Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
This is such an amazing quote on how fulfilling life CAN be when we reach that point in which our perception of the reality in situations, presents true clarity and a sense of what we DO have as opposed to what we DON’T. When I look back on my life so far, I see that every opportunity; ups and downs, highs and lows, amazing’s with confusing’s and all the rest, is a chance for finding and acknowledging the fullness and blessings in it. The acceptance of each experience for what it was and that it was given for a reason has been such a learning and fulfilling moment to me. I know I was not put on this earth to waste my time. Each of us has our journey and special gift of life to live which hopefully can be done so with clarity and with purpose.
So often I have moments like this one pictured below. My surroundings strike me with a period of thoughtfulness. Where I don’t have a clue why it’s important at that exact point in time, but it might somehow reveal itself down the road again.
This was simply a beautiful day out on Lake Mohave, which has been an enjoyable vacation spot for my family ever since I was a kid. It was during the summer of 2010 on this particular day. Past the years of my childhood, abounded into motherhood and now camping on the lake for the first time during this trip, braving the heat with an 11, 5, 3 year old and 6 month old… it’s quite the experience!! Nursing a baby in 115 degree weather is just not pleasant for either parties involved let me tell you lol. But we managed and survived! It was a memorable trip for sure.
The kids love to collect rocks while we are out there on the lake. It’s just something you do. I remember it as a kid, it’s like searching for buried treasure but it’s everywhere. There is only one catch..
When you take rocks out of their happy beautiful state in that water, they dry up and aren’t so pretty to look at any more.
Now that I have come to terms with this fact as an adult, I’ve grown fond of admiring the underwater beauty from above, and I leave it at that. It’s no coral reef to awe over of course. It has desert and heat written into all the fiery red-oranges, sunny browns and sandy beige you find throughout this rocky treasure. Somehow in the midst of all the rocks in this desert lake, you can come across shells as well. When you scan across the rocky floor, it’s almost hard to notice them.
That’s when on this day I was just itching to create a little underwater art, scoping out the shells with the kids and sort of messed around with the colors and layers. Brought a little order to this bit of chaos in nature as you can say….my organizing freak personality would try to bring order to nature of course lol. It was a fun little pass time which really is probably why “rock hunting” has evolved into the activity of choice on these trips. It is that pass time while you are up against nature and heat with children and without the screaming TV or bright and fancy toys around. You make the most of nature and something we can call God’s toy box. I have been reminded many times that he does always provide.
The clarity and beauty in this picture of underwater creation brings meaning to how I relate with and understand certain times I have gone through in my life. I believe so much can be revealed during certain moments and experiences throughout our lives, if we are able to reach that clarity. To see through it all and with a real openness and to be grateful for what “it” is in that very moment in time. I know that there have been times that I remained closed to what I was meant to see, may have lost out on a number of learning experiences. But my heart is ever trying.
There are also those times, where try as you might, you just can’t see why or what to be grateful for. It’s the times of not being able to see through such crystal clear water so to say. It’s harder to see past the surface. Maybe it’s not being able to see further, the fear of what lies ahead. Or maybe knowing that it is something deeper you need to get to, but just don’t want to go there, because you know it will be a lot to work through all the muddiness of the inevitable. It might hurt too.
It’s hard to feel assured in those times, whether you quite know what you are dealing with or not, being grateful in a moment which feels overwhelming and confusing is a downright challenge. I have faced this feeling many times throughout the past few years.
Sometimes it just takes time. In fact a lot of the time myself, I realize that giving things time can bring the most clarity to a situation and it is in those ‘real’ times of growth that I’ve felt blessed with and grateful to have had a chance to learn during it. I am grateful for the outcome and seeing that the time was a gift in and of itself.
Time doesn’t stop, nor should we. Two and a half years ago, we couldn’t stop to really breathe in the harsh reality of losing a family business that was our livelihood. It was who we were. No, there was not time to look back and sign a farewell to that chapter which was forced to close on us. Because time was still going to carry on and wouldn’t wait for us to do so. Nor would it bring back what mostly we needed to move on from. It was denial, it was confusion, and it was chaos. Pregnant and expecting our third child, having just stepped down from a regional make-up artist position to be with my kids just weeks prior, and then be facing the job loss of my husband was enough to send a crazy prego lady over the edge of sanity.
Thankfully though, FAITH stepped in. It said move on because you have NO choice, but still be grateful for what lies behind you. It still is and will always be a part of you. Bitterness and blame won’t sustain much overtime. Resentment and hurt could only do more damage than the freeing possibility of accepting what I couldn’t change and had no control over.
Clarity in darkness is the most beautifully reassuring.
Terrified to let go and trust in the next step, afraid of falling without seeing who will catch you, yet still jumping into that unknown place with your arms out wide and a heart that is at peace, that is what facing life clear and head on feels like. Then you land safely and see how reassuring it felt to give it all up. It may not have been an easy ride. Ours certainly has not been in terms of rebounding from a life changing loss like that, but it’s the fact of being clear in this new direction and grateful for every new opportunity and new day of course. It’s another chance.
The setting summer sun on the lake is always so amazing. The stillness of the earth settles in on the water as the sun has made its way over. Any beautiful sunset can capture you, but this is a bit different. With the lake water so calmed, and the quiet desert dryness, it’s just something else. It brings peace to my mind. I could get so lost in the breathtaking few minutes of that sunset if it wasn’t for the giggles or child-like footsteps I’d hear creeping up on me, knocking me back into my reality.
Then I become grateful to the ones I am able to share that moment with, and it’s still breathtaking.
I honestly sometimes wish I was as sure as the sun sets, in what my life is about or how it will end up. I wish it was laid out with answers of what lies ahead, although I know reassuring as it sounds, it wouldn’t be as enjoyable. That is though the beauty in life, that we have the ability to change our destiny and ultimately direct our own lives to where we want it. For me the moments of pure gratitude are made clear in times when I almost don’t realize it happens.
It’s reaching a state in my mind that truly appreciates what I have in that given moment and not questioning it, just having faith!