There’s one thing I forgot to say in my conversation with Eva Timothy. I think I mentioned that she and her family came to stay with us when she was doing a couple firesides here in the desert. I’ve talked about Eva before. She is a friend my sister Saren met on her mission in Bulgaria, and who came to live with our family when she went to college in the States. She has always been completely brimming with light, goodness, and PASSION. I LOVE her story of coming to America. Such a good reminder to appreciate where I live more than ever.

Anyway, Eva has found some pretty cool and creative ways to express that light. One method is that she creates pretty thought-provoking art.

A Guest on “EnLIGHTen”

She asked if I could join her on her EnLIGHTen conversations while she was in town (that she does once a week).

She asked me to pick the painting, and also a conference talk we could talk about together.

Since I had been thinking about our “personal wildernesses” so much at that time, and also what to do in those wildernesses, I chose this artwork:

I love that it shows a “wilderness” of sorts, but also the importance of studying and “looking up” in the midst of those wildernesses.

It’s so easy to get down on ourselves or on others, on our circumstances when we’re in the middle of the darkness of a personal wilderness.

But how beautiful it is when we can learn from that darkness. Have it help us define and accentuate the light that accompanies the darkness.

I also chose this talk by Tamara Runia (my favorite). I love that she talks about zooming out. Especially when we’re in a personal wilderness. Those who look with an eye of faith can be filled with hope.

So we had a whole conversation about just that. I sure love to discuss those things, and loved the comments that came in from listeners while we were talking.

What we forgot to talk about

But one thing we forgot to talk about was that not only can we get through the wildernesses that come our way, those bouts of darkness are the very things that make it possible to get through the next wilderness.

I love this story:

Pushing the Rock

There was once a man who was asleep one night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and the Savior appeared. The Lord told the man He had a work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might. This the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock pushing with all his might. Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain. Seeing that the man was showing signs of discouragement, Satan decided to enter the picture placing thoughts into the man’s mind such as; “You have been pushing against that rock for a long time and it hasn’t budged. Why kill yourself over this? You are never going to move it, etc.”

Thus, giving the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure.

These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man even more. “Why kill myself over this?” he thought. “I’ll just put in my time, giving just the minimum of effort and that will be good enough.” And that he planned to do until one day he decided to make it a matter of Prayer and take his troubled thoughts to the Lord.

“Lord” he said, “I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock a half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?”

To this the Lord responded compassionately, “My friend, when long ago I asked you to serve me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all your strength, which you have done. Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to me, your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. But, is that really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back brown, your hands are calloused from constant pressure, and your legs have become massive and hard.

Through opposition you have grown much and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. Yet you haven’t moved the rock.

But your calling was to be obedient, to push and to exercise your faith and trust in my wisdom, this you have done. I, my friend, I will now move the rock.”

– Author Unknown

Sometimes it’s so hard to figure out why we are where we are. Why we have to be in this “wilderness” for as long as we find ourselves there. Why the “Impossible” is looming so heavily in front of us. And we forget that even the process of learning to turn to God in times of trouble is making us stronger.

Yes, one “impossible makes the next seemingly impossible thing that much easier” (Thank you Grandma Hazel.)

That’s what I wish we had remembered to say.

We can’t grow without the wilderness.

Eva’s fireside

I may as well keep these pictures with these thoughts…Abby and Muprhy came in town at the same time as Eva did:

And we went to Eva’s beautiful fireside together.

She exudes that light in how she talks and how she loves. Can you see it in her face up there?

She’s not a stranger to personal wildernesses. Yet she is such a tremendous example of just “pushing the rock” and letting it make her stronger in the process.

I LOVED that as she was talking, and someone was helping her with the slideshow, she stopped what she was saying and said about her helper, “look at that beautiful dress she is wearing! You are so beautiful!”

Yep, that’s just how Eva is.

Murphy loved it too:)

I wish I had a photo of Eva’s husband Adam who was there with us too…and we stayed up late sitting around the table talking. But at least I have Skye:

Thanks, Eva, for all the good you are putting out into the world!

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  1. Been following your blog for many years for ideas and inspiration in my parenting journey, and have loved Eva‘s art you’ve shared over the years. I just realized a few weeks ago that she is the daughter-in-law of one of my dear friends! Love these thoughts and Eva’s beautiful, light-filled artwork.

  2. I loved listening to this and seeing you two feed off of each other’s energy! What a blessing to have Eva in our lives and the goodness that she brings to so many! Love the “Rock story” so much. We gain so much strength from our experiences pushing through hard times, which turn out to be such great “refining fires!”

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