Thursday, January 13, 2011

Word of the Year 2011...

The last few years, I picked a word of the year, because it's just something I saw other bloggers did.  It seemed like a good way to try to pick something out of my life that I needed to focus on and improve.  Unlike a New Year's resolution, a word of the year is a little kinder and gentler.  I've never been good at New Year's resolutions, because frankly, I get burned out!  The word of the year, however, is just always in the back of your mind, as a gentle reminder that you are constantly working on yourself, trying to make changes, and make yourself a better person.  I like that.  It's easier for me to stay focused on something more general vs. something more specific. 
Anyway, last year my word was "Choose" or more generally, to choose the better part.  That post is HERE. My word of the year for 2009 is HERE if you're interested.  I think I really did a better job this year at choosing to spend time with my family, and focus on things that were really important this year.  It meant that I blogged less, but I think it was worth it.  There were times when I would think about it, like when a child would ask me to do something with them, like play the Wii, or go to the park, and I would remember that I needed to Choose my family over whatever I was doing at that moment.  I think that I did a good job at focusing more on them this year.
It has been difficult for me to choose another word for 2011.  This year is going to be an interesting year for our family.  One of the first things that happened this year was that Todd got called to be the new Scoutmaster in our ward.  Oh my.  He is a little overwhelmed (and so am I) with this new calling.  We are also starting off the new year by filing a lawsuit against the owners of Allen Funeral Home.  They stopped paying us at the end of last year on a very large amount on a note that we carried back when we sold the business to them.  Long story short, they have turned out to be a couple of crooks, and it is sure to be a long and hard fight to make things right.  This year, has already started out a little rocky to say the least.  We keep telling ourselves that we are going to stay positive, and not let this ruin our outlook on life, but truth be told, it is easier said than done!  Truth is, it might be a very long and hard year for our family--and I am trying to brace myself.  I always like to hope for the best--but prepare for the worst. 

I was talking to a good friend the other day about how when everything is falling apart, it's hard to keep your faith strong.  Sure, I know that we all have to experience trials, and it's a necessary part of our lives, and our spiritual growth.  I know that no one has a perfect life, and that we all have ups and downs, but this trial has really put a strain on my faith. It's not that I don't believe the church is true, or that God is listening, or that He cares about me.  I have always believed that, ever since I was little.  My problem has been that as we have gone through this trial so far, I have started to lose faith in myself, and lose faith in my ability to overcome the trial and keep a positive outlook and attitude.  Satan is really good sometimes at convincing us that we can't do what is necessary to overcome when life gets hard.  He wants us to give in, to give up on ourselves, and to give up on God.  If he can get us to do that--then he wins.  I have experienced first hand what Satan uses to make us give up--he makes us DOUBT that we can overcome, he makes us DISCOURAGED with our efforts, and finally DESPAIR creeps in, and you feel like things can never get better--no matter what you do.  It is then, that he has you in his trap, and he clamps down.  What a miserable feeling.

As I thought more about this, I remembered one of my favorite talks by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf that he gave in the 2008 conference called "The Infinite Power of Hope."  As I went back and reread the talk, it was like he was talking just to me.  THIS was what I needed--this is what can and will hold me up as we go through this year.  One word:  HOPE.  He says in part: 
"The scriptures say that there must be “an opposition in all things.”  So it is with faith, hope, and charity. Doubt, despair, and failure to care for our fellowmen lead us into temptation, which can cause us to forfeit choice and precious blessings.

The adversary uses despair to bind hearts and minds in suffocating darkness. Despair drains from us all that is vibrant and joyful and leaves behind the empty remnants of what life was meant to be. Despair kills ambition, advances sickness, pollutes the soul, and deadens the heart. Despair can seem like a staircase that leads only and forever downward.
Hope, on the other hand, is like the beam of sunlight rising up and above the horizon of our present circumstances. It pierces the darkness with a brilliant dawn. It encourages and inspires us to place our trust in the loving care of an eternal Heavenly Father, who has prepared a way for those who seek for eternal truth in a world of relativism, confusion, and of fear."
And this:
The Lord has given us a reassuring message of hope: “Fear not, little flock.”  God will wait with “open arms to receive” those who give away their sins and continue in faith, hope, and charity.

And to all who suffer—to all who feel discouraged, worried, or lonely—I say with love and deep concern for you,
Never give in.
Never surrender.
Never allow despair to overcome your spirit.
Embrace and rely upon the Hope of Israel, for the love of the Son of God pierces all darkness, softens all sorrow, and gladdens every heart.
(You really have to read the whole talk...it's phenomenal!)
And so it is--my word of the year:  HOPE.  I know that if we just trust in God--and have faith in His plan, we can make it through anything.  I HOPE for a better tomorrow, I HOPE to make it through my trials a better person, I HOPE to be strong, and courageous, and fight against Satan, and his attempts to weaken my faith, and bring me down.  My HOPE lies in my Savior Jesus Christ, and I know that because He overcame--so can we.  I am grateful as always for His infinite atonement, and that even in my weakness, I can come to Him for help, and He will never leave me comfortless. What a blessing!  Lastly, my HOPE lies in my family.  I know that no matter what happens to us, if we focus on what is the most important thing in life--our family, we will be okay.  I sure love them!  We will get through it together...and come out stronger than ever!
Okay--sorry for the wordy post...but c'mon--posts have been few & far between lately!  I was overdue for a LONG one!  :)  Happy 2011!

2 comments:

linnylou said...

thanks tami... i really needed to hear this. this is exactly what i needed to help me get over the hump i'm trying to cross. you really are inspiring at how strong and knowledgeable you are. i know you probably don't think you are, but you really are an amazing women. thanks for your words

Heather said...

Tami...you're amazing. A very gifted writer for one. You're such a strong mom and wife, it's very clear. What a terrible thing for Satan to have to deal with! Keep your chin up! You can do it! :)

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