Choices. Should I wear the red shirt or the blue one? Should we eat at this place? Or that one? Choices are everywhere. We are faced with choices every minute of every single day. Life is about choices. In fact, before we even came to earth we made a choice! In my past week of studying, the theme of choices has kept coming up. Last week we talked about praying and listening for answers. What happens though when the answer we get, isn’t a yes or a no? What happens when we have to make the choice ourselves? I have come to believe that Heavenly Father doesn’t abandon us, or choose not to answer. No, sometimes Heavenly Father gives us the opportunity to decide for ourselves. Let me explain to you what led me to this discovery.
About a month ago, Baby girl got up to get ready for school. We try to pick out her clothes the night before but that doesn’t always happen. This particular morning we had not picked out clothes which usually means we will spend 20 minutes trying to agree on something appropriate. She picked a cute, springy dress but she didn’t want to wear anything underneath it. That made me a bit uncomfortable so in an effort to not let our morning turn sour I gave her two choices. She could wear the dress with her white tights, or not at all. She tried the old “But mom!”…”but but!” and I said again, “You either wear the white tights or you don’t get to wear the dress.”
Grumbling at me, she left and when she came back guess what she chose?? Ready? She was wearing some bright green tights that looked absolutely adorable. I easily could have gotten mad here since it wasn’t one of the choices I gave her, but instead, it became a light bulb moment for me as I personally was trying to find an answer to a prayer. Sometimes when we pray for help on a decision, one choice isn’t better than the other and we can’t go wrong with either one. In that case, pick one and have some faith that it will be OK. And then sometimes there is a third choice. It is one that if we listen to the sweet promptings of the Holy Ghost, we will discover He just might present us with an even better choice than we had for ourselves -such as the green tights.
When I wanted to move out of state for college, I asked Heavenly Father if it was the right thing to do. Did He give me a yes or no? Nope! So I told…. that’s right!… told God, “OK, if you won’t tell me then I’m telling you I am moving and if it’s wrong, then let me know.” I moved and 8 years later, I am still in the same town I now call home. To this date, it has been the best decision I have ever made. See, sometimes we have to find out for ourselves so we can learn and grow. He wants us to figure it out on our own. Its a 50/50 partnership. Our Heavenly Father teaches us to exercise our faith in Him, by having faith in us.
Last week I had a bit of a rough week. I came down with a cold so I said a quick prayer that my kids would cooperate, and take their naps like they were supposed to so I could lay down and rest, and what happened? They were worse! Lil Brother refused to nap, they were throwing around pillows, and getting into the pantry. Oy! Just when I was about to start crying, an impression came to me that I had prayed for the wrong thing. I needed to pray for strength. Turns out, I was asking for the wrong thing.
Sometimes we are so focused on ourselves and how things affect us that we become selfish instead of selfless. So instead, I prayed for strength that even if it was a bad day I could be well enough to function and take care of the kids. Lil Brother finally took a nap, and woke up happy, and somehow by the grace of my Heavenly Father, I was able to survive the rest of the day. You can’t always change the situation, but you can change your attitude. My dear wise sweet mama likes to remind me,
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” (Wayne Dryer)
We have the choice, friends, to make it or break it. We can have faith, and make the best of our situation, or we can let it break us and live in misery. I love this quote from a conference talk last October.
“Faith in Jesus Christ is a gift from Heaven that comes as we choose to believe and as we seek to hold on to it.” (Elder Neil L. Anderson, Faith is not by Chance, but by Choice, 2005 Oct)
There’s that word again. Choose. I also liked this quote,
“Faith is not by chance, but by choice.” (Elder Neil L. Anderson, Faith is not by Chance, but by Choice, 2005 Oct)
Yep, choices are everywhere and along with that is opposition. There always is. There has to be balance, and Satan provides us the opposition. But the way of our loving Heavenly Father is very clear.
In D&C 122:7 it says “…all these things shall give thee experience and shall by for thy good.”
Our trials are there to helps us, to bring us closer to our Heavenly Father, to teach us to love, and to teach us to have faith in what lies ahead. So, this week, wear the green tights. When your kids are driving you bananas, you can get mad, you can ignore it, or you can choose to ask Heavenly Father to help you love more.
When you promised yourself you would be more patient but feel like you failed yet again, you can hop on your pity pot, you can give up, or pray for strength choose to try harder. It’s hard I totally get it. I have been there. Heck , I am there! But we have to keep going forward, because we chose this beautiful crazy life. And I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
Krystal is a latter-day mom and Holy Homemaker to 3 beautiful kiddos who is striving to find joy in the everyday trenches of motherhood and life! Her passion is sharing her experience of decluttering with a purpose to help others create a Holy Home where the messes subside and the Spirit resides. She is a lover of books, nature, music, food, the gospel, and all things Texas! Follow her at her website, Latter-day Mom!