Wednesday, January 26, 2011

mormon.org

mormon.org
have you guys been there yet?
I spent a good part of my morning making a profile.
my favorite part is where you can answer FAQ, and share personal stories.
there are so many questions to choose from!
I've never really had to answer those questions in a way that a non-member would understand.
It was very interesting to think of how I would answer!
I highly recommend it.

Together with looking at some pictures that I found of myself in high school,
reading Evan's old journal (with permission!), and
having a few certain conversations recently,
I have, once again, been lead to reflect deeply about my life:
Who I've become, where I am, and where I'm going.

the verdict: I am so thankful!
Evan's journal started it. The last time he wrote in it was a few days before we got married.
The last 10 or so entries are Evan venting his frustration about my parents during our engagement. (oh trust me, he had reason!) It brought back all of the anxious feelings that were there during that time. It was soooo stressful! and just about all of it was for reasons outside of our control. All we could do was love each other and dream of the soon-to-be days when we'd be on our own, living our own life.
welll, we made it! and reading those entries, then thinking about our life together now...
I was instantly drawn onto my knees.
I love this gospel! can I say it enough? Because I don't think I can haha.
It brings me more happiness than I could EVER express in words.
and when I get into these moods, and realize how blessed I am, it makes me want to be a better person. a better wife, co-worker, ward member, visiting teacher, friend, disciple, EVERYTHING. I want to be an example in such a way that I might inspire and help people to come to Christ and want to learn of Him and His teachings, so that they can be happy too! I can't keep all of this to myself, I want to SHARE it!
[I had always considered serving a mission, and now I am pretty darn sure that I would have if I hadn't ended up getting married! I am definitely planning on going on one when we get old though. DEFINITELY!]
I am happy today. can you tell? :)


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

doppleganger
Glenn Close

okay....I'll admit it.
but it doesn't mean I necessarily like it!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Feeling Nostalgic

nos·tal·gia

\nä-ˈstal-jə, nə- also n-, nō-; nə-ˈstäl-\
1: the state of being homesick : homesickness
2: a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition;

For a few weeks now, I've been "on one" about: teenagers.
high schoolers, more specifically.
I hate when they come in to my work,
I hate their skanky clothes,
being unabashed about their volume of voice, obnoxious behavior, rude language, discourteous actions.
their unearned fancy phones, clothes, cars, spending money.
they are arrogant, they think the whole world is about them.
Now, I KNOW that no one in high school ever fully comprehends how LITTLE of a deal high school actually is in the grand scheme of things, because when we're there, its EVERYTHING.
and movies/music/tv always talks about how teenage years are the "best days of [a person's] life.
young love. that term is usually used to describe love that won't turn into anything, but is okay to indulge in because, well, you are YOUNG! and its okay to make mistakes, and to act crazy, and to give everything to someone that doesn't really care. I hate this logic, yet I feel like its driven more and more into the minds of teenagers with each coming generation.
When I see these kids, I feel embarrassed that I was ever their age.
because while I WAS quite aware of my voice level, I DID actually wear clothing, and DIDN'T "give it" to anyone and everyone who called me pretty, and always tried to be nice to strangers (eg measly fast food workers), I know I was annoying to older people. I did have that tunnel vision of my life, unable to comprehend how anything could be more important than what I wore to school that day. While I was willing to admit that many adults knew more about life than I did, I still was SO SURE that they didn't really understand what I was going through, because they had grown up in a different time.
When I see "kids these days" (haha, I know I'm only 20, okay, but forget that part for now :))
I remember all of the bad things about being a teenager, the things worth being embarrassed over.

But, the other night,
I listened to this song.

It was a favorite during my junior year, which is probably the year
that had the biggest impact on who I would eventually become.
It made me remember the not-so-terrible parts,
and I had truly forgotten that those existed.

this song, among others, helped me begin to understand that there really IS a world out there.
That those days someday would pass, and I would become someone.
it helped me put things into perspective.
and that while it was really hard for me to fully comprehend, who I was then would eventually only be a fraction of who I would actually grow into.
I have always been very pensive.
these songs helped put me into those thoughtful spells,
imagining the world outside of Lehi High School, which in turn
helped me grow up a little bit.
listening to that song the other night helped me remember that quiet, thoughtful part of my younger self.
it helped me remember that I wasn't just an annoying girl who screamed at people from car windows (did that) or who giggled in drive thru's (soooo annoying. just tell me what you want!) or who spent 75% of their time looking at their phone screen, texting. (I really believed that I didn't do it that much.)
I DID have admirable thoughts and feelings that helped me become who I am today.
it was just a relief to be reminded that those days were, in fact, necessary.
(No matter how flushed my face gets when I am reminded of the bad parts as kids come in to buy $2 meal deals)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I love reading about other churches.
the LDS church is such a tiny percentage of the religions,
but growing up in UT and now living here in the 'Burg, its kind of hard to remember that.
but honestly, after going on our cruise, (and being the only non-drinking, much less the only LDS's. I know there could have been others....but I SWEAR we were the only ones!!!) I lost a lot of faith in the rest of the world!
But its comforting to know that there are lots of other little groups and communities who "dedicate their lives" to Christ, and seek "God's plan for them".
Even if they are missing [a lot..] of key components of the true church,
I'd rather have them centering their lives around Christ and trying to better their families and communities
than, well...not doing those things...
I think its interesting that you (well, I...not sure if I can speak for everyone?) can usually tell that a religious person isn't LDS because of the way and number of times they use the name Jesus.
We (latter day saints) usually refer to Him as Christ, or the Lord. (and I think we use the name Heavenly Father more often than just "God")
But I don't think I ever realized that until I read people of different religions talking about Him.
anyway, I just think its so interesting to read about people of other faiths.
I mentioned a while ago that I have only met one person who was very dedicated to a religion other than my own, and even a year later she is still the only person I've met.
It'll be exciting to move out of the "bubble" and hopefully meet some others.
I look at learning about other religions as a way to better understand th
ose around me,
and hopefully relate to them more.
I do NOT believe that ignorance is bliss!
[though, I admit, I sometimes feel that it may be bliss when I realllly crave cookies/ice cream/taco bell/anything made by little Debbie, {yes I crave it sometimes!} but I can't bring myself to eat it, because I know how bad it is for me, but it sounds sooooo good. then I just get grumpy! then I eventually get out of it, and am once again thankful for the knowledge I have to keep my body healthy. but once in a while, it does happen]

found this picture ?
hahahahahaha! what the heck?!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

learning to listen.

it has now been a year that I have had this blog.
isn't time so strange? it goes by so so fast, but then again when I think of how long we've been married sometimes its like "its ONLY been 2 years?" because I can't believe 3 short years ago I didn't even know Evan existed.

Any way, I realize that its been a while since I've posted something in my original fashion.
some type of a writer's block, I guess. But, here's another one.

So, I've said it before, and I will say it again:
I love my mom.
There is a long, long string of stories that precede this one, but I'll keep it simple.
My mom's husband passed away New Year's Eve.
yesterday (New Year's Day) was their 6th anniversary.
Now that he is gone, there are many what-would-have-been's to think of.
But my mom, the amazing woman she is, told me that she can't let herself be upset over things that she has no control over. Despite the sometimes overwhelming sadness that she of course feels at times, she trusts the Lord enough to know that there is a reason for things to happen the way they have. and she trusts that the Lord's plan is better than any plan she could ever come up with.

There is an article in this months Ensign that I turned to while contemplating how I could help my mom through this hard time. All I wanted was to be with her and cry with her. Since that wasn't possible, I prayed for her to be comforted, because that was all I felt I could do. (and after talking with her yesterday, it turned out to be enough.)
I loved this article, and one excerpt will appropriately lead me to my main point...(I know, I still haven't made it yet, sheesh. sorry I forgot to put that disclaimer about length at the beginning.)

[talking about how to serve those who are sick and afflicted] "Often, what is needed most is for us to be prayerful and to listen without giving advice or platitudes. People who are suffering don't need our explanations for their condition. Our well-meaning attempts to put the situation in perspective (our perspective) can unintentionally come across as demeaning or insensitive."

Now, maybe I have been terribly misinformed, but I have always considered myself a good listener. Perhaps as a result of my thoughts and feelings not being listened to for the majority of my life, or maybe its just one of those spiritual blessings I happened to be blessed with. Either way, I have considered myself such.

I feel that if someone is explaining to you their feelings, especially, but not limited to, something very private and close to their heart, it is insensitive to say something like "Oh yeah, I've totally felt that way before," "I know exactly how you feel, this one time [goes into story about themselves]," or "that's exactly how I felt when...". To me, that is minimizing that person's feelings, and taking the subject away from them. I know that many times things like that are said in attempt to relate and maybe make the person feel like they're not alone, but for me personally I would rather have someone acknowledge my feelings by truly listening with small affirmation sounds and nods, and asking appropriate questions to find out more about my feelings, than to interrupt me to tell me how my feelings aren't that big of a deal, because they've felt them before too, and continue to tell me a story about themselves.
example:
Candace: sometimes I feel like dying.
Laura: oh Candace, I'm so sorry. I've totally felt that way before. When I was 17, I blah blah blah blah.....

Does that not sound insensitive? does that not diminish the importance of what Candace just said? I would think that Candace had much more to say to go along with that. If I had someone listening to me who was like Laura, I would feel like she wasn't truly listening, and I wouldn't feel inclined to continue on, because I would probably have to bring up the subject again since she already changed it.
The article outlines great ways to help those in need, no matter what their circumstances. I think its funny how simple the qualities are that it takes to make up a good listener, yet they can seem very hard to come by.