My friend who was also a guest blogger on here has recently started a blog. And she talked about the same thing. And I think she did a really great job. A LOT better than I did. Click me.
By the end of my shift. I was ready to sit down and relax. To have a nice cup of hot chocolate and maybe get a rare foot rub from the husb. But he did something SO MUCH more greater than a foot rub for me. I got home early from work and I was surprised because he was supposed to be off at 8. And I got home around 8:30. I didn't understand.
I called him and I asked, "Are you at home?"
He said, "No. I'm still at work I'm just at the checkout line. I needed to grab some stuff."
I said, "Oh. Okay. I'm home now."
He says, "Wait, you're home... NOW?!"
Me: "Well, yeah. I'm home early."
Him: "You're not supposed to be home yet."
Me: "I am... Do you want me to leave or something?"
Him: "No. It's fine."
I waited patiently. He walked in the room and I'm on the computer. And he hands me a card. A super cute/cheesy Hallmark card. And he also wrote, "I love you so much. I hope you love me too... and your new camera."
I turn around (because he's standing behind me). And he has in his hands my new camera with two little bows on it. I oooooooooed and awwwwwwwwwwed. And then I gave him an early Christmas present- Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit. Yes, we're the spoilers of Christmas.
It's a Canon PowerShot SX210 IS 14.1 Megapixels 14x wide zoom. It's a pretty stellar.
All Things Work Together for Good By Elder James B. Martino
Of the Seventy
James B. Martino, "All Things Work Together for Good", Ensign, May 2010, 101–3
We may never know in this life why we face what we do, but we can feel confident that we can grow from the experience.
When I was young I looked forward to the spring of the year. As the weather warmed, I was ready for baseball to begin. Like most young boys, I would wish that I could become a great baseball player. I am reminded of a story about a very young boy with similar dreams. With the desire to become the next mighty ballplayer, he decided to go outside and practice. He held the baseball in one hand and the bat in the other, and he threw the ball into the air. With a wish to hit the ball as far as he could, he took a great swing, but the ball fell to the ground without even touching the wood of the bat. Not to be denied, he went at it again. As he was about to throw the ball in the air, his determination grew as the thought of a powerful hit came into his mind. But alas, the results were the same. The ball lay on the ground. But as any good ballplayer knows, you have three strikes before you are out. He concentrated even more, threw the ball in the air, and gave the mightiest swing he had ever attempted. As the ball again fell to the ground, the tears began to swell in his eyes. Then all of a sudden a great smile appeared, and he said, “What a pitcher!”
Each of us will face trials and tests, and as in this simplistic example, it is how we react to those difficulties that will determine our success and happiness. Each of us will face adversity no matter where we are. We are taught in the scriptures that there “must needs be … an opposition in all things.” We will each face times of difficulty, and the question is not when we will face them but how we face them.
The Apostle Paul taught an interesting lesson only a few years before the Saints in Rome were to face some of the most violent persecution of any Christian era. Paul reminded the Saints that “all things work together for good to them that love God.” Our Heavenly Father, who loves us completely and perfectly, permits us to have experiences that will allow us to develop the traits and attributes we need to become more and more Christlike. Our trials come in many forms, but each will allow us to become more like the Savior as we learn to recognize the good that comes from each experience. As we understand this doctrine, we gain greater assurance of our Father’s love. We may never know in this life why we face what we do, but we can feel confident that we can grow from the experience.
Now, I realize that it is much easier to look back when a trial is over and see what we have learned from our experience, but the challenge is to gain that eternal perspective while we are going through our tests. To some, our trials may not seem great, but to each of us who are passing through these experiences, the trials are real and require us to humble ourselves before God and learn from Him.
Second, when we are faced with trials, we must learn to not complain or murmur. Nephi, after a great vision of the Savior’s atoning sacrifice, told us: “Wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.” We must always attempt to correct the problem and overcome the trial, but instead of asking “Why me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?” maybe the question should be “What am I to do? What can I learn from this experience? What am I to change?”
Several years ago while my wife and I were serving in Venezuela, our youngest son left the comfort of his high school to join with us. He did not complain, but it was obvious that he struggled as he went to this country where everything was new to him; but in an amazing turn of events, the experience went from one of trial to a huge blessing in his life. He accomplished this by changing his own attitude and developing a determination to succeed.
Third, when we face our challenges, we must seek greater help from God. Even the Savior of us all found a need to pray “more earnestly” as He was in the Garden of Gethsemane. We can learn to gain great faith if we do this. We must remember that often the answers from our Heavenly Father do not remove the trial from us, but instead He helps strengthen us as we pass through the experience. As He did for the followers of Alma, the Lord can “ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs.” In our trials, let us not become bitter or uncommitted, but let us follow the Savior’s example of becoming more earnest, more sincere, and more faithful.
Fourth, learn to serve and think of others even in our times of trial. Christ was the epitome of service. His life was filled with examples of helping and serving others, and His greatest gift of all was what He did for us. As He said, “For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent.” We must repent and then follow His example of service. When we serve others, we forget our own problems, and by working to relieve the pain or discomfort of others, we strengthen ourselves.
In our last general conference, our beloved prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, stated: “I believe the Savior is telling us that unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives. Those who live only for themselves eventually shrivel up and figuratively lose their lives, while those who lose themselves in service to others grow and flourish—and in effect save their lives.”
As we pass through the trials of life, let us keep an eternal perspective, let us not complain, let us become even more prayerful, let us serve others, and let us forgive one another. As we do this, “all things [will] work together for good to [us] that love God.” I bear a solemn and certain witness that our Father loves us and He sent His Son to show and pave the way for us. He suffered, He died, and He was resurrected that we might live, and He desires that we “might have joy,” even in our trials of life.