When I first heard that my dear friend, Becca, was doing a Book of Mormon reading challenge I was all in! I just thought it would be a great chance to track reading, have others reading with me, and for me to have someone there to hold me accountable for reading my scriptures every day. It was an excellent addition to my "to do" list (I have a weakness for lists- I love them!).
Becca started listing the participants of her challenge on her blog. The list got so long, and the entries of the readings were so detailed, she moved everything to a separate blog! Something that stood out to me was over the names of the people who had signed up, she had written something to the effect of, "Reading to see Miracles." That made me stop for a moment. I thought about it, and when I decided to link the info on my own blog, that is what I decided to tittle her challenge as. At the time, we had absolutely no worries or cares in the world. We had just moved, we were living in a beautiful home, we were surrounded by family- all healthy and happy.
What I didn't know was just how important seeing those miracles would be. What I didn't know was all of the challenges that would come for our family, like waves upon waves in a typhoon. What I didn't know was that through everything, although I would feel unsure, frightened of the future, and stressed about the situation- that because of this scripture reading, I would have a deeper feeling of peace than I have ever felt before. I would feel more comfort than I had in my life. I would grow closer to my Heavenly Father and my Savior than ever.
Heavenly Father always has a plan for us. I love Him. The Lord does not abandon us. He does not forget us. Yes, there have been times, during my darkest moments, that I felt alone and frightened, but every time that I ASKED for help, it was given. I hope that my children notice that I did not type: "every time I NEEDED help" - because that is not the same thing. When I was reading to see miracles, I saw that throughout the scriptures there were times of joy and times of sorrow. Times where things were pretty good, and times where things were pretty bad. The difference was in how the people ACTED. I read time after time of a humble servant of the Lord, doing all that he could to do the Lord's work, and then, after exhausting his own resources and energies, calling upon the Lord for help. In order to knock, we must show Him that we are willing to set aside our personal desires and allow him to carry us in a direction that will truly lead us to everlasting happiness. Sometimes our answers will take us to unexpected destinations, but time after time, with hard work, and faith- we are given situations that end up being better for us than we could have realized. Our time here on Earth is not a time to work to acquire stuff- it is a time to learn, share, and grow.
Becca has expressed desire to continue to read scriptures like this, and invited people to join her. Her faith, inspired actions, and her desire to help others find peace is so inspirational to me. Her story is so amazing- right now her family is experiencing its own real miracle, and I couldn't be happier for them! I am so extremely lucky to have gotten to know her!
I pray that the New Year brings a feeling of renewal and hope to our hearts. I pray that my children continue to grow in their love of their Savior and their Father in Heaven. I pray that we continue to remember who we are, and strive to return with honor when we are once again in the presence of our Father above. Things on Earth are not perfect, but the Lord and His teachings are. As 2011 greets us, I am going to keep my thoughts and actions centered around my theme word: Present. I will work harder to really be present- fully present- when dealing with my faith, family, and home. I am going to continue reading with Becca, and when I read I am going to be present in the reading, and absorb everything the Lord would have me see. I am going to be present with my family- and remember that it is the little moments that make memories: the candy-mouthed kisses, and sticky-handed hugs. I will be present with my husband, and I will work hard be the woman that completes him. I will strive to be more present in my life, so that my eyes are more open to opportunities to serve The Lord.
May the blessings of God be upon all of us, and may 2011 be a truly wonderful year =)