Patience is Key

Have you ever gardened? If so, you remember the smell of the dirt, the sun warming your shoulders, and the tickle of tiny seeds you sprinkled in the dirt.

. . .

How long did you water those embryonic plants before they poked their little heads above the soil’s surface? Two days? Two weeks? Two months?

So why is it we sometimes expect that if we set a goal, we already expect to see progress in two days?

(OK, well, maybe you are more patient than most. But many people give up on their goals within just days of the “tiny seed” planting.)

Question is…

will you?

A Slap in the Face

I received a slap in the face today. From a quote. Not a real slap. But I think that sometimes it is these kinds of “wake up” slaps that do us more good than anything else in this life. I’ve always wanted to be open to learning better ways of doing things. Better that than sitting defensively in some corner with fingers in ears!

Here’s the quote:

“That individual who has an opportunity to educate his children and does not, is not worthy to have children” – Brigham Young, as quote by David O. McKay in Pathways to Happiness, p. 181.

For me, this isn’t just turning my children over to some school system and calling it done…for powerful learning is far more than that. Proper education is a full gambit of learning…not just the three Rs of Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic. Children need so much to strengthen them for life in today’s quixotic world.

I was reminded today with this quote just how much that is true. For me, Brigham Young’s quote resonated with an urgency I’ve felt recently to give my full attention to the children God gave me.

Time with them is so fleeting.

BOOK REVIEW – Prayers That Bring Miracles

I received a free book in the mail recently from a publisher requesting that I read the book, Prayers That Bring Miracles by Stephen M. Bird, and consider writing a review. I never know how these experiences will go. Honestly, there are some books I do not feel hold up to the premise stated on the book’s cover.

For example, on the back cover of Prayers That Bring Miracles:

“As I read Prayers That Bring Miracles, I knew almost instantly that this is a book for which many people are hungering….Rarely have I read a work that touched my spiritual senses so deeply.” – Julie Davis Jensen, book evaluator

Prayers That Bring Miracles opened my mind to the magnitude of possibilities through prayer. I no longer go through a ritual for the sake of obedience, but look forward to the answers and direct guidance that I once thought only a few were privileged to experience in this life.” – Michael Strode, real estate agent

There are other endorsement on the back of the book equally as glowing. Thus, I was curious as I began reading the book for myself whether or not the book could live up to this kind of exuberant reviews.

Now that I have spent time with this book myself, I know why the reviews were so positive. The author Stephen M. Bird’s words and his approach to the sacred matter of prayer have changed my life.

That simply put!

This book has changed my life. From the story entitled, “Chaplain, You’ll Never Believe What Happened,” to teaching me to better trust the prayer/answer process, to understanding why it is the Lord answers prayers, I love this book.

In fact, I kept waiting for something not to like. Reviewers are supposed to do that, you know. Find at least one thing that is yuck about the book and mention it to appear that you are balanced. I find that approach to reviewing books ridiculous when there isn’t anything to quibble with during the reading.

That’s how this book moved for me. I read chapters, stopped, pondered the meaning. OK, well, here perhaps could be one complaint. And yet it is not a complaint…it is a call for spiritual maturity. If you’re wanting a quick read, one that doesn’t challenge you, this book is NOT for you. These chapters cannot be read swiftly. That would be like eating in a $500/plate restaurant, but staying only long enough for the lemon-with-water glass brought at the beginning of the meal.

No, Stephen M. Bird’s book is to be read slowly. Pondered. Experimented with. Just the chapter “The Road to Faith in God” was worth the entire exposure to the book. He delineates how to get rid of skepticism, one of the biggest impediments to sensing answers from God and to receiving them. That chapter is worth the entire book.

But would I want only that chapter? No. I would want the whole book. And now that I have it, I give thanks for the opportunity given me to review it.

Here are the chapters contained in this book. Read this list and consider if this book doesn’t belong on your bookshelf or especially the bookshelf of someone you know who is struggling with “why doesn’t God answer my prayers?” The chapter titles may appear simplistic, but their content is anything but.

“Chaplain You’ll Never Believe What Happened”
“God Is Your Father”
“Approach Him Reverently”
“Submit to Your Father First”
“Request Specific Blessings in Faith”
“Remembering Our Father’s Son”
“The Road to Faith in God”
“The Blessings of Faith in God”
“The Importance of Faith in God’s Will”

Remember those glowing reviews? I now want to add mine. You can find this book online at Amazon.

Back after a hiatus!

Sometimes life requires the reprioritization (is that a word) of things. Or activities. Or focus. Whatever. That is pretty much what the past few months have been. A big upside basket full of all kinds of goodies needing reorganizing.

But I’m back. And I’m excited. Because now I can begin again doing one of the things I love most…sharing excellent books and writers that have moved me or changed my life somehow.

Hope your life has been good and that 2010 will be an excellent year for us all. Our prayers still go out, though, to those in Haiti who are facing amazing possibilities, yet such despair and devastation. They cannot bail out of this if we forget them. Here is a link where you can donate.

The Treasure Is Already There

Have you heard the expression, “The treasure already is in your backyard?” The saying originates from many themes, including some interesting scriptures, but the point is: you already have what you need to make a successful go of your dreams.

“Ah, but I don’t!” you might cry.

Perhaps. But most times, if a person stops to think really hard and look around, they discover the resources they were looking for are already within their grasp.

A study once was done in which people were asked what they would do if they won a million bucks. The study showed that, on average, most of the answers were already something the person could choose to start that day.

For example, many people said they would write a book. Bingo. Something they could already be doing. Some people said, “Take a vacation.” Bingo. Something they could already choose to do, even if only a “stay-cation” where the person takes the day off and stays in their own city to see the sights.

So much of what limits us is purely our thinking. You may indeed have what you already need to get started on your dream. What is it? Take some time to journal about it and enjoy discovering that your goal-achieving is probably simpler than you might have thought.

Along Those Lines

Along the lines of our last blog post (singing and swinging into your perfectly fitting “slippers”), remember this: Imitation is death.

Why is that? Well, many reasons…some thoughts of which you could share that would be better than the ones we might have. But when you are trying to imitate the life or the talents or the style of another individual, you are starving that which was meant to be born from within you!

Have you heard of the concept of “turgidity”? When a plant’s turgidity is high, it means it has ample fluid hydrating its cells. When the turgidity is low, it simply means the plant is desperately thirsting for water.

Have you been starving your life’s cells pining for the mission, life call, or talents of another? We submit that when you take time to journal each day about your life, about the abundances you choose to notice, and about the good things you do, you will begin to water and feed your own “plant.” Your emotional, social, spiritual, and physical turgidity will increase.

And that, my friend, is a very good place to be. So go get happenin’ with that plant water for your soul!

You Have Your Own Path

You have your own path. Not that of another.

Think about the ugly stepsisters. Perhaps if they had been less interested in trying to squish their feet into Cinderella’s slipper they might have found a pair of their own.

Are you trying to squish your feet into the slipper of another? Why not take some time this week to journal on that thought?

Are you trying to live a life that someone else is called to live? Do you have talents that need to “sing” or “swing” in their own way? What are they? Take some time to journal about these thoughts. You may be surprised at what comes to you!