a collection of thoughts on perceptions

Thursday, July 12, 2012


"May I speak, not to the slackers in the kingdom, but to those who carry their load and more; 
not to those lulled into false security, but to those buffeted by false insecurity, 
who, though labouring devotedly in the kingdom, have recurring feelings of falling forever short....
...the first thing to be said of this feeling of inadequacy is that it is normal." 
Elder Neal A. Maxwell


~ Soul Surfer. Seen it? I cannot watch that movie without shedding a tear. Bethany Hamilton is beyond words inspiring. And even more than that, so was her family. I watched this movie from two perspectives. First, through Bethany's eyes. Would I have the courage and strength to do what she did after facing what she faced? Secondly, would I have been able to help my child through a trail such as that?

~ I have been running 3-5 times a week for the past 3 weeks. I feel a sense of determination - I am going to run the half-marathon next year in Seattle. I am not an natural athlete. I am afraid. I have moments when I feel like I can do this. I can push myself. But then there are those moments when I am running, and I feel tired and I don't think I will ever be able to run for 21 kilometers. I would much rather speak in front of hundreds of people than run a half marathon. What if I can't finish? What if it rains? What if it is blistering hot? What if..? What if...? What if...? Some may ask, "Why are you doing it then?" It is exactly the fear that is the reason. Too often I let it take over my life. I am one of thousands of people who will run. This may not be a big deal to many people. But it means something to me. It means that I can something I never, ever thought I could do. What I need to remember is that I don't have to run 21 kilometers right now, nor do I need to worry about it. I just have to do the 5 or 7 or 10 that I am doing at that moment. I can do that.

~ The other day I lost my patience with a child of mine. Please don't misunderstand - this is not an anomaly, but I felt particularly sad about this episode. I immediately wanted to go back in time. I knew the right thing to do and it would have been so simple. I wanted a chance to do it. I could not go back, however. I was mad though, not at the child, but myself. I know better. I truly believe that there is no reason to ever lose my temper at my children. As much as this may be true it is, of course, not a realistic possibility. I am human. I will make mistakes. I will not always do everything, say everything, or be everything that these children need. All I can do is learn from these experiences, and take that knowledge on to the next opportunity, which would surely arise soon enough.  I must forgive myself, learn, and move forward. It is the forgiving I have a hard time with, and it is hard to move on without taking that first step of forgiving oneself.

~ I have been listening to an audio book about finding joy in our lives. The author makes this statement, "The devil was able to take things God meant for my good and turn them into torment." The moment I heard these words it all became clear. These tests and trails that I face are meant for good. Logically, I already knew this part of things. But instead of letting God work his miracles in and through me, to create his kind of vision with my life I let Satan take these experiences and turn them into torment with all the could haves, should haves, and not good enoughs. How often do I let my mind be turned to the negative? How often do I dwell on what I could have done differently? This is true in my parenting, my relationships with others, and even my running. 

You see it is not about the race, nor is it an issue of parenting. It is about what I believe about myself. When I listen to God and let him into my life, into the very center of my heart to do his work, I begin to believe in myself, and all that I can be through him. It is in the power to choose. I begin to see, contrary to what Satan would have me believe, I can do this. All of it. Step by step. Little by little. I just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other and eventually I will reach that finish line. Like in life I need not worry about the miles I still have left ahead of me, I just need to take one step, one day at a time. 


"The adversary knows that if he can prevent us from recognizing our divine potential, he will have scored a major victory." 
Elder Baxter

This is my most favorite song to run to.


When it comes up on my play list it doesn't matter how tired I am, I feel like I can run further and faster. It makes me believe in myself. But it is more than just about me, even. It turns my mind to others. We all have struggles and dreams. We never know what another is going through, and maybe even more importantly we don't know what dreams and hopes their hearts hold. We each have the responsibility to help one another believe in and achieve those goals. We can do such damage with our cold shoulders. But, by simply seeing the best in others we can make a difference. We are, like it or not, our brothers keeper. 

"We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop." 
Mother Teresa

It is not just a matter of self-confidence, but one of humility. Even if we have the confidence, maintaing a healthy sense of humility is so important. Realizing where every breath we take and every day we have comes from, will make us stronger, in so many ways.

Running a half-marathon is not an easy thing to do. It is going to take dedication, commitment, sacrifice, and sheer will power. I watched a good friend do it this year. It was truly inspiring.

Raising socially responsible, happy, hardworking, God-fearing citizens is no small feat. I feel the responsibility of this. I must do the best I can. This is my task.

Again, this is not about running or parenting. It is about getting inspired to do something hard, something that may scare you. It is about finding that confidence, and gaining that humility that God will help you in all things. It is about dreams and fears. We all have them. I will no longer let my fears stand in the way of my dreams and prevent me from becoming stronger than I am today. I will not listen to the critics, even, and most especially, if that critic is in my own mind. I will not let others drag me down. I will try my best to buoy others up. 

"We must remember that we did not come to this earth to gain our worth - we brought it with us." 
Ardeth Kapp

I hope for all who read this that you may follow that dream you hold secret. God believes in you. He will make weak things strong. He will propel us forward. We must believe in ourselves.

"I testify that no one of us is less treasured of God than another. I testify that He loves each of us - 
insecurities, anxieties, self-image and all. He doesn't measure our talents or our looks; 
He doesn't remember our professions or our possessions. 
He cheers on every runner, calling out that the race is against sin, not against each other."
Elder Jeffery R. Holland


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