Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Seeking Inspiration...

We've been talking a lot this year at church about ministering to the one, about that one lost sheep that desperately needs found.  I'll admit.  I'm kind of a coward.  I can do the paperwork part.  I can find them.  I can track them down...but when it goes to actually walking out my door and physically finding them...I'm a coward.
Sunday, my sweet friend Suzanne taught a lesson in primary about following the example of Jesus Christ.  She referenced a scripture found in Luke 15:4 - 6. 

4: What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost until he find it?
5: And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6: And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

I'm not going to lie.  I felt awful.  And it's been on my mind for days.  I'm the primary president.  I'm supposed to be the shepherd that sets the example and the standard for primary kids to follow.  I need to work harder.  But how?  And how can I ever find the courage to do it?  How can I be inspired enough to overcome my fear?

So, tonight, I taught piano lessons...and after my student left, I decided to sit and play for a while.  And while I was playing, I came across two songs that pierced my heart.  I wish I could explain the way I felt.  I wish you could feel it too.  I wish I didn't have to work because the fire has been lit.  I'm there.  I want to spend my days searching and finding and protecting my sheep.  Have a listen and hopefully, you understand what I'm about to say.

My Savior loves me enough that I know that He would come find me and I know that He expects me to love my sheep enough to go find them.  How can I not?  He would do it for me.  And because I want to be like Him, I will find them.  I will go, I will do, I will search and I won't quit searching until I find them.

I've also been thinking about how it must feel to be the "found sheep".  I know through personal experiences that it is a life changing experience.  To know that someone thinks enough of you and loves you enough to put in that effort to bring you back to the proverbial fold can change your world.  So, let us not find sheep because we're told to.  Let's not make this something to check off on our celestial to do list.  Let's do it because we love our Savior.  Let's do it because we realize that "the worth of souls is great".  Let's find them because we would each want someone to find us.

And to leave you with some is a quote from Prophet Thomas S Monson's most recent Priesthood Session talk, True Shepherds. (found here)

"The work will never be concluded until our Lord and Master says, “It is enough.” There are lives to brighten. There are hearts to touch. There are souls to save. Ours is the sacred privilege to brighten, to touch, and to save those precious souls entrusted to our care. We should do so faithfully and with hearts filled with gladness."

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Journey of a Thousand Miles...or something similar.

So, I've been doing some research to try and understand myself.  I've been reading a book called "Dressing Your Truth" by Carol Tuttle.  This book tries to help you make some sense of who you are and why you do, say and act the way you do.  A lot of it makes sense.  There are four types...and I am CLEARLY a type 1. ( Find your type here! )  Everything within that type describes me perfectly.  I am trying very hard to live my life that way.  However, in doing this research, I'm finding some things.  And I don't like it.
A type 1 personality is described as bright and airy.  Her goal is to have fun and to inspire others to have fun. Anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE to have fun.  I can have fun doing almost anything.  I can often be found daydreaming, doodling, creating, singing, dancing (badly) or other childlike things.  I have always been that way.  Always.  Want an example?  Here you go...
eating cookie dough..while covered...with Grandma.
Having fun is a double edged sword.  Because I am always on the lookout for fun, I live a somewhat indulgent lifestyle.  I like cookies because they're good.  I like snow cones because they're fun.  I like Famous Dave's because it's fun.  And tasty.  If something isn't fun to me, I don't want to do it and often don't actually do things that I think are lame. For instance, things that are necessary in life aren't always fun.  Cooking, cleaning, exercising, planning, organizing, being responsible, etc.  I am an excellent party planner - but I hate to clean it up.  Does that make sense?

So, I've learned all these things about myself...and I need to find ways to make adult life FUN.  My job isn't ever a problem because I love the customers that I work with and it's FUN to talk to them. Primary is FUN.  I need to make exercising, planning, cooking and eating right FUN.  Ugh.

I love to be the funny girl in the group, but let's be honest shall we?  I'm the funny one because the slots for the smart one, the organized one, and the pretty one are taken.  I don't mind being the funny one, really...but I need to be the healthy one.

Today, my husband said to me- We need to get healthy because I want you around in 30 years.  And I got scared.  And worried.  And I started I really want to be skinny?  If I'm skinnier, I'll probably be prettier and then will people actually listen to me or think I'm funny?  Is the only reason that I'm funny because I'm chubby?  What happens when I lose my chubby shell and I can't hide behind it anymore?  What happens when I can't make fat girl jokes?  Will people still like me?  

I've had to be friendly and funny and personable because I've never been the skinny, pretty one.  I had to cultivate other skills to make friends.  I am honestly worried that if I am skinny...I'll have to start over.  

Now, I know how stupid that sounds.  I do. But this weight loss journey is scary.  It's who I am.  It's what I do.  It's my spot in life.  I like hiding in my chubby girl suit.  It's safe here.  People can't hurt you here. They don't necessarily judge you for all your failings...they just judge you because you're a fat kid.  That's so much easier than what people COULD judge me for, right?

However.  I love Tim more than I could ever love myself.  And because I love him, I will do this.  I will be healthy.  I'm not aiming for skinny.  I'm not aiming for gorgeous.  I'm aiming for healthy and for self acceptance.  I don't want to be this girl ever again.  (except for the meeting Reba part...that was freaking cool.)

So, please.  Be patient with me.  The journey of a thousand miles (or a hundred pounds) begins with one step.