Tuesday, July 30, 2013

We have a saying around our house for when things are going well or when things aren't going so well, "Better keep paying our tithing." We firmly believe that paying our tithing is the only way we have been and will be able to financially survive.

Our exercise of faith in this principle has been constant this last 9 months or so as we've encountered the most straining financial circumstances of our 13+ years of marriage. We have been holding fast to the promise of tithing as one would a life vest in a stormy sea, as indeed that is what is has become for us. Things have been challenging and at times the outlook has seemed fairly grim. I often would think back on stories I had heard from General Conference, friends, family etc. of checks that would show up for amounts that they weren't expecting at just the needed time. I found myself wishing, more than once, that such an occurance would happen to us. I would then think that, unfortunately, I knew where every penny had gone and ,unfortunately, no one had overcharged us or owed us any amount of money. I would then square my shoulders and put my faith in the fact that the Lord would have another way for us to make it through this challenging time.

On Saturday my husband and I were going through the mail and were beyond grateful to receive a notice that one of our major bills was going to decrease by about $400. We then were shocked to find a check attached to the notice in the amount of almost $1600. We had been overcharged the previous year and our overcharge was being returned. We were shocked into a stunned silence. A miraculous amount of money at the time we needed it the most.

The Lord is so very merciful and good to us.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Things have been hard, really hard as of late. My husband and I spent a lot of time on Sunday night trying to figure out why this may be. Each of us had been feeling as if our world was imploding with absolutely nothing we could do about it. Not a very pleasant way to feel. That night I read this devotional by Elder Bednar. It was as if a light came on. I had somehow fallen into the trap of thinking that I had to do everything perfect before I could ask the Lord to step in and help. My thinking was, 'How can I ask the Lord to help us if we haven't done our part with perfection?' I learned that the enabling power of the atonement is there to help us with our part of what is required. We are NEVER required to do our part on our own, the Atonement gives divine help and strength to our most feeble but sincere efforts. I prayed that night to feel the strength given through the Atonement and almost instantly I felt at peace. Peace I haven't felt for a long time. Nothing about our situation has changed, but everything about my heart has changed. I have felt the peace and very literal strength that can ONLY come through the Atonement, and that has given us the faith and hope to walk forward.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The following story has become important to me as of late...

A story is told of an encounter between the Prophet Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. In the presence of a rather large group of brethren, the Prophet severely chastised Brother Brigham for some failing in his duty. Everyone, I suppose somewhat stunned, waited to see what Brigham’s response would be. After all, Brigham, who later became known as the Lion of the Lord, was no shrinking violet by any means. Brigham slowly rose to his feet, and in words that truly reflected his character and his humility, he simply bowed his head and said, “Joseph, what do you want me to do?” The story goes that sobbing, Joseph ran from the podium, threw his arms around Brigham, and said in effect, “You passed, Brother Brigham, you passed” (see Truman G. Madsen, “Hugh B. Brown—Youthful Veteran,” New Era, Apr. 1976, 16).