it was some winter.
Longest winter ever to date.
The snow & cold were neverending.
It was only made more dreary because
life has just been plum HARD for our family
these past handful of months.
Mia with her upchuck bowl
at Grandma's house.
Plus, we had a boatload of sicknesses run
through the household.
Oh, me, oh, my! Dreadful.
And it seemed like trial after trial kept coming our way.
The kind where I throw my hands heaven-ward and say,
I kept trying to push through with my fountain of optimism
but guess what?
It went & dried up.
Admittedly, the celebration in me completely shut down.
I just couldn't blog.
What was I to share anyway?
This is my happy space. My gratitude journal.
A sacred home to my precious, joyful memories.
No clutter here, please.
I save that for my journal.
Wintertime really was dark & long
but exponentially so because of how I handled life.
And it wasn't handled gracefully.
My life's motto is to Celebrate.
All things in any situation.
Find a way to have gratitude.
My favorite scripture is to cheerfully do all things.
And wouldn't you know it.
we picked out back in September to be our family's
theme for the school year.
But as hit after hit came,
I forgot more & more.
Darkness closed in. It was awful.
Really, this story does have a happy ending. Hang with me.....
At my lowest point, I had nowhere else to go but to God.
I've prayed most every day of my entire life
but I hadn't been to Him with my heart in quite some time.
I was driven to my knees, pouring out my soul, seeking guidance & comfort.
I searched my scriptures, craving answers from them.
Nothing miraculous happened. Right away.
I kept at it, though.
And one day, I was with my little baby, and I noticed that I had pure joy filling my heart.
I was just amazed by her & in awe of how awesome she is.
The ache in my heart was gone. I could not feel the weight of my burdens!
It was amazing. That pain was just gone. I was flooded with gratitude for all my blessings.
For this unique, blessed life that I get to live.
To be a wife & mother! To know that I am a beloved daughter of a Heavenly Father who loves me.
I was so grateful for the Atonement of my Savior who took those burdens from me.
It was beautiful.
I felt changed. And all my trials were still right there.
And I didn't know how they would be resolved.
But I had found peace amidst the storm
and knew that I could go on in spite of it.
Oh, man alive, this baby has been such a healing balm
to me this past year.
Isn't it interesting how we must learn the same lessons
over & over again?
Turn to God, I'm filled with His love,
Forget Him and I'm lost.
So while I could feel a mighty change,
I struggled with finding that extra "oomph" for life.
The zest, the exclamation point, the celebration!
I was feeling at peace but where was my infamous
enthusiasm for this existence?
You readers are doing great, by the way,
keep sitting tight.
It was around early February,
I took a late-night trip to Wal Mart.
That place makes me grumpy & I put off going there
for as long as I can.
But sometimes, it just has to be done.
I walked into Wal Mart & was stopped in my tracks by this cactus.
It had the most vibrant pink blossoms!
I had never noticed anything like it.
I was intrigued & completely mesmerized right there in Wallyworld.
I stared at this weird little plant and just couldn't believe that a cactus
could produce something so vivid & dynamic.
I had to buy it! And one with yellow, too. My favorite color.
I was walking around the store with vigor, passion, fervor!
(I love the thesaurus.)
A sensation of overwhelming gratitude was bubbling up inside of me
to the point of exhilaration.
By the time I got home,
I could barely contain myself.
At 10:30, I threw open the front door leaving my purchases in the car,
scrambled down the basement stairs to my husband,
and fervidly expressed my thanks to him for being mine, for our children, for our life together!
I was probably on the verge of seeming really ridiculous but
there really was no holding me back.
Ah HA! I was finally high on life again
and absolutely loving it.
It was always there.
The beauty, the wonder, the blessings.
I just had to align my will with God's will
and press forward with faith.
He blessed me by putting that spark back in my vision.
I love being able to see the stunning details of my life.
It doesn't mean that my everyday life is a party.
We are still going through hard things.
But I needed this lesson.
For some reason,
I feel like I needed to share it with you, too.
Thanks for listening.