Friday, August 5, 2016

I Am

In Spanish, there's two ways to say "I am".

The first is "estar".  In general, estar is used to denote temporary conditions, like physical location, emotion, and various roles we play. 

The second is "ser". This is used to describe essential characteristics of something, like gender, personality traits, and where you are from.

When I step back and think about it, I realize that I base my worth far too much on temporary states of being, and not enough on my essential characteristics.

I don't believe our Heavenly Father is concerned with what our estar roles are as much as how well we perform them. I think what he truly cares about is our essential characteristics: our heritage, how we treat others, and how we fulfill our divine roles in the family.

In a world where our value is based on ever-changing roles and conditions, our self-worth can feel like a tumultuous roller coaster.  It turns out, our divine worth has almost nothing to do with our physical beauty, wealth, occupation, marital/family status, income potential, church calling, education, race, or sexual orientation.  Rather, our worth is based almost entirely on one sublime truth: we are children of God. 

And when we understand, truly understand, that we are literal spirit children of a Heavenly Father, everything changes. The roles we play become secondary in importance to our divine heritage.  Our focus shifts from what roles and statuses we can attain to how well we can let our divinity shine through in whatever role we are currently fulfilling.

Right now, I am a wife, daughter, sister, friend, team member, temple worker, nanny, gardener, grocery shopper, dinner-maker, dishes-doer, bill-payer, budget-keeper, primary teacher, and car-sharer. But what really matters is that I am a daughter of God, and that I fulfill all my roles and responsibilities, whatever they may be, with the honor and dignity that my divine nature requires.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Writing again

It's been over two years since I wrote anything on here. Things are a little different now. Good different, but different enough that I haven't felt like this corner of the world was really needed anymore. I got married to an awesome man, moved to Idaho, went to graduate school, and bought a house. So many things are different.

But recently I've realized that some things are also the same as before. I still love to write. It feeds my soul. I still have thoughts and feelings that I don't know for to express but I need a place to write and reflect on. I'm not sure that this will continue to be that place, but I'm going to give it a try.

Today I need to write about anxiety. I've struggled with it for a long time. Many do. I remember once the counselor I was working with at BYU heard me really about my typical day and said, "that sounds like how a high functioning person tries to cope with depression and anxiety." That hit me hard. I couldn't possibly be dealing with those type of mental struggles- I was very high functioning.

Well, it turns out that a highly structured life can help you cope with mental struggles, and it can also help you hide from them. Structure and external validation can obfuscate the true anxieties that drive behavior. For me, that anxiety centers on insecurities. Within a structured environment, my insecurities are fed by external validation. Remove that environment, and I experience an anxiety so crippling that I often struggle to connect with others and make even simple decisions.

So that's the darker side of the past 18 months of my life. In many respects, things have gone exactly as I planned. And yet in others, I feel so desperately behind.  I have a great marriage, financial stability, and a home.  But I still don't have a master's degree, a prosperous career, or any children.  And much of that is due to prayerful choices.

I think that's what I'm stuck on right now. My life is not successful in the ways I've defined success for so long- the ways that I know deep down are not important, but I can't help focusing on.   Over and over again I've asked for busyness, progression, and achievement.  And over and over again my answers have been to choose the path that is more boring, quiet, and calm. But that path never feels like enough. And now, I'm sick of asking.

I'm tired of wanting success and achievement and being told no every time. So I stopped asking. I determined that I could be just fine with a life that requires less of me.  But in my lack of asking, I now feel a hole, a nagging guilt that there is still something for me to do, I just don't understand it yet. I don't get to give up. But I am so tired of asking.

When I force myself to really think about it, I think I know why I've been diverted so many times. I know that my desires have been for the wrong reasons. I know that I need to learn to find validation vertically instead of horizontally. I know that I need to overcome jealousy and comparing my life with others. I know that I need to confront the roots of anxiety. I know that I need to learn to care for myself and to develop a true sense of self-assuredness, peace, and strength that is rooted in humility. But I know I'm not there yet. I know I'm still asking the wrong questions and banging my head against the wall of frustrating pride. But I also know that my Heavenly Father will never give up on me, and that He has an incredible plan for my life.

So I'll keep trying to figure it out, and I'll ask for the desire to keep asking.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Full Circle: 3 Years Later

Three years ago today I wrote this post.

At the time, I thought that a long walk and tender hug was the perfect ending to my school year.  But I had no idea that it would lead to a surprise 4th of July visit, a first kiss during Singing in the Rain, and a few months of long-distance Skype dates.  I couldn't have guessed that I'd spend the next 2 1/2 years building the foundation of a beautiful relationship.  I would never have thought that 3 years, several breakups, and an eternity of growth later, I'd be 4 days away from marrying the man who tried not to raise my hopes that first night.  I had no idea that my "perfect ending" was just the beginning.

And I'm grateful I didn't know that then.  It would have scared me to death.  I wouldn't have understood how my paradigm could shift so dramatically.  I couldn't have grasped that it is possible to love someone so deeply that you actively work to shred every ounce of pride that holds you back from serving them more.

But now I do now.  I know what it is like to be blessed with tenacity in love.  I know how it feels to fight for the one you love.  I know what it feels like to be paralyzed with fear- because even though you know you love him more than you thought possible, it's still so much different that you thought it would be.

And I am so grateful.  This has been a LONG ride.  And one that I am ready to take into eternity.

Monday, February 17, 2014


I know, I know.  I'm engaged.  And I'm also pretty in love.  So if you're not feeling up to some sappy reading, you can stop now.

But honestly, I feel so, so lucky.  My fiance (that's still a really weird word to use) is awesome.  Kind, hardworking, and understanding.  So strong in the gospel.  Patient with my occasional craziness.  Trustworthy.  Handsome.  Brilliant. (did I mention handsome?)

And, more than anyone on this earth, he can make me laugh.  Even when I'm grumpy, sad, or tired.  Even when the last thing I want is to feel better.  He's magic.

He is the bomb.  And he's gonna be my husband. :-)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

April 26th, 2014

I'm getting married.  No big deal...

Monday, September 30, 2013


I am a workaholic.  I know, I know-- We all are.

BUT REALLY.  I won't bore you with numbers because I don't want to be proud of them.  Because the amount of time I spend at work shouldn't be something to complain/brag about.  Work should be roughly 1/3 of my life, and man it has been hard getting it there.

But today, I feel like I finally had some success in this whole balance thing.  I woke up, went to work (10 minutes later...shhhh), and then got to it.  At 11:30, I took a half hour lunch.  As if that wasn't a miracle enough, I branched out from my usual lunch of apples, carrots, grapes, and string cheese and actually ate some solid PROTEIN.  I drank water.  I treated myself to a handful of dark-chocolate acai berries.  After lunch I got back to work, focusing really hard on meeting the needs of clients, and even passed off my training qualification.  I finished the day at 4:20 (20 minutes after I'm supposed to get off) with a record 68 points.  When I got home, I had so much energy that I couldn't help clean up, cook a bit, and take a run.

Right now, I just want to revel in the fact that-so far-today has been a whopping success!

p.s. let's all ignore the fact that i now post every few months instead of days, and instead revel in the fact that this means i'm taking the time to talk to friends, family, and God

Friday, August 23, 2013

Wisdom and Knowledge

I'd like to say something.

This isn't about my daily life, except that it is.  It's about the paradigm in which I live, and the life I am trying to build.

For the past 4 years, I have been on a constant search to define truth for myself.  To know, for myself, where the truth really lies.  To be able to see things as they really are.

This sounds simple- but it's not.

Truth is something that comes in shades.  Or at least it seems to.  In fact, truth is straightforward- it's our understanding of truth that comes in layers, making the truth feel like a spectrum of gray.  In reality, it's our journey from black to white that blurs the colors.

This isn't necessarily bad- as humans we are always learning.  But we have to remember that.  Even when we learn something new, it is essential that we recognize that our knowledge only represents a step in the right direction- not the whole picture.

There are many things that we understand certain aspects of, while tending to neglect the whole.  Social and political issues represent the most poignant examples.  Everyone understands some piece correctly- but no one has the whole truth.  Some are closer than others.  Some seek for truth in the bigger picture, placing their trust in a higher power while sorting through the details.

I believe that this is true wisdom: A constant search for greater truth that is grounded in the faith of a paradigm in which one already believes.

Having spent a great deal of time running frantically from one side to the other, unsure who to believe and ever-worried that new information would rip the fragile foundation from beneath my feet, I know the dangers of fanatical knowledge-seeking.  Knowledge is not something to be consumed voraciously.  It is something to be pursued with diligence and passion, tempered and grounded in the constancy of certain Truth.