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Monday
Dec162013

Sunday Snow Angels

The following also appears on the American Fork Citizen site, directly beneath the "From the Editor's Desk" column, and titled "The Last Word."

*****

My book, to Mormons, with LOVE, continues to enable me to participate in many discussions. Topic specifics vary but conversation always centers on religious and cultural differences. People enjoy sharing their experiences and stories; and questioning me further about mine.

Often, I’m asked, “What do you believe?” Great.

When I was very young I asked my mother—a quasi-hippie—essentially the same question. “Do you believe in God?” Her answer was, “It’s not important what I believe. What’s important is what you believe.”

She wasn’t shirking her parental duties, or avoiding a question. She empowered me to think, feel, and pray for myself. My mother made it clear she respected whatever path I chose. There were also guiding words like, “All I know is that deep within myself, something speaks to me and helps me feel if a choice is good, or not good. Listen to that. Pay attention.”

Holy Spirit? Higher Self? Does it matter?

I’m a runner, although recently more of a hiker due to a neck injury. My running and hiking friends attend church on Sunday, so I embrace the time alone. My summer Sunday mornings are like the opening scene from Oklahoma. People walk to church, smile brightly and wave to me as I run by. The sky is blue, perfume and aftershave fill the air, and scriptures are reverently carried. “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’” plays in my head. I think it plays in everyone else’s head, too.

Winter is different. The skies are often grey; families are in cars, sometimes taking a corner on two wheels because they’re running late. (We’ve learned to avoid driving lessons for our student driver beginning five minutes before church starts through about 45 minutes after.) However, I still always get a smile and a wave, even if it’s a little rushed.

Recently, friends and I have been hiking near our home. Sundays, when I head up solo, I climb, talk to God, and give thanks. I’m thankful for a body that allows me to move, the deer that seem unbothered by my presence, and the overwhelming sense of peace that I feel. When I arrive at the top of the hill, I sometimes make small snow angels with my feet. I like to think there are angels and spirits all around me on that hill. Some familiar, most not, but I welcome them all.

Snow angels with my feet

I always pause to take in the view. I look at my town, knowing that in the churches I see (there are many), my friends, and people I don’t know, are worshipping. And praying. For me, for you, for themselves. And I graciously receive.

View of my town from the hilltopSo, what do I believe? Not that it should matter, but I know most who ask that of others are purely curious. My path is fluid, and I’m comfortable with that. But…

…I believe in God. And, I believe that God believes in ALL of us.

Peace and blessings to you and yours.

Reader Comments (6)

Lovely! Love the snow angels with your feet. I believe in a God with a plan. I also believe in grace for ourselves and for others. xoxo

December 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteranna whiston-donaldson

Beautiful Anna, again, I'm humbled that you comment here. Thank you. Bless you. I believe in grace for ourselves and for others, too. I think of Jack daily when I pass a little blue house on my way to the boys' school. Much love to you. xo infinity

December 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChrisy

Wow! Pretty incredible Mom! Great article Chrissy!

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaulette

I love you Chrisy. I've loved you since I was 17 years old and I'll love you until I'm 107.
I love your Mom and Dad for making you the perfect you.

December 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNikki

Paulette, thank you. If this is Mrs. D., you've seem my mother in action. :)

Nikki, and you know I love you, too. Also until I'm 107. But, were you a little loopy after your dental work? xo

December 18, 2013 | Registered CommenterChrisy Ross

I appreciate everything about this post. But your last words are perfect. <3

January 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer

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