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Ex-traor-di-nar-y

Ex-traor-di-nar-y 

[ik-strawr-dn-er-ee]

1. Beyond what is usual, ordinary or established.
2. Noteworthy, remarkable.

I was having a really tough day. Well, to tell you the truth, it had been a really hard week. 

Fine . . . if I must fully divulge, I had been struggling for several months. There. I said it. Fortunately the feeling of discouragement was about to be lifted right in the middle of an ordinary afternoon.

My family was visiting Zion Ponderosa in Southern Utah—one of my favorite places on the planet. I had about an hour to myself, so I took an iPod and went out on the deck hoping to connect with Heavenly Father as I listened to music and marveled at the beauty of the trees, mountains, clouds, skyline—everything He created. I like being in nature. I can feel Him. I can feel His love. I can hear a little more clearly and see a little more deeply. It helps me reconnect with who I am and who He wants me to be.

I was sitting in a chair with my feet up on the railing of the deck, listening to “You Give.” I closed my eyes for a few minutes and when I opened them I saw the prettiest little rainbow. It had appeared during the 30 seconds I had closed my eyes and reopened them. It lasted for maybe two or three minutes, and then it was gone.

I love moments like that—moments that feel like they are sent just for us. Moments when we know Heavenly Father is near. Aware. Close.

I’d like to think that rainbow was made just for me.

After the time spent listening to music and praying and thinking . . . I felt good. I was glad I had taken the time and opportunity to be in a place where Heaven could find me.

Finding Extraordinary
Extraordinary moments can happen in the middle of ordinary days. They can. They do. Sometimes remarkable things (an answer, a hug from a child, inspiration) go completely unnoticed. Sometimes remarkable things (an answer, a hug from a child, inspiration) are life-changing.

Several years ago, I was on a mother-daughter dinner date with Calli, who was nine at the time. Through a mouthful of macaroni and cheese, Calli giggled as she recounted a game of freeze tag she played during recess that day.

Then it hit me . . .

I will spend eternity knowing Calli as an adult. But tonight, right here, right now, and for the next few precious years, I have the rare privilege of knowing her as a child. 

What a gift to experience the children in our lives as children! For a brief moment during the journey of mortality, we get to watch them laugh, learn, experience, and grow.

Yes, in the middle of an ordinary day, I found an extraordinary moment. 

Making Extraordinary
Recently I conducted an experiment. For 30 days during my morning prayers, I asked Heavenly Father what was most important for me to accomplish that day. After my prayer, I would listen and wait to allow the Spirit to speak to me about what was most important to do that day. Usually it was a prompting of only one thing. He didn’t send a long list of things to do—just one, maybe two. 

One morning I felt prompted to write my 9-year-old daughter Meg a note telling her how much I loved her. After dinner, I finally got around to writing the note. I left it on her bed while she was taking a bath. After getting out of the bath and getting into her pajamas, she came downstairs where I was. She was crying—really crying. I asked her what was wrong. Meg told me that she had been feeling very lonely and had just been upstairs praying for Heavenly Father to help her to feel loved. She went into her room and found my note. She could barely get the words out while she was telling the story. I was grateful to know what was most important that day.

On another morning, I felt prompted to send an e-mail to a friend who is dealing with breast cancer. I hadn’t communicated with her for a while and I felt like she could use a word of encouragement and wanted her to know that someone was thinking about her. The next day she e-mailed back and said, “How did you know it was my birthday?!” I didn’t know, but Heavenly Father did.

The key to experiencing remarkable and noteworthy experiences is to recognize them! A rainbow. An inspired thought. A note. Extraordinary moments can happen while doing the dishes, driving carpool, making PB&Js, folding the laundry, wiping ketchup off a little chubby cheek or...over a dinner of macaroni & cheese. 

They can.

They do.

Watch and see.
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