Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Tender Mercies

Today I'm grateful for tender mercies of the Lord.  Just to clarify what tender mercies of the Lord are, here is a quote from Elder Bednar:

 "Tender mercies are... the very personal and individualized blessings, strength, protection, assurances, guidance, loving-kindnesses, consolation, support, and spiritual gifts which we receive from and because of and through the Lord Jesus Christ... The tender mercies of the Lord are real and do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence.  Often, the Lord's timing of His tender mercies helps us to both discern and acknowledge them."

I searched the scriptures for the phrase "tender mercies" and found it is there over 50 times.  I think that would be a good topic to study.

Anyway, I have found that many of my blessings or things that I have written about are tender mercies that come just when I need them.  A couple of weeks ago I spent many hours doing relief society work- making visiting teaching changes, visiting people, helping people out, going door to door for friends of scouts (not a RS thing, but ended up having to do it).  One of these busy days I helped a lady out with her kids and missed Sara's tennis game.  The lady was in a real bind and had lots of problems so I knew I needed to help her out.  I went to pick Sara up late and there she was in the empty parking lot with the mom of a girl and the tennis coach waiting for me.  I felt so bad, just so sad that I had put others before my own daughter who I love far more than any sister in the ward.  She went on to tell me how good she had done in her games that day... and I was so sorry that I didn't get to be there for her and even worse that I couldn't even pick her up on time. 

That evening I had to do the friends of scouts thing, and earlier that day I had a few complaints from people about visiting teaching. It was just a hard day for me.  A day where I thought, "What am I doing?"  "Why am I doing this?" "I'm not making a difference in anyone's life, and I'm just hurting the lives that I love the most."

Now, really I spend a lot of time with my kids and family.  They have just had to sacrifice a little with me in this calling.  They are fine and often they get opportunities to serve with me.  I just felt a load and sadness that particular day.

Well, that night I got some tender mercies.  My new counselor went with me to go door to door asking for friends of scouts donations with me, which she didn't have to do.  When we were finished around 8:30 that night, she said she wanted to thank me for giving her this calling (even though it was God that gave her the calling) and how it has initiated a great change for good in her life.  She's such a kind giving person.  Then I went into the house and there was a plate of cookies from another sister in the ward, and a vase of flowers from another sister in the ward.  It was as if the God was saying to me, "I'm aware of you, love you, and accept your effort."  Oh, I cried and was just so grateful for the sweet women in my life and that God is watching over me.

I believe tender mercies come into our lives as we act on our faith.  We may not recognize our blessings as being from the Lord, but I think they most often are.  I'm grateful for my calling that stretches me so much, so much that I think I get extra tender mercies.  And, I'm grateful for my wonderful family who supports me.  I sure love them.

Tender Mercies

Friday, February 3, 2017

Will Will

Today I'm grateful for Will Will.  A couple of weeks ago I had one of those days where I felt underappreciated.  You know, people not showing up for appointments that I had set up, appointments that I had really prepared for and put myself out to go to... you know, grrr.   So, that day I said (quietly) to my ward, "Y'all go eat rocks!  I'm going to go spend my time with someone who loves me and with someone who I can actually make a difference with."  So I put all my RS stuff aside that I was planning for the day and spent it with Will. We played with puzzles, read books, did lincoln logs... so nice.  Will is my happy, friendly and funny buddy.   He goes on visits with me, hangs out with me, talks about fish and minecraft, and loves me no matter what (he doesn't always like me though, hehe).  I'm so glad I have such a pleasant kid to keep me company.  It will be sad to have him in school next year.

Here's a cute story about Will.  We had a family night about President Uchdorf's talk about the umbrella.  Basically it's about how God is always showering blessings upon us and we are the ones who put up our umbrella to block the blessings.  I made little rain drops that had blessing written on them and we had situations where we had to decide if the situation was putting up our umbrella or letting it down.  We took turns with the umbrella and with showering blessings on each other's heads.  Will and Mac thought this was great.  Mac understood the lesson, Will didn't really.  So one day Will and I were visiting an elderly sister in our ward.  As we got up to leave we noticed it was starting to rain.  Will yelled, "Blessings!  It's raining blessings!" And we walked out into the falling blessings.  Another day when it was raining he said it again, "Blessings!  Can I go out and get blessings?"  So he did.  He's my little blessing.  I love Will Will.  He's so nice to have around, especially when I get down.

I posted a video clip from Uchdorf's talk

Shower of Heavenly Blessings

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Blessings of 2016

So, should I just write in this once a year?  I'm such a slacker.  But... since the year is over, I should document some ways I've seen the hand of the Lord in my life this past year.

January 2016- Went to the temple for the first time for my own family- already documented.  This was also the month that I found Baldwin Morris and Eleanor Richardson Morris's parents' names.  I say I found them, but it really wasn't me.  Heidi went to Nauvoo, brought back family records, and they were on the Nauvoo baptism temple records.  I'm fairly certain I've found a bunch of the Richardson family, but have no direct proof- yet.  It has been pretty exciting, because I can only imagine how many descendants have searched for these people.  I'm sure I will find more info about them with time.

February 2016- Went to roots tech- our favorite class was taught by Wendy Nelson and Sheri Dew- super great women.  Andy and Sara went too and learned how to find cousins on family search. When we came home Andrew wanted to try and find names.  I was a little nervous and explained that sometimes it isn't as quick and easy as the guy teaching the class made it seem.  I didn't want him to try a little and give up, which is what he tends to do.  We found a family within 1/2 hr... a family with more info about their lives than you usually get.  I was surprised and Andrew said, "I'm not surprised, Wendy Nelson said if they are ready they will be easy to find."  There you go, they were ready and we've had fun doing the work for them.

March 2016- I don't remember.  This is the problem of only writing once a year.

April 2016- We went to St. George for spring break.  My parents are always a blessing to me.  We are so happy to have them home.

May 2016- once again- who knows?

June- August 2016- being with the family for summer.  We went to Bear Lake with the Burnahs and the Porters, missed grandma Bobby and grandpa Art, went to the cabin, went to Yellowstone with my parents and Heidi- beautiful and amazing place!  And the biggest challenge and blessing for me this year was that I got called to be RS president.

 I will have to write more posts about that one.  You think of a RS president as someone who has it all together, no fear, always knows what to say, confident, the appearance of perfection... but that's not me.  This has been the most humbling calling I've had since my mission.  But, it has caused me to rely on the Lord like I never have before in a calling (besides the mission).  I need His help sooo bad.  I feel like all my weaknesses are out on display.  Really, God must have a sense of humor.  I can only imagine how entertaining it is to see me squirm.  It's like he was thinking, 'Who would be the MOST uncomfortable doing this, but will say yes?  Oh, yeah, Holly Burnah- this will be so funny.'  Its a heavy duty calling which comes with a huge weight on the shoulders.  This is not a calling for the weak, haha, which is my problem.   I've always thought of every calling as equal, of equal importance, and they are, but they are NOT all equal in difficulty and time.  I feel like I'm going through a refiners fire big time.  I deal with lots of people (women, in particular- which can be wonderful or super frustrating) with lots of serious issues.  I have to be in charge, in front of people (I hate attention so bad), feel the judgments of others, and get a lot of assignments and promptings that I don't want to do.  The struggle is real.  I feel like I'm in a constant battle to overcome my weaknesses (especially my fear of man) to do this the way the Lord wants.  Plus, I, on many occasions, lose sleep over worries and ideas.   So, that's the gist of the difficulty of it; I could give many specific examples.  I actually could go on a ranting rampage complaining, but... there are also HUGE blessings to it that  I can't deny and that I'm so grateful for.

Blessings- I study the scriptures and gospel way more and better than I did before, I pray more, and I'm guided more.  I have the opportunity to serve- a lot!  I am becoming less judgmental and realize my blessings more.  God helps me.  So many times I've been stuck not knowing what to do, how to help, without help that I need... and then the help comes; a tender mercy.  "When we are on the Lord's errand, we are entitled to his help" -Thomas S. Monson.  And, holy smokes, its true!  I'm getting to know lots of good people. My councilors are super helpful and wonderful.  Tavish has stepped it up when it comes to the family.  He's always stepped it up, but he's helped take care of the kids even more and fully supported me.  How hard would this be without his support?  The kids have supported me too.  We have had an increase of spirituality in our home, which is a blessing for us all.

Ok, so now on to one more blessing to our family this year- Grandpa and Grandma serving a mission.  As much as we hate to have them gone, we are blessed and so are they.  Their letters are uplifting and entertaining.  What a great example they are to our kids.  They love to hear from them and write them letters.  Missionary families are blessed.  Ya Hoo!

There ya go- from a slacker trying to recognize the had of the Lord in her life