Time to Think…..
So this is what the sky looks like today. It looks like this most days. But wait, the sun is peeking through the clouds….no, just a hole in the cloud cover. It’s gone now.
Anyway, my sweet husband took a few days off of work last week–a surprise. I didn’t know he was taking off any and I found out about each one individually–the night before, the morning of, and the night before. Each day was enjoyable to do something different than I had planned. By the third day, I didn’t feel like my life was on a ‘bullet’ train anymore. I had forgotten how much I just love to hang out with Drew.
Over the last several weeks, we have watched three different ‘Pride and Prejudice’s, and two ‘Sense and Sensibility’s. I have walked along the beach. Had a few days without the children at home, and had some evenings without them here. This week, I am helping a family prepare for a funeral and another family prepare for a wedding. Also, one of my best friends has had a baby, another is fighting her husband’s cancer…….while my own children are in school, at college and on a mission. And today I taught young mothers of the value and absolute importance their current ‘family station’ plays in society and in the eyes of the Lord.
I feel like I have had a crash course in mortality —so many emotions, so many different directions. Happy, sad, gratitude, loss, being overwhelmed, tranquility, peace, hope, despair, stress, love, joy……all over the place. I’m not sure what the point is exactly, except that through it all I have felt the Lord’s guidance and love. I have seen Him work miracles in the lives of my family and friends. I have seen them grow in their abilities to manage the stress and circumstances in their lives. Their characters have been altered for the better. They are stronger, more courageous, kinder, more nurturing, more empathetic. They have become more patient as the works of the Lord have manifested themselves in their lives.
It is amazing to me that just as we come to a place where we feel like the Lord has given us all that we can possibly handle, we are sure that our bucket of trials is overflowing, and we cannot endure any more, that is when He seems to step in and take over and His works are made visible. It never happens before then. We are pushed beyond our ability (we think), way beyond our desire and we desperately need assistance. Pushed to the point of begging for relief and answers, that we reach deep into our soul and really seek after the will of the Lord—-that is when the answers start coming, or the help, or the relief.
Don’t you wish we would come to that place of desiring His will before that place?? And yet, for most of us, I think we almost have to go there before we are so willing to give up self and really, honestly and truly seek His will above our own. It is so easy to forget when things are going well and life is good. Why do we forget?? Why?
I certainly do not enjoy the trials of mortality, and yet I can see their benefit in the lives around me and in my own. I grow so much because of my own experience. A dear friend once called those places in our lives, ‘times of compressed spiritual growth.’ I really like that phrase. It seems to capture it all, doesn’t it?
So as you ponder the benefits and growth you have had from your ‘times of compressed spiritual growth,’ here is one of my little tiny gifts that reminds me that Heavenly Father loves me.
I love the beach!! And I love sand dollars!! I have never found a whole one on the beach any time I have ever been—not one!! Well, while Drew and I were walking together along the shore on one of his days off, I found one. (not pictured here because I broke it while I was cleaning the sand off of it at home) Anyway, it was cute and little. Then I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to find one for each of the kids. (I didn’t plan on giving it to them. I just wanted to find one for each of them.) Well, during our walk on the beach, I found SIX!! Six whole sand dollars!!! It wasn’t until I was walking home that I was gently reminded that I had wanted to find one for each of the children, and I have six children at home. Wow, really?? You even answer those little silly prayers? Thank you!! Thanks!