Wednesday, April 4, 2012

See Beautiful Woman of the Month: Heather Nelsen

See Beautiful Woman of the Month:

Our See Beautiful Woman of the Month, Heather Nelsen, shares beautiful in so many ways. We are honored to feature her here, as she creates so much beautiful through her writing, her work and sheer day to day interactions with others. As a teacher, Heather inspires children daily. Through her blog, she reaches hundreds and invites all who visit to find more beautiful. She writes to make others smile and feel inspired (and after visiting her blog you do - feel inspired). She empowers children to love life and learning and she invites those who read who blog to reflect and grow with her. It's beautiful. She's beautiful.

By Heather Nelsen
I view seeing beautiful as a choice that I make each day, each hour, sometimes each minute. To me, seeing beautiful is perspective on what I have to be grateful for. As my husband always says when I'm seeing less than beautiful, "We're too blessed to be stressed!" The truth in those words, combined with the big cheesy grin on his face as he stands with his arms spread open, hinting to me, "See?!"can pull me from my anxious state. Well, most of the time. See, by nature, I'm a bit of a worrywart. I like to have my i's dotted and my t's crossed (and my bed made, and my picture frames straight, and the labels in my pantry and refrigerator facing forward... wait, but everyone is like that- right?). As much as it pains me to say it, I like to have control. But God reminds me daily, that HE is the one in control- and I am much better off because of it. I see what happens in my life when I try to take control, and it's not pretty. And I feel what it's like when I hand over control, and it feels like peace. But seeing beautiful is not always easy. And it's almost never natural. In January, my mom was taken to the hospital after several worrisome episodes of dimentia and amnesia, all within a few-hours time period. In the five minutes that I was able to speak to her on the phone after she was admitted, she repeated, multiple times, "And how did I get here again?" I immediately thought the worst: Stoke. Tumor. Alzheimer's. My mom, who turned 63 in November, somehow went from being exuberant, energetic, and fiesty, to confused, forgetful, and distressed- all in a matter of a few hours. The controlling side of me immediately called a friend who is a nurse to ask what could possibly cause such a sudden onset of memory loss. Then I searched the computer and came up with a list of suggestions and tests that I wanted the doctors to hear out and perform. Yes- I was that person. Because a third-grade teacher with medical background gained from watching Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice could surely shed light onto a new diagnosis that the neurologists and cardiologists hadn't thought of on their own. Of course... that makes perfect sense. Or at least that's what my not-so-trusting and slightly-too-controlling side believed. I'm also a DOer. I can't just sit around and wait. Or, as I'm learning, the not-so-seeing-beautiful side of me is. Thankfully, I have a husband who see's beautiful when I can't. Or won't. He puts perspective into my worry, without taking away from the realness of my fear. Which is also part of what seeing beautiful means to me- being able to put yourself into someone else's shoes and respond in a way that works for them, regardless of how you may want someone to handle that same situation with you. So in my fear, I tried to let go of the control, and trust.
The next afternoon, after a clear CT Scan, MRI, Carotid Artery Test, EKG, EEG, and Electrolyte test, my mom's sudden memory loss was diagnosed as Transient Global Amnesia- a condition that is rare, has no known permanent side affects, and is unlikely to ever occur again.
What an unbelievable relief! I was suddenly back to thanking the Lord and seeing beautiful again.
. . .But I'm not really proud of that. Because as much as I'd like to say I was 100% trusting that things would turn out okay and that God was in control, in actuality, what I did in those hours was let my circumstances determine my perspective, and de-fuel my faith.
Seeing beautiful, for me, would be getting the chance to go back and get a do-over on those hours, and really trust, despite the end result, that God was in control, and that He was fighting the battles for me, and my mom, and truly believe that all we had to do was be still. 
Maybe I needed a reminder that circumstances don't determine who God is. And circumstances can't determine where my trust lies. 
I do know, far beyond a maybe, that I am SO thankful to have my mom back. I'm thankful I had the following weekend to cook with her- something we always talk about doing, but don't do enough. I'm thankful that she can again tell me stories with details so precise, they could make a blind person see. I'm thankful she could do her little jig when I showed up at her door on that cooking-day Saturday, and then give the same excitement when my sister and her boys showed up just a little later.
So I'm starting again, today. And tomorrow. And the next day. And hopefully everyday after- to remember that seeing beautiful is handing over the things that I can't control to the One who can, and will- despite how I may see the outcome from my own little perspective.
Visit Heather's blog, Notes from the Nelsens, HERE.
Connect with her on Facebook HERE.
Are you looking for a tangible reminder to see beautiful, or know someone who needs one? Check out our See Beautiful products (and feel good knowing a portion of proceeds from every purchase is donated to charity. This month a portion of all proceeds will be donated to Getting to Better. Click HERE.   


  1. Such a beautiful message, Heather.  Thanks for sharing. 

  2. I am inspired.  What a beautful beautful woman Heather is.  And I mean that from a truly sight unseen point of view.  I had MOM read this to me and I did not even see her lovely picture.  Thanks for sharing will have MOM zip over to her blog.  Oh and I really like the insight of "
    let my circumstances determine my perspective, and de-fuel my faith."  That happens a lot.  But we just pick up and move on from the experience and it makes us all the more strong to trust in God.

  3. Too blessed to be stressed. I like that. I'm stealing it Heather! =)

  4.  I know! So refreshing, right? I think you have this awesome attitude reflected on your blog all the time! Happy seeing beautiful!

  5.  Goose, we always appreciate your wonderful perspective! We really loved her thinking and see beautiful attitude too! We're SO glad you're feeling better.

  6. Thanks so much for stopping by, Becky. We had so much fun reading about your trip to Atlanta on your blog. You and Cricket became fast friends! I know you're see beautiful spirit appreciates the way Heather sees beautiful too. :)

  7. Beautiful post, I agree that we have a choice on whether or not we want to see beautiful every day. She is such a positive person, her light shines through her post!

  8.  What an absolutely wonderful attitude and approach to daily living!  After all, we are in charge of our "attitude"...:)JP

  9. Lydia, thank you again for your sweet post. I don't feel deserving of all of your kind words! I wish I could say I was positive all of the time, but then I guess I wouldn't see my desperate need for the Lord to give me perspective when I'm seeing less than beautiful!! You are a sweetheart. :) I posted today about this post. I hope our blog directs some new traffic your way!

  10. haha, yes- it's a good one! I need that reminder more than I would like to admit! ;)

  11. Heather, you and I are very much alike my blogging friend.  And I too have a husband who does NOT worry.  He simply says, "God had even this all planned out!"  And then he just goes on with life...which is usually fishing.  Praying all is well with your Mom.  Now go fishing!!  If we lived close we could go together.  ((HUGS))

  12.  Thanks so much for visiting See Beautiful and sharing this kind reflection of Heather! We hope to see you back again - your perspective was certainly reflective of the See Beautiful family we have here.

  13.  Exactly! You hit the nail on the head. We have the choice to see beautiful in every day. We just have to chose to do it. Love it! Happy seeing beautiful!


Thank you for sharing your thoughts & helping others see beautiful too!