Just finished this book.
It was all I could do to not read day and night, (which is basically what I did anyway). I've enjoyed her blog for a few years now and reading her memoir did not disappoint in the least. So inspiring on many, many levels. Just wanted to share a few of my favorite quotes and encourage you too to read her story, her journey as well.
Perhaps it's because I'm pregnant and hormonal, but I was crying from the first quote:
"The power of finding beauty in the humblest things makes home happy and life lovely."
~Louisa May Alcott~
In speaking on Motherhood she shares, "maturing as a mother is a gradual, but steady process, if we let it unfold. I can only DO MY BEST, AND THAT'S ALL THAT MATTERS. I'd never let go of the truly important things, but MY CRITERIA for what the important things were often realigned."
After their plane accident and as her life returned to a new normal, she writes, "I sensed the accident had set into motion eternal lessons for each of us, and we would learn things that ultimately we'd be grateful for. At least I hoped we would. I HAD TO BELIEVE THERE WAS A PLAN FOR OUR LIVES, A PURPOSE BEHIND OUR STRUGGLES. It was at times a thin hope, more an idea than a driving force, but my challenges seemed manageable if I believed their was purpose behind them."
In her epilogue she writes, "...I realized along the way that ultimately nothing they did could make me happy. I felt comforted by family and my faith, but PEACE WAS DIFFERENT FROM HAPPINESS. At first I thought stubbornly that the only thing that would make me happy was for life to look like it did before the accident. But no one could give that to me, and no one else could make me happy. Happiness was my choice, and THOUGH IT WAS HARD WON, I am the only person who can stand in the way of it. As I gradually accepted my responsibility to choose happiness every day, I rediscovered the beautiful life I had always wanted. I still have to remind myself to choose happiness every morning I wake up in pain, and I expect I will need reminding throughout my life, but the amazing thing is THE MORE I MAKE THE CHOICE TO SEE AND FEEL JOY, THE MORE JOY THERE IS TO SEE AND TO FEEL."
Her thoughts on true beauty are spoken from a well of genuine experience, (having been burned on over 80% of her body). "in that quiet moment the inspiration that I'd come to rely on returned to me like a peaceful whisper. God was speaking to me. I felt again how much He loved me. I was reminded that He sees so much more than I do. In a moment, I felt beautiful again, restored. That peace is always waiting for me after I despair. IN THE QUIET MOMENTS, INSPIRATION AND COMFORT ALWAYS COME AGAIN. Every time, without fail. Piece by piece, God puts me back together and I keep moving forward. I know, now, without a doubt that the true source of beauty doesn't come from the outside. This is the one I wish I could teach everybody---THAT OUR HEARTS MATTER MOST. It's a beautiful heart, not a perfect body, that leads to A BEAUTIFUL LIFE."