hard thingslive better

Happy Monday {when it seems the world is falling apart}

By January 24, 2017 4 Comments

When I told my friend about “signs” and feeling like God gave me little gifts to keep me going, he shook his head. He thought the signs were always there – we were just too busy to see them.

Hmm, maybe he’s right. Do we make our own reality because of how we want to see the world or are there gifts being sent all the time? I think it’s a little of both. But I think Friend has a point: there is great beauty all around us, if we will only SEE.

I read this quote this weekend (and didn’t think it a coincidence:):

“The more often we see things around us – even the beautiful and wonderful things – the more they become invisible to us. That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world: the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds – even those we love. Because we see things so often, we see them less and less.” – Joseph B. Wirthlin

There is an awful lot of doom and gloom these days. We are upset about politics, taxes, healthcare. There are really sad and horrible things happening that we have no control over. For instance, I’m driving myself mad this evening thinking about how much of teen culture is.so.BAD. Will the kids really be okay?

But I must take deep breaths and think about that another day.

This post is about seeing the sunshine and butterflies.

Anyway, has there ever been a period of time when people on earth felt perfectly content or unafraid?

So. I read this this week, too:

“I am asking that we stop seeing out the storms and enjoy more full the sunlight. I am suggesting that as we go through life we ‘accentuate the positive.’ I am asking that we look a little deeper for the good, that we still voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment virtue and effort.

I am not asking that all criticism be silenced. Growth comes of correction. Strength comes of repentance. Wise is the man who can acknowledge mistakes pointed out by others and change his course.

What I am suggesting is that each of us turn from the negativism that so permeates our society and look for the remarkable good among those with whom we associate, that we speak of one another’s virtues more than we speak of one another’s faults, that optimism replace pessimism, that our faith exceed our fears.” –Gordon B. Hinckley #lovethisman

I saw this faith and optimism play out over the weekend as we laid my cousin, Andrew, to rest. Andrew was born with many heart defects and Down Syndrome. But the love his family had for him was a great love story. Andrew was a joy, but also…difficult. I don’t know how his parents and sister could turn every broken toilet into a hilarious story, (he had a fascination with flushing things) but they did!

Even his obituary made me laugh. A small piece: “Ever the prankster, Andrew enjoyed breaking household items, hiding things, and telling jokes about setting people’s hair on fire.”

Before he passed away he hid all of his mother’s pants. They are still looking for them. On several occasions I thought, “bless them, I could never do it.”

But they did. So very well.

His father, Ray, said at his funeral: “Happiness is a choice.”

In a prayer, Andrew’s mother said, “Thank you for the great honor of allowing us to raise Andrew.” She didn’t talk about how hard it was, only the great honor.

I’m thinking about this today, on a cold, grey January day when there are many many worries on my mind. I’m looking out the window {’cause it’s not on my phone} and really trying to see it.

Some seasons of life are better than others. And I just thought I’d share this belief of mine, that our lives have meaning. That there are good things all around us if we want to see them. That happiness is a choice.

And like Olivia Pope says, “ALL PROBLEMS HAVE SOLUTIONS!” 🙂


Hold on. If you can’t see the light right now, believe. It’s there.


Happy Monday, friends.



  • Julia Tomiak says:

    I was curious about the circumstances of your cousin’s life and passing and am glad you shared here. Some people are super heroes on the happiness front, and thank goodness we have them to lead us. I count you as one of them. Thank you!

  • Nina says:

    Really glad you shared this, too.

  • Peter says:

    Thanks Amy.
    I think we’d all be better off by viewing what’s right and wonderful and beautiful more.
    Remember Silvia H. Allred? (former member of the general presidency of the RS from 2007-2012)
    She was born in El Salvador, served a mission in Central America, attended BYU, and later served with her husband in Paraguay,Dominican Republic, and Spain.
    I heard an interview with her once in which she spoke of being in a new country and noticing lots of problems. She prayed to see only the good. I remember at that time wondering about the wisdom/objectivity of this. But I have since realized that our resources are very limited and are best focused on the positive, productive, enjoyable, etc.
    Sister Allred and her husband also have 8 children; so I think she has some wisdom to impart 🙂
    Thank you Sister Allred!
    And thank you Amy for another fine post!

  • Ray says:

    What a great sunset! Where did you take that photo. Looks like Utah, but I am guessing.

    I love your blogs. The world is obsessed with every twitch or tweet from Washington, but what happens in the home is far more important than what happens in the Houses of power about the world. You and Gregor understand that better than most.

    Thanks for sharing it.


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