Saturday, October 4, 2014


One of the secrets of a well-adjusted expat is developing the gift of contentment and gratitude. Learning to love and appreciate what your life is helps dull the ache of what your life isn't. When you live far away from family and friends, it can be easy to get caught up in the idea that if you only lived ________, your life would be perfect and easy. Most of us can recognize the lie in that statement. The truth is that every place you live will come with its own challenges. Often those very challenges aren't things you have control over. You can let it drive you crazy, or you can roll with the punches and open yourself to the good things your life has to offer.

It is entirely possibly to experience contentment with yourself and your path in life completely apart from your physical location. When you feel content, it is a great gift. I don't think many of us actually experience genuine contentment and peace with ourselves. Which is a shame, because I believe most of us are too hard on ourselves, tearing at our weaknesses and flaws, mistakenly believing that others would tear at us with the same viciousness if our flaws were exposed. 

However, discontentment with yourself can and does serve a valuable purpose, if not used for self-flagellation, but rather with the goal of positive progression. I have been listening to the General Conference sessions of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today. The speakers have presented some wonderful thoughts. Listening has opened my eyes to some things I need to work on.

I am discontent with my inaction in my life. I do a lot-like most women with families. I am almost consumed by my very busy-ness. But I find that I am not progressing in the way I want to, I am without focus. My goals are too easily dropped and I don't accomplish things that can/should be done. 

Do you ever feel like that? I feel like I am fighting against all my sins, committing them over and over again. I get caught in a cycle of media consumption that overtakes all my time for doing worthwhile and valuable things. It is making me sick.

I was really touched by Sister Esplin's talk about the Sacrament and Atonement. She shared a story of a young woman who was trying very hard to make the sacrament more meaningful. This girl felt discouraged that she kept repeating the same sins over and over again. Sister Esplin reminded us that the young woman had forgotten the power of Christ and how it helps us change. 

When some clever person tires of making pretty printables of Elder Holland's talk, hopefully they will turn to Sister Esplin's talk and make a printable of her quotes. If/when that happens, I will post that here.

Edited to add: Thanks to Cheryl's daughter, I now have a great meme of Sister Esplin's talk.

In the meantime, I'm going to be devoting more time in prayer, trying to figure out where to go from here and what needs to happen.



Cheryl said...

Yes. Absolutely I feel that way. I loved this post; thank you.

swedemom said...

Thank you for the meme! Tell your daughter I appreciate it.