I had the amazing opportunity to go to Orlando with 10 fabulous chicas from my ward.
We went to the Orlando Temple right when we got into town and it was beautiful.
Time out for Women was phenomenol.....Amazing speakers and performers, from Hilary Weeks to the "Our Best Bites" girls....to Jericho Road, and Sheri Dew. And a ton others whos names are escaping me but their amazing messages of love, hope, forgiveness, optimism are ringing in my ears and my heart. The thing that hit home the most, was the concept of not being able to give water from an empty well.....that keeping our own wells full is what makes it possible to share with or "serve" others. Sometimes I'm so busy seeing to the needs of everyone around me that I neglect the things that give ME strength...and I start trying to give water that isn't there, resulting in feelings of falling short, and anxiety and guilt that I'm not more. But when I'm doing things to fill my well, I find it is so much easier and fulfilling to give OF it. I learned that service is the RESULT of charity not charity itself....remembering that charity is the relationship with my savior and my father in heaven, through that relationship we are given moments of clarity on how to BE loved and to recognize it by the pure love of christ, and in turn learn HOW to love, because we learned from example, with that same pure love of Christ. It starts on your knees, in a quiet moment, with an open heart, and faith to know, and hands, feet, heart and mouth to act. I was reminded that I'm going to know my children for an eternity as adults........but I have 18 short years to know them as children.....It makes me want to soak in everything. I am reminded to have optimism that trials will work themselves out through time.....that character is refined in the furnace of affliction. That living life greatful for everything I have now is so much more enjoyable and productive than thinking that I'll be happy when THIS happens or when THAT happens. I was reminded to be kind, that everyone is carrying around something that at times feels too heavy. I reminded of the importance of apologizing.....Not "I'm sorry...but,".... a simple and sincere apology can go a long way.....It may not make things comfortable or as they were....but it can make things right. In turn I was reminded of the importance of accepting apologies....and forgiving even if no apology has been issued. That Christ himself forgave those even in his hours of agony in the garden of gethsemene and on the cross. "Forgive them for they know not what they do" ...he gave the gift of the atonement as much to them as he did his apostles...Keeping grudges, betrayals, injustices........bottled up inside of you is not a peaceful way to live. Let it go. I came away with good friends, deeper insight on what makes those friends tick.
I ate a lot, laughed a lot, cried a lot....slept hardly :) lol. And I felt full and happy to go home to my sweet family. Whom I love with every ounce of my heart and soul. I love the gospel, I love my savior , I love my family, I love the precious precious gift of the temple.....And when I'm feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, or alone.....
I will remember a quote from Thomas S. Monson
"Courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says : I'll try again tomorrow"