I was talking to my dad the other day and he mentioned that I haven't been posting as frequently on my blog. I told him, "I've been a little distracted." And he laughed and said something along the lines of it being easier to glean from trials and challenges when writing posts for this blog. Well, I'm hardly in the middle of a challenge, but I am in the middle of change.
And so, even though I'm not in any particular sort of trial, I am constantly taking a step back and seeing where I can improve. I feel like at this point in my life, I'm holding a magnifying glass up to everything to make sure I'm where I want to be. These next few months will entail me making promises to Stephen and to the Lord and I want to make sure I recognize the meaning and honor those promises.
I've been thinking a lot on the idea of consecration. We, as a people of God, promise to consecrate ourselves wholly to Him. And in the middle of so many blessings in my life, I'm finding that consecration is the one well I can stay humble enough to continually draw from, regardless of how awesome or terrible my circumstances may be. This subject has particularly humbled me lately because the more I understand what God has given me, the more I understand what I can give back to Him.
First, I find scripture study, prayer, and temple attendance to be the most accessible ways to consecrate myself to God. I can give of my time and energy to learning more about this life and the next and as I marinate in the teachings of God, I can let those teachings permeate my life and hopefully extend to others. The doctrine of the Church is so simple, and yet, it is so piercing. I know that by continuously saturating my life in communication with my Lord, I will find deeper and deeper ways to connect with the doctrine and allow it to change my actions, attitude, and spirit.
Second, I've recently seen how I can better consecrate myself to the upliftment of those around me. Just today, I was talking to a very dear friend about all of the updates in my life. I'd found that all of the matters we discussed were eternal matters. Gleaning from the first area of consecration, I'd allowed my interactions with my friend to be permeated with what I'd learned from my worship. I didn't realize this was the case until my friend sent me an email after we'd finished talking. I was so grateful to get her words of appreciation and encouragement and to realize that when I marinate myself in the gospel and then reach out to my brothers and sisters, I can increase my testimony as well as uplift those around me. Today was such a beautiful experience!
Lastly, I'm constantly striving to find ways to consecrate myself to the building up of God's kingdom. I think that's why I came back to my blog today. This is one of the few ways I feel like I can bear my testimony and testify of the realness of God and His gospel. All of these areas of my life are very fresh in my progression of experiences and lessons learned. I feel like I have such a long way to go before my God can rely on me to stay steady and go forth uplifting others and building His kingdom. However, this week has been so wonderful, I've seen the potential I have to do that, so I had to write it down. Because what better lessons to learn in times of joy than how to give and receive more of it? (:
I am very blessed right now, and I hope to continue progressing in spite of what may come in life. I hope to remember these blessings and the feelings I've experienced this week so that I will always feel the desire to aspire higher. I love this gospel, this church, and this Heavenly Father who loves us all so deeply that He is "giving away the secrets of the universe" so that we may become like Him and He will give us "all that He hath" (Neal A. Maxwell).
Happy End of Finals to all of you in school, and Merry Christmas.