How to Keep Rising from the Darkness

Sunrises are proof that beauty and inspiration can come from the dark. Even though there’s been good times too, I’ve been in a bit of a funk this fall. I’ve doubted my purpose and my place in my home, life and universe. Things that were recently bright and clear felt muted…or almost silent.

What did I do? I just “kept swimming” the best I could at a different speed. For the most part, I allowed my self to cut the extras and keep the essentials – religion, relationships, real food (as much as I felt I could) and rest.

And you know what? Between the frustration and emotional aching, eventually, I felt some warmth. Then enough warmth to feel a little joy. Then a little more motivation. And some determination which led to doing some adulting things, which I allowed myself to be proud of – yes, we can and should pat ourselves on the back!

Tough moments still came, but I was handling them without denial or despair.

Then this morning, the light rose. I mean that I got out of bed with a smile on my face and hope burning in my heart. And after happily and deliberately doing some of my kids’ chores (What?! 🙂 I know, right?!) I witnessed half of my house get flooded with this stunning, fiery lavender warmth of sunlight. And it felt like the universe was welcoming me back to life.

I keep feeling like the good vibes are here to stay and then shrinking and hiding from that thought because I know now they won’t always. They can’t always. Which makes me not want to enjoy them now either. In fact, in recent years, I’ve allowed myself to feel like a failure because I had encouraged healing that isn’t necessarily possible for everyone right now. My mental health was flourishing but I knew the case wasn’t true for many of my close friends and family, no matter how hard I tried to help them. So I didn’t want to allow myself to feel those joys either. How could I if I couldn’t share them with the people I loved?

Today what I understand (again – it’s something I must remind myself of often) is that focusing on what I can’t do brings discouragement and darkness, the opposite of God’s light. Doing what I can do brings His light into this world. It’s not my job to heal everyone or even make them happy or hopeful. My life’s mission is just to share hope. That’s it. I’ve accepted that sharing hope is accomplished whether or not people are in a place or season to receive it. Just as the sun shines whether or not people wake up to see it or are in the side of the world where they can, it shines anyway.

We are all on our own journeys with the Master. Isn’t that great? It means that if our hope or light isn’t for someone, it’s ok because HE still walks with them. And though we may love others so deeply it hurts, if we can’t reach them it will be ok in the end. For me, that thought makes things OK right now too. God’s life-giving light shines on all so, eventually, their sunrise will come too.

But I can’t stop shining because I’m waiting for that to happen. None of us can if we want to feel better and make this world brighter. Rise anyway. Shine whatever light you have anyway. If your heart feels dark, move at whatever speed you can until you can warm up that soul-light again. That’s faith! Just keep believing it will turn back on and doing the essentials (not the Pinterest projects or other pretend “needs,” ok?) because when it does return your joy WILL be so much greater.

Your spirit’s sunrise will be worth the past season of darkness because its colors will be all the richer for the challenges you faced. The complexity of trials, humility and obedience brings a unique beauty we could never have designed or anticipated, but eventually, with God’s vision and strength, we can see Him in us, glowing with a love and light that’s eternal. We will be found shining with the light of Christ’s hope.

Sunrises DO come after darkness. Believe you have a beautiful one just behind that mountain.

God loves you and I love you.

Free Falling Blessings

So many beautiful blessings from God! Love the colors Mother Earth is showing. Here are some highlights from our nature hike today…

If you are feeling the heaviness of life, take a moment outdoors for you and God. You can find evidence of His love for you all around.

Also, I made an Instagram reel with some of these images and peaceful music. It’s my first one, and it was so special to co-create something so calming with God. If you are on Insta, come find me @LiftLikeChrist so we can connect there! 🙂 Here it is below too, in case you aren’t a social media person. 😉

Have a great weekend and remember, God loves you!

LOTR Inspiration

This morning as I pondered on a couple of things I’m struggling with, some beautiful, guiding thoughts trickled into my mind. Among them was this quote from The Fellowship of the Ring.

My youngest is currently reading this book, so the story has been on my mind more than usual. I couldn’t help but think, Wow! God is so good to give us such personal moments of revelation! He WANTS to connect with us, comfort us and encourage us.

I love how God loves me enough that He speaks to me in ways that I can hear and feel His guidance. I love that He answers prayers. That is a miracle to me. I know he does that for all of us because He loves all of His children, including you! Seek Him out and you will find him.

Beautiful Burnt Offerings

Last week on a long work-at-home day, I asked my youngest son to make me some toast. He was eager to help but as I typed away at the dining room table I soon smelled the familiar aroma of burnt toast.

A sibling pointed out the obvious. I could hear mumblings back and forth along with scraping sounds. Since I was just grateful someone was making me a snack, I stepped in to celebrate with some gratitude.

“That looks great! Thank you for making me toast.”

“It’s a little bit darker.”

“That’s ok! I’m a little bit darker too. 😉”

Then I helped him smooth it all out with some delicious cream cheese. And it WAS good.

Too often we think our offerings to others aren’t good enough. But I think people are usually just glad to be on the receiving end of love, generosity, a compliment, or yummy breakfast foods – know I was. I think God is happy when we share those things with others too. Ministering happens in moments, and sometimes are widow’s mite means more to others than we ever imagined.

So think more of your burnt offerings, and enjoy the ones that happen to land on your plate. Life’s too short to be picky about our blessings! ❤️

God loves you!

“Wear the flats.”

I’m experimenting with ways to share Spiritually Defining Memories as defined by Elder Neil A. Andersen in his message with the same title. This is a first attempt, that I’ll probably modify, but I’ve got to start somewhere! LOL

What are Spiritually Defining Memories? According to his message, Elder Andersen explains: “Along with the peaceful direction we receive from the Holy Ghost, from time to time, God powerfully and very personally assures each of us that He knows us and loves us and that He is blessing us specifically and openly. Then, in our moments of difficulty, the Savior brings these experiences back into our mind.”

The spirit has brought this moment and others back to my mind. They’ve reminded me that I’m loved, known, and needed. These moments are treasures I want to remember.

I’m a bit self-conscious about this video, but I’m glad I’ve done it. I might add some music and definitely practice reading it a little more, but I knew I needed to at least finish it to see what I had to work with and then I could figure out from there what I might want to change. I’m excited to figure out a format and make more short videos of Spiritually Defining Memories in my life for me to remember better and to share with my posterity.

I hope this inspires you to find ways to preserve your own Spiritually Defining Memories. Remember, God loves you!

5 Years & a Journey of Healing Later…

I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the day after the 5 year anniversary of my preventative mastectomy I finally posted a video of an original song on YouTube AND wrote on my new blog – a goal I’ve had for MANY years. That surgery changed my life in too many ways to count and it put some life goals on hold. It pulled the rug out from under me while also showing me how capable I am. It made me rely on others and simultaneously made me gain a new level of personal confidence. I will never be able to publicly process every element of hope, struggle, and grit I had to grow and show over the past couple of years as I’ve mentally, emotionally and physically recovered. 

Continue reading “5 Years & a Journey of Healing Later…”