Heavenly Father loves you and is with you always.
Today is the final day of the BYU 10-Day Challenge, and it has been quite a ride. I've really enjoyed the time I've taken to care about myself in so many different ways. By nature, I'm pretty hard on myself, so conciously making an effort to give myself a break, is a wonderful challenge to take part in.
Over the past several weeks I've done a lot of study in my patriarchal blessing and a lot of soul searching about my relationship with Heavenly Father, and because of this my relationship with myself. I think it's safe to say, that if you took the way I treat myself and applied it to another person, I would consider it an abusive relationship, which is wrong on so many levels, but yet it true for many of us. I've been working on this for awhile now, and this concentrated effort has really aided me in gaining and noticing my progress. I know that I have more to do, but I'm grateful for the progress that I've managed to make, and I know my Father is surely helping me along the way.
So today I'm going to do two things. One is share a message from James E Faust in his talk entitled, "What It Means to be a Daughter of God" from the Oct 1999 General Conference it is the story of a young piano player:
"His mother, wishing to encourage him, “bought tickets for a performance of the great Polish pianist, Paderewski. The night of the concert arrived and the mother and son found their seats near the front of the concert hall. While the mother visited with friends, the boy slipped quietly away.
“Suddenly, it was time for the performance to begin and a single spotlight cut through the darkness of the concert hall to illuminate the grand piano on stage. Only then did the audience notice the little boy on the bench, innocently picking out ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.’
“His mother gasped, but before she could move, Paderewski appeared on stage and quickly moved to the keyboard. He whispered to the boy, ‘Don’t quit. Keep playing.’ And then, leaning over, the master reached down with his left hand and began filling in the bass part. Soon his right arm reached around the other side, encircling the child, to add a running obbligato. Together, the old master and the young novice held the crowd mesmerized.
“In our lives, unpolished though we may be, it is the Master who surrounds us and whispers in our ear, time and time again, ‘Don’t quit. Keep playing.’ And as we do, He augments and supplements until a work of amazing beauty is created. He is right there with all of us, telling us over and over, ‘Keep playing.’”7 [Excerpt taken from a talk given by Ann Woodland, Idaho Falls.]
Heavenly Father and our Savior Jesus Christ are certainly like the master piano player, making the most of our meager offerings.
The other is tell you some of the reasons why my Heavenly Father loves me, which is not something I'm entirely comfortable doing, but I am going to do anyway. This is not written with the intent of being prideful of boastful.
- He loves that I'm trying. He knows how much I'm failing, but He loves how much I'm am trying.
- He loves that I can't get home from school without having at least a pocketful of trash. He loves that I will literally turn around and go back for litter that I noticed, but didn't pick up.
- He loves that I get so emotionally invested in movies that I cry during them all the time.
- He loves that I will go to incredible lengths to make someone smile.
- He loves that I love my family so much. So much that it almost hurts me to see pictures of my siblings, and that I can't help but show them off to anyone who is willing to listen. It literally warms, melts, and hurts my heart to look at my siblings when I'm away from them.
Here is just a small indication of how great my family is...
- He loves that I will eat limes plain, but that I am not a huge fan of chocolate.
- He loves that I get proud of myself when I manage to eat something spicy. How terrified I am of spicy food, but how I still eat it. Like the mango habenero wings I ate last night...
- He loves the way I look at the world. How I recognize that all the beauties of the earth are evidences of His love… even if it's Hackberry Nipple Gall. That song really is true. I know Heavenly Father loves me because of the beauty He has created and allows me to encounter on a daily basis. He is really just too kind, isn't He?
- He loves how much I love to be outside. The fact that I stare of of windows in class, or how I will sit on a freezing bench to study because I love it so much that it's worth it.
- He loves how when I'm not sure how I really feel or how to say what I really truly need to express, I start to think in lyrics and feel in song.
There are no pre-requisites for my Heavenly Father's love.