Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Day 285, October 22

 “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”--Winston Churchill

Yesterday I wrote about the relationship between failure and success.  I suppose there are those few among us who have never experienced failure; for the rest of us, it is part of life. 

On one bleak day, when the rejections had piled up and my courage and energy were waning, I decided to give up writing.  I decided I'd try something else (becoming a special ops soldier came to mind).  And then I realized that writing was a part of me.  I could no more give it up than I could give up one of my children.  (Yes, I've considered that before as well.)

Have you ever decided to give up something because the failures had become too frequent, too painful?  Did you go through with it?  If so, don't beat yourself up over it.  We have only so much time, so much energy, and we can't do everything.  If you decided to keep trying, what caused you to change your mind? I've been on both sides of the fence.  

Joy for today:  stumbling from failure to failure.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Day 284, October 21

“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six  times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”--Michael Jordan

When a friend sent this to me, I knew I had to include it in a blog.   It is incredible to me that basketball icon Michael Jordan believes he has failed.   But he doesn't end there; he credits that to succeeding.   Could not all of us benefit from his insight?

I used to joke that I could paper my house with all the rejections I've received.  Currently, rejections come in electronic form, but the "joke" remains the same.  One year, I figured that I had received over  12 book rejections, with dozens upon dozens of rejections on short stories and articles.  And still I kept trying.  Part of the reason is sheer obstinacy on my part, and part is the belief that I could succeed if I just kept trying.

Joy for today:  failing ... and succeeding.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Day 283, October 20

"Anyone who tells a story speaks a world into being." ~ Michael Williams

Do you remember the days of storytelling?  Grandchildren, cousins, parents, aunts, and uncles gathered around the storyteller, usually a grandparent, and listened, enthralled, to stories of "the olden days."  I loved those times.  I loved the feeling of family as much as the stories themselves.

I didn't mind a bit of some of the stories were exaggerated.  In fact, I preferred "tall tales," a sign of the storyteller's creativity.  Perhaps this is where my love of reading and writing comes from, because, in the end, aren't books just storytelling written down?

Joy for today:  telling stories, true and otherwise.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Day 282, October 19

Last week's Relief Society lesson was on "Being in the World, But Not of the World:  In other words, being firm in keeping the commandments.  The teacher gave an interesting definition of the word firm:  not yielding to pressure.

We find pressure in every aspect of our lives.  Whether it is to dress as the fashion mavens tell us is stylish (never mind modesty), or to live beyond our means, or to give up paying tithing in favor of buying something "fun," we experience worldly pressures.

The trouble with these things, of course, is that they do not bring happiness; they may bring a momentary pleasure, but that is all.

Joy for today:  being in the world, but not of it.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Day 281, October 18

Last week, my husband and I drove to Denver to attend the LDS Temple there.  Early morning fog obscured the road for much of the way, causing me to clench my teeth and pray for our safety.  Larry navigated it with his usual skill, and we arrived safely.

As we drove through the fog, I was reminded that a different kind of fog can obscure other roadways in life.
The fog of wanting worldly success and rewards can blind us to true success and rewards:  that of living a Christ-like life and returning to live with Him someday.  The fog of wanting material possessions may cause us to treat others dishonestly.  The fog of criticizing others to make us feel better about ourselves can canker our souls.  And so on.

Joy for today:  navigating through the fogs of life.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Day 280, October 17

"Experience is a good teacher, but her fees are very high."--W.R. Inge

I can be a stubborn person.  It frequently takes me years to learn a lesson.  One would think that a reasonably intelligent person (which I am most of the time) could learn from experience.  But, no, I have to learn the same lesson over and over (and over).

What a sad commentary.  Try as I will to "get it," the Lord has to put me in positions to learn what He wants me to know.

Joy for today:  getting it the first time.  (Or the second, third, fourth, or fifth.)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Day 279, October 16

I've written before about my sweet daughter Alanna.  Alanna is a role model to me in many ways.

Her daughter, Reynna, started seminary this year.  Seminary is an early morning church lesson.  Teachers volunteer their time, to prepare and to teach the youth (ages 14-18) gospel principles.  This is no easy matter.  Seminary starts at 6 am, going until 6:50, when the kids leave for school.   Those stalwart men and women who teach seminary receive no compensation and precious little recognition.

Why am I telling you about seminary teachers (other than to make you grateful that you aren't one)?  I share this with you to help you understand why Alanna is my role model.  She told me that she had the impulse (see yesterday's blog) to send a thank-you card to Reynna's seminary teacher.

Alanna crafts beautiful cards, each a miniature work of art.  To receive one is to receive a cherished gift.  I can only imagine Reynna's teacher's delight and surprise to receive such a card.

Joy for today:  finding a role model in my daughter.