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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Gifts of Life

Yesterday Marc was able to take the second half of the day off work, so we could have a little family time together. We drove down to the Bay, where we first met up with my parents, who were down there for their usual Wednesday at the temple. Then, later we met up with my brother for dinner, who is on a little business trip. It ended up being a pretty long day, but so worth it! It was exactly what I needed and I came away feeling so refreshed and uplifted.

I was reminded of some very important truths, and I wanted to write some of them down so that I won't forget as easily.

1) The world around me is beautiful. Every where I look, there is beauty. I happen to live in a very gorgeous place - a little valley that's surrounded by lush mountains that are extra beautiful this time of year, it isn't far from the beach, and even closer to the most amazing Redwood Grove of its kind. Just a month ago we took some new friends to this particular grove and they were so stunned by its beauty, even paying close attention to the abnormally largeness of the clover leaves, which I hardly even notice now. As we explored the grove with them, I found myself trying to see it with new eyes, as if it were my first time, to feel the same awe and reverence that they were feeling. It made me realize how lucky I am to live in such a beautiful place that offers such unique creations to appreciate. And, the most beautiful thing about that idea is that everyone should be able to say the very same thing about wherever they live. That's how beautiful this world is. I want to be more conscious of its beauty and more appreciative of the gift it is. The earth, in all of its beauty, is a gift that is meant to make my life joyful.

2) There is a need to connect and re-connect with those we love. Tomorrow morning, just like nearly every Friday morning for the past 7 months, I get to go fishing with my Dad. My Mom got us both fishing licenses this year and we decided Friday would be our fishing day. We've missed some, but only when one of us has been out of town. Sometimes it's just the two of us, sometimes we take my 3 kids. But, it has gotten to the point that Friday Fishing Day is almost as sacred to me as the Sabbath. Part of that has to do with the time I get to spend with my Dad (and 3 kids) doing something we love, and part of it is the feeling I get that I'm reconnecting to Nature, which to me is completely synonymous with connecting to Deity. I guess in a way it feels to me like the perfect set-up to feel close to both my Fathers. I love the sound of the rushing river we go to, watching the deer frolic in the golden hills on the other side of the river, feeling the warmth of the sun as it comes up through the trees, and just the chance to unplug from the many distractions and plug back into the things that matter most - those eternal relationships, both here and there.

3) I am not perfect and that is perfectly okay. I read somewhere recently - "God has a plan for your mistakes." And, He does! He doesn't expect me to be perfect and never has. He knows my efforts, He knows the desires of my heart, He knows I'm trying to figure it all out. I'm just glad He has it all figured out. I'm realizing there is a lot more I can do to let Him in my life to show me more. I think sometimes I convince myself that part of life is just suffering through blindly until I finally have a stroke of luck and get it right. But, I'm realizing He can open my eyes to new ideas, new beliefs, new habits, new perspectives, that can make the whole process so much easier. I just need to put myself in a place to be ready and listening, expecting the answers to come.

Yesterday was a much needed reminder that this life is a gift. The earth is a gift. The relationships I enjoy are gifts. The plan that God has for my life is a gift. And it is all there for me to enjoy, to find happiness. True, life has its struggles, but life is so much more than just trudging through the hard moments. The views, the people, the experiences are meant to bring me joy. That is the purpose of life - to find joy. It's there, even when the mountain is steep and the way is unknown. And, oh, how I needed that reminder!

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