Wednesday, March 6, 2013
In the last two weeks I've received two of the kindest compliments I've ever gotten. I get compliments here and there, but what was kind about these two was that these two were compliments of noticing. They weren't that my thighs are skinnier, or my outfit is super cute. They were real, raw, what life is all about compliments from two people who actually took the time to notice me in all of my Melissa-ness.
We moved to Kingwood five years ago. It's been a very crazy five years. I feel like over the course of those last five years, I've caused quite a ruckus in a lot of areas. I've made friends, I've lost friends. I've also really solidified friendships. I've been involved in drama, and asked forgiveness for the drama I've caused. Ruckus!
On Sunday I'm teaching a lesson about continuos conversion. Naturally I've been reflecting a lot about my own conversion and continued growth in different areas. But what stood out most for me was the last year in particular. Exactly a year ago I got a new calling to teach Relief Society once a month. I have taken this calling more seriously than any other calling I've had. I always feel like I want to make a difference in the lives of others. Even in small ways. Especially in small ways. I took this calling as an opportunity to share my light and develop it further. I asked my Father in Heaven to help me do just that, and I can see a huge progression within myself over the last year. I am so thankful. When this calling was extended, I knew it was no joke. I knew that I would have to really pour my heart into it because I was basically on display for 30 straight minutes in front of 30+ of my peers. If I slacked off it would be embarrassing.
I've noticed the preparation and growth spilling out into other areas of my life. I've noticed that I've had more time for all of the things that are most important. I've felt an increase of courage in doing what is right. As I have magnified this calling, the Lord has magnified me.
Last Sunday at church I was sitting next to a friend who is a watcher like myself and she told me she noticed an increase of good things in me. She's know me for five years now. We've had our ups and downs. What she doesn't know is how incredibly hard I've been working on refining myself. She doesn't' know the commitments I've made to myself and God. She doesn't see the hours of study I've been participating in. She doesn't know how hard I've been biting my tongue these days, or how many times I'm turning the cheek. What she see is the fruit of my labors. Very little of what I do is for attention. I try really hard not to care what others think of me because what I do is not for them directly. I believe in always being a good example of what I KNOW, not to get praise, but to inspire.
Of course I've felt tremendous blessings from a more diligent lifestyle, but I have to say, her noticing made me feel like solid gold. It wasn't solicited. It wasn't expected. But it did fill a little place in my heart.
Last night I was at a party. I saw a friend that I only see once in a while these days. The last time I saw her was the last day my kids were in public school. So it's been about five months. She told me that I have this air of peacefulness. That I looked very calm and full of peace. I honestly believe that one is the cause of the other. Both are tremendous. The choices I've been making and the hard work I've been doing is causing the peacefulness I am feeling.
These days I feel like a totally different person than I was five years ago. I am a totally different person. I've learned a lot, and I have shame for my shortcomings. I see a continued increase in myself. I am excited to know that with increased effort and diligence I can become even better. During my reflective time of the last five years, I've become so aware of the power of the atonement. I'm incredibly thankful for the concept of forgiveness. Of God forgiving us and of us forgiving each other. It's hard stuff!
We all have areas of weakness. Pick one small and simple thing and work on it. When that one is mastered, pick another. Hard word is always rewarded when it's focused on God's standards. Others may not notice your hard work but the most important One will, and you will be blessed in ways greater than you can receive. This I know is true.
Posted by Melissa at 1:29 PM