Monday, August 25, 2014

why you should write stuff down

why you should write stuff down keeping a journal family history biography memoirs

i get it
some of us made it through college vowing to never write another thing
some of us wonder what is so special about our life and thoughts that we should record any of it
some of us feel like we just don’t know where to start

but i’m here to tell you that writing down the experiences you traverse will be one of the most cherished possessions of your life
truly all of us have gone through something in our life that was hard, that was stretching, that was building
and it should be documented 
if for no one else, but for your future self
because as we all know hard stuff doesn’t just come around once in our lifetime
the likelihood of us battling difficult events in our future life is certain
and there is nothing quite like rereading your own words telling you
that thing was hard
that thing tore you up
but you made it through
and here’s how you did it

you will now know that you can get through this new thing too

i declare to you that any effort you make to throw your words down on “paper” will be of tremendous value to you
time after time i have revisited my own words 
words which seem so wise and couldn’t have possibly come from me
but they did

writing is a form of clarity
a clearing away of the fog of the heavy circumstance and channeling a crisp communication that lends to perspective
whether you believe in God or not
writing is a tool that is given to us to still our busy lives and allow us to listen
listen to yourself 
and listen to God’s Spirit

i am so grateful tonight to have come across a blog post i wrote back in march 26, 2012
for the days i just can’t get out of bed
this post included part of a speech i gave to a large body of women in my church
these words were the clarity and comfort i needed today

"I am grateful to a loving and merciful Heavenly Father who provided me with an opportunity to speak so that I could be still, and sit and reflect on the lessons that He was asking me to learn when I just didn’t think I could be stretched any more.  Who’s gift to me of the Holy Ghost brought to my mind in just that instant the words of one of my favorite quotes from the ever eloquent apostle of the Lord, Elder Neal A Maxwell, from his powerful book “The Promise of Discipleship”

Even if and when we seem to have squeezed out the last full measure of our devotion, an omniscient and perfectly empathic God not only knows the difficulties through which we have passed and are passing but also knows if any residue of unused devotion still remains to further the process!

Heavenly Father knows what we are capable of and of our potential for greatness - He knows our heart, He is our creator, He sees our life, He sees it in its complete form.  He knows what we are to become.  And through his wisdom and mercy He will utilize any residue of unused devotion to refine us and raise us to levels of faith and testimony that we didn’t even know we were capable of.

I pray that these thoughts will continue to bring comfort, peace and joy to me
even, and especially, on those mornings I just don’t feel like getting out of bed.

Being stretched is hard and flat out painful.  Naturally, I desire the easy route; whether that be the least work, pain, or thought.
Let us be careful that we do not resent the very things that help us put on the divine nature - whatever form they may come in: whether it is someone, a health issue, an unyielding obstacle, our own weakness, or the absence of something or someone in our life.

Elder Paul Johnson spoke directly to me in his April 2011 General Conference address. 

Sometimes we want to have growth without challenges and to develop strength without any struggle.  But growth cannot come by taking the easy way out.  We clearly understand that an athlete who resists rigorous training will never become a world-class athlete.  We must be careful that we don’t resent the very things that help us put on the divine nature.
Oftentimes my trials and struggles blind me, they are that pebble that I have held up to my eye that prevents me from seeing beyond it.  I have had a beautiful and blessed life and I allow fear to take over in imagining the tolls disease may take on my Daddy and my husband and what our life together may become.  I find myself like Lot’s wife looking behind because she could not imagine that her future could have been better than her past.  If there is anyone who we can look to on this earth for optimism, it is our dear living prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Pres. Thomas S. Monson who proclaimed in his closing testimony in the April 2009 General Conference, 
The future is as bright as your faith
I would encourage each of you to turn to writing as you travel along your journey, especially during times of difficulty. It does not need to be published or for others to see, simply in the act of recording your experiences your eyes will be open and you will gain a grander perspective as you create a moment of quietude that can allow the Spirit to work through you.  I can not count the number of times that I have felt compelled to write about a struggle in my life, only to have the love of my Heavenly Father communicated to my heart through putting the words down on a page.  They have also served as an invaluable source for comfort and strength as I return to reread what I have passed through. "

you will not know today, or tomorrow, or perhaps even a year down the road if what you write today will become just the words you will need
for that is only a portion of the treasure

writing will bring a sense of clarity and gratitude to your life right now that may be exactly what you need
so tonight 
just write some stuff down
and feel the power of your words


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