOU GUESSED IT: you were Mormon.

Being a convert is a challenge, especially when you’re married to a non-member. A friend of mine who is a convert in another religion told me she has the same feelings of inadequacies as I do.

“I always feel I have to know a little more church history than anyone else. I feel like I’m going to be tested on everything…which is silly, because the main reason why I joined my church was to develop a better relationship with Christ. My religion doesn’t teach or even condone the things I find myself feeling.”

I could relate.

Last Sunday, I had a meeting with my Bishop and I confessed to him my lack of testimony concerning callings. In the LDS church, ‘Callings’ are assignments or positions in which church members are asked to serve. In our church, we are asked to serve one another. We are taught that these callings are important and prayed about before the callings are extended. Usually, a calling for a person lasts a few years.

Usually.

But not for me.

I’ve had five callings in two years, none of which have lasted more than a few months. With the exception of one calling, I never have felt it fit me or was a benefit to anyone else.

You don’t choose or request your calling (even though I do mention what I’d like to do to anyone in the church who will listen.)

The thing is I have seen and felt good about others’ callings and felt it was divinely inspired. But just not with me.

And this is where the insecurities begin. I couldn’t help but wonder if the reason I wasn’t asked to having a calling that was more “my style” was because I was a convert with a non-member husband. Perhaps I couldn’t have a calling that I felt was important because I couldn’t handle it…being that I was all a convert and watched rated R movies. (It’s okay though. They were violent R-rated movies. Not sexual. See? I’m doing so well.)

More than anything…how could I inspire anyone when I couldn’t even inspire my husband to embrace the Gospel?

I had been invited by another ward last year to speak to the young women about chastity and modesty. I speak at other churches sharing my story with mental illness, addictions and letting go of the past. I can’t help but question why I’m not asked by the members of my own ward to share my talents. (Which is talking…if you haven’t guessed that already.)  Why am I not benefiting others in my ward by what I know how to do instead of being asked to bring a jello salad to a church gathering when I have no idea what a jello salad even is?

In my prayers yesterday, I started out by whining to my Heavenly Father. “Why, why, why? So not fair. Blah…blah…blahblahblah.” On and on I vented about how unfair it is to be a convert. How terrible it is that not all my children want to go to church. Why couldn’t God slap some faith into The Husband so I didn’t have to be at church spouse-less?

Mid-whine, I felt the Spirit and the words: “It isn’t about you. It’s about Me. It’s about your brothers and sisters.”

That’s what I would call being slapped by The Spirit upside your head.

Being truly humble and serving others with a whole heart isn’t your spotlight moment. It isn’t about how great and caring you are. It’s about the persons you are serving. It’s about God. It’s about His Son, Jesus Christ. It’s about love.

I started to think about my past callings and I realized that I could see how in even the smallest way, I was a benefit to at least one person. It may not have been huge or seen by anyone…but God showed it to me.

Today, I’ll be thinking about faith. I’ll be thinking of others and how I can meekly serve them with a humble heart and a giving spirit.

It’s not always about me. But it is… always about God.

Scriptures to Ponder On:

Fight the good fight of faith. – 2 Timothy 4:6-7

Glorify God by good works.- Matthew 5:16

Hold up God’s light. -3 Nephi 18:24