Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Thoughts

This summer has been filled with so many trials for myself and so many I am surrounded by.  As I have watched my dear friends and family face adversity so valiantly I have found it hard to complain about the small mishaps in my life.  Still, hidden behind my smiles and laughter are so many wants and desires.  Maybe I keep so many of my thoughts to myself because I feel guilty for wanting more after I have already been so abundantly blessed, or so I can appear fierce, rather than vulnerable, or maybe it's because my trials and struggles are so petty compared to others.  Regardless of the reason, they are mine and no one else’s.  For that reason, I hold them dear.   

Yesterday, I struggled more than I’d like to admit as I fought my inner-self.  Then I went to sacrament meeting today.  The talks today were on pioneers, not my favorite subject.  Usually, I tune out during the Pioneer Day talks.  After all, my ancestors didn’t cross the plains so how do these talks really relate to me?  However, today’s speakers caught me off guard as they captivated me.  There was one talk given by a young woman who talked about how she was a pioneer for her family.  Another speaker talked about the pioneers of this area.  The last speaker talked about lessons learned from pioneers.  She had an ancestor that died crossing the plains with her family. After sharing this story, she speaker posed the question that many of ask during times of trials.  Her ancestor was doing exactly what the Lord had asked of her and she still died. She then said her ancestor might have thought, “Lord, I did everything you asked of me and I still died.  What’s the point?” She then expounded, Joseph Smith must have been asking a similar question when he received this revelation (D&C 121: 7-10)

7. My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
8. And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt the on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes
9. Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friends hands.
10. Thou are not yet as Job; thy friends do not contend against thee, neither charge thee with transgressions, as they did Job.

How many scripture stories are there of prophets who followed the Lord perfectly and things did not end well for them.  Joseph Smith and Job have already been mentioned.  She also mentioned Abinadi.   Being burned alive is definitely not a desired outcome.  That struck home for me.  How many times within the past week, month, or year have I asked the question, “Why is this happening to me?  I’m doing all thou has asked of me so what’s the point?”  Maybe there are lessons left for me to learn in order to best serve in the Lord’s kingdom in the future.  Maybe it is not the season for me to experience certain things.  Maybe, as one dear sister commented in Relief Society, we need to experience trials so we can feel comfortable in the presence of those such as Job after we depart this mortal life. 

The speaker went on to discuss prayers.  How many times has a new mother prayed for sleep only to find her infant still wakes up multiple times a night?  She brought up a blog that discusses this.  (I’m pretty sure this is the link to the blog The blogger mentions that as a new mom she often did pray for sleep.  Then she read this passage in the Bible Dictionary under prayer, “We pray in Christ’s name when our mind is the mind of Christ, and our wishes the wishes of Christ—when His words abide in us.”  The question posed is, “Do my prayers really align with the wishes of Christ?”  So, how do we align our wishes and thoughts with Christ.  The blogger suggest this formula:

My Desire + ”But If” + A Godly Desire

Here is an example the blogger gives of this formula in action, “God, please bless that I will be included in my group of friends, but if not, even if I feel excluded, help me to be kind and generous.”  I’m excited to try this method of prayer.  I will still pray for things my heart desires but will make sure I add the “but if” statement.  

The closing hymn today was “Come, Come, Ye Saints.”  The second verse really stood out to me.

Why should we mourn or think our lot is hard? ‘Tis not so; all is right.
Why should we think to earn a great reward if we now shun the fight?
Gird up your loins; fresh courage take. Our God will never us forsake;
And soon we’ll have this tale to tell—All is well—All is well!

I believe this verse stood out because everyone can relate to it.  When life gets hard “fresh courage take.”  We cannot always understand why things are happening to us but we can have faith that there is a purpose behind our trials and if we endure well we will be blessed.  I truly don’t know what the future holds or why so many of my prayers for righteous desires seemingly go unanswered.  However I do know that, “all these things shall give me experience and be for my good.” (see D&C 122:7)

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Things I Love About Life Tonight

Your suspicions about how weird I am are about to be confirmed.  I'm just sitting here on my sister's couch (without pants on because pants are optional at her house) thinking about how much I love my life.  Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of voids in my life and lots of disappointing moments but there  are a few things I love.

  1. I love the fact that I'm from the South.  I wanted I eat some healthy vegetables tonight and my first choice on how they should be prepared...FRIED.  If you are wondering, we don't consider fried food unhealthy.  It is simply a way to prepare food just like grilling or pan searing are food preparation methods.  
  2. I love that my students know my addiction to chocolate is real.   I had a student bring me a half opened chocolate bunny.  She told me she gave it to me because she knew how much I loved chocolate.  Did I eat it?  No!   The gesture warmed my heart though.  
  3. Speaking of gifts,  another student brought me a cup with dirt and grass.   It's currently sitting in my classroom window.  I'm not sure if it had any seeds or anything that is living (i.e. You know something that has roots) in it.  I guess time will tell.  
  4. The fact that Pandora has a Cinco de Mayo radio station...enough said. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

I Blame It On The Weather!

That moment when you have so much you want to write and blog about and have no clue how to put it all in words.  I used to consider myself very fluent in professing my thoughts through writing.  Now, I feel as if I am unable to adequately express my thoughts or feelings verbally or in writing. 

With age, I have learned how to bridle my tongue when necessary.  (Okay…maybe not every time but I think I have shown vast improvement.)  However, I have also become more timid and no longer voice all the things I NEED to say.  Often, my thoughts and dreams stay trapped because they are mine!  They are no one else’s to criticize.  Still, I wonder how many of my unspoken thoughts have needed to be heard.

Not that today’s words need to be read or need to be said, but I have been overfilled with gratitude today.  I don’t know if it is the glorious spring weather that has brought this overwhelming feeling or if sitting in the solitude of my home has forced me to ponder.  Regardless of what brought upon this sentimental gratitude, I feel inclined to share a few of the things I am grateful for.

1.     My friends.  I have the best friends a girl could ever ask for. They have all come into my life at a perfect time and give so much to me!  They are always willing to give an encouraging word or listen to my silly rampages.  I often assume that my feelings of gratitude and love for them are implied.  Thus, I don’t verbally express how important and needed they truly are in my life.  Each of my friends meets such different needs/demands in my life. 

2.     My Self Confidence: I was an awkward little monster growing up!  It is almost painfully embarrassing to think of the horrible perms, the constantly runny nose, the garbled speech, and the lack of motor skills I had.  You can imagine that it was difficult for me to feel really great about myself.  It took a really long time but I am so glad that I have come to discover who I am.  I feel like I am truly beginning to discover what I am truly capable of doing!  Life is a crazy, scary ride for those who don’t know their place in this seemingly big world.

3.     My Family: My family is an odd little family (well, maybe not little).  Each one of my family members has their own quirks that drive the rest of us batty!   Still, I can’t imagine another group of people I’d rather learn and grow from.  They have shown me so much love and mercy throughout my life.  Each has set and example for me.   

I could go on and on about the things I am grateful for.  I know I didn’t mention several things I am thankful for.  Partially because I feel as if I have already gotten too wordy and partially because I feel like it should be implied that I am thankful for certain things.  There you have it…my incomplete Sunday ramblings.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Being a Big Fish in a Little Pond

The past few weeks I have really, I mean REALLY loved church.  The services, lessons, and songs have had significant lessons in them just for me.  However, today, I slacked off and skipped Sunday School. That's on the edge.  I got to talk to one of my very favorite ladies in the ward and of course the subject of my future came up.  My future...something I've been both thinking about and putting off thinking about for a while now.

Those who know me are very aware of the fact I am turning the BIG 3-0 this year.  Am I where I thought I would be at 30? Not at all.  I'm supposed to be stay-at-home mom with lots of perfect, intellectual, kids (that never ever stink or make messes), a successful husband, and a perfectly tidy house.  Yet, here I am with none of the above likely to happen in the near future.  What my future holds...Who knows?

Anyways...back to the conversation.  I was talking about where I thought I'd be and verbally expressed how perplexed I am by the fact that I am still single.  To express my confusion about being single, I made the comment that I am a pretty good catch.  I pointed out that I was attractive, smart, educated, domestic, versatile, healthy, and able to be self sufficient.  I stated that I was pretty perfect so I didn't understand why there didn't seem to be any single men casting their hooks my way.  The lady can't be caught in a pond where there are no fishers!  How profound.

So, then the question arises: How do you get fishers to fish in the pond your swimming in? Here are my thoughts...
  1. Find a new pond (i.e Long Distance Move)
    1. This is a viable options for young fish.  Those fish who haven't adapted.  For older fish, this may be easier said than done.  Plus, how does one guarantee that the fishers in other ponds will provide the right kind of bait to make one want to be caught?
  2. Find where all the other fish are hanging out
    1. The trick to this is to find where fish similar to you are hiding out.  A fisher doesn't go fishing for trout in hope to catch a bass.  This is especially hard when you are an endangered breed of fish.  There are Singles' Wards, but that isn't a promise that the fish there will want you to be part of their school or that you would even fit in with their school.
    2. The other pond would be the pond of online dating.  My sisters lovingly got me an online dating account for Christmas.  It is just a turnoff for me to meet someone online.  What happened to actually being courted?  A guy can't exactly open your car doors for you when you online dating and anyone who really knows me knows that the whole car door thing is a really, really big deal for me.
  3. Enjoy being the best fish in the pond and boast about the skills and awkwardness it takes to refrain from being caught.
    1. This is the safest and most comfortable option.  This seems to be the option I am happiest with.  Subconsciously this fish seems to like being unique and different.  This fish seems to purposely be avoiding being caught. Yet, "You can't grow in a comfort zone and you can't be comfortable in a growth zone."
Now that I've expressed my random and jumbled thoughts I am genuinely curious what others' thoughts are.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sisters, Sisters

I may or may not be one of the luckiest girls in the world.  Why? Funny you should ask.  It's simple, I have been blessed with the three most unique, caring, and funny sisters in the world.  Notice, I didn't say friendly.  Sometimes they are a little too honest and bold.  I know when they are bold or harsh with me it is because they honestly know me.  They know when I am being too critical of myself, too judgmental of others, or not judgmental enough.  With that being said, I want to take a moment and tell what makes each of my sisters special to me.

Renee: Renee' is the oldest sibling in my family.  She has always been a "little mother" to us.  Renee' is nurturing.  She is the most giving and selfless individual that I have had the privilege of not only being acquainted with but to to be a recipient of her abounding love.  Renee' also developed my father's work habits.  She is a mother, a wife, a student, a real estate agent, and works a job at night.  I honestly don't know how she does it and still manages to make everyone she meets feel special and show them that she cares.  Renee' is a nurturer, a hard worker, and a true friend.

Sandra: You won't catch me writing nice things about Sandra every day.  Sandra is the sister I shared my room with growing up.  We shared our most personal secrets and desires with each other in that tiny room.  If you have earned Sandra's friendship you have earned the friendship of a most devoted person. She can be your greatest friend or your greatest enemy.  I promise you that you would much rather her be your friend.  Sandra is genuine like that.  She won't say something just because you want her to say it.  She is completely honest, even when the truth sucks.  If she does something for you, it is because she wants to, not because she feels obligated to.  She will help anyone who will help themselves.  I love Sandra's firmness and will.  She is a great example.

Charity: Charity is the optimist.  She is such a happy person.  If you have had the honor of knowing Charity for a while, you have witnessed some of the hard trials she has had to overcome and she always does so with a smile on her face.  She has a way of taking the most horrible experiences and finding something positive in them.  Charity is radiant and not afraid to let herself shine.  Charity is one of my most trusted friends.  She has taught me how truly love others and not be afraid to smile.  She has let me know that sometimes it is okay to allow myself to be vulnerable and overcome my fear of expressing myself.  She is five years younger than me and has still found ways to teach me and help me grow.  If you haven't experienced the light that beams from Charity, you are missing out on something special.

These three ladies are truly my best friends and have too many amazing characteristics to write about. I love them each and I am grateful that each is willing to let me be in their life and are teaching me to be a better lady by example.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

All In A Day

I just looked in the mirror and I pray that I didn't look like such a hot mess all day.  No telling.  After all, I am with kiddos most of the day.  This morning started off pretty dang good.  I slept in until 6:00.  After I got ready I sat down and actually ate, that's right ate--not drank--my breakfast.  If only I could have cuddled up with a good book and read all day...

But that's not the way my life goes.  I have to go to work.  As a teacher, I have to plan to be off work.  I'd almost rather go to work sick then try to get things ready for a sub at the last minute.  So, I bid farewell to warm thoughts of spending this cool day with a book.  Hence, the reason I am writing this post.

My students can be brutally honest.  Yesterday a student told me I looked like I was getting ready to have a baby.  Really? Honestly?  She really knew how to make a girl feel good about herself...or not.  Then today happened. I always allow a student to pick a book off my bookshelf to read after activity.  Today the student picked a book I wrote and illustrated when I was a student at BYU-Idaho.  The back of the book had my author's page with this picture and my students just had to see it.  
After they saw it one student said, "You used to be pretty." Then another student commented, "You were a lot prettier then."  Last followed by, "You used to wear makeup."  (Yes, I did have on make-up today when he said this.) Really???  So, yesterday you tell me I look like I'm having a baby and today you tell me that I am no longer pretty... Thanks for smashing my dreams of being a beauty queen and ruining my self image kiddos.

On the bright side, other comments I heard were, "I can tell you used to be a doctor because you have on a white shirt and something around your neck."  I wanted to compliment the student for making an inference but instead felt it necessary to correct her. 

Seriously...these comments make me laugh.  They are often what keep me going after long nights spent lesson planning and getting ready to see the kids again.  Do I love my job? Honestly, NO.   Do I love my kids and enjoy spending time with most of them...Well, YES...that I do love.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Whole 30 Misconceptions

I'm in the process of completing my second Whole 30 and I am pretty excited about it.  Today is day 7 for me.  The first few weeks are always rough and I didn't feel the magic until close to week 4 in my first Whole 30.  Still, it was worth it.

Anyways, to the point.  Today I was at church and I mentioned how tired I was.   My mom then stated, "It's that diet you're on."  Another gentleman in the lobby then commented, "You don't need a diet.  If you loose any weight you are going to blow away."  These are my thoughts on that conversation.

First of all a diet isn't some 30 day meal plan you do.  A diet is part of your lifestyle.

Second, I'm not fat.  I know I'm not fat.  In my opinion I look pretty dang good.  I am not completing a Whole 30 to loose weight.  I am completing another Whole 30 because:
    1. I want to be healthy.  I am responsible for my health and I want to live a healthy lifestyle.  One day, when I become a parent, I will be responsible for the health of my children.  I want to be able to live a healthy lifestyle to set an example for them.  I also want to be able to actively participate in my life and their lives.  Rather this be hiking with them, playing ball with them, or whatever other activity is demanded of me in order to spend quality time with them.  I don't want my health to limit the relationship I have with my family.
    2. I want to perform my best.  I didn't notice my gym performance improve during or even immediately after my first Whole 30 until months after off-roading and then looking at my gym times during and immediately after the Whole 30.  Turns out, I was stronger when I was eating real food.  By real food, I mean food that has not be overly processed.  I want to be strong--Not just so I can have better times at the gym, but so I can better handle whatever life throws at me.
    3. I get a sense of satisfaction knowing that I have enough willpower to complete a Whole 30.  It lets me know that I can be in control of what I put in my body.  I don't have to let food control me.
    4. I realize that I have a sugar addiction.  Let's be honest, when you start crying over not being able to eat a piece of candy (a type that you really don't even care for) because you would do anything for the satisfaction that a sweet treat brings you have an addiction.  I cried over not being able to eat certain "foods" in my first Whole 30 and I have cried during this Whole 30.  At night, I dream about all the food I am not allowing myself to eat right now.  (It's not that I can't eat it.  I am making a conscious choice not to eat it.)  This lets me know that I have an unhealthy relationship with food and I need to do something about it.
    5. Last but not least, I am doing the Whole 30 because real food is worth it.  Twinkies, Snickers, Mac-N-Cheese, etc. is not real food!  It is processed and modified junk.  I'm not saying I don't enjoy eating this junk every now and then but it isn't real food.  Meat, fruits (not in heavy corn syrup), vegetables, nuts, and seeds are REAL food.   
So yes, I will let my body be tired feel tired for a few measly day, allow myself to dream about sweet concoctions, and even allow myself to feel like I want to dropkick kittens every now and then during my Whole 30.  This is all part of detoxing and it is scary that I am eating foods that will allow me to feel like this when I remove them from my diet. For me, it is worth it.  I am not saying it is the right path for you but the only way you will ever know is if you try it out yourself.