Sunday, December 30, 2007


Today has been a blessed day.

For one thing, Joseph and I actually went to all three hours of church. I LOVE church. It was really fun to be back in my home ward, too; a couple of people did double-takes, since they haven't seen me since April. It was pretty easy to tell -- I got a lot of compliments, although I didn't do anything too terribly special! I may have made a new friend as well -- she moved back in with her parents, for a few months, I guess, until she gets back on her feet. She seemed really nice and it would be good to have another friend close to my age at church (I'm so used to a student ward, after all!)

While at church, yesterday's conversation with another friend about apathy kept coming to mind (I have so many brain-food conversations with him; I'm so glad he's dating my best friend! And he'd probably never forgive me if I didn't say it, so, for the record, he's really glad that he's dating Cindy too, haha.) . . .

I think we, far too often, blame our apathy on our circumstances. I know I sure do. I can't count the number of times someone asks me, "What's up?" and I say "nothing," like no news is good news. But there is ALWAYS good news. That is why peace and apathy cannot coexist. I've heard it said that hate is not the opposite of love: it's indifference, because at least if we hate someone, we notice that they exist. In my quest to make my life more centered on Christ, I want to do more than notice that my Savior exists; I want to notice Him and all things and go about rejoicing because in His goodness, He is so much a part of my life. If the only thing we can find to be glad about is the best thing of all -- the Atonement of Jesus Christ -- then do we not still have reason to rejoice??

Thursday, December 27, 2007


I want, so badly, to be patient.

I think patience is being able to savor the moment, to care about the future but truly understand and accept that it is in God's hands. "Patience is obedience prolonged...[it is] a willingness, in a sense, to watch the unfolding purposes of God with a sense of wonder and awe—rather than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstance." (Elder Neal A. Maxwell, as are any of the following quotes.)

I know that good things -- beautiful, FABULOUS things -- are in my future. However, I need to be able to see that there are good things, right here, right now, and that God, in His omniscience, sees that the wonderful things in store for me would be much less wonderful if I had them right now.

I need to submit cheerfully to the Lord's timetable. The past semester was intense -- both mind-numbingly stressful and deeply enlightening and spiritual. Now, that season is over and I need to find purpose once again in my time. However, it needs to be the Lord's purpose, not mine, because while I think the Lord will bless me in my righteous desires, it just isn't right now.

"When we are unduly impatient, however, we are, in effect, trying to hasten an outcome when acceleration would abuse agency," and, I submit, interfere with the Lord's perfect plan for us. I am currently irritated and inconvenienced by this fact, but I am trying to have the patience I need in order to confidently say that the Lord blesses me with the things that are needful, even now.

I want to be happy without checking all the time to see if I am happy -- I don't think that's what I need to do at this part of my life. I need to be calm and peaceful, even if that doesn't mean being bubbly-cheerful. I want, even in this season, to stand in awe of God. Surely there are things in my life right now to savor.

No, I may not get what I want right now, but if I can wait on the Lord, if I can defer the things I want, I can be joyous.

"the seeming flat periods of life give us a blessed chance to reflect upon what is past as well as to be readied for some rather stirring climbs ahead. Instead of grumbling and murmuring, we should be consolidating and reflecting, which would not happen if life were an uninterrupted sequence of fantastic scenery, confrontive events, or exhilarating conversation. Patience helps us to use, rather than protest, these seeming flat periods of life, becoming filled with quiet wonder over the past and with anticipation for that which may lie ahead, instead of demeaning the particular flatness through which we may be passing at the time."

"In our approach to life, patience also helps us to realize that while we may be ready to move on, having had enough of a particular learning experience, our continuing presence is often a needed part of the learning environment of others. Patience is thus closely connected with two other central attributes of Christianity—love and humility."

"Very importantly, it is patience, combined with love, which permits us “in process of time” to detoxify our disappointments."

"Further, the patient person can better understand how there are circumstances when, if our hearts are set too much upon the things of this world, our hearts must be broken—but for our sakes and not merely as a demonstration of divine power. But it takes real patience in such circumstances to wait for the later vindication of our trust in the Lord.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

And by the way...

Merry Christmas!!

"Being Still"

This time in my life has been one of learning to love me for me, and to love God as I should.

It's a steady process, but I've been so blessed. I've realized I can love my body as a gift from God that enables me to experience this encircling beauty here, which is so much how I feel His love. I've become much more OK with my people-needs, and been able to sort out appropriate ways to meet them without emotionally exhausting myself. And every day, I learn a little more how I can rely on God to meet my needs, never mind who else is in my life or will ever be in my life. These are huge and amazing things for me. I'm not sure I ever quite thought I'd be at the place I'm at now...and even if I did, I certainly didn't know how to get there. However, with the help of the Lord and a lot of struggling to have faith in His plan for me, well, here I am.

My blog labels reflect the things that are a part of who I am, and the things I struggle with. And tonight, I'm adding a new label. It isn't that suddenly a new issue sprouted up; it was just that I realized that one of my big things wasn't being shown. This blog is a tool in my life, and I feel like I should use all of the tools I have on hand.

I have never been a very ambitious or driven person. In fact, I'd say that I can be downright lazy. I have a great capacity for wasting time, and I know it. I admire people who are industrious and purposeful, people who always have things to do and always get them done. For some reason, that just doesn't come naturally to me. I procrastinate; I can be apathetic, unmotivated, and idle.

I was praying about this the day before yesterday and doing some thinking, and a line from D&C 101:16 came into my head: "Be still and know that I am God."

I firmly believe that every aspect of ourselves has a positive spin to it; God creates the capacity in all things to forward His work for good. So yes, I may look or feel gross sometimes, but my body has the capacity to give
life -- and to witness life. And yes, I may be easily overwhelmed by people for reasons that will take me a long time to understand, but I have the capacity to turn small, overwhelming moments into blessings, stepping in to fill a need and stepping out again.

Therefore, I believe that my inclination for idleness, if given to God, can foster stillness. I was reading over a conversation from this March with a friend just now:
"Do you ever have days when all you want to do is dance in the driveway?"

Life is so full of joy, there for the taking. I just first have to learn to offer my idleness on the alter, so that I can instead
be still and know that He is God.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Lord, Hear My Drum and Smile

Little Drummer Boy tells us the story of a little boy who has been told to come and see the newborn Christ -- with a gift to bring Him, of course. But this boy has just as little as the infant Jesus, laying in His manger, and has no gift worthy of the Christ child. Therefore, he does he only thing he can: he plays his drum for the Messiah, the best he can, and the baby Savior smiles.

Now I know the metaphor here is pretty obvious, but it hits me, deeply, every time I have the patience to make it all the way through the many rum-pa-pum-pums. We are each called to see the King, to witness the miracles He can bring to our lives, but we also must bring to Him a gift. Sometimes we have so little -- our gifts seem so inadequate to offer our King. However, if we offer all we can, the best we can, our gift, our heart, is accepted by our God.

I also like that it is a drum that the little boy plays. I really believe it is the steady beat of our daily lives, the constant struggle to give our heart to Him, that makes our offering acceptable. It is our action, the lifting of the sticks and applying them to the smooth surface of the drum, that makes the Lord smile.

I've been talking with a friend about humility for almost a week's been wonderfully fun and we've brought up some truly insightful questions, and solid responses to those questions.
Humility, I think, has everything to do with drumming our beat for Christ. If we turn the focus from ourselves -- our own knowledge, our own plans, etc -- to God, then we are able to offer an acceptable gift.

The interesting thing is that Jesus Christ, when He smiles, is not only smiling at our drumbeat. He smiles because of who we have become as we learn to play. Lately I've been struggling to be close to God. However, God knows that I love Him, and that I'm still only practicing my drumbeat -- but I'm practicing it for Him.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Do Not Fade in Winter's Snow

I've always thought O Christmas Tree was a cheesy song. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas trees, I just think that if you're going to write a song about them, you could at least make it creative. However, I looked up the lyrics tonight and it struck me:

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree, with faithful leaves unchanging Your boughs are green, in summers' glow and do not fade in winters' snow.

It's just like God's love for us.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Friendships that Surprise

Here it is the 20th and my last post was on the 1st. Suffice it to say that life has been crazy this month, and now I'm trying to be happy in the place I'm at right now, instead of feeling understimulated.

A wonderful contributor to my sanity the past couple of days has been the ever-wonderful Cindy -- and her boyfriend, Mahon.

Becoming friends with Mahon has really been an interesting process. At first, he was just this guy in Cindy's geology class that she thought was cool and mentioned a few times. And then, the next semester, he started showing up at the apartment. All. The. Time.

It wasn't that I ever disliked Mahon. In fact, I was intrigued by my level of ambivalence. I just had no real interest in getting to know him. I believed Cindy when she said he was interesting and genuinely kind and spiritual to boot, but I still was more inclined to leave the room when he came over than not. While I fully support people as an institution, they do wear me out. Mahon, as a new person, was no exception to that.

However, because he was completely crazy about Cindy, he kept coming over. And mostly just because I didn't want to spend less time with my best friend on account of a BOY, I stuck around. This resulted in a few interesting silences when Cindy left the room...we both kind of pretended to be preoccupied with something else, until we came up with SOMETHING to say to each other. It usually ended up being about Cindy anyway.

And then, there was some sort of breakthrough. It wasn't something that happened all at once, but one day, Cindy and I jumped in the car to go do something and I turned to her and cocked my head to one side.

"Is Mahon in class?"

"Yeah, he is."


Now in type I can't really express this, but there was definitely a little disappointment in the tone of that "oh." Cindy caught the tone and we talked all the rest of the ride about the hows and whys of the fact that I wouldn't have minded washing my hands of him before, and yet somehow I was sad that we weren't hanging out with him.

Although Mahon and Cindy still gross me out a little (seeing my kids date people is going to be ROTTEN) at least now I can agree with what Cindy said to me at first: that Mahon is an interesting, genuinely kind, spiritual person. I still wouldn't say that I know him super-well, but I do find him a pleasure to talk to and be around.

Cindy is delighted by how all of this had played out. Every once in a while, she says to me, "I'm SO glad you like Mahon better now!"

My response? "Yeah, me too."

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Let It Snow

It makes me sniffle and turn red, and lose feeling in part of me that I usually don't have wonder whether or not they're still attached. Because of it, I have to wear the same big coat day after day because it's the only thing that keeps me from turning blue, and I am in constant fear of hat-hair.

But I don't care. This semester, I have realized something: I love the cold.


"Ugh, it's so warm in here, I'm opening the window."

"You're hot??"

She batted her eyelashes. "Of course I am."

There was the expected roll of the eyes and he continued, "But you seriously aren't cold right now?"

"No way! You're just a reptile."


I'm typically an extremely even-keeled person. Sure, I can be stressed, silly, annoyed, or even cheerful. But lately I'm learning to feel more deeply, to love life simply because it is there, and it is good, rather than because something particularly stellar happened. I'm learning to surround myself with things that make me happy -- the pajama pants I'm wearing, fresh fruit (not so much lately though, sigh), just simple things that bring me joy. I've found I'm more inclined to put on makeup even, because I like to feel good about myself -- not because I feel bad about myself. Interesting distinction, no?



"Yeah, like cold-blooded. I'd hardly ever cold. I think I get it from my dad."

"Well, I'm from Idaho, so I'm supposed to be used to this thing. But I
still think it's cold."


I think it's because I'm such an even-keeled person that I like the cold so much. It's the biting sensation on my cheeks, the way the winter wind billows past my ears. I love the often-overcast sky and that snow falls here in the Burg. Snow makes everything more beautiful, it both softens and intensifies in a way nothing else can. Winter reds and dark browns stand out so much more, and people stand a little closer, for warmth. And when it falls, well, then it's just pure magic. And I'm seeking more magic in my life.


"Exactly. We can't explain it away by saying you're from a warmer climate, so obviously you're a reptile." She leaned out of the open window.

He shivered. "Yeah well...mammal!"


I love that there are things in the world like snow, and winter, and flowers sitting on my coffee table while my roommate fills the floor with scrapbooking supplies. These are the times that so easily pass us by, so it's nice that you have to hesitate at the door, wondering if you should put on an extra layer or not, feeling and looking and thinking and searching with that extra something we all have.

The next time you stop and wonder that, I hope you also use your senses -- all five, or even six -- to realize how beautiful all of this is, and how blessed you are to have it.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


In case you haven't noticed, I have a new layout! Isn't the header pretty?? All credit goes to the coolest person I know, because she's, you know, super cool.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Alone With My Thoughts

"In solitude the mind gains strength and learns to lean upon itself." Laurence Sterne

I love being alone. I sit here, heartily enjoying the first real meal I've had all day (granola bars and Gushers in the car really don't count). The window is open, the lights are on, and I'm listening to what may end up being my new favorite song -- and it doesn't even matter how loud it is.

When I'm alone, I think much more clearly. I'm never struggling to find words or prove I'm interesting. It's just me and the inside of my head.

And lately, the inside of my head has actually been a wonderfully pleasant place to be. That is what happens, I think, when you make a conscious effort to put the Lord first and ask God to help you in your efforts.

There are very few people with whom I am as at ease as I am when I am alone. (Did that sentence actually make sense?) One of those people is Cindy. My goal is that, one day, I will find some spiritual, God-fearing man, and be just as at ease with him, too.

In the meantime, I'm noticing the distinction between being an introvert and loving to be on the inside of my head. The latter makes the former much less of a burden. Don't you love when things work out like that?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

And, because I am a good little sister...


Dancer, Part Two

"Are you good in school?"

"Um, yeah, pretty good."

"Is the something you aren't good at?"

"Let's see...I'm not a very good dancer."

"Cindy Lynn is a good dancer."

"Yeah, I know."

In my last post, I mentioned that this conversation got my brain going in two directions, and went on to highlight the fact that my best friend is stupendous.

The other direction is kind of hinted at in the first paragraph of my last: that dancing is
not important enough for me to suffer through the grueling process of being bad at it, and being bad at it, and being bad and then a little better, but mostly bad for a long time until all of the awfulness spills over into something worthwhile.

Well, I'm learning what is worthwhile. As some of you may have noticed, I've created a writing blog, where I'm trying to post a full 12-point, single-spaced page everyday. The thing about it is that ALL OF IT IS TERRIBLE WRITING. But I want, so badly, to do this well. It's a form of art that feels right to me, in a way I can't describe. It's something that is a part of me, although I've spent a lot of energy over the last several years trying to think otherwise. Someday I'll spout off something, some scene in my head, and instead of just my head it'll be a bit of my soul too.

Not that everything I'm writing now doesn't have a little bit of my heart-of-hearts in's just that mostly it's parts of me that I'm not yet familiar with, or I don't know what to do with it. But I'll learn, and that's so good to know.

The neat thing is that I know as I learn to do this more, other aspects of my life will be affected for the better too. Someday, my words and I will dance too.

Dancer, Part One

"Are you good in school?"

"Um, yeah, pretty good."

"Is the something you aren't good at?"

"Let's see...I'm not a very good dancer."

"Cindy Lynn is a good dancer."

"Yeah, I know."

I really am not a very good dancer. I'm sure that if I put a whole lot of work into it, I could be good -- but it's not important enough for me to suffer through the grueling process of being bad at it, and being bad at it, and being bad and then a little better, but mostly bad for a long time until all of the awfulness spills over into something worthwhile. I try to feel I have God-given beauty in other ways.

Cindy on the other hand is marvelous. I've seen her get swept up in it, seen her move in ways I probably never could, limbs going almost of their own accord, but in a spontaneous, smooth accomplishment that to me, is one of the many ways that my best friend is beautiful.

In thinking about the conversation that I began this post with, my brain went in two directions -- proof that it may still function after I'm done with this research paper, or it'll split in half! The first is one that I come to, oh, probably every day: that Cindy amazes me, with her strength, whether it's strength of character, or will; with her beauty...the kind that draws you in because yes, she's pretty, but that she also has a wonderful capacity to share it, often without even trying. There's a magic to a person like that. And then there's her creativity and humor -- I've seen both get her eyes to sparkle, and my favorite part is when I can put it there. Yes, she is in fact a dancer, but in her, I see it almost as a personality trait worth emulating, rather than simply a talent and a passion.

Sometimes I wish that she could see all of this in herself, even when life gets heavy on her shoulders (sometimes literally: you should feel the knots!). However, I trust her to take care of herself, and I'm grateful for the fact that she knows who she can count on.

I'm grateful that I know who I can count on, too, and I love, so much, that God knows all of us so perfectly, that He can take care of English papers and sore muscles (or sore muscles caused by English papers...) and everything in between.

Our God is an awesome God.

And, of course, Cindy is an awesome dancer.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Service Vs. Neediness

Let it be hereby known that I am entirely too tired to write...but I'm doing it anyway.

Isn't it interesting how emotionally vulnerable you are when you need to go to bed? It's easy to be happy about things you'd be too smart to waste your time on by daylight.

I really, really love to make other people happy. If there's something I can do, whether it's rubbing sore shoulders, making a meal, or sitting and listening, I am happy to do it. (Often I'm not as inclined to give them something purely for the sake of their smile, or just tell them know how special they are, but I try to do that sometimes too, especially if I know it's exactly what they need.) It's wonderful to know that I can make a difference in how someone sees life on a particular day.

On the downside, I'm sometimes inclined to "serve" where I have no business too. It's not really service if it harms me, or if it's something that is just going to make things worse even if my intentions are good.

And it's certainly not service if it's just plain curiosity. "What would happen if I did this nice thing? How would you feel? What would you think?" That's called pushing buttons, friends, and something that I am sometimes far too inclined to do, especially (well, specifically) with guys. I like to be needed, to feel helpful, but targeting people's weaknesses in order to feel loved is not the way to go.

It's not something I specifically set out to do; I just don't think of it like that. The thought process is much more along the lines of "oh, I bet that would make you really happy right now," and then it gets tangled because at that point, it may not be a sincere thing on my part...I may just be doing it for the reaction.

There's really a fine line between serving because you know you have the power make someone happy, and serving to act on the Lord's behalf. I think it's a pride thing..."I am capable of doing this. I am capable of making you feel like I am wonderful. I am capable of making you feel like I am exactly what you need."

I do not want to play into someone else's neediness. I can either "add" to someone, because I cater to their neediness, and he to mine, or we together can "multiply" because we are already complete by ourselves, with the Lord, and we bring that completeness to each other, making much more than just the sum of two parts.

If that is something I still need to learn, then I am glad that I have had some difficult experiences, so that I could be taught this. I'm glad that the Lord has not blessed me with the kind of guy I want to date and marry someday. He knows that I'm really not ready for that yet, and loves me perfectly anyway. I'm trying to do that too.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

It's Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Christmas

Growing up, Christmas began the day after Thanksgiving, when we would drive into a certain part of Santee and search the local Christmas tree farm for a Tree. Big and thick, it had to carry itself a certain way in order for us to consider taking it home. As soon as I learned my numbers, Daddy taught me the price range to look for, but I don’t think I ever failed to convince him to spend a little bit more.

That tradition faded with time as we kids grew older and we moved across country, but this year, I’m renewing the early beginning to Christmas. It’s my second winter here at school (across the country once again) and Christmas started even before Thanksgiving. The middle of October brought the first snow to Rexburg, and ever since then, I’ve brightened my corner of the apartment with the sounds of Christmas music. It makes me think a lot about home since so much of it is country – greats like Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, and Travis Tritt. The atmosphere this music provided always went along with the Christmas tree, and the month of December, that fits so clearly into my early childhood.

It makes me think about the kinds of traditions I’ll have with my own family someday. The Christmas tree will come sooner rather than later, certainly; music will be in my house year-round, but particularly after Thanksgiving; while I don’t plan on doing a whole ton of baking, gingerbread houses are delightful, and I’ll make things often enough that my children will love the smell of cinnamon. Probably baking apples, too.

However, there is one tradition I’ve started this year that will be more difficult to create. In my quest this year to be closer to my Savior, I have found that as the Christmas season gets underway, my testimony for Him grows. This year, I hope Christmas is about Jesus Christ, that I can grow more in awe of all that His birth – and death – implies. I like that Thanksgiving starts the “holiday season,” because what more do we have to be grateful for than the Messiah, the Redeemer of the world and our individual souls?

In choir, we are singing a song called “Alleluia, Amen.” The entire text of the song consists of these two words (and mind you, “amen” is only sung once, almost at the very end.) I don’t mind though; we talked in class about the literal meaning of alleluia, and the implications of praise are truly what my soul cries out. I hope that I can praise my Lord and Redeemer as sincerely all year round. I hope that this season, and the seasons to come, I can more fully love Jesus Christ, and understand ever more how dearly, how wisely, how perfectly He loves me.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Meep-meep! ZOOOOOM...

Homework is killing me, like Chinese water torture meets a Coyote and Roadrunner cartoon. Which I guess equates with anvils being dropped on my head over and over -- that sounds about right.

It's so interesting though -- school really feels like a secondary consideration in my life right now. I am learning so much about myself and about God that I just can't find it in me to care quite so much about my grades.

Life is beautiful, even if Cs are not.

...And on an interesting sidenote, I have a date. I was at Mahon's apartment with Cindy and this guy came in to talk to Mahon for a second, something about who was living where next semester and if they wanted to room with him. He stayed to chat for a minute, Mahon brought up the fact that he and Cindy and I and a bunch of other people want to go to HogiYogi and watch a movie, since they've just set up their already-amazing upstairs (you should see the murals) to be a movie-theater. And then Mahon goes "oh, hey, this is Cindy and this is her roommate Sara. Sara needs a date for that, you should ask her." And poor Spencer was like "uhhhh...." but apparently he wasn't too opposed to it since we exchanged numbers. I only found out LATER that Mahon doesn't even really KNOW him! There were definitely better ways of doing this. But hey, Spencer seemed cute, and no creepy vibes. So we'll just have to see!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Booty-call? Yikes.

Sometimes, I just don't understand why certain people are in my life. Quite a contrast from my last post about being grateful for the people around me, I know, but mostly it's just one specific person.

This person and I had become very close, very quickly, and when it blew up in my face I dealt with it for only as long as I had to before I dropped the relationship completely. Interestingly, this bothered this person, so I reconsidered and decided to continue the relationship (with minimal emotional involvement on my part). And then this person just sort of disappeared from my life -- no e-mail, no calls, no texts, not even a "hello" sent down the grapevine from our mutual friend.

I was confused by this, but since I was going to cut off contact with this person myself, I let the situation drop out of my life.

And then, out of nowhere, I got a text message, along the lines of "hi, I hope this isn't a bad time, just wanted to see how you were doing." My reply: "I'm fine." This person then texted me again asking if I was mad at him, and I said no, just confused because this person had wanted to be my friend and then dropped out of my life again. This person then said that they had thought I hated them, to which I replied that I didn't bother wasting the time and energy -- that no, it really didn't matter.

Shortly there after, this person called me and we talked for a while -- mostly about this person's rather exciting job. It was good to hear from this person, since they are fun to talk to, and it's been fun to communicate with this person on facebook. However, well, remember how the short-and-intense relationship blew up in my face? Well, the reason for that ended up blowing up in this person's face. And now this person wants me to come see them and has, according to my roommates, "booty-called". What on earth??

My thought is that this person is very immature, for basically a lot of reasons, and needs to stop looking for a significant other and start looking for ---self. That is something I am working on so intensely lately...I want to be able to define my worth outside of a relationship so completely that when I finally am in a relationship, it will be because it is what God wants for me and because I know the person I am involved with is a truly wonderful person, instead of someone who just makes me feel good.

If I had known that before now, I may never have gotten involved with "this person" to begin with. Rereading the "I'm-not-going-to-talk-to-you-ever-again" e-mail conversation, I really don't understand why this person thought I was still mad...not when I said "I was probably hypocritical," etc., and later, "Did you get my last e-mail?" I would love to ask this person about this, but I already know I wouldn't really get a straight answer. Mostly I'm just grateful not to be this person . . . not to be dating this person . . .

And to be me, not dating anyone. God has a plan for me; I know it. Therefore, when I am ready for the quality of relationship I want in my life, He will provide. That's all there is to it. In the meantime, I am, in a sense, falling in love with myself. By that I mean learning to love myself deeply, including weaknesses and strengths and all the funny quirks that fall somewhere in between. This is what God wants for me right now, and I am grateful for that.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

This seems to be a time for me to be surrounded by people who are having a hard time. I never thought I would be the one that people come to when they need someone to talk to -- that whole shoulder to cry on thing -- but it seems to be the case lately, at least for a few select people.

It's sobering, really, and it's teaching me some things. For one, it can always be worse. My family could be more dysfunctional. I could get less sleep. I could worry more about money. I could be much less healthy. The list goes on and on, and I see more and more that I am amazingly blessed, with my temple-sealed family, hectic-but-doable schedule, adequate bank account, and wonderfully healthy body. I'm a very mellow person, so it's sometimes a challenge for me to smile and say "yes, life is going fantastically!" but the more I think about it, the more I realize that it truly is. I am so very blessed.

The other part of it is that I have a capacity to help others in my own way, that the "mellowness" is part of what draws more intense people in, the kind of people who live fully and deeply and who I enjoy being around. I'm learning lately to "fill the measure of my creation" (D&C 88:19) and maybe part of that is using the quirks of my personality to reach out to others. I've been praying lately that God will use me to build His kingdom, and show me how He does that, and I am so deeply amazed that God answers those prayers. In His excellent goodness and wisdom, He reminds me that He does hear me, does know me. I hope that in this experience I can learn to trust Him even when His influence is not so obvious.

It makes me want to write poetry.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Temporary Redhead, Permanent Daughter of God

Cindy, after noticing my bright red hair all over again, asked me, "So are you going to keep it that way?"

My answer kind of surprised me.

"No; no way. I figure God gave me brown hair, so why should I feel like that isn't good enough? This is temporary -- just for fun."

It wasn't so much the answer itself that surprised me as how emphatic I was about came out of my mouth and I thought, Wow, I really believe that.

Who am I to question how God created me?

Friday, November 9, 2007

Happy on His Terms

The past two days have been an exercise in learning to love me for me, in spite of being single, shy, silly, etc.

Yesterday, my best friend on the whole planet (we honestly read each other's minds; it's like those dumb twin movies) went with her boyfriend to a bonfire. I was invited, but by the end of the day I just get so worn out by people that I knew I'd be miserable by the end of it. So, although I knew it would be extremely fun, I stayed home and dyed my hair instead! It was extremely fun and now I have amazing, fiery-red hair. It'll fade in two-ish weeks, but I'm delighted that I did it just because I could. It brings out my green eyes wonderfully...the funny thing is that now my head clashes with a lot of my shirts! That and I no longer have any concept of my hair color, before or after.

Today, I went to a concert. By myself. And I had a blast! The concert was Peter Breinholt, who is just so much fun! At one point during the concert, he basically invited people to dance while he played. A handful of girls stood up and started jammin', and then a few scattered other people, and then this guy (who will forever be my hero) ran to the front by the stage. Lots of people, including yours truly, followed suit, and it was insanely fun. I kind of like my lack of inhibition, even if it sometimes makes me feel a little cRaZy.

Another big thing about the concert was how I accidentally sat by this girl in my Spanish class and her two friends. Being a BYU-I coed, I naturally would have loved to sit by some cute boy, but I decided from the moment I saw the-Spanish-class-girl-whose-name-I-do-not-remember that it honestly did not matter because I was going to be friendly to whoever. So I chatted with Tara for a few minutes before the concert and it was great fun. I'm learning not to mind this whole being-single thing -- people are people, right?

Before that, in Old Testament, I very nearly cried. In a good way, of course...we were talking about Moses, specifically the burning bush experience, and at one point Moses says, "O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue." The Lord's reply intrigues me..."Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?" I had always kind of assumed this was the Lord saying "Well you're just unfaithful...get more faith and then you won't have to worry about it, duh."

But what if the Lord actually meant "Moses, I know. I made you that way on purpose." It reminded me that this whole introverted thing is not a fluke, is not a mistake. It's a challenge, but one that will bless me and one that somehow, the Lord will use to build His kingdom. Mary, one of my roommates from last fall, called me today and when I told her about this experience, I added "I have no idea HOW the Lord will use it for His work, but I guess I just have to trust Him." Her reply: "Well I know how!" She went on to explain that she really loved living with me because I had a way of nonjudgmentally listening to the whole story, and then without being insulting explained what might be the other side of the picture. I don't say this to toot my own horn or anything, just to use it as a demonstration of God's love and how He works through people, like Mary telling me how great she thinks I am on a day I particularly need to hear it.

I'm fairly convinced that this is just what happens when you ask the Lord to help you know what to pray for...and then pray for it...and then trust Him to provide in his own way and time.
I've been experimenting on the word and am happy to say that the Lord does provide -- you just have to be willing to take things on His terms. Since He's so much smarter (and nicer) than I am, I'm okay with that. I'm learning not to formulate my own ideas for things too quickly, because I know that God wants what is best for me and so I should want what He wants instead of making up my own ideas of "happy" and then being disappointed when they don't work out.

All in all, as I learn to love myself, I find myself loving God more and being more available to Him day to day. I'm so grateful for that.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Greetings, earthlings

I am a big (okay, HUGE) fan of my best friend's blog and the more I read it, the more I felt like I wanted to start my own. I had a blog on livejournal for a while, but I've heard good things about blogspot and it just seems more adult and accessible overall. So, here I am!

I can't promise to always be creative and eloquent and fascinating (I'll leave that to Cindy!) but I'm looking forward to seeing what comes of this and sharing, among other things, my journey to find my own personal "recipe for happy," and I'm glad you're along for the ride.