Two posts in one month! Wow I'm getting better at this! :)
A few weeks ago, on our usual scooter drive up to the temple, I noticed that there were a lot of flowers on the temple grounds. This was the first really cold day of the season and I noticed how warm I felt just by seeing the simplistic beauty of these flowers. We did our stuff in the temple and a few hours I found myself going the opposite direction down that sidewalk and still amazed at how warm I felt as I thought about the flowers. I don't know what it was--it could have been the memories of looking at the huge hibiscus outside my bedroom window at home, or the memories of summer, or even the peace of knowing that I am doing what our Heavenly Father wants me to be doing. No matter the cause, I literally felt warm.
And I had the strongest desire to smell them flowers. So I stopped and smelled one of the flowers. As soon as I did, a wave of emotions and memories came flooding into my mind. I remembered pretty much every experience I have had that involves flowers. I remembered my grandma and how much she loves plating and watching flowers grow. I remembered going to school dances and having to but the corsage. I remember going to a flower garden this summer with my siblings and their families. Overall, it reminded me how much the Lord loves me. He has given me all of those things in my life because He loves me. And the crazy thing is that they all came back to my memory from something so small.
All in all, this experience probably only took an extra 5 seconds away from our usual trip back from the temple, but the effect it had on me was worth so much. From just smelling one little flower, I was able to relive some of the times of peace and joy in my life, all in the space of about 5 seconds. And more importantly, that experience helped me to be more focused--more determined and more in tune with my Heavenly Father.
Smelling that flower had such a powerful, rejuvenating effect on me that I took the flower and set it on my desk. For the rest of the day and a few days after, I could smell this flower as I worked and an immediate sensation of peace would help calm me down. Sadly the flower dried out on my desk and the scent faded.
My desk is surrounded by things that help motivate me and keep me focused--a picture of my dearest friends, pictures of my family, pictures that nieces and nephews drew, pictures of people who have set a good example to me, and pictures of those I want to set a good example for. And amongst all of these pictures and memories is one little shriveled up flower. A reminder that God loves me and that He has sent so many things in my life to help me be happy and remember Him.
No matter how busy our lives are, I think it is important for all of us to stop every once in a while and just ponder and observe. It doesn't have to take long--only a few seconds--to remember how much God loves us and how much we mean to Him. I am sincerely grateful for all that He has given to me and the little reminders that I have all around me. Even a simple dried flower.
I am grateful for all of His tender mercies. I am grateful for my wonderful family and the knowledge that I can live with them forever. It is hard being on a mission, but the joy that this gospel has brought to me and to the lives of so many people is fantastic! How can I not want to share it?? I love this gospel, I love Jesus Christ, I love my Father in Heaven, and I love all that He has given me!