? ??????????????????? ????Easy Install Instructions:???1. Copy the Code??2. Log in to your Blogger account
and go to "Manage Layout" from the Blogger Dashboard??3. Click on the "Edit HTML" tab.??4. Delete the code already in the "Edit Template" box and paste the new code in.??5. Click "S BLOGGER TEMPLATES AND TWITTER BACKGROUNDS ?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Lead Me, Guide Me

These last few weeks have been some of the most challenging of my life.  I was contacted three weeks ago with a job offer for the agent who took over the office that I used to manage.  She offered me any hours I wanted to work, and a pretty attractive salary.  No matter how I looked at the offer, I would have to leave Baby Bennett with family or with day care for at least part of the time.  But the offer was a good one, and heaven knows our family needs the money. I needed to get back with her within 48 hours.  It was absolutely exhausting, draining, and consumed my days and nights.

I decided to spend some time in the temple.  I went through the session, then sat in the celestial room for a long, long time.  In fact, I had the audacity to tell Heavenly Father, "I'm not leaving until you tell me what to do."  The voices of the world and voices of human logic seemed so loud and clear:  "It is your duty.  It is an offer you need:  an offer you can't refuse."  The voices of peace and spiritual comfort and clarity came much, much more softly, and required a whole lot of soul-searching.  But eventually the answer came that day:  "Kristen, not now.  Now, be a mommy.  Just be a mommy."

In my mind, I can almost see some of my readers scratching their heads, perhaps wondering:  "Wait, haven't we already been through this?  Didn't you already make this decision a year ago?  Why are you doing this again?"

Well, yes.  I did decide to come home last year, after months of praying and dreaming.  But since then, I have always wondered if that was a logical thing to do.  Spiritually, it felt right, but Satan certainly has a way of testing us, doesn't he?  Especially in our extremities, financial and otherwise.  So it comes down to this:  I don't know where the answer lies, but I am choosing faith once again, choosing to travel through these trials without purse or scrip.  It's a trying path that I'm taking by choosing to be a full-time mother, but the vistas are grand, the rewards are immediate, and the lessons come daily.  I pray that things will work out somehow, whether in expected or mysterious ways.

I have more very important decisions in my life at this time, which I also prayed about in the celestial room that evening.  One is still quite sacred and fresh, so I will ponder it in my heart for a bit longer, but I am feeling confident that God is mindful of me, though at times He veils His answers so I can develop my faith more fully.  I guess I'll keep you posted on those things when the spirit prompts me to share.

For now, I share my gratitude with you.  I am grateful for a Heavenly Father who allows me to grapple with my problems and personal decisions, so that I may retain the knowledge and faith thereof for eternity.  I am grateful that life is hard, for that is how I grow, how my spirit is strengthened, and how I have the opportunity to develop a relationship with the Savior.  That is how I develop compassion.  That is how I find clarity.  The voice of the Holy Ghost is more than just a warm fuzzy feeling.  It is the comfort of my very own Savior, my "true eternal friend."  His voice guides me, directs me, and leads me along, in a beautiful and perfect way, when I am willing to live the commandments, and when I am willing to ask for direction.  I need that direction every hour.  I need it every minute.  I pray that I will always trust the promptings I receive, never discounting them because of the world's logic, or because I am not in tune enough to recognize them.

On traveling without purse or scrip, artist Liz Lemon Swindle wrote: 

"Early in His ministry, the Savior called His disciples to go forth and preach his word. These were largely fishermen with little money. They must have worried how they would provide for themselves and their families as they left to go and preach. Calming their fears Jesus said, 'Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses… for the workman is worthy of his meat.' – Matthew 10:9-10

The Savior, nearing the end of his life, could again sense the fear growing in his disciples. He reminded them, 'When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye anything? And they said, Nothing.' – Luke 22:35

We live in times of great uncertainty when the necessities of life seem harder to come by and where the burden of providing for our families seems heavier than in days past. [I am reassured] that although the road may be rough, when we walk with Him we need not worry for in Christ we lack nothing."

View Liz Lemon Swindle's beautiful painting: "Without Purse or Scrip" here.

I know that there are great rewards in store for those who leave comfort behind and place their hearts in the center of God's will.  I wish to do that very thing.  All of my days.