Saturday, April 30, 2011

I delight in the power of one.

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any.

Last night I had the incredible experience and privilege of attending a performance by the special needs mutual. They are a group of youth/adult members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter -Day Saints with special needs who join together each week. Every year they put on a presentation and invite everyone to attend. This year's presentation was "Be Strong in our Standards." It was based around the church's pamphlet and program entitled "For the Strength of Youth." My commitment to the foundational principles of the gospel were strengthened as I felt the testimonies and love of each participant in the program as they performed in skits, sang songs, and recited their lines.

My Mom worked extra hard with Christin to help her learn her lines. "Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not bear false witness." Christin can't read but Mom had worked hard with her on being able to recognize and sound out the initial phonemes (sounds) of each of the words. She did a great job and was SO proud of herself. They all performed to the best of their abilities. I love the billboard put up by Workers Compensation (I think)...'Don't dis-ABILITY.' While they may not have the same abilities or looks as you or I, they have so many abilities that reach beyond what the world values. Smiles that warm the soul. Testimonies that touch the deepest part of the heart. They live lives that teach and testify the eternal truth that 'Charity Never Faileth.'

A few weeks ago, I sat at my homeward in Sunday School. It was an unusual occasion because a) I rarely/never go to my homeward when I'm home on Sundays. I usually go with Craig to the singles ward. And b) My parents had been invited to attend a different Sunday School class so it was just Christin and I from our family in Gospel Doctrine. The lesson was on Christ-like attributes and in essence child-like attributes. The teacher began class by having members of the class suggest attributes that children have...kind, obedient, loving, trusting etc etc. As they told of different experiences I couldn't help but watch Christin color, unaware of the conversation going on around her. I couldn't help but think...they're speaking of her, she's right here. The Christ-like attributes are so well personified and embodied in countless precious souls, children with special needs, children with special gifts.

Over the course of my life, I have had people tell me on a number of occasions that they could 'never have a child with a disability' or that they just 'wouldn't be able to handle this or that.' Almost every time I interrupt them and inform them that they could if they had to and that its not bad, its just different. Life often goes differently than we plan but it never means its bad, just that its different. Everyone has the power to change the world: in every deed they do, in every word they say. You have just as much power as the next person. Make it work together for your good...that's the key to success. That's the power of one.

Mosiah 3:19For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

Friday, April 22, 2011

I delight in reese's eggs.

These are the best. Seriously. Go buy some before Easter is over.
And so, the inspiration for today...
Delight daily.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I delight in educating desires.

photo by my dad...its a porcupine in a tree

Currently, I'm doing just that...educating my desires. I am passionate about helping people and about communication, hence I'm studying speech-language pathology, its the perfect match! On my mission of my district leaders gave a fantastic training about the importance of educating our desires. It made an everlasting impact on my life...we have desires for reasons and it is up to us to educate those desires. So if you desire to learn cake decorating, Sister Oaks said the classes at Michaels are 'fabulous,' if you desire to sew, well by golly learn how, if your passion is rocks, go rockhounding, if your passion is people, talk to them, if your passion is learning french, well learn it! A world of knowledge is at our finger tips, what we choose to learn is entirely up to us.

All semester I have been working with the two most amazing little boys. They have captivated my heart and have driven me to do things I never thought I could do. My expectations have risen has they have in turn risen to the occasion and reached beyond their goals. Today was the last time I'll have them in therapy. It breaks my heart in someways but in other ways I feel nothing but pure joy. Joy in their confidence and their honed abilities to express themselves. They have impacted my life and truly 'shown me how its done.'

What does a picture of porcupine have to do with any of this? Nothing. Pretend its a beaver will goes better with my story. The word beaver was difficult word for one of my clients. We worked on it and worked on it...why am I working on the word beaver? He loves animals and it was in our book (It's Not Easy Being A Bunny). Anyway, we worked and worked and he has beaver down now as well as bear, bird, pig, moose, possum and skunk. Today as he read the book (with my help of course) to his next semester clinician my heart radiated with joy as I heard him say beaver with ease. He was no longer the shy boy who was insistent the word was 'too hard.' He was now the boy saying the word was 'easy.' His primary desire is to communicate, to interact back with the world around him. He's working so hard to educate himself, to learn and to do it better, so others will understand him. He is my example of the importance of taking control of what we want to do in life and doing it. And so, life lesson from a 4 year old hit home for me today....'Educate Your Desires.'

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I delight in the unexpected life.

Tonight Sister Kristen M. Oaks (wife of Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) came to speak to my relief society. All day I had been teetering with going or not going. But I decided a long time ago, that I was going to go. So I did. And boy am I glad I did.

I walked in to a beautiful table of refreshments for after--delicious looking cupcakes. So, I'm headed into the chapel, I turn the corner, and there is 1 person standing in the foyer...Elder Oaks. Imagine my surprise. I say, something...I don't even know what, it caught me so off guard. All I remember was spoke to me in the MTC. Anyway, he greeted me and I him, and he thanked me for coming. He thanked me...I thanked him back!

So that was neat! :) And his wife...well she is really fantastic. She recently wrote a book called A Single Voice. She spoke to us of our experiences we now face and potentially will face as single sisters in the church, for however long our 'single-ness' lasts. I was so appreciative of the words she spoke on many levels, if you want more details about the talk, I'll happily tell you all about it but for now...I'll share the inspiration that spoke so powerfully to my heart.

The unexpected life is no less a life.

And isn't that true. And won't it continue to be true...for whatever life holds for each of us. Whatever it is...its a life, we signed up for this!!! :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

P.S. Thank you for the smile.

I know right now I'm blogging about my 'lessons learned' but I just have to interject this delight in. Yesterday I was feeling like a horrible person. I felt so selfish, so consumed in my to-do list, my schedule, my courses that the thought of serving someone else, wasn't ever in my head. What more can I do...I asked myself over and over again while gazing at the full moon from my bed. A member of the custodial staff here at Willard (the U of U library) helped me answer that question.

Here I was typing away, catching up on yesterday's unfinished paperwork when a man pushing a trash can walks in. What do I do? Smile. What else would you do. Well I suppose I could have not looked up, I could have ignored his presence but a smile was the automatic response. I didn't think another thing about it. Smiles aren't completely uncommon, especially for me, but they are much less common when I am stressed, concerned or when I have a lot on my mind. Anyway...he went about his work in the graduate reading room, but then before leaving, walked past my table and quietly whispered..."thank you for the smile."

Thank you for the smile? Really? It was so sincere, so heartfelt that it makes me almost want to cry. I know nothing about this man and whose to say a smile really has potential for impact...but it apparently made a difference to him, so much so that he went out of his way to acknowledge it with more than just a smile back. And so, while I may not be picking up litter off the side of the road, visiting elderly neighbors and family members or working at the local food bank, I can make a difference to the one who needs a smile. The one whose day can be so easily brightened by a propped door, a simple hello, or a listening ear.

And so, to the man who thanked me...I say thank you, for reminding me about what's really important.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I delight in tact.

Silence isn't golden, but tact is. President Simpson (concerning training nm's).

A critical lesson that some never learn.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I delight in being inspired.

I've decided for the next few weeks, I'll mostly be posting a series of my favorite inspirational phrases. They're not really quotes because none of them are longer than a line, but they're all essentially lessons I've learned that have greatly impacted my life. Please share things that have inspired you or 'one-liner' lessons you've learned. Somedays I'll share stories about how I learned the lesson and other days, I'll just share the lesson. And so, for you go:

"Be so good at what you do that they cannot ignore you."

Last night I went to a screening of the documentary film MissRepresentation. While I can't say I would necessarily recommend it due to some graphic images, I think its a phenomenal movie. And the images aren't anything you haven't seen before. The basis of the movie is how women are represented in film and media. What we worry about. What we allow to consume our thoughts and the focus of our time. Its sad really. We as women must not allow our divine nature and character to be demoralized by degrading media that constantly advertises that being a 'real' woman is dependent on our relationship with men and how we look. Someone during the course of the movie mentioned that if women spent 10% of the time they spend worrying about their weight and how they look on just doing good, we could change the world.

As I drove home and reflected on the role of women from the perspective of the gospel, I couldn't help but smile as I recognized how women are empowered by the true restored doctrines in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I truly believe that God wants a powerful people, powerful men and powerful women. The hand that rocks the cradle, rules the world, that is power and that power is not to be taken lightly. We can impact lives in a very unique and wonderful way thus it is our responsibility as women to be well educated, to know who we are, why we're here, and to recognize the impact we can have on those around us.

As I discussed life and the gospel with my Mom yesterday, we talked about how serving in the church, specifically serving other women can be hard sometimes. But life isn't supposed to be a 'hoodie of happiness.' The armor of God was not designed to be comfortable it was designed to help us bring about the work of salvation.

Let us be inspired to do a little more good. Let us take a stand in not supporting forms of women that don't represent women in appropriate ways.

What does all this have to do with the initial quote? Well its from the movie and I think its profound. YOU can make a difference in the world, don't doubt that. Sometimes though, it takes being so good at what you do that no one can ignore you.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I delight in the ability to persevere.

I say that like it already happened...but it hasn't.
Most people have hit the end of the term or are hitting it, in other words, they're almost done with the semester.
I am one of the lucky people who isn't done for THREE more weeks.
I'm only 1/2 complaining with that comment. I love school and I'm grateful to have time to do all the paperwork, studying, etc that this semester still holds for me.
I am complaining in that I'm itching to go somewhere, do something different. If I have to write one more report I fear my brain will implode. Spring break was too long ago.
And so, the ability to persevere...a much needed ability right now.

Monday, April 11, 2011

I delight in learning and growth.

In an informal survey that I requested be taken among 150 young adults, they were asked to list three resolutions they felt would help them become happier and more successful during the new year. Almost everyone in the survey (98 percent) included resolutions to increase their spirituality. Two out of three (68 percent) indicated they would like to improve their social skills. Half (49 percent) indicated a desire to improve their physical fitness, and half (48 percent) wanted to grow intellectually. Everyone indicated a desire to improve. After all, self-improvement by coming unto Christ is at the heart of why we are here in mortality.

In the Sermon on the Mount, the Savior is recorded as saying, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48). In the Joseph Smith Translation, the first part of that sentence is rendered, “Ye are therefore commanded to be perfect” (JST, Matt. 5:50). The translation of the Greek word for perfect means “complete, finished, fully developed.” Some biblical analysts indicate that the suggestion to become perfect is exaggerated idealism or scriptural hyperbole. We as Latter-day Saints believe that the Savior meant what he said and that becoming like our Father in Heaven and the Savior is a commandment, not just a suggestion. We should strive continually to be more like them. After his resurrection, the Savior asked his disciples, “What manner of men ought ye to be?” and then answered, “Even as I am” (3 Ne. 27:27).

Only one verse of scripture in the entire King James Version of the New Testament suggests what the Savior did to develop himself from age twelve until he began his formal ministry at age thirty: “Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man” (Luke 2:52; see JST, Matt. 3:24–26). In other words, the Savior developed in the same areas indicated on the poll: intellectually (in wisdom and knowledge), physically (in stature), socially (in favor with man), and spiritually (in favor with God).

I am convinced that if we make and keep resolutions in those four areas, we will have a happier and more successful new year this coming year and every year for the rest of our lives. Let’s consider the nature of such resolutions and the benefits that can be ours if our resolve to improve ourselves is firm.

Resolution number one: I resolve to expand my intellectual horizons, to increase in wisdom. This year, commit to read good books throughout your life. Some people learn to read but don’t read very much. A few years ago, a disturbing poll indicated that 56 percent of college graduates never read a book all the way through after their schooling. We might ask ourselves, Are we reading? Are we growing in wisdom?

The scriptural commandment to us is to “seek … out of the best books words of wisdom” and “become acquainted with all good books, and with languages, tongues, and people” (D&C 88:118; D&C 90:15; emphasis added). What we choose to read will make a huge difference in the development of our minds and character.

We cannot justify mentally shifting into neutral and failing to exert our efforts to progress intellectually. In 1838 Sidney Rigdon, a member of the First Presidency, addressed a group of relatively new members of the Church, some of whom apparently thought all they had to do was be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and then just sit back and wait to receive the celestial glory. He said: “Vain are the hopes of those who embrace the gospel, and then suppose … they have nothing more to do. … The great God … never thought of … raising up a society of ignoramuses, but of men and women of intelligence … as high as human nature was susceptible” (Elders’ Journal, Aug. 1838, p. 53).

So the challenge is the same for us all—to continue learning throughout our lives, and especially learning more about the gospel.

--Elder Joe J. Christensen (whole talk can be found here)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

I delight in talents.

Today, Craig told me that a relative moved into the singles ward. Really? I said. This might be typical for a lot of people, but not for us. Of course, Craig, being a family history whiz and all, puts connections together much better than I do. All he needed to hear was the last name Hinckley and the state of Washington and his wheels were turning. I on the other hand, didn't even know we were related to any Hinckley's. Anyway...I'm sure at this point, Craig went home and checked through the databases to see if this kid was indeed related. Well, today he sat next to the kid and inquired. Craig's passion of family history can get him to do a lot of things he wouldn't typically sitting down and initiating a conversation with someone. Anyway, indeed his suspicion was correct. Craig asked the boy if he was related to a Rhonda Hinckley and sure enough, it was his Grandma. And so, somehow, through my great grandparents...we're related. Don't ask me how. That's why I have Craig as a brother, he's always just a phone call away. I appreciate this talent that Craig has. I appreciate how many lives he blesses through the work that he does. I also appreciate the diligence with which he searches for family members and his bravery in contacting people he doesn't even know. Very very cool.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

I delight in Divine Comedy.

BYU Divine Comedy as a whole, is hilarious. After watching about 4 clips I felt so reassured about all I had experienced during my days at really happened! Anyway, post-BYU graduation and a mission (where I got to watch the movie The Testaments possibly a few too many times) I currently find myself at the school north of Happy Valley where things like this...just don't happen. And so if you know BYU or you know the testaments...this will be wholarious...enjoy. Afterward, check out BYU Divine Comedy's other act called Firebolt if you want a good HP (Harry Potter) laugh.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I delight in beautiful snow.

Someone once told me eskimos had 16 words for snow. Wikipedia just informed me that wasn't true. But according to me (and wikipedia can't be wrong about me) there are 3 kinds of snow...
1. Blowey snow: hello maritimes. Supposedly the snow is falling down but it swirls around so much its like the charlie brown song, "the snow grows up just like the flowers."

2. Snowball snow: again, not so common here in Utah (home of supposedly the "best snow on earth" but in the maritimes there's a saying "big snowflakes, short snow, little snowflakes, long snow."

3. Beautiful snow: this snow is my favorite. It seems to be in now rush. It falls at its own rate and in its own time. This snow is my favorite for taking pictures (see above). This snow is my favorite for being out and about in. Its like living in a snow globe. This is the snow that has been falling for and entire 24 hours now...I have yet to be sick of it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I delight in wise words of wisdom.

46O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us. The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever.

I delight in clean.

I hate when things fall into disarray. Its a slow fade too. A rotating stack of papers. Shoes that don't have a space in the shoe organizer. Books that get put on the floor because they haven't made their way to the bookshelf. All little things in the beginning but soon enough you have a pile of 'junk' not because its not valuable but because you don't use it because you can't find it when you need it, you forget you have it!
Organization, cleanliness. Godliness.
I feel more at home in a clean space. As Sister Jacobsen taught me the first night in the mission home, "Don't have any homeless stuff. Make sure everything has a home." I think that is a valuable piece of advice. And I gave stuff homes. Now I can re-focus on course work and other more important things.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I delight in the fall back meal.

Alas, when I don't know what to eat for dinner I have 1 trusty go to. And it only requires 2 ingredients that I always seem to have (fortunate eh?).

Grilled cheese. Wheat bread+Tillamook Cheddar Cheese=1 Not hungry grad student.

I eat it for dinner and sometimes I even eat it for breakfast. Sometimes I shake it up and I even put Turkey on it. Yes...I know that's a big step...a whole other ingredient.

And so, next time you need a fall back meal...delight in a grilled cheese. Always delicious!

I delight in the wisdom of Anne (with an E).

"I went looking for my dreams outside of myself and discovered, it's not what the world holds for you, it's what you bring to it."

Miss Anne Shirley

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I delight in my mind's eye.

my favorite place

I'm not exactly sure what that means...'mind's eye.' But it reminds me of a scripture.

Matthew 6: 22: The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.

I can't say I'd ever given this scripture much thought until it was one of my mission companion's favorite scriptures, after that, it seems I have thought about this scripture a lot. It means different things at different times, but the overarching question I have whenever I think about this scripture is: "Where's your focus?"

Where are you setting your sights? What is your eye focused on? What's in your scope of vision and how are you progressing toward that goal?

Yesterday it seems I found myself thinking a lot about places I'd rather be than where I currently am. I'm not sure why. I'm rather happy with where I am and the current opportunities life is affording me. Sometimes however, I get caught up in my own thoughts of where I could be, where I want to be. While the latter question is probably better than the former, neither thought is as empowering as the thought: how am I using the now to prepare me for what lies ahead. Thinking thoughts like that gives perspective to not only the future but the present.

And so, today in my mind's eye I'm dreaming of warmer days and time to exercise. Healthier days (3 balanced meals and orange juice that doesn't taste like licorice). Days of less stress (test, paper, clinic, externships, test, paper, project clinic), less sickness (3rd time this semester, same thing every time). I'm imagining utilizing all I'm learning in school. I'm imagining the people I will one day encounter and how I will be able to help them, as Dr. Blomgren put it..."This is why our job is great, because we get to see change!" I'm reflecting on amazing friends and family who support me 100%. I'm being grateful for favorite places: a stream in montana, the temple, a field in nova scotia. I delight in a happy heart. I'm grateful for the Atonement so that the not so good things can become good things and 'wotofomygo'. Overall, I am grateful for the knowledge that enables me to view life from an eternal perspective.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

I delight in General Conference.

General Conference makes me happy. Spending General Conference weekend with my family makes me really happy. Its been a fantastic weekend full of thoughts, impressions, and ideas that I know will impact my next 6 months and thus, the rest of my life. I'll be sharing some of my favorite quotes from conference throughout the next 6 months, so to start us off:

"We are happier when we follow the teachings of Jesus Christ."

-A member of the seventy whose name I did not catch

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I delight in learning from LB.

Christin and Justin at Graduation

Yesterday was the first day of soccer. 8 special kids come together every spring to play soccer together. I was privileged enough to play with them for the 'season opener'! At the end of the game one of the parents asked if our family would take his two boys home. Well, the one, Justin had sat down on the curb and wasn't about to move. 3 different parents, all of whom he was well acquainted with were trying to convince him that it was okay to ride home with us, after all he'd done it before. Finally my Dad said, Christin will get him. So along come Christin and I down the hill. I watch Christin walk over, crouch down by Justin, put his arm around him and said, "Justin, its me, Christin, come get in car. Come on." She keeps her arm around his shoulders, he stands up and they walk right to the car together. Once in the car, she helped him put on his seatbelt like the most caring, compassionate person in the world. That's just the way she is.

I think the rest of us stood there with amazement and appreciation. Appreciation for the individual gifts we've each been endowed with. Particularly for the special gifts that these precious special children have been given. Appreciation for the examples of Christ-like souls who we love and are loved by each day.

Friday, April 1, 2011

I delight in good dentistry.

As I sat in the dental chair for approximately 3 hours today I couldn't help but think...I'm so glad I live when I do. I'm grateful for modern dentistry practices where they can numb you up real well before they carefully drill away at your teeth. Goodness, most of the time there's even televisions in the ceiling for an 'at home' feeling or just distraction from the destruction going on in your mouth. I'm grateful for a dentist who are willing to numb you again when the feeling starts coming back. For a dentist who carefully works around the nerve and who keeps me informed about what he's doing in my mouth. I'm grateful for answers to extraneous questions I'm oh so good at asking. And...I was extra grateful for a sweet sister who convinced my mom to drop her off (since I was there forever) so she could stay and drive home with me.