Sunday, February 22, 2009

Fear...and Faith

It's uncanny how a seemingly small and insignificant act as replying to a silly "forward to 10 people" email can turn into a truly introspective event. It was when I was replying to one such as this that the question came up: "What do you most fear?". I've answered this question a number of times, but never very convincingly. What is it that I most fear? I ask myself. I think about what others say, that they fear losing their family. No, I don't fear that, because I know that I do my best to live in such a way that in the end, we will be together forever. And they, too, are making their choices that will lead them either to me or away from me. It wouldn't be very pleasant to be with family who don't want to be with you, so I think it will work out for everyone's happiness in the end.

Others fear not living up to their potential. I used that answer too, but as I thought more clearly about it, I am doing everything I want to do that's in my power to live up to the very best potential that I can already. If I'm not doing all I can, then I certainly can use the energy closing that gap, instead of fearing my lack. If I am doing all I can, I need not fear, for I can do no more than I am doing. If I still fall short, I have nothing to fear, for I simply have set my potential higher than it can be, for potential is by definition what you are capable of being or becoming, and is not something you are incapable of achieving.

Another item people fear is the lack of being loved. I, too, once held this fear. But now I think to myself, do I love myself? If I don't, what do I need to change that will make me love myself? Personally, I'm okay with myself, I know I do the best I can mostly. And when I don't do the best I can, I've chosen not to, and therefore, it serves me right. But it's me. I've accepted that I'm not perfect and for the time being aren't going to be. I accept me for me and try to make myself better a little at a time. So, back to fear of being loved. If I can love and accept myself, imperfect as I am, than others should be able to as well. If they don't love me for who I am, then 'bahala sila'. Whatever. They are entitled to their opinion and if they don't want to love me, I shouldn't sweat it, I should go find someone who does - for there always will be.

As I sit and ponder all these things that I may fear, I realize that I have no fear. Why don't I? Because I have achieved that which is spoken about in the scriptures. If you have faith, you need not fear. I have found that when I do have faith in my Savior, Jesus Christ, and in his gospel, I do the best I can. I am promised that if I do this, and keep trying to be better, when all is said and done that everything will work out for my good. I have seen it happen many times in my life. Half of this achievement comes simply from believing, and things do work out. Some take a lot longer than I would wish and maybe they don't work out quite how I would do it if I was in charge, but I find myself happier. Perhaps happier than I could have made myself if I was in charge?

Heavenly Father knows what's going on. If He has time to pay attention to little details of an insignificant life like mine, He's got even the big stuff covered. All He asks? Do your best, and work on doing better. That's all I can do, and it's enough for Him. In return, we know He's taking care of everything. It'll all work out in the end.

And as a result - we live without fear of anything, because of faith.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

New Take on History

When I grew up, I hated history.  Don't get me wrong, I didn't do too bad in it, but that didn't make me like it any less.  It was a constant race for memorization of dates and facts and it was more work than it was worth for me.  The one thing I didn't miss about being an official student was the required class in history.  My husband scared me how much he loved history, and I figured it was one of the things about him that I would take with the good.

Now, all that has changed.  It all began with learning a differently presented history.  For the first time in my life I learned history the way it happened - chronologically.  No more stamping around important dates and events and swimming to memorize an unbound number for it.  To my utter horror, I was actually getting a feel for it and even enjoying it.  Putting all the extra information around a basic timeline in my head actually made it interesting, no, that's not right, actually riveting for me.  That same "bad thing" about my husband became a blessing, as I could pump him for all the missing information that I couldn't gather about facts and figures.  It is still amazing to me how much he knows and remembers.

Next, as if by divine design, I became interested in furthering my family genealogy.   We have several lines that don't go very far back, and I was determined to discover one thing, anything.  So, in my search for an ancestor's parents I began looking at places, vital records, the works.  But remember, smarter and more experienced people than I had already done what they could, and I found nothing new.  I had to think outside of the box.  How could I find them?  Then new questions arose.  Why did they travel from Scotland to Ceylon at the turn of the 18-19th century?  What brought him there?  As suddenly as I had gained a love of history, did I discover what I could do next.  

I searched the history of the world around that area around that time.  I searched everywhere, thirsting for it, constantly inputting different search values in the search engine just to discover anything that would lead me to my GG Grandfathers parents.

I have learned much about the time period my ancestors lived in.  Even though I haven't discovered what they did, or even who some of them were yet, I have walked in their shoes, and felt feelings that could have been theirs.  I know someday as I read and learn about the world where they were, I will discover a little more and one day unite him with his parents.

All of this and more, through a recently acquired love of history.   Through history, we see that these gloomy days that we are in have been before and will come to an end.  Through history, I know not to make some mistakes that my forefathers might have to live happier lives.  Through history, I realize not to take for granted the wonderful country we live in, that we have to fight to keep it that way or all is lost.  Through history, I discover who I really am.  My past paints me, and it's what I do with my history and my present that will shape the future.


If anyone happen to stumble onto this (even if it be many, many years in the future, I am still young) and has any further information about a Captain James Thomas Anderson,(where he was and what he did, his parents or relatives, before the year 1803) originally from Scotland born c. 1779-1781 and married to a Toussaint in Ceylon in 1803, please comment.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Chapter 1 Part 1: Alon

            All was still.  In fact, everything around them indicated it was the perfect day.  The old oak that was sheltering them was just beginning to turn, its leaves only showing a hint of the deep crimson shade that they would become in the ensuing weeks.  Now and then a jittery squirrel would come bounding up its branches with a clutch full of acorns.  The flowers and grasses barely flitted, so gentle and infrequent was the breeze that caressed them.  The sun was approaching the end of  its journey for the day and and very slowly stretched and waned as if it, too, felt the calm, peacefulness of the day. 

            “Did you even hear anything I said, Alon?” Gilia asked in obvious disdain.  Alon was caught completely off guard, for, in truth, he hadn't heard much of what she said.  Still, he dare not reply, because if he tried to lie to her, she was almost sure to know and was bound to become even more cross.    If he was to tell her the truth, however, it was just as nearly as bad, for he would have to face her rolling eyes and the lecture that had become so common in their conversations lately.  He still remembered when they first met many years ago.    They were barely children, but there was something even then, that brought them together as friends.