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I am a Texan, a Patriot of the Extraordinary USA, I am very stubborn which at times is a blessing as much as at times it can be a curse haha (my hubby & family can attest to my stubbornness), but that Lethal combination I guess you can say is a large basis of a vocally strong individual.

I am a Strong Woman.

That is one thing I have never doubted about myself. I am surrounded by strong women; my momma, my sisters, grandmas & strong people in general, always have been. Young women leaders, friends & people at church who with or without their knowledge, their strength gave me strength. I seek out strength. Those physically & spiritually strong have always grabbed my attention. Whether I saw their strength at times of normalcy, or when they were broken but carried strength possibly unseen by themselves, it was seen by me. Strength is probably one of the most admirable qualities because as unfortunate as it is, it is very uncommon. The reason being is that Strength is not bought or sold, it is earned & often in our meekness given as a gift. The Beauty with strength is that it can be found in weakness & at times of  pure humbleness. At those times, strength comes in doses that build a foundation of strength that can pull you through anything. I say anything in that I, from recent experience have experienced things I never have before & some I have. I had to look at every aspect of my life even going back several years to gather up every bit of strength I could muster. When I thought it was impossible, I was Given added strength from a loving Heavenly Father & Savior. Its sometimes the hardest trips to our own Gethsemane that we are presented with that strength as an added gift & reminder of love from our supreme creators. I am fully aware & believe & more so Know that all that I have & hope to be in my individual life & as a patriot of this nation that I am privileged to call home, would not be possible without our supreme creators. My life, my country, & my family was & will be founded upon by strong, God fearing individuals. I have Big dreams & many many goals but I still at the ripe young age of 25 don’t know what the heck I want to do with my life. However, being eternally grateful for past & current examples in my life, I have Always known the Woman I want to be.

With recent trials I was reminded of & reflected on conversations I had with my pops throughout my life. I often wondered why I had to go through all I had & was going through at the time. But, being a father of three girls (which must have been terrifying for a man, & father) he always knew what to say. He is Not a strong woman but he is a Strong man, physically & spiritually & raised 4 strong children & 3 strong daughters who grew to be strong women. Below is a quote that sums up what he taught & my recorded reflections of those conversations.

If you ever wonder why bad things happen to good people.

It’s because God knows they’re capable of handling it.

My dad was a great example of this, anytime I was struggling or going through something my dad would come have a talk with me & explain that what I was going through was unique to me, & that as big & strong as he is, if he were faced with the same struggle he may not be strong enough to handle it as I am.

My dad is a big guy, (from one of my favorite stories of my moms) He has arms that could bend rail road tracks. Having several of these talks with my dad it always put in comparison & a little shock that someone so big & strong wouldn’t be able to handle what I was going through. But more than that, aside from the many things that those talks taught me, one in particular was a lesson in strength. Not so much of the physical aspect, but being spiritually strong.

If you know me & what I have gone through in my young life, strength is something I desperately needed on a daily basis & now being grown I still cherish those talks & when “bad things” happen, I just whip out my spiritual rail road track bending strength because I’m capable of handling whatever trials life has for me, just like my dad.

After all I am little sam.

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The Floral Lumberjack

Howdy!!

I’m Samantha, I am 24 years young & a newlywed of 3 years. I’m from Corpus Christi, Texas  & you can bet your bottom I love me some barbecue & country music. The theory behind “The Floral Lumberjack” is all about the things I love & dream to do (I’ve got a Texas sized heart & acres of dreams!!) I have so many things I can’t wait to share & am so grateful you stopped by!!

 

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Stained Glass Windows

I love looking at this picture.

This is one of my favorite temples. In fact I will say it probably is my favorite. It has such sentimental meaning in my life.

This was the first temple I had the opportunity to “walk through”. It was the first open house I was old enough to attend, & I had the privilege of touring the temple before it was dedicated.

(If you have never been to a LDS Temple open house, I challenge you to go, if you are ever in an area where one is being held. Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or not. Young & first timer or if this ain’t your first rodeo & you’ve been to many or have been many many times, go. Go again, take your family, go alone, take a neighbor it’s a beautiful place to be in every possible way.)

I remember the day, driving up to the stake center where we would wait to load the shuttles that would take us to the temple grounds. I remember people not of our faith handing out pamphlets & papers saying some not very nice & not at all true words about our faith.

I remember looking out the window of our car, it was dusk & you couldn’t help but see into this couples backyard window into their home. You could see silhouettes, they were dancing, hand in hand. I remember thinking how sweet that was & how I hoped I would one day dance in my kitchen with my hubby.

I don’t recall walking into the temple but I remember seeing things I recognized from youth temple trips. I remember having personal experiences in each room of this temple that day. Some of which I got to revisit often in my youth & others I hadn’t gotten to revisit until earlier this year, since we moved to Texas.

I remember walking into the celestial room & standing in the room with my family & some people from our ward who had also come to the temple open house. I remember feeling the spirit so strong & that this must be what heaven feels like. I remember thinking, I have to make it back one day.  If the spirit is This strong & the temple isn’t even dedicated yet, I can’t even imagine what it will be like when I actually go through for the first time when I’m older.

Six years later in the Salt Lake City, Utah Temple, I had that very chance as a newly endowed member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. My soon to be hubby was there, my family, & soon to be in-laws were there. I was overwhelmed, I quickly reflected my experience at the San Antonio Temple open house & I remember I couldn’t wait to experience that feeling again. Six years later,there it was. That magnitude of that feeling I remembered or thought I remembered exploded in my heart & my spirit.

Words cannot express that day. My thoughts were many just being overcome by the spirit & the amount of love I felt blew me away to the point where it was hard to catch a breath (but in a good way if that makes sense haha) I had tears of complete gratification. It was confirmed in my heart that this is why we are here. No worldly thought had a chance in my mind at those moments. That day, I received my very own personal glimpse into heaven.

After we went to the celestial room in the tour of the temple open house, we entered a sealing room.

Til this day I cannot tell you what clicked, I cannot tell you why they initially first stuck out to me or what drew me to them; but the stained glass windows of the sealing rooms memorized me. On both of the sealing room windows of the Texas San Antonio Temple, there are stained glass murals of the Tree of Life.

I admired their beauty.

Years I would walk around the temple gazing up at that stained glass dreaming, wondering, & awaiting when I’d get the chance to be in that room again.

One of the many things I’d be reminded of when I looked upon the beauty of that stained glass was the story of Lehi & His love for His family. How he with all of his heart, might, & spirit Desired for his family to partake & experience that which he knew to be true, The goodness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I’d apply that to my life in feeling that like Lehi, my Heavenly Father desires for me to make it to the temple. He wants with all of his heart for me to partake in the goodness of Christ.

Six years & trials later, I was sealed to the man I now call my Lumberjack in the Logan, Utah Temple on March 12th, 2011. I did always want to get married in the San Antonio Temple but now Logan, Utah has my heart for that reason. Almost four years after that, so ten years since I first walked through the doors of the San Antonio Temple, I was sitting in that sealing room with my hubby performing temple work.

While waiting I looked around admiring the beauty of temple & my eyes drifted across the room & fell upon that beautiful stained glass window.

The feelings & thoughts of a young youth came flooding back into my heart & my thought was…

I made it.

I did it.

I made mistakes, there were times in My opinion I wasn’t ever going to make it there. But there I was, sitting there in that room I so longed to be back in & remembering those thoughts & desires of my youth & now knowing things I hadn’t before & seeing with my heart things I hadn’t before.

I felt a special spirit that day. I was so glad to be there. That day I was proud of myself & That day, I knew I wasn’t the only one.

I was there

Looking at that stained glass window but now…

From the inside.

It’s way more than just an experience for me. That temple sculpted me into who I am today. As a youth those windows were a constant reminder of my goal to return & the love of a Heavenly Father.

I am beyond happy to live near this temple I love so much & have the privilege of visiting often.

Its’s not a matter of making it there, it’s a matter of continuing to go, often. I Love the Temple. Learn to Love the temple. Do all in your power to make it there & then go, go again, & again. You are not the only one who is waiting for You, there.

{samantha harris}