Sunday, July 29, 2012

Words of Wisdom

I invite all to visit Mindy Heath's blog, Living the Joyful Life.

One word: Amazing.  Okay, three words: Amazing and Enlightening and Uplifting.

Here's a short excerpt to ponder, then go now, visit and inhale her thoughts! (And thank her later.)

"What do you expect? Of yourself, your children, your spouse? What is your perception of life, marriage, money? Is is right? Is is true? I know it feels true but is it true according to the teachings of Christ? Another question is does it make you happy? Does it bring you peace? If not, why not change it? Choose another view, another perception. One that gets you what you want in life. One that helps you feel the love, joy and connection you were born to feel. Because isn’t choosing our thoughts the best use of our God given agency?
So today say to yourself, “Self, from now on I choose to be happy” and then go practice and when you find harmful or unhelpful thoughts choose other ones instead. Maybe it is that easy, maybe it is all just in our heads."  By Mindy Heath, Living the Joyful Life: Is it all in your head? (This will totally change your life!)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

July 21st

Our 23rd anniversary!

The other hot summer evening, we loaded our wilted selves, kiddos and friends in the back of the truck, stopped in our small town to grab a shaved ice, and went for a drive.    
We drove down by the river, where we hiked around and crossed a beautiful old bridge.

The evening was majestic, the river completely peaceful and everywhere I looked, I saw beauty that had stood the test of time.

Content copyright © 2012 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

This morning on our anniversary, while pondering the past twenty three years and all that entails; ups and downs,  stress and change, amazing children, blessings beyond measure and unspeakable joys, I thought again of the following quote:

“For children love is a feeling; for adults, it is a decision. Children wait to learn if their love is true by seeing how long it lasts; adults make their love true by never wavering from their commitment.” 

~ Orson Scott Card


Marriage is beautiful.  It really isIt stretches you and, like parenthood, helps you become a more selfless person.  It's not always easy- two different souls trying to stay in tune and unified over life's bumps and hurdles- but when you look back and see the growth that has taken place, see the tapestry that has been woven while you were simply living and earnestly striving; the pattern is breathtaking.

Content copyright © 2012 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Counting my Blessings

Embroidery Library Inc.

Ever feel like you're 'spinning your wheels'  and getting nowhere you want to go?
I just realized that's what has been taking place in my life for the past year...hence fewer posts.   
I thought I'd be in my own home by now, not renting a furnished house.  
90% of our belongings are still taking residence in my mother-in-law's very patient shop and spare bedroom.
On a daily or weekly basis, someone in our household needs something that is still packed away.    It constantly leaves us with that feeling that life is still on hold.

And yet,


-To be living in a beautiful house, with very nice furnishings (let's face it, ours are practically shabby by comparison!) - all courtesy of a friend of ours who is trusting enough to let a large family rent it.
It is spacious enough that our daughter and son-in-law and their babies have been able to stay in the bonus room for the past month, while moving here to begin a new job and looking for a place of their own. 
 Not to mention spacious enough that we can all exist in the main part of the house without tripping over one another. 
We've been able to host holiday get-togethers for the extended family and utilize not only the house, but the amazing yard as well.

-That my mother-in-law has graciously allowed us to house our heap of belongings in her  space for this long, saving us tons of $ in storage fees.

Truly, we give thanks every day for these blessings.  
I chastise myself regularly for not being grateful enough when I begin to have impatient feelings or unhappy thoughts about our temporary living arrangement.

I'm not sure what life lessons we're supposed to be learning here- other than patience, of course- but I hope the lessons will soon be finished  so we can move on.  
I've come to realize just how important home is to me- my own home.
I've lived in smaller, cramped spaces and larger-than-we-need spaces.  Homes in town and in the country, near busy roads or isolated enough that if we heard a car, it was coming to our house.
We've had landlords that would call if the front grass was half an inch too long (seriously!)  as well as those who were very relaxed.   In every instance, the rentals that were allowed to feel like our 'own' became our favorites.   We took our stewardship seriously and always left a house looking better than when we'd moved in.  (With the exception of a child's Slurpee stain on a white carpet in Wyoming...which we paid for heavily.  Sigh.)

While I prefer to own my home, I've come to appreciate the varied roofs that have covered our heads throughout the years.  The houses that have become homes, have seen our children born, watched them grow, have seen them leave.    Walls that have marked their heights, still there under coats of new paint.   Walls that have enclosed the sweet sleep of little children, family nights, homeschooling days, one-on-one deep discussions and yes, even arguments.  
  It's no wonder that older homes can take on a distinct feeling, with all the living that's taken place in them!

When it comes down to it, I suppose that is what I'm longing for: To begin making memories in a home that doesn't feel temporary.   Family memories are a precious thing!    

Yes, I want to have my belongings near me.  Several of my children have asked in recent weeks if we could at least go get our family photos and bring them here.  They want to see pictures of themselves at various ages.    I think they, too, are feeling as if our life is not completely with us right now.   Maybe we're too hung up on mementos, I don't know.  Certainly there are people who have lost all in fires and other emergencies  and have had to move on, realizing that life and memories exist even without 'proof' of them.

Still, I can't deny that we're needing...something.  Validation that our memories are what we remember them to be through photos and tangible items.  That while living in this beautiful home, which is still untouchable in a way, we can grab hold of what is real and hang on until we're truly settled again.  
Maybe that's one of our lessons we're learning- to appreciate any home that becomes ours once we're blessed enough to have it!   

Now for some favorite quotes by David O. Mckay to remind me of what I know to be true:

“The greatest work we will ever do will be within the walls of our home.”

“Happiness consists not of having, but of being; not of possessing, but of enjoying. It is a warm glow of the heart at peace with itself. A martyr at the stake may have happiness that a king on his throne might envy. Man is the creator of his own happiness. It is the aroma of life, lived in harmony with high ideals. For what a man has he may be dependent upon others; what he is rests with him alone.” 

 “The greatest battles of life are fought out daily in the silent chambers of the soul.” 

 “All good things require effort. That which is worth having will cost part of your physical being, your intellectual power and your soul power. Let us ever keep in mind that life is largely what we make it.”

Content copyright © 2012 by Jessa at Graceful Landing

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