Sunday, March 1, 2015

The choices you make matter

The lesson I taught the Beehives today was called "Do the choices I make matter?"  In preparation for the lesson, I made a list of choices I've made (I tried to focus on "smaller" choices) that have mattered to me. In that list was writing in my journal, which is kind of ironic given that I don't write in a journal anymore and we all know how fabulous I am at this blog lately :) I love that I kept a journal through my college years. I love reading it. Most of the time I'm surprised to find out that I was very insightful or wrote good poetry or had deep, spiritual thoughts and experiences. The gratitude I feel about choosing to keep a journal has made me want to do better with my blog again. And if not, then with the paper journal again.

A few other choices I thought of:
  • Choosing to try to have children right after we got married. I didn't want to have a baby right away. I wanted it to be just Joe and I for a little bit. But it felt selfish. I already had a master's degree, I'd had some great jobs, I'd traveled a lot. I had no excuses. So we tried right away. And it took us a few years, a lot of tests and procedures, before Mister joined us and more years before H and Zelly. That small choice now seems big--I'm not sure I would have the family I have now had we waited a couple of years to try having children.
  • Choosing to run for student body secretary when I was in high school. I lost. And it was so hard for me. But I learned to find a place and to try to make a difference in other ways. 
  • Choosing to believe in myself--maybe in 9th grade? I can't remember exactly when, but this was a distinct choice I made. I was (am still, in a way) very self-conscious and doubted myself. I was very aware of the things I wasn't good at. My parents gave me "How to win friends and influence people" and another book. I can't remember its title--something like "Go for it"--but it came with a stack of affirmation cards for the reader to read to themselves. I know--totally something from Saturday Night Live. But I read those cards aloud every day and as I did so, I decided to believe that they were true--that I really was a good listener and I really could make friends and I really was a person worth knowing and worth talking to. 
  • Going to BYU. I wanted to go to an Ivy League school, particularly Harvard. But my parents said they wouldn't pay for a bachelor's degree at an Ivy League school, so in the end, I applied only to BYU. The experiences I had at BYU I'm still drawing on. The people I met are still influencing me. That one decision has affected every single aspect of my life today. Interestingly enough, majoring in English was not on my list of choices. That seems strange since I have a Ph.D. in English. But I think I could have been happy with many other majors--maybe even happier. It's the education that has mattered--not the subject.
Well, I need to head to bed since I could write about choices forever and the choice to stay up too late will matter tomorrow. But this whole process of thinking through my choices has humbled me as I've realized how I've been blessed and led and comforted and strengthened throughout the choices I've made. The choices I make matter to me and they matter to my heavenly parents because I matter to them. 

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