A SIGN OF GRACE
I took this picture during a lunar eclipse on February 21, 2008 from the balcony of my home in Washington. 2008 was the last year my former wife and I were together.
As I look back on the night that moon appeared, I am reminded of a couple of things. Even when our circumstances are difficult, there is beauty in our world. We can gaze on it in wonder and focus on what we have been given. The things we choose to focus on become bigger in our minds and manifest in our lives. I don't know if that beautiful moon had that meaning for me at the time. I just thought it was cool and was trying to capture it on camera. With the wisdom of another decade of life, I can see that a loving father in Heaven gave me an opportunity to see that He still loved me and was blessing me with the radiant beauty of His creation.
I think this picture also reminds me of the elegant order in our galaxy. No matter what is happening in our lives and relationships, the sun will still come out in the morning and the moon will rise when the sun sets. An eclipse like the one in this picture is predictable and follows the rules given by the creator. All of His creation obeys him (except sometimes His children).
In Section 88 of the Doctrine and Covenants, the Prophet Joseph Smith refers to the Moon as female -- as it is referred to in many ancient mythologies such as the Toltec and the Egyptians. Could it be that God had that glorious moon shining down on me that night with a message that he would be sending a beautiful woman into my life at the proper time? There are times and seasons for everything in life, and for some our permanent and loving marriage comes later than for others.
I have a friend who went through a very bad divorce who sometimes cynically refers to life as a "big juicy peach" whenever someone else is trying to be optimistic. But maybe the appearance of this moon during a very difficult time in my life could have reminded me that life is, indeed, a big juicy peach. It is full of blessings and opportunities and joys if we know where to look.
Miraculous events only have the meaning we allow them to have. Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah saw angels and it changed their lives completely. Laman and Lemuel saw angels and pretty soon went back to murmuring and being bitter. Why? Because "they knew not the dealings of that God who had created them." (1 Nephi 2:12.) They missed the point because they did not know (or seek) the divine meaning in the events of their lives. They had totally blinded themselves to it.
When we are weighed down with sorrow, our view can become very myopic. It is hard to see beyond the crisis of the moment, and that crisis grows in proportion to the rest of the world. We can become very narrow-minded without even meaning to. This causes us to focus on suffering and suffer more.
If you are still suffering from the loss of a spouse to death or divorce, consider when might be the time to refocus on the opportunities and blessings that can still be yours in this life, and even in the life to come. I think the scriptural injunction, "seek and ye shall find" profoundly applies to finding the divine meaning in the world around us. So next time you see a sign of grace in the heavens, don't forget to notice and contemplate God's eternal love, and His promises to those that love Him.
11 is a very special number to us. In marriage, it represents the synergy that we intentionally create as a couple because 1+1 is not 2 but 11 (our whole is greater than the sum of it's parts).
11 has shown up a lot in our life as a couple...shortly after setting our wedding date for the 11th (because we love the symbolism of that number), we discovered that we are exactly 11 years and 11 months apart in age. It also worked out that Jeff's oldest son got home from his mission on May 11th (2017) the year before we got married on May 11th (2018) and that same son married his sweetheart on May 11th the following year (2019). My first niece was born on the 11th about a year later (2020). The year married my young boys were 7/11 and now that 7-year-old is 11. When picking up birthday food from the grocery store for his festivities (including these 11 candles), the change was $11.11. 💕 How awesome is that!?!
We see divine design in symbolism and such synchronicities as a sign from heaven that we are loved and being watched over.
I remember a talk given in a singles ward about "spreading it to the edges." It referred to sandwiches, or toast such as this that I made for my son this morning, as a metaphor for spreading goodness to the edges of our lives, to make our life experience as delicious as possible.
Since then, I have learned about the law of attraction and how what we put our focus on we get more of. If we will intentionally focus on and spread the good, our world becomes better.
Lilies are our symbol for Love In Later Years. They have three true petals and three sepals, which are the same color, shape and size of the petals they are there to protect. We relate the three petals to Peace, Progress, and Pairing and the three sepals to Resilience, Intention, and Faith!
Resilience protects peace, and it is the first step in becoming whole as a mid-single. Healing from adversity, heartbreak, and disappointment rather than remaining stuck, is essential to obtaining and protecting inner peace.
Intention protects progress, by getting purposeful about efforts and actions. This moves mid-singles in the direction of their desires and deliberately cultivates what is in their highest good. Intention and progress also means investing in loving relationships so that in the latest years, we will have the assurance of eternal love and the blessing of warm memories. Consider the famous line from An Affair to Remember, “Winter must be cold for those with no warm memories. We’ve already missed the spring.”
Faith protects pairing, opening doors to the love of God -- which ultimately leads to love of self and love of others, our two greatest commandments and the source of our greatest joy! Having faith that our loving Father in Heaven knows our deepest desires can provide peaceful reassurance that a power greater than our own is at work in our lives. This is what our Savior said about lilies:
"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin... if God so clothe the grass of the field...shall he not much more clothe you?... your Heavenly Father knoweth what ye have need of... seek ye first the kingdom of God... and all these things shall be added unto you."
St. Matthew 6:28-33
To us, the LILY represents the glorious blessings of a loving Father who knows what we need and has the power to provide it. May the LILY of resilience, intention, and faith bloom in every season of your life!