I have come to the conclusion that writing a book is terribly hard.
I really have no idea what I am doing. Thank goodness for things like spell and grammar check. They have taught me a number of things, including the fact that I love fragmented sentences.
I am happy to say that after countless late nights and early mornings, I have finished my chapter revision. I took each chapter, one by one, and went through them all very carefully. A lot of things were trimmed down or cut out completely. I realized that I had repeated myself on a few occasions and a lot of the places were just too wordy. Sorry to the publishing company that I sent it to. They probably didn't even make it through the whole book. It was not good.
Oh well. There are many more avenues to try and now I am one step closer to having it really ready to put out there. It is very exciting and nerve-wracking. This book is all me. It includes some of my deepest thoughts and ugly moments. I am really going to be putting myself all out there in the hope that it will give people strength to endure their own challenges.
I have printed out two copies, one for me and one for my friend who is going to critique it for me. It is very exciting to hold it in my hands. There is nothing quite like a hard copy. Digital is nice for sharing, but I just cannot read it again on my computer screen. My eyes would probably pop right out of my head.
Thank you to everyone who has offered words of encouragement. I need those words. I still have a very long road ahead because along with my limited knowledge of writing, I have absolutely zero knowledge of the publishing world. I'm livin' on a wing and a prayer, baby. Wish me luck.
I am thankful for blue carpet.
This lovely shade of blue is brought to you by my nephew, Mr. Kaido Man.
It happened months ago and I keep thinking that someday I am going to take my carpet cleaner to it and see if I can restore it to its natural color- or at least close to it.
But something always stops me and instead of worrying about my blue-tinged carpet, I find myself filled with thoughts of thankfulness for the crazy little munchkin man who created this beautiful piece of art. That little guy had a rough start to life and we are just grateful that he is here, even if it means that he blesses us with blue carpet.
A few years ago I probably wouldn't have seen the beauty of this masterpiece.
I would have been too concerned about how it would look, marring the appearance of my home.
Fortunately age, passing time, and a brush with death have brought with them a different perspective to what is truly important in this life--
And that is moments like this, with cute little munchkins who give you blue carpet...
Or any other daily occurrence with anyone in your life that you love.
Including the moments when they do things that make you want to pull your hair out, their hair out, and anybody else's hair out who may be in close proximity.
What it comes down to for me, is this....
Don't sweat the small stuff.
And while we are on the subject, maybe sometimes we should not sweat the big stuff either.
Life is way too short.
When the "stuff" in your life seems a bit overwhelming and you find yourself breaking out in beads of sweat, remember things like blue carpet, and know that ultimately, everything will be okay.
It may take hours, days, weeks, months, or even years-
but all will be alright in the end.
And keep being thankful for blue carpet.
Something to ponder for a moment.
What do major corporations, small companies, school districts and schools, and volunteer organizations have in common? They all have someone in charge. Someone to lead and guide the employees. Someone to navigate through storms, stress, success, and happiness.
What do you think would happen if this were not the case? What if there was not someone at the helm of an organization? Would it survive? Not likely. There would be chaos and confusion. Because we are all different with different ideas and opinions it would end up being a case of "too many cooks in the kitchen."
Where am I going with this? Well, I have been thinking lately about prophets and other church leaders and why we need them. After all, aren't we able to speak with God directly through prayer? Can't I receive revelation for myself and my family?
Why do I need a leader to tell me what I can or cannot do?
Here is where I think sometimes we get it wrong. We don't have a prophet or other church leaders to tell us what we can or cannot do. God has blessed us with these leaders to HELP us navigate our way through the storms of life. To HELP us by lovingly instructing us about things that will ultimately HELP us to make good choices and prepare us for things to come.
I have pondered a lot about this post today and I am finding it hard to really write what is in my heart- what I have discovered for myself through hours of prayer and fasting to know to be true. I will try to sum it up in three main points.
*Prophets are a manifestation of God's love for us. He didn't leave us here to navigate the storms of life blindly.
*Because we have the great gift of praying to God about anything, we can take the things that have been revealed to us by prophets, past and present, and ask God if following that counsel is what is best for us. If it is truly His word and what He wants us to do.
*Even though we may not understand a commandment or we may be offended by something that a church leader tells us, that doesn't mean that the commandment or counsel is not from God. I think that sometimes it is convenient to say,
"I believe in Christ, but I don't think I need to follow this commandment or counsel because it doesn't make me a bad person to do this and that."
That is true. You can still be a good person and not obey commandments. You can be a phenomenal and outstanding person and not obey commandments.
Here is the thing to ponder though, "WHY do we have that particular commandment or counsel that you don't want to follow?"
Obviously if it is something that has been revealed by a prophet of God, then there is a good reason we are asked to follow it.
The awesome part is, YOU GET TO FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF WHAT THAT GOOD REASON IS! :) You don't have to blindly follow counsel given by a prophet or other church leader. If you want to know why, then ask! Then- and this is so important- you have to listen.
God will answer your sincere prayer, but you have to listen and be ready and humble enough to accept His answer.
I leave you with my testimony.
I know that God has given us prophets throughout history to help us, to lead us, and to guide us.
I know that Thomas S. Monson is God's prophet on the earth today.
I know these things because I have asked and I have listened.
I am loving my second chance at life.
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