the bold blaze in your depths























rejoice over everything. 

exult. exhilarate. 
be glad. be delighted, elated, and bowled over with joy!

frolic freely, hop, hope, dance on the dare, cheer, champion the little ones, revel in the riotous light.

invoke god without ceasing. pray with passion. whatever you do, do not quench the spirit.

take care not to douse or dampen the bold blaze in your depths. 
jump into life. hold fast to it.

give thanks for everything. 
for everything, even the most misshapen and misunderstood,
is the disguise of the divine. 

-susan virginia hull


this morning i opened up my facebook app and it told me that i had posted the words above six years ago, on thanksgiving day 2011. and that little notification was a big tender mercy for me. i needed the reminder - the reminder of who i am, of what i believe, that i should to exult, that i should hope.

real talk: i've been sad lately. i'm struggling with some things that are deep and difficult. i often feel a bit silly for struggling with the things that i do, given how outrageously blessed and privileged i am. (plus, i recognize that my emotions are intensified by pregnancy hormones!) but my pain is legitimate; it is real and wide for me. i've been working a bit with a therapist and trying to learn about myself and create some changes. it's hard work, but i can see how it is beautiful work. i believe in its fruits. the struggle is the disguise of the divine. there will be beauty for ashes.


and amidst the peppering of significant struggle, there is so much happiness in my life. i'm so grateful for moses, who reminds me every day to frolic freely and be delighted and elated. seriously, this kid is bowled over with joy by the simplest things, every single day. i think these couple of pictures capture how he exudes wonder and gladness and how it is contagious for ian and i! (and they are a  sneak peek of our christmas card photos!)























i'm remembering the bold blaze in my depths and continuing to focus on gratitude. life is really beautiful, in all its shades of good and hard.

25 comments:

  1. You are such a beauty inside and out. There are times things are just so so hard in our lives even when we have so many blessings. You are so good through and through and a light to many of us around the world that have hope in part through your sharing of your depths.

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  2. Don’t ever feel like it’s not ok to struggle just because you are blessed or privileged. We all have our own challenges and our inner life is often the hardest to navigate. I appreciate the fact that you are so real on this blog, that you share the ups and the downs - often in spite of mean spirited criticisms levied at you. Today’s post feels increasingly sincere and intimate and it’s brave of you to share that. May you find peace in the challenges of your unique path.

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    1. THIS. So true. Don't ever let your privilege and blessings make you feel guilty for feeling bad. I have a lot of experience with this, feeling like I didn't have enough "real" problems to feel as depressed as I did. That mindset doesn't help, in fact it makes you feel bad about feeling bad instead of working towards feeling better. Praying for you friend!

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  3. This morning I read "Saying you can't be sad because another person's life is worse means you can't be happy because another person's life is better."

    I hope that you'll feel better soon!

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  4. When I published a blog post last week, I got countless messages thanking me for keeping it real. Few people write about their struggles, so it is so refreshing when they do. I appreciate your willingness to be vulnerable and bring your sadness to light. Hugs!

    https://petersonsonthestillwater.blogspot.com

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  5. I am so sorry you are struggling. No matter how beautiful & blessed a life we lead, we can struggle with dark demons (anxiety & panic are some of mine). It's a lonely battle.
    Good for you for seeking help and working through it.
    I'll be praying for you!!!

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    1. Also, these photos are magical. That orange dress looks smashing on you!

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  7. Beautiful family photos! It's ok to
    be seriously struggling and seriously privileged/lucky at the same time. Good for you for getting the support you need!

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  8. I love that Hull poem - so beautiful! And I feel like you really live that way. Thank you for sharing your struggles as well as your joys. I’ve loved the encouraging words here in the comments and would just say ditto to all of them.

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  9. I am going to copy that poem and put it somewhere where I can see it every day. I have been struggling as well, and the poem was just what I needed to hear. Thanks for sharing both the joy and the work and the struggle

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  10. So sorry you are struggling at this moment and no your are not silly. This scripture came to mind 2 Nephi chapture 2 verse 11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.

    The photos are absolutely stunning! Happy Holiday!

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  11. I heard once that everyone has different trials, but all trials create the same emotions. For example loneliness is loneliness; regardless, of how you ended up feeling lonely. Same goes for sad, mad, anxious, upset. It's helped me to realize that my emotions are valid regardless of the situation regarding that emotion. Sorry that was long. Love your blog!

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  12. Just wanted to add my words to the others that have posted. I don't have anything new to say, but just wanted to say, thanks for keeping it real. I'm sorry you're struggling, but glad you are getting help, rather than trying to manage everything on your own and/or not acknowledging a struggle. Remember, whatever you're going through, that Christ truly can succor you--HE knows *exactly* what you are going through. Good luck and thanks for all of your posts! Life is Good :)

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  13. i can totally relate to this! i was struggling with some deep and difficult issues last year, and i felt bad for being so unhappy, because i was so lucky, so privileged, with a partner who loved and care deeply about me. BUT, like everyone else has said before me, just because you have blessings doesn't mean you aren't allowed to feel legitimate human emotions and be sad. I also went to see a therapist for the first time in my life during that period and it helped me immensely, helped me to understand myself and my emotions and the why's behind a lot of the questions i had about myself and how i act and react. and things are great for me now! and the thing is, things are great now! seeking help was the best decision i could have made for myself, my relationship, and my future. of course life has its peaks and valleys and i don't think that just because i'm in a good place now doesn't mean i won't have a sad time again, but being able to better understand myself and knowing there is help out there for when i need it, and that i can seek it and do the difficult and beautiful work of really analyzing and reflecting and understanding myself, that is always a comfort. ahh i wanted to make this short, and i rambled. thank you for your honesty! and for being real.

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  14. So much happiness in those pics, you made me blush... stay happy forever.

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  15. Charity, this is my first time commenting, although I've been reading and enjoying your blog for years. I really identify with your enthusiasm and passion for life. Thank you for sharing so much of your life. You inspire me. I felt touched to share with you a form of therapy that is not widely discussed or well-known. It is called Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Essentially, it is a "cousin" to the more well known Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT). There are books about it you could study, and you could ask your therapist if he/she can help you in its practice. It's nice, because it centers around a set of skills that help increase our sense of well-being: mindfulness, emotion regulation, etc. I thought I'd pass on this information, because I was surprised I had never heard of it until earlier this year. I'd be happy to discuss it with you further at ccowens6 at gmail dot com. Best wishes to you and your sweet family!

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  17. Thank you for posting so sincerely about your life and your marriage. It gives validation and courage to others and I would imagine it's helpful to feel that you can speak the truth and not pretend. Hope you find comfort soon

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  18. Charity, this post really spoke to me. I have been dealing with some things that are painful, and cause me much heartache. But, training myself to learn to live in gratitude has helped. At times it has been difficult to do that, but the more I commit to it, the better I feel. Hope this helps.

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  19. I love your outfit! Where did you get your dress and tights? So cute!

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  20. YES, girl! My female friends and I joke that we all turned 30 and promptly got ourselves therapists. It has been such a wonderful addition to my life (and I hear the same enthusiastic feedback from my friends' experiences). I cannot sing therapy's praises highly enough. Keep going, Mama - you're doing great!

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