to “not underestimate or overlook”

I’m working on it- trying to see the tender mercies in my life. I’m realizing this is harder than I thought it would be. It’s like trying to walk into my home and notice everything- the things that I am so used to seeing that I forget they are there.

When I wrote This Letter it was more for me, I had such a good experience that I just wanted to remember it, remember the feelings I had. When I shared it on FB and Instagram friends kept saying “just send it” so I did. It was nice to send something that had no expectations and needed no response.

A couple months later I got an envelope with this return address:

I was of course excited to open it, (I wasn’t at all nervous even though I knew they were looking for a new apostle. I was pretty sure it wasn’t going to be me! 🙂 )

When I read the letter I was so touched, I can’t even begin to image the busy days and lives the apostles live yet he took the time to send me a response. In addition, I felt like it was so exactly on point with the way I had been feeling about changing my thinking, my attitude. (IE: be more grateful!)

Elder Bednar (or Elder B as I like to call him now) said he appreciated my sharing the experience I had and thought it was good I was learning (I should put emphasis there!) to recognize the “tender mercies” of the Lord in my life. He said:

“We should not underestimate or overlook the power of the Lord’s tender mercies. The constancy of the tender mercies of the Lord will do much to fortify and protect us during troubled times. When it seems that perhaps we are besieged by trials or feeling overwhelmed with our responsibilities, truly we are blessed by the tender mercies of the Lord and made mighty even unto the power of deliverance (see 1 Nephi 1:20).”

Talking with my friend Carrie I was telling her about my week (the Costco Story and then this letter) and she said “I just feel like the Lord is always watching out for you! He is so aware of you and I feel like He wants to find anyway to make sure you know!”

When she said that it made me pause, I was taken by surprise. It made me feel so ungrateful, and so blind! Why is that so hard for me to recognize and feel? Summer is always a hard time of year for me with trach stuff, I feel the heat coming and a feeling of dread comes along with it. But while I think life can be hard (no matter the season) I also think it is really good! I need to get off the teeter totter between the two, I feel like if I made a concerted effort to see the tender mercies in my life I will feel more like my friend said I should!

I came across this amazing way to look at life just a couple weeks ago and it was one of those where you think ” ahhh this is for me right now!” The idea is like a “thankful journal” but better. It’s taking a few minutes at the end of each day to try and see the ways you felt His influence, a/k/a Tender Mercies.

As I am trying to do this now I am realizing that sometimes it’s super obvious, sometimes it’s the words of a friend or just the way I feel when listening to a song. (I was listening to Josh Grobans new CD “Stages” it’s so good! And when the song “You’ll never walk alone” came on I just felt it.) But I am so grateful to have the desire to focus on how I am blessed instead of my struggles. We will see how it goes! At least I am surrounded by some people who constantly see how great life is, I need to follow their lead 🙂

XO

PS- so in order to really try to do this I stopped charging my phone by my bed (no late night internet browsing) and now keep my little journal there, I’ve been writing a bit almost everynight and already I am so grateful for the memories I am saving and the help it gives me to see my blessings. (I ask myself Elder Eryings question “Have I seen the hand of the Lord in my (or my childrens, or family’s life) today?”