Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ha, ha

I thought this was funny:

2nd major lesson learned at the conference today:

Murphy's Law:
"If anything can go wrong, it will"

O'Reilly's Corollary:
"Murphy was an optimist" :)

Now, THIS gives us many reasons to
LAUGH each and every day!!! Expect things to go wrong and just laugh or chuckle when they do! (see post below)

AWE, "What About Bob", and LEARN TO LAUGH

Captivating title? Maybe. But, bet you can't figure out what it stands for? Well, yes you can, if you are a single LDS member and live in New England. It stands for All-New-England Winter Extravaganza! (AWE) Sounds exciting, huh?! Well, kind of. I actually had other things going on this weekend so I only attended the classes this morning, but they were good. One in particular I had to blog about.

Can I just interrupt this post for one side-note? One thing I'll miss when I leave Boston is the INCREDIBLE adult members of the church here who have accomplished so much in their life! Well, I am sure these people exist everywhere, but I feel like a great majority of them now live in the Boston area. For instance, today's Keynote Speaker was a former network anchor of The Early Show on CBS, and the talk that's the focus of this blog was given by a former CEO of Dell. Both members of the church living near by. COOL, huh!

Two of the talks I went to were titled:
"I used to be Indecisive; Now I'm not sure", and "Fear, Decisions, and Perspective." Do you catch a theme in my life right now? They were both good and we even got to watch clips from "What about Bob" when he starts taking "Baby steps" towards overcoming some of his fears. It's a hilarious movie!! I forgot how much I loved it!

The other talk I really liked was titled
"Finding Balance in Life", but it really was more about "Finding and Maintaining Happiness in Life". He stated that "When we find our lives unbalanced it's usually because what we know to be true is different from what are actions are." Wow. This struck home with me. I can count many times in my life when my priorities have been out of wack, I haven't been very happy, and yet at those times I am wondering why?!

He also gave a list of 6 things for a
BALANCED and JOYFUL life. Now, we all seek this, so read on :)

Multi-tasking is a myth: I actually read an article in a news magazine about that this week but I was skeptical. After talking about it today, I believe that it's true in many instances and I am guilty of it! I'll try and work while someone is talking to me... yep, I don't remember a thing they said; or, I'll write a note to someone while listening to a lecture... yep, I'll leave not knowing what they even spoke about. But, yet I still do it. He also said that we should work at work and when we're home we're home. I've actually tried to do that this year and my night have been much more enjoyable! Some days I have to stay much later than I like, but I really enjoy the break between my work life and home life.

2. Stay physically active and healthy and plan for it. Schedule it like other things.

3. Plan time for study, prayer, contemplation. Stay up to date on current events so that you're an interesting person to talk to!

4. Find opportunities to serve... even if it's really small.

5. Plan time for spouse with just the two of you alone.

6. Work hard in the things you are engaged in.

Looking over the list I think I am doing well with most of them and I do feel really happy and balanced right now, but I can see how my life could easily get unbalanced with one of these missing.

Finally he said:
"We really can't have it all." Very different from what the world teaches and I agree with him! We can't do everything and succeed at it all at the same time. There's a time and season for everything. Pick your priorities at that time and stick with it when it's most important. The list will change over time... but work hard at what you're engaged in.

In addition to this, our lesson in church tomorrow is from Elder
Wirthlin's final conference talk before he passed away: "Come What May and Love It". It's a GREAT talk. Here's the link:

His talk is centered on advice his mother gave him one day when he came home and complained to her:
" 'Come what may, and Love it.' ...I think she may have meant that every life has peaks and shadows and times when it seems that the birds don’t sing and bells don’t ring. Yet in spite of discouragement and adversity, those who are happiest seem to have a way of learning from difficult times, becoming stronger, wiser, and happier as a result."

Wirthlin goes on to give a list of things that have helped him in times of trial throughout his life. Of course, trusting in the Savior and the Lord are very important BUT, I loved his first bullet point: LEARN TO LAUGH. :) I've tried to do this more over the past year or so. You'll notice one of the quotes on the side of my blog ... when something is stressing me out I ask myself how much it REALLY matters? Usually, not a lot. And laughing about stupid things I do, or whatever, really has made my life a LOT happier over the past year.

Just some thoughts and tidbits I wanted to write down... really this blog is for my personal benefit :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Relationship Between Faith and Fear

“ACTING in FAITH to keep our covenants, sometimes directly in the face of FEAR, is the very transformation of our souls that the ATONEMENT promises.”

Recently, I read a very good
BYU devotional address by Gregory Clark entitled “Lessons on Faith and Fear”, and I would recommend it to anyone! He compares the relationship of FAITH and FEAR to that of good and evil. When we live in FAITH, we don’t FEAR change or changing ourselves… which is the very foundation of HF’s plan for us (changing for the better).

FEAR pulls us from the Lord. It weakens us. He explains his thoughts that the source of FEAR comes from the assumption that he must solve all of his problems and face all challenges on his own, using his own resources. When he’s FEARFUL, he’s HOPELESS. WOW. Reading it in that way puts fear in a whole new light for me. HOPE is what I cling to. Hope gets me up in the morning and moving throughout the day. Hope keeps me going! What am I without HOPE?

FEAR comes on slowly just like little sins can creep up on us. The more FEAR sets in, the more FAITH moves out. The more sins creep in, the more the Spirit moves out.

FAITH is a choice. A choice! We choose to believe and act on it. I feel very blessed in my life to have felt the Spirit witness to me that the restored gospel is true. And, I could NEVER deny that. But, yet, I find myself very uncertain when challenges come my way. I’m NOT uncertain about the truthfulness of the gospel, but I’m uncertain the Lord is going to help me this time. I’m uncertain He’s aware of me THIS time. But, why??? Has HE failed me before? Left me along? NO. Why do I let that doubt creep in? Why can’t I be more consistent in choosing FAITH? I make many choices throughout the day. The wisest choice I could make is to have more FAITH!

Brother Clark gives a fabulous example of the Bible story when the disciples are wondering if they’re going to perish in the storm at sea. The Savior was IN the boat with them and yet, they still doubted. He remarks that the reason he thinks they doubted is because they could only see the PRESENT furry of the storm. They
couldn’t remember the past witnesses of truth they had learned or their hope for the future. Their current experience contradicted their past and future knowledge… so they doubted.

The Bible dictionary says that
FAITH is to “have confidence in something or someone…The Lord has revealed himself and his perfect character…. So as to enable the mind of man to place confidence in him without reservation.” SO WHY AM I NOT DOING THIS ON A DAILY BASIS??

FAITH might well be the path that the power of the ATONEMENT must travel if it to transform our lives.” Only when we’re filled with FAITH can the healing power of the atonement enter and help us CHANGE for the better. “ACTING in FAITH to keep our covenants, sometimes directly in the face of FEAR, is the very transformation of our souls that the ATONEMENT promises.”

“EVERY time I find myself
FEARFUL, sooner of later I realize that I am not particularly humble. I realize I have been trying to live my life and solve my own problems on my own terms with my own capacities – my own intellect, usually – and have forgotten instead the power and plan of the Lord.”

Now, I need to find a good talk on humility ☺
FEAR is the prompting to turn, and return, to the LORD – a process that begins with humility.


This is what I need in my life. …

Wow – what a GREAT talk!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Cold enough fer ya?

A friend of mine sent this to me at work. Now, while I know the temps are colder in New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine... and many other states, I still feel like I get to joke about it as well because MA is so close to their borders (if not touching them!) And, this winter has not been fun --- temperature wise. (It still bewilders me why anyone would consider living north of NH during the winter. What are the Canadians thinking?!!)

Anyway, I thought it was funny and had to post it. I think it's true... except for the last stanza. Fortunately, we've had two hour delays more often than for 50 degrees below! Can I just add that this weekend it hit 45 degrees and I walked to church because it felt like SPRING!!! :)

Cold is relative
65 above zero:
Floridians turn on the heat.
People in Massachusetts plant gardens.

60 above zero
Californians shiver uncontrollably.
People in Massachusetts sunbathe.

50 above zero:
Italian & English cars won't start.
People in Massachusetts drive with the windows down.

40 above zero:
Georgians don coats, thermal underwear, gloves, wool hats.
People in Massachusetts throw on a flannel shirt.

35 above zero:
New York landlords finally turn up the heat.
People in Massachusettshave the last cookout before it gets cold.

20 above Zero
People in Miami all die.
Massachusetts close the windows.

Californians fly away to Mexico.
People in Massachusetts get out their winter coats.

10 below zero:
Hollywood disintegrates.
The Girl Scouts in Massachusetts are selling cookies door to door..

20 below zero:
Washington DC runs out of hot air.
People in Massachusetts let the dogs sleep indoors.

30 below zero:
Santa Claus abandons the North Pole.
People in Massachusetts get upset because they can't start the snowmobile.

40 below zero:
ALL atomic motion stops
People in Massachusetts start saying...'Cold enough fer ya?'

50 below zero:
Hell freezes over.
Massachusetts public schools will open 2 hours late.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Changing it up a bit

I'm getting old. The font size I've been using is too small for me to even enjoy reading... so here's to a new look on my blog. And, given the previous post, I am only going to think positive thoughts about getting older! Hmmm.... any ideas on what those should be?!!!

Secrets of a happy life

During the holidays I make my annual "outing" to the Deseret Book website! I tell myself that I am looking for gift ideas for others, but reality is that I usually buy more for me than for anyone else. This year's trip resulted in many great finds... but the one that really caught my eye was a book written a while ago by President David O. McKay, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1951-1970. The book is called "Secrets of a Happy Life" and is a compilation of his thoughts and talks. I don't think I am alone in the pursuit of living a happy life. And, gosh, if there's a secret to doing so, I need to know! So, I bought it. It's short. Only 174 pages, but filled with great wisdom! I'll summarize my thoughts... basically for my benefit!

"Happiness should be viewed as the purpose and design of our existence.... There is no one "good thing" which brings happiness. Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of the little things in which smiles and kindness... are what win and preserve the heart and secure comfort. " "Man is the creator of his own happiness."

"Each one of us is the architect of his own fate, and he is unfortunate indeed who will try to build himself without realizing he grows from within, not from without. What a man continually thinks about determines his actions in times of opportunity and stress." This quote was in a chapter on free agency. It talks about service and not giving into our appetites and impulses which can lead us down the wrong path. I however, reflected on the power of positive thinking. It was actually a major part of my lesson this week with the kids at school. If we
"think we can", we're sure going to do a whole lot better than if we don't even try or if we start out by saying "this is too hard for me." Remember the story about the little blue engine that had to go up the big hill? How far do you think he would have gotten if he started at the bottom and said "This is way too hard for me. There's no way I am going to make it up there." I doubt he would have moved more than an inch! I've recently noticed the power of positive thinking in a close friend of mine. she chooses to take life as it comes and see all the good things that happen despite the very difficult circumstances that have come her way in the past few weeks. She's always looking on the bright side and moving forward and I find that so refreshing!

I tried a personal experiment with myself this past week. At times when I might have usually complained, or even during my runs when I start to want to quit, I've turned my thinking into only positive thoughts and LIFE has been a LOT better! We are the architect of our fate... it will be a whole lot better for us to think positively along the way!

"Happiness is not an external condition; it is a state of the spirit and attitude of the mind"... we can nurture happiness by 1: Trust in God "
To have faith that God is our Father is the safest anchorage of the soul and brings peace and solace under any condition" (I LOVE THAT QUOTE!); 2: Confidence in our fellow man; 3. Proper evaluation of blessings

"We get out of life just what we put into it, just wat we see. Some sources of happiness are 1. A sense of being free; 2. sense of self-mastery; 3. priviledge of work; 4. possession of health; 5. ability to see God's beauty around us; 6. harboring of upbuilding thoughts; 7. Being true to those who trust you; 8. making friends; 9. doing your best this hour, and you will do better the next; 10. developing faith. Faith is the foundation of all things - including happiness.


Wow. I loved reading this book. At times I know I have looked for outside things or events to make me happier. And, yes, while they might add to the "brightness" I have within me, nothin on the outside is as reliable or consistent as what is inside of me and where my heart is. That is where true happiness comes from and I, only I, can determine my own happiness. It's like I tell the kids almost everyday (!!)
"No one makes you do or say something. YOU CHOOSE your words and actions." Now, I'll turn the tables on me: "I choose my thoughts and actions... I choose the degree of my happiness!"

Here's to a HAPPY 2009!!!