Wednesday, September 28, 2011

No birds, no bells?

My sister posted a link last week to a blog that has this quotation as its header:

"Every life has peaks and shadows
and times when it seems that
the birds don't sing
and bells don't ring.
Yet in spite of discouragement and adversity,
those who are happiest seem to have a way of
learning from difficult times, becoming
stronger, wiser, and happier as a result."

Joseph B. Wirthlin

My last month or two has been one of the most emotionally trying times I can remember.  My siblings (i.e. my best friends) have been one by one moving away from me.  My strength and stamina have been weak.  I have ignored friends and phone calls.  I have battled sadness, doubts and fear.  Obviously I abandoned blogging for a while.  I have had no energy for things I usually love to do and only the bare minimun was getting done in my home. The smallest bumps in the road have sent me into helplessness. 

I had no logical reason for all the darkenss I have been feeling (I know I have a million blessings), but it was nevertheless real and ominous.  I decided to be proactive and made a conscious effort to increase my scripture study and deepen my prayers and go the extra mile in my calling at church.  I knew I would be blessed for trying to be faithful so I tried harder and harder.  It was taking longer than I hoped for something to pull me out of my misery.  I was left feeling confused.

I was pleading with my Heavenly Father for a break in the clouds.  This last week He began to send me tender mercies just when I thought I couldn't bear any more.

*He sent me a tiny bit extra in my grocery budget to pick up a few needs we had

*He sent me a beautiful daughter that sees my tears and asks, "you okay mommy"?

*He sent me a speaking assignment in church that will allow me to talk on my biggest blessing ever, my marriage

*He sent my children teachers who care about them, and who have eased some of my worries

*He sent me the chance to teach a visiting teaching message with the reminder of how to qualify for the spirit in my life

*He sent me a Bishop who issued a Book of Mormon challenge to read it cover to cover before Christmas

*He sent my son hope and a more positive attitude during this difficult football season

*He sent Strider help with getting a car problem taken care of that thankfully appears to be a part under warranty

*He sent me a night of inspired messages and gentle reproof: General RS Meeting

He sent me several other things that are too small to list here, but are answers to my dilemma. 

I don't know why I was given these trials at this time.  Does the Lord know the path more clearly than I?  For sure.  All I can do is trust that He will be there to lean on as I stretch and grow and try to become the person He would have me be.  To become happy and at peace.

I don't share these thoughts for sympathy. I'm merely writing of my path to finding more joy in my life.  But the birds ARE beginning to quietly chirp again. I can hear them if I am listening carefully for them.

I want to leave you with the words to a song.

Tender Mercies of the Lord

by Janice Kapp Perry

1. Tender mercies of the Lord
Come in quiet ways,
Not by mere coincidence,
But by heaven’s grace.
As we choose to follow Him
With full heart and soul,
We become His chosen ones
And tender mercies flow.
2. Tender mercies of the Lord
Come in times of need.
Gifts of faith and confidence
Fill us as we plead.
Words of guidance, hope, and peace
Help us feel God’s love.
By our faith, His mercies come
Like manna from above.
3. Tender mercies of the Lord
Come as we repent.
Sweet forgiveness, peace of mind
Follow, heaven-sent.
Faithfulness, obedience
Help us to discern.
Blessings sweet and personal
For which our spirits yearn.
4. Tender mercies of the Lord
Comfort us and guide.
In His time and in His way,
We receive His light.
As we yield our will to His,
Blessings freely flow.
We partake of love divine
Thru mercies He bestows.


  1. Oh, Jen, I am not commenting just to show sympathy...

    I have been having a similar few months (see this post of mine) and I can't really explain it either. I know we have been blessed exceedingly (I mean, we still have a job, which is a huge blessing right now!) and I am not sure what I have to be depressed about.

    I thought if I just threw myself into my calling, I would feel better, but so far it seems to have had the opposite effect. I am struggling with seminary this year and feel like somehow I am failing my students even when I try hard to be prepared and listen to the spirit. And when what should be the most spiritual moments of my day leave me feeling empty it affects how I feel the rest of the day. I am working through it. I know there is some sort of lesson I should be learning.

    Anyway, I SOOO appreciate you mentioning your tender mercies. I think you sharing this is actually one of my first tender mercies. I have always looked up to you (and, let's face it, coveted your awesomeness and your talents on occasion). :) To know that even with a million blessings, you have been feeling like this helps to me to feel understood. And that there are birds and bells and tender mercies in store!

    Thank you.

  2. Can I just say Ditto to everything Sharon just said! I am so glad you shared all of that with us today. I know people are in our live for a reason...and you are proving my point. Love ya!

  3. I thank the Lord for His tender mercy in having me read this and still after so many years still being in contact with you. It is you along with so many others that have been placed in my life to say the things you say and do the things you do to help make a better me!!


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!