Tomorrow, November 19, I will turn 62 years old. Getting this old has made me reflective. Life is good for me right now even though I didn’t get some of life’s goodies that I expected, like better health, married children and lots of grandchildren. But,
1. I have learned I can be happy and content without getting my fantasy expectations. My life has many opportunities to serve, to write, paint and to share my days with a wonderful partner. Dwelling on what I didn’t get would be foolish.
2. I have learned that you can rise above the insanity and domestic violence you grew up in and be somewhat normal. I give God credit and good people in a church setting who taught me another way. The hand of God has been in my life from my first prayer with Oral Roberts in front of the television.
3. I have learned that the mothering time is so short that it would have been best to give up some of my selfish pursuits in order to have more time to enjoy and teach my children.
4. I have learned that you don’t mold children. They come as they come. Your job as a parent is to love, be a good example, teach to their willingness and laugh a lot at least more than I did.
5. I have learned that I need an artistic outlet and because this urge can be obsessive in me I have let it crowd out things I should have been doing.
6. I have learned that miracles can take a long time but if you never give up, keep fasting, praying and going to the temple, surprises can happen. I will never limit God’s ability to answer my worthy prayers because I have experienced real miracles.
7. I have learned that I married the right man. Mike is a gem. He has given me the space and means to grow without stress. He has taken good care of our family, often at the expense of his own comfort and happiness.
8. I have learned that choosing not to take offense can save you from a lot of heartache and pain.
9. I have learned that the most important prayer I can pray is as Mormon said in Moroni 7:48 "Pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart that ye may be filled with this love..." When I began to pray to be more loving my life changed—I saw my relationships differently. I have definitely caused some pain in my life. I now see the importance of being a healer as Christ was a healer. But, I know that without His help I can’t do it.
10. I have learned to love the scriptures and understand that they have power beyond their words. I am in my 3rd year of reading scriptures every day "no matter what". The Word never fails to buoy me up and give me hope.
11. I have learned that trying to control another person is evil. A war was fought in heaven over our right to have agency. "No power or influence can or ought to be maintained ...only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned: By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—" D&C121:41-42
12. I have learned that the Holy Ghost is a gift of unspeakable value. "...put your trust in that spirit which leadeth to do good—yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit...which shall enlighten your mind which shall fill your soul with joy." D&C 11:12-13
Of course, I know many things intellectually and spiritually but still fail. I do believe that in time "I can do all things through Christ which Strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:63