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?

You can be a champion

As a new blogger, I’ve been thinking a lot about… blogging. I’ve also been thinking about all my blog currently is and all I hope it to be. Currently they aren’t matching up and it can be discouraging.

To be quite honest, I have big dreams. Some that I am almost too afraid to admit. I feel sheepish even writing it down, but I do it in hopes that someone will not feel alone in their dreams.

I have dreams of being an influential person in the world. Dreams of having content on my blog that encourages and uplifts. Dreams of initiating helpful conversations on the internet. Dreams of friendships that support one another from states away.

It is hard when those dreams feel so out of reach and far away. It is difficult when I feel completely insignificant. There is this nagging voice in the back of my head, that says I have nothing to offer a world with 152 million blogs. But I keep pushing the voice away, because I read your blogs and they uplift me. Each individual voice adds something unique and teaches me something; something only you could teach me. And I’m grateful for that.

As I was listening to music today while cleaning the house, the song “Hall of Fame” by The Script came on. I love that song. I was listening to the lyrics when I realized how powerful the words were. The theme of the song is this–YOU can be a champion. You can conquer the challenges ahead. You have to give your dreams a fighting chance, because you’ll never know if you don’t give it a good try.

“Giving up is the only sure way to fail.”-Gena Showalter

You can be a champion

My boy, Parker, who inspires me to keep trying.

So whatever it is that you dream about, keep at it. You’ll never know if you might be great, unless you give it a good chance. A creative mom, a talented cook, an inspirational blogger, a supportive sister, the greatest exercise guru–whatever it is! We are much more powerful and equal to the task than we realize.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?… As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.” —Marianne Williamson

What are your dreams? How do you stay motivated to do what you love?

Weeds grow easy

Ever notice how weeds don’t seem to need any encouragement to grow? But beautiful flowers, plants and trees do? I never see anyone outside watering their weeds, because none are growing. Or pulling out flowers, because “they just had too many and they were growing too fast.” Neither do I hear anyone exclaim that they “just don’t have weeds.”

weeds growing in the dirt

It seems that weeds grow spontaneously and flowers need encouragement.

The same is true for our souls.

At one time or another, we each have an annoying habit, distraction, or temptation, a weed, that comes without invitation into our life. It takes continual effort on our part, for our good habits, or flowers, to grow.

Right now the weed in my life is fear. This last week as I was going through the roller coaster of emotions that moving has brought, I realized fear immediately came into my heart. All the “what if’s” surrounded my head like a hazy cloud making it difficult to see my options clearly and make a decision.

What if we don’t find a place to live?
What if that apartment doesn’t fit our needs?
What if we can’t move in at the right time?
What if, what if, what if…..

My weed of fear started overrunning my soul. I didn’t need to invite my fears–they just came. It wasn’t until I decided to trust in the future, that I found peace. It took effort on my part to intentionally pull out the weeds and water the flowers of trust and faith.

Flowers need water, they need sun, they need love; so do the positive perspectives and attitudes we want in our lives. They don’t just grow, unfortunately.

small plants growing with a structure to help them grow.

The little flowers in our garden we are helping to grow. Giving them structure and attention.

Weeds can be anything in our lives: feeling down about ourselves, body image, a hard relationship, or fear. How do you get rid of the weeds in your life? How do you nurture the flowers and good things in your life? I would love to hear your thoughts!

Moving. It’s a roller coaster.

Today my soul is not soaring through the clouds. Instead, it is somewhere between my knees and the ground. Our little family is currently in the midst of moving. We just recently found out we need to be out of our current house in one month and we have yet to find another place to live.

picture of a roller coaster with lots of loopsThings keep not working out and it seems that plan after plan is going out the window. My conclusion? Moving is like jumping on a roller coaster. I’m going to strap myself in, throw my hands in the air, and feel the whole range of emotions. Everything from deep sadness and loss, to excitement and anticipation. It’s like a mystery novel… where will we end up next??

As I was feeling quite weighed down today, this quote came to mind.
dont quitAs confused as I feel right now, as worried as I am about what the future will hold, as discouraged as I am feeling– there are good things to come. There always are.

So for the rest of tonight and this adventure, I’m going to keep reminding myself to “Trust God and believe in good things to come.”

Wearing big shoes

Lately my little boy is becoming a lot less little. Today he fed himself dinner using utensils, helped me clean the house, and practiced putting on my shoes. He naturally is driven to do more and more for himself and is steadily refusing my help. He is quite independent and capable, you know. It is strange that not long ago I would day dream of when he would be big, more self sufficient, and less reliant on me.

Now I’m not so sure. Tonight I want to relish in his sweet, young innocence, because when the sun rises in the morning he’ll be one day older.little boy sitting down trying on adult shoes. He is smiling and very proud of himself.There is a refreshing passion, energy, and newness that surrounds my little boy. Each step he takes is filled with wonder and curiosity. What new will he discover today?

There is an absolute purity and innocence that bubbles out of him freely. Each game of hide-and-seek is exhilarating and new. How will his giggles fill my soul with delight today?

There is a complete trust that flows from every fiber of his being into mine. Every owie is mine to kiss; every hurt dream is mine to heal. How will we comfort each other today?

There is something absolutely beautiful about childhood, that I am amazed and in love with. So for now my vivacious, adventurous, gleeful little boy–I love you just how you are. The time will come when you’ll wear those big shoes. You’ll lace them up all by yourself and run out the door with my heart on your sleeve.

So for now and tomorrow, why don’t you keep wearing your alligator sandals. The way you trot around in them is infectious. They are my favorite. They fit you best.

Blue and green little boy sandals with alligators on them.