Monday, March 29, 2010

Courage or Cowardice

Your posterity will either be blessed by your courage or cursed by your cowardice. - Orrin Woodward

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Weakness is Not a Sin

I am back to the blogging world; momentarily, no doubt. I love to blog. But, it's not the biggest priority right now. So, all those of you that are tuned into the family blog are still looking at our house with Christmas lights!! Yay!

Anyway, I finished reading a book last week. It's called Weakness is Not a Sin. It is a really good book. Just thought I would share a few passages I really liked and maybe a few thoughts. This is mostly for my benefit. When I write something about what I read, it helps me remember. So, if you benefit from these excerpts then we'll kill two birds with one stone.

pg 5 - we are here to magnify our strengths, our callings, and our gifts - not to magnify our brokenness.

pg 19 - I realized that I was most effective when I could contribute from my relative strengths, gifts, and passions, rather than spending too much time fighting against my weaknesses.

pg 57 - Pride is a problem because it leads us to sin - which almost always boils down to ignoring gods counsel or thinking it doesn't apply to us because we know better than God what we need, what would make us happy, or what is fair and reasonable. Pride is also a problem because it prevents us from making proper use of our weakness. God is patient and generous with all our weakness with this caveat: that we be humble and have faith in Him. If we are humble and trust Him, he can make weak things become strong unto us. If we are prideful and trust ourselves, the adversary will work hard to make weak things become sin unto us. It is that simple.

pg 69 - Even more than we need others, we need God to sustain, befriend, and direct us. Without the gives of the Holy Ghost and the grace made available through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, our efforts to grow and change will always fall woefully short. No matter how much we try, learn, or improve, we will never be like God without the application of His grace to our lives.

About three years ago I wrote down a list of 14 things I wanted to change about myself. (I think I have written about this in a previous blog.) I prayed and asked, "which one should be first?" I felt I got a solid answer and began my pursuit of strengthening what I felt was the first priority in the Lord's eyes. I've never given it the focus that it really needed to get corrected. I started out this year wanting to attack the first weakness, again. I have had it on my mind for over three years. And, here I am again, trying to overcome it. I started to realize that if I didn't really buckle down I might never get there! It is so easy to put of the important for the urgent! Since the first of the year I still haven't been able to put a string of 21 days together where I achieve my objective daily. But, I have done one thing differently. I finally have someone to keep me accountable. I report to her weekly on my progress. I have to admit that some weeks I am quite embarrassed to e-mail her my results as I feel I haven't improved at all. My mind tells me that if I don't make huge strides toward being close to perfect in this area that is it all a waste. But, my mentor has taught me something very valuable as she responds to my e-mails. She tells me I am doing great and points out the progress that I have matter how small. And, it has helped me realize that if I just stay on the path and don't give up then I will make it much further than if I expect to see sweeping strides overnight!

I know this book came to me at the perfect time. (Miles actually found it in Deseret Book as we shopped there a few months ago.) I am understanding more that my weaknesses are a gift from Heavenly Father. He gave them to me SO I would seek him. And, I know that as I rely more on his strength I will have much more success in overcoming them.

I would recommend this book highly - to EVERYONE. It is fantastic and really helped me get some things in perspective.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Weakness is Not a Sin pg 56

With pride we make way too big a deal about our weaknesses or not nearly a be enough deal, we coddle ourselves or beat ourselves up, we get irritable with other for their weaknesses, and in general we completely miss the whole point of weakness, which is to teach us humility and charity.  

Weakness is Not a Sin by Wendy Ulrich, PH.D.