Sunday, September 15, 2019

Keeping an eternal perspective.

Today in sacrament meeting, the speakers talked about keeping an eternal perspective. I thought they had some really great messages.

One of the ways to help us keep an eternal perspective is that we have to remember who we are. We are children of God, and He loves us.

Another way is to keep the Holy Ghost with us. In a quote read by the first speaker, Sister Sheri Dew said, "Our challenge is not one of getting the Lord to speak to us. Our problem is hearing what He has to say. He has promised, “As often as thou hast inquired thou hast received instruction of my Spirit” (D&C 6:14)." We must be confident in our first promptings from the Holy Ghost.

God's plan for us is often fluid, and can be an adventure. Sometimes we can be confident that God wants us heading in one direction, and then later He can be directing us down a different path in a different direction. But He doesn't tell us all the answers every time.

The third way is to remember that it's a doubles match. God is in our court. We are supported by Him, and He will help us as we move forward.

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Asking "why" never takes away the hard things. Life gets crazy. Sometimes God calms the seas, and sometimes He calms the sailor.

In the talk "Accepting the Lord's Will and Timing", Elder Bednar said he asked Elder Neal A. Maxwell what lessons he learned through his illness (he had leukemia) and he said, “I have learned that not shrinking is more important than surviving.” Just as Jesus shrank not to drink the bitter cup, we, too, can shrink not to drink the bitter cup. It's like taking medicine–it tastes terrible, but you need to take it in order to get better. We need to "drink the bitter cup" and stand tall. God is with us, and He will help us through it all.

"Trial" in the medical world has a positive connotation. As you go through trials, you are getting closer and closer to the answers. "Clinical trials are research studies that test how well new medical approaches work in people. Each study answers scientific questions and tries to find better ways to prevent, screen for, diagnose, or treat a disease." Trials that we go through in our lives are testing that helps us develop our faith and testimony. The variety of experiences and challenges that we go through is for our growth. Living the Gospel gives us the support and understanding we need to get through this life. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week! God loves you! 

Xoxo
Mattie

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Thy will be done.

Yesterday was the five-year anniversary of the death of one of my dear friends. It never gets easier. I remember the day like it was yesterday. I was in high school, I was sad the whole day, and I have the greatest friends who just hugged me and let me cry. I had literally just gone to see her the previous Monday because it was Labor day and I just wanted to see her. I just spent 15 or 20 minutes with her, and I didn't really speak until the last few minutes as I told her a little about my life and then said "I love you" and "Goodbye" but oh, how I could feel her spirit, and the Spirit of the Lord!!

She was such an amazing example to me of Christlike love, and of a Christlike heart and spirit. Some days it doesn't seem real that she is gone, but she is. I am grateful for the time I had with her, and for the love she gave me, and for the happiness that she brought to the world, and to my life. She had the biggest heart and loved so much!! I still feel her every so often in life.

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This week is going to be a little crazy–I've got a lot going on–but I know that God blesses us as we put Him first, so this week I am going to do my best to put Him first, no matter what. It might be challenging, but challenges lead to growth, and that is what we are here for–to learn and grow. 

I am so blessed to be where I am right now. It might be a little stressful and overwhelming at times, but I know that God is with me and He knows who and what I need in my life. No one is perfect but they can be perfectly what I need. 

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"Thy will be done." This is a hard thing for me to accept sometimes, and I know that we all struggle with it at times. Today I was thinking during the sacrament about what kinds of things I can do to help me accept the Lord's will. One thing that I was thinking about was that as we recognize the Lord's hand in not only our life, but in the lives of those around us, we can come to see that He has a plan for each of us. He has a timeline for all of us that leads to our learning and growth. 

As we live our lives and move forward, making decisions and choices according to what we desire, and according to what the Lord would have us do, we can come to see that His will is greater than ours, and that we can come to know and understand some parts of His plan for us. This can help us to begin to try to accept those parts of His plan that we do not always understand. 

Sometimes I don't understand my path, or my weaknesses. I don't understand how they have helped me or will help me grow. And that's okay. It took me a long time to realize that. It's okay not to know why. As long as I know that my Savior is there for me, and that I am here on this Earth to help love His sheep–Heavenly Father's children–and that I am here to help increase the love in the world, I know that He will help me. As I study my scriptures, my patriarchal blessing, the talks of our Church leaders, and visit the temple, I know that the Lord will help me understand what He needs me to do. 

Life is challenging–sometimes it's more challenging than other times–but I know that God is always with me, and I know that He has a plan to help me learn and grow. 

I know that I am where I need to be right now, and I know that I am being stretched in many ways. I know that I am growing and I know that I am becoming someone who my Heavenly Father can be proud of. 

I hope you all have a great week! Know that I pray for you every day and you are always in my heart and in my thoughts! God loves you and I love you! 

Xoxo
Mattie

Sunday, September 1, 2019

There is no end to second chances.

Each and every day is different. So the person I am each and every day needs to be different. I need to be able to adapt to the changes and challenges of the day. I can do so with the help of my Savior. If I fail, I can get back up and try again because there is no end to second chances.

I am so thankful for the chance I have each week to repent and try again. I am grateful for the opportunities I have to become aware of the changes that I need to make in my life. I am grateful for a God who loves me enough to kindly let me know that I am not doing as much as I should or could be, and that I need to make a change. I am grateful that He gives me so many opportunities and chances to start again.

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I am grateful for the blessings of the temple. I was thinking this week about my experience in the temple last Saturday, and how much love and peace I felt. I didn't go with a specific question or thought to ponder, and the questions that I thought about briefly in the temple didn't seem so important. I think that it was just important for me to recognize that feeling of love and peace, and that God is proud of me no matter what.

Sometimes I feel distanced from Him, but when I look back on these moments when I felt the Spirit, and when I felt the Lord's love, I am reminded that He is far nearer than I ever imagined. He is in every flower, every creature, every moment of love and happiness, and in every second chance.

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I was reading in Moroni 7 earlier this week and I was thinking about how important faith, hope, and charity are to our lives. Faith and hope lead to charity, and without charity–which is the pure love of Christ–I think that life is almost meaningless. The first great commandment is to love God, and the second is to love thy neighbor as thyself. LOVE is the first great commandment. I am so grateful that I have a heart that is always willing and open to loving and caring for those around me because I have learned a lot about God and myself as I have loved and cared for those around me. More than I would if I didn't have a heart that is so open to loving and serving those around me.

Hope you have a wonderful week!! God loves you, and I love you!

Xoxo
Mattie

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Purposeful change.

I can't believe this is the last week of August!! Where has the time gone?? There are 120 days left til Christmas–that's four months!! I still feel like we just finished January!

I'm starting to get really excited for this week at work! I'm hoping to make some Gak today that the kiddos will be able to make shapes out of. I want to color it different colors (because our theme is shapes and colors) but somehow we only have green food coloring, and I used that for a different activity last week, so I don't want them to have just green things hahaha–there are more colors than that! So we'll see! Maybe I'll make my own food coloring somehow! (Just kidding...I looked it up and it's waaaay more complicated than I thought it would be!). I am really grateful for my job! And I am grateful for my kiddos and for their willingness to give me a chance. One of my kiddos has never called me Miss Mattie before this week–he has only ever called me Teacher, and I almost cried when he called me Miss Mattie! I sure hope that I am changing these kids' lives, because they are definitely changing mine!

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I went to the temple yesterday and I had such a wonderful time. I often go in with a question or thought to ponder, but yesterday I didn't and I just felt so much peace. When I was sitting in the celestial room, I was trying to ponder some questions I thought of while sitting there but all I felt was peace, and that I didn't need to worry right now. I am grateful for the opportunity I have to live near so many temples and I am grateful for the love that I feel from my Heavenly Father every time I am near.

Every day this week, I've been listening to conference talks, and I took note of some of my favorite things that were said. I'd like to share two quotes that I loved from Sister Michelle Craig's talk "Divine Discontent":

  • "Being more does not equate with doing more." 
  • "Divine discontent leads to humility."
I remember specifically loving these quotes when I first heard them in conference as well, and I thought about why these quotes specifically stick out to me. 

I think that that first quote really stands out to me because sometimes I feel like I am not doing enough–I feel like I am not good enough. So I try to do more things...but honestly, that does nothing, just like the quote says. I need to be content with the efforts that I am making and recognize that they are good enough! And they are helping me be enough. The efforts that I make to try and be more like Christ, and to help those around me, are perfect for me. They are perfect in helping me grow, and in helping those around me. Because when I am working with Christ, my efforts are perfected. 

As for the second quote, Sister Craig goes on to say that, "Discontent becomes divine when we humbly approach Jesus Christ with our want, rather than hold back in self-pity." 

Heavenly Father will multiply our efforts to be enough. There have been many times where I did something so small and simple and was even slightly embarrassed to have done it, but later was informed that it had meant so much to a friend and that they really appreciated it. 

As I turn to my Savior, humbly pleading for His help and guidance, I will be able to rise above and have divine discontent. I will be able to accept that I am not enough by myself, but that with Him, I am. 

I am grateful for the experiences that I have had this week! I had a conversation with a friend the other night that was very humbling, and made me realize a lot of things. I am trying to work very hard on owning my feelings, and realizing that I have a choice as to how I feel. It's hard work to change my feelings, especially when they feel so ingrained in me, but I know that with His help, I can do it. For were there not many people in the Book of Mormon who hardened their hearts, but later repented and turned to the Lord? (Not that my heart is hardened–just trying to show that it's not impossible to change your feelings). 

As I look back over the last few months, and my time at work, I can see how my feelings towards certain things have changed by accident–just through living life. How much more can my feelings towards things change if I turn to the Lord and purposefully try to change my feelings? I hope that it's a lot! Purposeful change, to me, is more personal and sweet because it shows that I am making the choices to change. They are not just happening to me, I am choosing them.

Grateful for a God who lets me see my flaws and know what things I need to change! I'm also grateful that He is very much aware and involved in how, when, and what I need to change! I'm so thankful that the Most Divine Being in the universe allows me to change and try to be like Him! 💜

Xoxo
Mattie

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Answers to prayers.

Today I made a conscious effort to write down the things that I want to improve on this week. Most of them are personal, so I will not share them, but I will say that one improvement I want to make is to be able to be more patient with my kiddos at work. Sometimes it is exhausting trying to teach them and get them to listen, and I get frustrated a lot, but I want to be better at being patient and more loving towards them.

During the sacrament, I was thinking about how grateful I am for the Atonement, and for the chance to repent and start again. For the chance to press the reset button and try again. Every week I need to try again. So I am grateful for my Savior, who has given me the chance to do so.

In Sunday School, someone brought up the fact that God has a measuring stick for each of us, and I thought that that was really inspiring. We measure ourselves differently than He does, and there are a few moments where we measure things similarly to Him, but more often than not, His measures are different than ours. 

Despite the fact that I will not be starting school this week or in a few weeks like some people, I am still feeling very stressed about the fact that I am teaching! I'm grateful for the opportunity, I really am, but sometimes I don't feel very capable or even worthy to teach these kiddos. It amazes me each and every day how I even got here.

Friday was a different day at work–we had to do some makeshift stuff and move kids around. My kids all got moved, and one of my kids got moved to a different class and he had a really hard time. It broke my heart when I went in to give one of my coworkers a break because he was crying and also so happy to see me because he thought we were going back to class. When I left, he was still crying. Somehow this experience was all sorts of heartbreaking. One: he was so sad, and I couldn't help him feel less sad. 2) When I walked in, he was so happy to see me. It broke my heart because I was so sad to see him sad, but I was so happy that I was someone that he was starting to feel comfortable with. 

Lately I've been reading/listening to General Conference talks, and this week I read "Answers to Prayer" by Elder Brook P. Hales, and he said, "Brothers and sisters, sometimes our prayers are answered quickly with the outcome we hope for. Sometimes our prayers are not answered in the way we hope for, yet with time we learn that God had greater blessings prepared for us than we initially anticipated. And sometimes our righteous petitions to God will not be granted in this life." 

Right now, I feel like my prayers are not being answered in the way that I hoped they would be, and I am trying to learn to be okay with that but it's harder than I expected it would be. I'm looking into adding new hobbies to my repertoire and I have a few ideas but absolutely no idea how to do them yet. But first, I have to tackle my room. I've been working on it all summer but I've also been busy all summer so it is taking me longer than I planned, but I am hopeful that I will be able to get it done this week if I work on it every day after work.

Then, once my physical life (work, my room, etc.) is prepared and all cleaned up, I can work on adding new hobbies. Slowly, and one at a time. And who knows, maybe I won't be able to get into the hobbies I'm thinking about right now, but maybe they'll open my eyes to other hobbies.

I am grateful for friends who are the answers to my prayers, and I am grateful for a God who knows the people and answers that I need. I am lucky to have so many amazing and wonderful people in my life and I am grateful for the blessings that they are in my life, and for the blessings that they add to my life.

I know that God loves me, and I know that He is looking out for me. In His own special way, He is making sure that I have what I need in life. 

Hopefully this week goes well for us all! Good luck with those who are dealing with back to school stuff–you got this!!

Xoxo
Mattie

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Becoming okay with being me.

The best part of this week was when my kiddos at work hugged me goodbye as I was walking out the door on Thursday. 🥰🥰🥰 They'd never done that before and it made me feel really special, and like I've been making progress with getting them to feel comfortable with me. 💜

The next best part of this week was when I was talking with a friend and had the realization of how precious time is, and how much of a gift it is. 💜

The next best part of this week was when I had the opportunity to go to the temple and one of the temple workers said I looked like a little porcelain doll and thanked me for my service that day. She was such a sweet woman who made me feel like I was loved and seen, and I know she was a blessing from my Heavenly Father. 💜

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Life isn't easy. Sometimes life is very hard. I'm trying to figure out how to move forward even when I feel very stuck. It's a lot more difficult than I thought it would be, and every day presents new challenges. But as I keep my covenants, and turn to the Lord, I know that in time, things will work out.

In time, things will make sense. In time, I won't feel so stuck. "In time" has been one of my least favorite sayings recently, but I have recently realized that it can be a blessing. Now, I say this, and know it, but during the week, when things pop up, it becomes harder for me to remember. This happens a lot, actually, with lots of different things, and I can't figure out why, nor how I can help myself fix it. I've tried everything that I can think of, and still nothing has worked yet.

I think that what I have planned for my personal scripture study this week will help, but if not...I will keep going. I'll try again. Because something is bound to work. God doesn't want me to be sad, or feel stuck, and neither do I. So I will just try again.

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You know, I spent some time at one of my old YSA wards today, and as I was sitting outside, looking at the pool, I had a flashback to a little more than two years ago, when I was really struggling to find my purpose and feel needed. There were more times than I can count where I wondered what it would be like if I just sank to the bottom of the pool. It scared me to have those thoughts, but it just didn't seem like I was making a difference, that I was important, or that I was needed.

{Now, I recognize that those feelings weren't normal, and that I was experiencing depression. But at the time, it didn't occur to me that those feelings weren't normal. I thought I was just sad, and it was a weird sad. Technically, I was right, in a way. Depression is a weird sad.}

As I stared at the pool, I realized that I've come a long way. I'm no longer the scared 20-year-old sophomore/junior at BYU who felt like she didn't fit into the world. Now I'm the scared 22-year-old college graduate who feels like she still doesn't fit into the world. 😉

In all seriousness, I am still scared, and sometimes I feel like I don't fit into the world, but I'm becoming okay with that. I've realized that I don't need to fit into the world. I need to stand out from the world. And I think I do a pretty decent job at that most of the time. So I just need to remind myself that sometimes I don't fit in, and that's okay. There are some things that I don't understand about myself. And I don't know if I'll come to understand them in the near future. But in the meantime, I'm trying to. And that's all I can do.

I thank God every day that I'm finally at a place where I feel more comfortable to be myself. I don't always feel comfortable to completely be myself, but most of the time, I feel comfortable to be most of myself. And for that, I'm grateful. Because there was a time where I hated myself, and I couldn't be myself because I thought that I was annoying, and obnoxious, and too much. Sometimes I still feel like that, I'm not going to lie, but I've realized that I don't need to let other people's opinions of me define who I am. I am perfectly fine the way I am, and God loves me for who I am. 🥰💜

I hope that this week is a good one for you! Find something new each day to be intrigued by, and find someone new to bless. I know that God lives, and that He loves you. I know that He has a wonderful plan for you! I know you will do amazing things. 

Xoxo
Mattie

Sunday, August 4, 2019

"Live by faith, not by fear."


"Live by faith and not by fear." I saw this quote earlier this week on Facebook, and it was a beautiful tender mercy and reminder for me. 

To be completely frank with you, this week has been really stressful for me. I have been finalizing my prep for next week, when I start teaching the preschool!! I am very excited but also very nervous. I have been really stressed about other things in my life, too, but they are more personal and I am not ready to get into that right now. However, what I want to say is this: I have not entirely been okay. Am I excited and happy that I won’t be bouncing around the classrooms at work quite as much? Yeah! I’m happy that my schedule will be a little more consistent. I am excited to get to decorate my own classroom every couple of weeks. I am excited to get to teach the kiddos all about foods and flavors in the next two weeks, and then all of the other themes after that. Yeah, I am excited for all of that! 

But I’m also nervous. I’m scared. I have a curriculum to follow but I’m worried I’m going to do it wrong. I’m worried that I’m not going to do things right. I’m worried that I am going to mess up. I’m worried that it’s not going to be fun for the kids. I’m worried that I’m going to forget all of my training for this job. I’m worried that I’m going to forget to breathe. I am worried that I am going to forget to live my life.

As soon as I found out I was going to be teaching the preschool, my life was changed in an instant. I haven’t been sleeping well lately. I’ve been really stressed and worried. I fear I haven’t been the greatest friend lately, and I fear that I haven’t been the greatest disciple of Christ, either. I have complained far too much and I have been unnecessarily moody and impatient. So I wanted to apologize to all who have been impacted by my complaints, moodiness, and impatience. I am really sorry. I am trying to be better, but there is a lot going on in my head/life at the moment, and I am not doing too great of a job. Please hold on a little longer–I will get there, I promise. It’s just taking me awhile. In the meantime, just know that I appreciate you for listening and putting up with my complaints. I really do. And I will listen just as hard when you need someone to listen. And if you need help fixing something, I’ll do my best. But if you just need someone to vent to, I’m your girl. Because hey–we all need someone to listen, I really like listening, and it’s the least I can do.

I know that Satan wants me to be really upset with myself and focus on all the things that I am getting wrong. Lately, I think that he has been getting into my head a little bit. I am going to make more of an effort this week to not let him get to me. I think that I have been letting my mind and my problems run my life lately, and it has made me stressed, sad, and afraid.

I can be doing better. I should be doing better. This week I'm going to start over and try again. I'm going to try to let go of all my stresses, worries, fears, and anxieties, and turn them over to my Heavenly Father. Then I'm going to try to remember that He loves me and wants what is best for me, and I am going to focus on my relationship with Him, and my relationship with myself.

This week is going to be my first week teaching my own class and I'm really excited! I am also nervous but as long as I focus on one day at a time, I think that I will be fine.

I'm grateful for a God who loves me and wants me to learn and grow. I'm grateful for all the chances that He gives me to repent and try again. I'm grateful for the love and support of my Savior and Father in Heaven. I am grateful that They do not give up on me, even when I am not doing all that I should be doing all the time.

I'm blessed to have family and friends who love and care for me no matter what. I am grateful for where I am in my life right now and I am excited for the next couple of months in my life as I begin to teach. I am grateful for the Lord's hand in my life the last few months especially, but also in the last four years while I was going to school and trying to figure out what to do with my life next. Now that I am done with school and working full-time, I am looking forward to having more time to focus on myself and my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I need to live by faith. I need to trust Him.

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Wish me luck with my first week of teaching! I'll let you know how it goes next week.

Xoxo
Mattie