I recently posted Three Major Lessons – Introduction, if you would like a preface, but I will give just a brief one anyway.
A couple weeks ago, I took a little vacation, and it was perfect! It wasn’t what you may normally classify as one, but it was a break from my normal, every day life, and it allowed me to really feel anew. Here are three major lessons I took from that week of healing.
First lesson: stand ye in holy places!
For us members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, that is nothing new. But, like many principles, we hear them, and go and do according to our understanding, until we are ready to grow and apply them in our life more fully. Before my “vaca week” I understood “stand ye in holy places” to mean temple attendance. Ever since returning back to the fold, about six years ago, I have not had an issue with temple attendance. One of the major blessings of messing your life up completely when you don’t allow God in it at all, is that once you finally get your head on straight, you realize how much you need Him constantly. It has blessed me to be extremely obedient…extremely. So, I heard “attend the temple” enough times, and I just did it! No question. I would go, and go, and go again. So, when I would hear “stand ye in holy places” I would think Check. Okay, what’s next. Yes… Hi, my name is Tiana. I suffer from pride. Well, during my vacation week, I learned a little more about said phrase.
Besides churches and temples, what would you say a holy place is? Would you say it is your home? I mean, we all are supposed to make our homes as close to temples as possible, right? It allows the Spirit residence there with us, which helps us feel peace. You know what I would say another holy place is? The outdoors.
All manner of life that surrounds us has joy in its existence, because it is more obedient than we. God commanded all life to do what it is to do, and have joy in it. Therefore, it does. Well, isn’t joy what we all want to feel? I know I do.
I simply got out. I got out of the house, every day, took little Coraleen with me, and walked. I didn’t walk for exercise, or any other purpose. I just walked. It was so nice to set that time aside, daily, to enjoy all the life God has given us to enjoy! Yes, our homes should be holy places, but no creation of man can come close to the creation of God. I felt the joy exude from all around me when I breathed in that fresh air! I couldn’t help but to feel peace when I allowed the warmth of the Sun to drape
over me as I took a stroll. I had no end in sight. I just walked. I had no goal, or marked path. I just walked. Time was no matter. I just walked.
But, of course there is one creation of man that does come close to the creation of God. That is the creation of temples. I couldn’t well say I understood the concept of “stand ye in holy places” during my week of healing, if I didn’t stand in the holiest place I am allowed to on this earth, now could I? But, that too was a learning experience for me. I have no doubt Father knew what I wanted to do that week, and prepared me accordingly. The Sunday that began that period, I heard the perfect talk from someone regarding temple attendance! Once again, we are creatures of habit, aren’t we? Well, I was so used to just “attending” the temple, that I wasn’t really taking the time to enjoy the temple as well as I should have been, these last several years. I think I got into the mindset of just “getting it done” rather than serving.
There were several points this lovely sister made during her talk, and they all had to do with preparation. So, once again, my obedience mechanism kicked into full gear, and I did. I followed her inspired advice, and prepared in the ways she mentioned. Oh…my…goodness! That was a time I will
Here is some of what she mentioned in her talk as to what we ought to do in order to prepare well for our time in the House of the Lord: read your scriptures before, during (if possible), and after; pray before, during, and after; read your patriarchal blessing; fast; and set aside plenty of time, so you are not in a rush. (Little did I know, until I was well into my time there, that she was actually a temple worker herself, as I ran into her inside! What a good pick for that talk then, huh?)
Second lesson: everything happens for a reason! You may be thinking to yourself Uh, she says that all the time, why is she saying that is one of the major lessons she learned? Well, whether you actually were thinking that, or not, I will explain anyway.
During that week, there were so many instances that occurred that were just too obvious. I have had plenty of situations happen in my life to manifest the truth of that to me, but it seemed like since I was serving God, and staying closer to Him, more this week than maybe any other week before, He was pouring those outcomes in tremendously! I felt like since I had been dedicating so much time to Him, He was allowing
me to see His hand in so many areas of my world – His world. It was a magnificent sight to behold, and I cannot wait to see it again during my next “vacation.”
Third lesson: get out!
I already elaborated quite a bit on this concept during “lesson one,” so this explanation may be brief.
I get comfortable. I just stay inside, doing what it is I do. I get ready for the day, I feed my baby, I put her down for nap, I feed my baby, I write, I feed my baby… It just seems like in the house is where every necessity is, so it is easier to just continue staying in. Well, every day I went on a walk, new inspirations flowed into me with such ease! I doubt I would have been blessed in the same manner if I had just been staying inside my routine, daily cycle. One of those days, I even met and walked with someone new, who helped me out immensely! She had thoughts and opinions that were perfect for what I had opened up about! That conversation wouldn’t have happened had I just kept to myself, and not let my light shine. She too was getting out and allowing her light to shine, and thus we both were made brighter because of getting out. You never know what will happen, or who you will meet, if you stay cooped up all the time. We weren’t meant for that, or there wouldn’t be an outdoors, and there wouldn’t seven billion other people on this planet. One more time. Get out!
Another meaning to the short phrase of “get out” is to get out of the way. I think that sometimes when we pray so hard for something, we are trying even harder to do it the way we want. Then we myopically get upset at God for not answering our prayers when He may just have been trying to, but we were using our agency in a way that deviated from the proper plan. I know I have been guilty of doing that in the past – even just a few weeks ago! But, luckily, I realized my folly and I allowed my angels to do their duties. So, I strongly advise that if you are praying and fasting so hard for something to occur, and you are trying everything you can to allow it’s manifestation in your life, take a step back, repent, and allow Father to do His job. Keep praying, keep fasting, keep attending the temple. Keep it all up, but take a break, and properly ask your angels to step in, with faith!
So, those are just a few of the lessons I learned during my little vacation, but let me leave just one more little piece with you.
If you desire so much for something to occur in your life, and it just isn’t, take a vacation! As you can see here, you don’t need money to do so. To be completely honest, this vacation was far more rewarding than any other I have ever taken, and it was the least expensive! Take a vacation from your day to day world, and allow yourself a closer bond to the Heavens and your Maker. Will He deny you your desires when you show Him your faith? Concentrate less of your faith on your two hands, and more of your faith in Him, and He will bless you with what you need.
I say these things, humbly, in the name of my Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.