This is one of my favorite times of year - the opportunity to listen to the leaders of the church as they give us guidance and counsel as we strive to more perfectly follow the teachings of the Lord, Jesus Christ. I've found that no matter what trials and troubles I'm facing in my personal life, I will find the answers that I need in the addresses given during this conference. This weekend was no exception.
Lately, I've been overwhelmed and run-down as I've tried to settle into my new home. I've been sorely missing the friends I left behind in Maryland, and I've been so busy with the getting-settled runaround that I haven't yet established a circle of close friends here. So I've been feeling lost, lonely and somewhat down-in-the-dumps for the past month or two. It was with this depressed spirit that I tuned in to hear the words of the Prophet this weekend.
One of the biggest themes that ran throughout many of the talks and addresses given this weekend was this: Heavenly Father knows and loves you. He sees what you are going through, and He does not hide. He is directing your path; He will answer your prayers; He has a plan for you - even if it doesn't feel like He's really there.
1. I'm glad I wasn't able to pass the inspections to allow me to rent out my home back in Maryland before I left. The tighter finances have made me once again look for creative, inexpensive solutions to my needs... and I've discovered once more that I can do a lot more than I thought I was capable of! - Also, my empty house has become a blessing for a friend who needed a place to stay for a few months while she finishes her college degree.
2. I'm grateful that the public schools here aren't quite as advanced as those we left behind. The necessary shuffling of my daughter between the high school and the middle school each day has given me a schedule that makes it impossible to search for a part-time job (at least until the end of the school year). Of course, my initial feeling about this situation was one of absolute terror, as I wondered how on earth we could possibly afford to pay for two households (remember? the house in MD isn't bringing in rent right now) if I couldn't go out and get a "real" job... But because my daily schedule is full-to-the-brim with shuffling kids around to fill their school needs, I suddenly have built-in one-on-one time with each of my four children! - And as an added bonus, I have about two hours each day all to myself when there isn't enough time to go run errands or tackle some of the bigger projects on my to-do list before the first of my children arrive home from school... and this has become my scheduled writing time each day. I've accomplished more with my writing in the past two months than I thought possible!
I have so many things to be grateful for... so many troubles-turned-blessings that I couldn't possibly list them all today. But I resolve to be better at looking for the good things in life as I face the difficult opportunities for blessings that crop up from day to day!
What about you? What troubles are you grateful for?