Diary Page Eighty-Three
August 21, 2009 - Let me show you something brand new...

Things I feel good about in my life right now:

I don't feel very melancholy and I have some hope. I am doing well in school, which proves I can do something consistently well. I have some ambition and have made some headway with spiritual goals. I have been studying for all of my meetings for the last two weeks. I actually look forward to participating more in field service. I am concerned about my character and the impact I have on others. I take my medication regularly. I am maintaining social discourse with others and genuinely valuing social interaction. I stopped my worst bad habits and haven't engaged in them for more than two weeks. I can leave the house. Physically I have had a good week. I'm a little more willing to take medicine when I feel sick. I am more relaxed.

Things I feel bad about in my life right now:

I look terrible and think I'm looking and feeling older. Some of my hopes for the future are diminishing. I am not physically active and some days rarely leave the bed. I'm not eating right, going from eating too little to eating too much and not being balanced. I haven't been going to the meetings. I am concerned about my level of spiritual weakness. It's been a long time since I danced! I haven't been writing or composing either. There are some positive habits I wanted to pick up and I haven't. I have been inconsistent with my sleep schedule. I haven't paid much attention to my health and I have been passive about it. I have been very irresponsible with money.

I want to find serenity, but not through laziness. Serenity and satisfaction aren't the same thing. In fact, I really feel I need to focus a lot less on my own level of satisfaction. I want peace and to not so often feel overwhelmed or worried. But I don't want to confuse satisfaction for serenity, or pleasure for joy.

February 23, 2010 -
these are the contents of my head...

Hannah's example really resonated with me. While I don't often like to think about it, I have certainly let discouraging words and people misunderstanding my health problems affect me. Eli didn't understand why Hannah was behaving the way she was, and he made an accusation against her. She respectfully answered him, keeping in mind his position as high  priest, but being completely honest about what she was doing and why. Because of that she was blessed and receive encouraging words. Just because someone has a misunderstanding and says something out of ignorance, that doesn't mean they are passing judgment against me as a person. I keep so much to myself because I am afraid to be judged by people. In the end, I am the one who ends up judging them, and I have been the one to suffer for it.

The symptoms of discouragement: lack of interest in prayer or personal study, slacking off in meeting attendance, lost enthusiasm, and even coldness towards fellow Christians!

I have experienced those symptoms in concert before, but I did not recognize them for what they were: discouragement.

1 Cor. 12:22-26 Jehovah assigns more honor to the weaker members of the body.

"22 But much rather is it the case that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary, 23 and the parts of the body which we think to be less honorable, these we surround with more abundant honor, and so our unseemly parts have the more abundant comeliness, 24 whereas our comely parts do not need anything. Nevertheless, God compounded the body, giving honor more abundant to the part which had a lack, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the other members suffer with it; or if a member is glorified, all the other members rejoice with it."

February 28, 2010 - like a moth with no flame to persuade me...

I've been thinking about how I would personally define a successful life. Today I've narrowed it down to this: my life is successful if it is joyful and if I am the best person that I can be (living up to my potential in character).

Now there are a lot of pitfalls. First, there is definitely a difference between joy and happiness (and let's throw pleasure in there). Many times what makes me happy interferes with me living up to my potential. I have been doing a better job distinguishing pleasure from happiness, but foregoing happiness for the sake of being the best person I can be (and having true joy) is going to take a lot more sacrifice and ultimately holy spirit.

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