Being Happy When You Feel Sad or Mad

happy

As we were driving home last Saturday evening from a wonderful Women’s Session of General Conference, my nine year old daughter asked me an important question. She said:

“Mom? How can you be happy when you feel sad or mad?”

When she asked that, I felt a great swelling of love and joy for my daughter. She had actually been paying attention to the speakers. Not only was she paying attention, but she was also pondering what they said. And, after pondering her question, she asked me, trusting me to give her an answer. It’s hard to describe the feeling that gives me. The closest I can come, is that it’s an honor to be her mother and to be the mother of each of my very special kids.

The talk my daughter was referencing with her question was President Uchtdorf’s talk “Three Sisters” in which he tells the story of three sisters, one who was mad, one sad and the other, glad. Mad, was mad about everything and ended up dying mad. Sad, was sad about everything, and like her sister, died sad. Glad lived a happy life even when sad or bad things happened, and when she died, she died glad. President Uchtdorf then goes on to talk about how each of these sisters relate to aspects of our own lives.

With the transcripts of this talk still unavailable, I’ll do my best to convey the things that stood out to me from his talk.

He said (paraphrasing in my own words):

Don’t be driven about by others’ opinions.

Don’t surrender my happiness to others.

Remember who you are. Other people’s words are meaningless when compared to Heavenly Father’s words about you.

When you degrade a group of people, you are more likely to condone words and acts of violence against them. (This is bad.)

What did the Savior teach? Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you. (See Matthew 5:44.)

We are responsible for our own decipleship and it has little to do with how others treat us.

Never forget you are a child of God.

You can not allow circumstances to make you mad or sad.

Fill your hearts with gratitude for the goodness of God.

Make the choice to press on to the tree of life.

Life up your voice.

Joyfully thrive as a daughter of God.

You can watch the actual talk here.

 

What I told my daughter

The very first thing I told my daughter when she asked me how we can be happy when we feel sad or mad, was that it was okay to feel sad about things and that it was okay to be mad. What matters is faith and gratitude. Through faith in our Savior, we can feel peace and know that everything will be alright even when sad or bad things happen.  I also told her that being grateful for our blessings helps us through the difficult times. I explained to her that we can experience joy at the very same time that we feel sad. We also talked about how the very best way to always have that peace with us, was to always choose the right, to keep the commandments, and to repent when we need to. Heavenly Father loves us and always wants us to tern to him.

I don’t know if the answer I gave her was exactly perfect, but I think it was sufficient for what she needed at the time. My poor little girl is going through a lot of hard things right now, some of which she legitimately has cause for feeling mad and sad. I think that’s why President Uchtdorf’s talk was so important for her to hear. Some aspects of the talk seemed especially applicable to her. If nothing else, it prompted a question for her, one that she was then able to share with me.

If that’s not reason enough to watch General Conference with your children, I don’t know what is.

Now it’s your turn. How do you find was to be happy when  your feel sad or mad? Or, what are you hoping to hear is this weekend’s General Conference.

Don’t know what General Conference is? It’s when the Prophet and Apostles of Jesus Christ speak to all the earth. Do you want to hear what they and other church leaders have to say? You can watch it this weekend! Just click on this link to be directed there.

 

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Autumn: I Stand In Wonder

Autumn fall

Today is the first day of Fall.

Autumn leaves have already begun to drop and the air has become crisp and delicious. It’s the perfect day to launch my new blog. My first blog post, This Mountain Girl Speaks, was written about a month ago as I began setting up this site, and I encourage you to read it. It talks about my reasons behind starting a new blog and what I want to do with it.

For now though, I just want to breath in the fresh air and soak in the earth’s sigh of relief.

This is my season.

This is when I feel most alive and connected. Spring has her place in my heart, but Fall is where it’s all at for me. I thrive on the coolness.

Autumn has always been a time of renewal. New school years when I was younger. New pencils to create with, new notebooks to write in. The changing season always brought color back to a dull summer backdrop.

Autumn also means new life for me.

My first child was born just a few weeks before the first day of Fall and after a record breaking summer, in a very pregnant body, in a house with no air conditioning, his birth was a relief. A relief from the discomforts of pregnancy, a relief from the summer heat and the relief that all was well with my little one as I started my journey in motherhood. I feel blessed to realize that this most significant change in my life happened at the beginning of my favorite season. What better way to start a new life?

That’s what I’m hoping for on this first day of Autumn.

New life. A clear mind and a healthy body. A renewed sense of purpose and greater ability to be present. Truly present.

I stand in wonder at the hope of it all, and the beauty of both of the earth in this changing season, and of the possibilities the future holds. Everything happens for a reason and to everything there is a season. This . . . is going to be my season.

Now it’s your turn. Tell me your thoughts on Fall. Or, what is your favorite season? Is there a significant change that happened in your life that you associate with a season?

 

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This Mountain Girl Speaks

mountain girl

I’m standing on the edge of something and I’m not really sure what it is yet. Here I am, laying down the framework of another new blog with a thousand reasons why I shouldn’t and a very small list of reasons why I should. You see, I’m a busy, stressed out mamma of four wonderfully energetic kids, a supportive wife, writer and small business owner. I already have a writing blog that I can’t properly keep up, and recently diagnosed health issues that have very literally stopped me in my tracks. So why then, am I attempting another new blog when my life already has all it can handle?

When I think about this, my mind keeps circling back to one thing. I care about people.

I’ve been through a lot of hell in my life. Seriously. And I’ve faced challenges that a lot of people would never dream I’ve been through. But all this has worked together for my good (see D&C 98:3) and I give thanks and glory to God for having experienced what I have. I’ve been able to see the hand of God in my life and each experience has taught me greater degrees of love and empathy for those around me. I am far from perfect. I won’t even pretend to be. And not all the relationships with people in my life are good. But I genuinely care about people. I want them to know that life is good, no matter how hard it gets. I want them to see the beauty around them and to know that they are worth being loved.

My dream for this blog is to help people see the every day beauty in an increasingly dark and gloomy world.

I want to help them know they are important and can make a difference, even if it’s just a few kind words with a stranger or a smile. I want to teach people little ways they can be prepared for challenges, so that they in turn, can help others. But most of all, I want people to see that life is good despite what the world would have them think. Things in general, are never as bad as they seem.

Why “Mountain Girl Speaks?”

Mountain Girl Speaks is a blog I’ve been thinking about for close to two years. It’s had other names in the past, but the closer I got to actually starting this blog, the more “Mountain Girl Speaks” began to fit, not only me and who I am, but what this blog ultimately will stand for. Born in the heart of California and raised in the mountains near by, I have spent the majority of my life surrounded by the beauty of the mountains. I know full well what John Muir meant when he said:

The mountains are calling and I must go. -John Muir

It is in the mountains that I first learned to notice the details. Every little thing has its purpose. An overturned stone can start a major rock slide and a small stream can sound like a roaring river.

I am a small person in a very big world. My life may never gain any more notice than a wild flower at the side of a hiking trail. But if I can brighten someone’s day and inspire them to do something good, then I will have done my job. I don’t mind being that person who hands out seed packets of hope.

And even though I am a small person in a big world, I have a voice. I’m going to be like that small stream that makes so much noise you think it’s a river.

I am here to declare that this Mountain Girl Speaks.

Even though the world may never hear my voice, one person out there will.

So . . . I’m going to share my perspective. I’m going to share what I’ve learned. And I’m going to continually declare to all those who read my words, that they are important, matter, and can make a difference in the world around them.

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