The weekend was pretty relaxed and today we went to church. The people are so nice and we've gotten to know several families. We are going to dinner tonight at a family's house - should be fun! I made the dessert. Hopefully it tastes as good as I want it to.
Because we don't have a pretty trifle bowl It doesn't look that fancy but I'm pretending it really looks like this on the inside.
I also made snicker-doodle cookies yesterday. Paul couldn't remember what they tasted like and he loved them :) They were soft and fabulous. And super easy.
In church today Paul and I both spoke. We aren't even technically in the ward yet but it was fun. Paul talked about Temples and did a fabulous job. I talked about understanding and doing things in God's timing. If you want to read it, here it is (mostly for mom : P ). Or skip down : )
During the most difficult days of World War II, Winston Churchill declared: “To every man there comes that special moment when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a special thing unique to him and fitted to his talent. What a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared or unqualified for the work which would be his finest hour.”
Are we living in a way that we will be ready to accept God’s timing and be prepared for the greater things he has in store for us? In his April 2005 General Conference address, Elder Bednar said, “Faithfulness, obedience, and humility invite tender mercies into our lives, and it is often the Lord’s timing that enables us to recognize and treasure these important blessings.”
Along with these important blessings we may receive come many challenges that also have an important place at various times in our lives. We can whine and moan and complain, or we can look for the new opportunities within the Lord's timing. It really comes down to knowing and then submitting to the Lord's timing and will for us. Sometimes we need to simply "let go and let God.”
Elder Hugh Pinnock of the 70 shared this story with my dad when he was facing a difficult challenge as a young man:
“A long time ago there lived an old man who lived in a very small village. The only possession he had was a beautiful horse that was strong and fast, and was his only means for providing for his family. One night a great storm arose. The winds blew tremendously, frightening the horse. As the storm continued the gate to the choral was blown open and the horse bolted and ran off into the desert. Upon hearing that the old man had lost his horse the people of the village went to his humble home. All of the people went up to the man saying, "This is a sad day. You have lost your only possession and the only means that you had to take care of your family. This is bad, this is truly terrible." The old man looked at the people and softly replied, "You don't know this is bad, you don't know that this is terrible."
The days went by and the old man worked his land as best he could. He didn't bother to fix the broken down portion of the choral because he had nothing to keep in it anyway. The old man awoke one morning to the sound of prancing hoofs and the familiar neigh of his trusted horse. He darted out of bed and ran to the choral to find not only had his horse returned but it had led 50 wild stallions into the coral. When seeing what had happened, the people of the village exclaimed, "This is so wonderful and good. Now you have all of these horses and all this wealth you will never have another worry. What a great and wonderful thing!” The old man faced the crowd and softly whispered, "You don't know that this is a wonderful thing, you do not know that this is so good."
The old man had a son who was one of the great young warriors in the village. He spent hour after hour training to perfect his skills with the sword and the sling. One day as he was breaking in a strong black stallion he was thrown from the horse and his leg was crushed. Never again would he be able to use those skills he had worked so hard to acquire. When the people of the village heard the news they responded again by saying, "This is so terrible this is such a bad thing. Now this great young warrior is crippled, what an awful, what a terrible thing." The old man responded, "You do not know this is so terrible, you do not know that this is a bad thing."
Not long after the tragic incident the cry of war was heard in the land and the war lords came to the village and took all of the able young men off to battle and the majority of them were killed.”
And that is the end of the story. As we journey through mortality we often don’t know if a certain challenge or opportunity is a good thing or a bad thing. When we learn to trust in our Heavenly Father’s timing we come to understand the scripture “all things will work together for your good.”
Growing up, my family moved every few years, changing my childhood hobbies and focus from sports to piano. Having started lessons later in life than most of my competitive peers, I practiced hours a day in order to be on their level. I started playing competitively at age 12 and by the time I was 15 knew I wanted to pursue this talent in college and had a dream of performing in front of thousands of people. Just a few months later, I was forced to quit lessons as I had developed tendinitis in my left arm. I heard a lot of “This is so terrible, this is such a bad thing” and I had many of those same thoughts. I couldn’t figure out why this had happened to me, why the one thing I had spent countless hours on had been taken away. I could still play, but couldn’t practice enough to be competitive or play more difficult pieces. What I didn’t realize at the time was that the Lord had greater things in store for me.
Not practicing piano freed up a lot of time and allowed me to participate in things like musical theater, student government, and decide on a new major in college. At BYU I decided to major in Business Management and marketing. This changed all of my goals from being a performer, to a career woman. I had dreams of going to New York City and having a career in sports marketing and making that my life focus. I was on track and half way through my college experience when another speed bump was thrown my way. His name is Paul. After bonding over BYU basketball in January and being humbled to accept fact that I wasn’t going to leave college single as I had planned, I said “yes” to my Knight in Shining Armor and we were married this last September.
While I was completely happy with my newly married life, I always wondered why I hadn’t been allowed to complete the goals and aspirations I had made earlier. This is when I truly came to realize the love of the Lord and how His timing is perfect, and He has a way of making things work out for the best. While being married and fulfilling that goal of mine, I was able to work in athletics at BYU during my senior year of school, fulfilling my dream of working in sports marketing. At graduation I was asked to perform a piano solo, fulfilling my dream of performing classical piano infront of thousands of people. Here in Dallas, I am interning at Southwest Airlines, fulfilling my dream of working in corporate marketing while Paul is pursuing his career in public accounting at Ernst & Young. It has been amazing to see my goals in life checked off my list, but not in a way I had ever expected. And with the Lord’s timing, everything turned out better than I could have ever planned it for myself. As Elder Bednar stated, “Often, the Lord’s timing of His tender mercies helps us to both discern and acknowledge them.”
The timing spoken of is so key. We never know what things in our lives will turn out differently than we planned, but we need to be prepared to accept those blessings and be ready for those changes.
I would challenge each of you to look at your life and ask yourself, “am I ready for a big change? Am I worthy to accept the Lord’s timing and recognize His hand in my life?” And if you’re worried about your capacity to fulfill these challenges, take some council from Elder Maxwell. “The Lord doesn't care about our ability or inability; but only about our availability; and if we prove our dependability, He will take care of our capability.”
In all the trials, challenges, and changes we face in life, often we just don’t know if they are good at the beginning. We just know they are hard. We know they are discouraging. But ultimately we learn that this too shall pass – and that there are opportunities found within every challenge as we accept the timing of the Lord and endure to the end. I know that if we do this, we will see His tender mercies and perfect timing along the way…
As always, thanks to my daddy for his wonderful quote suggestions. The Bishop picked up on the "Knight" in shining armor pun and thought it was pretty funny. Click HERE for the full piano story.
You are probably wondering why it is in different colors. Well, being daughter to a public speaking genius, I learned very young how to organize and memorize talks about speeches. The colors help you separate ideas and organize it in your head to make it easier to memorize, and keep track of where you are. It's actually very helpful.
I am so glad to be here and Dallas and am so grateful for all the love and friendship we've received already, especially from our new church friends : )
Hope you're having a wonderful long weekend.