Sunday, October 18, 2009

Life Changing

I felt I needed to share this with you all, please forgive the personal nature of this posting as it does not coincide directly with directing Primary Children.


Six months ago I came home from a long and frustrating day at church. I sat down in my favorite chair next to my bookshelf and pouted. I was very frustrated at my lack of the spirit. My eyes happen to wander to the bottom shelf, and there, smashed in between many other books was Preach My Gospel. I had received it from a Bishop a few years back, but never took the time to read it. I reached for it and thumbed through it. I even began reading the first chapter a bit. I came to a part where the missionaries daily schedule was laid out. I at once felt jealous. I knew there was no way I could get up early enough to beat my children out of bed to study and read the Scriptures without being so tired the rest of the day. My daily Scripture study was infrequent and could only take place after the kids were in bed. I wasn't getting what I wanted out of it because I was so tired myself. I tossed the book and went to bed that night discouraged....Then, a miracle happened.

I was awakened at 5:30am the next morning. Wide awake. I wondered why I was awake. I decided I need to go back to sleep. Then these words came into my head, "This is your time, get out of bed." I did. I grabbed my Scriptures and this book.....and my life hasn't been the same since.

Over the past 6 months, Heavenly Father has helped me arise early (this is a miracle, believe me). I have studied a spirit directed course of Preach My Gospel. I have replaced every word missionary with motherhood and every word investigator with children. It has been so helpful and wonderful in teaching me how I can better fulfill the mission I am serving right now. With each chapter I have been surprised how much I've been able to learn. I have coupled this with a daily chapter of the Book of Mormon and a Conference talk. I have filled three spiritual journals with insights and words of encouragement and love from my Heavenly Father. It has been a heart changing experience. And, my prayers to be able to share the Gospel with others have been answered many times. I have found that my inhibitions and lack of confidence in my abilities to share the Gospel have been replaced with faith and confidence.

Yesterday, I finished Preach My Gospel. It was kind of emotional closing the book, it has been so exciting each morning to see what I can learn and improve on next. I am excited to begin again and find those things that I did not pick up on the first time. I've decided to begin studying the life of Christ and use Preach My Gospel to help me in my understanding.
I would like to challenge any one of you who read this blog to get a copy of Preach My Gospel. This is not simply for our Full-Time missionaries. This book was inspired in a way that can touch you, your spouse, and your family. I know for myself that your heart will be softened, your spiritual ears made sensitive, your ability to love and serve others increased, and your burdens made lighter. As you study this book and ponder of the Scriptures answers to prayers will come, and you'll find a joy that is sweet.

I would like to share my Testimony that I know that God lives and that Jesus is the Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon was written by prophets of God and Translated by the gift and power of God through Joseph Smith. I know that Jesus Christ is the only one who can provide the way for us to return to our Father in Heaven. I know his arms of mercy are extended to all of us if we repent and come unto him. I am so grateful for the power of prayer and the knowledge that we are never alone. He knows us. He loves us. He's waiting for us. He knew my desires, and he helped awaken me each morning....all I had to do was move my feet.

24 comments:

Becky said...

I wish I could sleep in until 5:30 AM! Just kidding. It really is a challenge to find time for personal scripture study when your kids are little, and you start the day with a crying baby that needs attention. (I found that lunch-time usually worked best for me.) Congratulations on reaching your goal. We LOVE Preach My Gospel. It's truly inspired and helps everyone, not just missionaries. I love how you changed missionary for mother; I'll have to give that a try. Thanks for sharing your experience with us, and have a wonderful day!

emily said...

I think there's a good chance that I'm where you were at six months ago--I'm going to keep this in mind and see what happens!

Lisa-Marie said...

What a beautiful testimony. Thank you for sharing. My husband and i just re-committed ourselves to reading more consistently (AGAIN!) this last week and I think this would be the perfect study guide for me.

I had my program yesterday and it went so well. Thank you for all your help this year. Your blog is truly a lifesaver for me. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this calling and much of that is thanks to the fun ideas you always have. I pray that you NEVER get released!

BTW, Andrea B. is who gave me a heads up to your blog.

Courtney Price said...

Thank you :)

David and Alisha said...

I have never commented on your blog before but read it often for advice in my call as our ward's primary chorister (the best calling in the church!!). First I would like to thank you for taking the precious time out of your day to share your ideas. You have saved my many times. But more importantly I also had to tell you THANK YOU so much for this post!! It held an answer to a question I have had for a VERY long time about something in my patriarchal blessing. Thank you again!

Christy said...

Thank you for posting this. I am sure I am not the only other mother out there who has trouble finding time for personal scripture study. Your post really touched my heart and gives me encouragement to just ask Heavenly Father to help me find a time. Even if it is 5:30 in the morning...

Joanna said...

Wow, I'm so glad you shared this! Thank you for all your inspiration I have loved all your ideas (and so have my primary kids!) I too struggle to get up early and read my scriptures - at any time of the day. Thanks for the reminder that Heavenly Father will help us with our goals including getting up in the mornings!

Jeff and Mandy said...

I think you were inspired to share this with us. Thank you so much! We are using Preach my Gospel for Family Home Evening to prepare our 7 year old for baptism in 3 months. Now I am going to replace the word missionary with Mother and add it to my personal scripture study. You never cease to amaze me! Thanks, and good luck on your Program! Mandy

Scooterdoodah said...

Thanks, Melanie. I also needed to recommit so that I can have the Spirit more fully as I do this great work with the Primary kids - and with my nieces and nephew and other people whom I come in contact with.

It's good to "know" someone like you!

Carolyn

Collin & Marie said...

I bet you felt IMPRESSED to share this on your blog because my heart is jumping right now I'm so excited! I too have a lot of the same frustrations you did. My hubby works out of town so I am a "single mommy" for the week and the only good chance I get to study is after my girls have all gone to bed. Only problem, I'm luck to stay awake much longer after that! And 6 am already feels undoable when my alarm goes off every morning. But I've always known I needed to get up sooner and with your inspiring testimony... I'm starting 5:30 tomorrow morning!! Thank you so much!!

Melissa said...

Thank you for sharing. I'm going to dust off our copy and crack it open tomorrow. :)

Amy Carter said...

Thank you Thank you! Your words of encouragement were just what I needed on a very discouraging day! Thanks for sharing your testimony and your ideas! You are blessing to so many, especially me!

lexi said...

Thank you, thank you for sharing this. I too have been feeling spiritually empty and praying for a way to make the gospel a bigger part of my life again and feel the spirit more. I knew I needed to become more regular in my scripture studying to do this, but wasn't sure how, for the same reasons as you.

I have been inspired by your testimony and know it was an answer to prayers that I read your post (I was released a month ago and just decided to check your blog today).

I look forward to your challenge. Thank you!

Jill said...

Thank you for sharing this. I'm going to take you up on the challenge. I need a boost. Thank you so much for all you do on this blog. It has really helped in my calling as chorister.

Michele said...

What an awesome experience! I love testimony builders! Thank you for sharing. I had been doing so good, but changed my routine to start training for a 13k and let my personal scripture study slide. I think this was Heavenly Father giving me a gentle reminder that I need to continue with my old routine, just need to adjust it to be a little later. Thanks for shairng! :-)

Janae said...

Thank you for sharing this. All I can say is this was exactly what I needed to hear as I try to begin a regular scripture study again. And that our primary program went well, thanks to your wonderful ideas!!!

BreAnn said...

hi mel, this is actually the very first time i've visited your blog! thank you for the inspiration; you are truly a blessing in my life.

Kemi said...

I stumbled across your blog through SugarDoodle (I think). I love your music ideas! Thanks for sharing them!

This was the first post in my Google reader this morning, and when I read through it, I knew I had to tell you thank you for your insight. I am going to get a copy of "Preach My Gospel" as soon as I can.

Thank you. :) I look forward to reading more from you.

Tracey said...

You don't know me, I live in Japan because my husband is in the military but I love your blog for singing time ideas for our branch here. I just wanted to let you know that due to your advice I have begun to read "Preach My Gospel" applying it my life as a mom and I love it!! My notebook is full of new ideas and things I want to try to better our lives, I really look forward to it. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and ideas!

Mrs. Mordecai said...

I know this is an older post, but thank you so much for sharing your experience. It's something I needed to hear.

Nathan and Alyssa said...

Thanks for sharing that! I felt like I should do the same thing with Preach My Gospel and apply it as a parent. Unfortunately, I was not as persistent as you, and I have not reaped the rewards. Thanks for reminding me! I am determined to make my personal scripture study a bigger part of my day.

Clark Mills Family said...

Thankyou, I'll spread the word! Our Stake President challenged us to read "Preach my Gospel" along with our daily scripture study and you're right. SO INSPIRING. Helps me have the confidence and spirit to share the gospel with my friends.
Sharon

~Diana~ said...

OK I'm going to find my copy of Preach My Gospel TODAY! I've been prompted several times to find it and study it and I keep putting it off. Reading this entry. I'm doing it today. I need to study it. Thank you!

Moose Spot said...

What an awesome, wonderful, inspired and positive experience! I am going to do this. I love your blog and how creative yet spiritual you are with your calling. Thank you for sharing!

Music