3 Small Joys: Birthday Shennanigans

Yesterday I taught a lesson in Relief Society about President Uchtdorf’s talk “Of Regrets and Resolutions” from last October’s conference. I’ll put up the details of my lesson later, but I really wanted the girls (and myself!) to focus on actually taking action based on a lesson, so we spent most of the time brainstorming goals for each of the three sections of the talk. The first area had to do with making time for those we loved, the second on becoming the person Heavenly Father wants us to be, and the third on being happy despite circumstances. Here are some things I did today to meet my goals:

This morning I rolled into a morning prayer. It was really lovely, and that’s a habit I want to keep long after this challenge is over. I think I’ve figured out a sort of routine to accomplish my prayer goals.

MORNING PRAYER:
– Roll out of bed into prayer.
– Pray in English. Present your day to Heavenly Father (use your planner if you have to) and ask for help and guidance in your planning and decisions.
– Don’t get up until you’ve received a reply. Trust that it will come. This may get tricky because mornings are rushed, but have patience and faith that you’ll get something.
– Whatever you’re prompted, don’t get off your knees until you’ve written it down.

If I’m having trouble with this one, I may try something my ward’s mission prep teacher shared with me. It was meant more for determining how to handle investigators who are not progressing, but I think it could be useful. I’ll write up a post on it specifically, but it included not closing the prayer until after you’d already written something.

EVENING ROUTINE:
– Reflect on the day. Take a few minutes to journal the major events of the day. Think about the promptings and tender mercies you’ve received.
– Identify one good thing and one bad thing about the day. See if you can correct the bad thing.
– Pray in Spanish, using the MTC Vocabulary book if necessary.
– Say the prayer in a 5:1 ratio – five statements of gratitude for every blessing asked for. (The fact that I decided to use Spanish here encourages this – I find it much easier to express gratitude than construct requests in Spanish.)
– Stay kneeling. Stay quiet. Wait for an answer. Write it down.

I love praying in Spanish. Although I began doing it as an exercise to develop my language skills, I keep doing it because it forces me to focus on my prayers. When I pray in Spanish, praying isn’t just a hurdle to jump before I fall asleep. I have to deliberately think about what it is I need to say and how to say it.

The other thing I hadn’t anticipated was that praying in Spanish at night helps me love my English prayers in the morning. My morning prayers have always tended to be rushed and generic. But I appreciate so much more the wonderfully privilege I have to communicate simply, easily, and clearly with my Heavenly Father. Prayer is such a wonderful blessing.

3 Simple Joys for March 25th:

  1.  The way my dad was able to order my birthday meal via speaker phone at the Korean restraurant we went to. And that the waiter laughed so much he wrote out a proverb in Korean (and attempted to translate) for me to take home. Plus the sheer deliciousness of the meal. And kimchi existing.
  2. My sister is officially old. She had no idea what the word meme meant. She knew what they were, but not what they were called. But I still love hanging out with her and her husband. Or maybe that makes me love her even more. They are ridiculous. And the sheer number of homestar runner references is astounding.
  3. This.
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