I love this blog and I absolutely agree with what she says. “It is often when things seem to be the darkest that we are at the precipice of our greatest opportunities for real growth, and we find our wings!”
I wonder if the caterpillar is aware that it is literally falling to pieces when it’s in the chrysalis. Does it become afraid? Does it think that things have really gone seriously wrong? Does it sit and plan how it will return to “normal,” inching along on the ground? What is happening certainly can’t make any sense to it while it’s happening. Only as it finally emerges and takes flight could it possibly see that it was very mistaken. It could have simply rested in trust all along.
Things are often not as they appear; sometimes, what looks like falling apart is a preparation for a whole new experience. The old ways are sometimes simply out of alignment with the new ones forming, and they need to crumble to make room.
I don’t often reblog, but I love what she said and it was something I needed. I am always planning for something great in the future and often miss out on the beautiful present. “Your life’s journey will come along at your own pace…” Such a good reminder to those who tend to stress about the future too much like me. Sending hugs to all my readers and I will be writing more soon.
Love where you are now. It’s much easier to move on when you learn to appreciate yourself and your environment in the present moment. We all have days when we feel like we failed so many times that there’s not much sense in trying again. Instead of giving up, try to appreciate and give gratitude for where you are now because it really will make it easier to keep going. Appreciation of who you are and all that is a part of you is what’s going to kick things into gear and help you make the necessary changes you desire. You simply cannot move onto better things when you are full of doom and gloom. Your high vibrations mean so much when your desire is to life a fulfilled and happy life. So, learn to trust the journey even when things look uncertain, there is always hope for a better…
“Unfortunately, we won’t need your help after the end of December.” Those were the words my current supervisor said to me this morning. A contract job I had been told I would have for several more months (and was hoping would become permanent) was now ending. I had just started the job in the middle of October after a five month stretch of looking for work with no income.
I hung up the video call, bent my head and wept. It was too much.
The week before Thanksgiving, I separated from an extremely toxic marriage. My sister and brother-in-law kindly took me in as I had no money for rent. The oh-so-gracious landlord said I could only stay until the end of December, but that did not matter, as I had made plans with a friend to work and live abroad for a few months come January. I would finally get to go back to England which I had been missing for a long, long time. My husband would stay in the states and take the car and the cats. It was a good plan for the both of us.
In one fell swoop, everything was wiped away. Instead of visions of sugar plums, I had visions of large debts that I owe looming in my head. Where was I going to live when the time came for me to leave? How was I going to survive with no income if I didn’t find something right away? What would happen when the money ran out? These questions hit me hard. After work ended, I laid in bed in a dim room and let the tears stream down my face. I kept thinking of that quote by J.K. Rowling “Rock bottom became the foundation upon which I rebuilt my life.” I felt at rock bottom.
I watched a Christmas movie with my sister trying to keep my spirits up while I applied to jobs on my phone. All I did was make cynical comments. Christmas…bah humbug. I was definitely not in the mood for anything even remotely jovial. The romance between the couple seemed a mockery of my own relationship. Their silly problems seemed ridiculous in the face of what I was experiencing.
But the end line of the movie talked about faith…the one thing that binds everyone together. I felt a tear slip down my cheek. My own faith felt small and broken.
I had to run an errand to the grocery store. Small snowflakes were lightly covering the wet ground. I walked slowly from my car and for a moment, turned my face up to feel the snowflakes on my cheeks and nose. They tickled. I had forgotten that they could tickle like that. I felt something innocent bubble up inside of me. It was small, but it was there.
As I finished my errand and got back in my car, I switched on the radio and these lines were sung “A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices…for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.” And then I suddenly remembered: Christmas was about Him…the Savior of the World. It wasn’t about how much money you had nor how many presents were under the tree. It was about remembering that the greatest gift of all was something that could never be wiped away. A gift that was given freely to every human on earth…the gift of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The gift of pure love.
And then I felt it. That peaceful, quiet, spiritual miracle of Christmas. Him…Jesus the Christ.
I took a deep breath and wiped a tear away. It will be ok, no matter what happens, it will be ok. I don’t know how, but He’s proven it to me over and over again. I simply must just trust Him. I believe in miracles, especially at Christmas. I don’t know if my miracle will come before or after that beautiful day, but it will come. Yes, it will come. I believe…I believe…I believe…
I’m in a place I never wanted to be. I won’t go into details, but let’s just say the trials of many months have taken their toll on my optimism and dreams. Life has become a constant barrage of pessimism and problems to be dealt with on a daily basis. There are too many days I lay in bed when my alarm goes off and I dread what the day holds.
However, in the midst of this cycle of depression, I am driving down the road and I see a scarlet and orange tree flaming in the sunlight. It is glorious and quivering with life as each leaf seems to dance with joy. Behind it lies a sky of deep, azure blue and it takes my breath away. It’s enough to stop the torrent of negative thoughts that have become my daily companion.
As I continue to drive, I see hundreds of towering, dark cedar pines standing close together like a line of soldiers guarding the long-held secrets of the wild woods. The canopy of green is so thick that barely a ray of sunlight breaks through. Then in another moment, I round the bend and the waters of the bay suddenly spread out in front of me. The sun glints off the water and the radiance of it all blows away the last vestiges of the cobwebs of my negativity.
Instead of the fog of depression, I am suddenly reminded of how grateful I am to be here surrounded by nature’s vast and magnificent beauty. It is a humbling moment. The thought passes through my mind “I’m still here, Melissa.”
I whisper “I’m sorry” to my Heavenly Father. I have lost my way, but instead of the reproach I expect to feel, He reaches back with what feels like a warm, understanding hug. “I love you, daughter. I know…I understand.” And that is enough. Healing tears come and the bitterness begins to melt away. I have gone through this before and I will likely go through it again, but with humility comes the reminder that God has a plan. I don’t understand it, but He does. And He loves me…and for now, that is enough.
I walked with my head down and my hands in my pockets, deep in thought and trying desperately to keep the tears from falling. I felt weary and worn out by the world. Problems that seemed to have no answer were made more complicated by my wavering feelings. Regrets from the past weighed down my hopes for the future. Too many broken dreams made it almost impossible to dream again. I felt old and tired.
She danced across my path then. I was walking through a green field and there she was. A young, innocent little girl with a flower in her sandy, brown hair. She had a few freckles spread across her nose and she sang as a kitten chased after her. She was laughing to herself at some inner joke that only she could hear. She stopped just a few feet away and looked up at me. Looking…
For about a year now, I have been wading through some very prolonged trials. From health problems to a very difficult job to relationship struggles to car accidents and more. There were many days where even leaving the house to go to the grocery store took almost more effort that I had in me. I would just barely began to get over one problem or event when the next one hit. It was like a battering ram at times or like I was drowning.
But as I’ve stated many times, the one thing that has kept me going is hope that things will turn around. I can now see a ray of light in the darkness…a potential answer that could bring great joy to me. It’s not secure yet, but it is real. And it will come. The other parts of my life are starting to slowly turn around and I feel for the first time in a long time like I can finally breathe a little freer.
I’m not out of the woods yet, but today I can rejoice in the warmth of a sunny spring day. I hear the chirpings of baby birds in a nearby tree, I see my cats warming themselves on the grass and chasing each other about and my soul looks up and smiles at the clear, baby blue sky. The air is sweet and I take a deep breath letting it cleanse the ugliness away. Does it mean everything will be perfect? Of course not. But it’s getting better.
I can dream again…and that itself is worth the pain and suffering of long dark periods. There must needs be opposition in all things so that we might appreciate the sweet release of pain when it comes. For it DOES come. I know there are those who see nothing but darkness with no hope of ever seeing the light, but let me reiterate again…THE LIGHT WILL ALWAYS COME. Don’t give up hope my friends, the light is coming.
It’s December. Right now the frost lays thickly on the still green grass and drab plowed fields I view out my window. The mountains are beige-brown and bare. There is a bit of leftover fog and mist that seem reluctant to leave with the rays of the morning sun. The school bus drives past full of sleepy students who are just waiting for Christmas vacation to begin.
During this time of year, I dream of swirling snowflakes and winds whistling around the corner of the old house. I yearn to see white fields and mountains with virgin snow gracing its folds. I envision every tree branch outlined in the white lace of winter ice.
This year, however, snow has kept its distance and a warmish Autumn has extended even into December. The scenery has been a reflection of my feelings many times. Instead of that magical cheer I often feel in December, there has often been a sense of frustration, melancholy, hopelessness and at times, even a bit of despair. This has been the most difficult year I’ve had in 10 years. My heart has been hit relentlessly and has numbed itself to the next coming trial as one can only take so much. This past November with it’s pale sunshine, dry earth and faded leaves have echoed the discouragement I have often felt.
But even as I type this, a strong gale of wind comes sweeping through the yard and dark, iron grey clouds have gathered. I stand in the grass and the former warm breeze has turned icy. I smile and a childlike excitement quickens my heart. I know the signs…a sure harbinger of snow. There is a crispness to the air and every thing seems to be a little more alive.
In a few hours, the first Christmas snow will begin and with it, the pain of this year will begin to wash away. The silence and peace of drifting snowflakes will ease my mind and a thick blanket of snow will hush my weary soul. I am at peace as the magic of this holy season once again slips softly into my heart. I am, once again, a child at Christmas.
And as if in response, a distant jingle of bells on the air whisper “Welcome home Melissa…”
She clad herself in a gossamer dress
of iridescent clouds
And donned a pair
of starshine slippers
She wrapped herself in the shawl
of an amethyst sunset
And adorned her head with a crown
of fairy lights
The Star Wanderer was off
to a new adventure
New fantasies calledAnd with a periwinkle twinkle
In her endless eyesShe called to me in my dreamsWe flew away on ballet wingsthrough the Milky Way
dancing around the Andromeda galaxy
whirling through Cassiopeia's stars
waving gaily at Pegasus
We sipped golden cups
of dew with sleepy morning glories
Laughed with the
Effervescent man in the moon
And swam with merry mermaids
in faraway indigo oceansWe crashed loud cymbals of thunder
And played chase with the lightning
Racing the laughing wind
Over summer fields
Of green and gold and lavender
And as the rays of an early sun
Began to light the eastern sky
The Star Wanderer and I
Made our way back to my dreams
Where I blinked my sleepy eyes
And smiled...At the starshine slippers on my pillow.
I just wanted you all to know that I’m still writing in my head. It’s just that every time I try to put it down, it doesn’t come out quite right. I’m working on new pieces, they will be out soon. Just want everyone to know that I haven’t given up my blog. Sending my love and hugs to you all!
Dear Friends, I know I haven’t been writing much lately. Just a quick update – I met someone and we got married in February. Things are hectic as we are preparing a move to a warmer place. I will be writing soon. Sending a hug to one and all!
I was recently watching the movie “Eat, Pray, Love” where the main character, Elizabeth, and her friends were discussing if cities and people had one word to describe them. While each person seemed to know the perfect word, Liz couldn’t come up with what seemed a good fit. Her friend said “Maybe you are a woman in search of a word.” That stayed with me, because a person in search of a word is in search of who they really are.
I have had many words that described me over the years: wallflower, hopeless romantic, creative, nerd, free-spirited, stubborn, bossy, generous, loving, efficient, adventurer, introvert, single, married, divorced, etc. Each of these words has described facets of my personality, but none of them have ever quite hit the mark. I don’t know if there is a word that could completely describe one person, but I believe there might be a word or phrase that seems to describe different stages of life.
Having just recently had a milestone birthday, I realized I’m a woman in search of a word. But a new word takes time to develop. It must incorporate the old ones that described your past stages and life lessons learned along the way. It should bring together the inevitable cracks in your walls and the random wild flowers that bloom in those new spaces. It must merge the weather-worn and fiercely polished stones with that one brilliant piece of gold that shines when the sun hits it just right. It is past, present and hopeful future blended into one superlative description that seems to just cry “You!”
I don’t know yet what that word will be, but whatever it is, it will be beautiful.
This year has been the absolute worst for most of the world. Though I personally have had tougher years, I watched the pain, the sorrow, the anger, violence, destruction and grief hit person after person. My heart has ached for the lonely, the people who have lost businesses, jobs, homes, and above all…the ones they love. Rarely a day has passed when some new grief afresh has not bewildered us all. Many wondered how they could keep going and many have given up the fight.
I have prayed and fasted with millions around the world for the end to the pandemic, to the violence, to the isolation, to nature’s destruction, to save the life of another or to ease the pain of a loved one. All these prayers have been answered, though some may not have been answered in the way I thought was best.
But if 2020 has taught me anything, it has taught me that God’s will is not always our will. That He does have a plan and sometimes we just may not understand how everything fits into it. But it is because of this year and its tragedies that I have learned more humility, more kindness, to love more deeply, to be more grateful and how much I need my Savior Jesus the Christ. How much we ALL need Him. I have learned that He understands and sees into the dearest wishes of our hearts and it is there that He comes…so quietly…as He did on a night more than 2000 years ago.
In the midst of the grieving darkness, the confusion of the storm, the heavy heart at the side of a grave or the whispered prayer that accompanies streaming tears, I have found peace and solace in only one thing…the King that was born on that night so long ago. Like the shepherds did, I look forward to the day I can kneel at His feet. I rejoice with the angels in my own silent heartfelt song that has no words other than these: Thank you, Savior, for the peace that surpasses all understanding. His burden is light…His peace is, indeed, upon us.
Last night as I watched the “Christmas Star” light the Western sky, I felt it was Heavenly Father’s sign to us all that He is still there, that He still hears us, and that He still wraps His arms around each one of us in love even when we can not feel it.
Merry Christmas my dear friends. May 2021 bring you peace and joy that surpasses all understanding…
"Still, still, still,
One can hear the falling snow.
For all is hushed,
The world is sleeping,
Holy Star its vigil keeping.
Still, still, still,
One can hear the falling snow.
Sleep, sleep, sleep,
'Tis the eve of our Saviour's birth.
The night is peaceful all around you,
Close your eyes,
Let sleep surround you.
Sleep, sleep, sleep,
'Tis the eve of our Saviour's birth.
Dream, dream, dream,
Of the joyous day to come.
While guardian angels without number,
Watch you as you sweetly slumber.
Dream, dream, dream,
Of the joyous day to come."
It’s late autumn in the mountains and the glorious colors of the leaves have faded. They fall with the lightest touch and the ground is a carpet of varying patches of color. The hills have turned different shades of pale yellow and brown. Touched with frost, few colors now grace the landscape other than a few muted yellows, grey rocks and dark brown grass. The tree branches have turned dark…starkly outlined against the sky. It is almost a somber scene.
But as I stand here surveying, I look up. Under a storm grey dome, a gentle snowflake, white and pure, glides softly along the breeze landing on my black glove. For a moment, it’s a delicate picture before it melts away. Another moment, another snowflake lands on my nose, tickling the skin. I glance up to see the skies begin to fill with a thousand white feathers and I watch…
Last Friday, the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Russell M. Nelson, gave a beautiful message about gratitude. He asked each of us to post one thing on social media that we are grateful for each day for seven days.
The night before I saw this message, I was not feeling very grateful for anything. I have been financially struggling for several months. Add that to what seems a semi-permanent state of singleness along with a few other choice 2020 events and I was not in the mood to be grateful for anything.
Yet, I was looking forward to this message. I didn’t know what it would be about. I have to admit I cringed a bit when President Nelson said it would be about gratitude and how it can heal. But instead of shutting it out and continuing my own private pity party, I opened my heart to listen.
As I did so, the words reminded me of how much I had to be grateful for. By the end of the short 10 minute message, I felt humbled and instantly said a quiet prayer to thank Heavenly Father for what I did have. I have since taken on the challenge and as each day passes, I have noticed a sweet healing in my heart.
President Nelson is correct…gratitude does heal the heart. Instead of focusing on what I lack, I focus on how much I have and it has brought me peace. It’s a lesson I already knew, but it was one I very much needed to be reminded of.
Tonight I spilled sugar on the floor while making a cup of homemade hot chocolate. My normal reaction would have been one of frustration and resignation as I cleaned it up. But tonight, after an initial gasp of surprise, instead of getting upset, I smiled and thought “Well, at least I have sugar to spill.” And as cleaned up the mess, I thanked Heavenly Father that I had the ingredients to make a hot chocolate.
As I write this post, with my cup of cocoa, candles burning and soft music playing, I am so thankful for a wise prophet and leader who remind us that it is love and gratitude which heals us. My hope is that we can all continue to heal our countries, our world, and our homes with a continued appreciation to our Heavenly Father and Savior for each blessing in our lives.
This is just a quick note to say that if you are ever hesitant about commenting on my post because you don’t want someone else to read it, please just put “Do not publish” at the beginning.
I feel that someone out there wishes to say something to me, but is holding back. Feel free to leave your email and I will not publish the comment. I will write you as I always love to hear from my readers. (And should you be “the one” I’ve been waiting for, well hurry up! Haha!)
And I promise that more poetry, nature, spiritual and holiday posts are coming! I apologize for the long drought. I will do my best to get a few posts in over the next two months. My love to you all!