Saturday, March 14, 2015

Nothing is More Beautiful

Today was a bit of a rough day for me. I've just felt out of it.

I woke up to do some freezer meal prep and realized that just maybe I'd left the meat in the fridge too long and it might have spoiled. :P I was torn about keeping it or throwing it out and wasting food and money... I was frustrated.

Then we were trying to coordinate going on a hike with my brother and timing and location didn't work out the way we planned. We did have a nice walk in a park up the canyon and our son had a blast throwing rocks in the river. We also did some service and picked up some trash.

It was good, but I still felt out of it.

On our way back, I shared with my husband how I'm feeling overwhelmed with work and managing life and things I'd like to do better as a mom. I also shared my anxiety over the meat and frustration at myself for not making time for freezer meal prep earlier in the week.

My sweet and ever insightful husband reminded me that God is aware of me and how I am feeling. He will help me as I turn to Him.

Before we went home, we stopped at the grocery store to get eggs and a few other items. We also decided to stop at the in-store deli for a little lunch.

As we were eating, our son was walking around and getting things off the shelves, bringing them back to us and sometimes even putting them on the counter by the cash register so we could pay for them and then he could eat them. Smart kid. :)

Out of the blue, my husband turned to me and asked, "Do you feel beautiful?"

In my head I'm thinking, "Well dear, I haven't showered, my hair is in a messy bun, I'm not wearing make up or contacts. I'm also sweaty and wearing dirty clothes, so no not really."

I thought about brushing it off and saying, "yeah, sure" or something like that. But, I decided to honest and said, "No, not really right now."

Then he grabbed my hand and said, "Honey, nothing is more beautiful than a loving mother."

I just about lost it. A few tears did leak down my cheek (yes, in the middle of the grocery store).

He said exactly what I needed.

Someone to tell me I am loved.

Someone to tell me I am beautiful.

Someone to tell me I am succeeding as a mom.

I realized that when he asked me if I thought I was beautiful, I was thinking only of physical beauty. I forgot that the beauty of the soul is even stronger. I was forgetting my beautiful mother heart.

If you're a young mom having one of those days where you're exhausted, laundry isn't done, and you don't remember the last time you showered, remember your beautiful mother heart.

If you're an mom of teenagers having one of those days where you're tired from waiting up at night, sick of being a taxi driver, and wondering how you're going to feed all your children's friends next weekend, remember your mother heart.

If you're an empty nester feeling lonely, wishing you'd done things differently when your kids were at home, remember you still have a mother heart.

If you're single or don't have children, wondering when that day will come, wishing that you had children of your own, remember you have a mother heart too.

As women, our mother hearts make us beautiful. In any stage of life, we can use the God-given nature we have to nurture and love others. When we serve and cherish those around us, our true inner beauty shines through magnifying our physical beauty radiantly.

For, there is nothing more beautiful.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Comfort from God

Today I was reading in the Book of Psalms in the Bible. I have never actually read through the entire Old Testament (a goal I still want to achieve), but I found great comfort in the verses I read today from Psalm 18.

"I will love thee, O Lord, my strength."

"The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower."

"I will call upon the Lord who is worthy to be praised; so shall I be saved from mine enemies."

"The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid."

"The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me."

"In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple and my cry came before him, even into his ears" (Psalm 18:1-6, emphasis added).

I really loved the message of comfort and strength that these scriptures share. God can help us in so many ways.

He can be our rock to provide a solid foundation on which we can center our lives and build our families.

He can be our fortress to protect us and our families from evil influences of the world if we choose to stay with him. (After all, a fortress is no good to you if you're not inside it).

He can be our strength. When we feel like we have no energy, patience, or desire left, we can pray to him for the strength to continue. If we pray with real desire, he will increase our capacity to deal with our circumstances, even if our circumstances don't change.

We can trust him. If we're in a situation where we've been hurt by others or lied to, it's hard to trust those who have hurt us. But, it is a great comfort that we can always trust God. In the Bible it says that God "is the same, yesterday, today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8). He does not change, so we can trust and rely on him and the constancy of his love for us.

He is our high tower. In biblical times, fields were often guarded by men who stood in high towers because it gave them a greater perspective. They could warn others when they saw someone coming and be ready to protect the fields. In my life, there have been a lot of times where I feel stuck knee-deep in a mud puddle, overwhelmed with pressures of the world, family responsibilities, work, and the events of life. In these times, I try to remember that God has a broader, higher perspective of the purpose of my challenges and opportunities and where they will take me. Remembering that he knows more helps me have the courage to continue forward and have peace as I do.

I know that we can pray to the Lord in our distress. We don't have to be perfectly happy when we come to God in prayer. We can share our heartache, fears, sadness and frustration. He will always hear our voice and answer our prayers in his will and timing.

Whether you're a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Catholic, a Jew, a Muslim or a member of another faith, you can find great comfort in God's words. Pick up whatever your religious text is with the intent to find comfort from God, and he will answer you.

I'd love to know what some scriptures are that have brought you great comfort. Share them in the comments below, and remember God loves you!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Grateful for the Glass

Yesterday, I finished a wonderful book series called The Walk Series by Richard Paul Evans.

There are five books in the series, and they are written as if you are reading the diary of a man as he walks across America after losing everything in his life.

He meets a lot of interesting people on his walk and learns about forgiveness, hope, healing, love, and a lot of other things.

One young woman he meets particularly caught my attention because of one thing she said. As they walk together for a while, she explains how she has been in and out of foster care and is on her own now. She grew up in an abusive home and had a lot of challenges in her life.

Yet, as they talk and as he gets to know her, she is a very happy, hopeful person who prays in gratitude to God every night and comes up with a lot of ridiculously punny jokes. :)

The one thing she said that caught my attention was after she shares her story and Alan (the main character) says something along the lines of, "You're one of those people who sees the glass as half full, aren't you?"

She replies, "I'm just grateful for the glass."


I don't know why this line was so powerful for me, but I had never thought about the glass of water analogy in that way before. What if, instead of looking at the glass and judging it as half full or half empty, we were just grateful that there is a glass to hold our water in?

I know I'm not alone in having challenges, and for me, this year has been a bumpy road where I've been tempted to see the glass has half empty or even totally empty. After reading The Walk Series, I gained a lot of insights including the importance of gratitude.

Regardless of how much water I have in my glass, I'm grateful to have a glass to put it in. A constant in my life I can always rely on.

You may disagree with what I'll say next, but as I thought about what the glass could be in my life, I came to the conclusion, that the glass represents my relationship with God.

I believe in a God who is my Father in Heaven and who is aware of all the challenges I face. He knows when I feel sadness, fear and heartache. He also knows when I feel happiness, joy, and healing.

God is always there for me regardless of what I've done or how I feel. Just like the glass is always there regardless of how much water is in it. God listens to my prayers and no matter what else is happening in my life, He is the one constant I can turn to.

I believe that God is also there for you. You might not believe in God, and you might feel like you don't have any water left; but, remember that there is someone who loves you and who is watching out for you.

*Note: All credit goes to Richard Paul Evans for the quotes I shared from his book.