Day: September 24, 2010

Blessings, Blessings and Blessings

So, this week started out pretty bad.  To begin with there was a change in my work that on first glance felt like a failure in my leadership abilities.  I can’t get into it much but suffice it to say several years of stress culminated into a not unexpected but bittersweet moment.  The older I get the more I realize I just am not built to get along with everyone.  I like to think of myself as someone who is a good leader but every once in a while I meet a human being that I just can’t figure out (there are 4 in my life to be more precise).   For instance, my old mission companion who treated me like garbage for nearly 2 months.  I tried everything to make her happy and nothing worked.  Was I perfect?- of course not, but no change in strategy seemed to help either.

Internet community out there- have you ever felt this way? Did you ever find someone that you just couldn’t get along with? What did you do about it?  Is there something I’m missing? Perhaps I should just give up sooner, but I always hope the next attempt will be the magic solution.  With certain people that will not happen and while this knocks down my Pollyanna complex, it is a reality.  I suppose nobody but Jesus Christ could love all, even his enemies, equally.  How did he do that? I have a long way to go on that front.

Anyway, the week started out pretty sucky but it got worse.  In addition to the change at work there was a physical scare.  While doing my new routine Saturday I pulled a muscle in my back.   It didn’t hurt bad at first but by Monday I was in a lot of pain (the same day all the work mess hit the fan! Isn’t that the way it always happens?).  Needless to say my apartment smells like bengay and my ice packs have been in constant rotation.  My greatest fear (and initial discouragement) was that an injury would throw me off track in my fitness quest.  I’ve never been as consistent or determined to get in shape- never.  Ever since March I have rarely missed more than a day or two of exercise and for the last month or so have been doing 4-5 days a week of both cardio and weight training. I have been praying constantly that nothing would stop me or lessen my enthusiasm.   With the pain at its peak I called my trainer Michelle (who is awesome- see photo below) and she gave me some interesting advice.

My awesome trainer Michelle. I think I'm starting to look skinny in this photo. Thoughts?

She said, “Most people think that you want to remain sedentary with a muscle ache.  The truth is that lying flat will cause the muscle to freeze up, leading to more pain.  The best thing you can do is keep moving.”  Isn’t that interesting?  I have been thinking about it all week.  Maybe with physical and relationship struggles (maybe with all struggles) the greatest healing comes from continuing to move and grow? That’s one of maybe a hundred ‘moments of clarity’ I’ve had this week (I love those!).

With a bit of trepidation and my trainers words echoing in my mind I went to the gym on Tuesday for a swim.  Fortunately my swim coach Dave was there and he was awesome- so encouraging.  With his support I got through a normal work out and afterwords felt great.   It was such a relief to get through the first work out.  It’s hard to explain how it felt but basically it was a big exclamation of  “Yes!” .  (On Wednesday I got a deep body massage which was GREAT!!)

After swimming on Tuesday I went to my best friend Emily’s house and she made a delicious salad lunch for me and we chatted.  She always has the best perspective on life and it was the perfect person to help me weed through my problems.   After our visit I had the thought- maybe I needed these experiences to humble me and remind a very prideful Rachel that my accomplishments both in work and training are not my own but Heavenly Fathers?….Hmmm.  With this thought I went to my master class and sang my best solo ever! (Maybe Heavenly Father knew I needed a boost of pride to end the day! A girl can only take so much.).

Without boring you with a travelogue of the rest of the week let me just say that each day has been just like Tuesday- full of challenges but even more full of blessings.  Everywhere I look friends and family are supporting me, expressing love for me and helping me work out my problems.  Without their amazing perspectives I would be one big moping mess (or more of a moping mess).  In addition, I have been particularly sensitive to little blessings like a good laugh over my favorite shows coming back (Big Bang Theory and How I Met Your Mother are  so great!), or making apple butter for the first time (delicious- got lots if anyone wants some), or finding a new song to obsess over (see below- Sara Bareilles is amazing.  I love this song!).  Even today I was planning on working the whole day but ended up meeting my great friend Stefanie to exercise, then we went to look for an apartment for her (she’ s moving so close- another blessing!), and then went to a delicious lunch (2 sandwiches split- BLT and Turkey with cranberry jalapeno jelly- yum! Is there anything better than a good deli sandwich?).  Then tonight I have chatted with my sister and had my own mini dance party listening to my favorite song.  It’s turned into a great day!By the way- don’t worry, I did get some work done!

Its funny because when I look at this week I see the challenges but they pale in comparison to the blessings.  I am so fortunate. Can you believe that after Monday I spent time with friends every single day? Normally I am lucky to get a visit or 2 a week! Heavenly Father knew I needed to feel loved this week.  Isn’t that an amazing thing to think about?  The Lord of the whole earth, the God of everything, knows me and knew I needed to be loved. Wow!

I don’t think I thank my Heavenly Father enough for all the blessings He gives me.   The list goes on and on but mostly I am grateful for His hand in my life.  I’m thankful that He loves me and wants me to smile- even if it means inspiring a friend to call me or helping me get the care I need for my back.  I know that I am watched over by Heavenly Father and that Jesus died for me.  I know that Their tender mercies shine in my life every day.  I just have to be humble enough to recognize them, which is why I face obstacles and disappointments (and disappointing people.). Today I feel full of BLESSINGS!

Also thank you to all those friends who responded to the spirit and came to my rescue.  I know it meant putting up with a lot of whining from me but I appreciate it.  I promise to be there for your whining moments!

If this video doesn’t make you smile you have problems. I LOVE IT!!!!!


On the softer side- another song I love is by the Zac Brown Band. I think they could be the new Crosby Steels and Nash. Enjoy!