Growing and learning.

(These are completely random photos from 2016 because I feel like its easier to read a post with pictures. :D)

I’ve had so many opportunities for growth. Sometimes I just want smooth sailing, you know? For several months now I have been reading a book about John Adams. Of our founding fathers, I think I admire him most. John Adams and his wife Abigail have the sweetest love story and I love their wisdom. Abigail once wrote a letter to one of her sons, encouraging him to move forward on a difficult journey. She said,

“There are times in which a genius would wish to live. It is not in the still calm of life, or the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant wake into life and form the character of the hero and the statesman.”¬†She likened the judicious traveler to a river that increases in volume the farther it flows from its source.

At times I have pondered about what it would have been like to live with our Heavenly parents and I wonder why it was so necessary that we leave His presence and come to Earth. When Abigail was giving that analogy of the judicious traveler, I know she was speaking about the boy leaving his home for a great experience, but it reminded me of us leaving our Heavenly home. We are here to learn and grow.

I find that I am often like the three little pigs. I keep asking who it is at the door and my trial keeps showing up like the bad wolf. It dresses in so many different costumes. I finally think I no longer have to contend with the wolf, but alas the mask falls and I face that ‘thing’ that I’ve really always battled.

I think the important thing is to go to bat. Get back up. When you have fallen for the same ‘wolf’ at the door, dust off. You may need some time to reflect and make some adjustments, but the important thing is that you get back in the arena. You are here to learn. Don’t beat yourself up. Be kind. I saw a study lately that claimed that self control was really just having compassion and empathy for your future self. We need to practice empathy and compassion for ourselves. That is the key to beating the wolf.

We live in a great and tumultuous time. We have so many opportunities to do good and be good. This book about John Adams has taught me that opportunities to do GOOD and GREAT things are not at the end of a prim rose path. They are through a mountain range of dangers. I think those dangers look like different things for all of us (fear, sadness, loss, hurt, rejection and failure). Be brave. Have courage. You came here at this time for a specific reason. If you don’t know the reason, ask God. He will tell you.

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