Sunday, January 24, 2010

Men are that they might have joy....

I believe it is true, that we are here on earth to find joy. Not the fleeting happiness that comes through consumption or greediness, but the joy that comes from serving others. I have found that no matter how difficult my life might look from my perspective, that when I step outside myself, and ask what Christ would be doing if He were in my shoes, I always find a way to create moments of joy.

I will give you my example from today. I had a difficult night last night. Maddy was fussy, I had a nightmare that is one of my scariest, and I was having a hard time seeing beyond the chronic pain that flares up sometimes. I read my scriptures for about half an hour, and then prayed (I have no idea how long the prayer was), asking the Lord to help me find my way to peaceful sleep and to find the Lord's perspective on my life.

I woke up tired, but with the clear thought in my mind that I needed to make cinnamon rolls. As I said my morning prayers the thought was even clearer that instead of making a crock pot dinner, I needed to make cinnamon rolls. It wasn't the first time that the inspiration had come, I had been prompted for at least two days before to make them. So, I got up, and started making cinnamon rolls.

I made a triple batch, which turned out to be 80 cinnamon rolls. We took the last batch out of the oven about 5 minutes before we left for church. They all got loaded up in the back of Michael's car, and became the main dessert for the potluck the ward had after church. It was great to see so many new ward members enjoying the fruits of my baking endeavor, and it was gratifying to have so many compliments on them. I even had a young man, who was clear that he only ate cinnamon rolls from Cinnabon, tell me that he thought the cinnamon rolls were great.

If the blessings of the day had stopped there, it would have been a good day, with a wonderful memory. However, there were other blessings that came too. While I was kneading the dough, I noticed that the pain wasn't as bad as it had been the day before, and that the ache in my muscles from the night before was less. While I was busy getting all of the cinnamon rolls made, and thinking of others, I felt the cloud that can oftentimes linger after a particularly bad nightmare, lift. Sometimes the nightmares don't go away for quite some time, so I am grateful to have its effects lift so quickly.

The last blessing is one that is harder to define, but one that is no less real. As I was holding Maddy in the foyer, we were looking at the pictures of Christ. I thought of how we are commanded to become like Christ, to take his image in my countenance. I knew that as I was serving those in my ward, even if making cinnamon rolls was a small thing to do. I could almost feel the hand of the Savior on my shoulder, letting me know that I was doing what He would have done, if He had been here.

I am a deeply flawed woman, like most people on the earth. Moments when I feel of great worth are the most precious, and joyous that I have in my life. When the Lord says that He will make great things happen through small and simple things, I believe He is talking about moments like mine today. He is talking about times when we simply obey, in the small things that are not complicated to do, and receive great rewards for that obedience. I am grateful for His love, and for His willingness to bring me joy. I loved making cinnamon rolls for Christ, since He had other things to do today.


Kathy Haynie said...

Jesus makes cinnamon rolls - who knew? (I mean that in a completely reverent and respectful way.) Thank you for the good insights AND the cinnamon rolls! (If you had less pain while kneading dough, maybe that counts as an upper-body workout?)

Hillary said...

I TOTALLY believe that when we are down or depressed or not having a good day or sick or WHATEVER it is.... performing service for others is the best and sometimes ONLY way to re-center your life and gain the right prospective again. We're here on the earth to serve God's children (among other things). Thank you for reminding me of that.