Elysha's World

Elysha's World

Monday, April 24, 2017

Oh My Soul - Oh How You Worry

One day last week I was feeling a little down. It seemed like everyone around me had huge insurmountable problems, and I couldn’t help them. I wanted to help lift their burdens, and I thought lending a listening ear would help, but instead it got me thinking of all the things I couldn’t do. Usually I try to see the flip side of things, but I couldn’t really see anything positive coming out of these circumstances. 

I decided to go for a walk and stopped in at a store. At the very end of the store I found this mug. I’m usually not a mug person, but this one stood out to me. It was only 75 cents, and I thought it was a great reminder. I didn’t intend to drink out of it. I just wanted to put it in a place that I could see every morning when I woke up. 

I really love it! It’s the first thing I see in the morning. I get my phone and while I try to warm up in my blankets and decide if I really want to get out of bed I read this mug. I looked at the bottom of the mug to see who designed it, and realized that I have a room full of cute sayings designed by the same person. I talk about them in this post. It’s a Sign!

I used to be a very calculated and in control person. I’ve been trying to find a balance between that and being more trusting and spontaneous. I’ve learned that if you try to change, the Lord gives you ample opportunities! The last two weekends have been the beginning of said opportunities. 

Two weeks ago my friend randomly texted me on a Thursday night and asked me if I wanted to go on a 20 hour road trip to another state to see a pageant. The old me would have said, “No way! That’s way too long in a car with people I don’t know. What if they are not responsible or dangerous drivers? What if I get car sick?” The 'What If' game would have continued and I would have talked myself out of it. 

This time however I thought about everything that had been going on in my life. My mother reminded me of how I wanted to go on a vacation and this was a great opportunity. So I decided on a whim the night before to go! This would also be my first real friend road trip. 

There were a few moments before we left where I almost changed my mind and turned around, but I felt like this was meant to be, and later on I found out that was true. It took us 10 hours to get to our destination. 

The next morning we decided to head to the temple. On the way there everyone was singing and I looked out the window and saw that the gas flap on the car was open. The girl in the back said, “Oh no! I forgot to put the gas cap back on when we filled up at the gas station. It’s hopefully on the ground back at the gas station.” Luckily we hadn’t driven too far, so we got off the freeway and turned around and headed back. Usually I would be really upset at something like that, but for some reason I was really calm and felt okay about it. I prayed on the way back that we would find the gas cap cover. We drove back and the gas cap was left on the pump. We put it back on and headed back toward our destination. I was so grateful that we found it!

As we drove I told everyone in the car that this probably happened for a reason. I came up with some crazy reason as to why it happened, but really figured it was just meant to be. 

We got to the temple and found out that they don’t rent clothing. We got moved around while they tried to figure out if they had extra clothes for us to use. I was just fine waiting. I had no reason to be in any hurry. I kept looking around for someone I might know. I felt like everything had happened for a reason, and maybe that was why. After we were waiting inside for a while, I figured maybe it was all in my head. 

We went to the changing room and they brought us out some white temple clothing. While we were standing there this girl came up to me and said, “Elysha?” I turned around and it was this girl that I was in the same ward with 3 years ago! I was so excited! I gave her like 3 hugs. We caught up. I found out that she’d recently moved there about a month ago and didn’t know anyone there.

 It was such a tender mercy! I was so happy to see her. I definitely saw the hand of God in my life. After a while I turned to the girls I’d gone with and said, “I think I know why someone forgot to put the gas cap on the car. I think it was for me. I think we had to turn back and we had to wait to get clothing so that I would be in the same place at the exact same time as my friend!” 

A few days later, 2 days after I got home, I was getting ready for work one morning. I needed to pay my friend for gas for the trip and it was $30. I thought to myself, “I guess I’ll have to go to Walmart after work so I can get some cash out. I only have $20 now, because I paid cash for our dinner while on the trip.” I went to work and someone from the front desk called me and said, “Are you full time? If you are full time you don’t have to pay a deposit on your key. I just noticed this yesterday. Come get your $10.” I was surprised. I paid the deposit on my key almost 3 years ago, and now on a ‘random’ day they call me and give me the exact amount of money I needed. I hadn’t even said a prayer, and $10 isn’t a lot of money, but I appreciated the Lord once again showing me His hand in my life. 

It’s amazing how once you start looking, you’ll see how blessed you truly are! I’m going to add a link to one of my favorite songs right now. Change is hard, but if it’s change for the good, I know the Lord will walk with you and help you make that change. 

I’ve probably shared this song before. It’s called “Oh My Soul.”


Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Lost Get Found

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am an avid journal writer. I tend to write once a week and account for all of the days in that week.  I have gone back multiple times to find names or dates associated with certain events. For Christmas I decided I wanted to give something memorable to some of my closest friends. I went back in my journal for the past 3 years and pulled out all of the happy memories we shared and pasted them into a word document. I know that a lot of my friends don’t write in their journals, and so this would give them a small journal with our experiences.

As I went back through the past 3 years I found myself laughing out loud. I found myself cringing at certain situations, and realizing I could have handled some things better. I also relived a few bad dates I wish I could forget.  I was able to reminisce and find all the reasons I had made these friends in the first place. I realized that this is not something that everyone is able to do, but it was something that I felt like I should do. I think I started this project around November.

As I was doing this I remembered that I’d met one particular friend 5-6 years ago. I wondered if I had the original journal entry from when we met. I looked everywhere, but couldn’t find any documentation of it. I thought that maybe I was still hand writing in my journal back then, and that when I went home and pulled out all of my old journals I’d find it one day.

I finished my project and Christmas rolled around. I sent my 9-12 page documents to my friends I made some new personal goals with a friend and forgot that I’d ever written them. 4-5 months passed and a lot of unexpected things happened that I like to call LIFE. I had a lot of confusion and conflicting thoughts and just told myself to hold on with both hands and try to enjoy the ride. However I wasn’t enjoying the ride. I made some new friends and tried to navigate things the best way I knew how, and was grateful for my navigational system. However I felt like a lot of the time I would follow the directions and find myself at a dead end over and over again.

I was doing everything right, so why did it seem like everything was turning out wrong? I thought about throwing out my navigational system and doing something drastic to take control of my life. In the end I figured what I’d always done had eventually led me to where I needed to be, so I needed to have a little more trust and faith and continue on. 

I kept saying prayers in a “whenever you want to let me in on this secret plan for my life, let me know” attitude. My prayers kept being answered in a very deliberate yet out of the ordinary ways that kept catching me off guard. It’s one of the many things that has helped me know that God is very real and aware of me.

I started looking at the time line of events that had transpired. I realized that they had to happen in that way and in that specific order for everything to line up the way it had. 

Elder L. Edward Brown  has said, “There is something about journal writing that causes us to meditate, to recommit, and to receive spiritual impressions in the process of such pondering. Frequently, you will have cause to rejoice at how the Lord has been sensitively involved in guiding and watching over you and those you love and care about”  

As I was pondering certain events in my life, I realized that I was feeling similar to the way I felt about 6 years ago right before I left on my mission. I thought about how if I could only find those journal entries, I could look back and see how I’d dealt with similar issues before.  

I kept trying to figure out where I would have kept it. After doing all that I could do inspiration hit! I realized it probably was with my 2010-2011 journal entries. My only copy of that journal was on a jump-drive that I’d been carrying around with me the past 6 years.

I found the jump-drive and put it into my computer. I opened the document I thought it would be in, but that one ended in June of 2011. I was very disheartened. That didn’t account for the exact time I was trying to find. I closed out of it and found a document labeled differently from the others. I clicked on it and it was the exact time frame I was looking for!

I eagerly started reading through remembering exactly how I was feeling around that time. What a blessing! I could not deny God’s hand in my life. This was probably something small and insignificant to Him, but He helped me find it. In essence He led me to it.

Virginia H. Pearce said, “Remember how He has worked in your life. Write in your journal about the times when you have felt His love for you. Write about the times when He has intervened in subtle or obvious ways, to make everything work out okay for you. And when you feel abandoned and desperate, those memories will renew your faith and keep you trusting until you understand better.”

As I started reading, I realized that I’d never read this before. I’d written it and forgot about it. The circumstances worrying me in 2011 were very similar to my worries in 2017. It seemed like every other entry was full of wisdom and spiritual promptings that I’d received at the time. I read about some advice a stake president had given me and other advice I’d received in a blessing. It was like I was receiving that advice all over again and I was really happy that I’d written it down.

It meant a lot then, but it meant even more now that I knew how that story ended. It was great remembering how I felt and the faith I was trying to have in order to move forward. All of those promptings to my very real fears propelled me into an amazing adventure that I wouldn’t trade for the world. I saw the Lord’s hand in my life and while it reassured me then, it is still doing so now. 

Elder Richard G. Scott said, ““Inspiration carefully recorded shows God that His communications are sacred to us. Recording will also enhance our ability to recall revelation. Such recording of direction of the Spirit should be protected from loss or intrusion by others.”

 I wrote a blog post a few years ago with a few other thoughts on keeping a journal called  No One Else Can Write Your Story. 

I also love this song by Francesca Battistelli called "Write Your Story." Enjoy!