1) I love the gift of repentance and forgiveness. It is essential while in our mortal states. We are going to fall short. We are going to sin. We are going to need to repent.
Our Father in Heaven loves us....the same as we love our children. He wants us to return to live with Him some day. He also wants to bless us while we are here on this Earth. He wants to bestow upon us the blessings we are in need of. The blessings that might make life a little easier. The beautiful blessings that he has in store for us that we have not yet been made aware of. Here is the problem though.....when we sin, those blessings are withheld and some are possibly lost forever.
I think sometimes knowing that repentance can follow sin, gives us an out. It allows us the excuse to sin. We know he will offer forgiveness with a true repentant heart. And that does sometimes make the sin easier. For example....keeping the Sabbath Day holy. We practice that commandment. We avoid shopping and working on the Sabbath, instead to spend it with family to worship together, to spend time together listening to uplifting music, to play together....to strengthen our relationship with God and family. Some Sundays I have forgotten to purchase something for our Sunday dinner....or we are all craving something special that we don't have and would like. Occasionally on a Sunday we sin....we cave knowing we can ask for forgiveness when we feel sorry about that choice. BUT most Sundays the thought of breaking the Sabbath doesn't even cross my mind....are you kidding me "I need the blessings" I usually think to myself. The blessings that come from being obedient.
When we sin we can always repent. And even though we can repent, it would have been better to have never sinned at all. Because....even though we can receive forgiveness, we are forever missing the blessings that we would have received during the time we were sinning.
I have missed a few (OK a lot) of blessings that could have come my way had I chosen a better choice. I want to teach my children this concept....Yes we can repent....but blessings....sweet, beautiful blessings from our Heavenly Father are forever missed.
2) Relish life! Find joy in the journey! There is no remembering tomorrow if you don't write it down today!
Finding joy in my journey has become easier since I have began blogging. In fact, I think I am coming up on my one year anniversary. Writing down the sweet things that happen during our busy little lives help me to smile. To enjoy the little things in life. To find happiness in my day-to-day activities. To delight in this job called "Mother". To fall in love over and over with my husband. To stop and capture moments on camera that would have been missed if I wasn't blogging or keeping some type of a scrapbook or journal.
My personal motto in life is found in Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."
I think having complete faith in the Lord helps me relish life. Enjoy the journey. It frees me from doubting and second guessing. It keeps me optimistic. When life hands me lemons...I figure Heavenly Father has a plan for those lemons in my life and I look forward to figuring out the next step with his guidance. It creates a happy outlook for me in all situations.
I wish I could share with all the secret to placing your faith in God. But it is just something you have to try yourself. You have to embrace it and practice faith. And pray.
I want to Relish life. I want to continually find joy in the journey. I want to remember tomorrow the sweet things of today. For this reason.....I have tried to offer more patience toward my children. And say "yes" more often to their needs and fun play...like making forts in my family room. I have stopped and hugged my husband for no reason. Held him a little tighter and a little longer. Kissed my 11 year old all up and down her cheeks like I used to when she was 2 and 3 years old. Cuddling with her in bed and having girl talk. Holding Blake when he still needs holding even though he feels too big to still be acting like he needs holding. I love that he still needs to be held. I love that when I leave him, he needs to give me a big long holding hug. And that he squeezes extra tight just before letting go. These are the things I want to remember. Like the picture from yesterday. The kids skipping in the sprinklers running free, laughing and playing. I want to look back on these years and not think....."I missed some of the best years of our lives because I was too busy or too worried or too stressed to enjoy the journey."