Thursday, October 21, 2010

Standing At The Crossroads

We've all been there, we've all endured moments when we stand at an intersection and try to decide which way is the best direction to head. We ponder the consequences, all that can be gained or lost, then venture forth, hoping we've chosen wisely.

Choices seem to be part of our mortal existence. We begin making decisions early on. Most of our early adventures in life revolve around the food we will or will not eat, what toys we will select, and which colors we will wear. Some decisions don't change much through the years. ;)

There are also milestones in our lives when we ponder items that will have a huge impact on the remainder of our days. What do I do after high school? After college? Who should I marry? What do I want to be when I grow up? No pressure. ;)

We find ourselves standing once again at the crossroads upon reaching the status of empty-nester. Now that the children have all fled the family home, what do I do with my life? Do I return to college and pick up the rest of my degree? Should I tackle the writing world again? Would I be better off polishing new talents and interests? And what about this silly body of mine that keeps trying to show me who's boss? What colors should I wear? Which toys do I want? These and other questions keep me awake at night. Silly, I know, but I find that as I enter this newest phase of my life, there are decisions to make yet again.

I suspect it will always be that way. There will always be new decisions to contemplate. This keeps us from becoming stagnant. Fresh ideas and perspectives are crucial to further growth and development. This keeps us alive and hopefully heading in the right direction.

So on days like today when I'm not sure what I want to be when I grow up, I will carefully weigh all of my options and then aim for the best direction, knowing there will always be another crossroad ahead to navigate.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Sunny With a Chance of Showers

How often have we heard weather forecasters predict that we will experience a sunny day with a chance of showers? Probably too many times to count. ;) Today was one of those kind of days. It dawned bright and cheery, the sun peeking out over the mountain tops. "Aha," I though to myself as I prepared to face the day's events, "the weatherman lied last night." Last night's prediction was for rain . . . rain . . . and more rain with a chance of snow in the higher elevations. There was no mention of sun . . . and yet it has burst through the clouds off and on all day.

I went about my list of errands this morning, believing the storm fairies were having fun with the local weatherman, when all of a sudden, it began to sprinkle . . . and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. It sprinkled all the same. It did this for quite some time . . . and then the sky grew dark with menacing clouds. "Ah, here it comes," I commented . . . and it did indeed . . . for nearly two solid hours. It rained, poured, and provided an impressive gulley-washer as we call it around these parts.

Then the sun came out and warmed things up nicely . . . before the next storm descended. The battle between clouds and sun took place most of the day. Currently, the sun is shining but I can see a glimmer of darkened clouds on the horizon, indicating that the storms aren't quite finished for the day.

It's like that with life; storms and sunshine seem intermixed. On one of the most beautiful fall days imaginable a darkened storm surfaced into my life 27 years ago. On that day my father chose to end his life. I remember walking outside later that morning after receiving the news, and wondering how anyone could do such a thing on a day that was so gorgeous. There wasn't a cloud in the sky, and yet it rained steadily inside my heart for several weeks.

Storms come into our lives for important reasons, like the need for new growth. Sometimes they spring out in a surprising manner, clouding our lives without warning, due in part to the fault of others. However they descend, I know that eventually, the Son will reappear, drying our tears, warming our hearts, and reminding us there is always hope, no matter how dark the skies may appear on the horizon.

(Note: I composed this post a week ago for another LDS blog group that I belong to {V-Formation}. I had no idea at the time that another storm was brewing in our lives. On Thursday of last week, one of my Laurels was seriously injured in a car accident. As of today, she is still comatose. She is showing positive signs of coming out of this {she opened her eyes for a few moments last night while I was talking to her mother on the phone} and we are confident that eventually, Samantha will return to us. Until then, our prayers continue to be with Sam, and with her family. You can access a blogsite her oldest sister has put together that contains updates on Sam's condition here: Sammy's Blogsite )