Month: June 2020

fractured

It’s not that complicated, except for it is

Everyone has been talking about racism lately. I have been listening and thinking, but I have largely been silent on the internet, though I have talked about it with others. I have felt unsure of what to write–and I don’t tend to just go along with what is trending. I want to be more genuine than that.

I talked with my kids and things seemed really simple: we need to treat people with kindness and fairness. People haven’t done that, and we need to do better.

But it isn’t all that simple. This is about police brutality right now. That’s where the conversation started. I support police reform–my husband was a law enforcement officer for a few years, and I witnessed problems with training, policies, and attitudes. Black lives matter, and there have been horrific and horrible acts, many of which do not make the news and do not ever find any justice or resolution.

But in all of that, there are some issues without clear solutions.

We need to learn to compromise and not maintain all-or-nothing thinking. Public policy is rooted in ethical assumptions that can be complicated–do we value freedom, equality, justice? What do we value most? What does freedom and equality and justice even mean? These are also important questions and we can’t skip over them, assuming that they have easy answers.

And there are many things missing in the conversation, such as gun control, education, the support of families, and building up better communities.

I don’t always have the right words, but not many people do. I feel uncomfortable in my own experience sometimes, uncertain that I have something to say that is helpful or relevant.

There are a lot of problems in the world, and we can’t fix everything at once. But we can just try to be a little better, and to support good causes, and to be compassionate to others even if they don’t agree with us on everything.

 

inspiration

The Only Life Hack That Works

I just finished reading a book about habits. I guess part of me wanted to read the book and then immediately have better habits. But it doesn’t work like that.

I really love self-help books. But self-help books don’t change my life. If I read a book about habits, I still have to have the determination to change my own habits. If I read a book about marriage, then I have to do the work to improve my relationship. If I want to improve my parenting, I have to try better to treat my children with more love.

I can’t read something and have it immediately change my behavior. While thinking about behavior in a better way and educating myself can help me improve, there is no one idea or one method that will help me become the person I want to be.

Except for there is one thing: following Jesus Christ is the one solution to fix bad behavior, heal relationships, and become the person that I want to be.

When I am trying to better follow Jesus Christ, that is when I start to make the biggest progress in my life. I feel different. I am happier and my capacities increase. The pain from past mistakes goes away and I am left with peace. I find increased patience and love. Through the atonement of Jesus Christ, I find the strength and ability to overcome any of life’s challenges.

 

 

 

 

inspiration

Gulf of misery and endless wo

For our family scripture study, Dillon started reading a familiar scripture:

And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall. (Helaman 5:12)

As he read, I realized I hadn’t paid much attention to the scripture. I just thought it was about building your foundation on Jesus Christ: you keep the commandments, you build on the rock, and you’ll be okay. But there is more to that scripture.

I suddenly connected to the phrase “gulf of misery and endless wo,” because I have felt that way before: discouraged and miserable and horrible. I thought I was building my foundation on Jesus Christ–I read my scriptures, pray, repent, and keep the commandments. Why do I get so miserable sometimes?

Temptations can be different than I expect. Sometimes I am tempted to lie, steal, cheat, waste time, or be mean to someone else. But more often, I am tempted with doubt, questions, pride, and discouragement.

What if my emotional foundation was built upon Jesus Christ? What if I was able to build patience and faith and hope–so much so, that no matter what happened, I would never be discouraged because I believed in Jesus?

My faith is often too reliant on my circumstances, and when things are difficult, I wonder if God cares. But He does care, and he provides for me over and over again. Maybe it isn’t in huge miraculous ways–in fact, the most powerful way that He helps me is that when I rely on Him with humility and gratitude, I never feel discouraged or miserable, no matter what happens to me. I feel happy.