Monday, April 30, 2012

Defining Moment

Last Sunday in church, a teacher asked us:  "What is one of your defining moments?"

Here is one of my defining moments.

I was at that stage where you wake-up 4 hours in advance to do your hair.  Unfortunately my hair is so thick that styling would always make me late for school.  I would miss my ride and plead for my mom to take me.  Well this particular morning my mom gave me a big dose of responsibility to shallow.   As I announced, for what seemed to be the 1,oooth time, that I missed my ride to school my mom stopped dead in her tracks, glared a very momish glare, pointed to the door and said: "You are walking to school."

I looked out the window only to see it pouring rain!  And not just any rain it was like a typhoon!  Oh woe is me!  And my hair was perfect.  Life was so unfair.  After much whining on my part and no budging on hers, I slammed the front door behind me, opened the umbrella, and started to cry.  What else could a 16 year old girl to do?

Needless to say, I was quite wet when I arrived at my class.  Actually I was soaked.  But there was a smile on my face.  In between the time I slammed the door and reached the school something had changed.  I started off in a dramatized self-pity, all huffy and puffy.  As I continued to walk the lesson settled in.  I realized I must take responsibility for my own actions.  It's me who decides my own destiny!  And I can choose to be happy.

This moment changed my life.
There's many moments in our lives that define who we are.  Some come in one singular, exciting moment and some come gradually over time.  Some are happy, some are sad.  These experiences mold our character.  They inspire us to do better.  

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The Perfect Antidote

    When you are serving a full-time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints it's the best thing of your life!  When you serve you talk to millions of people about Jesus Christ.  You study, think, and teach about Him all the time.  He is your life!  What did I tell thing ever!!!!
    Well......all of this includes some sacrifice, including putting your social life on hold.  That means no dating! Temporarily giving that up is worth it for the experience.  However, I seriously didn't think about guys for 18 months.  I came home very independently single, forgetting about the whole guy thing.
     I felt really sorry for my first date.   Let me expound:
I forgot that a man can open your door for you.  I forgot that it is okay to make eye contact with a member of the opposite gender. I forgot that you could be attracted to a man, and it won't be a sin.  And I forgot myself.  Oops.
But I decided to watch Pride and Prejudice the other day.  Oh I love that movie!  I love it when Darcy confesses his true love to Elizabeth, and she totally rejects him.  I love when he helps her family, and the moment she realizes she loves him. And I love at the end when he calls Elizabeth "Mrs. Darcy"  and tells her that he loves her.  I bawled.  And then I bawled some more. I forgot how amazing love is!  Pride and Prejudice:  the perfect antidote for independently single women.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Rainy days

Last Spring I lived in Wayland, New York.  It rained for 90 days straight!!! The sun was literally MIA.....and I really missed it.  I thought I might never see it again.  The baseball fields turned into swimming pools and the mesquitos multiplied and replinshed the earth. How I yearned for a day without rain! But then something amazing happened: the storms ceased, the sun came back, and green appeared.  The most brilliant, wonderful, amazing green! The trees, the grass, the ivy.....I felt like I lived in a fairytale!  Suddenly the rain was all worth it. 

I feel this is like my life sometimes.  90 straight days of rain.  The sun is missing.  But I would never trade those rainy days for anything, because of the brilliant green of spring that comes afterwards!  Sometimes we have to be patient through the storm, and then we experience more happiness than we can imagine.  So I am grateful for all my days whether rainy, snowy, or sunshiny! 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Picture Perfect

They say one picture means a thousand words.  I believe that's true!
My mom used to literally follow us around with a camera.  Whenever we'd do something cute...she snapped it. If she missed it she begged us to do it again.  I didn't see my all of my mom's face for 2 years after she got her new expensive camera!
Every single "family photo shoot" had at least one person with a bad attitude.  You know, the person that you have to tell three hundred times to smile...which usually leads to an argument and then pretty soon mom's in tears.  "We are preserving memories!  Just smiling for one photo won't kill you!"  (P.s. we always knew "just one" meant at least 50).

I didn't realize how much a picture meant until the other day.  I've been thinking a lot about my family lately.  I look at the thousands of pictures my mom took and the old family Christmas cards....there we are, picture perfect.  We all are smiling and happy.  Somehow the hard times disintegrate (although always there) and I remember the good.  Like the time where we got rained out from camping and spent the night laughing instead of sleeping in the car....or the big family dinner we had on Kameron's graduation, where everyone was together.  Those are the things in life to be remembered.  Even though life is not picture perfect, I am grateful for my family and the cherished memories I have.  I am so blessed!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Little pocket of sunshine

So......I may or may not have struggled with the dating scene post-mission.  Let's be real......boys still may have cooties.  But don't worry, it will wear off.
I just received an email from one of my institute teachers and this is what it said:
This made me smile!  Don't you love emails or texts that totally make your day?!?!  Thanks Brother Chang!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

An ode to my friend.....

This post is dedicated to my most trusted friend.  He knows me well, actually he knows exactly what I'm doing at exactly what time.  I'd actually go as far to say that he knows me better than I know myself....his memory never fails to amaze me! He even knows what I should be doing and when I don't do it.  He knows what I'm thinking and every single one of my goals.  He knows how much money I have in the bank much I spend:)  But I'm happy to say that he is the BEST secret keeper ever!  Never tells a soul. He's by my side 24/7 and never gets sick of me, and never talks back when my ideas are outlandish!!! He looks great in black and white.  Without him, I am lost and very.....sad.  Lost because I forget what I'm doing and sad because I get nothing done when he is not there.   He is the best thing that has ever happened to me.  We have not spent more than a day from each other in nearly 2 years.  Right now I want to publicly thank him for his years of dedicated service and always being there for me!!!! 
You might be wondering who this could possibly be?

He is my daily planner.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The headless dinosaur

A couple of days ago I drove up a hill near our house with my sister.  We were talking about whatever, then we saw something on the side of the road.  It's Utah right?  So most likely roadkill?  Well....except this particular road kill was never alive to begin with.

Let me just show you:

 So picture this but....headless.  Poor guy I don't know what got him first...a child or a car.
My sister and I paused.  "Did you just..."  "Yep."  Followed by a roar of laughter.  Man I don't know why it was so funny.  We laughed all the way home.
That's what I like about life, you get to laugh a lot.  Laughing simply makes you feel releases a load.  President Gordon B. Hinckley said: “In all of living, have much fun and laughter.  Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.” So thank you to all the headless dinosaur moments that add joy to my life!!!!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A big change in my life

   The last couple of months I've had a big life change.  I just got home from serving a mission for my church. Can i just say that it was the hardest yet most incredible thing of my life?  I loved it!!!  For 18 months I thought, studied, served, and talked about Jesus Christ.  As missionaries we are asked to leave the comforts of home and go to completely new surroundings to serve the Lord.  But the sacrifice is worth it!
    I miss the mission.  I actually have home sickness for the New York country sides. Those memories and life changing experiences will always be in my heart.
   So here are a few things I miss about my missionary life.  This is an email I sent home to my family toward the end of my mission, when I was completely enveloped in the work:)

You know you are a missionary when....
  • you teach and serve people even in your dreams
  • your heart pumps a little faster every time you see the mail man(seeing the mail man possibly means that one of your friends remembered you are still living and sent you a little something special)
  • your clothes start to wilt....
  • you pray not to fall asleep while you're praying
  • you live off of salad and cheezits, and whatever the kind people of the world feed you.
  • you feel prompted to talk to everyone, even if they get in their car and start to drive a catch them!
  • you start using scripture words in your speech like "that is an exceedingly cute sweater" or "so great was the food thereof"
  • dry shampoo is the ultimate beauty secret which makes showering optional (just kidding)(but seriously)
  • you are happy even when people totally reject you
  • you continuously crave food
  • your knuckles are red from knocking on everyone's door
  • your biggest joy comes when the people you are helping says they've read from the scriptures
  • Thrumpy is your new look.  You don't care if it's ugly...if it's comfy and fits you'll wear it
  • you experience millions of miracles everyday
  • you love the people you serve with all your heart
  • you could not image yourself doing anything better than testifying of Jesus Christ and His gospel to the world

Sunday, April 8, 2012

An Easter thought

I am grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ

I don't think I'll ever comprehend how much He did for me, which is why today I celebrate Him!
Nearly two years ago, I sat on the bed of a disheartened friend.  She had fallen back into her whirlwind of  addictions and seemed to be drowning in despair.  My heart yearned to help her.  I tried to understand how she felt...but I just didn't know. The only thing I could offer was my testimony of Jesus Christ.  "Laurel, I know Jesus Christ can help you.  He has felt the pain of your addictions.  He knows your struggles, fears, anxieties.  For a moment He was you."
The memory of Laurel will burn in my heart forever.  With tears streaming down her cheeks she whispered, "I did not know that."  Every since that day, I have a special gratitude for the knowledge I possess of my loving Savior.  I know that He lives!  I'm grateful that He died for me so I can be cleansed from sin.  I love Jesus Christ!  He is the light of my life.

Share your testimony about Jesus Christ:  He Is Risen

Saturday, April 7, 2012

A Little Pinch of Color

    I think there was a time in my life where I wondered if I ever could be happy. TRULY happy. Isn't that the big million dollar question?!  There is that word "someday".  Someday when I've graduated and can actually make money, or someday when I find the man of my dreams, or someday when I can eat oreos and not suffer from sugar overdose.....then I can be happy.  I didn't want to wait for someday anymore, I wanted to be genuinely happy with my life the way it already was.
    I took a color theory class a couple of years ago. P.s. it happened to change my life!!!  The instructor explained that only 2% of your direct line of vision is pure color. The further you get into your peripheral vision, the more gray the color becomes until you reach the end where your peripheral vision is completely black and white.  Luckily your mind fills in the gaps so you can enjoy color all around you. Thank the Lord for our eyes and brains!
   I guess happiness depends on what you are focusing on.  If you are focusing on what other people have, your own happiness becomes gray.  Well, I was tired of seeing gray.  So I decided to focus on the pinch of pure color.  For me, that is Jesus Christ.  When I focus on Him it fills the gray parts of my life with brilliantly colored blessings. Believe me the gray is still there, but it doesn't stop me from seeing all that I have and enjoying a rich life. So this is my life with a little pinch of color:)