It is all about the journey….

Archive for October, 2014

Winds of Change

fall-leavesToday I sat on a bar stool in my kitchen, looking out of the window at the beautiful mountains just east of our home. They are on fire with the beautiful colors of fall. I took a few moments to simply clear my mind of everything that has been crowding it lately and I quietly sat.

As if by a magic that only nature possesses, a gentle breeze came through the yard. As it made its way through, it picked up some of the leaves on the trees and set them free. The effect was beautiful. As the leaves swirled around, my heart-felt a deep peace that it hasn’t felt in months. It was a moment I captured there, because a camera would never do it justice.

I am not really sure how it happens, but the winds of change blow in our lives too. Sometimes they are the strength of a hurricane leaving a path of change and abrupt growth. Other times they are as gentle as this breeze bringing hope and life. I have experienced both and would not change what either brings.

The beauty of hurricane winds in our lives is that we are changed into new creatures. The sheer force and constant beatings strip away that which we do not need. This process of aggressive erosion is painful to a spirit and mind that wants to keep these aspects of who we are. I know I have a Heavenly Father who loves me beyond comprehension. I know He knows who I am meant to be and so He sends these winds to create the growth I need to become. I also know He knows I am strong enough to come through this storm, even when I can’t see this strength in myself.

As the hurricane passes, we come across these beautiful, quiet breezes. They are a gift. The only way we truly appreciate their gentleness is surviving the storm that has shaped us. The peace and hope they bring penetrate our souls and allow us to heal from the inside. The only way we get to experience these moments is when we are quiet in our hearts and minds. It is then that the power of the breeze is manifested.

I see His hand through all of this. I see how He has shaped my heart into new and beautiful forms. I see how my Savior has held my hand and carried me when I couldn’t stand against the winds that were pulling me down. I see how the Rock I have stood on gave me the strength to stand. I see Their love.

Change is inevitable….it is wonderful.

Windows of Heaven

windows of heavenOn Monday evening it was my turn to teach our family night. I wondered what aspect of the gospel of Jesus Christ would be the most meaningful for our family. I thought about the many things He taught, his example and the stories that make these things real, yet nothing stuck out to me. Then ever so quietly I felt that I should teach about tithing.

In Malachi Chapter 3 we read…

Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may bemeat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts.

As the Lord commanded the children of Israel to pay their tithing, He offered them countless blessings for doing so. I have always looked at these blessings and wondered how they are truly manifested in my life.

I asked our little family why they choose to pay tithing (1/10 of our increase). Their answers were as follows:

  • It is a commandment
  • Habit
  • It is an important principle of the Gospel
  • To be worthy to receive the blessings that are promised

As I thought about everything that has taken place in our lives over the past couple of years, my reasons have changed as much as our lives. I have come to the place in my heart that I pay tithing out of gratitude for all that He has given us. I know that everything we have received has come from His goodness. I know that without this we would be lost.

The blessings have been innumerable in our lives. I had often thought that the ‘windows of heaven’ was more money, in that I was very short-sighted. As we talked, I learned that blessings that have come from our windows have been deeper than money. We have become so close as a family, it is a relationship that I cherish beyond everything else. My knowledge of the Love of God has grown…He has never left us alone. I have found deeper strength…a strength I never knew I had. I have found courage to face the ‘lions’ that threaten to take me down. I have found faith to take the next step into the darkness, especially on a path that leads me somewhere new.

The blessings that have poured out have been incredible and very personal. He has done just as He promised, for the ‘devourer’ has been rebuked time and time again. We have been taught what is most important and to always trust in Him. These are blessings that will last longer than any possession. For that we are blessed beyond measure.

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