As I was pregnant with my third daughter I began to feel anxious and worried–what was I thinking that I could handle three kids? All under the age of 4? I remember feeling so overwhelmed– and then I discovered Sarah Larson, and her beautiful instagram feed. She was a few months ahead of me, but had the same amount of kids, all the same age. There was something so comforting about seeing how she embraced the chaos with love and beauty, and I felt truly strengthened by her. She has continued to amaze me with her thoughtfulness and her wisdom (Be sure to check out her hashtag that she started #projectyouandme) She is an incredibly talented stylist to boot, and her love for her family, and the way she loves the Lord just leaps from her words, because she just radiates. She is just an inspiring woman all around, and I am so grateful for her words today:
Sarah J Larson:
When I was 16 years old, I asked what I consider to be the biggest question of my life. The answer that came laid the foundation for all other answers I have sought on my path of life. As a sophomore in high school I was feeling completely down. My self worth was highly challenged, and my thoughts were skewed. I felt lonely and confused, unattractive and useless. These descriptives sort of make me sound like some kind of loser right? But I wasn’t! I had good friends; I was outgoing, and fun (I think!). I had little reason to be feeling as lonely as I did. I was experiencing what I recognize now to be a bout of depression. One weekend, I was without plans and particularly discouraged. I had a lump in my throat and a heavy heart, and I fully intended on spending the evening in a pool of tears on my bedroom floor. While in my room that night I took a leap of faith and knelt in prayer. My prayer consisted of 6 words: Heavenly Father, do you love me? I can hardly type those 6 words without feeling emotional. In that instant I was engulfed. Swallowed up in the strongest bond of love I have ever felt. The delivery was prominent, direct, and mighty; yet it was tender, calming and reassuring all in the same moment. My wounded teenage heart was humbled to its very core. I did spend the night in a pool of tears on my bedroom floor, but rather in complete gratitude and hope.
My perspective as it relates to the value of my soul is precisely connected to my perspective according to finding answers. A God so loving, so personal, so equipped on my behalf, ought to be involved in the decisions of my life. Not just the big ones, but the small ones too. He deserves my trust for He is my father, and He made me. Throughout my life I have called on Him to direct me in so many ways. From answers to simple questions of my heart to the decisions that have a significant effect on what the future holds for me or my family. When it came time to purchase our first house, I was introduced to a small town out west that was completely out of my comfort zone, far from everything I was familiar with. It was just out of the question for me! Through fervent prayer and a good old pride check, I felt peace in my heart that this location would be the place we make our start. 8 years later, this town has brought into my life some of the best people I’ve ever known, friends who have cared for me in times of need, and personal growth that only this type of removal from familiarity could bring. Other times I’ve asked, should I start a new business endeavor? Is the timing right to start our family? How can I improve my relationship with my oldest, or my middle, or my youngest? Is this the year for school? How will I ever get through this?
At this past October General Women’s Conference, Elder Uchtdorf shared a message using a powerful metaphor that struck me hard. He likened an umbrella to a barrier from the blessings that rain down from the clouds. When the umbrella is up, the blessings can’t reach us. There are times in my life when I’ve admittedly had the said umbrella in full use. Humility is the key to opening our hearts to God’s messages. I find that when I bring it down and look to the clouds, some of the greatest blessings that ‘rain’ down are sweet and wonderful little confirmations that I’m headed down the right path. When I was engaged I prayed with all my might to know I was making the right decision. I felt that confirmation. All was well and I married the best boy. Years down the road, I had 2 sick babies, I was pregnant and my husband was working late. My mother-in-law, who I love dearly, offered to come help me get the kids in bed. The most tender thing happened while I watched her give my kids a bath and heard them laugh and play together. As I stood in the doorway and watched, I felt a conviction in my heart. A feeling, that if I were to put into words, said, “This is the family you were meant to have.” This good lady is a part of your plan. My fervent prayers as young hopeful had never been forgotten, and although I knew I made a good choice, my Father sent me a thoughtful message that it was deliberate according to His plan for me. These are the raindrops of assurance that I want in my life. My Heavenly Father knows my potential for good. My potential for joy. My potential for helping others. My potential as a mother and wife. As I seek His guidance in all things, I begin to see myself the way He sees me. The way He’s seen me at 6, 16, and 26, and the way He’ll see me through to forever.