Saturday, December 31, 2011

Current obsession with The Script...

Show your scars- that's who you are.


"I believe there is a devil, and here's Satan's agenda.  First, he doesn't want anyone having kids.  Secondly, if they do conceive, he wants them killed.  If they're not killed through abortion, he wants them neglected or abused, physically, emotionally, sexually.  Barring that, he wants to get them into some godless curriculum or setting, where their minds are filled with pollution.  One way or another, the legions of hell want to destroy children because children become [our] future adults and leaders.  If they can warp or wound a child, he or she becomes a warped and wounded adult who passes on this affliction to the next generation." Randall Terry, Time, October 21, 1991. 
Image Detail 
Harold B. Lee said, "The most important of the Lord's work that you will ever do will be the work that you do within the walls of your own home."
Likewise, I believe it could be said that the most harm we could ever do is within the walls of our own home.  

Children are precious.  
They are sacred.  
And they are our future.

For Heaven's sake, Love the Children.

Friday, December 30, 2011


I've always loved the rain.  The way it makes the earth smell.  Sounds of the trees as they move in the wind.  How it makes everything feel clean and pure.  The cleansing feeling of human tears surrounded by tears of the heavens.  Magical.

Something about being in the rain always helps things come into clearer focus for me.  Thoughts that have been wracking my brain suddenly mesh in a way that allows clarity to emerge.

I am so grateful for a Heavenly Father who knows exactly who and what I need.  And today, I needed the rain.

Monday, December 26, 2011

love, gradually

I've been angry at socialization lately for convincing me that romantic love happens immediately and with intense force.  This idea was largely been responsible for the struggles I've had in the past few months, and I'm nowhere near done fighting to change my mindset.  But today I stumbled across this bit of writing by a husband of a friend that I think exemplifies how love can be a process, a journey, and a choice.
Allow me to digress to make a point. I like sunsets. But when I was little, sunsets had no appeal to me. I didn't see what the fuss was about--they weren't that pretty, not compared to other stuff. But over time, I began to appreciate a truly beautiful sunset when I saw one. I began to see why so many were in awe of the way the colors combined and swirled. They weren't just reds, oranges and yellows; they were scarlets and crimsons, tangerines and peaches, dandylions and marigolds. It wasn't that the sunsets changed, just my perspective. I remember well the day that I spent 45 minutes photographing a sunset on a campout in my socks in the snow while the rest of the scouts ran around throwing snowballs and riding ATV's. Obviously my perspective profoundly changed. But it was a gradual change. 

So it was with Jess. When we met, neither one of us had anything on our mind except for getting done with our lab assignments as quickly as possible so that we could run off and finish whatever else we had going on in our lives. Little by little however, I began to see so much more that just a pretty girl. I started to see a woman with many sides to her--an intellectual, a pianist, a homemaker, an interior designer, a medical doctor, a clown, a dreamer, a realist, a disciple, a mother. So many other hues than what first met my eye. She is now everything I have ever dreamed of in a woman, and she's my wife. I love her more than I thought I ever could, just like the little boy who never thought he could find the beauty of a sunset. I love her with all my heart. I never thought I could love this way. And I'm as I grow older, I will appreciate still more sides of her. Most of all, I love the way that she has given me eyes to see still more sides of my own life, and love in ways I never knew I could. As I reflect on our beginning, I realize that if it is any indicator of things to come, our relationship will certainly continue to color our lives and bring more joy to the both of us than what we possibly could ever have imagined.
I believe that love is possible, but I believe that the strongest, longest lasting love grows slowly.  And it keeps growing, forever.

I intend to

"Even the smallest person can change the course of the future."
The Fellowship of the Ring

...with compassion, diligence, hard word, and constant love.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Potential Rant

So here's the thing.  Not everyone is good at everything.  But there are the things that are most important, and there are things that can be learned.  And the most amazing thing about being human is our capacity to change- IF we have the desire.  I believe in change.  Not only do I believe that my life is a constant process of becoming more what others and God need me to be, but I believe that others are on a similar journey.  Every day we do a little bit better, and then before you know it there's a world of difference between who you are and who you once were.

But the major problem here is that sometimes we don't let people change.  We pigeonhole them into this teeny-tiny little box of what we know about them, and then act as though that's the end.  But IT'S NOT.  Not even close.  People can change and improve and learn and grow in a million ways that we never dreamed possible.  But we have to let them.  We have to believe in them.  For every time we screw up or forget or just plain do the wrong thing, we have to allow ourselves to believe that we can be better.  And the people in our lives who aren't quite what we wish they would be- we have to love them for their potential.  We can choose to see our loved ones not as failures who stumble into the right thing every once in a while, but as good people who make mistakes and have faults.  When we love someone, we believe in them.  Not only in who they are, but in all that they truly have the potential to become.

I believe in my friends and family, and I believe in myself.  Around this time I'm reminded of the all the glorious attributes of the people I love.  I'm astounded by their sacrifice, kindness, creativity, and strength.  I love them, and their love for me is manifest in their words and actions daily.  There have been a lot of people that have passed in and out of my life, and right now I'm so grateful that I've held on to the very best ones, the ones who build me up and believe in my potential.  And THAT is love.

Friday, December 16, 2011


They are what I love most about my life.  In attempting to wind down from the craziness that was finals, the joy in my life has been found almost exclusively in those people I surround myself with.  From the short snippets of talks that are oh-so-needed with my roommate to the nerdy intellectual discussions about empiricism and rhetoric with my sister and brother-in-law, these are what bring me joy.  And on days like today where I have so little to do that is productive that I begin making spreadsheets of the cheapest way to buy my books next semester...I so appreciate the people in my life who make it worthwhile.  Like yesterday's secret agent mission to get a picture in temple square with my boyfriend.  Or this morning (okay, let's be honest-afternoon) watching a semester's worth of YouTube clips with my brother.  Or nerd-ing out over Paul Eckman and the last half season of Lie To Me.

I love the people in my life who keep me safe, happy, and sane.  And I can't wait to see the rest of them over the next two and a half weeks- even if it means being away from my Provo family.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Lesson Learned:

When I stop taking offense and worrying if others are upset with me,
I suddenly have the time and energy to feel compassion.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011



Sunday, December 11, 2011

Patience young padawon

It is so hard not to jump ahead when things seem perfect.  It is so hard to be patient.  But I know that it is patience that will stand the test of time, and patience that will prevent me from making the mistakes I so deeply fear repeating.
And so I will learn patience, Jedi Master.

Spiritual hodge-podge

Today I am grateful that there is an eternal plan.  I feel so blessed that when we finally learn how to pray for what we actually need, God doesn't waste time in giving it to us.  The ability to write down my thoughts and the resources to do so enables me to remember the insights I have when times are difficult, and for this I am eternally grateful.  I was reminded during Sunday School today of some of my favorite promises in the scriptures: Doctrine and Covenants 93:28 (those who keep the commandments receive truth and light until they are glorified in truth and know all things), 101:32 (the day will come when the Lord will reveal all things), 88:49 (the day will come when I shall comprehend even God), and 88:58 ("And thus they all received the light of the countenance of their Lord, every man in his hour, and in his time, and in his season.")

In Sacramento meeting this morning we sang "As Now We Take the Sacrament" a hymn I have only recently come to appreciate.  The music is simple, and the words are profound.

As now we take the Sacrament, our thoughts are turned to thee.  Thou Son of God, who lived for us, then died on Calvary.  We contemplate thy lasting grace, thy boundless Charity.  To us the gift of life was given for all eternity. 
As now our minds receive the past, we know we must repent; The way to thee is righteousness- the way thy life was spent.  Forgiveness is a gift from thee we seek with pure intent.  With hands now pledged to do thy work, we take the Sacrament. 
As now we praise thy name with song, the blessings of this day will linger in our thankful hearts, and silently we pray for courage to accept thy will, to listen and obey.  We love thee, Lord; our hearts are full.  We'll walk thy chosen way.
This is a beautiful piano arrangement of this hymn and "There is a Green Hill Far Away" 

I also had the opportunity to sing in our ward choir this morning.  One of the songs brought so much peace to my soul: "Still, Still Still".  Here is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's version.

More so than ever before, I am at peace.  I am being humbled and made aware of my many weaknesses, but in such a way that I am not discouraged; instead I am instilled with a desire to become better, and the assurance that I can and will progress.  I am constantly astounded at the love of those who surround me- the silent and profound example of my roommate, the gentle strength and patience of my boyfriend, and the overarching love that my friends and family members convey to me daily.

I am grateful for the struggles in this life that allow me to slowly work toward perfection.  And more than that, I am grateful for the knowledge that allows me to be at peace as I work my way through the journey of this life.  God loves us, and he intends for us to have peace, hope, and joy.  What a wonderful Father He is.

Friday, December 9, 2011


I found this short video today from the MissRepresentation campaign.  (See the original video about MissRepresentation and by post about it here.)  Women truly are many of these things, and so are men.  What I wish for my children and for the world is the ability to be what they know they need to be, and not confined to the boxes that society would put them in.  My favorite quote from the clip was this:

"Our greatest power is our ability to change."

And it is so true.  The most significant negative impact society has is it's ability to tell us we must (or can't) be a certain way.  Who is society to tell us what are we?  Who is society to define what we will become?  The most amazing thing about people is how much potential we have to be always changing, progressing, and moving forward.  The people in my life who succor me and lift me up- they do it because they believe in my potential, not what I currently am.  If all we saw in people is where they are in one moment, we miss the big picture.  One moment cannot capture a person's soul.  Only looking for their divine potential can do that.


If you find a girl who reads, keep her close.  When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her.  You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you.  She'll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.  Date a girl who reads because you deserve it.  You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable.  If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads. 
-Rosemarie Urquico
I don't know that I completely agree with this quote, so don't take it too seriously.  But I think to large extent it captures the feeling of why I love to read so much.  The way that a story can envelop a soul, how characters become your intimate friends, and the fervor with which you read and can't put it down.  The best books are incredible.  They can be an escape from everything.  They can be your best friend, or your greatest rival.  They can fulfill in you desires that you didn't even know existed, and give you insights into yourself and the world around you.

I don't require that everyone love books, but I do.  And I mourn the loss of passion and opportunity that those who don't read miss.  Books are friends, not homework.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

For those times when I feel like I just can't do it anymore, it's really good to know that I don't have to do it alone.


It's something I struggle with.  Although I'm not entirely certain why (I'm sure it has something to do with how deeply I value others' perceptions and don't trust my own), I have a hard time being committed to things.  I've gotten a lot better, but it's something I've been trying to work on.  This Sunday, with commitment weighing heavy on my mind, a quote from President Uchtdorf's talk "Brother, I'm committed" was shared.  I love this talk, and want to share some of my favorite bits!

Commitment is a little like diving into the water.  Either you are committed or you are not.  Either you are moving forward or you are standing still.  There's no halfway.  We all face moments of decision that change the rest of our lives.  As members of the Church, we must ask ourselves, "Will I dive in or just stand at the edge?  Will I step forward or merely test the temperature of the water with my toes?"
There is a difference between intention and action.  Those who only intend to commit may find excuses at every turn.  Those who truly commit face their challenges squarely and say to themselves,  "Yes, that would be a very good reason to delay, but I made covenants, and so I will do what I have committed to do." 
In some way, each of us stands at a decision point overlooking the water.  Is it my prayer that we will have faith, move forward, face our fears and doubts with courage, and say to ourselves, "I'm committed!"

I love the bit about the difference between intention and action.  When we really, truly believe in something, we don't accept excuses.  When we know and feel that something is right, nothing can sway us.  Really, it all comes down to whether or not we are committed.  This is something I'm going to work on.  It's a huge idea that my blog was based of off: taking the plunge.  I'm often hesitant to jump all the way in, but it's the only way to really experience and learn what God needs from me.  So I'm going to do it, and it's going to be very wet and cold.  I just have to trust that it will be worth it.


I watch hours of data for work, and sometimes it can get really boring.  Occassionally, however, there are little nuggets that inspire a thought or provoke an idea.  Today's was a question:

What is the best advice anyone's ever given you?

But really, what was it? 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


"Integrity is a purity of heart, an absolute honesty with God, ourselves, and our fellow man.  It is choosing the right, not merely because God requires it, because because our character demands it."
Today Elder Tad R. Callister gave a BYU Devotional on Integrity.  This is a concept I have struggled with in my life, as I've faced a rather inordinate amount of situations that make black and white look like shades of gray.  This week I made a choice to stand up for my integrity in a way that had the potential to compromise one of my most important relationships.  I am grateful for the influence of stalwart friends who help me with their examples of unshakable honesty. In discussing a "gray" situation with one friend earlier this week, one thing he said stuck out to me: "What really matters is if it feels right."

Thoughts from Elder Callister's devotional:
Does my integrity have a price? And if it does, is it really integrity? 
How can we be humble if we are not honest about our failures and mistakes?
The faster we admit our mistakes, the faster we can move forward.  
Part of preserving our integrity means protecting the integrity of others. 
Integrity makes decisions based on eternal implications.
"It is not grades, but godhood that is our destination." 
"Somewhere, somehow, we must face the wall square up and climb it." 
We trust people who we know have nothing to hide.   
"If I were bound only by a written contract I might find a loophole.  There are no loopholes in my word."  
"This above all: To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man" -Shakespeare (Polonius, to Hamlet)

And my favorite thought, as it defines perfectly my change of perspective this semester:

Repentance is not a temporary change of a behavior, but a permanent change in nature.  With the Lord's help, we can change our behavior to be consistent with our nature.  

For the moments I Feel Faint

Today I am grateful for music.  
Sometimes it is difficult to find the motivation to push forward and live up our potential.
Music helps me to remember why it is worth it.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Sometimes life is so precious that I want to freeze time.
Sometimes it is so full of people who lift me up that I can't believe how much I'm being pushed forward.
Sometimes the things that should break me become challenges I can easily conquer.
Sometimes the superficial things melt away and only what is important remains.
Sometimes walls don't fall, but are torn down brick by brick.
Sometimes love doesn't happen in an instant, but is built so slowly that you didn't even notice it happening.

Sometimes life is so good I wonder if it could possibly be sustainable.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Trust your feelings, not your doubts.