Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Galatians 5:22-23

     22. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
     23. Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
I am pretty picky when it comes to dating someone. Not only does he have to put up with my crazy self, but he has some pretty strong standards to live up to. The man I marry will not be perfect, but he will be perfect to me.
This scripture basically sums up a lot that I expect out of a man. There are so many relationships that I look up to in my life, and this scripture helps me realize that.
First off, the word fruit. No relationship is just going to happen. Like fruit, the seed must be planted, the tree must grow, and care must be there. The fruit won't last without proper watering, sunlight, and soil. I can't plant my seed on bad ground. I need to put my effort forth to water the tree. And I need to make sure that no matter the circumstance, that Christ has room to lighten my life. But even then, winters will come. But after every winter comes a spring and with spring comes forth the most precious fruit. Patience is the key.
Now for the key words. There are so many people I admire in my life. Here are a few examples of what I love about those people I know.
#1. Love. I don't know anyone who is more loving than my Brother-in-Law Mark. He would do anything for my sister. I am a lot like my sister. I have very strong opinions, and I don't like to be wrong. We are not always the easiest people to please. But he has never ceased to amaze me at the things he does for my sister. They got married when I was 9. So Mark has been my brother longer than he hasn't been. And I love him like my own brother. He cares so much for me and always has the right things to say. He and my sister don't have to be showy with their love, but you can tell that they are completely in love. Mark is crazy and fun and loving and the best daddy I know. I want to marry someone just like him.
#2. Joy. My Grandparents. I have never once been to my Grandparent's house without being told how much I am loved. The phrase my Grandpa always uses when he first gives me a hug is something along the lines of, "Well aren't you so beautiful? I am blessed with the most perfect grandchildren there ever was." My Grandparents are pretty old. They have been through so much together. And through it all, I have only ever seen them happy. My Papa G. answers the phone saying, "Well good morning to you, this is Gaylen." He always brings a smile to my face. I can only hope that one day I will be able to look at my posterity and my husband and feel nothing but love and joy.  
#3. Peace. My Great-Grandmother Florence Lamb. She lived to the age of one hundred and one. And although she didn't necessarily want to be living, she held in until it was her time. Her husband passed away when she was younger. In her 60s or 70s I believe. I can't imagine living that long without my spouse. I can't imagine wanting to live at all after my one true love passes away. I hope I don't have to endure that. But my Grandmother did. She was a phenomenal woman with so much peace. The moment you walked into the same room as her you felt the spirit of the Lord radiating from her being. To listen to her tell tales of her life was breathtaking. She lived as a servant of her Lord, and you could easily tell. She was a remarkable woman with so many qualities I hope to one day possess.
#4. Longsuffering. My beautiful mother. I can't imagine it being easy to be married to my dad. He is a wonderful person, but he is beyond busy. My mom left everything she knew with 6 young kids to move from her hometown of Logan to hot Hurricane. And after 5 years, while 6 months pregnant, picked up again to move to Chicago Illinois, and again after 5 years to Syracuse. My dad has had many callings. From Young Men's President, Bishopric, Sunday School, High Council, and currently as Stake President. He has also worked for the church for 16 or so years, sometimes close to home, sometimes far from home. And if that is not enough, my dad has coached every child's soccer and basketball teams for as long as I can remember. It is not easy to raise a family, and raising a family and being supportive of your husband who is constantly away is even more difficult. My mom has not had it easy. I bet she had no idea her life would take her in this direction. But she has held strong through everything that has been sent her way. She is an incredible woman. I can only hope that one day I will be as patient, loving, and longsuffering as my mom is. 
#5. Gentleness. This one I couldn't decide just one person, so I decided to make this cumulative to all of my siblings. They are the most gentle people I know. It has not always been that way, but its the little things. I am a talker, and they all make time to listen and respond to what I am saying. They know me so well. And when I am down, I can always count on one of them to know and come to my side to comfort me. They come to everything I do. They make a special effort to be there for me. I couldn't ask for a better family because I really believe that I have the best one that there is.
#6. Goodness. The only one who is not a family member. Although my family is full of goodness, there is one woman who has definitely stood out extremely in this category. Debbie Olson. Debbie is a neighbor, ward member, and friend. She personifies goodness. Every event I ever had, she was there. She was at every show I was in, she came to the pageant, everything. I never had to invite her, she was just there. And not only was she there, but she was really there. I loved getting the mail after anything I did, because I knew there would be a card from her. Even after the simple things, like bearing my testimony, singing in sacrament, or giving a talk as a little girl, there was always a card. She would thank me for sharing my talents with the ward, or the community, and she would explain to me what a good job I had done. She would make sure to be specific as to what I had done or said so that I knew for a fact that she cared enough to show up, and enough to pay complete attention. I loved having that in my life. I loved knowing that someone cared about me. And I want and need that in my life.

 #7. Faith. I don't know a single person who has more faith than my dad has. He has been the biggest example of a faithful servant of my Heavenly Father. My dad has constantly honored his priesthood. He has never done anything that would ever question anything that the church stands for. He served a full mission faithfully, and you can tell he loved every minute of it. He has accepted every call that he has been given. He gives up so much of his time to serve the Lord, and he does it with no complaint or murmuring. He has made a special effort to make time for the family. And with that time, he has made it a point to teach us the gospel and to meet with us individually and talk to us and teach us things that dad's should teach. He has been the constant instigator of Family Home Evening every Monday night for my whole life. And he has tried his hardest to make family scripture study and family prayer a priority, even with our busy schedules. He always has the answers to every question I have ever had. And he knows his scriptures. I love knowing that I can call up my dad needing a reference, and not only will he know exactly where the scripture is that I want, but he will reference me to 3 or 4 other scriptures that fit perfectly with what I want at the time. My dad has been there for me and my siblings through every challenge we have ever had. He has encouraged us to work towards our personal progress and scouting certificates by holding father/daughter or father/son meetings on Sundays. My dad is an incredible public speaker and knows what to say to an audience. He has constantly followed the promptings of the Holy Ghost to say exactly what I need to hear. I love my dad with all my heart. There are so many things that I could say about him. Whoever I marry I know will be a lot like my Papa.
#8. Meekness. The definition of meekness is: Godfearing, righteous, humble, teachable, and patient under suffering. The meek are willing to follow gospel teachings. When I read this definition one person came to my mind who fit this description completely. And that is my little brother Quinn. There is no gray with Quinn. Everything is either black, or white. He is beyond righteous. He goes early to set up chairs for church, he never complains about any priesthood responsibility he is given, he surrounds himself with good people who build him up. He is humble. He never is cocky or full of himself. He gives praise to others who deserve praise and doesn't take time to brag or talk about himself. He is very contempt. He is patient when others give him an opportunity to not be. I have given him way too many reasons to get mad, but he doesn't ever fall. He is constantly taking time to follow the gospel. To read his scriptures, to say his prayers, to live above the world. Quinn is a perfect example of setting the bar high for the church. Something that I very much admire about him. He is a lot like my dad. 
#9. Temperance. It is not easy to have self-control. But one person always did through the worst years of my life. My older brother Kendall. We fought and fought through Jr. High. I was very strongly opinionated and he drove me crazy. And I definitely let him know that. Little did I know, he would become my best friend during his senior year. Which was super great, but also pretty annoying. We grew close just in time for him to leave to college, and eventually leave on his mission. I look back now and remember just how awful I was to him. I gave him way too many reasons to hate me and fight back, but he never did. And luckily he didn't hold a grudge against me. I couldn't live knowing that he hated me. And I wouldn't want to live knowing now what good friends we are. I love my whole family and I know I haven't always made life easy. I was annoying and full of emotions and drama, so the fact that they all had enough self-control to not kill me is pretty incredible.
I have lived a very happy life so far. And although there are trials that come up in my life, I know that I will get through all of them because of the remarkable people I have in my life. I couldn't ask for a better life or better people to be there with me everyday.

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