Thursday, April 2, 2015

Every good gift

One of my worst traits is that I tend to compare myself to others- usually comparing my weaknesses to their strengths. I think even worse than that however, is when I compare my strengths to their strengths! It makes me feel like my talents and skills aren't enough because someone else is better than me. And you know what? I'm sure the person I'm comparing myself to probably thinks the same thing about themselves sometimes! It's a vicious cycle! There will always be someone more skilled, more experienced and more talented than you. But.. they are not you. We all have different experiences that shape us into who we are. We're all on different levels and we're all still learning.

Instead of comparing myself to others I need to be grateful for the talents and gifts that God has given me. My patriarchal blessing tells me that I'm blessed with many talents and skills but sometimes I have a hard time believing that. I'll feel totally confident with my skills as a photographer until I look at someone else's pictures and envy their skills. I'll feel like I'm doing really well in life until I see friends from high school making tons of money with their successful businesses and such. I'll feel confident in my singing, writing, creativity.. etc until I find someone who is better. But just because my talents and skills are different than someone else's and not yet perfect, doesn't mean they're not good.

As I was reading in Moroni 10 the other day I was struck by verse 18 which reads: "every good gift cometh of Christ." I love how it doesn't say "perfect", it says "good." The talents and skills we think we lack because they're not "perfect" are still good. And they are of Christ! Even when are talents are still in the "amateur" stage, they are still talents. If we get discouraged and stop practicing them, we can lose them. (D&C 6-:2) Yikes!!

Moroni 10:32 says that as we come unto Christ and exercise faith in him, he will perfect us. He takes our strengths and magnifies them! Our faith in him enables us to develop and become what we couldn't on our own.

I recently read a talk by Richard G. Scott where he said: "When faith is properly understood and used, it has dramatically far-reaching effects. Such faith can transform an individual's life from maudlin, common activities to a symphony of joy and happiness.. true faith, faith unto salvation is centered on the Lord Jesus Christ, faith in His doctrines and teachings, faith in the prophetic guidance of the Lord's anointed, faith  in the capacity to discover hidden characteristics and traits that can transform life."

How cool is that?? Faith isn't just something you learn about in church. Faith is a real, living action that can transform you. We're here on Earth to learn and grow. We're each blessed with individual talents to help us become more perfect and bless the lives of those around us. Every gift we have, whether we consider it a gift or not is good and it is from God. :)

I will try to keep this in mind and have more confidence in myself as I seek to develop my talents and skills. :)


P.S. this video is awesome! As children of God, we have endless potential. :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

In my life

I've been feeling a little nostalgic lately as I have reflected on the different friendships I've had throughout my life. I've always been blessed with great people in my life who have impacted me in so many ways. I had a golden childhood filled with the perfect neighborhood best friends. I later spent every summer of my teenage-hood working at a scout camp where I made wonderful friends there. I had some great friends in high school who'll I'll always be grateful for. Different people have come into my life through school, institute, church and recently, my mission.

I'm grateful for all the people I've known and the memories we've shared. Life is so fleeting and sometimes you don't realize the value of a moment with someone until it becomes a memory. The people you shared those memories with move on with their lives and so do you. That's not to say I'm not still friends with these people, but things are different. Change is good and often times necessary, but it can happen too fast.

I remember just wanting to freeze time before I left on my mission because I didn't want things to change. My siblings and I became very close and shared many of the same friends. We all went our separate ways and things have definitely changed. And you know what? That's okay! Because I've realized that no matter how much things changed and how many people slip out of my life, good things keep on coming. It's funny how most of my closest friends right now are people I didn't even know two years ago. I have some really great people in my life right now and I couldn't be happier! It's crazy how no matter how good life is, it only gets better. :)

These lyrics from The Beatles really hit home to me:

There are places I'll remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life, I've loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new
Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life, I love you more

Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life, I love you more
In my life-- I love you more

Although this is a love song, I think you can relate it to any relationship. I do have a great guy in my life right now and am blessed with many wonderful friends. I love them so much and I'm happier then I've ever been! I'm so grateful that God is so mindful of me and allows good things to fall out of my life so that better things can come along. Life is wonderful! I'm grateful for old friends, new friends and friendships yet to come. :)