Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Ultimate Gift

The Ultimate Gift


This past week my family had the opportunity to go on a trip to a place I’ve always wanted to visit. As a young girl, I remember dreams of visiting a paradise where palm trees grew coconuts and everywhere you looked, the ocean was within view—or at the very least close enough to smell. I’ve always wanted to go to Hawai’i, but didn’t actually do it until my own kids are nearing adulthood.


My husband’s mother, Carol, had a similar dream. She always wanted to go to Hawai’i, and had big plans for her retirement. Unfortunately, she died before she got to make the trip she’d been dreaming of all her life.

One of the lessons I’ve learned through her untimely passing is that I should never put off the dreams that are most important to me. If you want something badly enough, generally you can find a way to get it, even if it requires some degree of sacrifice in other areas. Then, along the way, there are hundreds of other lessons to be learned, and other experiences to be had. This is what makes up our mortal life and the growth of our spiritual strength. Not to mention the creation of memories you’ll carry with you forever.


If you think about it, the same thinking applies to our personal dreams and aspirations as well. Like my dream of writing and becoming a bestselling author. But that’s another blog.

How can we deny ourselves this growth? These memories? I challenge you all to go after what you want most in life and to find a way to do that thing that so draws you. Never put off the things you love or desire, hoping that tomorrow opportunity will fall in your lap. Do the thing that drives you because sometimes, tomorrow doesn’t come.

This was the type of thinking that brought us to one of the islands I’ve always dreamed of visiting, and what made us decide to take the whole family as a Christmas gift. It was expensive, and the kids missed a week of school, and we came home to the depressing cold and snow and icky, yucky Utah inversion air. But the only thing we’ll ever regret is that our time there passed so quickly. And that we didn’t take two thousand pictures instead of one thousand.


The whole experience reminded me how important it is to give our children time, experience, and love. These are the gifts that will never break, wear out, or be forgotten. It is the ultimate gift of family.

Live for today, plan for tomorrow, learn from yesterday, then let it go. Now, go out and do something you’ve always wanted to do, but have been putting off. You won’t be sorry.

**By the way, though I had several entries to my current contest, no one actually guessed the right name. So…I’m extending the deadline until midnight, Friday, January 22nd, and giving everyone who already guessed the opportunity to guess again. If at some point in the past I happened to tell you my first name, go ahead and throw it out there, as long as I told you the answer before December, 2009. If you have that kind of memory, you should be rewarded. Please remember, close family members do not get to enter this contest. Sorry! (By the way, the prize is from Hawai’i.)

14 comments:

Heather Justesen said...

I know you told us what your first name was, and it hasn't been all that terribly long but I can't for the life of me remember.

Glad you had so much fun on your trip! It looks like you had gorgeous weather!

Stampmouse said...

Amen to that. I have known so many people that said "when I retire I will ...." only to find out for one reason or another they could never do it. Live your life as if there is no tomorrow, treat others as if they will not be here tomorrow and love like there will be no tomorrow because you never know what tomorrow will bring.

chelsea said...

Wow looks like you guys had fun! Good for you!!! My guess on what D stands for is Debra. Smiles!

Carolyn V. said...

OH man! I have no idea what your first name is. Oh well. Hawaii looks amazing. I'm so glad you got to go! =)

Elana Johnson said...

I love all of your thoughts here. I'm glad you had fun in Hawaii with your family. :)

Jodi Brown said...

I am so glad you had a great trip to Hawaii!! We loved it, too, and it was very hard to come home to this yucky air! Sounds like you had a marvelous time! Can't wait to hear more about it! Love you.

Nisa said...

Beautiful post and so true! Lovely blog!

L.T. Elliot said...

A friend of mine recently decided to take their family on a vacation for Christmas. I'll never forget what her husband said about it: that he never remembered the gifts but he always remembered the time spent with his family.

Cindy (C.L.) Beck said...

Okay, I've known your first name for a long time, and maybe since I'm your coauthor, it doesn't count. I'll whisper it to you in an email. :)

Glad you had fun in Hawaii! Nice pictures. And, congrats on "Sharp Edge of A Knife" coming out!

Rachelle said...

Loved this post, Nichole! I'm glad you had fun and thanks for sharing some pics with us.

lotusgirl said...

Hawaii. Cool. I want to go. I guess I'm going to have to make it happen now.

Nichole Giles said...

Wow, thanks for all the amazing comments, everyone. I'm going to let you all in on a little secret. Well, actually, two secrets. First, Hawaii is definitely expensive, but no more expensive for a family of six than New York was a few years ago. Save your pennies if you can, because it's totally worth it.

Second, at this point, only one person has successfully guessed at my first name. Keep trying, kids. I'm going to allow you another chance if you'd like to change your guess.

Nichole

Kelly said...

Ohhh, that looks beautiful. Especially as I'm surrounded by snow! I've been to many Caribbean islands, but never to Hawaii. One day I hope! Glad you had an amazing family trip!

Nichole Giles said...

Thanks, Kelly. I hope you get to Hawaii one day too. I highly recommend it.