Most mornings I wake up to Lily lying in the crook of my arm asking for chocolate milk and Mickey Mouse. I get up, feed the girls, and strap them into our hand-me-down jogger. I put my head phones in and begin to jog pushing 8o pounds of bed head, pajama clad girls up and down the hills in our neighborhood. I watch as they chatter to each other with their heads together and point out the sights, or an exceptionally loud truck. Sometimes they pull hair, hit and scratch which is bound to happen when they are strapped in such close proximity to each other. It's our routine. They have come to accept it and sometimes look forward to it. These days I can't help but think what a beautiful thing it is to be doing normal things.
Up until a few months ago my mornings terrified me. Almost every single night I would send Wes to bed in pain and/or nauseous. I would lie in bed wondering if this night would end up as another very early morning racing to the emergency room, filling out paper work, watching him throw up in a bucket or if he would get any sleep that night or if his pain would resolve itself. If he did make it through the night I would listen as he would report how little sleep he got and how much he hurt. How does he get up and go to work day after day? My little heart worries and worries about him. These nights and mornings were full of so much anxiety. A far cry from beautiful.
Elder Bruce D. Porter spoke in the April general conference about beautiful mornings. He told the story of a roommate who was always optimistic. One day his friend was walking across campus early on a cold and snowy day. His friend spotted this roommate in the middle of this dreary morning spreading his arms out wide singing, "oh what a beautiful morning!" Of that story Elder Porter said, "In the intervening years, that bright voice in a dark storm has become for me a symbol of what faith and hope are all about. Even in a darkening world, we as Latter-day Saints may sing with joy, knowing that the powers of heaven are with God’s Church and people."
I sometimes imagine myself as that roommate in the middle of the storm of our family's trials singing at the top of my lungs, convincing myself and those around me that despite the darkness and bitter cold it is a beautiful morning. It is always a beautiful morning because of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Elder Porter said, "Trials may come, and we may not understand everything that happens to us or around us. But if we humbly, quietly trust in the Lord, He will give us strength and guidance in every challenge we face. When our only desire is to please Him, we will be blessed with a deep inner peace." I have felt this peace in my life even on the most chaotic and confusing of days. It is the only reason any of us slept so peacefully the day Wes was diagnosed. Wes is especially known for having trouble sleeping, it was a tender mercy indeed. This deep inner peace is real and it comes from a loving heavenly father. Our Heavenly Father is in the details of our lives, all we have to do is look.
President Uchtdorf said, "If life and its rushed pace and many stresses have made it difficult for you to feel like rejoicing, then perhaps now is a good time to refocus on what matters most." What a powerful statement. If you don't feel like rejoicing it is not because you don't have a reason rejoice. I can choose to see the storms or i can choose to find something to rejoice about. Some days i have to dig much deeper than others, but there is always a blessing to be found. I have found myself driving to LDS hospital for the hundredth time to visit my 28 year old husband suffering from cancer, slowly withering away in a hospital bed with a smile on my face, simply because I had felt my Heavenly Father's presence in my life that day. I have discovered even in the midst of great trial there is always a reason to rejoice, you can always find the hand of God quietly leading you along if you stop, refocus, and look.
It has made me realize that truly, every morning is a beautiful morning, even the scary ones, the hard ones, the confusing ones, and the dark ones.
I love my normal mornings and I am grateful for the things my hard mornings have taught me. I hope to always be the girl in the storm singing at the top of her lungs. I know I can be with the knowledge I have of Jesus Christ and His atonement.
The gospel of Jesus Christ is a reason to rejoice and wake each morning singing, "oh what a beautiful morning!"