My nieces (and now nephews), as you know, are so adorable, but maybe you didn't know that they are also wise. Listen and learn:
Image of Miley's Inspirational Story
The faith of a child is amazing. A few days later my sister told me Miley did the same thing when she couldn't find her bubbles, then asked why Heavenly Father didn't help her find those too. Summer explained that you have to do all you can do as well as seek the Lord's help. She did and she found the bubbles. Later Miley explained to me that we have to work hard and do what Heavenly Father wants us to do and He will help us...when things that you can't do happen.
It was a lesson I needed to hear. You know what Satan hates? Progression. You know what he is? Sneaky. As most of you know, buying a home is a major step for us in further building our eternal family; the first one in adding to our family of three. The past few weeks, however blissful we've been in our lovely home, we have been short with each other, grumpy, and just a little off. It bothered me. I knew we were both a little overwhelmed with all of the new responsibilities but it was something we were fully prepared for, something we had wanted for so long. So why weren't we basking in the new sunlight of our life more than we were? Because Satan is sneaky! A few weeks after the move in we had a long talk about our bad attitudes and our "offness." We decided we would make an even stronger effort to do the "standards" which includes saying family prayers, reading our scriptures, speaking kindly, going to church, having family night, doing things to invite the Spirit of the Lord into our home and avoiding things to drive it away. I described this as a strategy to ward off Satan and show him that we're totally onto his sneaky plan. It worked, but I know he'll just come up with another one.
It can be said that the "standards" do not always work...at least not how we think they should. They don't always take our problems away; in fact, they seldom do. But what they do do is strengthen us and our individual relationship with our Father in Heaven. With God, all things are possible. God does not give us trials and take them away because we pray more, or study more, etc, but He does use our trials as an opportunity to strengthen us. He is our literal father, after all, and everyone knows a good parent does no good by bailing their child out all of the time. Perhaps, by letting us struggle, seemingly alone, He makes us stronger, better, more resilient, and more secure in our own faith in Him and His plan for us.
His plan has never been the same as mine for myself. Ever. But what it has been is better. Every single time. My plans totally suck. But His are awesome. Case in point: Spencer, the best man on earth vs. the man I was "supposed to marry" who may or may not be homeless or in jail. (Hopefully he isn't reading this...but if you are, get it together, man. You can have it all if you'd just take it.) Anyway, my point is, Satan will likely come up with many more plans to impede our progress and I'm anticipating the building of our eternal family to only get harder and harder, but when you do the standard things, you're more prepared when things don't go as planned. You're not as vulnerable. You're quicker on your feet. You're smarter. You're just better. Remember when I was a strange form of inactive? Trust me, I know what I'm talking about. The standards may not cure world hunger, but they matter. A lot.
Over the past year we've overcome almost all of the things I talked about in the Pretty Honest post, but now, we need to step it up, because Satan has. A lot of people get bogged down with the feeling that you can never be doing enough. I like to look at it this way, though-- when is it ever bad to better yourself? Never. You can love yourself and be happy with where you're at in life, while at the same time, always have goals to make yourself even better. After all, our end goal is to become the best we can be.
So, when things that you can't do happen, remember those standards. There's a reason we're taught them in Primary. And, like Miley, with each experience and trial, whether it's losing your flip flops or losing your temper, we can become better.