Sunday, April 9, 2017

Anniversary, Potty Training, Studying, and Trials

This past Thursday, I thought it would be a good idea to start potty training Marshall. He was showing a lot of the signs, and so I was encouraged to give a go at it. I decided to take the 'naked' approach, since I have heard a lot of success stories with that. That morning he did have a few accidents, but he also went on the potty several times. I was really encouraged and impressed. Then something happened. I made him lunch and he just started whining. He would not eat and would not tell me what was wrong. I checked his head and he felt warm. He had a fever! I did not think my efforts to start potty training would end in a sick boy. Needless to say, I stopped potty training to give him some comfort.

This same day was also our five year anniversary of marriage.  Jake had a test that day so he was busy studying. Then that night he had school dinner that I let him attend because my dinner tasted awful, and ended up in the trash! When he got home, all we had time for was to exchange gifts, and then he was off to study for his next test. Maybe I was cursed for starting potty training on this day, but in the famous words of Alexander, it was a 'terrible, horrible, no good, very bad, day'.

The next day, Jake and I were planning on going out to a nice restaurant to celebrate our anniversary.  However, Marshall still had a fever and was cranky. I knew that our date night was not going to happen. I told our babysitter that we were going to have to postpone for another night. Sadly, we did not get to hang out with each other at home because Jake had a big test he needed to study for. In fact, Jake's been studying all weekend, and it's been hard. It's always hard when he is studying, which is most every day of our lives, but this weekend has just felt harder.

I had to stay home from church today because Marshall was still not feeling well. It gave me plenty of time to watch church related videos. I watched an interview between a few ladies and they were talking about trials. One of them quoted something from Orson F. Whitney, that really hit home for me.
"No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. It ministers to our education, to the development of such qualities as patience, faith, fortitude, and humility. All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable, more worthy to be called the children of God . . . and it is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire and which will make us more like our Father and Mother in Heaven."

When I heard this, I was reminded why I am meant to have trials and tribulations. This is what I signed up for! This is the Lord's plan and it is such a wonderful plan. We are meant to have trials so that we can grow and become our best possible selves. We would not feel a need for improvement and growth if we did not have trials. Sometimes in the midst of trials it is hard to remember this. I know my trials are for a wise purpose.

I am also so blessed! All I have to do is look at my family and our current situation, and I realize how lucky I am to have the opportunities that I do have. There is a lot of scary stuff going on in the world right now. So many people have it so much worse than I do. So with that in mind, I am going to continue on, strive to serve, and try to be my best self. I know that things will work out.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

My Social Media Cleanse

I'll admit that I am a pretty insecure person. Or at least I have insecure days. A week ago I had one of those days. There were many triggers that led to this, but overall it came from my tendency to compare myself to other people. I love my social media, but sometimes I look at it the wrong way. I tend to look at another person's life and think that they are perfect. This makes me feel inadequate, and diminishes my self-worth. I end up comparing my weaknesses to their strengths. What a horrible comparison that is! However, my mind and emotions get tricked into thinking their lives are better than mine.

I knew that social media was making me an emotional nut-case. Not only for the fact of how insecure it made me feel, but also because I had a constant need to 'check' my phone endlessly. I found I was not enjoying my life as much as I was enjoying other peoples lives. I was not being 'there' for my kids. I would snap at them more if they needed my attention. I did not like the person I was when I was constantly 'checking' my phone.

This self-diminishing day led me to make some changes. I made a goal to sign out of Instagram and Facebook and only check them morning and night. The rest of the day I could focus on my own life, and not the lives of those I follow. I have replaced my constant checking with being more present with my family, friends, and an inspirational eBook. What a difference this had made since I started this social media cleanse a week ago! I am hopeful, encouraged, and happy. I can honestly say that I love my life, despite the daily challenges that I face.

We all have our weaknesses and challenges! Social media only shows us little snippets of most people's lives. Often times, people only post the positive, because that's what they want to celebrate and remember. It does not mean that their lives are not filled with trials. I love social media for this reason. It gives us a chance to celebrate and mourn with those we love. We are so lucky that we have a support system of individuals who mostly strive to lift up and not put down. There are many times that I have been encouraged by something someone posts, which then helps me get through a challenge that I may be having. I will never delete my social media accounts for this reason.

We need to all be there to support each other and lift each other up. Our life here on earth is not a competition, unlike what Satan tells us. We need to be happy for others, and not jealous of them. We need to rejoice in each others victories. Life is hard, so let's help each other through it.