So, I put on this costume and turned to my baby Ollie, threw out my arms, and growl-shouted, in my best Cookie Monster voice, “COOOKIES!!!”
Ollie studied me with a smile for a moment, then said, “Ceh-ceh, CEE!” For “C”ookie, you know, as Cookie Monster taught him on Sesame Street.
And that’s when I about died with delight, surprise and joy.
I can’t tell you how much happiness and peace I feel, knowing that my precious, wonderful family, will be together forever. I tell you what, sometimes I just… ugh. I just feel so tired. I’m chased about by the shadows of old—but very deep—wounds. My brain gets sore—it’s very sore today, my poor, poor, damaged brain, it tries so hard.
But, whatever the struggle, there are these shining, wonderful, beautiful moments and people that fill my heart with so much light, joy, comfort and love, and that gives me strength. They fill the dark skies with stars, and my sleep with happy dreams. They give my life meaning and magic, and are absolutely priceless to me.
Sometimes, pain is overwhelming. The shadows of the past are consuming and blind you to the beauty that exists right at your feet. Don’t let it. You’re not in the past anymore. Just because you’re wounded, doesn’t mean you can’t have light and joy *now*. I promise, you *can* conquer it, if you’re willing to do whatever it takes. The beautiful things that are around you, that are on the horizon, are so worth it.
Today will mark 1,062 days of consecutive scripture study for me, of at least 1/2 an hour each day (I totally count reading/listening to conference talks). I may not read fast, and I might not read the Book of Mormon every day—but I’ve surely read it 3/4 of those days—which is why I didn’t finish it as quickly as I should’ve last year, but studying each day has become a way of life for me. I just *have* to. I need the Spirit in my life like I need air. It has guided me through the darkness. I have *felt* my Savior carry me. I *know* He lives and loves us *perfectly*. He knows our sorrows. He knows exactly how to rescue us, and starting each day by lighting our hearts with the Spirit, *will* chase away the shadows, and illuminate the blessings at our feet. ❤️