Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ye Shall Always Rejoice

Although I did much better on Friday and Saturday, I still felt unfulfilled in life and mind. I wasn't stuck in the Doldrums, but the wet, rainy late Autumn weather still reminded me somewhat of my wet and rainy life.

On Saturday any conversation I had I felt like I wasn't really saying anything. That my words poured out in a meaningless babble that instead of sinking into my listener's mind in sincerity just floated around the room. Little bubbles of small talk, preformed phrases and stock ideas that eventually congregated on my living room ceiling. A ceiling full of little bubbles that I knew I could lean over the banister and pop, and little tinny words would leak into the cold air, "Oh, yes, well, that's really what I think, for sure." "We're doing fine, my kids are fine, my blog is fine, my work is fine." "Lydia, stop hitting your sister." "Lydia, be nice to your sister." "Lydia, Elisheva needs a lot of space." All my words would come seeping out again, ready to be collected for further conversations. As I lay on the couch Saturday night and faced my balloons of empty thoughts, I knew that there had to be something more than this.

Then our kids went to sleep, and in a fit of being obedient we read the Doctrine and Covenants together as a couple for the first time in a few days and then we both did our personal scripture study - mine for the first time in over a week. As I read Mosiah 4, it forcefully hit me as a personalized prescription for my life, "As ye have come to the knowledge of the glory of God, or if ye have known of his goodness and have tasted of his I would that ye should remember, and always retain in remembrance, the greatness of God...and humble yourselves, even in the depths of humility, calling on the name of the Lord daily, and standing steadfastly in the faith...if you do this ye shall always rejoice, and be filled with the love of God." (taken from Mosiah 4:11-12, italics added).

Right here I had the way that I could not get stuck in the Doldrums of life, not feel as if my thoughts and words float in a meaningless ether. As I read King Benjamin's speech, I became acutely aware of what I had been lacking in this past week; reading my scriptures. Saying truly meaningful prayers. Being repentant and asking for forgiveness on a small, regular basis. When I do all of these things, I don't spend my days waiting for someone, something to pull me out of my self began funk. Not depression, just the blahs. That I can always rejoice in my life. Always rejoice! What a promise.

It never ceases to amaze how many times in my life I have felt out of control, or upset, or lost in what I'm doing, and then something catches me, makes me take notice, and I realize that once again I have not been diligent in my daily oblations, my regular spiritual nourishings. I can't quite pinpoint why spending fifteen minutes reading about people who lived thousands of years ago and silently praying to a deity whom I have never seen (although I know exists) can provide the center, the inner calm and happiness that I need. Truthfully, I can pinpoint the reason - just to Wordly ideas it's too simplistic.

Every day, reconnecting to God through scripture study and prayer centers me in what's most important, in why I am a mother, why I am a latter-day saint, who I am, where I come from, and where I'm going after this life. It helps me to always remember Jesus Christ and to be a witness of Him, and hence to fulfill my baptismal covenants. It blesses me with the Spirit in my mind, so that I have greater (and much needed ) patience with Lydia, so I don't snap at her in frustration. It provides me with the motivation to do nice things for Avram and my girls; to clean and cook to provide a pleasant, calm retreat from the world. And ultimately more than any other "me time" it refreshes my soul. And so such seemingly simplistic actions do pave the way for me to always rejoice.

After I read this? I looked up at the ceiling - and all my empty ideas and thoughts no longer plagued me. I did, and do have something to say, something to rejoice over. And this Sunday has been the best one I've had in a long time. What more can I say? - I love this Gospel, I love being a Latter-day Saint. And mostly I love the Atonement, which allows me to repent and rededicate my life to righteousness - as many times as I need to.


  1. Thank you for this post, Thora. I really needed it today, as I've been wallowing in self-pity the last couple of days, and feeling much more dejected than just the blahs. Downright depression. Hating my life. Wanting to run away, and hating myself more for wanting to. And you've hit my nail on the head as well. I've been letting life starve me of spiritual nourishment.

    Following your example and getting back on the scripture reading path forthwith.

    Thanks again.

  2. It is really amazing. There are days, usually days in a row, when I just have NO patience. I snap at the kids all the time, and we all just do too much shouting. I feel like I can't keep on top of the cleaning and I don't feel my worth. ALWAYS this is when I haven't been reading scriptures and praying daily.

    I've noticed with Ewelina that she has over-emotional days, too. Always when I sense that she's worse off than usual, I ask if she's been reading her scriptures. That is always the source of her problems, as well. I'm so glad she's learning it at such young age. It's so important! Thanks for the beautifully expressed reminder!

  3. Hi Thora! I'm so glad that you are a blogger. I see that you a reader of c jane. I am too. As well as her sister, nie nie :)

    Our blog is this:

    We should have a game night again soon!

  4. I read. I loved. I had too little time to write an insightful or sweet comment and left you this ridiculous cut and paste thingy instead. Mwah!

  5. Awesome post...

    and thanks for the comment. A correction has been made! :)