Saturday, October 16, 2010

Sunflowers and Inspiration

Aja was given a BEAUTIFUL arrangement of flowers the other day from a friend after her visit to the hospital. This was not your ordinary "grocery store" arrangement, it was beautifully arranged with rich purple and red flowers and in the center were some amazing sunflowers. I am always struck by their beauty and simplicity. They have become one of my very favorite flowers.

The French name for Sunflowers is "Tournesol" which means "Turn to the Sun"...Sunflowers always turn their faces to the sun. During the day they bend and twist in order to be in alilgnment at all times and at night they unbend and untwist. There are 33 varieties and they grow to heights between 5-10 feet.

This beautiful flower has inspired many including Vincent Van Gogh who was well known for his beautiful sunflower paintings. He began painting sunflowers after he left Holland for France in pursuit of creating an artistic community (his first works were created to decorate his friend and fellow artist Paul Gauguin's bedroom.)
Van Gogh voluntarily admitted himself to an asylum for about 1 year during his stay in France which actually turned out to be a very creative time for him! His room looked out over a beautiful field which no doubt served as great inspiration for him.
So why do I write about sunflowers and insane asylums, you ask? Not really sure, but somehow I can relate to this amazing flower and artist...not sure if this is a good thing or not!
It's no real secret that these past 6 months have been so completely overwhelming for me. At times I have honestly felt like "checking out"...maybe an asylum would have been a good option (lol). I feel like I have been the queen of gloom and doom and that is just not what or who I am.
So let me start by saying that I spoke with my sweet brother, Mark Thursday night for the first time since his accident. He sounded AWESOME! His voice is very raspy from the ventilator, but his outgoing personality and great sense of humor were very present. I could hardly talk with him as I was choking back the floodgate of my emotions...didn't see that coming. Anyway, he went home yesterday morning and is well on his way to recovery. He is unable to fly for 2 months and that, in and of itself, will drive him crazy! But even he admits that that is a very small price to pay. Everyday that he was conscious, doctors and nurses would come in and tell him that there is "no reason" that he should be alive. They did all they could do, but ultimately Heavenly Father saved his life! Thank you so much for all of your prayers and support. They have been felt by us all and his family appreciates all you have done.

My daughter, Aja, has been having some problems with her heart. She went into the ER Saturday night with chest pains and her EKG came back abnormal. Speculation is that she suffered a mild heart attack on Friday night. There is fluid around her heart that is causing her a lot of pain so she has been seeing specialists who are checking her for everything possible! The latest is that she may have a form of Lupus. Anyway, if I haven't used up my quota, please send a few prayers upwards on her behalf.

I read blogs that are so uplifting and inspiring. So many seem to "glide" through their trials. I often feel as though I am just barely plodding through mine. So I have decided that I need to really change my focus on things and remember to have an "attitude of gratitude" and stay positive.

As this crisis with my brother is coming to an end, I have been more keenly aware that trials are just a very normal part of life. I know they are for our good and that each time we endure and, more importantly, survive them, we are made stronger. I know this...I think we all do...but it is still HARD. My faith is made stronger, but not without a lot of fear and trepidation. I even admit that I have questioned my abilities to work through certain situations and have even fallen apart. Then I beat myself up...

So now with the certainty and acceptance that life is full of challenges, I am more resolved then ever to work a little harder on maintaining my faith and keeping a positive attitude. I know that I have posted about this before, but I am more aware now because the future, while it looks very bright in many ways, also holds many new and uncharted challenges for myself and my family. Economic times are hard, family and friends get older...I get older! We are faced with health issues, certain death and heartaches that can crush our very spirits if we aren't armed with the right ammo for dealing.

I welcome any suggestions or proven methods you have experienced in dealing with such life trials. We are all in this together and life is meant to be cherished and loved. We all want to be happy and experience joy in all that we do...That is the plan.

So I, like the majestic sunflower, am going to try to always turn to the "Son" and let His warmth radiate through to my soul. I am a very blessed woman who loves her life. I have more to be thankful for than I really deserve and I am reminded everyday of the miracles wrought by God's loving hand. It's up to us to see them and recognize them for what they are. I'm far from perfect, just a continuous work in progress.



addicted2shius said...

Oh Mary I am unfortunately all too familiar with what you and your family are currently enduring. I will post soon and maybe my story will help to relieve your gloom. I know times are so very hard for you right now and it's only natural to experience sadness and fear. But if I remember correctly there was a talk this past conference about changing the fear to hope and faith. I know it's easier said than done. But Heavenly Father has a plan for us all. There is a reason why our families are experiencing these tests and struggles but thru this we must find the inspiration. Unload our worries and troubles on Him, He will get us thru our darkest of times. Stay strong and if you need to release some emotions I am here.

Dawnelle Anderson said...

I have a great sunflower poem/story I will have to get for you. It relates a sunflower turning towards the sun throughout the day and how we need to do that to Christ.

Lynn said...

I don't know if I have anything profound to share...but my heart goes out to you.....because I too know how hard it is to "see" while going through the midst of a trial.

But this really struck a cord with me when I heard it said in a meeting on Friday night:

"There will ALWAYS be someone in need. Someone going through a trial. Why? Because for others there is ALWAYS a need to serve others so that Christ may bless them. Without someone in need....there would no longer be anymore service given." WOw. Lighbulb moment for me. Hard to take when it's "your" turn to be the one that service is given to.

And have you seen this??? Warning. HAve a box of kleenex near by.