When Inspiration Doesn’t Come

Mathew 7:7 reads “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock and it shall be given unto you.” The Lord has promised us that if we ask him, seek, and act that we will be given the inspiration and guidance that we need. 

So what happens when that inspiration doesn’t come? What happens when you have been asking, seeking and knocking and you have no idea what to do next? Or even worse, what happens if you gain inspiration and act on it, but nothing seems to be happening? 

Recently I have been stuck. Stuck because no inspiration has been coming my way for my life, this blog, or my work.  Granted, I have lost consistency with the small and simple things, but I have always felt like I had a good relationship with God and he has always provided me with the answers and inspiration that I needed at the time. But lately, it hasn’t seemed that way. 

The thing that I have seemed to have forgotten is the aspect of Faith. Faith that God truly is everything. That He has created all, and knows all. That He has a plan for me. That He loves me. 

It is easy to forget and lose faith when the inspiration is not coming. When it seems like we are knocking and knocking, and asking and asking and we are receiving no answers. It is easy to listen to the natural man and think that God will never answer us. 

But, that is not how God is. He is ALWAYS there for us even if we think that we don’t deserve his presence. 

A couple weeks ago I had a random prompting to check a school districts employment opportunities. To my surprise, in a town that I hope to live in one day, a position opened for a middle school math teacher. I had conflicting emotions. Maybe I should apply. Maybe I should just forget about it. But for some reason I could not shake the idea of this position. I decided to bring it to the Lord knowing that he has all of the answers. To my surprise, I got my answer not even 5 minutes after I was done praying. I randomly opened my scriptures, like I often do when I need answers and I read in Doctrine and Covenants 8:4 that says “Therefore this is thy gift; apply unto it”. This was pretty straightforward and I knew what I needed to do. So I applied. And nothing has happened since. 

It has been so hard since I have applied to have faith that God knows what he is doing. I have been really confused because I haven’t gotten any response or feedback about my application. Sometimes it is hard for me to trust Him when I feel out of control. But I guess that is when I need to have faith in him the most. Faith that no matter what, things will go according to His Almighty plan. 

When you are not receiving the inspiration that you desire, just remember the lesson that I have learned the hard way. Keep the faith and trust that He has a plan for you. Remember that you are enough, because Christ is enough. Knowing this will help you trust in the Lord. It will help you to keep knocking and keep asking even if you aren’t sure if He will respond or answer. I promise that he will in his own time. He loves us more than we can comprehend.  

When inspiration doesn’t come, don’t forget to have faith that it eventually will. God doesn’t forget his children. He especially doesn’t forget you when you are doing the right things. He will bless you with more than you can imagine because he loves you. You are his child. He loves you. I can’t emphasize that enough. He loves YOU. All of you. Because of that Love he has provided us a way through our brother Jesus Christ to return and live with Him again. Faith in Jesus Christ makes everything worth it because Christ has made the ultimate sacrifice. 

I hope you will look forward to this week with optimism and faith. Faith that He has a bigger plan for us than we have for ourselves. Faith that He will provide us with the inspiration that we desperately seek. 

The Gardener and the Currant Bush

In Church today, a young woman got up and spoke about our trials and how God uses them to help us grow and become better. She shared with us a talk from Elder D. Todd Christofferson, who quoted President Hugh B. Brown. The story goes like this:

“President Hugh B. Brown told of purchasing a rundown farm in Canada many years ago. As he went about cleaning up and repairing his property, he came across a currant bush that had grown over six feet (1.8 m) high and was yielding no berries, so he pruned it back drastically, leaving only small stumps. Then he saw a drop like a tear on the top of each of these little stumps, as if the currant bush were crying, and thought he heard it say:
“How could you do this to me? I was making such wonderful growth. … And now you have cut me down. Every plant in the garden will look down on me. … How could you do this to me? I thought you were the gardener here.”

President Brown replied, “Look, little currant bush, I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be. I didn’t intend you to be a fruit tree or a shade tree. I want you to be a currant bush, and someday, little currant bush, when you are laden with fruit, you are going to say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me down.’”

This story hit home with me. I have been reflecting on my life the past few weeks. There are things going on that I have considered a trial. I have been thinking about the WHY. Why would God cut me down? Why would he place a trial in my life? Why won’t he take away this pain and suffering from me? Why won’t he just give me what I want?

It wasn’t till today when I realized that he has “cut me down” because he KNOWS what he wants me to be.

I have thought about my latest big trial of coming home early from my mission. Now that it has been over a year, I can see that God had to cut me down so that I could grow. If I wouldn’t have come home when I did, I wouldn’t have finished the schooling that I have and I would not be teaching this year. I wouldn’t be able to touch his other children if I was still in Canada.

I think about when I had my first surgery, on my knee, and I was told that I shouldn’t pursue college sports because of the condition of my knee. My doctor was worried that with all the wear and tear that I would have to have a knee replacement. I realize now that if it wasn’t for that trial if I would’ve pursued college sports, I would be on a very different path than I am now. Now, instead of playing sports, I get to coach kids and watch them compete. That has been such a blessing in my life.

God loves each of his Children. Sometimes the things that we find hard in our lives is just him cutting us down, like a gardener, so that we can grow into something more beautiful and amazing than we are now.

If you are going through something right now, if you feel like you have been cut down, that you can go no further, I promise you that if you kneel down, and ask God that he will help you understand the why. He will help you see the person you are meant to be after all of this. He loves us. He wants us to be better than we are now.

I know that to be true with all of my heart.

The Gardener and Currant Bush.png

If you would like to read the full talk by Elder D. Todd Christofferson, here is the link: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/04/as-many-as-i-love-i-rebuke-and-chasten?lang=eng

P.S. If you have been missing reading blog posts, don’t worry. I have been working on some content to be released in October! 🙂

 

The People God Sends

It’s been a few weeks since my last post. There have been so many changes lately. My family moved to a different house, and that is always a project. I started and completed my first 2 weeks teaching 7th Grade Math, and I coached my wonderful 7th grade volleyball team in their first game. It was a lot of firsts for me these last couple of weeks, and even though I have been overwhelmed at time, I have been so blessed.

I have been blessed these last couple of weeks by the people that God has sent me.

The night before August 20th, I could hardly sleep. Here I was, the night before I would start my career. Something that I have been dreaming about for years, and something that I have been working so hard to achieve. I was so excited and so grateful, but I was also extremely nervous. I had no idea what kids I would have in my class, what their personalities would be like, and if I would even be a good middle school teacher. All of these worries and questions went through my head.

That night, I got many messages on Facebook and several text messages wishing me good luck for the upcoming day. I was so shocked, and so grateful for these amazing people who were thinking of me.

The first day of school, I continued to get messages from people who knew I would need to know that there are people who love me and are cheering for me. I also didn’t even have a Prep period my first day of school because I had so many teachers popping their head in to check in on me.

I don’t know if they understood how much that meant to me.

Then, flash forward to the first volleyball game that I coached. Our down ref got our rotation wrong, and I wanted to change it back to the way it was supposed to be, but I had no idea what the rules were. We lost that game, and I was pretty upset. Luckily, I have a great administrator, who happened to be a volleyball coach. He was there when I needed him to help me feel more comfortable coaching, and he even taught me a few rules, that I had no idea existed. Turns out that even though I played volleyball, there is a lot more to coaching than I thought there would be.

Now, I continue to get people asking me how I am doing. I have people that are supporting me and cheering for me.

I have been thinking about this a lot because it meant so much to me. I realized, that God had sent those people. He inspired those people to reach out to me, to pray for me, because he knew that was what I needed.

I have been so blessed, and I am grateful for those angels that God sent me when he knew I would need them the most.

So that led me to start thinking. I have over 120 students on a daily basis that I interact with. Could I possibly be the person that God is sending to them?

I thought about it this week, as I learned from my students. Some have really hard lives, and some have disabilities that will follow them for the rest of their life. Some struggle in math, others get bored when the class is going to slow for them. Each of them are very unique. I have readers, artists, athletes, gamers, introverts, extroverts, geniuses, class clowns, and many others. How can I be an angel to them.

I think it all goes back to realizing that everyone has their own story. If Christ were teaching my class, he would love each one of those students. He would love them on his good days and on his bad. He would make sure that each one of them knew that they had the ability to be whoever and whatever they wanted to be.

Sometimes its hard to bring God into work professions. I can’t teach a lesson about how much God loves them, but I can show them through the love that I can give to them. I can be there person who will be there for them, listen to them, and help them see themselves as God would see them.

There are people in our lives that will be there right when we need them. What a great blessing that God gives to us. But, there are also people in our lives that God needs us to be there for.

I am grateful for the people that touch my life. I know that there will be people who God will need me to touch. I hope that we can all stay in tune with the Spirit so that when he needs us, we can be there.

The Gospel is so good. God is so good. He has blessed us with a wonderful Savior who I am indebted too. I know that one day, I will get to meet my God and Savior, and I hope that I would’ve done all that they needed me too.

I hope you have a great Sunday, and hope that you will find someone this week that you can reach out too, and uplift. 🙂

God Sends Real

Discovering a Part of Me

So there I was, in Barnes and Noble, staring at all of the titles in the Psychology section. I wanted to purchase every one and just sit and read them. I have always loved to read. When I was younger, if you asked my family where I was, they would say that I was downstairs in my room, reading. In fact, one of my favorite memories was when I would come home from school, and the next book in my favorite series would be laying on my bed with a cute note from my mom in it. This has happened on multiple occasions and it meant so much to me. I have always loved to read, and it wasn’t till this particular book that I realized something. I am an introvert.

I have always thought that I was an introvert, but I never truly believed it. Until recently, I thought that introverts were people who hated being around other people. And, I don’t hate being around people. I love each persons story and energy that they bring to the world.  I thought that introverts are like all of the really weird cat ladies, but it turns out I was totally wrong. I got the book “The Secret Lives of Introverts” by Jenn Granneman from Barnes and Noble and I learned so much.

First, I learned that I am an introvert and that introverts like people. Introverts just get overstimulated when they are around major groups of people for long periods of time. When I read about that, I felt the fireworks go off in my head. I realized that I am not the only one who experiences this.

I have always felt so guilty for not really wanting to go out and socialize with people that I do not know. I have such a hard time in big groups of people, even if its family. I think it is all the energy in the room or maybe its the small talk that I absolutely hate, but I just would rather be at home. Often I would come home after spending time with lots of people and just feel exhausted. My mom always says that she has more energy after being with people, but I have never had that happen to me with large groups of people.

My parents have been worried about me and my social life since we have moved. Even throughout High School I never really did anything with any of my friends because I had just seen them all day at school and spent 2 hours with them at practice. I never really had energy to do anything after that. Now, I am finishing college, getting ready to start my first year of teaching, balancing a long distance relationship, family and trying to keep myself sane. I am already exhausted, I can’t imagine what would happen if I tried to attend a social event every night… But, I learned that I am okay the way that I am. This is normal for people who are introverts like me.

I have always thought I was a home body, and I am, but I also realized that I am at home so much in the evenings, because I get overstimulated after spending a whole day working with big groups of people in school and I need to recover so I can make it through the next day. And guess what? It is totally okay that I am that way. I don’t need to feel the guilt anymore.

After reading this book, I have figured out so many WHY’s behind why I do the things I do. I loved learning that other introverts have the same problem I do. I learned why people often have a different idea of who I am when they first meet me. Often when people that I have known for a while tell me about what they thought of me when they first met me, they all same the same thing “I was intimidated by you” or “I thought you hated me” or “I thought you were going to be really mean, but you aren’t”. Turns out, many introverts have this same problem.

I promise that even though I am 6 feet tall, I like to think that I am not too scary. I don’t hate anyone really, and I am not usually mean. But, I have my moments. But, when you first see me, or even if you have seen me multiple times, I probably have the same look on my face. It’s my concentrating look, but often people view it as a really mean looking face. I promise, when I am mad, you really will know, but most of the time I really am just constantly in thought. I am always thinking and concentrating on something. Whether it is about what I need to do that day, or what I could do to be a better person, or even how the moon became shaped to look like a face. Really, I am always thinking about something and trying to make it make sense. Maybe that is why I like Psychology so much.

Anyways, I just wanted to share this book and the things that I learned from it, because I think there is someone else out there, like me, who has been trying to figure out the bits and pieces of who they are. Maybe they haven’t been able to figure it out and need a little bit of inspiration.

I am just starting to discover the parts that make up who I am, and why I am the way that I am, but it all leads back to one thing.

I am a child of God. He loves me. He created me as an introvert and my many other qualities because he knew that was what the world needed. I have always loved the saying that, God made this world. Everything beautiful, and everything with a purpose. How great is it that he looked at the world and thought that we needed one of you?

There is so much truth in that. Each of us have those things that we are learning about ourselves. Maybe we are even frustrated with ourselves because we aren’t like the other people that we know. But, God didn’t intend for us to be like that. Instead, he wants us to use our gifts, or personality, our genetics, our thoughts, our ideas, our words, to make a difference in the lives of others.

What is a way that you can turn OUTWARD this week and use yourself, ALL OF YOU to help someone else?

Introvert Post

It Is NEVER Too Late

During church last Sunday, a sister gave her talk on our self worth. She did an amazing job, and I felt the spirit so strongly. But, what meant the most to me is a quote that she shared from a talk by Jeffery R. Holland. It goes like this:

“I do not know who in this vast audience today may need to hear the message of forgiveness… but however late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have NOT traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines.”

He continues on to say:

“There is no problem which you cannot overcome. There is no dream that in the unfolding of time and eternity cannot yet be realized. Even if you feel you are the lost and last laborer of the eleventh hour, the Lord of the vineyard still stands beckoning. ‘Come boldly to the throne of grace,’ and fall at the feet of the Holy One of Israel. Come and feast ‘without money and without price’ at the table of the Lord.”

How much hope does this bring to you? Think about that. Reread it.

This brings me immense hope. Because it reminded me that no matter how far lost I feel I can turn to the Lord. That no matter what I have done, the Lord is still there. It is so true. He is beckoning for us. He is waiting with his arms wide open. He is knocking at the door. He is by our side.

All we have to do is want His help.

All we have to do is recognize that He is there and turn to Him.

What an amazing blessing it is to have the Atonement of Jesus Christ. How great is it that we know that there is someone who UNDERSTANDS EXACTLY WHAT WE ARE GOING THROUGH. He knows what it feels like to be right where we are. He knows how much we may want something, or are sad about something, or are disappointed. He KNOWS, and he UNDERSTANDS.

The main message that I wanted to leave today is to invite you to turn to the Lord and join him. To leave a message of HOPE that everything will work out and that He is there for us.

I love my Savior and know that he loves us unconditionally.

The talk mentioned in this post is titled The Laborers in the Vineyard by Jeffery R. Holland. It was given in the April 2012 General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

Visiting Mormon Church Sites

I spent the last week driving and driving and driving. We travelled from Utah to Illinois to visit a place that is very dear to the Mormon religion. Nauvoo Illinois is full of many different sites, the Smith Homes, a blacksmith shop, gravestones and many other things that we still have or have been restored from the early saints.

It was a great experience to walk where historical figures like Joseph Smith Jr, Hyrum Smith, Brigham Young, Emma Smith, Wilford Woodruff, and many other inspiring people walked.

To be honest, at first I really thought that Nauvoo was a little boring. You walk into several different shops and each one takes about 45 minutes because the people talk to you about the history. And if you know me, I really struggle with history. It is hard for me to comprehend for some reason. SO, it was all a little over my head.

But, what I learned there made all of the difference.

One of the places that made such a big impact on me was visiting the gravestone of Hyrum, Joseph and Emma Smith. Gravestones of the Smiths

The picture is a little shadowy, but for me, this place touched me more than I expected. When we visited the graves with a big crowd, everyone suddenly became quiet and the spirit was there. I wish I could’ve known these people when they were alive. I love them so much now from learning about them. It was a somber moment for me to look at Joseph’s Grave. He gave so much for this church.

I feel bad for him because his name is remembered for both good and bad, but he did so much good. I honestly think that if he made this religion up and that it was all based on a lie, that he wouldn’t have sacrificed so much for it. He would not have been willing to leave his family, to take hundreds of people across America, and definitely would not have watched his brother die and then die himself if it was fake. It was inspiring to me to realize how much Joseph, Hyrum and Emma gave up for the church.

Another place that I loved was Liberty Jail Liberty Jail

Liberty Jail was a jail that Joseph and 4 other men were placed under false accusations. Eventually they were able to be let out of it.  I loved that they had mannequins in there representing the men. The structure of the jail is the same as what was built during that time. It has been restored, and a building has been built around it. I enjoyed listening to the missionaries talk about this event in history and how it impacted the men, and the saints and then how it will now effect me.

My favorite place to visit was Carthage Jail.

Carthige Jail

Here was the Jail that Hyrum Smith was killed by a bullet in his head, and where Joseph Smith Jr. was killed with two bullets in the back and two in the front and a fall out of a window. It was in Carthage that I realized what a good man Hyrum Smith was.

Hyrum was Joseph’s older brother. I imagine it would be hard to be an older sibling and know that your younger brother was called to be a prophet, but it wasn’t hard for Hyrum. Hyrum was always by his brothers side. He believed in Joseph and knew that he was called of God to be a prophet. He went everywhere with Joseph and died with him. I don’t think I could do that if I knew that Joseph was a liar.

Inside Carthage jail they played the hymn a Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief. This song is about Jesus Christ and I love the line that says “He asked if I for him would die.
The flesh was weak; my blood ran chill, But my free spirit cried, “I will!””

I could feel some tears developing during this song. That is exactly what Christ asked Joseph to do. He never said that it would be easy, but that it is what he was asking of him to restore the church and fulfill his mission and Joseph went with a willing heart, and Hyrum supported Joseph till the end. Seriously so inspiring.

My trip in Nauvoo ended with a quick family picture at the temple. I had spent time in the Nauvoo temple the day before doing sealings and watching my younger cousins perform baptisms. It was a great experience. I love the Nauvoo Temple.

Nauvoo Temple

The Nauvoo temple is inspiring to me because the saints were still trying to finish it as the mobs came into town to cast them out. They were working on it until they couldn’t anymore. Why would they do that? I think its because they knew that the Lord asked them to build a temple and the saints wanted to follow him. They also wanted the covenants and promises of an eternal family and were willing to do what was needed to accomplish it.

Unfortunately, the mobs burned the insides of the temple after the saints left, and then tornadoes came and took down the outside of the temple. So it has been rebuilt and restored. What a blessing it is that we still can have a temple in that location to remember the saints and their sacrifice.

Nauvoo was an inspiring place for me in many ways, but ultimately I just realized how much the saints desired to follow the Lord and how they were willing to sacrifice all that they had to do so. I hope that I will be able to sacrifice with a willing heart like the saints did when I am asked.

I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. I know that he was visited by God and Jesus Christ. I know this because I have sought for myself if it is true and the Lord has testified it to me. I know that the Lord has made it so that we can communicate with him and receive our own personal revelation. I know that there is a living prophet on the earth today Russel M. Nelson. I know that God asks us to sacrifice because we benefit from the sacrifices. I know that Christ lives and that he loves us and desires us to come and follow him.

 

Church History Post

 

 

Do You Love Me?

There is a story in the Bible that touches me in different ways every time I read it.
In John 21 the Lord comes to Peter after being resurrected. He asks Peter “Peter, do you love me more than you love all this?” Peter said “Yea Lord; thou knowest that I love thee” The Savior asked him yet again, “Peter do you love me?” Peter responded for the second time, “Yea Lord; thou knowest that I love thee”. Then, for the third time, Jesus asks Peter “Peter, do you love me?” And Peter, for the third time answered “Lord… thou knowest that I love thee.”

I can imagine myself in Peters shoes. I think of what it would be like to walk with the Savior and spend time with him and have him say “Yaerli, do you love me more than you love all this?”

It got me thinking. Do I really love the Lord more than I love the things of the world?

Elder Jeffery R. Holland in a talk title The First Great Commandment gave a great interpretation of this story. He said that after Peter responded for the third time that he loved him, that the Lord probably responded with (nonscriptural elaboration):

“Then Peter, why are you here? Why are we back on this same shore, by the same nets, having this same conversation? Wasn’t it obvious then and isn’t it obvious now that if I want fish, I can get fish? What I need Peter, are disciples—and I need them forever. I need someone to feed my sheep and save my lambs. I need someone to preach my gospel and defend my faith. I need someone who loves me, truly, truly loves me, and loves what our Father in Heaven has commissioned me to do… So, Peter, for the second and presumably the last time, I am asking you to leave all this and to go teach and testify, labor and serve loyally until the day in which they will do to you exactly what they did to me.”

Mic drop right?

I love the point that he makes though. What touched me is the part that says “why are you here? Why are we back on this same shore, by the same nets, having this same conversation?”

I thought about my own life and how there have been so many times that I have gone to the Lord with my struggles, the same struggles all the time. How I have done the same things over and over again that might not coincide with what the Lord teaches. So, why have I done that? Why am I always having that same conversation with the Lord?

I think it comes down to one thing. Do I love him?

If I were truly living life loving the Lord, then would I act the ways that I do? Would I think the ways that I do? Would I treat people or judge people? Would I keep the commandments? Would I strive to better myself?

All of this automatically happens if I am truly loving the Lord. So, that’s when I decided to change. When I decided that I need to love the Lord and do what he has asked.
It’s not the easiest thing to change and do, and sometimes we are so filled with the shoulda, coulda, woulda, that we forget that the Lord doesn’t ask much from us. He isn’t asking us to go beyond our means and sacrifice all we have for him. He is just asking us to LOVE him. To LOVE him and SERVE him.

I hope when we have opportunity to walk with the Lord and have him ask us if we love him, that we can confidently say “Yea Lord, I love you with all my heart, and I hope you can see with my actions that I do,” and have Him answer “Yes, I know you love me, thank you.”

Do you love me post