Thursday, March 28, 2013


Dancing, figure skating, roller skating, friends, sunshine, hope, waltz jumps, peace, long talks and gloriously sore muscles.

I didn't know it was possible to be this happy.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Ether 12:27

Minutes pass by, unencumbered
wishing, wasting, waiting.
certain that no deed of now
could be worth work of baiting

a humble jolt of realization
deadens all my senses;
understanding apathy
was under good pretenses

yet pretense doesn't mitigate
erosion of the soul
and realization can't reform
and make what's empty full

diligence and patience
contradict, yet must be married
silence isn't peace
for those who long have tarried

weakness; clarity of fault
can languish into shame
or, humbly, bow and be raised up
with joy in each refrain

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I've been struggling with complaining and feeling a bit grumpy lately- and our router breaking last night didn't help.  But when it comes down to it, I have so much more to be grateful for than not in my life right now (and always).  So here's a bit of gratitude word-vomit.

new routers * working cars * temple visits with old roommates * moments of enveloping peace * epic ice skating fails * delicious food * winning random contests * feeling strong and healthy * rocking pruebas * Pinterest with all the roommates * beautiful, inspiring, though-provoking words * hope for climbing mountains * reminders of funny stories * international cinema * hilarious engineer jokes * warm blankets * chocolate * fresh spinach * wool socks * learning to be honest about my family * Russian figure skating hair * important conversations * reminders that you are loved * awe-inspiring stars * a bed so warm I don't want to get up * Orson Scott Card and my revival of fantasy * opera * women I love and respect * skyping with my nephew * hope for things to come * magic * honesty about everything * peace * learning to love strangers * sock buns * purple nail polish * C.S. Lewis * scriptures * ample time to journal *

I have so much to be grateful for.  

Today, I am most grateful that I finally feel like I'm LIVING.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Music for my Soul

Today my ward had our Easter program early because our ward choir director is getting married! There was a tremendous amount of beautiful music, and I was reminded again of how close to heaven I feel when I can let go and allow myself to be encompassed by words and notes. One song in particular really touched me. As I sat listening, I closed my eyes and leaned my head back, reminded of the great peace I feel in my Heavenly Father's care, as well as my gratitude for the grace and enabling power of the Atonement.

Here's a version I love (and not just because it has Spanish subtitles):

Friday, March 15, 2013

Peace and Joy

There have been hard times in my life where I've learned that even when I can't turn to anyone else, my Heavenly Father loves me unconditionally and perfectly.

But in the past week, I've had the blessing of feeling the love of God through others.  I am so grateful and almost overwhelmed by the many people and opportunities He has sent my way to remind me that I am loved, and that He wants me to be happy.

I've also learned that two of the greatest joys in this life are knowing that you are right before God, and having the opportunity to share His love with others. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

My heart has a yearning that only a summer thunderstorm can remedy...

Monday, March 11, 2013

Unleashing the Dormant Spirit

A few years ago, I was introduced to this clip, Advice from Elder Busche.  It's been a constant favorite of mine, and something that brings me great strength and peace.

Until a few days ago, I had never actually looked up the talk that this came from.  Turns out it was from a BYU Devotional in 1996, Unleashing the Dormant Spirit.  I've been studying it over the past week, and wanted to share some of the thoughts I've learned.

First, "nothing really matters unless we take the Holy Spirit as our guide and avoid being deceived. "  This is, or ought to be, a guiding principle in our lives: unless we can discern between the Holy Ghost and Satan (Good and Evil), we really have no solid foundation for our actions.

So how do we make this judgement?  Elder Busche recommends that we apply Luke 14:33. (Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.)  In his own words, Elder Busche suggests that if we can reply according to the following, we know we are following the Holy Spirit: "Yes.  I am a disciple of Christ.  I'm willing to sacrifice my own will, my habits, attitudes, and selfish desires, and endure the hurt and pain that such reflections cause, and bring to him as a sacrifice a broken heart and meek spirit."

Once we have figured out how to discern the Spirit, Elder Busche reminds us of the importance of being under its influence.  "None of us has enough wisdom, enough intelligence, enough knowledge, enough skills, or enough courage, by ourselves, to master our lives and even to succeed in life unless we learn what it means to surrender ourselves into the arms of the Lord and be filled with the Spirit.  He wants to empower us with the gifts that he has promised to give to each of his disciples who has made sacred covenants with him."

One of the beautiful aspects of the Spirit is that is changes not only what we do, but how we do it.  "...under the influence of the Spirit we act in wisdom.  We see the complexity of a problem in its simple parts, and we see the possible solutions unfolding in front of our eyes- to our own surprise. ...Our creativity is developed and multiplied.  That which is a burden without it becomes a privilege when we are under the influence of the Holy Ghost."

A bit later on in the devotional, Elder Busche makes a connection between the Holy Spirit and humility that was especially striking to me.  He explains that, essentially, sin is any time that we are not acting under the complete influence of the Spirit- which is something that happens every day!  So, when we recognize our potential, our responsibility, as disciples of Christ to be under the constant guidance of the Spirit, and then recognize that we cannot possibly attain that on our own, we are able to cultivate humility: a recognition of our weaknesses and a beautiful and bright hope in the redeeming power of grace. As he says, "Seeing ourselves in our full responsibility means also seeing ourselves in our weakness, in our lost opportunities, in our failures- which makes us humble and meek.  We see the necessity to enter into a covenant with the author of life, to activate the atoning blood of Christ to wash us clean, and to embrace, gratefully, the gracious gifts of the Holy Ghost for our essential empowerment."

After we recognize the deep need we have for the influence of the Spirit in our lives, Elder Busche discusses why we don't always have it's companionship.  Ultimately, it comes down to one thing: desire.  "All of our life's actions are the result of our desires."  We must desire- more than anything, more than life itself -to be under the complete influence of the Spirit.  Elder Busche counsels that we must organize and categorize our desires in our prayers in order for the Spirit to take us seriously.  

I love his words near the end: "When the Light of Christ is able to penetrate our hearts, prompted by the enlightened testimony of truth by a focused teacher, it will cause in us an awakening, an awakening of the real me, the child of God, so that we can learn to channel our desires to focus on our true needs."

Our true needs.  Our innermost desires to return to and become like our Heavenly Father, and to feel of his constant peace and love.  When I am closest to my Heavenly Father, this is what I desire more than anything.  I don't always feel it as strongly as I would like, but I relish in the moments that I do.

It reminds me of when the Savior came to visit the Nephites.  The account tells that the people prayed for what they "most desired"- that the Holy Ghost should be given to them.  

Our physical wants and needs often get in the way of this- as does our laziness, apathy, and pride.  But when it comes down to it, I sincerely hope that I can be humble enough, aware enough of who I truly am, to counsel with my Heavenly Father, heed his Holy Spirit, and rejoice in the glory of the Atonement that allows me to become so much more perfect than I could ever be on my own.  

Sunday, March 10, 2013

This is that part

Where I remember I am an introvert- which means that while I may love and enjoy my interactions with others, I need quiet time to process, feel, and maintain peace.

On another note- Heavenly Father loves us. He is so aware of our needs, and sends us people and opportunities that will show us his love, if we choose to let them.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

John 14:27

Before Christ left his disciples, he promised them the Gift of the Holy Ghost, a spirit that would reside with them to teach, comfort, and communicate in behalf of Jesus Christ.

After speaking of this gift, Christ tells them: Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Today we are blessed with this same gift.  All of us are able to feel the promptings of the Spirit, and those who have been baptized and received the gift of the Holy Ghost are promised constant companionship (so long as our side of the bargain is upheld).  We can feel the peace left to us by the Savior.  Our hearts need not be troubled or afraid, because we place our trust in the one who knows us better than any other- because he has felt our sorrows and borne the burden of our sins.  And he, who knows better than anyone the weight of the world, promises us that it's going to be okay- we can be at peace.

I choose to believe that.

The secret to healing, to peace, is to calm your mind so that you can listen to the things that matter most.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

What I wish I could ask


How did you do it?  How did you move on?  How did you love so deeply, be hurt so drastically, and then love again even more fully?  How did you convince yourself that life is better now?  How did you let yourself dream again- real dreams, not the ones from the storybooks?  How did you learn to laugh again?  How did you erase the bitterness and the hurt?  How did you convince someone else that you were worth it?  How did you believe that yourself?

How can I?

Sunday, March 3, 2013

New rule: 24 hour, 1 week

When life seems dark and dreary, don't forget to pray.  And also...

WAIT A DAY.  Seriously.  If things don't get better (or at least there aren't some better moments) within the next 24 hours, give it another day.  And if at the end of a week you looking back wondering what the heck was wrong with you, then maybe it's time to start worrying.  

But if there are even a few small moments of goodness- cling to that.  Focus on that.  And remember that those are the moments that make life worth living.  

I have such a tendency to freak out too easily, too quickly, and to not let all the pieces fall into place.  Some days are just rotten.  Sometimes people bug you.  Sometimes there's too/not enough much to do.  Sometimes you wake up on the wrong side of the bed, and just can't ever escape the funk.  The point is to not make any drastic decisions or let any potentially life-altering thought processes run too far until you've had at least one good night's rest, three good meals, one good workout, and some prayer and scripture study.  It's amazing how much one good, well-balanced day can change everything.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Blue Like That

This has been my favorite song for as long as I can remember.  I don't know where I heard it first, but since I was a little girl I've pulled it out every few months to calm my soul and rekindle my dreams.

"The adversary has long cultivated this overemphasis on personal autonomy, and now he feverishly exploits it. Our deepest God-given instinct is to run to the arms of those who need us and sustain us. But he drives us away from each other today with wedges of distrust and suspicion. He exaggerates the need for having space, getting out, and being left alone. Some people believe him—and then they wonder why they feel left alone. "