Saturday, February 16, 2013

Heaven Is Here

Stephanie Nielson is one of my heroes. I follow her blog - and just finished her book, Heaven is Here. I found so much hope, strength, inspiration, and self introspection from this book. Stephanie is an amazing woman and mother. After a devastating plane crash in which she was burned over 80 percent of her body, she writes about her struggles and recovery. She writes how she puts her total and complete trust in the Lord and the divine help that she receives. She writes how she comes to accept and appreciate her new scarred and painful body. She writes about the everyday joys in life that I take for granted and how she finds fulfillment in the sometimes mundane day-to-day things. She writes about deep physical and emotional pain and how she found piece and hope and even joy....It's a GREAT book!

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from this book:
"At first I thought stubbornly that the only thing that would make me happy was for life to look like it did before the accident. But no one could give that to me, and no one else could make me happy. Happiness was my choice, and though it is hard won, I am the only person who can stand in the way of it. As I gradually accepted my responsibility to choose happiness every day, I rediscovered the beautiful life I had always wanted. I still have to remind myself to choose happiness almost every morning when I wake up in pain, and I expect I will need reminding throughout my life, but the amazing thing is the more I make the choice to see and feel joy, the more joy there is to see and to feel."
"I know, now, without a doubt that the true source of happiness, self worth, and authentic beauty doesn't come from the outside. Women and constantly being persuaded to want something unachievable, to look younger or thinner and above all to fit in because being different is too painful and embarrassing. I have accepted myself in a world that does not accept me, because I have learned--and more than any of the lessons of my accident, this is the one I wish I could teach everybody--that our hearts matter most. Your heart matters most, so be gentler and more patient with yourself, and their hearts matter most, too, so be kinder and more compassionate to others. It's a beautiful heart, not a perfect body, that leads to a beautiful life."
"I do think that insofar as heaven is a joyful place fulled with people you love, and where you feel peaceful and genuinely happy, then it's true. Heaven is right here."


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