New year! New You!!

New Year’s. Its a time for change. Or at least promising ourselves that we will make a change. I mean, let’s be honest. We’ve all been there. We make #allofthegoals. We make #alloftheplans to accomplish said goals. And then February 1st rolls around. We’re tired of hearing #allofourgoals and #allofourplans mock us, so we hide them away till next year. When we don’t remember just how badly that first (or second, or third, or fourth … ) attempt actually went. After all of that Christmas magic has set in and we’re feeling a little more optimistic.

There’s a reason New Year’s and all of those resolutions come after Christmas.

It’s the Savior. His atonement. We’ve just spent a month or more thinking about Him. And all of the things He did. And all of the things He made possible. How could we not feel a little more empowered?

He’s what enables us to even want to try to change. But more than that, He makes the change itself possible. He descended below all things, and then rose above.

So this year, when you make your resolutions, remember that. Remember Him.

Maybe you can’t do it on your own. But who said you have to?

Mary

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about Mary and the role that she plays in the story of Christ’s life.

I think about her "go and do" attitude as the Angel Gabriel appeared to her and informed her that she would be the mother of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I think about the fear she must have had, knowing that she could be killed if she were found to be unwed and with child. And despite very real danger, she trusted in the Lord and said, "be it unto me according to thy word" (Luke 1:38).

And then after raising that child to adulthood, she watched him die. Knowing that he too must perform the work He’d accepted before this world was.

I think about the challenges that I face in my life and how small they seem by comparison.

How can I ever complain or think my lot is hard?

The Lord never forsakes us. He never leaves us.

He always provides a way.

Life’s journey is not an easy one. We each have our own individual challenges. We each have trials that bring us to our knees begging for relief. But when we trust in the Lord completely–turn our will over to Him–and then go and do what He has required of us, we can recieve that peace. Not a peace of the world, but a much higher, deeper, all-encompassing peace.

The Lord Answers Prayers

Whether we really need those answers. And whether or not we deserve them. He responds. He doesn’t leave us alone to wonder. And struggle. And anguish. He comes to our rescue.

I’ve had that a few times this week.

And in varying degrees.

But here’s one of the ones that really stuck out to me:

Monday night.

Family night.

We had an appointment. That we didn’t adequately prepare for. We needed a member to go to this appointment with us. Because if we didn’t get a member, then we weren’t going in. And it was particularly cold on this evening. So we NEEDED to go in.

If for nothing more than the fact that it would be extremely rude to make someone stand out on the porch to receive a lesson that we had set up a week ago.

So we did what all missionaries, running low on luck do, we prayed.

And the Lord made it all work out.

He found someone to go to our appointment with us.

And then when that appointment fell through.

He provided someone else for us to meet.

It totally amazes me how the Lord works. How he can–by closing windows–open doors for us that we never realized were there.

It is my hope that we can all have eyes to see those unexpected doors. That we can look for unplanned opportunities to serve and share. Especially now, during the Christmas season when so many more hearts are opened to the Savior.

“For too long I’ve been parched of thirst and unable to quench it. Too long I’ve been starving to death and haven’t died.”

I don’t suppose Captain Barbossa meant to make a profound statement on the life of a college student . . . but, there it is.

The life of a college student.

In black and white.

This morning as I crunched through the dreary snow to my 8 AM class, running a little too late to eat breakfast, and a little too late to arrive on time, this is what I thought:
“For . . . too long I’ve been starving to death and haven’t died”.  

And then it hit me.  

I have been starving for years.

Not in a Ghandi sort of way.

And not in a I-can’t-get-proper-water-because-I-live-in-a-third-world-country sort of way.

But in a I’m-a-college-student-so-I-probably-definitely-eat-trash-all-the-time sort of way.

And that’s when I decided that I want for Christmas:

Food.  Real, not crap, food.