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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}

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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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Sister Riddle

Sister Riddle

One of the Most Influential Women in my life.

In their journey in serving our Savior Jesus Christ, Brother & Sister Riddle blessed the Texas McAllen Mission & the Corpus Christi 2nd ward in particular with their sweet spirits in 2004

Sister Riddle- Confirmed & magnified my knowledge, love & testimony of missionary work.

Sister Riddle- you Never know what she is going to say… Like when we were taking family pictures at my sisters reception & she was asked to join & she was so excited looking around at us all & spotted my bearded husband & said “OH You, You’re Cute!” we all burst into laughter. OR when she predicts the man you’ll marry on the second day we had spent together in person.

Sister Riddle- who when you see whether every day, or after many years, she is just as excited to see you.

Sister Riddle- her love & hugs, expressions of happiness & gratitude when she sees you can make you feel loved for a lifetime.

Sister Riddle- She Always Cries. BUT that has to be one of my favorite things about her because she is the happiest person I know, & they are Always tears of love, support, happiness, & excitement.

Sister Riddle- She is one of the most Beautiful People I have ever met, Physically & Spiritually.

Sister Riddle- her attitude, her actions, her expressions, her spirit, is pure in Christ.

Sister Riddle- when I think of Christ like love, I think Sister Riddle. How she loves & expresses it, is exactly how I can clearly see & imagine how our Savior would show His love & embrace us.

Sister Riddle- like our Savior & Heavenly Father, I cannot fathom how one person can contain so much Love, but then I think, Sister Riddle.

Sister Riddle- You are the type of Woman all Women should aspire to be, & who I hope I can one day become like.

Thank You, Sister Riddle

♡ Samantha Harris