Monday, May 25, 2009

America the Beautiful

O beautiful, for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America! May God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness, and ev'ry gain divine!

We have found a new Memorial Day tradition that we loved...DC at sunrise.  We arrived in DC about 6:00am, caught some gorgeous shots of the sunrise, and got to see the WWI, WWII, Vietnam, and Korean War Memorials all before 8:00 and well before all the crowds arrived.   It was probably the most meaningful Memorial Day we've ever had. 

Thank you to all the men and women who have fought to protect our freedoms over the years.   
We honor you this day.

Happy Memorial Day!

Make sure you check out I [Heart] Faces this week for lots more silhouettes.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Prayers of the Children

I love the simplicity and the sincerity of children's prayers and feel like us adults could learn a lot from their genuine expressions of gratitude and love to their Heavenly Father.  Instead of the rote recitations that seem to cumber us as adults,  they simply notice what's around them and pray for divine protection over those people and things that are nearest and dearest to them.  

They bless friends, brothers, sisters, blankies, special toys, stuffed animals, butterflies, princesses, pets, books or whatever else is on their mind.  I love that they trust God enough to recognize that He cares about what they care about.

Sometimes I get so caught up in praying for what I'm supposed to be praying for, that I forget to truly open my heart and communicate with God.  

As I say my prayers each day I am trying a little harder to remember to look around at the simple beauties of life that surround me and strive to better express my gratitude for them....  The sunset, the rainstorms, the kids not fighting, the azalea bushes in bloom, a clean bathroom, a thoughtful friend, a sweet husband, beautiful music...

Today I reflect back and express gratitude for what has brought me these tender feelings to ponder over.   With five kids in the house I've heard a lot of sweet, heart felt prayers, but lately  Ellie has prayed for us all to be more helpful and pretty.   Each day we all silently giggle that our sweet four-year-old's heart felt desire is for us all to become a little more princess-like, but really she has taught us what prayer is truly all about.