“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” So imagine if the beholder is God? Look at the earth around us! It is filled with diverse plants, animals, geographical features, and ALL of it is beautiful to him. Imagine if we were all the exact same. Looked the same, acted the same, had the same strengths— in fact what if we even took away all of our weaknesses. This is what Satan wanted. But where is the beauty in that? I am beginning to realize that not only is God a merciful God, but he loves US. He wants us to change, progress and become better versions of ourselves. He wants us to be like Him, to be whole and complete, but I don’t always think that means a cloned version of Him. I’ve noticed that a lot of my weaknesses are strengths taken to the extreme or not fully mastered. But this new understanding of the beauty of uniqueness has also caused me to be more merciful, more loving towards those around me. I’m grateful for the weaknesses in those I love because they have caused me to become a better person. I have also seen how those weaknesses can be their greatest strengths in certain situations and I wouldn’t ever want that part of them to change. As someone learns a new instrument or hobby, they practice and practice. A proficient musician may play all the notes perfectly but still lack the passion behind them. I believe as we go through life we are practicing the unique talents and skills God has given us to make them refined and complete—- perfect, but without the right desires we will never achieve our greatest potential.
In Doctrine and Covenants 11:8, the Lord says, “Even as you desire of me so shall it be unto you; and if you desire, you shall be the means of doing much good in this generation.” I read an old post on Facebook yesterday that was titled “25 things about me” among that long list was the love I have for family, art, music, etc, but there were also things I desired for myself— one was to be a famous actress. I had wanted this when I was younger, in fact I still think it would be fun to act, but I don’t desire that lifestyle so my desire for that dream faded as well as all of the efforts I had put forth towards it. The last thing I put on there was my desire to be a mother— this was before I had even met Andy. I had desired to be a mother from very early on in my life. I found joy in nurturing others, teaching, taking care of little ones, holding a new baby, and the idea of having my very own to do this with was my main desire in life. This made it really hard for me to leave BYU unmarried and moving across the country to Houston. How on Earth could I find a good man outside of Utah (insert sarcasm)? But truthfully I did fear that at the time. I was unaware of how rich the country is with good people. I moved to Houston and almost immediately got a boyfriend. We didn’t date long before I realized he wasn’t the right guy for me, so I moved on. Not long after that I met Andy. Things moved very fast because even though we had just met, I felt so comfortable around him that it was like we had known each other a lifetime. We married, I worked, he studied, but my desire to be a mother was still very important to me. When we felt ready, Max came to us. Motherhood is exhausting. Sometimes days feel unrewarding or unappreciated. There’s the mundane chores of cleaning— not to mention these humans eat more than three times a day. Which means three plus meals prepped and cleanup after. But the desire to be a mother still resides in me and that is why all of my efforts, energy, and emotions center around it. What I realized, when I read those more superficial “desires” I had had when I was younger is that they weren’t real desires. If they were I would have expended energy to achieve them. When the Lord asks us to align our desires with his, we can start that with our actions. As we expend our energy and resources on His work, we are aligning our desires with the will of the Lord. I also realize how beautiful my life is. The moments of fear or sadness where I get to comfort my little ones. Those are beautiful, hard moments. A painting lacks beauty without contrast. I hope that we can begin to appreciate the contrast in our society, our families, and ourselves.
Here are some snapshots of our week.