I have come to the conclusion that I am blessed to have some of the best in-laws ever. I am so grateful for this wonderful family that I have been blessed enough to be a part of. I was worried when Jeff and I realized that we wouldn't have the money to go to visit both of our families for Christmas.
There are so many things I've come to love about Christmas with my family: 1) Making enough food to feed an army (and having my family gush over how flavorful and tender my turkeys always are) 2) Watching my nieces and nephew open presents on Christmas morning- you know that feeling you used to get on Christmas morning when you knew Santa had been to your house and you couldn't wait to open presents? Well, because of these little people that I have been blessed to know I have regained that feeling- living vicariously is a beautiful thing. 3) Playing the piano and singing Christmas carols with my whole family gathered around the piano 4) Watching the Forgotten Carols DVD with my older sister 5) sitting in pajamas all day with Amber curled up on her bed watching leftover things from her DVR 6) Helping Santa set up presents for my nieces and nephew on Christmas Eve
So, why was I worried? Because I love my family and what the holiday season does to bring us together so much that I was worried I would be totally bummed and become a Scrooge this Christmas without them. I didn't know what it would be like to not see them and experience this day without them. I didn't know what things would be like with Jeff's family.
Again, I am so blessed. My mother-in-law Cindy holds a big family Christmas party every year on Christmas Eve. She told me several times while Jeff and I were engaged "You can do whatever you'd like on Christmas Day, but Christmas Eve has and always will be the day we have the Nielson family party." This year the theme was elves. I got to sport an elf hat and footie pajamas (Thanks Mom Nielson) while we played games to determine who got to open presents and also games to learn about family history and funny stories from when Jeff and his siblings were growing up. We had so much fun!
After all was said and done, I'd had a blast, but I still felt a twinge of missing my family. I called and was able to talk to them and hear about how they'd spent Christmas Eve. I called my brother on December 26 to wish him a happy birthday (his golden birthday- 26 on the 26th!) and I called my niece Brianna to sing her happy birthday. She turned 1 yesterday, that's right, she shares a birthday with her uncle! I told Aaron that Brianna by default has to be his favorite niece now...he laughed and told me that he would accept that as an eternal truth.
Beyond Christmas, I've had a lot of time to think about communication with the spirit and truth.
Truth is a funny thing. Last night I was talking about it with my husband and mother in law. My husband said something to the effect of "There is only one truth, what ends up being different is everyone's perception of the truth."
So, what do you do when the spirit tells you something is happening NOW, circumstantial evidence points to the truth, but there is no definitive evidence?
I have been struggling with this for the last 3 weeks or so.
I know the good girl's answer is that you listen to the spirit and what it's telling you and have faith.
But faith can be tricky, and is sometimes easier said than done.
Especially when the truth seems too good to be true.
I guess part of me is still jaded and cynical in ways. When something I want seems close at hand it always seems to be further away than I think.
I guess this is where faith comes in. I made the decision on Christmas Eve that I was going to accept the circumstantial evidence and the whisperings of the Still Small Voice and wait for the tangible evidence, because ultimately will come.
There is only one truth, what makes it different is perception...and my perception needs to be in line with God's.
So, all I can do is wait for the day that I have tangible evidence. I must sit and be content, patiently waiting with my circumstantial and spiritual evidence gathered defining my truth.
Faith- such a tiny word for such a big, deep topic.
Here are things that I know that have helped me decide to accept the spiritual truth along with the circumstantial evidence:
1) God loves me, and he would never lead me astray.
2)God will find a way to prepare you for any new chapter in your life, obstacle, or trial. How blessed are we to be able to recognize the voice of Holy Ghost when he finds ways to speak to us? Some people will live their whole lives and because they aren't open to the will of God, because they choose to be ignorant, they will never hear that Still, Small Voice prompting and preparing them- which leads me to #3
3) If you've heard the Still Small Voice tell you something, its probably best you don't deny it and do what you're told.
4) No matter how unlikely or difficult circumstances may seem, God always finds a way to bring to pass things that he deems are necessary- which brings me back to #3- we need to listen to those promptings and accept them because then we become servants and tools for a loving God who only wants what is best for us.
5) God will always bless those that serve him with the capabilities and resources they need to bring to pass the things he asks them to do.
6) Whenever we feel like we aren't enough, we just have to remember a loving Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ who makes up for our deficits.
I guess when it all comes down to it you just have to remember the things that God has been able to do. Abraham and Sarah thought they would never be able to have children, and when Sarah was 90 she was somehow able to conceive and bare a son- bringing to pass the blessing Abraham had been promised of a lineage that would number the sands of the sea or stars of the sky. Abraham didn't live to see this promise completely fulfilled; however Isaac begat Jacob who became the father of the whole nation of Israel, fathering many children in what I call the "Baby Olympics".
Nephi was called and chosen along with his brothers to retrieve the golden plates from Laban. Laman and Lemuel, his brothers, did not see the value of this. Nephi's faith never waivered, even when his brothers beat him to try to get him to relent after they had lost all their wealth, and they were able to collect the plates. These plates ended up being worth more than all of the wealth that Laban had stolen from them. These plates prevented Nephi's descendants from living in ignorance. A whole nation was able to have scriptural promptings and prophecies to prepare for the coming of Christ. All of them may not have accepted it, but those who did received the amazing opportunity to see Christ! They had the opportunity to learn from him, to be blessed and healed by him. How amazing would that be?
I guess what I'm trying to get at is this- we may not understand God's purposes in everything he does or asks us to do- but he always provides a way and down the line it may bless the life of future generations if we accept the things we are told, and called to do and move forward with faith.
I'm sorry this seems so cryptic darlings. I guess I just wanted to make sure I shared with you a big lesson in faith that I've been learning the last few weeks. I just don't feel I should or can share all of it with you because to me much of this journey has been sacred.
Maybe the things that are true, but seem to good to be true, can be the biggest tests of our faith. We want to believe it, but we're afraid to believe it because we don't want to be disappointed.
Have faith darlings, move forward and listen. God speaks to all of us, no matter our race, creed, or religion. He has messages for you, he has a purpose for you, a purpose you may not be able to fathom now, and maybe you won't in this life...but you never know who's life you will touch, what families you will change, and what affect the things that you are asked to do now that seem small will have on the eternal spectrum of things.
Do good things and good things will happen to you.
Turn to God when you are struggling and have faith, You WILL receive the peace you're looking for and find answers to your problems.
Hugs and loves until next time darlings.