This morning I read the story of the ten lepers. Today is Thanksgiving, and my mind was focused on what I could do to be more like the leper who returned and gave thanks for his healing to Jesus Christ. Here is the account found in Luke 17: 15-19.
15 And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
16 And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
17 And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
19 And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.
The last verse took on new meaning when I realized that Christ’s statement that this man’s faith made him whole was not necessarily referring to this man’s cleansing from leprosy. All ten lepers had been cleansed. This man was made whole because his faith guided him to return and give thanks to Jesus Christ. As a result, the leper was not only cleansed from leprosy, but he was made whole, signifying and external and internal change.
In the next chapter of Luke, we read of a blind man who asks Christ to restore his sight. Here is the account found in Luke 18: 40-43.
40 And Jesus stood, and commanded him [the blind man] to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him,
41 Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight.
42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.
43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.
In verse 42, Christ doesn’t say, “thy faith hath given thee sight.” He says, “thy faith hath saved thee.”
From these two scriptural accounts, I learned faith does more than heal our infirmities. Faith makes us whole in ways that we may not even recognize here in this life. Faith is a power far greater than I think I realize. The outward cleansing that comes through faith pales in comparison to the inward cleansing that makes us whole and saves us. On this day of Thanksgiving, I am grateful that through faith, Christ can make us whole.
We are now in the toddler stage where everything is "I do myself". Anything and everything, from eating to getting dressed, to walking down the large concrete steps. Samuel wants to do it himself.
It's been hard to sit back and watch him without succumbing to my urge of jumping in to help. His new-found independence doesn't make me any less valuable or loved. I will always be his mom. But then again, I really like picking out his clothes and holding him as we walk to the car.
Often I am standing right next to Samuel as he climbs the ladders and monkey bars at the park (who really thought those were a good idea-really???) and he doesn't even know I'm there. I'm always ready to catch him, and more often than not-I do.
The thing about this time of his life is that I can watch, I can provide the safety net, I can set the limits. It must take much more trust to be a parent when your child is older, can make decisions, and move away out of your daily sight!
One day Samuel will leave, even when he still lives at home. He will grow and change and become who he was meant to be. For those days I pray he will rely on Jesus Christ.
Someone who can always be with him, someone who will always warn him of danger, someone who will love him as much as I do.
I hope today I can teach my son to rely on Jesus Christ so that when tomorrow comes and he is no more a toddler- he can say like Paul, "I can do all things through Jesus Christ."
First off, on this Veterans Day, I want to say thank you to all those who have served, who do serve, and who will serve this great nation!
The topic of joy has been on my mind as of late, and the fact that sometimes I miss out on joy because I spend too much time focusing on my weaknesses. When I am sitting quietly in a room, if you were to come up and ask me what I am thinking about, the truthful answer would probably be I am thinking about the ways in which I fall short. For some reason, focusing on personal weaknesses consumes my quiet time.
To help curb this negative habit, about a month ago, I felt prompted that I needed to retrain my mind to focus on joy. I had the idea to daily write down a time during the day I experienced joy, and to continue this process for 100 days. I’ve been tracking this experience on my personal blog, and this simple act of acknowledging and recording joy has made a large difference in my thought process.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said, “We should honor the Savior's declaration to 'be of good cheer,' (Matthew 14:27). Indeed, it seems to me we may be more guilty of breaking that commandment than almost any other!”
I think the Savior’s invitation to “be of good cheer” is the invitation I forget the most. How ironic that in my quest to become a true follower of Christ, I ignore this invitation by too heavily focusing on all the other ways I fall short.
For those who may find themselves in a similar situation as me, I invite you to daily record a joyful experience from your day. These joyful experiences do not need to be grand. In fact, my experience from yesterday occurred while I was cleaning out the refrigerator. I’ve been amazed at the attitude shift that has occurred inside of me throughout this process and look forward to continuing this journey of joy.
story of needing humility - First off, I pretended like I was a rowing champion on a crew and could row around this whole fake lake in NYC. Secondly, I'm pretty sure some guy had to tell me I was holding the oars the wrong way. It took me a good minute to figure out - and me pretending to know what I was doing, helped absolutely zero. Lesson learned = don't be proud, choose humility :)
I like to do things correctly and am a habitual teacher's pet. I want to be knowledgeable enough to have sounds opinions on most things AKA I like being right :) When I am wrong, or am not the best at something, my knee-jerk reaction is to argue or try and excuse away my mistakes. What I have learned, and what I am trying to be better about is quelling that initial reaction, and instead, humbly accepting correction. This correction can come from friends, family, teacher, coworkers etc. But the most effective comes from God.
Since I want to become the best I can be, and learn as much as possible while here on Earth, I have felt recently that I am the only one who gets in the way of my learning (and honestly, it's all my pride). If I could be more teachable and humble, I would be able to learn more and learn faster and my rate of improvement would increase.
The past few weeks have given me a chance to remember that heavenly virtue of humility. As defined in good 'ol Preach My Gospel, humility "is willingness to submit to the will of the Lord and to give the Lord the honor for what is accomplished. I includes gratitude for His blessings and acknowledgement of your constant need for His divine help. Humility is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of spiritual strength."
Two of the talks given in the most recent General Conference have specifically had me thinking about my need for humility.
Yielding Our Hearts to God by Neill Marriott and
What Lack I Yet? by Larry R Lawrence Great reads and I would recommend them both :)
As state previously, the way we learn fastest is under the tutelage of God. The way He often can communicate with us is through the whispering voice of the Spirit, or how some might identify it as - something similar to your conscience. Both of these wonderful talks highlight the importance of listening to that "still small voice." The Holy Ghost will guide us and give us highly specific counsel to help us individually - and that is a concept that is SO incredible. God cares enough about my progress that He tells me EXACTLY what it is I need to be better. It is then my two-fold responsibility to be humble enough to accept the counsel and then brave enough to act on it.
I hope that we can all do a better job this week of stopping our gut-reactions of pride, and instead choose to humbly become more like Christ. I know it's something that I will be working on for probably always :)
Love you too much!!!!!
I would like to suggest that each of you participate in a spiritual exercise sometime soon, perhaps even tonight while saying your prayers. Humbly ask the Lord the following question: “What is keeping me from progressing?” In other words: “What lack I yet?” Then wait quietly for a response. If you are sincere, the answer will soon become clear. It will be revelation intended just for you.
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