Sunday, January 8, 2012

Called to Testify

I reread this from President Monson, “Once we have a testimony, it is incumbent upon us to share that testimony with others.”(Ensign, November, 2011 page 67).

So my mind’s been pondering this indepth..  I’ve had a lot of amazing and wonderful experiences the last while and I haven’t really shared them with others.  Sure some shouldn’t be shared, but I have had plenty of faith promoting experiences that should be shared and that could be faith building to many people.  I feel the call to start blogging more.  To testify. To help share the good news.  Now I just have to remember to blog. 

None of these experiences are anything to “write home about” as far as being awe-inspiring or “that should be in the Ensign.”  They are however, quiet faith building experiences that remind me that I am a child of God, God does have a plan for me and He knows exactly what I’m up too.
So where to start?  I feel impressed to let you into my life a little bit.  I have to admit I am not exactly thrilled about that.  We’ll see where this goes….

I have a bad habit.  (Well, I have more than one, but we won’t get that personal today).  I love sleep.  I love to sleep.  I love thinking about when I get to sleep next.  I imagine being in my jammies and snuggled down in bed.  So cozy, warm and blissful.  (It is 20 degrees outside, perhaps that is prompting my cozy, snuggly thoughts).  Just thinking about it is well, “ahhhh.”

So here’s the big problem.  I sleep too much.  I am not a morning person or a night person, I am simply a sleeper.  Perhaps you don’t get enough sleep, but I get plenty.  It gets worse.  The Lord has told me over and over that I need to get up early.  For years it’s the same thing.  So I go in spurts.  I’ve gone months upon months of getting up at 5 AM.  Numerous times I’ve done this.  I do well for six months and then I go back to day dreaming about sleep and it’s just too much and I succumb.  Well, the real problem is the getting up.  Why is it so hard to get up early?  Perhaps the obvious answers are: it’s cold and it’s dark.  Another is that I just love snuggling with my husband.  Why get up?  It’s sooooo hard. 

The Lord’s been inviting me again.  Well, He never stopped, I just didn’t want to listen.  I am like a child with my hands over my ears, “I can’t hear you!”  The plan was working really well until it happened.  The Lord tried a different approach and my husband did something really jerky.  Well, that’s how I initially viewed it.   He heard the Lord call him and so he started getting up early.  He didn’t even discuss it with me.  I am sleeping soundly in his warm arms and then, he’s gone.  He’s up studying on the couch in the cold and in the dark (well outside it is).  And he keeps doing it every morning.

So who am I supposed to snuggle with now? The cat? The dog? The nine year old?  Needless to say I just started to get up with him.  What else can I do?  So here we go on round number 25 of Deanna trying to get up early to obey the Lord.  I hope it lasts because the spiritual outpouring of blessings that come to me when I get up early and study are amazing!  They are more important than my sleep.

Another interesting tidbit is that even when I sleep in (until 7:30) I still go through my routine: journal, conference talk(s), and scripture study every morning.  Usually for just as long too.  However I always get WAY more out of my studying when I study earlier.  Why is that?  Like I said, it’s cold and it’s dark.  My eyes are glued shut and I’m delirious.  But it never fails.  I learn more.  Every single time.

The scripture that always comes to me when I think about this is Doctrine and Covenants 88:83, “He that seeketh me early shall find me, and shall not be forsaken.”  My husband and I always “argue” about this one.  I say it means we should get up early and he says it means we should seek Christ early in our life.  We’re both right I suppose, but it has been a great comfort to me.  I have a testimony that when we get up early the Lord will speak to us, that when we draw near unto Him, He will draw near unto us. (D & C 88:63)

It’s so simple.  I believe it.  But why is it so hard to comply?  I receive so many spiritual blessings when I heed the call to seek Him early.

President Packer said this to the graduates of BYU-H, “These are sobering times you are going out into a world that is different than the world I faced when I was {19}…You won’t survive spiritually unless you know how to receive revelation…I don’t know whether you know how to receive revelation, but you won’t survive without it…it’s a noisy world, and you’re going to have to learn personally, and privately, and individually that revelation will come when the Lord can speak to your feelings…go quietly into the world and quietly go about your affairs-learn that in the still, small hours of the morning the Lord will speak to you.  He will never fail to answer your prayers.”  BYU-H Commencement Address, December 7, 2005.
I find this quote motivating.  Not only about the importance of revelation in our lives (which is a top of the list priority in teaching my children), but because of the promise that the Lord will speak to us in the quiet hours of the morning and teach us everything we can possibly handle.  In those quiet hours He will mentor us on receiving personal revelation and fulfilling the measure of our creation.
So why is it that we learn more in the early morning hours than later?  I don’t know the answers.  Perhaps it’s quiet. Perhaps nothing in the world has had a chance to mess with us yet that early.  Perhaps because it is cold and dark the Lord accepts that seemingly pathetic sacrifice for what it is-the best we can do.

So I hope to testify more regularly about the truths I am learning.  Because again to quote President Monson, "Once we have a testimony, it is incumbent upon us to share that testimony with others."


Unknown said...

Thank you.
My 5:30 AM scripture routine starts tomorrow. Again. You articulated everything that was already in my mind.

Anne said...

As I was reading this I had the thought that maybe we receive more due to our obedience. Isn't that the key to blessings whatever it may be obedience in what the Lord asks of us. This was the lesson taught in primary today and my co teacher brought up a really great point in obedience. She asked was it raining when God asked Noah to build an ark? Was Jerusalem threatened when Lehi was commanded to leave? No but they were obedient and look a the great blessings they received. Thanks for helping me ponder some great ideas.

Rebekah said...

Thank you, Deanna, for your inspiring testimony. I've had the same "prompting" to get up early for years too yet I don't. It seems for me that no matter how many hours of sleep I get the early hour does me in yet I can get less sleep to a later hour and be fine...odd. Lately I've been trying to get up several hours earlier than I had been, I keep saying to myself, "Do hard things!" This morning I got a chilly greeting, our dog snuck inside the back door and left it was a nice -19 outside and 45 inside. UG! Had I been obedient and gotten up when I feel prompted to that may not have happened. I'll try harder to do the hard thing too.

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

Emily Fay said...

Thank you for the wonderful blog! I just came across it today and I am soooo happy to have "met" you! Blessings for a beautiful day!

Christy said...

I still have babies that get me up in the night, so I have begun sleeping in longer to compensate. I miss the early morning study time I used to have, for I believe that it is more effective.

For me, the "early morning hours of revelation" are more like 3 am, not 5. I have come to believe that it is because that is when the house is quiet and no one is wanting my attention (other than the hungry baby, that is!) Therefore, I am more receptive to the Holy Ghost.

I look forward to reading more from you. I've missed your thoughts.

Kimberli said...

You sound just like me! I love sleep too. But, like you, I've felt the call to get up early. I've been doing it for two weeks now and I can't believe the difference in my life. I used to complain how there were just too many voices, that I couldn't figure things out, that I didn't know who I was. Now the voices are quiet and there is just one voice. There is a quiet assurance of who I am and what I believe. I feel a confidence that has been missing for so long. I should have known, but oh, the draw of that warm bed has kept me from it. I hope I never forget and just keep kicking off the covers. I'll be thinking of you tomorrow morning. We're all in this together, right?