Friday, November 30, 2012

the future is bright.

when i can see the path ahead i often want to run. this is true in many cases.

this is part of the pathway we use to walk to and from campus. i can see campus from our place and i often want to run there. i love to walk fast, and sometimes it turns into this awkward walk-run: complete with back pack and sometimes large coat.

when i went to byu-i this girl saw me in class one winter day and said, "you're that girl with the green coat who i always see running on campus!" then she proceeded to tell me how goofy i looked in a big coat with my arms sticking straight out.

so it looks ridiculous. does that stop me? no. i'm just excited to get where i'm going. and not because i'm late, but because i like to get there.

this is also true for me in life. maybe it has something to do with older siblings, maybe not, but i have always been in such a hurry to get to the next stage of life. i can't wait for high school. i can't wait for my driver's license. i can't wait until i can date. i can't wait until graduation. i can't wait until college. i can't want until i meet the love of my life. i can't wait until i get married. it has often caused me to look back and wish i would have slowed down and taken things for what they were.

 i look back and feel overwhelmingly grateful for the road i have traveled thus far, and am in complete awe at the way the Lord has shown me he truly knows me and is invested in my plan.

i know the future is bright, and sometimes that makes me want to run.

i bet you can't guess the things i'm trying to run towards now.
but don't worry, i am reminded every single day to slow down.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

all the busy people in the world.

There is no way that anyone is busier than I am. 

--have you ever had that thought before? I know I'm guilty of it, and I also know that I am surely wrong. In a recent interview with one of my professors, he briefly touched on that subject.

"The time will always fill up," he said. That small statement spoke volumes. He gave the example of how this term he is teaching four classes and feels that he might go mad, but even though he is only teaching two next term, he knows he will be just as busy because he will dedicate more time to them.

Some of you may be thinking, "duh!" as you read this, but this was helpful insight for me. Often throughout the day, as I am running around with my head cut off, I wonder how I will possibly be able to survive with a few children. And on top of that, what if I have a job? I know people survive, I see them do it, but the concept of one person having more time than another is a little skewed. We were all given 24-hours in a day. For me, it is a priority to sleep from 7-9 of those hours, and I go to class for about 3 a day, but what about the rest? How I choose to use them is the most important thing. And that is what has the ability to set everyone apart.

I know there are books written on that very word: busy. We seem to take pride in a busy day, but I know that people who have studied the word wouldn't say being busy is such a glamorous thing. But I can personally testify that lounging around all day can eat at the soul. So what then? I am intrigued enough to read on about it, and I will get back to you. Until then, I'm still going to try not to use the word "busy" the next time someone asks me how my week(end) was. Though I know for sure it'll be the first word that comes to mind.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

a heart of gratitude.

at church on sunday a woman spoke about a study conducted where there were three groups of people writing about particular things. one group wrote about what they were grateful for, one group wrote what made them upset, and another group just wrote about random objects. it is no surprise that the group who wrote about what they were grateful for, was the happiest.

this may seem so simple, but it kind of turned on a light for me. i like to write in a personal journal, but i find that it is often when i am frustrated that i write the most. i know it is healthy to get feelings out on paper, but i wonder just how often that is necessary. this past week i have tried something called "take 20." i take 5 minutes for scripture reading, 5 for journal writing, 5 for prayer, and 5 for stretching. in those 5 minutes of journal writing, i have been finding things i am grateful for. sometimes if i need to wake up before i am ready, or if i've had a strange dream, i tend to be in a sour mood when i wake up. this morning i found that as i woke up and consciously found things to be grateful for, it helped my mood. i also find that as i allow my body to stretch, especially with the stress of balancing school with personal life, it enables my mind to be more alert and my body to feel well.

"me time" is important i know. i think where i struggle is finding just how much "me time" i need in a day. i don't necessary need 3 hours, even though sometimes i take that much. then i feel guilty that i wasn't spending it on other things, and that time is actually detrimental.

sure, i would love to spend an hour working out, an hour in prayer, an hour writing, and an hour reading scriptures, but i think 20 minutes is a grand start.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Blog Update.

Hello Fellow Readers,

My blog is going to be making some fun changes. Watch for a new look and a new theme coming soon.

Hope you'll stay awhile, and tell your friends!

a thirst for all things good.

I wrote this post awhile back, but after a recent conversation with a friend I decided to publish it
Since I have gotten married, I have discovered a whole new world of blogging. I am always intrigued at how each one of these blogs makes me feel. Some blogs make me feel like throwing away every piece of clothing in my closet and spend approximately 7.5 hours primping every day. Some blogs make me laugh, and some make me cry, when the author is only a stranger to me.

I started this little space to share my thoughts and hopefully write something worth reading. Of course, I don't always achieve that, but I'm constantly trying. Why? Because I believe that I am surrounded by so much good and I am thirsty for it. There is something about reading well written content that makes me feel genuinely uplifted. I believe there is a way to be beautiful, smart, and talented without making others feel threatened by you. But even further than that, I would love to find a good space on the internet to read where I never saw a picture of his/her face, or an outfit post, or even knew what they were eating, or where they lived. Yet we do this, because it somehow gives validity to who we are; it defines us insofar as we believe, and I beg to differ. In the blogging world, pictures and designs are aesthetically pleasing to our eyes. When I enter a website, I immediately look for pretty pictures, "About Me" tabs, and I let those things define who that person is as a writer and yet I do not agree with that.

However, so many people are using blogs and various websites to find what is beautiful and right with the world, and I love that. It is no wonder a site like Pinterest was created in this economy: because a lot of people are financially suffering. What a better way than to put a whole ton of ways to save money in one place, where we can refer back to them? Reusing is in style right now, and I think it is so neat. Why didn't we think of this forever ago? I want to get a sewing machine so I can try and sew scarves, which are sometimes retail priced at $30. I want to learn to take J's old shirts and turn them into something for me. I want to turn old dresses that are too short into longer skirts. I want to take old, out of style, wood furniture and spice it up a little, rather than throw it out.

There is totally a way to live with less money. I feel that my family, especially, has been greatly humbled by having to think about every single purchase, and plan where every single dollar goes. I hope that no matter my income, I will always keep the mindset of planning where my dollars go, and figuring out how we can reuse or simply do without.

So here is my pledge to you, as readers. I want to write something I believe is worth reading. I hope you will join me as I strive to find what is good and right with the world.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I notice.

I notice the difference when I wake up early and my head is clear and I am more alert throughout the day.

I notice that I am rewarded when I go to church an hour earlier for ward choir. The spirit of music is in my heart and life is a little sweeter.

I notice when I write in my journal, and strive to ponder on the positive things in my life, and what I could due to work on.

I notice when I kneel down on my knees and pray just a little longer, not worrying about what time it is or how long I'll be there.

I notice when I read my scripture with a purpose. When I have a red pencil in hand I am more likely to learn and receive the revelation and added testimony I need for that day.

I notice when I make the conscious choice to turn down unhealthy foods and eat whole, fresh foods. My body feels stronger and less sluggish.

Most of all, I notice when I don't do these things. It's so easy to get caught up and think I don't need all these little things; then I start crashing and burning and can't figure out why.

Sometimes, I know, that life gets monotonous. Why do these things that other people tell us? I know that I can't deny that it makes a difference. When I feel happy and strong, I swear, nothing can stop me.

Monday, November 5, 2012

The "Aha Moment"

photo taken from my front porch

That moment when what you are doing makes sense; the one no one can hand you, or that you cannot physically reach for or obtain. Since my life is currently measured by school terms, the "Aha Moment" is always reached at a different point in each term. 

I often think about what I would have missed out on in life if I would have given up when I wanted to. And sadly, there are still many things I regret not following through with. Each step I get closer to obtaining an undergraduate degree, the more overwhelmingly grateful I feel to be finishing what I started. But it isn't the same for everyone. Maybe it's a dental hygiene program, maybe it's a hair academy, or an advancement in work, or saving money, or raising children. Whatever it is, I hope you do it with all your heart.

I am continually grateful for order in my life. If our bedroom isn't clean and the dishes aren't done, I get stressed out not because I'm obsessed with cleanliness, but because it makes a difference to me. I get anxiety easily, and I try to embrace any reason to help me feel calm. 

So today, I embrace that I am caught up with school, [finally] not running around with my head cut off, and able to soak in what the meaning of this whole thing is. Because I know that another day, another week, I will feel worried and overwhelmed and I just may forget.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

la-la-la-la-life goes on

Looking forward to a new week feels good. Last week I was holding onto yesterdays, and now I anticipate, with excitement, what is to come. Like: bring it on. I own you. And then I stumble and fall, and freak out, and that's okay. That's gonna happen sometimes.

It's Friday night, 7 pm, and I realize I need to print out some things before my all day Grant Writing class that I have to venture to the unknown territory of Hermiston, OR,  for, and catch a ride with strangers at 6:30 a.m. Naturally, our printer is out of ink. So, I talk Jeff into coming to campus with me, and we run to building after building, all to find out that each one closes at 5 p.m. on Friday nights (and 11 p.m. Sun-Thurs, whaaat?!). But I guess, really, who wants to do homework on a Friday night except for the procrastinator, and the procrastinator always pays, duh! So as I am pulling my hair out and loathing over my unpreparedness, Jeff has the idea of popping over to our friends' house, and they're not home. So, we drive to Bi-Mart in hopes to pick some up: it's closed. Finally, the unfailing, and last resort, Walmart. We scrounge up the change to buy some printer ink, and huzzah! I am ready to go. But then I dream all night. In each dream I am running from store to store, desperately in need of a restroom, and in each public restroom there is a busy computer lab with several large printers. In between each dream I wake up in a panic, check the time, and go back to sleep.

I have such vivid dreams when I am really nervous about something. When I started as a cashier at Target, I had horrible dreams about it. In many of them, I would tell the customers that I am talking on my cell phone and not to bug me. In other dreams, I would have a conveyor belt with a never ending amount of items. When I started my Shakespeare class last spring, I was so intimidated, and had dreams for two weeks straight about literature.

Does that happen to you?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

speaking of change.

Isn't it liberating? Like driving in a car at just the right speed, realizing the temperature couldn't be presenting a more perfect opportunity to roll down the window, stick your head out and scream in a good way.


Like you've finally got your car tire unstuck from the snow (or mud) that has caused the wheels to turn, turn, turn but get no where but deeper into the ground...

Sometimes it's the little changes, but sometimes it's huge. Sometimes it takes moving away, and sometimes it takes looking at where you are right now at an entirely new angle. That last one? That's a real good one.

in which my political opinions may or may not become more clear

It has become very evident to me, in my twenty-two years of living, that there are many things in which I do not have control.

I cannot decide who will become the next president (Thank goodness)
I, ultimately, cannot control other's decisions and opinions
I can't choose how my instructors run their courses,
or the content they provide for the course.
I cannot decide for others what is right and wrong, and I certainly can't make choices for them.
And on a more personal note, I don't know where life will lead us after college, or if a job will be secure. I don't know that we'll ever make "enough" money. I don't know for sure if my children will emulate and be submissive towards the Christlike life that I have promised my Heavenly Father I will instill in them. I can only pray and have faith that such things will come to pass.
I could create an overwhelmingly long list of things I cannot control. But there's gotta be something I can....

A friend of mine once shared a quote with me, and I have never found a time in my life in which it is not extremely evident and pertaining.

We see things not as they are, but as we are. 

My (general) happiness and contentment amidst the election and all of the evils throughout the world could be mistaken for ignorance, but I assure you that is not the case.

Sure, I wish I were more informed. (Certainly no one's fault but my own)
Sure, I get swallowed up on a daily basis by the mass amounts of knowledge I do not know, and by the tens and thousands of books I have not read.

But that is not my point. My point is that we have a choice to be happy and feel free, (albeit those are ambiguous terms) and that is extremely liberating.

Is it just me, or is the above quote really true? If I'm having an off day, or receive bad news, or something just isn't going my way, I tend to view things more negatively. Often my reactions to situations directly reflect my mood/state of mind. It continues to fascinate me.

choose to be in love with the life you lead and by all means, change it if that is not the case
because you can