One Step

I’ve long loved a hymn titled, “Lead, Kindly Light” for its poetry and imagery as well as its haunting melody and harmony lines. One line in particular has been my companion for the last few days–the line that says simply, “one step enough for me.”

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As I wake in the morning, sometimes the first step of the day appears to be the most daunting task I might face. I choose to leave the comfort of down and cotton and warmth and cuddles and step into cool air…and more decisions follow with breakfast and reading and how to spend the precious moments before my filled home empties as my children embrace their work of the day.

This morning, I took a walk with my dear neighbor. We meandered through streets, on and off sidewalks, around bushes and evergreen trees and shrubs. Each step was a decision, whether conscious or not.

Over the weekend, I had multiple responsibilities–and after a busy Wednesday through Friday, I was craving some down time and some sleep. Still, I would take a step forward–a step to help a friend move (even in inclement weather), a step to help build sets for my son’s upcoming play, a step to take my daughters to be part of an activity to help others, to be uplifted, and to rejoice in womanhood. Each step took strength–but with each step, I gained more confidence that I could continue on through my day.

By Sunday, I tried not to fall asleep during the services…but I rejoiced in the steps I had taken through the weekend to help others and to strengthen myself. I heard that line again play in my mind, “one step enough for me.”

I’m currently taking a leap of faith…a step into the darkness…. As I wait for the next step on my path to become clear, I will continue taking steps–steps to serve, steps to understand, steps to live, steps to learn, steps to love.

Where will your steps lead you today?

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Living Proof

Image Copyright Sarah Knight Photography
Image Copyright Sarah Knight Photography

I understand that this idea is not a new one. I don’t claim it to be my own…and yet, in a way, it is entirely mine because it is my journey.

I have been watching myself lately–observing, reflecting–as if someone on the outside of my life was witnessing me live.

(Not like an out-of-body-experience, mind you, but a real, contemplative, on-purpose type of living and pondering my choices.)

I have been willfully trying to put God first in my life and watch what He can do with me…and I am amazed with what I see.

I have written more words per day than ever before in my life. I have been more grateful. I have been more positive. I have been less selfish. I have more love in my heart. I have thought more of others. I have been more alive.

I like myself better.

When I live according to the life that God has planned for me, I am happier. When I am able to be an instrument in His hands, together we make beautiful music.

Now, I still have pain. I’m still stressed (in moments). I still struggle. My house isn’t clean all the time. My kids eat cereal and grilled cheese for dinner more than I would like to admit. But my outlook is better. And my faith is stronger.

I am living proof that if we feed our spirits with His word and turn our lives over to Him, He will do more with us than we could ever accomplish ourselves. And that, my dears, is truly amazing.

Faith is a Principle of Action

As the mornings get cooler, my love affair with my warm and cozy bed becomes more intense. Recently, after a morning of pressing the “snooze” button one too many times on my alarm (which squished our normal morning routines into about half the time we are used to), I said to one of my daughters, “It took a lot of faith for me to get out of bed this morning.”

I have been taught, “Faith is a principle of action and of power….”

That same morning, my app where I usually do my daily scripture study kept crashing. I tried several times, even moving the app around on my screen, but to no avail. I decided to use an alternate approach through a different app, and I found this video.

It went along with the experience I had earlier that morning, showing that faith is something that requires action. The man in the short film who was healed had to have faith on the words of Jesus Christ, that he would indeed be able to stand, take up his bed, and walk. He had to put faith in Christ and in himself to follow through with and obey (what I find to be basically) a commandment. He put faith and trust in the words and promise of Christ, followed that faith with action, and received power.

I am watching this pattern in my life.

Sometimes, like I said, on cooler mornings, I long for the warmth of my bed. Some days I feel too tired to get up and do the morning rush all over again, day in and day out…but, I have found that as I put my faith in God, seeking to do that work that He would have me do through mothering and loving and living each day (action), I am given strength (power) to move forward (or, on some days, to simply keep going).

How has faith changed you?

An adventure was going to happen…

I used to have a Classic Winnie the Pooh stamp that had the phrase on it, “An adventure was going to happen…” (which I often read and puzzled over in my youthful mind). The drawing under the words captured a moment with Christopher Robin holding the hand of Winnie the Pooh as they headed off into some unknown direction, facing new sights, smells, sounds, (and most likely some honey at some point for Pooh Bear’s rumbly tummy).

On the other side of over a decade of marriage, several children, heart leaps and heartaches, I have found that to be my experience almost every day of every year (minus the honey, of course).

I used to (and still work hare at overcoming this tendency…especially on tired days) be quite negative. I used to be more like Eeyore, noticing the little black rain cloud that stood just over my head (but no one else’s). I claimed that cloud in the name of realism and carefully placed my personal flag within the grey puffs of condensation and brewing storms, like Neil Armstrong posting red, white, and blue stars and stripes on craters of a heavenly sphere in 1969. While I was under my little cloud, I could find all the sad, despairing circumstances in which I lived each day.


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But I wasn’t happy.

And I wanted desperately to be happy.

So I changed.

I changed from Eeyore to Winnie the Pooh…a little less steeped in “reality” and a little more optimistic. I’m trying to look at each day as an adventure. I’m learning that blessings come in small and large packages, and one of the most amazing blessings of all is the gift of friendship. I’m finding quiet and loud moments of joy.

And I am happy.
🙂


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Memory

With all this anesthesia going on around my household the last few weeks, I have been thinking of the phrase from doctor after doctor…”the medicine will just make him not remember anything.”  I understand the use of medicines to dull pain and to relieve us from the memory of traumatic experiences; still, this phrase has brought to my mind the power of remembering and of what comes from our memories.

What is your earliest memory?  I think mine is when I was a young girl, maybe five years of age, headed up near a fountain of my dad’s law school with my mother and brother as we took a meal to my father, who would be on campus studying all day.  I don’t know why I don’t remember before that…or why that moment stays with me.  I’m sure we brought Dad meals often (at least I think we did).  Curious, isn’t it?

And then, when times get overwhelming or crazy in our family life, I like to remember with my husband our courtship and the feelings we had when we were first becoming acquainted.  I love to recall those memories as they bring me great comfort.

Likewise, when my children have birthdays, we often talk about our memories of their entrances into this life and the events surrounding their births.  They seem to delight in these moments in our memories, even though they do not recall the time of themselves.

But, what if our memories were taken away from us?  What of those with brain injuries or illness which take away fundamental parts of memory?

I loved the film The Vow (2012), which was based on a true story about a woman who suffered memory loss because of an accident and had to reconstruct her life while losing two years of her experiences.  (SPOILER ALERT)  I LOVED that she was able to find her way back to the choices she made previously of her own accord and had hope in the fact that whatever paths we take through our lives’ journeys, we become the people we need to be.  Here is the trailer to give you some flavor of the film (apologizing for the overt skin shown on the frame below, in case that might be offensive):

So, what do memories mean to you?  Do you wish you could take a magic eraser to some parts of your life?  Do you use memories for comfort?  As reminders of lessons learned?

Choices

As I approach the dashboard of my blog to write this Monday morning, my heart is (honestly) a little heavy.  I know I can sit here and recount the conversations of the weekend and how we are all really no less safe than we were four days ago…but we may feel like we are.  I know I can ignore what I am feeling, as well, and get lost in some editing or fiction writing or a book or movie.  I also know that I can take my advice from Friday (which I posted before the news hit) and count my blessings.  I think I will choose the last.

(I would be dishonest to say that I didn’t hug my little ones a little tighter before they left my door this morning, though.)

I am so very blessed in my life.  Currently, I live in a more-than-ample house with a kitchen I adore using.  I have beautiful, insightful children who impart wisdom to me daily.  I have a handsome husband who loves me in spite of my multitude of flaws, shortcomings, and occasional sadness over situations I cannot control.  I was raised by good parents.  I have amazing friends and family members.  I can rock heels.  (And, last week, I even found brown boots…but that is another story!)

Somehow choosing to focus on the vast blessings before me helps my heart feel a little lighter.  I will try to choose happiness instead of feeding the negative feelings bouncing around my head of fear and uncertainty.  I will count a few more blessings along my path today…and among them will be you, my dear readers.  🙂

Thanks for listening…and reading.  I appreciate you more than you know.

We all have our priorities…

You Got The iPhone 5

Thanks FunnyMeme.net for this meme! My kiddos are always asking for stuff…& I keep trying to teach them to be responsible with their financial choices…but we all have our priorities, don’t we? Do you prioritize your spending consciously or subconsciously?