Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Distractions

So. It's been awhile. I've been distracted. Typically people use a new year to jot down goals that have vanished from their memories within days. I didn't do that this year. I didn't make any resolutions on Jan 1. I've forgotten for way too long. I've been distracted for way too long.  So it's time to refocus and re-discover what soothes my soul, my very core. It's time to get back to creating.  It's time to remember what it's like to feel the words I'm writing, or imagine the worlds I'm painting, and recognize the parts of me that I've been neglecting.  Sometimes distractions are good, necessary, and even fun. Others can be described as painful, wasteful and lazy.  I've had a mixture of both in these last few years that I've been distracted from any form of writing. But for the most part, these distractions aren't distractions, they are just a part of me now. They are so very important that these "distractions" are  just opportunities that I need to balance better.It means that to achieve my goals as a writer, or blogger or creator, I need to be less distracted by my "life" and just be focused on things that matter and give my time to those things that matter, including these distractions. The only difference will be is that I recognize the need for creativity in my life. It is important that this distraction receives some quality time from me as well.

 So to fill you in on what's been going on in the last few years, here's a quick overview.

I've been working. A lot.  I've been working hard, but it hasn't been something that I love.  I have progressed from a simple File Clerk to the Interface Analyst at Central Utah Clinic.  People have been good to me there. They have noticed the hard work I've put in for four years. They've promoted me and I've more than doubled my starting salary.(Which wasn't very hard to do, noting how low I started)... While I've worked and worked I've realized I don't love what I do. It has been a great learning experience for me, and I've learned that learning has not stopped now that I'm in the workforce full time, but that learning now is just different. Learning takes work. Nobody is going to lecture me anymore. No one is going to give me a grade, but I am the one determining how well I do on a daily basis. I've realized that sometimes my best is not enough.  Other times, my best is better than what any one has ever expected of me.

I've spent time with friends and family. This is the best distraction in life, hands down.  It's made the past four years more meaningful.  People in this world are what brings me joy in this life.  We've been down to Southern Utah, hiked Zion's and snowboarded in the mountains. We've traveled to Costa Rica, Texas, Dublin. We've taken multiple trips into NY, been camping, had many barbecue's and plenty of nights in  playing Werewolves and playing hand and foot. We've had countless meals and memories, and this is a distraction that I will never give up.  I love it too much.  The relationships we have in life are what makes us have meaning. They are my support, my strength and my motivation. I would be nothing without the people and the experiences I've had with each of them.

I've been serving. I've learned many things in these callings, and I would never consider these distractions. But they have kept me from creating in the traditional ways of writing, but I have had to use multiple creative outlets in each of these. In the past 4 years I've served in multiple callings. I've been a teacher multiple times in everything from Relief Society to Marraige and Family Relationships, an FHE mom, a counselor, a RS President, a service committee member.  These have helped me become who I am today and will continue to help me for the rest of my life.  These callings will always help me stay focused on what matters most.  To me The Gospel of Jesus Christ is and will always be the main focus of my life.  From this I never want to become distracted.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

5 Years

So, I realized that I have been home from my mission for 5 years this week. The mission was one of the hardest and greatest experiences of my life. It definitely changed me. It was a period of growth for me that I could never forget. As a tender mercy on Monday I met some new people at FHE and 2 of the girls had served in the California Los Angeles Mission. They gave me good news about members that I loved and people I taught. It was a happy anniversary for me. I love remembering the people as well as the lessons that I learned. There were so many.

These lessons have shaped my life since, and I am so grateful for the foundation that was laid for me in who I want to be. All of that happened on my misison. I learned of the reality of the atonement of Jesus Christ, and of the reality and truthfullness of the gospel. I KNOW the church is true. Nothing can ever make me deny it. I know people aren't perfect, but the gospel is. I know that we have a loving Heavenly Father who created a plan, allowed us our agency and provided his Only Begotten Son to be our Savior and Exemplar. I know that there is living prophet on the earth today. He leads and guides our church. I cannot wait to hear from him again next week during General Conference. I know the power of the Priesthood is real. It is the authority of God on earth. I know and have felt that power in my life. I know the Lord keeps his promises. I know miracles can happen. I know the Lord does not leave us without support, and does lend us the support of angels in our lives to help us when we've fallen down. I know that it is possible for families to be sealed together forever. I know that there are so many possibilities, if we but have faith in the lord Jesus Christ. I know the Book of Mormon is True. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God who gave his life so that we may understand the truth of the gospel and the plan of Salvation. I know we are not alone in this world. I know understanding is available if we search for it.I know that we can receive answers to our prayers. I know it and depend upon it. I know the importance of families and how much my own means to me. I know that we must keep moving forward, even when it feels like you can't go on one more day. I know that diligence and obedience leads to blessings, even if those blessings come later, they are worth every second of obedience. There were days I felt like quitting, and in reality, I had my agency and could have chosen to quit. Thankfully I had companions, and a mission president who were there to support me when I felt weak. I am so glad I didn't give up. Most importantly, I learned of love on my mission. I learned what it was like to put my heart out there everyday. As much as it would hurt to do so when people seemed to trample upon it, I was willing to give it anyway. I want all of this to continue with me on to eternity. I hope that I can continue to learn, and grow and understand more than what I do at this point. I hope to one day share that love in an eternal family. I hope to continue to share the gospel, and share it with those around me. What a blessing to serve the Lord! I haven't become much since that time, but I do know that I have grown since the mission, not at the rate as a missionary does, but I have grown. I do know that my testimony is deeper and more a part of me than ever before. I have been able to utilize the Atonement in my life and what a blessing! Words cannot describe the tender mercies that abound in my life. How grateful I am for the atonement. How grateful I am to be sealed to my family. How grateful I am to have an education, to live in this country and to be so blessed. I am grateful for my mission, even though it was hard. I am grateful for the truths abounding in my life. I am grateful for the Spirit which was able to testify to me of the truthfulness and lead me to where I need to be. I am so grateful for my blessings. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have. I am so grateful for everything that abounds in my life. I am not where I thought I would be when I returned home from my mission, but I am trying to get there. I know that everyone can know the truth if they but ask in humility, with a real desire and intent in acting upon the answers they receive. I could go on for pages and pages. I love this. I love my Heavenly Father and His Son. I love my family. I hope to continue to love for eternity.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Where Jesus Walked

Here's the second poem as promised, I really do miss Jerusalem, and there are many lessons that have stuck with me, most of all that no matter how much I tried to understand how the atonement happened, and why it happened, all I really needed to know was that it did in fact happen. I know the atonement is real, and you don't have to go all the way to Jerusalem and Bethlehem to know it. I know the spirit is able testify to your heart the truth and reality of the infinite atonement. There are other lessons I learned as well, ask me about the others later :) Here's the poem I wrote for sacrament meeting, I never really finished it so it's a bit rough...

Where Jesus Walked:

Though hesitant at first and fearful of the unknown
I took a step and followed the prompting shown.
It led me to a place of conflict as well as diversity.
And so, in the Holy Land I attended the Mormon University.
I was determined to learn all that I could,
And like most students, buy something nice made out of olive wood.
Though I knew the itinerary, I did not understand what lied in store,
for deep down my heart would be changed to the core.
As I walked through historic places
They became for me, sacred spaces.

From Egypt across to Jordan and up to Galilee,
From Dan to Beer Sheva and of course Gethsemane,
The Garden Tomb, the Temple Mount
There are too many memories for me to count.
Hezekiah's Tunnel and the Dead Sea
From Shepherds Field to Mt. Sinai, these places came alive for me.
I cannot express the feelings of my heart
But with gratitude I thank the Lord, for from the start,
He's led me down paths I could have never known,
He's led me to places where I have grown.

More dependent on Him than ever before
And searching for enlightenment I asked for more.
I realized I could never walk where Jesus had walked,
For he alone could travel the path where he would be scourged beaten and mocked.
He would heal the sick and give sight to the blind,
Bring life to those dead, and teach all those he could find.
But His greatest gift was his love for you and for me,
And oftentimes we fail to see,
That he would lay down his life
And that he might willingly give it up for all mankind.
This thought of grace brings joy to my heart and my mind,
For I never walked the path that Jesus walked,
Yet thankfully,
He's walked mine.

I miss the Holy Land

So this week I have felt really old, and I realized its been 3 years since I left for the Holy Land. I miss it alot. I miss the growth, even though sometimes I felt really alone out there. The things I learned and the things I was able to see, and the amazing people I got associate with whether they were students, teachers or vendors on the street who could tell we were students and would cry "mormons! mormons!" at us are things that I really miss. I miss the amazing sunsets we would see every night, especially those on the Sea of Galilee. I miss the knock out bars and the poprocks chocolate. I miss the beanbags and the shalom shack. I miss the oasis and all the fruit they would have for us everyday. I miss the schwarmas and the pita, oh the pita! I miss Abdul at the little convienence store down the road from the lower gate of the center. I miss being able to ponder in the garden of Gethsemane on Shabbat. I miss the super attractive IDF soldiers that would take pictures with us and thier AK47's. I miss the spices, and the view from the chapel, and my balcony. I miss the olive trees, olive wood, and the olive picking. I miss hearing "bus 2" I miss the amazing lectures from Professor Draper. I miss my JC family. I don't miss paying to use a public restroom, but I miss just about everything else. I searched through my records and I found the poem I wrote for the memory book. I know I never got to see the finnished project, and so many people would never see the poem I wrote for it. So in memory of the Jerusalem Center, and all it's amazing lessons, here's two poems, the one I wrote for the memory book, and the other I wrote for a sacrament meeting right after I got back from Jerusalem. Happy 3 year anniversary!

Memory Poem:
From the moment we heard "Bus 1 and Bus 2"
We knew we would be guided like cattle all the way through
Field trips and flies, beautiful sunsets and skies,
And even a sunrise view of Sinai.
Through friendships forged and made,
We hope our memories will never fade.
Sometimes we'd guess what they'd have in the oasis for dessert at dinner.
We all knew we weren't getting any thinner.
Senior couples and teachers are here to help and bring joy each day
Learning in our classes in the morning, then we're off to the old city to play.
Everywhere we go a familiar question is asked,
"Are you mormon?" after each merchant is passed.
"Good price for you and half off too!"
They can tell we aren't Muslims or Jews.
Some say it's the light in our eyes,
But we know there's something more that shines.
The light of the gospel can't be supressed.
Though most of our time is spent in jest
Fighting for bean bags or having a snack at the Shalom Shack,
Poprocks chocolate is the best treat to pack
For the long bus rides to distant places
It always brings a smile to our faces.
Ancient cities and numerous tels
Or on the Red Sea or Mediterranean collecting sea shells,
We've spent much time studying and playing together
We know this is a special time and our hearts become tethered
To not only a sense of understanding and love,
But also to the One who pours out blessings from above.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

About Love

So yesterday at church, someone made a comment about how relationships can bring us closer to Christ, and because of that, Satan tries his hardest to rip those relationships apart. The people we are around the most can benefit the most from our gifts and talents we have to share. The Lord knows our abilities, and our potential for good or bad. He see us as we are and knows what that potential is. I believe that people do come into our lives for a reason. Unfortunately, sometimes it's hard to keep those relationships strong. It is especially hard if Satan knows that a certain relationship could be an important influence on a person in the future. Especially if that influence is one for good. I know that aside from our relationship with our Heavenly Father, and our Savior, the relationships with our family are the most important relationships we have. That's why Satan is attacking the family on all possible fronts. I think he may also try to attack future families as well, by creating confusion, by creating an atmosphere where it is hard to allow yourself to love. I have met many people from many different backgrounds in my life, and I believe they have all left an indelible mark upon my life, and mostly for good. My family and friends are those people who have made me better. Unfortunately, I am also guilty of closing off my heart to protect it, as well as at times opening it up only to have it broken. There is a balance that is hard to find at times, but sometimes, although it hurts, I think it's always going to be better to leave your heart open. Maybe it's naivee, I don't know, but at least that way you'll have no reason to feel regret. At least you made an effort to obey that great commandment. If we could only obey that great commandment, so many problems in this world would not exist. We could make life so much easier for everyone if everyone just loved a little more. Every one of us was born with a heart, and because it's a muscle it needs to be exercised, in more ways than one. Could it be reasonable to say that if we were to become more loving it would also prove to make us stronger, healthier and happier? Anyway, these were some of my thoughts today, and it reminded me of a poem I wrote awhile ago... it's in regards to friends that have come and gone, I consider them wonderful people. For the rhyming scheme of the poem towards the end it becomes gender specific, because I origionally wrote it for a guy friend, but the more I think about it, this poem is for those people who have made an incredible impact in my life, not just the guys:)

It’s hard to say why people come in and out of your life.
It’s even harder to explain when it’s time to say goodbye.
From the things I’ve learned and experienced thus far,
I’ve decided no matter what happens to keep doors ajar.

It’s difficult when I don’t understand your reasons,
It’s even harder to be patient through the seasons.
But this is the best way to understand the things above.
This is about love.

I would wait a thousand years to see your eyes meet mine.
I would ponder through the depths of time.
If through the years this meeting were never to occur,
Time would not diminish my love and I would not murmur.

Unknowingly no doubt, you have made a difference to me.
The seeds of grace that you’ve sown will soon become a tree.
I felt ultimate happiness and joy when you were around.
The lessons learned from you abound.

I can never take back the thoughts I had of you.
They seemed to illuminate when the darkness grew.
For those, I do not apologize nor make an excuse.
Nor do I intend to become bitter, angry or a recluse.

Instead, I plan on taking the pieces you’ve given
And move forward to find the secrets that have been hidden.
I think I’ve found some that will last me through the years.
Though they haven’t come through a shortage of tears.

I am better because I have known you.
My heart rejoices in that fact and refuses to be blue.
You have made me want to better.
I think you could consider me one of your greatest debtors.

Your words would make me want to fly.
I wanted to reach the highest heights by and by.
To be your friend was my greatest pleasure.
To be in your presence brought joy unmeasured.

This is why for you, my door will never be closed.
I could never forget you even if it was something I chose.
I know you may not feel this way towards me
I know it would be vain to hear my plea.

So just know that I think you are a wonderful man.
Learning to love anyway is one hard part of the plan.
If this is about love, I think I understand.
No wonder this was His greatest command.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Another Reason I love Superman

I love Superman. I realize that to be a true Superman fan, I should probably do more comic book reading, of which I haven't done much, but I love the old school Christopher Reeve movies. Superman is hands down the best superhero a girl could ask for..well at least this girl could ask for. I think I may love him more as Clark Kent just because he's so adorable trying to act like he's a nobody but in reality, he's amazing. So I got home today, and it's not everyday you hear a little bit of happy news, but this news did bring a smile to my face, and I am so happy for the family that was saved by Superman.... click the link or paste into your browser:

http://realestate.msn.com/blogs/listedblogpost.aspx?post=1786978&_blg=1,1786978

It's a good one!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Wonderful World of Wonka


So this last week the clinic paid for all of it's employees to go see Willy Wonka at the Scera shell outdoor theater in Orem. This brought back a million memories of going to plays in the park with my family, as well as random roadshows we did- one in which I really was an oompa loompa (that was only a few years ago). I have to say that it was worth it. I love being outside, and I love the arts. There is something about going to see a play that just brings imagination to life. As I sat there with my friend Katie and her two kid cousins, I just felt moments of joy. I can't explain what it was, but it has really been a long time since I felt like that. I honestly can't remember the last time I couldn't stop smiling because of happiness. It was like all cares, worries were lifted off of my shoulders. It may have been Willy singing "there's a world of pure imagination". The production wasn't anything fancy, and I can't say that there was anything particularly special about the performance, I think it was just a combination of just letting everything go and enjoying the moment.It was about remembering what it was like to be a kid.

I think also that the kids we were sitting with and surrounded by had something to do with it as well. I wanted those kids to just have a blast. I wanted them to laugh, and smile, and be happy. It was like I had ridiculous amounts of caffeine infused into me because being around those kids just energized me. I guess it was the kids most of all that made the difference. I think there is hope that is visible for the future when you look into a child's eyes. It invigorates and empowers those around to be better. The youth of today will be tomorrow's future. It reminded me of when I was a camp counselor. Honestly that was my all time favorite job I have ever held. You had the chance to be around greatness and potential 24 hours a day. You had the chance to make a friend and inspire them to be more, and to laugh and joke around with them at the same time. I think the thing I like most when I am around kids is that it is one time when I don't have to think about myself. When kids are around, they become the focus of my intent, and honestly, I just want them to be happy. I want them to be able to think that they can do anything, be anything. There is something in their eyes that isn't tangible, or discernible or describable. Hope, love, trust, honesty and everything in between can be seen in their eyes, and I think that's why Christ has asked us to become as little children. They embody all of those characteristics and beg for encouragement that you can't help but give to them. I love kids and being there at that play has definitely given me some cause for thought about where my life is leading me. I have felt so selfish lately and so consumed with what I am doing with my life, that I have forgotten to look around myself and see what I can do for those around me.

I am grateful for Thursday night because it helped me to relearn things I already knew. It was an educational night for me, and helped me grow. Honestly feeling that joy was a moment of tender mercy for me because I have not felt that way in a long time. I want to be there for others, after all, are we not all children in Heavenly Fathers eyes? Most days I wonder what I am doing, when I should be thinking about who I can serve. Then it wouldn't matter what I was doing, because it would be for someone else. Honestly I know I can't wait to have a family of my own, because I know it will be the greatest source of joy I could ever imagine. Obviously pain will accompany it, but the moments of joy will be so much greater. I am grateful for my parents who diligently served my siblings and I every day of the year. They had no break and most days received no thanks. I love them. This reminder has made me want to look for more consistent opportunities to serve. I want to write things that will inspire those kids to become better, to become what their potential will allow them to become and their imaginations will lead them to fulfill those dreams that seemed unthinkable. Because of the those kids, I want to be better, and I want to really make dreams come true. There is a world of pure imagination, and all we have to do is simply look around a view it. Kids are awesome!!!