Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Good Relationship Are A Blessing That Comes With MUCH Effort.

I've come to believe that each relationship we have should be an example of God's love. So when people see you're relationships they are seeing a visual understanding of how the Lord loves us.
Every relationship we have regardless if it's Mother-Daughter, Father-Son, Sister-Brother, Aunt-Nephew, Grandparent-Grandchild, is practice for that Eternal or Marriage relationship. We're to have

Parental love: Isaiah 49: 15 Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.

Brotherly love: Roman 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

Child-like love: Matthew 18: 4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Mosiah 3:19 For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

Spousal love: (actually all of Ephesians chapter 5) Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Ephesians 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.

In the last few months in studying relationships I've spent some time in the book of Romans. It addresses marriage, divorce, homosexuality and a range of other relationship dealings.Romans is a pretty good reference guide for relationships:

Romans 12:9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

Romans 12:16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

Actually I think I'm going to have a placque made of Romans 12. It really is good house rules.

And going back to Ephesians which even instructs us how to communicate and speak to one another
Ephesians 4: 29-32: Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.

31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

The most prominent examples of relationships we have are the ones we're in. So we take our examples from those around us, it's only natural, and usually all you have to go on. When we seek the relationship of spouse, it's only natural to draw back on relationships such as Grandma's and Grandpa's, Mom and Dad's, Older brothers and sisters, Aunt's and Uncles and such and even friends.
I've observed the relationships around me, the failed ones, the one's that appear to be successful, the one's that have failed and learned from their failings and are now in a more successful relationship.

I'm not above asking what went wrong in failed relationships and I've learned no one is a great as they paint themselves out to be. It's never all one person's fault and if you arent willing to face up to your own mistakes and shortcomings you'll keep making them in all your relationships. How you speak of (and to) your former spouse, your parents, and your children are all indications of how you'll speak to your current spouse.

I've seen siblings treat each other better than their spouses. I've seen Spouses speak and carefor a pet better than each other.
I've seen families give strangers and friends more courtesy and love than they give each other.

These things ought not to be.

Knowing what's really important is a blessing.
I think what I've learned most in the last few months is what's really important and what isn't.
Part of being in a loving relationship is learning how your partner communicates best and making compromises to accomodate each other. If you can't accomplish that, there's almost no point in going any further.
I also recognize those adjustments begin when your commitment begins, not sometime down the road after the marriage begins.
The one thing I see that remains constant...if adjustments aren't being made before the union, they aren't being made after. Many people are caught in the disbelief but time and time again I hear.. "they were that way before...I thought it would change after.."
I dont believe that.
What's really important in the grand scheme of things. Intentions, being true to your word, progression, fairness, knowing and acknowledging I have faults and being willing to work on them constantly.

Being able to over look and let go of small annoyances is a blessing. My Father and Grandfather were control freaks. Do it their way, no questions asked. It had to be their way. Why? I'm still not sure. there's 100 different ways to do 1 thing. As long as it get's done in a timely manner, legally and without harming anyone or anything does it matter?
It was once said to me "didn't your mama teach you not to leave the sponge in the sink?" This was after cleaning a kitchen and washing dishes. No mention of the clean kitchen or dishes, just about the sponge in the sink. And even if there was mention of it, what would you think the focus was on? yeah, the sponge. Should it have mattered and why? So anyway when every little thing like that is brought to notice you begin to focus on their negativity not their kindness.

Being able to keep focus on the positive is a blessing as well. It's difficult when surrounded by negativity.

I've realized the blessings of kind words AND deeds. Ever notice how one unkind or critical word can ruin everything? More than anything it births negative retaliation in word and deed (usually of the vengeful sort).
I've realized the blessing of knowing how to adjust to things that really don't matter. Letting the little dumb stuff fall away and not being nit picky about things that really don't have any place or weight in the relationship.

I've realized the blessing of good communication. Seeing a look or expression, hearing inflections and tone in a voice. Getting a visual or hearing understanding and intent in a voice is far better than incorrect assumptions via text or email or I/M. I've seen it and experienced it too many times, people reading words and putting their own attitudes and intent behind them instead of knowing how things were really intended. I'm no longer willing to have anymore important conversations unless they are face to face or at the very least Voice to voice on the phone.

Finding ways to connect on a regular basis and enjoy each other is a blessing.
I take the example of my brother. I asked him the difference in his first and second marriages and the changes he made. My brother is a Gamer. (yeah, E, I'm calling you out, but only because you give me hope) When I lived with him and his first wife he spent hours playing computer games. He loved them. His wife came to resent it. This was also the story of my step-sister and her first husband. This may not have been the main cause but it helped in their breaking up.
My brother said the best thing he did was DECIDE to enjoy his wife more. (because it was a choice, an option) He put being with her first and made sure she was taken care of, emotionally, mentally, physically first and she does the same. In doing so, the need for him to be online wasn't as urgent or fullfilling at it had been. He's learned moderation. He would find great joy in creating a new avetar and getting to the next level but expressed less joy in doing things with his spouse. Now he will only indulge in his gaming when his wife is not home or when all other things are satisfied. For him he's able to go weeks at a time without even turning his computer on except to pay a couple bills or read a few emails. Defineately not for hours at a time. He said he fought it tooth and nail and gave every lame excuse in the book. But realized that the people in his life are more important than the things and adjusted accordingly.

Working together to find the best solutions instead of feeling the need to be right is a blessing.
For the most part I could give a flip about being right. There is very little glory in being right about most situation. There's no joy in giving the benefit of the doubt against your better judgement and finding out you were shafted or flaked out on again. Or someone doing something to hurt you... and you knew it would happen. Where is the joy in being right? Where is the joy in being so rigid and close minded that you miss out on greater learning or understanding because you already know it all? What kind of life do you really have if you don't have the mind to trust or believe in anyone but yourself? Makes for a lonely bored life. I'm not down for that.

Studying and discussing the Word of God together is a blessing.
How in the world can you have a Christ Centered Union and family if you aren't even studying the word of God together or as a family? I have friends that when you walk into their house you FEEL a noticable difference of peace, love and harmony. They say they've worked very hard to have that atmosphere. Their day begins with Family scripture reading and prayer for each other in the morning. And they look for ways to uplift and build each other each day. There's a noticeable difference when they omit these things.
I remember an article in our church magazines years ago that basically said: How dare we use the same lips for profanity, anger, belittlement and critisism to dare call upon the Lord Our God in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and ask for blessings. We need to take more of an active part in our own speech to bring to pass the blessings we seek.

Ambition is a blessing: I have witnessed some lazy marriages and they stim from lazy attitudes. Love is a feeling but it's also an action. It involves words and deeds and both should be motivating. Not to say that you and your loved one's should always be on the go and doing. But you should be motivated and ambitious to make goals, progress toward them and reach them. If you don't have a plan and work a plan, then things happen to you instead of you making things happen. People put more effort in their jobs than their relationships.

I'm excited about the things I've learned these passed few months in recognizing what really is important. I learned alot about myself. What Im willing to let go of and what I'm not willing to let go of. I've got alot of work to do on myself as well. For me, some of the greatest experiences are the hardest ones and some of my greatest acheivements are recognizing my shortcomings and having the desire and working towards over coming them. I'm please with that, as I see too many people who are so busy pointing out the flaws of others, they dont have a handle on their own mess and don't even recognize their own mess.

Being able to recognize and work on your own flaws.... IS A BLESSING!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Is Your Mouth Writing Checks That You're Actions Aren't Cashing?

This election year has me thinking alot on Lip Service. Maybe because it's an election year it seems as if the amount of people saying things they don't really mean or saying one thing and doing another... or just not doing anything at all while insisting action and change is their intent has been MAGNIFIED.

Had a meeting yesterday morning and we got on the subject of Integrity and Honesty and how compared to our parents generation, people of today don't even have a concept of those things.
Back in the day, your word was your bond. Today, you can barely trust the word of those closest to you in even the smallest things. If you can't trust someone to do the small things, is it wise to invest enough in people to even get to the bigger things?
(this reminds me of being willing to DIE for our beliefs, but not willing to live with or for them)

It all boils down to INTEGRITY.

I like to watch and observe people I think actions tell more about a person than their words ever could. And if words and action are continuously inconsistant, there's a problem with integrity. Most peope think of integrity & honesty as simply telling the truth... and only when asked. It's not a bad thing but it's a lazy thing. We're taught to be more than lazy thinkers and doers of the word.

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Even our young women STAND UP each week and make the promise to stand for truth and righteousness at all times and in all things and in all places.
And I believe the theme for our LDS youth is

Mosiah 5:15 'Be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works'

We've seen the word abounding a few times in our scriptures. It means "plentiful, overflowing, abundant." As far as I know, those are action words. While we are in this life we're to be actively building up the kingdom of God by word and deed. I think tooo many of us think of it as "just" a Sunday thing. There's so much more to it than that. Building up the Kingdom of God is more than listening to a serman or listening to religious music on Sunday. These are great things but seriously if the majority of us think that's enough and the best we can do the world is in trouble. I think anytime we simply do "just good enough" and not our best, we lack integrity in those moments. Don't get me wrong there are defineately times when "just good enough" IS all you can do. But it should be the exception and not the rule. Integrity starts with intention. It starts in our minds, and our thinking. Its in our words, our follow up and our follow through. We would all do well to live as if our word IS our bond. So much of us live by saying things we don't mean or spouting things off the cuff with no intention of actually doing them. How many times do we find ourselves saying :
"I'll be there." "I'll call you back/tomorrow" "I will do.." or "Promise I'll get to it..."

Just for our follow up to end up being:
"I was going to but..." "what had happened was..." "I didn't forget I just..."?
We are fooling ourselves if we think these things go unnoticed by our friends and family after pulling it so many times. I can guarantee they may appear to believe you at your word but they certainly aren't counting on it or believing it much.

I've had a few disappointments in this regard this summer. It's taught me, if nothing to try and be a person whose intentions match their actions. I don't want it said of me that I am lazy in actions and lacking in integrity.
I like knowing that I can be counted on. It's tiring at times but it feels good to know people can count on me to get things taken care of and to keep my word for the most part. I don't want to be a disappointment to my friends and family and most of all to myself. I'm the person who believes you when you say you're going to do something no matter how small or big.
I'm also the one who is done believing when I see you haven't kept your word or your plans always fall though and don't happen the majority of the time. It actually only takes about 2 or 3 times and then I'm done believing.
Even if at some later point you happen to follow thru on a couple of the big things, I'm not going to trust you to get MOST things done. I'll believe it when it see it, because you've shown me that's all you deserve.

We should be taught and teaching from a young age and quite regularly the importance of integrity (things like selfishness, greed, taking more than we need just because we can or because something is free should be an abomination to us and should be taught to our children from a young age.)
We are taught that Integrity is being honest in word, thought and deed even when no one else is watching or around. This means we are hard working all the time, not just when the boss is going to be coming around. It means we are truthful and standing up for it and righteousness, not only when it's convenient, but even when it's not the popular or cool thing to do. It means our words and actions are consistant with one another. It means our actions, intentions and thoughs are the same regardless of who we are with. We aren't saying one thing and doing another. Or Implying one thingand then it not happening. It means we are actively putting forth the effort to cash the checks that our mouths are writing in all areas of our lives: Physically, mentally, emoitonally, spiritually, economically and so forth.

Even those little things we say we'll do and don't end up doing, they make a difference. It has everything to do with intent which starts in our thinking.

Proverbs: 23:7 "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he..."

Let me put this too you in todays terms: "Where the mind goes, the behind follows."

And if you STILL don't get it... let's try one more time: We accomplish exactly those things we want and intend to accomplish.

It is very rare that we put on hold the things we really really want to accomplish. It's not in our nature to allow someone else to plan or take over and move forward on the things WE want. Anything we are passionate about we don't pawn off on others, we are actively involved and abounding in the progression of it.

So if you look around at your life and are noticing a pile of "woulda, coulda, shoulda's" or unfinished goals and accomplishments check your intent and actions. More often than not that has everything to do with it.

I'm guilty of some of these things, we all are. But lately it seems as if I'm actually feeling the effects of it.
Is this what it feels like to my friends and family when I say things to them and don't follow through or fall short? I know in this regard I can work harder on being a person of integrity. My challenge for us all is to make a committment to being a person of greater integrity.
To those who feel it doesn't apply to them, read Proverbs 23:9 and good luck and stop bouncing checks.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I Did the Right Thing....Didn't I?

So, I just turned down a job offer. It was a pretty decent offer as well, much like the job I just left. My Interviewer was excited for me to begin my training October 20th. Starting pay was good, benefits awesome, sounded like just what I needed to get back into the working world.

We discussed what my schedules, salary and benefits would be. And then she asked a fateful question:

"Because we are an international company and strive to resolve customer issues in one call, you will be required to sometimes view and assist customers in things mostly considered of a Sexually offensive nature and adult content, is this something you feel you can do?"

I sat there stunned and stammering. I tried to say yes, but couldnt. Instead I got nauseated, and started sweating and trembling. I heard myself saying :

"I would have a problem with that"

She asked if it were something I felt I could ease into and eventually overcome because I would be a required to accomodate the customer.

I told her

"no, it was something I wouldn't do."

We sat there in silents. She was very kind and understood my position. She was disappointed at my not being able to have the position. I was just shocked, I think. She'll keep my resume (Of course) on file in the event that something else might come along. Thus ended my Interview.

A couple of things are going on inside of me right now:

ANXIOUS!!! Employment is essential to life. I need job, benefits and such to maintain the quality of life I feel I deserve. Although I've been taking it easy for the summer, I'm ready to kick back in and earn my keep again. I need and want a job.

SHOCK!!! Although we know the kind of world and the evils in it, I'm shocked it's actually come into the work place so abruptly and welcomed.

SADNESS!!! That people really live their lives in away that welcome violence, porn, profanity and even mocking the sacredness ofdiety as part of their regular entertainment.

SICK!!! I got sick to my stomach and trembling in those few moments of understand the question. It made me ill for a reason.

WEAK!!! Shouldn't I be stronger than this? Shouldn't I be able to breeze right through profanity, pornography and other such things w/o being offensive? Doesn't the Lord protect and shield his children from being affected by these such things if they're praying, reading their scriptures and doing things trying to stay close to him? This stuff shouldn't bother me at all right? After all not every customer call would be of that nature, maybe just 2 or 3 a week, or month or maybe just 1 a year... It's good money I should be able to get over it...*sigh*

Anger!!! Just as The Lord is aware of our strenghts and weaknesses, so is Lucifer (PUNK!) He uses low blows, insults, criticism (I've gotten some of that already by not accepting) and fear to break us down, attack our confidence and use justification to convince us to compromise our standards.

After the interview I sat in Silence for a few minutes. I like sitting in silence I do it quite a bit. I wanted to put a name to all the emotions popping off inside of me and the above is what I've come up with. I also wanted to get some resolve on what I'd just done and determine if I was too hasty in my decision. I was told to contact them if my standings change, they'd love to have me.


I was upset to the point of tears. Im upset that circumstances guided me to resign from my previous job. I'm upset that as a result of someone elses actions I suffered the consequences that put me, my mind and emotions in a sensitive state that normally wouldn't have been.

I'm upset at how it effected me then, now and possibly in the long term.

And now that I've cried, I'm no longer upset.

Most welcomed to my thoughts came the following phrases:

"We will stand for truth and righteousness at all times, in all things and all places...."

"...If there is anything virtuous, lovely, of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."

Proverbs 19:1 Better is the poor that walketh in his integrity than he that is perverse in his lips and is a fool.

Doctrine and Covenant's 33:2 For verily, verily I say unto you that ye are called to lift up your voices as with the sound of a trump, to declare my gospel unto a crooked and perverse generation.

I actually just turned on the TV and happened upon the rebroadcast of the General Relief Society Conference and Elder UchtDorf is speaking. Although he is speaking of being creators with the creator the phrase he just spoke that speaks out to me most is:

"Don’t let fear of failure discourage you. Don’t let the voice of critics paralyze you—whether that voice comes from the outside or the inside."

*SIGH* (that was a sigh of relief)

I have given myself permission to feel triumphant about my decision. I feel there is PLENTY employment out there that doesn't require me to subject myself to these kinds of things. Im sure there are plenty of employee's who are ready and willing to take that position. I just happen to be one who isn't.

And now that I think about it.... did I really even contemplate selling my standards and risk putting my spirit and soul at dis-ease by being subjected to images and lanuage I've spent years staying away from for a mere hourly wage with excellent benefits?

Being Christians (and yes, people Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ARE christians), when we take upon the name of Jesus Christ we have taken the guess work out of alot of decisions the rest of the world struggles with. Although from time to time we may falter, and backslide and make mistakes, we have the free agency to continue to live in those mistakes, or to get back up and stand for truth and righteousness and keep on trying to do what is right.

(As Christians we dont covenant to not make mistakes, as long as we are alive we will make mistakes. But we convenant to correct them when we do make them, and to move forward in righteousness as best we can with the intent to refrain from continuously making the same mistakes.)

Being Christian this decision, like many others, was made when I was baptized. It's made when I take the sacrament each week to "take upon the name of thy son Jesus Christ.... and always remember him."

I'm certainly not perfect in obeying everything in accordance to all the Lords commandments, the main 10 in Exodus, and the many others throughout the scriptures.

I'm CONFIDENT I made the right choice for me. I'm CONFIDENT the job I will really love and excel in is waiting for me. I'm confident I will be blessed for not selling my "birth right" for a mess of pottage... at least this time (wink.) I have found great strength in that knowledge and I will keep on keepin on.

Big Brother, Little Sister Moments

Big Brother, Little Sister Moments
Hand in Hand


I earned some temporary wings!