Tuesday, February 03, 2009

hope against hope

last night we read elder uchtdorf's conference talk for family home evening (this after having a relief society lesson on hope on sunday) and today i can't get his words out of my mind:

"I remember well the days in my childhood encompassed by the horrors and despair of a world war, the lack of educational opportunities, life-threatening health issues during youth, and the challenging and discouraging economic experiences as a refugee. The example of our mother, even in the worst of times, to move forward and put faith and hope into action, not just worrying or wishful thinking, sustained our family and me and gave confidence that present circumstances would give way to future blessings."

most of us have never lived through a world war, will never know what it is like to be a refugee, have never had serious health issues, and have all the opportunity we could ever ask for. i admit, my silly little trials pale in comparison to all that elder uchtdorf went through as a child. and i think of his mother. how did she do it? how did she manage to have hope through so much despair? how did she let that hope radiate through her and permeate the lives of her children? how did she help them to realize that even in the midst of great struggle, there is room for happiness and for hope?

i went to bed thinking about how i can be this kind of a mother. how can i, regardless of circumstance and situation, make sure that my children see me as a ray of hope? how can i help them to know that even though life may be hard at times, we can always find peace and joy?

i don't know the answer yet, but i know a few things i can do to start:
1) i can work hard to eliminate negativity in my life
2) i can
surround myself with optimistic, loving, happy people who make me want to be better
3) i can
let go of worry, anxiety, stress, and unmet expectations and realize that none of these things change my circumstance and only make me more miserable
4) i can recognize hope as a gift of the spirit and
pray to be filled with it

easier said than done? yes. but i think i may have just found my mission for 2009.
i have so much to hope for.
at the top of my list are the hopes i have for my beautiful boys (clint included).
is it possible for me to live this year with more hope for the future and less wishing things were different? i think it is. and i think i am ready to give it a go.
"sanity may be madness but the maddest of all is to see life as it is and not as it should be." - don quixote


Angelina said...

Wow Jess, you have a gift...I actually have to teach a lesson in March on Hope...may I borrow some...okay MOST of what you wrote here...I will give you CREDIT-Promise!!

Melissa said...

I love the way you write! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You have a light about you without even trying, so I know your boys will learn tons from you.