Sometimes it seems like we just go through life nearly in auto-pilot. Our days are filled with the same activities. We interact with the same people. We wash the same clothes week after week. We pay the same bills month after month.
What are the variables? What makes one day, or one week, or one year different from the previous one? Though many things don't seem to change, the lessons we learn along the way are unique and different and perfectly matched to the where and what and why of our present life.
Last Saturday, I had the opportunity to attend the Salem Stake Women's Conference, an elaborate affair that included keynote addresses, lovely music, workshops, service projects, and of course, a delightful luncheon. I appreciate these types of events and recognize the hours of preparation that go into making them successful. I would like to share a few of the lessons that I drew from this experience.
1. From Kathleen Howlett's workshop entitled Be of Good Cheer: I learned that the Holy Ghost's influence enables us to overlook, forgive, and not to take offense. You mean it isn't because I'm awesome on my own? Couple that enlightening moment with the quote I read this morning by Boyd K. Packer, and you will see the point was really driven home:
"Too many of us are like those whom the Lord said “[came] with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, … [and] at the time of their conversion, were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost, and they knew it not.” (3 Ne. 9:20.)
"Imagine that: “And they knew it not.” It is not unusual for one to have received the gift and not really know it.
"I fear this supernal gift is being obscured by programs and activities and schedules and so many meetings. There are so many places to go, so many things to do in this noisy world. We can be too busy to pay attention to the promptings of the Spirit.
"All over the world ordinary men, women, and children, not completely aware that they have the gift, bless their families, teach, preach, and minister by the Spirit within them."
It was that last part that really woke me up. How many of the things we do, and the talents we possess, and the successes we have can directly be attributed to the Gift of the Holy Ghost? Do we really think it is because we are so great on our own that we are able to give uplifting lessons, play inspiring music, put together relevant talks? We have been blessed with a powerful companion that invariably makes us look way better than we really are. That is a humbling thought. That is a very humbling thought. Add that to my already enormous debt of gratitude. I am so thankful that the Spirit chooses to help out this ordinary person and allows me to bless my family, teach and preach and minister by it's guiding influence.
2. From Kris Westover's workshop on Nutrition entitled Eat This, Not That: I learned that eating is a personal thing. The way you do it is unique; can be unique; and should be unique. This was music to my ears. I have been so stressed lately with trying to eat like this book tells me, or how that eating program recommends, etc, etc, etc. It is exhausting and discouraging to try and make someone else's ideal align with my own. I have always had the best results when I have listened to my own body and followed my own instincts.
I also learned that nutrition can be a happy thing. Worrying about it is stressful and counter-productive.
And my favorite lesson of the whole day was this: A Healthy and Normal weight is fine! I may never be thin again, but as long as I am able to remain active and in good health, I will try to find peace with my body.
Pretty good lessons, don't you think? I may be getting older but I'm still learning new things. I'm glad.