Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Deciding on Best

Well I did it - I burnt myself out.

Not completely. But close. I've been so good at keeping an 'un-busy' life that I took it for granted and let my guard down. I'm not the kind of person that over schedules or signs up for unnecessary things. I kind of thought that sort of thing just came naturally to me, no maintenance needed.

I was wrong.

I let my guard down, and let too many things in. Granted, my pregnancy with baby #3 kind of squoze out the space energy I thought I had to take the time for other pursuits. There were also a lot of pesky time sucking nuisances such as slow freezing daily house wifi to deal with...

I've become pretty ambitious with quite a few things it seems like this year, not the least of which was a new site (blog). Which I LOVE mind you. BUT, it most certainly isn't my everything. Nor should it ever be. My mind kind of got consumed and due to some other things I embarked on as well, I got stressed.

But isn't everybody stressed and busy? What is this post even about? Am I supposed to feel sorry for you or something?

(Just thought I'd throw this in there in case you were thinking it)

In reply to your remark, no. My usual is unstressed and unbusy (you'd think I had better wording for that...). I take my mental health far more seriously than my physical health, and I keep anxiety, stress, and depression far at bay because of this pro activeness. Of course those sort of things can't always be helped, but it has worked for me for the most part.

The trick? Deciding on best.

I forgot my New Years Resolution word, and as I flipped through my journal for a blank page I stumbled upon it.

BEST

The year of best. Best use of my time and energies. I so needed this swift reminder. There are so many good things, then some are better, but only few are best. Only few are necessary. It caused me to re shift my priorities and work-through eliminating any guilt from letting others down. It's important to not let others down. I know. But sometimes you have to carefully decide who to let down.

For me, if it's a choice between letting my family down or another, I MUST choose the 'another.' Family is the best choice. These 4 are the best choice. And by #4 I don't mean me, I mean the baby in my belly. I couldn't be more excited to have a third baby in arms! Babies just put everything into perspective, because they are the best.


So anyways that's my little story, and why perhaps heaven's slice has slipped off the radar for a time. I was deciding on best. Not to say I didn' or don't have many many heaven's slice posts in my head, but my time is limited and I must choose more wisely where I spend it.

It's not to say I won't mess up, but I'm hoping to keep up with choosing best. My deciding factor when it comes to time consumption is this:

If I don't love or enjoy doing it and/or it doesn't benefit another for good, then it's a waste of my time. 


Also, in case you didn't know - My thoughts come a great deal from this most amazing and important talk that you must read, watch, or listen to. 

GOOD, BETTER, BEST - Dallin H. Oaks 



Heaven's slice is trying to embrace time instead of wasting it.



Sunday, March 26, 2017

Feeling Awkward and Uncomfortable at Church and Church Activities



This has been something I've been pondering lately and I feel the tug to share of my own thoughts and experiences on it. I've read a few blog posts out there about those who feel uncomfortable at church. Like they don't fit into the "cookie cutter mormon woman" mold. Of course it's always an uplifting read because at the end they start to relay their own personal journey and testimony of the church and what keeps them there. I love it when people share their stories.

This is my post following this theme of feeling like a misfit at church and church functions.

Fact is, with many of these blog posts with their cookie-cutter description of the Mormon woman - happily married wife of multiple children - looks a lot like me. I don't really have any physical appearances that stand out from the "Mormon norm."

But,

I often feel and have felt like a misfit at church. I also share feelings of awkwardness, like I don't fit in. There have been times in my life that I've gone months sitting alone on a church bench every Sunday. There have been many church activities I've attended where I feel awkward, even uncomfortable socially. Like my personality and likes vary to a great degree to others around me. That I don't quite "fit in" with others at church.

So why do I go?

I go simply because I know that is where I belong. I feel so strongly that it is where I need to be and should be that it outweighs any sort of uncomfortable "mis-fit" feelings I encounter 10 fold. I know that the gospel of my church is true. This is precisely why I go. Always have. Always will.

And, I'm not naive enough to think I'm the only one who feels this way. If I appear to be part of of the "cookie-cutter" connotation yet feel like a misfit often, I am certain there are many others who may appear to me that they fit in, yet also have struggles of feeling like the odd ball at church too.

We are all so different. Our personalities. Our talents. Our passions. It's going to cause us to feel different a lot of the time. But just because we may feel different, uncomfortable or awkward at church by no way means that you don't belong. It's our differences that cause us all to need each other, to appreciate each other.

All of us struggle with different vices. All of us have our own specific struggles and short-comings. We all share this regardless of what our outward appearances look like.

Dare I say, we are all misfits at church. So feel free to join because the only thing that matters is that we are children of the most high. Everyone of us on this earth.



Heaven's slice is knowing why you belong at church.



Sunday, March 5, 2017

Being Financially Responsible With Tithing Money



Once upon a time I was in a church calling as a 1st Councillor in Young Womens. We were trying to decide what to get each young woman as a special birthday gift. Each calling has a set budget, money wich comes from tithing. (10% of income members of the church voluntarily contribute to the church - read more here). As we were excitedly shuffling through these fancy and frilly ideas the Young Women President who had not yet contributed to the conversation very humbly and wisely started to speak about how we needed to consider the widows mite. That the money we were using someone may have financially forgone many wants perhaps needs in order to give that money to the church. Giving in faith that not only they would be blessed, but the church would benefit. There was a humbling hush that came over the rest of us. It rested greatly on my shoulders. This money was to contribute to the Young Womens program, a program which enables young women to gain their own testimony in order for them to access future temple blessings. To help them see themselves as who they truly are - as daughters of God. It's nice to have beautiful decorations and fun adventurous memories. But from a financial and spiritual standpoint, to what cost were they of worth? Did they fill the NEED? After that experience I've since had a strong grasp as to how and what I spend money on for church callings. Because I think about that person or family who saved and scrimped so that they could pay a proper tithing in building up the church. 

There is a most wonderful talk that explains it perfectly and incredible called The Widow's Mite by Gordon B. Hinckley in a talk he gave to BYU students (BYU being partially funded a great deal by tithing). 

He talks about a cheque he recieved from a widow for a large sum of money that she sacrificed greatly to give to the church and how the students needed to put that money to good use in this their education at BYU. 

You need to either read or listen to the whole thing, because it is absolutely wonderful! A must read for all church members, but especially those within callings that use tithing funds.

I remember a friend asked me about why members took turns cleaning the church. It was a casual conversation and I embarassingly gave out a sarcasticly funny remark about getting gold stars that get you into heaven. I can be a little imature sometimes, but I think I said after it's a good act of service or something. I wish I had relayed a portion of this quote though that was in the talk The Widow's Mite:

"The widow who brought to me her offering, which has become a portion of the funding of this university, would expect you to save, protect, and do all you can to preserve these remarkable facilities that have cost so much."

We need to clean and take care of our buildings and respect our church buildings as members precisely because of the tithing it took and sacrifices made for us to enjoy the building. It's a matter of gratitude and respect. 

Tithing is incredible and it has blessed our family so much in being able to give that 10%. It is a commandment with so many blessings (including financial) that come from the giver. But I would dare to say another part of paying tithing is to use that money responsibly and spiritually wise when we are alotted areas in which to spend money for the church's benefit. 



Heavenslice is using tithing money the way God intends it to be used. 



Sunday, February 5, 2017

Craving Sundays



I have felt pretty busy over the last few weeks. Almost overwhelmed. As you may know, I took a dive into blogging as a career and added my very own site to the plunge a few months ago. I am LOVING it!

It was a dream in my head that I'm so excited to have play out and get to take a shot at making a small (may be large one day!) living off of. I've even endeveared into a free, but intense, 6 week blogger mentorship program. It's so great. It is.

But again...I'm feeling a little too busy at times.

Enter Sundays. The day I have started to truly crave. A day of rest. Of spiritual rejuvenation. A day where I can let go of worldly aspects of my day(work & errands) and put eternal perspective as my focus. A day where my rockstar husband tends even more to us. Have I mentioned how amazing my husband is?! This is partly because he doesn't do school work on Sundays, so he's pretty well all ours! I also take a break from social media on Sundays which I feel makes a huge differene and gives my brain a rest. I love going to church. I love sacrament meeting, listening to such meaningful and inspiring messages to help inspire me to become more christlike. Partaking of the sacrement and singing hymns too! I'm in nursery and love playing with toys and giving little lessons to the littlest and sweetest members of our ward. Little one's put everything into perspective for me.

Basically, Sundays have become my air for the week ahead. It helps turn my wandering heart back to God who in turn gives me such solace in doing so.




Heaven's slice is most definetly Sundays.


Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Protection and Peace I Have Found in Reading My Scriptures Daily

Honestly, reading scriptures has always been the key to peace in my life. 

I can get frought with worry and anxiety pretty easily, but when I open my scriptures it just eases off of me. 

If I get a prompting to do something or go somewhere, I tend to overthink it and turn it into too daunting of a task. But I've tried to make efforts to read the scriptures in those times and it always makes the impressions more clear and simple. It brings peace and motivation to do that which I was impressed to do. 

Sometimes after recieving a soft answer to a prayer I start to waver and get confused on if it was really an answer or just something I made up. Reading the scriptures pushes the answer more clearly into my mind, once again, bringing peace with it.

Now as for the protection I have found with scripture reading. I don't mean physically. I mean mentally. My mental state makes a dark turn once my scripture reading stops. I found this the most scary and prominent in my teenage years. The summers where it was not "part of school/seminary" to be reading scriptures daily, I stopped. This is when the depression hit the hardest for me. Once I started reading them again in the Fall, I started seeing lights gradually opening up in my brain. Problems didn't seem as big, and my rational side started behaving correctly. 

There is a great power in scripture reading and study that is kind of indescribable unless you've felt it for yourself. Though I've tried to share a small piece of my experience with it, if you have not tried it in your life, you will not understand this. So, I'm putting out an invitation, as all of us mormons seem to do...


Read it daily, be it fast or slow. Just read it. ALL of it. Whether you understand the wording or not, just keep reading it. It's translated from an ancient language so it is a little confusing at times, even from those who have read and studied it all their life. 

Truly you have nothing to lose by reading it, but potentially, you may just have EVERYTHING to gain.





Heaven's Slice is reading scriptures daily and finding out your own truth in the validity of the Book Of Mormon by reading it yourself. All the way through.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Goals: A Final Stretch Review

You can read all about my new year's resolution project I've done this year where I treat every month as a new year by CLICKING HERE.

I thought I'd touch base and let you know how it has gone, so you too can perhaps feel inspired to fulfill your own monthly new year goal this January.

I started this year out, wanting each monthly goal to be a hefty one. A focused drive. A must-be-finished-within-30-days endeavour. And as I started to challenge myself in setting these big monthly goals, it became apparent that I needed to reflect on what I wanted to become after these special 12 months. What I desired of myself to be. The biggest desire. So I pondered upon my priorities. What matters the most in my life. What is at the top of my list. It didn't take long for me to be gently touched as to what that was.

More Christlike.

I simply want to be a better person this year. Better at forgiving. Better at practising patience. Better at serving my fellow man. Most especially my little family.

My faith (my religion) helps me be better. So with that in mind, I prayerfully chose a goal every month that would reflect that desire.

The results?

My eyes have been humbly opened to the long journey I have ahead of me to be what I truly desire to be. There is no finish line, because there is no end to it's progression. And may be, that's what I love the most about these goals - that I can continue them. That I can gain little by little the attributes needed to reach who I was always meant to be.

Instead of your typical physical body health/appearance goals that seem to be such a popular go-to new year goal, I challenge you to break free from the physical obsession and become more concerned with your spiritual nature. This is what I did this year, and it's benefits far suprasses any sort of physical focus I could have had.

The beauty of it is that when you become more fixated on your spiritual self, you're not the sole benefactor. You benefit those around you as well.

Happy almost new year every one! I hope it's been a great to look back on for you, but even more so I hope you can look on the future year with hope and excitement.



Heaven's slice is knowing to what cause you were born.



Sunday, December 4, 2016

This December

I am following and participating the LIGHT THE WORLD CAMPAIGN this December.
Here is the link to do it too! (Click a day and join in serving!!)


There is an act of service attached to each day from December 1 - 25. I have read and done at least one thing it suggests to do each day so far and it has been so heart touching.



My life seems to have gotten quite busy lately. And now with the Christmas season upon us there is the added pressure to get all the gift buying done for everyone. A pressureful busy-nesss that I actually kind of resent more and more each year.

For me, it takes away from what the season truly means for me. That great gift of life after death brought forth through our saviour. The hope that that tiny babe born in Bethlehem brought to generations upon generations. The hope it has brought to me. To know I have my family forever through Christ my Saviour.

I LOVE the December season. I do. Everyone, myself included, seems to be more cheery and kind. There is more of an outpoor of service. Of kind words. Of visiting family. Of meals shared with an exchange of laughs and hugs. Of Christmas music filling the air and creating family memories and traditions. It truly is a most wonderful month.

But the STUFF part of this season is distracting for me. I don't need stuff.

No, actually, I don't want stuff. I literally have everything I could every want within the walls of my home.

I want this husband who loves me and whom I love. I want that loyalty and honesty that is between us. I want health for me and my family. I want my children to scream and laugh and run and play with a pure zest for life. I want them to know Mommy and Daddy love eachother and love them too. I want them to know who Jesus is and what prayer means. I want to be financially stable. I want to be allowed the opportunity to progress and thus not be racked with past guilts. I want to explore my talents, to hone in on my passions. I want kind, fun, loyal, and dependable relationships. I want to live in a land of freedoms. I want to live near exteneded family and a temple... Deep down, I don't think anyone really wants "stuff."

This 25 Ways to Follow Our Saviour' shows me what I can do that doesn't entail that distracting checkmark of things to buy to fill a gift bag for someone who doesn't have need for it. It shows me the real ways I want to give. To really make a difference. To take time to truly give of myself and not my debit card.

Everything I want I have. I know Thanksgiving is long past, but December is actually more of a season of Thanks for me. Because this is what rings in my ears all month long:

"Because I have been given much 
I too must give"



Heaven's slice is having this daily opportunity to give as He did.