Sunday, October 30, 2011

This I Know

I have a Heavenly Father who loves me, and who gives me direct counsel and guidance.
The Priesthood is powerful, and I can receive it's blessings personally.
It is only in following God's plan that I can fulfill my full potential.
All of this requires intense trust in Him.

Friday, October 28, 2011


Want to know what success looks like? 

 It looks like standing up to your boss and completing an ORCA grant at the last minute.  It looks like an epic Murder Mystery party despite countless setbacks, and a toga costume.  It looks like tons of delicious leftovers, a non-sleep headache, and the ability to look back on the week and realize that you somehow got everything done that you needed to.  Most of all, it looks like your little brother standing up for himself in front of a judge, creating the opportunity for loads of strangers have wholesome fun together, and the slow yet steady process of understanding how God speaks to you.  Sometimes success doesn't involve all of the answers you want, or being certain about everything in life- but it's the ability to find happiness within the mayhem, to feel at peace with yourself at every step in the journey.  Tonight, success is the moment just before I fall asleep, when I understand in utter exhaustion that it's all worth it, and the joy that consumes me in realizing that I get to begin a new chapter in this adventure every morning.


A great example of why it's so important to give people the opportunity to shine.
I firmly believe that opportunity is the best thing we can give others.
And boy, did he take it.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

space case

I'm not the most organized person ever, but usually I do alright.  Recently, though, I've been majorly spacing.  Proof:

1. Yesterday I had a loooong day and huge work meeting as well as a research study I was proctoring, all of which I needed my laptop for.  Guess what the one thing I forgot to bring to school was?

2. Tonight I remembered that I had to sign up for classes.  I checked my registration date, and it turns out I could have registered two days ago.  Rock on.

I've been so overbooked lately, and this weekend is not going to make life any easier.  I need to figure out a way to lessen this craziness, or I'm going to explode into tiny little pieces.  Although that might be amusing, now that I think about it...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Elder Busche, 1996

You may think it's cheesy, but these are the idealized words I need to remind myself of every day.
My boss and professor showed us this in class this morning, and it really touched me.

Simple truths, simple lives.

closing time

i used to be really good at writing papers at 1am.

maybe it's the fact that i've already re-written this paper twice, or that it's a lot harder to fake your way through a neurology paper than an english one...or it might have something to do with the last hour and a half i spent formatting my references page.

the point is, i'm out of motivation.

which is why i'm downing ben & jerry's and staring at a blank conclusion page for a paper that was due an hour and a half ago.

when i finish, i'm going to reward myself with running shoes.  FACT.

Friday, October 21, 2011



ice cream
test scores
Five Guys
ice packs
alarm clocks
future plans
grad school
and the realization that most of the time, I'm the one to blame for my misery.

I have so much to be grateful for, and so much more control over my destiny that I usually want to admit.

On relationships and running shoes

A thought from a friend's blog that blew me away:

"The ultimate thing you can do with your agency is to love someone enough to belong to them."
-Eric d'Evengee

In other news, I got my first running injury this week!  And not even from a cool story, but the result of a slightly too long run and worn-out shoes.  I woke up Wednesday morning with my foot aching, and then decided to go to tap class anyway.  Moral of the story: when your foot is injured, let it rest.  Otherwise, you may not be able to walk very well.

Upside of the injury?  Expert advice from Celeste and Megan (with some epic boy talk thrown in), the discovery of ice cups, and my maiden voyage to the 26.2 store!  

The possibility that I may be becoming a runner is simultaneously exciting and horrifying...but I actually geeked out about running shoes today.  This MUST be what the end of the world feels like.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A concept I want to understand:

"Just because something cannot be done in steps, it does not follow that it cannot be done at all."
-C. Terry Warner

Lately I've been trying to wrap my mind around Slife's idea of non-linear time...and this seems to fit somehow.  Yet my Greek educational heritage is pushing back with tremendous force.
How does one change their view of a paradigm to include things never before considered a possibility?


My tap teacher showed this to us in class this morning, and presented an interesting perspective.
Most of us are not away at war, few of us will ever have to worry about contracting a serious disease like malaria.  The sacrifices we are asked to make are very different, but not any less important.  Perhaps the sacrifices that we make now are not in laying down our life or going off to battle, but in the daily choices we make to live consistent lives of truth.  We talk a lot about sacrifice, but not much about it's purpose.  It seems to me that the purpose of sacrifice is to help others be able to go home- home to our Father in Heaven.  When viewed from that perspective, the seemingly small choices I make on a daily basis suddenly have much greater weight and significance.  

So maybe that's how this is worth it,
and how sacrifice finds purpose:
When we give our life so someone else can live.
So someone can go home.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lessons of Late

1. Update budget often.  Otherwise, you'll realize that dozens of five dollar trips to the grocery store add up quicker than you thought.

2. The testing center CLOSES at ten.  Meaning that if you're in the line of epic proportions waiting to turn your test in when the testing center's clock strikes it's pumpkin hour, tough luck.

3. Sometimes thinking through things too much makes my head feels like it's going to explode, and I don't get any further toward a logical conclusion than when I started.

4. Running can be an excellent way to relieve stress, and sleep is necessary for happiness.

5.  Sundays are Heavenly Father's way of forcing us to remember what's important, and that usually consists of some variation on "slow down".

6. When it comes to cookies, making a double batch is always the right choice.

7. Life comes and goes.  Laugh, cry, and hide when you have to.  But never give up, because it all happens, and it all passes.

Keep on keeping on.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Courtesy of President Uchtdorf

"The Lord uses a scale very different from the world's to measure the weight of a soul."

How different is my scale?  
How do I measure the worth of others?  
How do I measure the worth of myself?

Friday, October 14, 2011

why i'm not ready to be a parent

One of the hardest things for me is letting people figure things out on their own.  Even little things like baking and cleaning, if I know how to do it I would rather just take charge than explain it to someone else or let them struggle to figure it out.  But when it comes to things like people's critical life decisions, sometimes you really have to let them flounder a bit.  I so wish I could jump in and safe everyone and fix everything, but that's just not the way life works.  The times in my life I've grown the most and become the woman I am today have been because I had to tough it out on my own- and with divine help.  It takes trust in someone's abilities and potential to do that.  Guess I need to work on trusting others more.

The song I've needed today:

stop and stare

Last night when I finally got home from campus in the wee hours of the evening, I collapsed on the grass outside my apartment, sinking into the ground and soaking up the breathtaking sky.  That deep into the night, the sky was a brilliant shade of deepest blue that seemed to be glowing by the light of an almost full moon.  The same moonlight that lit up the tip of an aspen tree, reflecting the many hues of reds, yellows, and oranges that strike meaning into life and fire into my soul.  And just above me was my protector tree, a strong silver-tip pine, determined, and yet gentle with the purest brightness and it's scent reminding me of home.  Music blasting in my ears and thoughts weighing on my that moment, I felt encapsulated in Father's love.  In His plan.  In the beauty and magnificence that is this world.

I'm grateful for a moment like that.  Just as I'm grateful for the girl I met in the temple this morning and was able to give a ride home, the stress relieving runs that allow me to prove how strong I am, and the inspirational friend who has shown more spiritual growth than I ever thought possible.  These are the moments that make life worth living.  Notice them, hold onto them, and live them.  Otherwise, we'll miss out on what life is really about.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lights will guide you Home

sometimes you hear a song that knocks you off your feet and makes all your walls fall down.
a song that so perfectly encapsulates how you feel
that you wish you could sing it to those you love the most.
Not because all of the lyrics fit perfectly,
but because some of them do.
And I wish it was that easy to say how I feel. 

When you try your best and you don't succeed
When you get what you want but not what you need.

The Glee version of Coldplay's "Fix You"

Lights will guide you Home.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Of Things That Matter Most

They are these: Family, knowing Heavenly Father loves you, believing Christ, working hard, taking care of yourself, and giving all the love you can.

"Give up yourself, and you will find your real self.  Lose your life and you will save it.  Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes every day and death of your whole body in the end: submit every fibre of your being, and you will find eternal life.  Keep back nothing.  Nothing that you have not given away will ever be really yours.  Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead.  Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay.  But look for Christ and you will find Him, and with Him everything else thrown in."
~C.S. Lewis 

Sometimes life backfires, sometimes it's all you can do not to run far, far away until you can't run any more, collapsing in the anger and frustration that are just a way of holding back the tears and staying strong.  And it is at those times that I am able to reevaluate who I am, where I'm going, and just what it is my Father in Heaven needs from me.

Recently I've had the chance to really reevaluate my approach to the Atonement.  I've struggled with seeing it as a vague, abstract concept that I was somehow supposed to apply in my life.  I've tried, but felt inadquate as General Authorities describe their daily repentance process, as I feel I just try to do my best every day and fix mistakes as I go along.  But in the past few weeks, I've been exposed to a new way of thinking about things, and I FINALLY GET IT.  For me, the Atonement isn't about an intangible idea, it's about building my relationship with Christ.  Relationships require work, dedication, and the ability to take risks.  The Atonement is necessary because Christ knows that in order to build the kind of relationship that has depth and authenticity, we need to be able to take risks and fail big.  We need the ability to make constant adjustments in order to navigate a real relationship with our Savior.

This may not be the way that other people approach this very vital and important aspect of their lives, but for me, right now, it is making all the difference in the world.  I am so grateful for a God who loves and understands me well enough to know exactly what I need to grow in the right ways, at the right times.  He has so much faith in me, and I need to have faith in Him.

Last thing: My favorite poem for a long time was Invictus, by William Ernest Henley.  Today I came across Orson F. Whitney's (who was a member of the Quorum on the Twelve) response to the poem, reminding us that we are in fact NOT the captain of our souls, but rather Christ is, if we have enough perspective to let Him.  We don't have to do it on our own, in fact we aren't supposed to.  Thank Heaven for that.

The Soul's Captain
by Orson F. Whitney

Art thou in truth?
Then what of Him who bought thee with His blood?
Who plunged into devouring seas
And snatched thee from the flood,
Who bore for all our fallen race
What none but Him could bear-
That God who died that man might live
And endless glory share.

Of what avail thy vaunted strength
Apart from His vast might?
Pray that His light may pierce the gloom
That thou mayest see aright.
Men are as bubbles on the wave,
As leaves upon the tree,
Thou, captain of thy soul! Forsooth,
Who gave that place to thee?
Free will is thine-free agency,
To wield for right or wrong;
But thou must answer unto Him
To whom all souls belong.
Bend to the dust that ‘head unbowed, ‘
Small part of life’s great whole,
And see in Him and Him alone,
The captain of thy soul.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


I view the past three days as inextricable proof that my headaches have a lot more to do with the current state of my relationships than lack of sleep, school stress, work inadequacies, exercise or malnutrition.  Turns out the thing that bears the most weight on my pain is the one thing I can't really control.  Awesome.

On a positive note: I've been doing really well in work recently.  I'm getting the hours in I need to, and making strides that may actually make this paper publishable.  Woo Hoo!

Saturday, October 8, 2011


If I used them, now would be the time.  I'm not perfect, but I'm trying to do what's right.  So why is it always my fault?  Why can't people understand that I'm just trying to do my best and what Father wants for all of His children?  Sometimes it takes a lot to trust that as long as I'm doing what Father needs from me, that's enough.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

today, I owe my happiness to...

Pixie Lot!  Today could have been dreary, but then this song came on shuffle on my walk home.  Normally I would have skipped it, it's not really my favorite style.  But today I was too cold to get my fingers to move.  So I just let it play.  And I unabashedly sang all the way home.  Because, you know what?  Sometimes bad beginnings really DO make happy endings.  Judge me for being cliche and sappy, I'm fine with that.  Being overly happy tends to make me not care so much what other people think!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Step 1.

Priorities. Mine are shifting, in a scary but oh-so-good way.  I'm breaking down what I think my priorities should be, and where my time is actually being spent.  My current goal is to analyze how the two relate, and how I can fix any inconsistencies.

Personal Spirituality and Health
Professional Goals

Now...lets see how my time actually gets spent...

Monday, October 3, 2011

It's okay not to be okay

Life lesson of late:

Sometimes not being okay is scary, and so we hold onto it for ages.  We don't want to show that we're hurting, or that we don't know why things don't seem right.  But when we're assertive and vulnerable enough to admit that we're not alright, then we can get the help we need.  Letting go and allowing others to love us in their way can allow us to move upward and onward with real strength- the kind the comes from the courage to work through pain, not the cowardice of hiding behind denial.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

hodge podge

This weekend has been packed.  And I'm over-thinking it.  I was so super happy- so much good happened.  I got exactly what I wanted from everyone in my life, they did exactly what I asked them for.  And yet I feel a bit lost now.  I talk so much about how life is for growth and experiences...but when I'm the one in the midst of them, it's hard to see the value.  Sometimes, I need to step back and see the bigger picture.  And if I can't, then well..."It's better to look up."

Breaking Benjamin: The Diary of Jane
...this captures so much of the feeling of how hard it is to be as strong as necessary and as vulnerable as love requires.