Category Archives: Change

Trust

trust

 

The girl pointed her finger at me, her brows knit together in scorn, then to the “Angry” icon on her assistive technology device. Though she spoke no words, I could feel the distrust emanating from her. I was there in the place of her regular teacher, and she did not know why.

I voiced the words that she could not, saying to the paraprofessional that was helping her, “Her teacher is not here and she does not know me.” The woman’s eyebrows raised, and she said to the girl, “You are sad because your teacher is not here.” The girl stopped pointing at me, found the “Sad” icon, and was able to move on.

Later, as we sat together and watched a video book presentation, the girl reached her hand over to mine and held is softly. I put mine on top of hers, and together we watched in silence. There was no need for words to express the poignant feelings shared. I could tell. She trusted me!

I had prayed that morning that my first day on the job substitute teaching would be a successful one, that I would feel God’s love for the students, and that I could share his love with them. It had happened in a way I never thought possible.

At the end of the class period, the girl gave me a hug, and we walked hand in hand to the door. Still, no words were spoken, but I knew that I was in the right place at the right time. My purpose had been fulfilled in that small moment.

Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us to “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” This was my theme song when I left the mental health unit years ago. Now, it has become my lifeline.

When I decided to leave my employment as an office manager, I felt that God was directing me to go and serve his children as a substitute teacher in the public school system. At first I was frightened. So many things had happened in my past that had taken me from that realm of the world.

Now, here I was, stepping back into it, having the very experiences that called me in that direction in the first place. Surely, a way will be provided, and I can go forward with faith, trusting that all will be well!

©2016 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe today,  for your emotional health!

If Only

If Only

 

If only we could stop the world and get off for a day, then maybe we could take a break from life’s continuous fray. We could breathe a sigh and take a look at things we just don’t see, and perhaps become the people we were really meant to be.

We could rewind time and change our past to a more desirable state and erase some things that were said and done that really were not first rate. We could lay a firm foundation and vanquish every foe. We could change the future and the past with what we do now know.

If only it were possible, we’d have a second chance. We would be so much more happy, we could really sing and dance. Then when the world began again, we’d be in a different place. Life would be more pleasant, we could keep a different pace.

But alas, it is not possible. We are where we are now. We are the sum and differential of our past mistakes somehow. We cannot take away what was, it’s the road on which we stand. The future is yet before us, uncertain, like shifting sand.

What will it take to get our feet back on the solid ground? The world may keep on turning, but our choices come around. Each moment that we breathe, we really have a second chance; each day a new beginning, another song, another dance.

We have within each one of us our eyes with which to see, hands and feet that feel and touch, and ears, we all agree. We can choose a different way, and walk the better road. We have the knowledge and the skills, our conscience, we are told.

We do not know how long we have left here upon this earth. One day, indeed, the world will stop; we’ll experience a new birth. We will leave behind all that we know and go to the great beyond. Our eyes will then be opened, like the wave of a magic wand.

Our Maker will there greet us and encircle us with His love, and we will hear the echoes of the choirs up above. We will look down to the earth and wonder then once more, why we didn’t see things differently, and head toward a brighter shore.

©2016 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe today for your emotional health!

Change is Okay

Change

 

 

 

Change is a merciless task master. It lets us know that the status quo is no longer acceptable and in order for us to get back in sync, we have to do something different. For a time, we grope around in the darkness, hoping to find the light of understanding.

Before we know it, we are blinded by the glare of the obvious and suddenly realize that we have already shed the familiar garments of yesterday. They have been snatched from our grasp before we have time to even look for a wardrobe suitable for tomorrow. We are left exposed for the entire world to see.

Embarrassed and humiliated, we wrap our arms around ourselves, hoping somehow to protect our delicate ego before it is lost in total obliteration. Then, a friendly voice speaks our name. We look up only to find that we are already discovered, that others know about our weakness and imperfection.

We beg for mercy, hoping that somewhere in their heart of hearts, there is room for compassion. We plead and bargain, saying that we will do whatever it takes, just let us be given a covering for our cold, stark nakedness.

A hand comes forward, reaching out toward us with kindness. We see it and put our own forward, suddenly taken aback by the scarred imprint therein. Surely, it could not be! But is it? Truly, he loved and gave all that we might live. Can he really be coming here, just for me?

“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest,” He says. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11;28-29).

His grasp is warm and inviting, his arms enclose us and we are brought into his bosom. There, amidst our tears and prayers, we are given strength and peace. He sheds his own garments and wraps us in them, and sends us on our way rejoicing!

We look down, aware that our nakedness has been covered. The garments are richer than any we have ever known. We feel the softness against our skin. We bask in the warmth and beauty surrounding us. Indeed, life is better now than anything we have ever known. We have been redeemed!

©2015 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe today, for your emotional health!

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Gratitude

Gift of Grace

 

 

 

Lord, my feelings know no bounds, my gratitude to the heavenly host resounds! Life is a precious gift indeed, and when I see others help those in need, my heart is filled as a well that is deep. They are following Thee, they are feeding Thy sheep.

Not long ago, on a darkened night, I heard their cries. I felt their plight. I rushed to their side with hope and a prayer, not knowing what aid I could provide once there. The love that we shared at that moment in time filled our souls with a peace sublime.

We knew in an instant that God was aware of all that had happened. He really did care! The pain and the tears were but for a night, and yet in the morning there came the light. As it bathed our souls with its wonderful glow, we embraced once again, for we really did know.

That Christ gave his life on that hill far away that we might return to Him one day. Such a precious morsel of daily bread gave us hope that we would always be led. We knew we could follow His footsteps each day, and have our needs met, come what may.

Now the crisis has passed, it is easy to see that forgetfulness comes so quickly to me. I forget what was said, how I felt, how I cried, how I pleaded for help at eventide. Instead of concern, I sit on the fence, passing judgement and giving offense.

Dear God, please forgive me and help me to be the kind of person who can truly see. Help me to find those in need of Thy love, and shower them with that grace from above. Only then can I be Thy hands and Thy feet, prepared for the day we will finally meet.

For then, I will fall before Thee and cry, “I am but Thy servant,” and my heart will sigh. Once more, my joy will know no bounds, and my gratitude to the heavens resound. For I will be in Thy presence again, never to part, worlds without end!

©2015 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe todayfor your emotional health!

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Waiting

Waiting

 

Waiting is a waste of time. Certainly, better things could be done, like painting the laundry room closet, dusting the cobwebs in the corners of the windows, or washing the kitchen and dining room walls, but no, just waiting…waiting….

Waiting for the phone call that says Dad is okay and that they are bringing him home. But each time the phone rings, there are more problems, more complications, and more things that need to be done. Maybe he isn’t coming home.

Waiting for the phone call that says it is time, he has gone the way of all the earth. It is time to come and cry, time to gather with my family and remember, time to see what should have been, or could have been, if things were different.

Waiting for nature to take its course, for the timeworn body to submit to its mother earth, for the bell to ring that says the round is over and the victory won, for the snow to fall and signal that winter has arrived, for the door of life to close.

Why Lord? Why is death so hard? How can we endure to the end when we don’t know when, where, and how that end will be? Why must we continue to plow forward when the ground is caked with mud, the weeds are thick with roots and shoots, and the plow is dull with chips and dents?

“But they that wait up on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).

Waiting for the door of eternity to open; waiting for the spirit to rise anew; waiting for the angels to sing praises that one of their own has returned; waiting for a new life to begin, for time to fade away, for sadness to be replaced with joy.

©2015 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe todayfor your emotional health!

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Worry

Worry

 

 

 

What am I supposed to be doing right now? I just can’t seem to figure it out. The last time I remember going through this process, I made a plan that was workable; one that would enable me to fulfill the destiny that I thought was mine. Now, for some reason, I feel lost!

There are so many things going on right now that my head is spinning in several directions at once! One minute I am coming, the next I am going, and in between times, I see things that just don’t make any sense at all! Am I going through a transition? Is it grief? What is happening? Maybe if I just sit down and relax, things will begin to make sense.

Stop…. Breathe…. Inhale…. Exhale…. Close your eyes…. Lean back and rest…. There…. It will be okay…. Everything will be fine…. You will get through this…. It will not last forever!

Now, let’s take a look at what is happening right now: 1) aging parents, 2) husband starting a new position at work, 3) children needing love and support, 4) house needing repairs, 5) misunderstanding at work, 6) new volunteer position at church, and 7) time available.

Problem – Fear of the Unknown – I don’t know when my parents will die. I don’t know how things will go with my husband’s knew position. I don’t know what will happen in the lives of my children. I don’t know how much it will cost for the home repairs and when they will be done. I don’t know how the misunderstanding happened at work, and I don’t know how my new position at church will go.

I have so much time on my hands that I am wringing them to a frazzle! The confusion I am experiencing is just worry about all of these things jumbled up into one big mess! I am on the downhill slide of life, and I see the end of the road in so many instances that I am beginning to wonder when my time will be!

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

“…Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief” (Mark 9:24)! My life is in Thy hands. Thou hast given me time. Allow me to use it to glorify Thee. Give me the insight to see those who may be struggling, to help those who may be hurting, and light the way for those who may be lost. Forgive my weakness and imperfections this day Lord, and help me to trust in Thee! 

©2015 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe todayfor your emotional health!

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Finding the Motivation

Motivation

 

“I don’t care. I just don’t want to do it, that’s all.” There, I said it, the forbidden words that I have been thinking. Now what? Does that mean that I don’t have to do it? Am I off the hook? Is that all there is to it, just saying “I don’t want to?”

There are many things in life that are difficult. Jim Rohn, success philosopher, tells us that one of the most important aspects of being human is the ability to “make ourselves” do what needs to be done. How does this happen? He says that when we find enough reasons, then our wants and desires change.

Motivation is all about finding the reasons. Dallin H. Oaks indicates that there are basically six reasons for us to act. He lists the following: 1) hope of earthly reward, 2) desire for good companionship, 3) fear of punishment, 4) sense of duty, 5) hope of eternal reward, and 6) love.

Although Oaks lists these as reasons for service, they have a lot to do with our lives in general. Reasons motivate action. If we have enough reasons, we will find a way to make happen what we want. If one of our family members is faced with certain death, we find a way to prolong their life because we want them to remain with us as long as possible!

How does this apply to our everyday actions? Our reasons come from our past experience. When we suffer the consequences of inaction, we are more highly motivated to action. In other words, “no pain, no gain!” We don’t decide to set an alarm and get up on time until the boss cuts our pay or fires us for being late to work!

Desiring change is usually the catalyst for increased motivation. If things are going well in life, we have little incentive to change. The Lord tells us in Alma 32:13-16* that being “compelled to be humble” is good, but it is even better to change willingly “without stubbornness of heart.”

Motivation is increased when we find out that there is a better way, and we want it for ourselves. There it is, that “want” word again! Our motivation changes when we say, “I want to” rather than “I need to,“ “I have to,” or “I should.” Changing because we are compelled to do so rarely brings lasting benefits; rather a lifetime of change comes when it is what we want for ourselves and our loved ones.

The highest motivation of the human heart is to act out of love. When we love God and our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31, KJV), we find plenty of reasons to be better people. We look anxiously forward to each day with newness of life, knowing that God will provide a way!

*Book of Mormon, published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

©2015 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe today, for your emotional health!

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How do I Forgive Myself?

There is Hope

 

 

I can’t believe I did that! What was I thinking? I should have known it wouldn’t work! Why didn’t I see the signs? How could I have been so blind?

When the disappointments of life come, our critical inner voice is released in all its fury. We are surrounded by a whirlwind of “should haves,” “would haves,” and “could haves” that beat down the walls of our self-worth, collapse the house of our dreams, and leave us groveling in a heap of rubble.

Before we even have a chance to assess the damage, our own private judge and jury finds us guilty as charged for not knowing, not being good enough, and not being able to see far enough into the future. We are sentenced to a life of hard labor for what we have unwittingly done!

Hold on! If someone we love makes a mistake and feels bad about it, we are quick to step in and reassure them that we love them. We encourage them to keep moving forward and give them a helping hand to get back on their feet. Why can’t we do that with ourselves?

We know ourselves too well. We have rehearsed our weaknesses and imperfections more times than we can count. We know what happens when they are played out on the stage of our lives. We have seen firsthand how the audience responds and the resulting consequences.

We think that if we punish ourselves first, then God won’t have to! We forget that he has already paid the ultimate price for our sin because of his love for us. Instead, we assume that surely he cannot love us until we have paid the ultimate price ourselves!

God’s love is like the sunshine. It is always there. Sometimes we cannot feel it because a cloud of self-doubt or a hailstorm of weakness and imperfection gets in the way. Groping around in the darkness and shadows, we forget that the sun will come out again, or even that it is still there!

In order to forgive ourselves, we have to find some small ray of sunshine to rekindle our hope. If we can remember the good that has happened in our lives, we realize that we are still worthwhile people. We are able to minimize our mistake, let go of the ill feelings, and move on.

In essence, we change our inner critic into our inner parent. Like a loving father, we wrap our arm around our shoulder and give ourselves some instructions. We accept the humble state of our weakness and imperfection, and give ourselves room to grow and progress.

Life goes on. Thankfully, the sun comes out! It always does. Disappointment and heartache are replaced by joy and happiness as we forgive ourselves. We move forward with faith and renewed hope that we can become the people that we were meant to be!

©2015 by Denise W. Anderson, all rights reserved. Subscribe todayfor your emotional health!

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