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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Attitude is a choice.

FHE 8.2010 022

"I remind you....regardless of your present age, you are building your life;...it can be full of joy and happiness, or it can be full of misery. It all depends upon you and your attitudes... for your altitude, or the height you climb, is dependent upon your attitude or your response to situations."

- Spencer W. Kimball


I had one of those days last week where you just feel like nothing in your life is going right. One where I found myself solely focused on... all the things that I don't currently like about my life. I was drowning in negativity over all the things I don't think I do well. I even found myself measuring my blessings and then comparing them to those around me. I seemed overly burdened by things in my life that just don't seem to work out like "I" think they should. Basically, I was enjoying my own pity-party way too much.

Do you ever have days like this?

By Sunday morning, I knew I really needed to snap out of it! I was tired of feeling this way and decided to do the only thing I knew to do. I prayed a much needed prayer with this negative attitude of mine. Ironically, on this particular Sunday, I was scheduled to be teaching a lesson in my Sunday School class on "Your Attitude Makes a Difference"...Now really?? How could I give a lesson on attitude when I was suffering from my own?

So I said a sincere prayer and then almost immediately...I felt prompted to take a few minutes to sit and read my scriptures. Admittedly, I didn't feel like doing so at that moment and quite frankly, I didn't feel I even had the time because I was already running late for church. But, alas, that all too familiar-- gnawing, tugging at my heart feeling persisted. I knew it was what I needed to do if I wanted to feel better and have this weight I was carrying lifted. So... open my scriptures I did, with the idea that whatever page I opened to first, that is where I would read from and ponder. Essentially, I was putting it in the Lord's hands. And, I kid you not...the page I just so happened to open to was in the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ...in the Book of Alma...chapter 29:

Verse 3: "But behold, I am a man, and do sin in my wish; for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me."

After reading this, I knew immediately that this was the message He wanted me to read and understand on this day. Furthermore, I knew in my heart that I was in the wrong for not being more grateful for the blessings I have in my life. My negative thoughts were a reflection of my poor attitude and an ungrateful heart essentially. Ouch!!

With a now more softened heart, I then turned to the 26th Chapter in Alma and read a verse I already had highlighted:

Verse 27: "Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren...and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success."


Yes indeed...our attitude in this life makes all the difference...no matter what stage of life we are in or what peaks or valleys we may currently be in the middle of. Our attitude most definitely affects our happiness and those around us. It is up to us to choose to have a more positive and healthy attitude. Yes, at times, it may take more work than normal, but it is still our responsibility. The Lord will help us with this {as He did for me this Sunday}, but we have to meet him halfway and do our part.


So for our FHE this evening, I shared with the Hubby what I was feeling leading up to Sunday and the scriptures I stumbled upon {as shared with you above}. We then discussed this together. It felt good to be able to share my feelings with him. Little man was wanting some time with both of us...undivided attention, so we all headed out to the backyard for some fun time in the sprinklers.

I was reminded as I watched my beautiful and precious son play in the water sprinklers tonight that all those "things" I found myself overly concerned about last week... those trivial and selfish things that had me feeling so downtrodden are {in the grand scheme of life}, NOT what matters most to me. What matters most to me was standing right in front of me in my backyard ...my family. They are what bring me the most happiness and joy in this life. I owe it to them to always strive to have a positive attitude and count my blessings daily.



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It is moments like these with my family that I will cherish forever.

For they are what matter most.




{reminder: as always, if you watch the video, please first pause the music playing in the sidebar to the right. ;-) }

XOXO...

Jennifer

7 comments:

  1. Don't you just love how our Heavenly Father talks to us so directly sometimes? I love the scriptures that you were led to. What a testimony to us that He hears our prayers and is always there for us.

    I was hoping to see pictures of you and Jody running through the sprinklers too! Now that would have been the coolest. I'm happy for you to understand your blessings and realize how important attitude is. I needed a refresher lesson on that myself.

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  2. I love when this happens with the scriptures. They really were written for us and for our day. It's amazing and humbling. What a beautiful experience.

    I am going to take this quote you used by Pres Kimball and put it up somewhere in my house. What a great message to remind us it is a choice. I forget that SOOO many times. I think it is a constant battle for us all, especially women. I once heard it said on mission that one of Satan's most powerful tools for us would be self doubt, him making us feel like we are not enough or not as good as someone else. What a stinker he is.

    Thanks for another inspiring post. ;)

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  3. Kelly...if we do the sprinklers again, I'll definitely post some pics of Jody and me playing in them especially for you! :-)



    Rachelle...you are so right about it being a constant battle, especially for women with the self-doubt. Hope you and your beautiful babies are doing well! :-)

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  4. Jennifer, What an inspiring post and great reminder! I love that you listened to that "all too familiar, gnawing, tugging feeling at your heart" and found guidance from the scriptures. What a testament that God is aware of each us personally.

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  5. I havent really looked at anyone's blog in a long time or updated mine. Somehow it felt too painful to do so. I think the Lord led me to yours this morning. The quote by President Kimball is so profound and exactly what I needed right now. I am actually in tears right now writing this. I know my attitude over the last four months has been become so dark. We have been taught that we will not be given trials that are more than we can handle and bear. I guess I have just forgotten that in my grief. Thank you for posting this for me.....it was truly inspired. I needed it this morning. I love you and Jody for being such an example. I know you have had heartbreaking struggles with infertility and adoption and you have such a great outlook and attitude Jen. Without the determination to be happy and follow the Lord, no matter what trial we are faced with, Satan will try and suck us down into his black hole. This is what I am struggling with the most. My outlook on my daughters death and my attitude about it. I know that she is okay and in a wonderful place, but the adversary starts to make me feel so angry about it. Anyway, thanks for your beautiful blog that you allow me to read. You are an inspiration to me.
    Love
    Jordan

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  6. Jordan--we love you...more than you know. I am so grateful you read this post today and something in it helped you. You are an amazingly strong and special woman. Don't ever doubt or question this as you face this painful trial. That anger you are feeling, I know all too well how gut-wrenching it can be at times and all-consuming. It eats at your heart and soul. It can also make you want to pull away emotionally, physically and spiritually from those who love you the most. My struggles with infertility have gotten the best of me on more than one occasion. The adversary has enjoyed using it to wear me down and impact my happiness. I will readily admit that to this day, I still have to remind myself that Heavenly Father knows what is best for me and despite how I may feel at times about us not being able to get pregnant, He loves me and that is why he is testing me in this way. Losing a child is one of the greatest trials a parent has to face...hands down. I have watched my grandmother grieve the loss of 2 of her children over the years (my dad's sister died at 21 and then of course his brother who died 10 years ago). Despite having the gospel, my grandmother's grief and pain, like the ocean, has ebbed and flowed over the years. But I can tell you this...it has made her a stronger woman and increased her faith in our Heavenly Father's ability to heal our emotional and spiritual wounds. You Jordan, I'm sure, will find your own unique way of battling this anger you are feeling in the coming weeks and months--it will involve a great deal of time spent on your knees in prayer and pondering of the scriptures for guidance {as I am sure you already know}...keep a constant prayer in your heart with the specific request that He help take away this anger and that you can feel a greater sense of peace. And don't forget this comforting scripture:

    "....peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes" (D&C 121:7–8)

    Hang in there girl. You are an inspiration to me and so many. We love you and are praying for you and your dear family.

    love,
    jennifer

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  7. amazing post. you are one special girl, miss jennifer! :)

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