I have been the receiver of so many tiny miracles in my life. Things that have surrounded me that I try and make sure I take the time to notice. They can be as simple as a sunset, or the nest of a pair of eagles. They can be kind words and even kinder voices. They can be the way someone notices something I have done or said. There are so many miracles in each of our lives. So many time that Heavenly Father reaches out to remind each one of us that we are loved and wanted and needed, right where we are.
Occasionally, I forget that. Occasionally I struggle to remember that I have worth. Life can be hard. It can be downright awful sometimes. I am learning that if we forget to look for the miracles, it is too easy to get swallowed up in the storms.
I have spent way too much of my life focusing on the rain, instead of the beauty of the rainbows. Too much time remembering every single negative in life, without acknowledging the many positives. Too much time focusing on the impossibilities rather than on the miracles that already surround me.
So, remember the miracles. They are a testament of His love. They remind us of His caring. They remind us of who we are, and who we are meant to become. They are all around us if we will just take a moment to look and see.
It has been an interesting couple of weeks in our home. My husband was diagnosed with skin cancer. We weren't sure how bad it was, or what getting rid of it would entail. To be honest, we weren't even sure how bad it could possibly be.
So, he made the appointments, got the biopsy, received the results of the biopsy and made the appointment to have it removed. That happened this Saturday. Neither of us was ready for how much they would take off his face, or what type of scar he would have at the end.
To be honest, he was probably just a little more upset about cutting his beard than the scar.
I have spent a lot of time thinking this week and being grateful. Thinking about how it could have been and being grateful for the medical care that came up on the mountain to take care of him. I have also been grateful for all the thoughts and prayers and well wishes from so many around us.
We had no idea how aggressive skin Cancer could be. We really had no idea what to expect at all. So, it was a little disconcerting to find that he had two types of cancer. One a slow growing kind, and one very aggressive type. I am so grateful that they could get all the cancer and that the scar won't be too bad after it is healed. I had time to reflect on what this man means to me and how very blessed I really am.
I have a husband who never goes to doctors. He doesn't take any medication and he is very healthy. He found a small sore on his face, it did not heal or get better and started to turn dark. He called the doctor himself and went in to have it checked out.
I am so blessed that he knew something wasn't right and went in to have it looked at.
I realize how much he means to me and to our family. This crazy, messy, chaotic life we live is really filled with pretty amazing moments in spite of it. We have children who love us and care about us. We have the opportunity to serve them and help them and be there for them. We have them mostly raised and are blessed to see them grow and learn and develop. We get to experience the joy of grandchildren and the love and blessings they bring into our lives.
I have lived too much of my life waiting for moments to pass. Waiting for things to change. Waiting for something to be different. Today, I am learning to just enjoy the moment I am in. Each step of the way brings it own trials and blessings, but also so much joy.
My husband has always told me that I need to stop and smell the roses a little more often. Today, I can see just how much he might be right. This moment, right here and now, is worth everything to me. And so I move forward, one small, tender mercy at a time.
This moment is life.
I am afraid of the dark. My imagination gets going and I can dream up any wickedness you can imagine. When I was a child, I watched one, single, horror movie. I have nightmares of drowning and bodies to this day. My imagination needs no help!
I remember one night when I saw a face in the window. It seemed to my child's mind to be very evil. I saw dark hair and blue eyes. I felt sure that he could see me too and that he wanted me.
For the first time in my very young life, I got to my knees under the covers and prayed. I prayed with all the sincerity of my 5 year old self. I prayed that Heavenly Father would keep the man away and that he could not hurt me. I didn't dare look at the window until much later, but I prayed until I was comforted.
During that prayer, I felt the knowledge come into my mind to know where a flash light was. Tiptoeing silently through the small apartment, I went to he right drawer and pulled the flashlight that I found there, I also pulled some extra batteries. I ran back to bed with that small light and kept it under the covers to protect me from the darkness.
I don't know what my mother thought happened to that small light, but I kept it for many years. I put it carefully between the wall and the bed. As a teenager, it was my reading light and my babysitting light. I used it when I needed to see something and when I needed to feel secure. I also used it when I needed to see my way home in the darkness.
Not only can happiness be found when you remember to turn on the light, but I learned that safety and security could be found also. I learned the God answers prayers, even for very young insecure children, and I learned that I really was loved and watched over.
I am so guilty of this. It is easier to fall into this trap than any other that I am tempted with. It is so easy to look around at other women and see all the ways that they are better than I am. It is easy to believe that they are more righteous, more willing, more happy, more holy. More of just about anything I can imagine.
The problem with that is that as long as I continue to believe it, I do not change. I do not recognize my own strengths and use them to help others. I just keep telling myself that "Sister So-and-So" can do it so much better than me. I hold myself back and don't serve, when I really want to and need to be there for someone else.
The problem with comparisons, is that they are NEVER true! We are standing at the outside trying to look inside somebody else, and we are looking at our inside and comparing it to our own perception of someone else. We can never win. We either believe erroneously that we are better, or worse.
We start to believe that we are not the same in God's eyes. That He sees us with the harshness that we see ourselves. We forget that He looks upon the heart and not the deeds. He looks at what we are becoming and overcoming and not so much on the where we have been.
He forgives when our own selves can't.
Happiness is found when we stop trying to see ourselves through the eyes of others, and start trying to see ourselves through our Heavenly Father's eyes. He loves us, exactly where we are right now, and who we are this minute. He loves us in all our imperfect weakness as well as the attempts at becoming stronger than we are and more like Him.
True happiness lies when we can accept ourselves, with all our mistakes and failures, while no longer judging ourselves against the world,
and working at becoming more like Him.
Happiness is looking at each other through the eyes of God.
How I love conference every six months. I find myself enjoying it more and more the older that I get. I find myself focusing on the words and how they apply to me. This talk was wonderful. He brought up so many good points. I love taking the chance to review his words.
“For verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.”
If we have faith as small as a mustard seed, the Lord can help us remove the mountains of discouragement and doubt in the tasks ahead of us as we serve with God’s children, including family members, Church members, and those who are not yet members of the Church.
Brothers and sisters, life can be filled with faith, joy, happiness, hope, and love when we exercise the smallest amount of real faith in Christ—even a mustard seed of faith.
I also loved how he talked about technology and how we spend so much time with it. How it has good things about it, but also there are bad. It can be addicting and influence people to never have a real conversation with each other. Everything is online. Everything is posted. Everything is there waiting for someone to find it. I love how he counseled us to unplug so that we may find the time to hear the still small voice.
I also enjoyed reading about service. How important that is for us and how Peter tells us in the scriptures tell us that Jesus, "went about doing much good".
What a wonderful tribute to our Savior. His ministry was one not only of teaching, but of serving others.
Perhaps the words that mean the most to me, are simply,
In our discipleship, we have many demands, concerns, and assignments. However, some activities must always be at the heart of our Church membership. “Wherefore,” the Lord commands, “be faithful; stand in the office which I have appointed unto you; succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.”
May we all be responsible for serving those who need us most.