What a difference I have felt in my life this week. Seriously; getting up and reading, writing and sincerely praying in the morning makes such a difference in one's life. Huge. I feel like myself again. I feel direction and purpose. I feel more alive. Music touches me more deeply, I see beauty more vividly, people are more wondrous to me, I feel more gratitude and love in my relationships. My steps feel more solid, my direction more clear, and my surroundings more real.
Heavenly Father is so good to us. He really does want us to have joy, love and purpose in our lives. I am so grateful to have seen such a difference in such a short time and to have gained this even deeper testimony of the importance of taking time with Him each day.
I have noticed that for me it is helpful to get up and write first thing. I get my thoughts out and I see where I'm needing guidance. Then I prayerfully read my scriptures and find that guidance in several verses. I write those down as well along with my thoughts on how they help me. At the end of it, I write down what I feel prompted to focus on and do that day. I write a prompting list in my journal (this week it has only had like 4 or 5 things on it each day - it's not like a long overwhelming list). I write this on my phone as well in case I need to remember through the day. Then I look at it the next day to see how I did and if I missed anything so I can include it again.
This week I have learned to trust God more, to find my part and turn the rest over to Him without hesitation or worry. He is in control - which is wonderful because I completely trust Him to have what is best come to be. My part is pretty simple - do whatever I need to do to stay in tune to Him so I can better follow Him. Each day that part may look a little different because what "staying in tune" means varies in different situations, but I am learning more and more what that looks like and feels like.
I was also able to go to the temple again - what a beautiful blessing that was. I am so grateful for that place where time changes - things move more slowly, perspective is opened, and I feel a touch of eternity. I need to make sure I go each week and that I remember to take family names with me. That place is so full of love that you can't help but absorb it. It is nourishing.
By the way, I highly recommend this article that I am discussing with some youth tomorrow - I read it and drew it out in images with words afterward - it has a lot of concentrated truth to pull cool insights from: Stumbling Blocks to Creativity - I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts on it in the comments if you liked it and pulled something from it. I'll probably write my thoughts about it on my next post if I can think of a way to put the pictures in my mind into words.
Here are some more pictures from the week:
We are now the parents of three teenagers! Something that is really cool about Jessalyn is that she doesn't even know how incredible she is. She plays with the little boys and Joy, makes little crafts with them, reads to Joshua every night, does Joy's hair and nails, offers to babysit when I go out and is just naturally aware of others needs and tries to help.
She is really alert and intelligent (she reads a about a book a day) and loves to learn. She sings beautifully, is really good at logic puzzles, and draws really well (among other talents). She is a kind and thoughtfull friend. We are so so so fortunate to have her in our family
Colors in the mud:
I tried a trail the other day that turned out to be really muddy. The textures and the colors intrigued me. It was a good reminder that we can find beauty even in the mud.
This incredible friend of mine embodies beautiful motherhood in so many ways. I feel so blessed to get to absorb her example almost every day as we stay with them.
We have been so enriched with these Christlike friends these last couple of months. Their example of a dedicated family will bless us all for the rest of our lives. I can see why communal living is tempting now. We definitely miss something in our current society with our walled-in, high-tech, private lives that they had in the old communities when they had to rely on one another a little bit more. I feel really grateful for this experience we are having with the Packs.
Bill's sister is visiting from Washington. She is the sweetest aunt to my kids and she will be having a baby of her own soon. It was so fun to see her little pregnant belly and to get to be excited for her new adventure. She will be an incredible mother. I am so grateful I married into such a kind family. We celebrated her birthday yesterday.