Saturday, April 20, 2013

Jeannie's Writing Assignment

Alright once again sorry for my lack of blogging. Life has been quite busy and I have been a bum and just haven't MADE the time which I think is the real issue in this situation. good friend Miss Jeannie Woller is working on a project and has been asking different people to write "their stories".  She gave different people different topics to write a story about and she happened to assign me "sad" I am supposed to write a story about the saddest moment in my life.

So here is my story...

As youth we tend to think we know it all.  We don't like taking instruction, we don't like when people tell us what to do, and we tend to think we understand what is going on.  We find ourselves being defiant solely for the purpose of not having/wanting to do what someone else tells us to do.  The biggest misunderstanding we have is the consequence of our actions or the repercussion of the incidents that happen in our lives...

Now if we turn the clock back 13 years we'll find ourselves in a tough spot, and by we I mean me. 

The year was 1999 and I was eight years old.  Things were going great, I got baptized to the LDS church in January, I was loving the 2nd grade, and it was a beautiful spring season in the month of April.  As an eight year old kid you don't have many worries in the world.  You go to school, play with friends, homework isn't even really a worry.  I had great friends in the neighborhood and spent most of my time on a bike, on the tramp, or just running around. Up to this point I had always lived a normal lifestyle.  Well how long does normal ever really last? Longer for some, but for me it was time for the road to take a turn. 

I don't remember much at this point, the only slim memories I have was my mom bringing my brother, my two sisters, and myself into a hospital room.  My mother has always been a happy person but she looked extremely troubled at this point.  She then said something to us kids and everyone instantly started crying.  This wasn't your typical "I'm sad" kind of  cry, it was a cry from deep within expressing deep pain and anguish.  The problem here was, I didn't understand what was going on.  They used words I had never heard before.  I realized though something was wrong, my dad was in the hospital bed and everyone was crying... so it had to be serious.  After some time, maybe weeks, I realized my dad was very sick. 

Six months after that day in the hospital bed my dad passed away.  He had stomach cancer and they had caught it too late.  Stomach cancer is different in that there is no options to stop it or delay the growth other than surgery to cut it out.  My father passed on leaving behind a wife and four children ages 17, 14, 12, and 8. 

Now to go back to the assignment...I am supposed to write a story about my saddest moment.  So, this is different then it actually goes back to the first point I brought up about how as children we really don't understand all that much. 

You could say my father passing away was the saddest moment of my life but it is really the repercussion that has been and will be the saddest.  It is sad for me and sad for him.  He has missed out on big moments of my life such as my 16th birthday, soccer and basketball games, state tournaments, graduation from high school, college soccer, college graduation, and in the future he'll miss my wedding, me having children, etc. etc.  It has been hard and sad for me that he hasn't and won't be there for the big moments of my life, but the saddest part of it all is that he isn't here for the day to day moments...I can't call him when I want to talk, he doesn't get to see me grow of the years, he doesn't get to experience the change and growth in my personality.  He won't be there to give me advice about dating or my children.  He won't get to be the grandpa for my children.  It isn't the moment that is the is the overall experience throughout my life of not having my father around to experience life with and that he didn't get to experience life with me and his family.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

What is your reasoning?

So two recent events have really got me thinking so I thought I'd blog about it....blogging tends to help me think through problems or common "issues" we all as humans go through.

So I was driving to work through Sardine Canyon (Logan to Brigham City).  It was snowing extremely hard and the roads were TERRIBLE.  I mean extremely bad.  Well while I was driving I started to slide, so I corrected and then I started sliding the other way...blah blah blah I ended up sliding about 20 feet off the road into a bit of a ditch.  I was stuck.  Really bad.  When the car stopped moving I just sat there and thought, "well...what. do I do. now..." I just sat there for a minute contemplating who to call and a police officer pulled came to my rescue.  He came to my window and told me he'd call a tow truck for me.  After he walked away, I opened my car door and could barely open it because the snow was so high.

I then proceeded to call my work and tell them what had happened (all while trying my best to choke back the tears, ha I was a little flustered.) 

Then....the worst part of it all...

I had to call my mother.

You see I drive my mother's car and the first thing she told me when I got my job in Brigham City was that she was nervous because of the winters in Cache Valley and the roads can be pretty bad when it snows.  Ha well man...don't you just love when your parents are right (cause they ALWAYS ARE).

Well I called her and she didn't get mad at me but I could tell she was frustrated and then got the questioning "how fast were you driving? Did you brake too fast? Etc. Etc" She was very kind about it all and was sensitive to the situation.  It is just that immediate guilt and feeling of disappointing your parents that sucks SO bad.  You know you try so hard to meet those expectations and being your best and what not...but man when you do something dumb, the worst part of it is always the let down you feel.

Once I was pulled out and back on the road heading to work I just started thinking about how I disappointing the whole situation felt.  It was like man the only thing out of all of that, between sliding off the road, paying $80, being late for work, and my co-worker having to turn around to see if I needed help, the only thing that made me cry was that feeling of stupidity and guilt in calling my mom.

So event #1 relates to....


The other day I was hanging out with a friend when he asked me, "where do you think you'd be right now if you had no expectations from other people?" ...and I thought, "wow...I have absolutely NO idea".  My entire life has been mapped out for me.  Elementary, Jr. High, High School and then college where you get married and have kids and a family and it just goes from there.  That is just the way it goes.  There was never a question of whether or not I'd go to college after high school.

While growing up I never really had much supervision, no one standing over my shoulder making sure I got my school work done or that I got to practice on time.  I just did it. But I'm pretty sure I just did it because I didn't want to disappoint anyone.  My whole life has been an attempt to make my parents happy, to not disappoint them or throw away the opportunities they've given me. That feeling of meeting expectations was more of a push then someone actually verbally telling me what to do.

Answering the question of where I'd be is nearly impossible...I don't really know which decisions I've made were because it's what I wanted or what I think would make someone happy.  I mean I hope that I wanted a college degree and I am pretty sure I wanted to play college soccer.  But now...I graduate in 3 months...THREE months people.  Do you know how soon that is?? Ya that is EXTREMELY soon.  I don't know what to do with myself...which I hate.  I've always been told what to do and now that I am supposed to decide, I don't know how.  I have many options, they are all good options but it is hard to pick which option would be the "best option".

I think that is a big problem with our culture, we are always shaped and morphed into what we are "supposed" to be, supposed to learn, how you're supposed to act.  The worst part is, once you're in the real world you are supposed to be able to make those decisions on your own, even possibly come up with new ones.  Everyone expects you to be creative and to be able to think out of the box...well hello how am I supposed to be good at that when I've never done it I mean seriously people I don't know what to do, I have been told the next step of what to do my entire life!

I think what is even worse then that is that so much of what we do isn't for ourselves.  It is extremely hard to separate the things we do because it is what we WANT to do and what things we do because it is what we are EXPECTED to do. 

The fear of disappointing those we love is definitely a double edged sword.  Some kids do things because they don't want to disappoint their parents, and some kids just don't try because they don't want to disappoint their is sometimes easier to tell someone you didn't achieve a certain expectation because you didn't try then to tell them you failed.

Now ask yourself...are you living your life for you? Or for others around you?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Only Talk I've Ever Written

 So my talk was obviously a lot better in person cause I'm just so stinkin funny ;D ...or because I am just that embarrassing that people laugh at me.  Either way here is my written talk.  I hope you enjoy it.

            I’ve been asked today to speak on fasting, specifically Isaiah 58:5-11.  This is the first time I have spoken in sacrament since I was like 13 and when I found out I was speaking on fasting I got really nervous.  I wish I could tell you a personal story that relates to fasting and how one time when I fasted it changed my view on things and that now I have a whole new perspective but in all honesty I don’t have one.   I strongly believe that that is why I was asked to speak on this topic.  I am not very experienced with fasting and the reasoning behind it but after writing this talk I actually see things in a whole new light.  Please bear with me and I hope you are able to get as much out of this talk as I did writing it.  

               This is going to sound bad but too often when I read my scriptures I tend to mentally skip over versus that I don’t really understand.  If I see words that I don’t know then I don’t really dig deep to find the attended meaning behind it.  Well after reading these 6 verses I hope I’m able to change my ways in the future because I was able to find out much more than I ever thought I would.

           Isaiah 58:5 reads "Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?"

 This verse didn’t make much sense to me when I first read it.  I had no idea what a bulrush was and didn’t understand what the relevance of the sackcloth and ashes were. Well if you’ve ever been to a pond or small body of water you’ll often find those plants about 4 feet tall that have a weird brown thing at the top…yes great description I know.  But anyways if you’ve ever played with one or tried to “pick one” or pull it out you’ll find that it will just flop over, it has no strength to it, no foundational support, it holds fine when it is in water, but as soon as it is out of its element, it easily bends under its own weight.  So the bulrush is a symbol of a man bowed down with grief and the sackcloth and ashes used to be a sign of humiliation, often worn as a loin cloth during fasting or knelt on during prayer. The sackcloth was typically a burden to people.

God had no intention of fasting to be a day of grief or burden upon us and He goes on to explain that in verse 6.

    6 "Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the abands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go bfree, and that ye break every yoke."

 Literally, a "yoke" is a device laid across the necks of draft animals to hold them together so they can work as a team, and their load is attached to it. However, if a yoke wasn't properly attached to the animals, or if the load was too heavy for them to pull, the yoke would chafe the animals painfully and hinder their productivity.  God’s intentions for a fast were to help free us from the burdens of life.  He is very wise in knowing the loads we are able to bear.  Never will God give us more then we can handle.  

7 "Is it not to deal thy bread to the ahungry, and that thou bring the bpoor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from cthine own flesh?"

 This is a great blessing we’ve been given.  We have the opportunity of fast offerings.  The beauty of fast offerings is that the money that is given goes to those we know, those who are close to us.  We always hear of the people in third world countries in need of food and shelter, which yes I think it is important that we do what we can to help them and don’t ignore their needs.  But it is also important that we don’t forget about those close to us.  There are many within arms-reach that are in need of a helping hand.   Our contributions to fast offerings may not be large sums at this time because we are single college age students but it is a habit forming concept.  And although they may be small amounts, we should also understand as poor college students that every penny counts….and every dollar adds up.  You never know the difference you will be able to make in the life of a nearby friend.  One of our main goals in life is to become more like Christ and to give what we can, and as we do that the light of Christ will shine from within us. Which leads me to verse 8

  8 "Then shall thy alight break forth as the morning, and thine bhealth shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy reward."

  When we are involved in God’s work, such as fasting, we are instilled with the light of Christ which will lighten any darkened place it enters.  Fasting is also good for our bodies.  For those of you who don’t know me, I enjoy eating.  I eat a lot and seeing as how Saturday is before Sunday, the odds are I have eaten a large amount because...well that is just what I do.   Our bodies need a physical cleanse from the food and toxins we continually consume.  It has been proven that our body benefits from a 24 hour cleanse once a month. That is why fasting is a beautiful thing, it is a physical as well as spiritual cleanse.

Now my favorite  is probably verses 9 and 10

9 "Then shalt thou acall, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the bputting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; 10 And if thou draw out thy soul to the ahungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light brise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday"

  If we pray with a good intention and a pure heart God will answer in His way and on His time.  But I’ll be honest in saying I haven’t been too great when it comes to praying for answers.  It is definitely an area I am not very experienced in. But that is why the part I really love is where it says, “thou shalt cry, and He shall say, Here I am.”  It truly gives me ease in knowing that although I may not have a direct answer to a question that I have, I at least have the comfort in knowing that I have my father in Heaven with me. He is by my side if I choose to be by His.   We receive blessing through fasting that we can’t receive anywhere else.  As we cleanse ourselves from the desires of the natural man, we will fill cleaner and give the spirit more room to fill our lives.  It is important that we stay disciplined throughout our fast, keep our hearts close to the savior and the purpose behind our fast. The more we fast with our hearts open, the more He will fill our hearts with His light.  And like he says, His light will rise in any darkness and your darkness will be as noonday.  

The last verse goes on to say

11 "And the Lord shall aguide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in bdrought, and cmake fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a dspring of water, whose waters fail not."

  Although we may physically feel hungry for 24 hours, our lives will feel full of the spirit and full of Christ.  By fasting, we give God the opportunity to give us the blessings we need to guide our lives and help us progress to the next stage.  Without fasting we withhold ourselves from further progression that is necessary for our salvation.  As the next fast Sunday falls up on us in a couple of weeks, I invite you to find a reason to fast.  Don’t just fast because it is what we are supposed to do, fast because it is the right thing to do... life is too short to go through the motions.   Keep in mind those who you are helping with fast offerings and remember, when you are in service of your fellow men you are in service of God.  When starting your fast pray for comfort and guidance as you are fasting.  Don’t just nap the day away, fill that time with the Gospel and give God a chance to be in your life…I truly believe that as we come to Him, He holds his arms out wide waiting for us because we are His children and it is like any parent who waits anxiously to give a gift to their child.  

Thursday, January 3, 2013

My little secret...

 I have a confession to make... 1. I love Harry Potter. Not to the extent where I reread it all the time and know every single fact and detail about it, but I do love it with my whole heart. 2. I've never seen Lord of the Rings...yup true story.  I've seen parts of one of them but I haven't ever watched one all the way through.

I did however watch "The Hobbit" today and I thought it was good.  Would I watch it repeatedly? Nope. But I enjoyed the movie overall.  There was one part I really liked....

“Saruman believes it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love."

When I heard this quote I thought, "wow...that is SO true."  I mean if you really think about it, it is the small things in life that keep everything running.  Every small act of kindness, every good deed, every smile to a friend or stranger...they all add up in the end. 

I think too many of us are waiting for some giant miracle to fix everything, to right every wrong, to lighten all the darkness, but in reality that isn't the way it works.  How many times in your life have you experienced some GIANT MIRACULOUS moment or person with beyond power that just changed everything.  Ya I'm gonna bet that the majority of us would say we haven't had that. It was the small everyday moments when a coach said, "good job", parents said, "I'm proud of you" friends said, "how are you", a stranger smiled at you, someone showed a small act of service that was menial to them but extremely important to you...

It has been the small moments as mentioned that have added up overtime to keep the light in your life.  Think about it, there are THOUSANDS of different humanitarian groups helping the world. However there has never been just one group to change the world all together but each of those groups have helped to change the life of the individuals they interact with. 

As long as we have hope, love and light in our hearts, we will "keep the darkness at bay".  If we are willing to share that love and light, willing to serve those around us, the world will never darken. 

We need to stop thinking it takes some giant power to keep evil away (I mean unless we're talking about God or the Second Coming) and we need to stop waiting for some giant power to rid the evil from the world.  It is important that we continue to do the small is and always has been the little things that keep the big things working.

~Do what YOU personally are capable of doing each day to spread love, to do small acts of is just that that keeps the world running...that keeps us in the light rather than darkness~

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013--Time for a change

Ya know what...worrying about what everyone else thinks gets pretty exhausting.  It is always about having the new clothes, better jobs, and nicer cars. But why? Why do we do this?? The worst part is there is no definite line. You dress too nice and you're considered ritzy or snobby.  If you dress too low key you're considered sloppy or a scrub. Why does any of it really matter??

I was watching a really inspirational movie, not sure if you've seen it but it's called "The Princess Diaries"...ha kidding, but it is a cute one.  I was watching it with my nieces a couple days ago (and by watching it WITH them I mean they left half the time and I was mad every time someone walked in front of me because I was so into it). Anyhow it is an extremely cheesy movie but...the limo driver/queens assistant is just the cutest guy.  He uses Eleanor Roosevelt's  quote which I found to be pretty great.

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

I think this quote really hits the spot for the change I want to make in 2013 and for the rest of my life. I wouldn't say that I am an insecure person but I know I do let myself feel inferior to people around me more often than I'd like. I tend to put people on a pedestal when it really shouldn't be that way. It can be a very detrimental mind set for a person's success in life.

My goal is to continue to be the best I can be and just that.  There is nothing wrong with not having the next best device or the nicest new clothes.  It is important that we are happy with ourselves but always looking to become better individuals.  I strongly believe we are our worst critics and we can be the reason for our own failures.

Much too often we let criticism tear us apart instead of build us up to be better.  It can be hard to take but if we do take it and work off of it, we truly can become better/stronger individuals.  We as humans have a hard time looking weak or hearing our faults...but in reality we are weak and we do have why not be aware of them?  Once we know our weaknesses we can realize our strengths...which in turn we can strengthen our weaknesses and enhance our strengths. 

We all have faults and it is nothing to be ashamed of...don't let yourself feel inferior, don't belittle yourself. 

Hold strong to the beauty within you.  We are all children of God and of equal worth.  No one person is better than another and by letting yourself feel inferior you are only hiding the light you would have otherwise shined on those around you.

Goal for 2013 and life...
See the beauty within.  
Be the best that I can be on every given day.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Eyes of Eponine

I just saw Les Miserable today and man was it amazing.  I absolutely loved it.  There was one character I feel like we have all related to in some degree at some point in our lives and that would be the amazing Eponine.  If you don't know what the movie is about or about the characters, Eponine is in love with a man but he is in love with another woman and wants Eponine to help him get her. 

Talk about ultimate wing man...

This is the epitome of "men and women can't be friends"...ya you can be friends that hang out once in a while or in groups but once you start hanging out very frequently and of the two ends up falling for the other.  Ya in one person's eyes they are "just friends", but the other one is probably in love with them. 

How bad does that suck...sitting there "smiling" while the person you are in love with tells you about how much they love some other about sick stomach...but then again you just keep smiling, you nod, and you tell them how great she is.  You do this because you know that SHE (whoever she is), even if you see it differently, she is the one who makes him happy.  She is the person who HE wants...and that is why you just keep "smiling". 

You care about him enough that you would rather let your heart break and ache so that he will be happy.  You just accept the fact that you will never be the one to give him what he wants.

One of Eponine's lines are "But he never saw me there"...and that may be the worst feeling of all. Feeling like you gave so much, that you tried, you put yourself out there...but he never saw you there.  Talk about stab at the self esteem.

I'd say Eponine's heart ache is on the highest degree of pain and most of us have just had the "wing man" effect.  This is where a guy we have a crush on tells us all about the girl he has a crush on and we just have to sit and listen...or even worse he wants us to find a way to hook him up.  It's like "hello! are you THAT oblivious??" 

Ya that's just one of those things that we all have to go through in the dating world....isn't it just the greatest :D

I know that sounds dumb, but my advice for you is...keep smiling...and move on...if he doesn't want to be with you then it isn't worth forcing it.
Bueno Suerte

Friday, December 28, 2012

Home is Where the Heart is

Wow what a great day!  I feel so grateful for the people in my life.  I went to lunch with some family friends (they are my 2nd family) and then I went to Leatherbys and to Temple Square with some friends.  It honestly was probably the best birthday I've had that I can remember!

You know life is a wonderful thing and I've just come to realized its not always about what you do, its about who you do it with.  I mean I can be doing the dumbest things with these people and it will end up being the funnest/funniest thing I've ever done.  Temple square was just a happy time with all my friends and I am so grateful that they put their night aside to spend it with me.

Next time you're doing something, keep in mind the blessing it is to have those loved ones with you because honestly it wouldn't be the same without them.  Everything exciting and fun I've done has been made ten times better because of the people I got to do it with.  I am so grateful for the people in my life and the joy they've brought to me.

I honestly don't think I stopped smiling for a minute on my birthday because I was just so happy to be with my friends and family.  So keep in mind..."Home is Where the Heart is" is the truest statement I think I've ever heard.