Friday, December 5, 2008

Finding Joy in the Journey

I was honored to speak at a Young Women in Excellence program in my stake a few nights ago. The YW leaders and their genuine enthusiasm and love for the girls impressed me. What a fun bunch of ladies.

My subject was, “Finding Joy in the Journey.” A perfect subject for me because, I admit, I don’t find particular joy in changing poopy diapers or cleaning boogers off the wall. Preparing for this talk allowed me to assess my own life’s circumstances and evaluate my attitude.

If you’ve read previous posts, including Future Baker, you are aware of my two-year-old’s penchant for mischief. On any given day, he’ll pull all of the pots and pans out of the cupboard, grab books from our library and either rip them or draw on them, or tip over the trashcans. He also loves to fling CDs or DVDs across the room, pound on the piano, or turn off, restart, or even crash the computers. He thinks the toilet is his own personal mixing bowl and he throws objects into it and then uses his hand to mix it around. He rarely leaves the dishes alone and has recently broken one of my bowls. A few days ago, while my back was turned for a few minutes, he emptied the flour bag onto the floor and then spread it across the room. When I discovered the flour mess, I had to laugh and then take the photo I posted a few days ago.

Our time in mortality is relatively short compared to eternity. We’ve been told in 2 Nephi 2:25, “ . . . men are, that they night have joy.” Heavenly Father wants us to enjoy our time in mortality. After all, the journey is just as important as the destination.

The following ways can help us find joy as we journey through life:

Praying—we’re all faced with trials at one time or another. If we ask Heavenly Father to help us endure the hard times and find joy even in the most difficult circumstances, he will. We can always turn to him for comfort and guidance.

Writing it Down—we’ve been asked to keep a journal. Writing down our experiences can help us see the hand of the Lord in our lives. We can also learn from our experiences. Sometimes, we might even see the humor in a situation.

Having Gratitude—no matter what we’re facing in life, we still have so many blessings. Having the restored gospel is an incredible blessing that can provide us with peace during turbulent times. We should always count our blessings and recognize the Lord’s hand.

Taking Time—we should try to take the time to enjoy even the little things like animals romping in the field, a beautiful flower, or a chubby hand covered in peanut butter.

Looking for Opportunities—we need to make time to find joy. Our lives can become so hectic that we miss opportunities to sit back and enjoy it. Scheduling a family game night, a date with a spouse, or time to visit an elderly relative can provide opportunities to feel joy.

Keeping the Commandments—when we are shackled with the guilt of breaking the commandments it’s much harder to find the joy in life. Keeping the commandments allows us to enjoy our life to the fullest without Satan exerting control over us.

Laughing—it’s been said that laughter is the best medicine and it’s true. There are days when I just have to laugh because the day has been so ridiculous. When we laugh, we can release tensions and see the humorous side of things.

Yesterday is over and tomorrow isn’t here yet. We only have today and the Lord wants us to find joy in all of our todays.

Return to the neighborhood.

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COOLWHIP said...

I laughed at the beginning of this post. Eva is just now out growing a 2 year long tornado streak. I'm not sure how else to put it. She would go from room to room distroying things. Coloring on wall, books, tearing apart magazines or my sheet music, unrolling toilet paper, pulling everything out of the drawers in my kitchen, bedroom and computer room. And, yes, we just barely fixed the computer she crashed. She is 3 1/2, and the "joy" is finally becoming more frequently felt. It was an eye opening experience. None of my other kids were like that. Some days i thought I just couldn't do it anymore, and had to force myself to keep it together. It was a blessing, It helped me realize that 1, my house didn't have to be clean. And 2, toilet water won't kill you.

Keep your chin up, he'll out grow it. In awhile.

COOLWHIP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
UtahJenny said...

I have actually found myself enjoying more moments lately than I used to - and I have to thank Elder Worthlin - his talk, "Come What May and Love It" was pretty life changing for me. My little three year old boy keeps me hopping (and keeps giving me fresh material for my blog - he is so creative with his antics) and I am learning to laugh off a lot of it (he does gets a scolding when he needs it).

Anyhow, blogging and meeting new people through blogging has been a great support in my mothering - so nice to get others' perspectives - helps me keep my own in check!

Thanks for sharing.