Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Day 84: Praising Through The Storm

Anyone who has lived life long enough knows that there will always be storms in life. There is no such thing as achieving the perfect life. Everyone experiences trials, tribulations and afflictions. What we can decide, is how we are going to respond to these times of trials and heartache.

Pondering a lot on the natural man, and what that is, I have noticed that it is natural to get depressed, to feel down, to get angry, and to think of just yourself first. If you want to be something more than just the natural man, then you need to conquer the natural man. In order to do that, you need to think about the way that you are responding to those experiences in life that come to you on their own, or that you bring upon yourself.

For me, it is important to focus on the blessings and maintain my hope. Since I am still working from my home office, managing all the finances, trying to delegate the responsibilities within the home, helping all four children with their homework, maintaining personal relationships with them, and fulfilling callings at church, and dealing with my own health issues, I must keep my heart and head in the right place.

I have found that the best way to do this, is to count my blessings, to praise God through the storms. I have learned from experience, that it is through the trials, that I gain blessings. The rain that falls upon us, is used for our good. This is how God has always had a hand in my life. Tribulation is not anything new.

Many people will learn about my life, and they will be amazed that I have 'turned out' the way I have. They say that they would have given up a long time ago. This is my secret. I turn to God in my trials. I did not use to do this, there was a time that I blamed him for the choices of others, and I did not understand why he did not intervene and save me. I went through a time of anger. But then, I came to realize that the free will that we have all been given is a gift. One that God is not going to rob from us. And because our choices can affect us in a negative way, as well as the choices of others, he also offers us the blessings that come from experience as well as tender mercies to help us get through those times.

If you want to make it through a tough time, you need to praise God for the blessings that you have already. The air you breath, the heart beating in your chest, the smell of flowers, the beautiful world around you, the smile of a friend, a hug when you need. In all things praise Him, and you will begin to see your life change. Your perspective changes. Your trials become an opportunity to prove that your faith is unshaken, that you will be patient and submissive like a child. We work as if it all depends on us, and pray like it all depends on God. We believe that the answers will come, and they do.

Recent Blessings That I Want To Acknowledge

*I auditioned for "Gloria" by Lex De Azevedo, that will be performed in the Tabernacle on Temple Square the week of Thanksgiving for the annual lighting of the Christmas lights, and I was accepted; fulfilling two dreams of mine.
*I was able to sing in a choir for Stake Conference.
*I was able to sing with my oldest daughter for another session of Stake Conference.
*I was extended a calling.
*Our son was called to be the second counselor in the Deacon's Quorum, I was able to attend when they set him apart.
*I have been able to take a new class at church that I enjoy.
*Every time I have needed money, an answer has come. 
*I have been able to pay more in Tithes and Offerings (because of financial blessings).
*I was able to have gifts for our youngest's birthday, and for the Twins' birthday as well.
*One of my clients changed their payment method, so that I can get paid as often as I want instead of only once a month, and they started it just two days before I needed some extra cash before the regular payday.
*It has rained enough that I have not had to water the lawn.
*I found an online co-op where I can get fresh fruits and vegetables for a lot less, as well as multi-grain breads and tortillas.
*My websites have had unexpected sales.
*My cat, Lady Augustine, has had a huge increase in Facebook fans. Which has the potential for future marketing ideas to blossom.
*I was able to create an entire chore chart, time together, and homework system for our family to function better.
*I am doing less housework because my children are more motivated to help. They earn movie time, game time, and once every two months a larger family activity.
*We have been able to have scripture and prayer every morning, and Family Home Evening every week.
*I was complimented by a professional vocal artist that I admire for my singing.
*I was able to attend my sister's wedding and reception.
*I was able to give her and her husband the gift that they really wanted.
*A friend made some clothing for the children that they had been wanting.
*A friend from church brought over so many bags of clothing for the children, that we did not have to buy any school clothes.
*I was able to buy all that the kids needed for school for the first time in years before school ever started.
*The atmosphere of our home is more loving, united and peaceful.
*I am experiencing more progress with my personal healing.
*When it is needed, there has been money for gas.
*When my unexpected medical bills came up, I had the cash to pay for it.
*My infection is gone.
*After the second surgery, I had no pain after a couple hours.
*I had a great experience in the temple, that was witnessed to in stake conference as well that has given me more direction in my life.
*The amount of disagreements has gone down significantly between all family members.
*We were able to help several different extended family members when they needed it, in many different ways.
*We have been able to make new friends.
*I have gotten small bonuses from a company that I market for because of timing issues that they had.
*I have gotten products that I use for a discounted price.
*I won a gift card to Kneaders.
*I was given keywords for one of my sites from a friend who had done hours of research for free.
*I was able to get a carpet cleaner, which saves money on the rental or paying someone else to do it.
*My children are more grateful for all that I do.

There are many more blessings that have occurred since the last post. I hope to manage time in a way that I can post them more often. 

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