Tuesday, May 13, 2014

When Your Hut Is On Fire

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements ,and to store his few possessions. One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, 'God! How could you do this to me?'

Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island! It had come to rescue him! 'How did you know I was here?' asked the weary man of his rescuers. 'We saw your smoke signal,' they replied.

The Moral of This Story:

It's easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but we shouldn't lose heart, because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering. Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground, it just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.

P.S. You may want to consider passing this on, because you never know who feels as if their hut is on fire today.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Titles

Titles matter. Titles establish roles and responsibilities. Titles also credit respect and authority to recognize certain achievements. Titles distinguish one person from another. We go through life holding many titles.

I was born a Daughter and a Sister. For years I was a Center-Midfielder in soccer. I was a Teammate. For 15+ years I was a Student. Now I am a Teacher and a Mentor. But there is one title I wish so desperately to hold. I have been able to push it to the back of my mind for many months now. I'm not sure if it was desensitization or simply being in denial, but I have been able to focus on other things. In lieu of the upcoming holiday, that title has now been forced again to the front of my mind.

That title is Mother.

This month officially marks two years of wanting that title and knowing I would have to wait to get it.

I don't want to be ungrateful, so yes, I am truly grateful and indebted to my own mother. I honestly don't know how she managed to raise (and continues to raise...since the youngest is 8 years old) 11 children and still be as wonderful as she is today. We may not have always gotten along, but I know that she has made an impact in my life that I am truly grateful to her for in the areas where it mattered.

I am so grateful for Josh's mother, and in turn my mother-in-law. She is the sweetest lady I have ever met and doesn't have one mean or selfish bone in her body. I have only known her for 6 years, but in that time she has also been a wonderful example to me and has taken such good care of Josh and I throughout our marriage. Even before we were married, she was always praying for me and sending me sweet, uplifting messages.

I am grateful to call both of these women Mother.

I just watched a Mormon Messages video about Mothers. You can view it here. It said, "Life doesn't come with a manual. It comes with a Mother. I also listened to a talk by President Uchtdorf, in which he says something along the lines of, "...have hope in the Savior...and never give up." I thought to myself, do I know what having hope in the Savior means? I think it means to use the Savior as a strength in those moments where you want to give up. I think it means to believe that soon, the Lord will fulfill the promises He has made if we remain faithful. There's always that contingency of remaining faithful. Why can't we just make things happen when we want them to? Without the struggle, there would be no story, without the story, there would be no experience. And without experience, there would be no lessons learned or values instilled in us. I am grateful for this, the true Gospel of Christ. I am grateful I have someone with the best title to carry me through hard times.

That title is Savior.