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Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Removing distractions

Recently I came to a realisation: I have so many things that I need to/want to/ can do with my time and I'm really not getting very far with many of them.

Obviously my highest priority is my family and home. I also have a church calling. I'm studying to complete my SACE. I'm taking music lessons and will be doing an exam in a few months, which I need to practise for. I'm trying to find the time to sew a quilt for Natalie. I want to blog and write more. There are other things I'd like to sew, and make, and bake, and do... there are people I want to spend time with. All of these are things I consider worthwhile and many of them I don't get to do enough of for my liking. There are also things less worthy of my time...

As you probably know, I recently removed my facebook profile. First of all I deactivated it, and then I was told that there actually is the option of completely deleting your facebook account, and so I went back on and did that. I had come to the realisation that it had become a distraction to the point where that negative (and a few others) outweighed the positives aspects of FB. I decided to test the theory that if I didn't have a FB account to look at when I felt like I didn't have enough energy and/or focus for anything much, that maybe I would find the energy instead. If not, I decided that even just sitting on the couch watching my girls play, or reading if they are in bed would be a better use of my time!

So that is one example of a distraction that I felt the need to eliminate. The time that has passed since I bit the bullet really has confirmed what I thought it would achieve - I have so much more focus. I spend less time wondering whether someone has replied to a message I wrote them and I don't get sidetracked by other things while I'm checking for those messages, because I just call them or text them and know that when they reply or call me back, I'll know...

So, inspire me - what are some of the distraction you've ditched recently?
I may just follow suit!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Growing with an eternal perspective

There is a quote that gives me faith that I can keep growing and change who I am in to who I should be and want to be.

Isn't it awesome? I decided the butterfly is a good symbol of what this quote says. Even if you think you're a caterpillar, you can become a butterfly!

As I was thinking more about my last blog post, I remembered a conversation I had once with a friend, Lee Worden. We had been to the temple (I think it was one of the first times she'd been there) and she was driving me home. She expressed her concern that, having found the gospel later in her adult life, she would never catch up to us who had been learning about it throughout our lives. I said something like, "You have eternity to catch up." She liked that. I miss you Lee!

As I thought about this experience, I realised that this principle doesn't only apply to people who are baptised and join the church later in their lives. It applies tTro all of us. When we start comparing ourselves to other people and feel like we may never be as good as them we should remember - we have eternity to catch up! I really like something that Elder Neil L. Andersen said about this - "Wherever you now find yourself on the road of discipleship, you are on the right road, the road toward eternal life."

Lightbulb! So, if you're on the road to discipleship, you don't have to feel somehow less than people who have travelled further along it - just keep on trekking! Elder Jeffrey R. Holland also said, "[The Lord's] concern is for the faith at which you finally arrive, not the hour of the day in which you got there."

I'm really grateful to have had time over the past week to really think about the things that are important to me... the people that really matter, the attributes I want to develop, and the things that I want to spend my time on - they've all been on my mind. I dare say I'll tell you more about them soon.  :-)

Friday, 10 August 2012

Defining me

'I've got to find out who I am... got to know, got to see what's making me... I'll be all I can when I find out who I am.'

When I was younger, I took the song quoted above quite literally - like maybe the girls had amnesia, was lost, and had to find out who she was. As I got older, I understood it in it's proper context - she's on a spiritual journey learning about how she existed before this life on earth, she has a loving Heavenly Father, there is a plan of salvation, and she is a daughter of God!

Lately, I've been thinking of it in a third context: what defines me? What makes me who I am? How do I define myself?

Usually I plod along and don't really give it a lot of thought I suppose, but I'm beginning to feel that it is really important. If that definition is too narrow, then when those things end you may end... or at least end up feeling really lost. Like if you define yourself by your job, then if you lose that job for whatever reason you could find it really hard to move on. On the other hand, if the definition is too broad.... well, you don't really get a definition do you.

Also, do I define myself or do I allow others' opinions of me to define how I see myself?

I am beginning to spend time thinking about how I currently define myself and trying to decide what I want the true definition of myself to be.

I know that some of those defining things include important relationships, my religious beliefs and values, as well as talents and other interests.

I'll be writing more about those in the future.

How do you define yourself?