Sunday, July 10, 2011

my talk and a few bedroom decor fix ups

So, I havent blogged in a week. I cant find my camera charger anywhere. I have looked, and looked, and LOOKED. :( Bummer! So these pictures are taken from my webcam on the computer. Thought I better get on this and update everyone! Sorry it's been so long. I think I will be ordering a charger from Amazon this week, so never fear, I have a MILLION things to blog about once I get my camera charged back up. 

So, real quick, this is for my mom. Haha. I borrowed this shirt from her a few weeks ago because I spilled orange juice all over my white shirt while at a family party. I keep forgetting to return it to her. And, I love how comfy it is. Haha. Shes going to die when she reads this, because it's her favorite shirt! But, never fear, I will be returning it TOMORROW. I had to post this to remind me to return it. :) Maybe I need to buy one for myself?? Also, my hair. It's growing a ton, but I hate it. It's so unhealthy, yet again. I havent even had the slightest trim since march. I think I need a tinsy trim. I wish my hair was healthy! What color should I do next time???

Today Kev and I gave a talk in church on prayer. I remembered a quote someone told me once, 'prayer changes things' and I like it. We are not the best prayer sayers, because we frequently forget. So, I made this sign to go above the bed to remind us to pray nightly! 

I also made this pillow today! So proud of myself. I used an old pillow we had, and made a cover out of an old sweater I had. I love the way it turned out. Super cute. What do you think?

So, as for my talk today, It went really well. really quickly, kev also got a new calling today. Hes the assistant ward clerk. Who knows where he will find the time to fulfill his calling, but he willingly accepted it! I got lots of compliments on my talk and was very touched by the response from others. So many people came and told me they loved how real it was and they felt the spirit. My job is done, ladies and gentlemen! haha, now, no more talks for 2 years ok! 

So, here is my talk, enjoy: 

I have a little brother who has severe handicaps. He has spinabifida. Although he has gone through many trials including over 35 major life changing surgeries and cannot do things most kids can do, he is the happiest person I know. He probably has a stronger testimony than I do. He always re-assures us that he was meant to come here and that Heavenly Father has a plan for him. His faith is so great.

When I was getting ready to take my state boards for beauty school (a 4 hour practical test where a proctor watches your every move and tests your ability to do hair and aesthetics) I was really nervous. I have always struggled with test taking. No matter how much I study, nerves always get in the way. I was really stressed because the test cost a LOT of money and I knew if I didn’t pass, I Would have to wait 30 days to take the test again, and then pay the money again. I couldn’t get my license until I passed this test. While preparing for this test, my little brother Ammon was in the hospital preparing to get his trach out. We were really nervous that if we took it out, he would not survive. But, he made the decision to get it out because the quality of life with a trach is not very high. You can’t be around many people and you can’t go outside much either because of all the dust and wind- those things can get inside your trach and make it clogged and take away your ability to breath. Ammon had decided that he was going to stop having this battle and that he would put his trust in God and go through this new surgery.  Basically, the surgeon Dr. Smith took  a piece of cartilage from Ammon's rib and then made a ring from it. They then split the trachea opening where the scar tissue was and then inserted the ring in that split.

All while he was preparing for that, I was worried about my test, and him. I was an emotional mess. I had my test the same day of his surgery. I called him before the surgery to wish him good luck and let him know how much I loved him. I told him how scared I was for my test and I hoped I could pass. He then said “Gillian, How about this. I will promise to say a prayer for you to pass your test, if you promise to say a prayer that when my trach comes out I can breath. We can get eachother through it if we pray for eachother and have faith!”. I promised him while holding back tears. He had SO much faith and knew that we would be ok if we said a prayer. I called him after the test, and was able to tell him that I passed! He said “It’s all because of my prayer! And I can breath because of yours!” I was so touched by his amazing amount of faith and belief in prayer.

 I believe Prayer and faith come hand in hand. Your blessings and answers to prayers often rely on the amount of faith you have in knowing your Heavenly Father will deliver.

 

In the talk Ask In Faith by David A. Bednar, he says, “The classic example of asking in faith is Joseph Smith and the First Vision. As young Joseph was seeking to know the truth about religion, he read the following verses in the first chapter of James:
“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
“But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering” (James 1:5–6).
Please notice the requirement to ask in faith, which I understand to mean the necessity to not only express but to do, the dual obligation to both plead and to perform, the requirement to communicate and to act. “
You cannot ask for something in prayer and expect not to work hard for it in return. You must act upon and show our Heavenly Father that you sincerely are doing all you can to gain the blessings you have been seeking for.

“I long have been impressed with the truth that meaningful prayer requires both holy communication and consecrated work. Blessings require some effort on our part before we can obtain them, and prayer, as “a form of work, … is an appointed means for obtaining the highest of all blessings” (Bible Dictionary, “Prayer,” 753). We press forward and persevere in the consecrated work of prayer, after we say “amen,” by acting upon the things we have expressed to Heavenly Father.
Asking in faith requires honesty, effort, commitment, and persistence. Let me provide an illustration of what I mean and extend to you an invitation.
We properly pray for the safety and success of the full-time missionaries throughout the world. And a common element in many of our prayers is a request that the missionaries will be led to individuals and families who are prepared to receive the message of the Restoration. But ultimately it is my responsibility and your responsibility to find people for the missionaries to teach. Missionaries are full-time teachers; you and I are full-time finders. And you and I as lifelong missionaries should not be praying for the full-time missionaries to do our work!
Another major part of prayer is knowing that we will not always get the answer we want, or be answered as quickly as we needed, or be relieved of a trial we have not yet fully gone through according to our Heavenly Father. Elder Bednar goes on to say- “Discerning and accepting the will of God in our lives are fundamental elements of asking in faith in meaningful prayer. However, simply saying the words “Thy will be done” is not enough. Each of us needs God’s help in surrendering our will to Him.”
Thy will be done is a hard statement to swallow. That is a statement that includes having full faith in our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ knowing that they know all and each trial was meant for us to learn and grow from. I have really struggled with this statement through out my life. I have had depression for about 4 ½ hears now. I always had a testimony growing up and knew that my Heavenly Father loved me, but I did ask, Why me? I never understood the full meaning of “thy will be done” until a little over a month ago. Let me share some very personal experiences I have had regarding how I came to know the meaning of it. (by the way, if you don’t know me already, I am a pretty open person, and share lots of personal things. It’s just my nature. These next experiences though are very sacred to me- and I hope to help others through sharing them.
In September 2010, I wrote this entry on my blog:
 It's been a major  trial for me. I seem to do this thing- when I hear about others sad stories or trials they are going through, I start to feel bad for them too, and it becomes my own burden. It's not a good thing to do, but sometimes, I think, holy cow. The Savior took EVERYONES trials and made them his burdens, and suffered for them. How can I not just suffer for anyone but my own? I can hardly stand my own.

Even though I am grateful that I know I am not alone and I can turn to the Lord for help, it's hard. I can't always just put on a face or make myself be happy.

So today, is a hard day. I'm taking it step by step. The Lord must be teaching me a very valuable lesson right now, but this is definitely a trial I don't like or understand.

Sometimes when I get down I just get these horrible thoughts of myself. I know it's all Satan telling me I am not of self worth. But sometimes, I wish Satan would just leave me alone. I think the reason I am so open with me suffering from thoughts like these, is because I think more people than you would think go through these same thoughts and just don't quite realize what it is. I think that being open about it helps me to not be embarrassed by it. I don't feel like I am hiding a secret or anything. I feel like I can be a strength to others who have it too. I just have to figure out how.
In March 2011, I wrote this:
 I know I will never be 'fixed' or 'normal'. but what's normal anyway? a couple weeks ago i kinda went through this stage of feeling very angry and just upset with everyone and everything. i felt like i was doing everything heavenly father wanted me to do- going to church, doing my calling, prayers, i went to the doc to get some medicine and help, and i told people about it {family, friends looking for support and help. there is no way i could get through this on my own.. but, through doing all that, i wasn't seeing results. i still felt down and honestly, felt like God wasn't listening. i admit i got a little upset with the situation and told kevin that i didn't even know if i had a testimony anymore. while talking, he asked "well, do you believe there is a God?" i answered yes, and so he said "well that in itself is a testimony. He is real." and from there he told me to start and base my testimony on what i know is true. in talking through it i did feel as though i did still have a testimony- knowing that there is life after death, God is real, families are forever, and the living prophets are prophets of God. i think it was just more of a testimony shaker than anything..
I have to admit, while going through this hard time, I was not praying regularly. I was too mad to pray. I didn’t want to believe it was MY trial to learn and grow from. I was watching “Come what May and Love it” video on Mormon messages when it hit me- am I just going through the motions? I’m saying the memorized prayer. I am not sincerely asking for help. I am not reading talks on getting the most out of prayer or ways I can improve mine to gain a closer relationship with my Heavenly Father. That night, I knelt down to say my first  non-memorized prayer in months- and I felt the spirit stronger than I had felt it in a very long time. Instead of asking my heavenly father to take away my trial, the words came out of my mouth “heavenly father, I understand if this was going to be my hard life long trial- and I understand you wouldn’t give me a trial I couldn’t handle. And  if thou could please help me be faithful enough and strong enough to withstand it then I will come what may and love it. I will accept it, and know that it was meant to be. I will push through the trial, rather than crawl through.” I remember feeling like “I can do this!” right after my prayer was over.
I can tell you from personal experience, that when we are diligently praying and taking the time to say sincere prayers, the Lord does hears you! He knows your needs and your wants. He knows your heart- mostly, and knows what’s best for you. Ultimately, it is the will of the Father that will be done, and not only do you need to say that out loud in your prayers, but you must accept it, and believe it full heartedly.
Elder Bednar says-  “Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other” (Bible Dictionary, “Prayer,” 752–53). Humble, earnest, and persistent prayer enables us to recognize and align ourselves with the will of our Heavenly Father. And in this the Savior provided the perfect example as He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, “saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. … And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly” (Luke 22:42, 44).

The last thing I would like to touch on, is gratitude in your prayers. There are so many things to be grateful for. Some of which could be A running car, not breaking your toe when you stubbed it, having food on the table, having a job even if you hate it, and having the Gospel. I think it’s truly important to share the things you are grateful for even if they are small. Show gratitude to our Heavenly Father for things such as someone sitting next to you in church, someone giving you a hug, someone calling you in the middle of the week when you really needed it. Those are the things we need to be giving thanks for- as well as the primary answers we always give (church, food, family, the scriptures). I honestly feel like the more grateful we are, the more we can be blessed. Most importantly, be grateful for a loving savior and Heavenly Father that can communicate with us through prayer. Prayer is truly important and should be one of our top priorities in our life.  In closing, I want to share with you a song called “Grateful” by Brian Stokes Mitchell. Carefully think about the words as I speak them to you and remember to thank Heavenly Father for those blessings you have received.
I've got a roof over my head
I've got a warm place to sleep
Some nights I lie awake counting gifts
Instead of counting sheep

I've got a heart that can hold love
I've got a mind that can think
There may be times when I lose the light
And let my spirits sink
But I can't stay depressed
When I remember how I'm blessed

Grateful, grateful
Truly grateful I am
Grateful, grateful
Truly blessed And duly grateful

In a city of strangers
I got a family of friends
No matter what rocks and brambles fill the way
I know that they will stay until the end

I feel a hand holding my hand
It's not a hand you can see
But on the road to the promised land
This hand will shepherd me
Through delight and despair
Holding tight and always there

Grateful, grateful
Truly grateful I am
Grateful, grateful
Truly blessed And duly grateful

It's not that I don't want a lot
Or hope for more, or dream of more
But giving thanks for what I've got
Makes me happier than keeping score

In a world that can bring pain
I will still take each chance
For I believe that whatever the terrain
Our feet can learn to dance
Whatever stone life may sling
We can moan or we can sing

Grateful, grateful
Truly grateful I am
Grateful, grateful
Truly blessed And duly grateful
Truly blessed And duly grateful
(then I bore my testimony, and ended it. It was about 15-20 minutes long.)

8 comments:

James M said...

I am sure you reached out and touched a lot of people. I can tell you have a strong testimony and are learning the importance things that matter most in life.

James M said...

By the way this is Kira. I just realized I am on My Husband James account!

Tana said...

Really enjoyed your talk. Also the pillow is cute and I recognize that sweater because I am pretty sure it is the one in your engagements:)

Ammon said...

thankd gillian i love you with all my heart stay happy bye

The Thomas Family said...

Great talk Gillian. I'm sure you touched many people because your words touched me.

Alexis Kaye said...

you did wonderful! I love the first story you shared. And I love that you spilled OJ on your shirt. that's something I would do. times ten.

Mike and Adrianne said...

Great talk sista! Hope your week is great.

ashley.warner said...

thanks for your sweet talk.
just what i needed to hear right now.
you're post was an answer to my PRAYER.
don't you love it?!

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