Tuesday, December 17, 2013

We Are Not Done Being Painted

Humility is something I have been working on for a long time. I think it is something that everyone strives towards during the course of their whole lives. To me, being humble means that I rely on the Lord and trust in Him rather than myself. It means that I refrain from judging others because I know that I am no better than they are and that we are all children of the same Heavenly Father traveling on this "metaphorical pathway" of life together.

Recently I've been working on not passing judgements about a few certain people in my life. I have been praying that God will help me be humble and to love them more. One night while praying about this, it occurred to me that one way I can become humble and love them more is to serve them. I'm really excited thinking about ways to do that.

Today, though, I had a really cool burst of knowledge. It was kind of like a ray from heaven shone down into my brain to illuminate my mind a little more than it had been before. I was sitting on the bus talking to my talented friend. She was bringing home a painting to work on for her painting class. It was obviously incomplete and difficult to make out the subject of the painting. However, I could tell that soon it would become a painting of an elephant. This friend of mine was mourning the fact that nobody could tell what her painting was of, and how they thought it was a bird instead of an elephant. I found myself saying, "That doesn't matter. It's not fair for them to judge it if it's not finished". That was when my epiphany happened. All of the sudden I saw that we, as human being on earth, are each a painting. We may not look like majestic "elephants" yet. Some people may not be able to see what we're trying to become or how all the pieces will come together to make us into masterpieces. But it's okay because it's not fair to judge something that isn't done. We are not "done" yet. We are still in the long process towards perfection, which goal will not happen until the Celestial Kingdom. Therefore, it doesn't even make sense to judge others because they are not done yet either.

This really helped me. I'm so grateful for this insight that the Lord granted me. I'm glad I was in tune with the Spirit so that the Lord could answer my prayers about humility in this unexpected, yet very cool way.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Receiving Answers to Prayers

I am so grateful for you, my diligent readers. When I get busy and have obvious difficulty keeping up my posts, I always seem to get feedback from you guys about my blog and that you love it. I appreciate that feedback more than you know. Sometimes your kind words are really what help me keep going! Of course I love, love, love blogging, but it's so difficult to stay on top of it sometimes! So, thank you. And, of course, thank you for reading my blog. Because of my sometimes-erratic posting habits, I don't know if I will ever obtain the amount of readership I would hope to have, but I love that you are my faithful readers. Gracias. Danke. Grazie. Merci. Thank you.

It seems as though posting about receiving answers to prayers is a common theme for me. But that's okay. Keeping with that theme, I have something really cool to tell you guys about! I've been learning something awesome!

Last week I had this really important singing test in AP Music Theory. (Basically we're given ten excerpts to prepare, then he chooses two random ones, give us a starting note, then we sing the whole thing for him.) He didn't give us much warning about the test, and I was really worrying about it. I worked as hard as I could on the excerpts when I had the time, but I was super busy with four-hour long Nutcracker rehearsals every night. The night before the test I spent two hours practicing the excerpts, but the next morning I still wasn't super confident that I would do well on the test. I said a prayer that the outcome of my test would match the effort I put into it. I was calm the rest of the morning and totally aced my test.

The same thing happened about a month ago at my first speech meet. I had spent hours, and hours writing, memorizing, and preparing my speech. But I was so nervous that I was going to have a memory lapse when I was presenting it in front of the judges. So, I prayed that the outcome of my meet would match the level of effort I put into preparation. That day I came in first place in the Novice category, and second place in Varsity. I felt so blessed.

Next time you need help from the Lord for something big that you've been working for, try asking Him to bless you with an outcome that matches the effort you put into it. I have been learning that it is important to be specific in our prayers. Often there are blessings set aside for us that God more than wants to grant to us, but our receiving them is conditional on if we ask for them or not. Of course, God's ways are higher than our ways, and if He doesn't answer our prayers the way we expect, that's okay. His plan for us is better than any plan we have for us. But He does love to make us happy and grant us blessings we want. So try it. See what happens!