February 10, 2009

LIFE LESSONS


this is what it looked like outside our front door today

the entrance to our apartment building
this is what it looked like outside our window just a few days ago


LOOKING OUT OUR BALCONY TO THE ENTRANCE TO OUR APARTMENT BUILDING
THE PLAYGROUND RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR BUILDING...........
I am beginning to understand that every day life teaches us something. We just have to be open and ready to listen......
As I looked at these pictures of how our world has changed so quickly I thought about life and how fleeting each moment is. So often we take the beauty around us for granted and we don't realize how much it has meant to us until it is gone.
The first day the snow fell I was like a little girl. I could feel my heart lighter. I found myself smiling and walking with a bounce in my step. Everything was covered in this beautiful white blanket of snow. It seemed as if our world had transformed over night. It was absolutely beautiful. My thoughts were focused on each little detail. How the snow looked piled in little clusters in the trees. How beautiful the little birds looked as they sat in the snow covered tree branches. I noticed the snow lined walkways that lined the parks. The people we passed on the streets were smiling, there were clusters of young people having snowball fights. This freshly fallen snow had brought with it
something magical.

As the days passed and the snow continued to fall I focused less and less on it's beauty. I no longer found myself distracted by the transformation as I walked the streets of Donetsk.
In fact,
it wasn't long before I started complaining about it. I grew tired of having to dress in layers, of wearing my heavy coat, and clunky boots. I hated being cold.
and then............
the snow melted and it seemed like everywhere you looked was
mud
my perspective changed again....
I wanted the snow back, in fact, I longed for it. As I looked back at the pictures I found myself thinking,
"that was a good time, I loved those days of walking in the snow, and seeing how beautiful everything was."
and this is what I have learned.................
that is how life is.
Each day there is something beautiful, some wonderful gift to enjoy and appreciate
but our hearts and minds have to be open to see it.
it is there every single day, whether it snows or not.
There are times in our lives when everything seems right. It seems as if
all our dreams have come true. We are filled with joy and gratitude. Similar to how I felt with the first snow but......

After a while we stop noticing all of the blessings we have in our lives and start focusing on what we
don't have. We look around and all we see is .......

MUDDY PUDDLES

that have become obstacles in our lives

Soon we no longer see any blessings at all. We long for something more.
WE CAN'T SEE THE SNOW ANYMORE.
WE DON'T EVEN REMEMBER THE JOY IT ONCE BROUGHT.
AND WE THINK THAT WE WILL NEVER BE HAPPY AGAIN
We can't imagine our life will ever change. We stop believing that a transformation is possible. We begin to give up hope and we start complaining about our lives. We may even turn our back on Heavenly Father. As we focus less and less on past blessings we may begin to believe that he has
never been there for us. Our minds simply erase all the previous beautiful blessings we once enjoyed. Our world feels dark and hopeless.
and then..........
one day.........
a small bud appears peeking through the dark soil......
and soon a green stalk....
and then........
a blossom.....
and one bloom turns to many....
and soon everywhere you look is covered in blossoms of brilliant colors. The sky is bluer the trees are greener.
It's not snow....
it's not what we remember that previously brought us so much joy.
nevertheless,
it's beautiful....
it makes us happy,
it makes us want to smile, to run and jump and laugh and play again. It opens our eyes and our hearts.
It feeds our soul.....
we feel alive again.
and that is how life is. One ebb and flow of good and bad, happy and sad
there will be snow, followed by muddy puddles, but one day the sun will shine again and we will be happy. That is his promise to us. We will be happy. He will never leave us alone. He will always be there even in our darkest moments he will send us his peace. We just have to be open and ready to receive it.
may you find joy in each precious moment and if you are in the midst of darkness hold on and know that the blooms will come.

3 messages from friends and family:

Brenda Joy said...

This post was so beautiful! Thanks sister Kinghorn. It's snowing here in Enoch Utah today! I think I will go for a walk in all it's beauty and catch snowflakes on my tongue!
Loves to all of you there.
Sister Brenda Rasmussen
Elder Chey Rasmussen's mom

my blog:
gingerbreadheaven.blogspot.com

The Marauding Angel said...

It's snowing here in Provo, also. But mud is beautiful, too!

dixiewhitehead said...

Sister Kinghorn, it's nice to be back. I have been out of town for about 10 days, and I missed reading your blog when I was gone.

What you say is absolutely true. I have thought the same thing many times. I have a saying that I heard in a talk about 20 years ago that helps me get through times that I think are tough. "It doesn't get any better than this" is the quote. When things are bad and I'm thinking of how good it could be, I think of that and it reminds me to think of and appreciate all the blessings I do have.

Thanks for your great insight today.

Saints in Ukraine (put music on pause)

My music


click on the photo to see the captions

Armenia Trip

Our last Zone Conference

Some of the faces we will miss

Our trip to Mariupol

March Zone Conference in Donetsk(click on photo to view a larger version)

Missionaries helping the International Relief Development unload a container from America

Health Fair click on the photo to see what is coming up

To listen to this talk you will need to put the music on pause first

Sometimes we forget what divine gifts we have been given. President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, 2nd Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Thanksgiving

Look at the fun equipment we got to deliver to this internat for Special Needs children

Europe East Area District Meeting

I LOVE THESE MISSIONARIES

OUR APARTMENT (this is not an average missionary apartment)

THIS IS WHAT MISSIONARY APARTMENTS LOOK LIKE ON INSPECTION DAY

CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO SEE A MORE COMPLETE VIEW

LEADERSHIP TRAINING IN THE KALINSKY BUILDING

Click on photo to see more photos of the Open House at the Kalininsky blg