Here is my New Year’s Resolution: Love

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I think there are many times in life we might ask ourselves, “what was the point of going through that, just to have it end?”

My time away from the blog, I’ve been more fully embracing the life I have chosen and living my life to the fullest. So full, I am crashing to bed earlier and earlier each night.

and, I’ve also been experiencing more joy.

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So my thoughts come from a place of deep reflection brought on by personal trials (that have turn to triumphs?).

As I knelt – or crumpled – next to my bed last night, wondering to God why some things happen – a thing that brings you joy was abruptly taken away – what was the whole purpose of that?

My question did not come from a place of anger, but a sincere desire to know why.

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Here is what I felt after reflection:

When we lose something we love, we should never regret how we loved.

When we choose to fill ourselves with Love, it begets more love.

Bitterness and sorrow begets more bitterness and sorrow.

There have been many things I used to regret in my life.

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For the things I can’t change, I will no longer feel regret. For the things that I can change, well, I’m taking the time to turn them around. For many things, it’s never too late, to make a change.

Some of those changes have been inspired by reading. Reading of scripture (which I consider history), and reading of non-scripture world history.

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The clarity of my goals came while reading about the Siege of (Leningrad) St Petersburg in 1941 – that lasted 872 days – leading to the death of about a million civilians.

During the siege, a Russian composer by the name of Dimitri Shostakovich (what a fun name to say!!) wrote his Symphony No. 7 – not only did they hold a concert in the physically starved and bombed out city – the concert was broadcast on speakers outside the concert hall to allow those who couldn’t enter the packed building to listen and some directed toward occupying soldiers. As bombs fell, it was the banner of “cultural resistance to atrocity.” (Read more here)

While I don’t wish to create enemies at the gate, it is inevitable that others will choose to make me their enemy – for any manner of perceived wrong (hey, I’m not perfect, but I don’t go out of my way to hurt people).

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It comes down to this:

I don’t wish to have enemies. I don’t want to create any, for those who choose to make me their enemy, I choose to not to fuel the flames of anger, but will fan the embers of love and  beauty.

I’m still trying to figure how to do that.

It starts with not arguing, not gossiping, finding something else to put my mind on, and so on, listening better.

This is my new years resolution. That doesn’t mean that I don’t ever feel the desire to reach into my computer screen and punch someone’s face, because on rare occasion, I do feel that way.

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Photo by Jewly Ann Photography

However petty I have been up to this day, I am choosing to learn how to be better today and tomorrow in the face of opposition. This is what I have decided to work on, in my small way, to change the world.

More failing attempts to be like Jesus.

How could I ever get mad with a face like this looking at me every day? Good question.
How could I ever get mad with a face like this looking at me every day? Good question.

These days I feel my pregnant brain struggles to translate my thoughts into words.

Eight months and already a pro at downward facing dog.
Eight months and already a pro at downward facing dog.

But, I’d rather keep trying than just quit all together.

Just like my attempts to be more like Christ.

This kid cracks me up. He pushes all my buttons, but he also cracks me up.
This kid cracks me up. He pushes all my buttons, but he also cracks me up.

I think I’m a pretty good person, I have a few flaws…

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which may also include a few choice words usually only spoken in my head – MOST of the time I can keep them in my head – and really, I try to keep them out of my head too.

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The battle is raging folks – it is raging – and sometimes I lose.

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I had a Relief Society (only the largest Women’s Organization in the world!!) presidency meeting (of which I am a part of) last week and one of the women I serve along side happen to mention a quote by the Prophet Joseph Smith:

“I love that man better who swears a stream as long as my arm yet deals justice to his neighbors and mercifully deals his substance to the poor, than the long, smooth-faced hypocrite. I do not want you to think that I am very righteous, for I am not.”

He is always hungry - he already out eats his big brother.
This kid  is always hungry – he already eats more than his big brother.

Now I really am trying to be like Jesus, I consistently fall short like the next guy – but I keep trying – and it makes my heart feel a little better knowing that it’s okay to stumble – just. keep. trying.

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because as we all know and like Joseph also said, “There was one good man and his name was Jesus.”

yeah, no problems here - keep walking.
yeah, no problems here – keep walking.

Why all the potty words? Oh, just me being annoyed at things (more so than usual; again, pregnancy). Example:  people who are looking at their phones while driving. So, so irate over those people.

When I line up my troubles next to the Savior, I feel a little silly with how I react to my trials.

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Recently, in addition to feeling a bit yucky due to pregnancy, our house has fallen prey to illness.

It started on my son’s third birthday a few weeks ago.

Wiley carried the Zoo map everywhere.
Wiley carried the Zoo map everywhere.

I woke up, the day we were heading to the zoo, with a really sore throat…that turned into a really bad cold, that my baby also caught. Cue lots of “weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

My sweet child had turned sour.

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So the baby and I had this virus that lasted for two weeks that, for both of us, turns into an infection. His a double ear and I a sinus.

This is my son yelling,
This is my son yelling, “Hi Camel, I’m [insert first and middle name].”
We both started antibiotics about the time my husband and three year old start coughing…

Did it help that my baby started teething? probably not.

We all love the Lemurs.
We all love the Lemurs.

So, string of swear words on repeat in my mind – and brink of insanity due to lack of sleep – I realize one afternoon how petty (really petty) my problems are.

I compared my problems, not only to Christ, but to the rest of the world and was reminded that I was so blessed.

Love the Sea Lion exhibit too.
Love the Sea Lion exhibit too.

It seems to me that when I face trials, it ends with me realizing how blessed I am and grateful I am to God for easing my burdens in difficult times.

It could be so much worse.

So blessed.
So blessed.

Even after this revelation I said a potty word, but I resolved to do better and take the time to share what I have learned on my blog, in the hopes that someone needs the same reminder.

We all mess up, we can all be better.

I want to be better.