Friday, January 22, 2016

Sharing Your Story

A few weeks ago I was invited to participate in a Relief Society Meeting, one of the meetings that happens on a weekday instead of Sunday.  The theme of the meeting was: Women of Faith.  I was asked to share a little bit of my story and tell a little bit about how I remain a woman of faith, maybe share some of my trials or challenges, etc.

When the counselor of our RS presidency stood to introduce the meeting, she shared the story of a friend who had moved into a new community.  That community had a larger LDS population than she had experienced before and she expressed the feeling that she didn't fit in there.  Maybe she felt like she couldn't relate or had such different life experiences from everyone else that she just didn't feel like she knew how to click with her new community. The purpose of our meeting was to help everyone know that even though we all have different backgrounds and come from different places, there are threads of commonality in our experiences.

After that introduction 3 of us were able to share our individual stories and something of how our lives have helped us to have faith and how we remain faithful - meaning that we continue to have faith even when times are hard.  The two other women who shared their stories had had very different life experiences from me.  They had both endured serious hardships in their lives and I found myself getting nervous because I wasn't going to share those kinds of experiences.

Truthfully, I have always felt that I have lived a very very good life.  I was born to amazing parents, had a great family life, married an amazing man who loves and adores me and I love and adore him.  We have been blessed with 2 amazing children.  He has a great job and we have a great life.  That doesn't mean that I have never had challenges and I shared a couple of things in that meeting that have been challenges for me and my family.  But really, I knew that what I was going to share that night wasn't very dramatic or really anything out of the ordinary.  I wondered if what I had to say would be a disappointment to everyone listening after the amazing experiences of those amazing sisters!  (Seriously...their personal experiences are amazing!!)

Well, I shared what I had on my mind anyway and told my story.  I shared a couple of experiences that I called the bedrock of my own personal faith and testimony.  I felt good about what I shared and even though it wasn't very dramatic, it was definitely my own story.  Since then, I have felt some amazing things. I have felt a different camaraderie with the other two sisters who spoke that night.  We may have very different backgrounds, but we share many things, including the opportunity to share that night and that has a binding power all its own.  The other thing I have felt is the love and acceptance of the sisters who were there that night.  I have had some people tell me that they could really relate with what I was sharing and that there are a lot of similarities between our lives.  Of course we have not lived the same life, but they could relate with my experiences.  It makes me want to hear more of their stories.

The stories of other women are important to women.  We deeply want to feel connected to our sisters and the truth is we all can feel connected to each other.  Even though our individual circumstances and stories differ, we really can relate with each other because we are all human beings trying to figure out life and we need other people and we need to feel connected.  Now...I just need to get women to start sharing their stories...any ideas???

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Faith on a Snowy Road you are thinking I already broke my resolution of writing more on my blog...but I have not!  Last week I went down to Utah to help and spent time with my parents for a few days and the days I had at home before leaving I needed to get things ready to go!

I drove home on Saturday morning while it was snowing.  I really do enjoy the snow, but I really don't like driving on snow-covered roads, especially on my own.  I mean...I could go off the road and get buried and nobody would least for a while??  The interesting thing about this journey home was that I did not feel nervous.  OK...maybe that is an exaggeration.  I was a little bit nervous for a while.  The roads were all great and clear until the Malad pass and then the road was snowy and slushy.  That is when I felt nervous.

Then something wonderful happened, I dialed up my faith.  I had looked at the weather reports and planned to leave at the time when it looked like I had the best chance of missing the snow.  I had prayed before I left, my parents had prayed for me, my husband and spudlets had prayed for me and so I realized that I really didn't need to be afraid.  If I was going to drive off the road, or get hit or was going to be OK and it was going to be in line with the Lord's plan for me and my family.  That didn't mean that I was going to just stop paying attention or start driving crazy fast or doing some other reckless thing, but it did mean that I could let go of my fear, lock in on optimism and drive without fear.

As I thought about that experience I realized that it was a little microcosm of my life.  I am a worrier by nature.  I can think of a thousand negative outcomes of just about everything, it plays out like a movie in my mind.  Some people might think that this is a challenging way to live and that would be true, if I didn't have faith in God.  I have learned to trust Him and lean on His understanding (see Proverbs 3: 5-6).  Whatever happens I kind of know it's going to be OK.  It might be hard, it might be life-changing, but it will really be OK.

I made it home safely on Saturday...I trust I will make it home to God in the end someday.  That is true for me and for you.  Hang on to your faith...the Lord has got you covered.

Leslie (a.k.a. Reluctant Spud)

Thursday, January 7, 2016

A New Year, A New Post (and hopefully more to come)

Welcome to 2016. It is a new year and that generally makes me feel a little anxious to try something new...maybe a few new things. This year...I want to get back to writing a bit more. So...I plan to do just that here on my wonderful little blog!! I will likely post about what is going on in my life but not in a boring way, hopefully. I might post something about the new things I am trying, my efforts to decorate my little abode, some of our family's favorite things and more. I have made myself a schedule to post twice a week! This in itself may be a bit of a lofty goal at this point, but I want to do it!!!

I believe in resolutions!! 

In fact, I believe in resolutions so much that I get the whole Spud family to write down their resolutions, then I frame them and hang them on their walls, so that we can see them all year. Then at the end of the year we take them down to see how we did.

Sometimes we laugh because our goals were funny, or we forgot about them, but most of the feels good to see our progress. Here's looking toward good things to come in 2016!

If you are just in love with the great printables I found for our resolutions this can find them: here, here, here and here. Oh...and if you like my post, let me know by sharing, commenting, pinning, or something.


Reluctant Spud (a.k.a.  Leslie)