What Matters Most

A friend got me thinking recently about what matters most to me. When he asked me I thought it was a simple answer: My religion, my family and Sydney. Probably cliche answers, but I'm okay with it. Then he asked why. That question gets me every time. With Sydney being gone for two years and not having to worry about dating it has really forced me to focus on myself. I can honestly say in the three months that he has been gone those three things have risen up even higher in importance. But why?

Why is my religion so important to me? I like to think the answer is simple: It gives me joy. Not just happiness, but pure joy. It gives me purpose.  And it fills me with peace. I'm one of those people who if I don't know why I'm doing something it is really hard to motivate me. But, most importantly, I know that it is true. As anyone who has ever heard me really talk about my faith they have heard me say that it is the one thing that is always constant in my life. It is the one thing that will never change. The only thing about it that will change is that my love for it will grow more and more. My religion is why I am the way I am. It is the reason I know who I am, it is the reason I don't have to wander through life without any direction or hope. It is everything to me. 


My family. I have been blessed with an amazing, big family. I'm the youngest of six kids, who all have been married and each have at least one child. Then there are my parents. I could do a whole blog post on how great they are. They have taken care of me even when they didn't have to, loved me when I didn't deserve it and raised me with me confidence, a good moral compass and love. They taught me to ask questions, find answers for myself. They taught me to love everyone, even if they don't love you back. They taught me the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and they taught me to love it. And they taught me to love life, to laugh and be happy. And most importantly my family matters so much to me because I know I will be with them forever and for that I am so grateful. 
Two grandkids not yet born and one in-law missing. April 2013

I hate being that girl who writes sappy things about her boyfriend but I find it important to talk about how Sydney can matter even more to me, even though we are 2,868 miles apart and only communicating by email and letters. Most people say long distance is too hard. And I agree with those people. But this long distance is different. We are growing closer because we are united in our cause and purpose. I, 110%, support Sydney in his decision to go on a mission. Yes it is so hard being apart from each other but the growth he is experiencing makes me love him more. And as I read about his experiences and what he is learning it makes me want to grow also. I think an important trait of a good relationship is that your significant other makes you want to be your best self. And most importantly knowing that he is out sharing the one thing that I love most in my life, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Knowing he is giving other people the chance to feel the same peace, joy and purpose that I have makes me love him more. But why? Because for the first time in my life he is the one who gives me the desire to be my best self, who has broken down my wall of independence, who has cared for me in a way I didn't know someone could, who has shared my dreams and desires and supports every last one of them, makes me laugh, and loves me for exactly who I am.
Like I said...for exactly who I am. December 2013

As I'm writing this, I'm realizing the things that matter most to me all tie together. I wouldn't have as strong of a relationship with my family if it wasn't for my faith, and I wouldn't have my faith if it wasn't for my parents and finally I wouldn't know Sydney or have the strong relationship I have with him. I'm grateful that my friend got me thinking about this because it has helped me evaluate what matters to me and how I need to be doing more to treasure and care for these things. What matters the most to you? But most importantly why does it matter so much? I challenge you to figure that out. Knowing the "why" can make all the difference. 

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