Monday, February 28, 2011

I delight in the strength to do hard things.

Life has a way of bringing hard things our way. We can fight it all we want but the hard things will always be there. But they don't have to be quite so hard. In fact, the Savior said:

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." — Matthew 11:28-30.

and some snippits from one of my FAVORITE chapters in the Book of Mormon, from Alma 37:

6Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise.

7And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord dothconfound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.

13O remember, remember, my son Helaman, how strict are the commandments of God. And he said: If ye will keep my commandments ye shall prosper in the land—but if ye keep not his commandments ye shall be cut off from his presence.

17For he will fulfil all his promises which he shall make unto you, for he has fulfilled his promises which he has made unto our fathers.

35O, remember, my son, and learn wisdom in thy youth; yea, learn in thy youth to keep the commandments of God.

36Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thydoings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.

37Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

38And now, my son, I have somewhat to say concerning the thing which our fathers call a ball, or director—or our fathers called it Liahona, which is, being interpreted, a compass; and the Lord prepared it.

39And behold, there cannot any man work after the manner of so curious a workmanship. And behold, it was prepared to show unto our fathers the course which they should travel in the wilderness.

40And it did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day.

41Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means it did show unto them marvelous works. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey;

42Therefore, they tarried in the wilderness, or did not travel a direct course, and were afflicted with hunger and thirst, because of their transgressions.

43And now, my son, I would that ye should understand that these things are not without a shadow; for as our fathers were slothful to give heed to this compass (now these things were temporal) they did not prosper; even so it is with things which are spiritual.

44For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land.

So maybe, its not as hard as we think it is. The theme in all these scriptures is that we can't do hard things by our own strength but by the strength of the Lord and the power provided through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I believe God wants a powerful people. He does not give us trials to weigh us down but to lift us up. But that 'lifting' part can't come until we let it, until we actively invite it and let it become a part of us. Its easy to be slothful. As one of my favorite hymns puts it, sometimes "I'm prone to wander." Never too far, but far enough that I can feel the weight of the hard things and think...what's wrong? Well, I'm grateful for the 'heart' check happens and for the 'return' that is always possible.

I truly delight in the strength to do hard things. I delight to have people in my life who live in their lives an example of delighting in the hard things. To be something we've never before been, we must do things we've never before done.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

I delight in a "Christin-ism."

The scene: Christin is showing me her new 'Kool-aid' shirt and coloring book. From the kitchen, Mom says: "Girls, come and eat." to which Christin replies "Not home." She's so whitty.

Next, we're discussing various things over dinner. Christin chimes in "my friend is 'pek-nek'"--to which my Grandparents faces begin to look very confused while my Dad and I begin chuckling (knowing what she's intending to say). Dad says, "Oh she's going on a picnic?" Christin: "No Dad, 'pek-nek.'" Finally after going back and forth a few times, we clue my grandparents in...she's saying "pregnant." Then we all begin to laugh. Grandpa says, "Well pregnant, picnic, same thing right?" Maybe you had to be there but it was funny.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I delight in a blogging break.

Yesterday's delight: catching up with Sarah and hearing all about her time in America. Eating at Crown Burger--nothing beats their fry sauce. And finally, a late night trip to Smiths including a sit-down adventure on the cosmetics aisle and a lesson in comparative Australian/American make-up pricing. Yep, it was a pretty entertaining and all around hilarious day/night/morning when in the wee early hours I finally retired to bed. But oh hey, today is a new day and not quite as 'delightful' as yesterday.

This may or may not be a delight you can relate with but today, I'm seriously delighting in a blogging break. No no, I'm not taking a break from blogging, I'm just taking a break from the other 10 million things that need to be done before, oh when? Oh that's right, Monday to blog--reach out to the outside world and remember for a moment that there are other things in life besides clinic, planning for clinic, writing clinic case histories, writing treatment records and re-writing clinic goals, methods and baselines. Right now I'm not sure what those other things are but I'm sure they exist. And so, when this post you see, just think of me...holed up somewhere in isolation writing away! Have a glorious weekend unless you're in my program then I wish you the most productive weekend of your life!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I delight in good quotes!

“The system by which the gospel principles are weaved together in a fabric…keeps them in check and in balance with each other. You see, the doctrines of Jesus Christ by themselves are dangerous. Any principle of the gospel, isolated, spun off, and practiced in solitude goes wild and goes mad. It is only the orthodoxy of the gospel that keeps it together, …to focus on one principle of the gospel and exclude the others produces [a] kind of madness and wildness. To preserve orthodoxy is the great balancing act. It is the mission and the excitement and call of life in the institution of the Church.”

(Neal A. Maxwell, In Charge to Religious Educators, p. 96 )

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I delight in inspired trips to DI.

Monday, Mom and I ventured to the Deseret Industries (also known as the DI, a fabulous thrift store of sorts). I'd spent the day doing homework and was in dire need of a break and since the DI has moved so conveniently close, Mom and I pop by there occasionally when I'm home. On the way there we discussed why we like to go to DI. Our conclusion? Tradition and the possibility of finding a treasure--colorful pyrex dishes, jadite, cool record for Craig, good church books--yes we go mostly for the 'antiquing aspect.'

So we wandered in, took our usual route back to the glass dishes and then met back up at the books/collectibles cases. Mom asked me what books I was looking for when something caught her eye in the glass case..."Oliver Cowdery, Second Elder and Scribe" by Stanley R. Gunn. It took a minute for me to connect the dots but I clued in when she said, "Its Uncle Stan's book."

You see my whole life I've heard about "Aunt Mary." Aunt Mary this and Aunt Mary that. To me, she rivaled Wonder Woman, the way Mom talked about her. It seemed she taught my Mom everything from sewing to painting. She was in so many of my Mom and her sister's childhood memories that my cousin and I have joked for years how we can't wait to one day meet this "Aunt Mary" who is so 'highly acclaimed' by our mothers.

Well, Aunt Mary's husband was Uncle Stan who once upon a time in 1962 published a book--the very book we found in the DI. My Mom had always wished she had a copy of the book and there it was, sitting underneath the class in the collectible session in perfect condition. Coincidence? I think not.

Why do we go to the DI? Well apparently sometimes we go because we're inspired, because there is something we're supposed to find when we go.

Another treasure? Uncle Stan had also personally addressed the book to a former seminary student of his and signed it.

Monday, February 21, 2011

I delight in a voice.

Afflictions in life can easily act as a blockade. Whether its something inside of you or outside of you that somehow in someway 'keeps you' from becoming who you want to be, who you think you could be. A thing called potential. Your potential.

Potential is a powerful thing and for some is a great motivator to keep pushing, keep trying, keep fighting to become something great. However, for others potential can be like a stormy rain cloud like you see in Charlie Brown cartoons, always reminding you that 'if things were different' you could be somewhere different than where you currently are.

I am grateful to those who give afflictions a voice. Who teach the rest of us that in-spite of hard things we can achieve greatness.

Recently, I have been deeply intrigued by the attention the topic of stuttering has received due to the recent release of the movie, "The King's Speech." Considering that I am currently enrolled in a graduate course on the topic of Fluency Disorders (which in effect is an entire course dedicated to the subject of stuttering) I find my own set of 'myths about stuttering' being debunked and my heart being continually drawn out to those who have at some point or still do struggle with stuttering.

I am impressed by the reaction of the media to "The King's Speech" and I truly hope that persons who stutter find a greater voice and a greater power to achieve greatness and fight for their dreams. Coming from someone who has found what they loved and is having the opportunity to do what they love...I want that for others as well. There is such great power, motivation and drive to learn, grow, become and serve when you're able to pursue and do something you're passionate about!

This write up was initiated by this article, found here.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I delight in space exploration.

I can hardly believe its been an entire year since I witnessed this sight and felt the rumble of the space shuttle Endeavor taking off from Cape Canaveral. This is what I wrote about the experience soon after:
"About 5 minutes before launch, we sang the National Anthem and I can't even begin to describe the patriotistic pride that penetrated the air. It was this thick, genuine feeling for all that the space program stands for: Freedom. Innovation. Optimism. Future. Knowledge. Growth. Progress. Gratitude. Love.

And so, as we counted down together, it was like the entire audience became a family and as the 4:14 am sky lit up with the glow of pure ENERGY... you couldn't help but have a tear come to your eye...indescribable. Smiles definitely abounded.

As the crew reached orbit at 8.5 minutes...we all cheered! :) They were literally out of this world.

I have spent my entire life around the space program but I can honestly say that until today...I didn't really catch the 'vision' of everything the space program stands for and why it is significant in my life. Not only is it the lively hood of my Dad as it was for my Grandpa but to me it stands for everything truly American. I cannot think of anything more American. Working on an international level with upteen countries intricately building the international space center...its a great unifier. And its a great work that unifies us...research, learning, knowledge, technology that is beneficial to all people of all nations of the world. That is unique."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I delight in 5 more friends.

"You just got yourself 5 more friends."

That's what someone told me tonight. No, they weren't facebook friends, they weren't pretend friends--I think they are 5 lifelong true friends! Isn't that fantastic?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

I delight in 'weekend.'

Today as I was leaving the clinic, I told my supervisor to have a good weekend. She looked at me and said, "Weekend? Erin, its Wednesday." I laughed and said, well this week seems long enough so far that its about time for a weekend! Seriously though, by the time Wednesday night hits, I'm in bliss because I don't have to plan another clinic session until Monday and this weekend I'm extra excited because I don't have to plan another one until Wednesday! That's a whole week! I love clinic, I really do but the preparation stresses me out as does the paperwork. I will be grateful for some 'non-due-date-pushing' time where I can actually do a variety of different things on my to-do list instead of just clinic. I can study for exams, write letters of intent for medical externships, do some readings for my classes, finally put my pictures onto a CD so I can post them here for you to see, make some calls to people I've been thinking about a lot, go the bank to cash a check, have a sleepover with Christin, type my stuttering notes, prepare for clinic and do some cleaning...its about time! And my book, its the weekend. :) Welcome to it!

I delight in school.

the most entertaining part of my day came a 'weirdy moment.'
you see, i had a voice exam , first exam of the semester...always intense because you just don't know how the professor tests.
i did enjoy studying for the exam though...there is something about anatomy that makes my heart really happy. plus there's something about phonatory anatomy that makes my heart even happier! so many tiny little muscles and cartilages and nerves working together to make an amazingly distinct and unique voice--one that identifies YOU. isn't that cool? am i the only one who thinks is absolutely miraculous AND fantastic? anyway, so i'm taking this exam and all of a sudden i went from this moment of feeling intensely sick to feeling absolute joyful. i had this epiphany moment where i realized--i love school and i loved being tested on stuff i loved learning!!! i may be crazy but i do i love learning new things! specifically i love learning these things! this grad program is the place for me! seriously, it makes my heart happy! it consumes my life and i complain about it sometimes sure, but overall...the good outweighs the stress.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I delight in love.

One of my favorite songs says it best, "Love is the sweetest thing." And I agree.
A few things of the things that have made this 'day dedicated to love' one of the best yet are:
--an abundance of genuine 'love notes' from friends and family!
--the sweet heart sugar cookie that greeted me in the kitchen this morning.
--a 'campus survival kit' full of the most necessary and thoughtful items.
--homemade food for a very busy week.
--how hard my mom laughed when i talked to her.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I delight that love is a song that never ends.

Wow, last week was a little too out of control and this week is looking to be about the same way. Like Lindsay has said on multiple occasions this week--"People keep telling me, 'Don't work to hard.' I just tell them, 'Don't worry, I can't work hard enough." And so it seems to be going right now! No matter how hard I work, it seems there is always more to be done. In fact, this week I have never been so tempted break some of my 'non-negotiables.' Things that in my book, for my own reasons just aren't things that even have room for negotiation...I just don't do them or I can't not do them. One key example being: doing homework on Sunday. A long time ago I decided that it was keeping my mind from being where it needed to be on the Sabbath day. So, I decided I wasn't going to do homework on Sunday any more. Surely sacrifices are required most weekends but the Lord has proven to me over and over, more times than I can count that obedience to this law--brings blessings ten fold. And so, even though part of me wants to be very stressed this Sunday because Saturday didn't have enough hours in it to get everything done (I know right?), I know it will all work out. It always has in the past so why would that change now?

So this morning I woke up (feeling surprisingly well rested), with big plans to attend Music and the Spoken Word down at the Tabernacle at Temple Square. Both friends I had planned on going with woke up with super sore throats so for me that meant staying home or going alone. I sat on my bed in debate and then looked outside. The sunshine called my name and off I went and I'm so grateful I did. You see, I think the Lord needed to remind me of something that well...I needed to be reminded of. There is this world outside the little bubble I live in. I could hardly believe it myself. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in what I need to do, what's due next week, when my next exam is, how I'm going to target that goal in therapy, when I'm going to have time to get this or that done that I completely forget that there are 'bigger things,' other things besides me. I almost forget about the beauty of God's creations, about taking time to serve and to 'never suppress a generous thought'. I needed the wake up call to what life was really about, the call to put some perspective in my life. Perhaps this lack of perspective is what has kept this blog rather barren since the beginning of the semester--I allowed myself to get such tunnel vision that I began to loose sight of the many delights of life. Well, the spirit touched my soul in such a beautiful way today, reminding me of my Savior's love and the undeviating course available to each of us--the way to eternal life. As the choir sang songs about love in its many forms I remembered...Valentine's is tomorrow. My thoughts centered on the love of our Heavenly Father for all his children and the love I have for the people in my life. I was especially of the importance of this love as the tabernacle choir sang, "Love is a song (watch the clip above)." I heard them practice this song over the summer at a Thursday night rehearsal I attended. I needed reminder that day and I needed that same reminder today--love is a song that never ends. Bambi, the movie, has long had a special place in my heart. While it now would make me cry really hard, at one point, when I was very young, I loved this movie. In so much that I memorized the words before I could read from my parents reading it to me so many times. I would then claim to 'read' it to other people when really I was just reciting the words that I knew were on each page and turned the pages accordingly. Well today, the choir sang this song straight to my soul:
Love is a song that never ends
Life may be swift and fleeting
Hope may die yet love's beautiful music
Comes each day like the dawn

Love is a song that never ends
One simple theme repeating
Like the voice of a heavenly choir
Love's sweet music flows on
What a beautiful message for this beautiful season of Spring. As I listened to this little old man who was talking to his little old wife after the broadcast he said, "Just look at this, there is sunshine on my face and no rain falling from the sky. I can get used to this." I couldn't help but turn around and say, "me too!" Life is too beautiful, too wonderful to let it pass by almost unnoticed. Taking time to do the things that matter most, make all the difference. A lesson I've learned many times and a lesson I always seem to need to be reminded of again.

In closing, I'll leave you with this quote from a famous author (Nicholas Sparks) that Brother Newell shared during the broadcast today, I think its beautiful and the lessons we can learn from those around us who have truly learned to love not only God but their spouse, children and even themselves...well they are wonderful examples to us all.

"I am nothing special; just a common man with common thoughts, and I've led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten. But in one respect I have succeeded as gloriously as anyone who's ever lived: I've loved another with all my heart and soul; and to me, this has always been enough."

Friday, February 11, 2011

I delight in the place.

I delight in this place. Living in Salt Lake is something I never thought would appeal to me but its grown on me. I think living in where I do helps with that because I still live in the city but not "IN--in" the city. I can avoid traffic for the most part in getting to and from school which is the only place I really commute to. The other thing I delight in about it is how close I live to where so much of the history of Utah really began. 'This is the place.' As I was driving today (I don't even know the name of the road) I got a good view of Salt Lake Valley and I couldn't help but think to myself--look at what's become of this beautiful desert!

It serves as a reminder to me that life is what you make it and that with cultivation and creation--anything is possible!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I delight in words to remember.

Sometimes, someone says just the right thing. Just what you needed to hear to be able to continue pushing along. Some of those statements for me have been:

"i want to see 'en' again."
"oh heddo!"
"you're really getting the hang of this."
"just calling to break up your studying and say hello"
"you put me in my seat and took my boy"
"be strong"

To you this is probably a random collection of phrases. Some of them you might not even know how to pronounce and given most of them came from children under the age of 5, or from Christin. However, regardless of where they came from, they've been the answer to my prayer!

Friday, February 4, 2011

I delight in a fellow friend.

Christin and her 'color bag' and Misty the dog.

My Mom and I were at Staples (a store we at one time vowed we'd never step foot in again and we would have except...) buying 'twisty-crayons' for Christin. She HAS to have the Staples kind. Not the Crayola kind or the Roseart kind or any other kind...only Staples. We don't know why. But its worth it. Christin a) is adorable and b) has been carrying around 4 (or more) coloring books and her Staples twisty crayons in a bag everywhere she goes for oh 10 years now? Wow!

So tonight we were buying more twisty-crayons--she was out of red. At the checkout, the girl asked if we wanted a rewards card. I told her we buy 'twisty-crayons' at Staples for my sister. "Oh is she an artist?" Mom and I kind of looked at each other..."Yes," I said. Mom smiled, looked at the girl and said, "She has Down syndrome." The girl's eyes lit up, "My sister has Down syndrome too!" Connection***Moment! Her sister is 16, loves Hannah Montana and loves to color pictures that her sister draws for her! That's right, someone else draws lots of pictures for their sister too! Whenever people see the books I've made Christin--they say its so cute but kind of crazy because its so time consuming. But it makes her so happy, I can't not do this one little thing that brings her months and months of joy to color (in the case of the first book I made her, it lasted her my whole mission). This girl sketches Disney characters and then photocopies them for her sister over and over again until her sister gives her new characters to draw. By the time our conversation ended, she and I both had tears in our eyes as we expressed our love for these sweet people in our lives.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I delight saliency.

There is something about the experience of sand and ocean air that sticks with you.
The smell, the feel, the touch, the peace, the cool, the perfection of the moment.
Today I'm grateful for the vivid memories of the experience I had this summer on the red sandy beaches of prince edward island. And in the moments we most need it...
these memories come back for a visit!

Today I'm buried in paperwork, working under deadlines, trying to balance class, clinic, and life...nothing new really. But the other day I bought a skipping rope also known as a jump rope.
Instead of getting frustrated sitting in a sea of paperwork, I decided I need to allot breaks for skipping rope. A time when I put out of my mind my school work and think of happy things. Today's happy thing was the memory of this beach while skipping rope.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

I delight in new facts.

I'm up to my ears in lesson plans, goal writing, probes, baselines, therapy cards, creative craft projects and scavenger hunts. In my madness...I learned something interesting...

I'm pretty sure everyone has wondered "is that much crying normal?" (to grad students probably yes, okay okay...we're actually just talking about crying babies) After all how much should a baby be crying? Well here's what my dandy artic book says:

Mean amount of crying/24 hours
1-3 months=90 minutes, mostly in the evenings
4-6 months= 64.7 minutes, mostly afternoon
7-9 months= 60.5 minutes, afternoon/evening
10-12 months-86.4 minutes, mostly evening
Other studies show a decrease at 10+ months

All this according to McGlaughlin and Grayson, 2003

Just a tidbit for the g-wiz file! :)