Growing towards the light

There is something absolutely marvelous about nature. It has the ability to bring comfort, wipe away tears, shorten the distance between heaven and earth, and teach us lessons. IMG_20141008_171538350A couple weeks ago I went on a beautiful fall hike. The colors were vibrant and despite the chill in the air my heart was warm, knowing the holidays are beginning. I had just read an amazing post by a friend, in which she let nature teach her important lessons. As I was hiking, I pondered on her post and then realized nature was teaching me something important right then.

Growing  towards light

Trees changing their direction to grow up towards the light.

Trees almost always grow towards the light. No matter where they are planned, they reform and change their direction to point up. It seems they innately know the light gives them strength. The trees yearn to be bathed in light.

How often do I change my course so that I grow towards the light? Grow up to God and feel His love and strength? Often I look at my life and feel that my actions say: “I’m okay with where I am, I don’t need the light–I’ll grow sideways.” When really, don’t we all want to grow up in light; grow up straight? I believe there is a way to grow up and slowly correct our slant, year by year growing more perfectly in the light.

Trees grow up, despite where they were planted. They could be planted on the side of a slippery hill; they could be growing next to rocky ground. In essence, they could be planted in the “least desirable” plot of ground and they still do what is necessary to grow up.

How often do I look at the cards I am dealt and simply believe it is my fate? “I was born with a temper, so I just have one.” Or do I look at my circumstances as a beginning to my journey? It doesn’t matter where we started, how our home was growing up, the mistakes we used to make–we can be who we desire to be, and grow closer to God. Creating the best outcome with what we were given.

In my experience, sometimes it is the most humble of circumstances that lead to the most breathtaking outcomes. It seems the added difficulty to get to where we want to go further refines and beautifies us, in ways that are incomprehensible to me.

IMG_20141008_171837451

Today I’m grateful for nature. I’m grateful for the beauty. I’m grateful God planted little lessons in the form of trees all around the world. I’m grateful it only takes going on an adventure to see the lessons.

How has nature taught you an unforgettable lesson? How do you enjoy spending time in nature? And How have you tried to make the best of your circumstances?

A sweet voice

Lately my son, Parker, has been learning a lot more words. It has been adorable and insightful to see more into his little mind. These precious kids have so much they are thinking about!

me with parker on my back on a hike.Yesterday Parker and I went on a killer hike, especially for me because I was carrying this 25-30 lb. talking ball of sweetness on my back. It was a 2 1/2 hour hike and his weight was really almost too much for me. I was nervous he was going to get really bored, but on the way up to the falls, behind my ear I heard his sweet voice saying:

“Hap-py, hap-py, hap-py, hap-py, hap-py…”

Wow! My heart practically burst hearing him repeat one of the few words he knows–happy. To me, he embodies the living definition of love, purity, and innocence.

Yesterday, in his sweet voice Parker reminded me happiness should be one of the main things we shoot for. Not the fleeting, circumstantial happiness. But the happiness that resonates from deep within our core; the happiness that transcends the sometimes menial things we do day-to-day.

“The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”
― Martha Washington

What words or phrases do you little ones say that make your heart melt? How have they helped change your perspective or brighten your day?

Blooming

What seems like forever ago, I made a connection that brought peace to my soul. One day about 3 years ago I was walking around the temple I lived closest too. (I love walking around temples, because there is, and always has been a peace that is pervasive.) I noticed as I walked around the manicured gardens that summer day, that there were flowers of all different kinds. The variety of flowers as well as the different stages of blooming they were in made the gardens so beautiful. In that moment, I realized there is a beauty to blooming.

Each flower is unique and blooms at its own pace.

Each flower is unique and blooms at its own pace.

Blooming is a process. We all know that come spring, flowers will ever so slowly begin to open up and bloom. But even so, each flower blooms at its own pace. There is anticipation for it to bloom fully, but each stage is beautiful. I started to wonder, what about me? Just as I love to watch flowers bloom and grow, does my Heavenly Father find joy and fulfillment as He watches me bloom into the person I can become? I absolutely think He does.

Flowers that remind me of blooming in my backyard

Flowers that remind me of blooming in my backyard

Sometimes I get inpatient with myself. I wonder why I am slow at catching on and getting better at things. But then flowers taught me another lesson. Even though I want to immediately become a better person, isn’t there beauty in slowly blooming? If flowers all of a sudden went from seed to a fully bloomed flower, I would feel I missed out on the beauty of watching it grow. I appreciate the slow and steady growth. It is the same for me. I can slowly grow and bloom through life. It is okay that I am not perfect, I’m just trying to enjoy the blooming. I believe my Heavenly Father understands growth, is loving, and celebrates my steady blooming, however slow it may be.

As I am now a mother, I realize that blooming into motherhood is real and very beautiful. When I think back to the day I became a mother, I am amazed at how much I have grown. I am more patient, I am more full of love, I know how to change a diaper

The day I became a mother

The day I became a mother

faster, etc… But, just like a flower blooming, day-to-day changes are sometimes imperceptible. It takes stepping back and looking at the beginning to realize how far I’ve come; how beautifully I am blooming.  I am so grateful for my Heavenly Father for giving me flowers to learn from.

Take a minute to think about your journey of blooming. How have you bloomed as a mother?

Right here, right now

I recently signed up for Instagram. Yeah, I’m kinda late catching the wave on that one. But, since getting on Instagram, it seems like my mind is always turning. I am constantly looking for a picture that is just right to share with my followers. Is that “Instagram worthy?” “P is so cute right now, I better run and get my phone!” So when this next moment happened, I feel I learned a lesson.

Last night there was a big thunderstorm that rolled in about 8pm. I was about to put P to bed, but he was so intrigued by the thunder that we went outside. Daddy was gone, so it was just me and him. I was sitting on the driveway; P nestled in my lap. We sat there in relative silence, except for P’s outbursts of excitement as we saw the lightning light up the sky and heard the boom of thunder.

As I was enjoying myself, I realized this was one of those “picturesque” moments. The thought crossed my mind to run and get my phone. But, I could barely finish the thought before I realized, NO. Not now. I want to be right here, right now. Some moments are just too special to catch on a camera. I would have to have had to get up, go find my phone, and then try a few different angles to get the right lighting. Not to mention, my mind would have been on almost everything, except this beautiful experience.

So, I sat, and I just enjoyed. The moment lingered on in one of the most fulfilling ways. Usually when I am trying to capture something on camera, it seems the moment passes too quick! P will stop doing whatever it was that was cute, before I was able to get a good enough picture. But, this time, I just soaked it up.

So here is my simple post, with no picture, because the moment was just too special to be captured. But don’t worry, it is still in my heart and I’ve been reliving it all day.

How do you balance the good of social media and photography, as well as simply living in the right here, right now?

The beauty of normal

Recently I’ve been feeling a desire to love the moments in life that usually pass me by. Or even learn to love the moments that naturally bug me out of my mind, but are normal. I read THIS article by Lindsay Dee and was baffled, inspired, and amazed by how she turned an annoying situation into a lesson learned and a bond strengthened. Lindsay Dee is overall a fabulous mom and great writer. I highly recommend her blog. She said when talking about her son:

“We are there for each other and work together to make our days count.  

I thought of this as I helped him go to sleep tonight (as he fought hard the whole way) and felt that amazing connection again, the one I’ll never get tired of. I offered a prayer of thanks for the gift of being able to experience it as he flung his arms around my neck and buried his head inside. His chest rising and falling with each breath, looking up at me every couple minutes with lips puckered for a kiss.”

Normally when P is fighting hard against sleep, my emotions immediately turn into annoyance. But, somehow this mommNormal days are beautifula had perspective enough to realize that she was experiencing something special. Somehow she was able to be grateful for this normal occurrence.

I thought about this today as I was sitting on the floor playing with my boy (P). There we were, playing peekaboo while folding laundry, him running and sprawling newly cleaned clothes around the house, Pandora playing our favorite station in the background, and dancing to the music.  Normal.

I realized no matter how normal this moment seemed, it was actually rather peaceful. I had to take my guard down and not think about the fact that P was unfolding and making dirty our clean clothes, as fast as I could fold and clean them. I had to allow myself to enjoy the moment to embrace the beauty of this normal-ness.

If something not normal happened, and I couldn’t experience this moment again, I would miss my normal.  It is interesting how we take “normal” for granted, but when something unusual happens, “normal” is the first thing we miss.

What are the normal things you love about your life and how have you learned to appreciate them?