lately - as in, the past week or so - my life has been, it seems, a series of little moments that i want to capture forever.  perhaps it's a series of tender mercies the Lord is giving me right before i embark on my great adventure.

i can't say i take credit for finding this great quote, but i can say that i absolutely fell in love with it the moment i heard it.

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees
takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries. 
          -Elizabeth Barrett Browning

i was fighting tears. this poem fits exactly how i've been feeling about the past few weeks.

when my dad was called to be the stake president, i sat on a pew with my grandma, grandpa, and little cousin.  the three oldest on the bench cried our eyes out.  i sat there, bursting with pride and loyalty and humility and love for my daddy.  as the tears were squeezing out of my eyes and rolling down my face and sliding onto my shirt, i happened to notice my cousin looking at us.  first at my grandma.  then at me.  then at my grandpa.  he seemed a little confused as to why we were all crying.  my heart seemed to expand in less than a second.  all of a sudden, i felt so much LOVE i didn't even know if i could stand it.  i wanted to take my little cousin by the shoulders and say, "this is what love feels like. that's why we're crying."  it was a precious moment, one that was "crammed with heaven."

another time, when i knocked on the door to babysit the little girl that i've grown to love, i saw her peeking out the glass of the window by the door.  when she saw it was me, her whole face scrunched up with the biggest smile.  there went my heart -- expanding yet again.  later that day, when i went to answer the calls that meant her nap was over, she smiled again and reached for me like she trusted me.  i know she's not my own child, but spending all day {for many days} with this little one has made her dear to me.  and these sweet moments alone with her are becoming special to me.

when my family sits down to read scriptures and ends up laughing till we're all holding our sides.  when one of my best friends leaves for the MTC and we say goodbye, but know it's not really goodbye.  when i get a letter from another one of my best friends and it makes me laugh and joyfully recall so many good memories.  when my cousin gives his farewell talk in church and makes us all cry.  and then after that we gather, young and old, to eat together -- a loud, crazy, chaotic party that makes my insides feel fuzzy because of how much i love it.  quiet time by myself in the temple, where i feel so much peace and love and the confusion of everyday life seems to melt away.

these little things in my life, these "common bushes", are afire with God.  it seems that my sweetest moments of late have been in the most commonplace things.  instead of thinking, "here we go, another calling, my dad's going to be even busier!" or "here goes another day of babysitting -- poopy diapers and whiny baby, here i come" or "yet another of my cousins is leaving on a mission", i have noticed the beauty in the little things.  just as Moses did when he noticed a common bush on fire.  i'm quoting again here, but a wise woman says it much better than i could:

He rewarded Moses for turning aside, seeking out the miracle.  We will also be rewarded for seeking out the miracles.... We can train our eyes to see the "bush afire with God" -- to notice the things that could not be, without the influence of the Lord.

1 comment:

Aubrey Burton said...

This is beautiful. Thank you for this.