I love this photo. I took it last month at our weekly play group. Olivia and her friend, Meg, were so cute together. We had packed a lunch to take with us. Olivia and Meg were playing together. As I watched this happen, I was so glad I had my camera to record the whole scene. This is only one picture of many. She ended up breaking her sandwich in two and sharing that also. She told me "this was one of the funnest days ever Mom!"
Sharing does just as much for us who share as it does for those we share with. It gives us those "warm fuzzies" inside. We feel better and happier when we can give any service to others. I'm grateful when I can step outside of myself and help someone else. I'm grateful to see my daughter learning how sharing with others can make her feel great also.
Do you ever feel like you're barely hanging onto the ledge of life? That you're out there all alone? That no one really knows what you're feeling inside and if they did know, they would sit down and cry with you? I think we've all been there at some point in our life.
It's in these moments that my testimony of the Atonement our Savior performed for us really increases and grows. The Savior didn't just feel the weight of our sins during the atonement. He also felt our sadness, aloneness, aching, and every hurt. He knows true empathy. It's reassuring and comforting to me to know that I can turn to Him. That there is One out there who will and does know what I'm feeling. I'm grateful He's there for me and that I'm never truly alone.
We've had a sick baby for the past little while. Poor Tagen has had a cold-cough-fever-teething-icky-I-don't-feel-good body for about a month. I'm so grateful that she's finally over the worst of it. It's such a blessing to see this truly happy baby be happy again. I've missed her frequent smiles and laughter. I'm grateful to have prayers answered and for the blessing of good health.
Have I mentioned that I love fall? I love walking through fall leaves. I love kicking them up and hearing the crinkle of them under my feet. It was fun to watch Olivia fall in love with the same thing the other day during our walk.
I love that even when the fall leaves fall to the earth, they are still providing beauty and enjoyment for us. It all continues to reminds me that there is an order to the earth and that this all didn't just happen by chance. The Master is in charge.
As a parent I want to protect my children from all the evils of the world. I want to put up protective fences all around them, around their hearts, and around their minds and keep them as innocent and carefree as they are right now. I see this world getting more and more evil and scary and I'm afraid to send my children out into the mess. I know I can't really build fences all around them, but how do I protect them?
"Our rising generation is worthy of our best efforts to support and strengthen them in their journey to adulthood. ... In every action we take, in every place we go, with every Latter-day Saint young person we meet, we need to have an increased awareness of the need for strengthening, nurturing, and being an influence for good in their lives." ~Elder Ronald A. Rasband,
"Our Rising Generation, Ensign, May 2006, 47.
My plan is to teach my children how to be faithful, strong and compassionate individuals. I'm going to help them continue to be as innocent and as carefree as possible. I want them to be willing to help fight the evil around us. I want them to be the best person they can be. The only way I know to do that is to make sure their testimonies are strong, to make sure they know they are of a divine heritage, and to plead for help from a loving Heavenly Father. He will protect their heart, mind and body better than any fence I build ever would.
While on a walk with my girls yesterday, I enjoyed watching Olivia play with these "flowers." When I was little, we used to blow on these old dandelions and call it "Blowing our wishes in the wind."
She would get completely absorbed in making sure each petal was detached and sent blowing off into the wind.
Then, last night as I was tucking her into bed, she asked me where her little brother was. I told her he was in Heaven still and that he hadn't been born yet. She asked, "Can we call him and tell him to come play?" I told her, "no, they don't have phones in heaven, but you can say a prayer and Heavenly Father and Jesus will tell him what you want him to know." She looked at me, smiled, and said, "Otay. Will you help me?" She then said the sweetest prayer with the most conviction. She asked... "Jesus, will you find my brother and ask him to come live with us in our home soon? Thanks!"
I was humbled. Earlier in the day I had been thinking how easy it would be if we could send all our wishes into the wind and have them come true. My daughter reminded me last night that there is a better way to get answers... We just need to ASK our loving Heavenly Father with the faithfulness and innocence of a child and He will bless us.
Yesterday we took a drive up the mountains above Bountiful. I saw this trail head sign and had to get a picture. I found it ironic. The sign that is supposed to tell me where I am is missing. It made me think that I should be doing frequent checks in life to make sure I'm on the right path. I can't wait for a "sign" that may never appear... I am in charge of making sure I am where I'm supposed to be in life. I have a perfect trail guide in Christ and the scriptures are great maps. I just need to remember to check my compass frequently and make sure I'm headed in the right direction.
Do you ever feel like you have your life's destination in sight... but it is a LONG way off and there are many twists, turns and obstacles in the way? There may be diversions along the way? Maybe just off the sides of the path? Sometimes right IN the path?
That's what this picture reminds me of. Life. There are twists, turns, obstacles and diversions in life. But, if you know where you want to end up, and if you keep your eye on the end goal, you can almost see that the diversions, twists and turns point you in a straight path to that destination.
I know where my destination is. The path I'm on is not 100% how I pictured life to be, but I'm grateful for the direction I'm headed. I'm just going to keep my eye on the end goal, and ask Heavenly Father for help through all the obstacles that come my way.
I took the girls up to Clearfield yesterday to have lunch with Brad. We packed up our food, picked him up, and went to a nearby church parking lot to enjoy some time together. It's something we've tried to do a lot since Brad started school and his schedule got crazy. Olivia is always asking when our next picnic with daddy is going to be. I often hear her "going on picnics to the temple with daddy" during her pretend play. We had a great time and I really enjoy being able to spend time together as a family.
I think I enjoy it more when we MAKE time to be together.
"As the sun gives life and light to the earth, a spiritual light gives nourishment to our spirits." ~Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin
"When light is present, darkness is vanquished and must depart. More important, darkness cannot conquer light unless the light is diminished or departs."~Elder Robert D. Hales, General Conference April 2002
Last night we went to a pumpkin patch. They had a hay maze for the kids to play in. Olivia loved it. She was willing to try it on her own to begin with, but soon came back and asked her dad to help her through the maze. He helped her through it once, then she was off and willing to do it on her own again. But, as I watched Brad take her hand and guide her through the turns and paths in the maze I was touched by the analogy playing out right before my eyes.
We come down to earth anxious to try out new things. Sometimes we jump right in and think we can do it on our own, only to quickly realize we need a guiding hand and some reassurance from our Father to make it through life's mazes. He's there and willing, we just need to ask... and then LISTEN. He will guide us to where we need to be.
The idea behind this blog came about from President Eyring's talk in General Conference. He asked that we take the time each day to write down the ways we had recognized God's hand in our lives. In doing so, we will be more grateful and even more blessed.
This is my effort to do so....
Because my family is one of my greatest blessings, there will be a lot of pictures of them. Please forgive my indulgence and Enjoy.