Stumbling

In our pursuit for excellence, let’s never forget that we are already excellent. We are not starting from a place of failure, but rather from the exulted place from which our diligence and charitable natures has brought us thus far. Yes, we may stumble, and that stumble may make us feel low, but a stumble in itself does not make us lose ground. Rather the stumble reminds us of where we are on our journey. A stumble reminds us to take in our surroundings and reaffirm where we want to be and where we want to go.

During our journey, well-meaning people may only focus on where we need to go and minimize the importance of from where we have come. They will tell us not to dwell on the past and will tell us that we are weak for weeping. We should not wallow in frustration, disappointment, or pain, but we should always remember the struggle of our journey. It is when we remember from whence we came that we can truly celebrate where we are and where we are going.

Stumbling

 

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The Parable of the Old House

There was an old house that had once been beautiful and grand. It sat on a road with many other beautiful, grand homes, but over time it began to fall into disrepair until one day its windows were boarded up and it was abandoned. In order to hide its sad state from the others, the boards on the windows had been painted to look like windows; dark panes of painted wood trimmed in white had replaced the clear glass. To the many who drove past the old house barely sparing it a glance, the evidence of its downfall was easier to ignore once those painted boards had covered broken windows.

Eventually, the decay and disrepair reached a level that the city decided the house was an eyesore and a danger. It was decided that the once beautiful and grand house would need to go, to be torn down. Yet, just as all looked lost for the house, someone took a closer look and saw past the overgrown yard, the damaged roof, and the boarded up windows. With dedicated care and work the house was restored.

We are all in danger of becoming the house. Without maintenance and care, we can go from a place of beauty and love to a place where we board up our windows and fall into decay. The Lord’s mercy and love, His atonement for our sins can help save us. It is important that we remember this when we feel as if the storms of life are ripping at our exteriors and the wind and rain begins to seep into our souls.

The Lord admonishes us to learn of Him and to take His yoke upon us. He teaches us to be mindful of our brothers and sisters. He admonishes us to be mindful of those who have boarded up windows, those who may be falling into deep disrepair. We should be careful when driving through our communities to avoid condemning the houses we see that have been storm damaged or neglected.

by Jessie A. Hagen

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Saith Me… Embrace the Hills

Many years ago a friend gave me some advice. He said that rather than dreading the hills I should embrace them. So after lacing on my running shoes, I began a chant. “I love hills, I love hills…”

Learning to love hills, or at least telling myself that I loved hills, greatly benefited me during my years of running. For some odd reason, I always ended up living in an area dominated by undulating terrain.

Hills come in all forms, and life’s undulating terrain challenge even the most fit among us. Sometimes the only thing that stands between success and failure is the mental chant, “I love hills.”

Hills are never fun, no matter what we tell ourselves. They require determination and perseverance. Sometimes they require great sacrifice and can even cause great pain. However, as we scale a hill, we become stronger, and when we stand at the summit, we become sure in the knowledge of our newly gained strength.

 

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One Bite at a Time – Adjusting a Classic Saying

For years I have used the old saying,

“How do you eat and elephant – one bite at a time.”

Recently I realized something was missing. In light of the disposable nature of a commercial world and the addiction of instant gratification, I feel the old saying needs to be adjusted.

So how do you eat and elephant?

One bite at a time, day after day, until the task is complete. 

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Saith Me… Destiny

Destiny seems to be one part supernatural and one part self-determination. We may not always feel in control of where we are going in the universe, but we always have a choice as to what road we travel and what attitude to take when climbing the mountains in our path.

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Saith Me… An Interesting Question

Does an overtaxing, productive day followed by a sluggish, unproductive day equate life balance?

Living with fibromyalgia… the never ending challenge of finding balance continues.

 

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Pain Sucks, Life Doesn’t

Pain sucks, but life doesn’t. Whether it is physical or emotional, sometimes it is easy to forget that it is pain not life to which we want an end.

Chronic physical pain can lead to emotional pain and can be compounded by the pains of loss and loneliness. A bad day can turn into a bad week, then a bad month becomes a bad year. As with most creatures, the pain causes us to withdraw from those who seem unable to understand or assist. Caring people seem too busy or seem too happy to be bothered with the task of giving us a lift. Unlike the temporary pain most people experience, chronic pain never leaves. Sometimes it can diminish and give us a rare glimpse of relief, but then it can flare back up worse than ever. Some chronic pain sufferers face an ever shifting collection of pain that causes even the closest of loved ones to become frustrated.

Pain can seem all consuming and extremely defeating. Pain sucks, but life, despite the pain, contains joy and beauty. The dark lenses of pain may dim the light, but they do not eradicate it or cease it to exist. Daily life for people in pain requires a constant effort to see past the dark lenses, to see the light. Their efforts are helped when a loved one takes the time to lift the window shades and let in greater light.

As busy as we may be, as frustrated as we might get, we must work to lift the shades and bring in the light. Sometimes it is all that prevents the misery of pain from becoming the misery of life.

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