Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A door opened, and I went through it.

"A door opened, and I went through it." Its a quote from the Temple Grandin Movie: Thinking In Pictures. Its a movie I've talked a lot about here because its influenced my life in numerous ways. Today, that influence didn't come as I worked with clients or thought about the social skills group, in fact it came in thoughts that are completely unrelated to Autism. It came with regards to my own life.

In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we believe in patriarchal blessings. "Patriarchal blessings are given to worthy members of the Church by ordained patriarchs. Patriarchal blessings include a declaration of a person's lineage in the house of Israel and contain personal counsel from the Lord. As a person studies his or her patriarchal blessing and follows the counsel it contains, it will provide guidance, comfort, and protection (from here).

As I've reflected on the course and direction of life, I have recognized where God has opened the doors he said he would open in my patriarchal blessing. God keeps his promises. He wants a powerful people. And make no doubt about the fact that He is aware of where you are, what you're doing, and the potential you have.

Life is a series of doors. The doors symbolize choices. Some choices lead to locked doors, open doors, doors we have to knock at and wait, doors we have to pound at and then go search for a key, doors that have treasures behind them and doors that have mice behind them (I despise mice...worse than spiders or snakes), doors that lead to a comfy place to land for a while and doors that lead to mountains to climb before the next door becomes within sight.

Point of the story, life has a purpose. We're all on the journey to figure out more about our personal purpose or in other words, our divine mission. It may not be exactly as we hope or expect but it will work together for our good ('wotofoyogo"). As doors open, go through them. Discover what's in store in the abundant life.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

I delight in 'for sure.'

As has already been discussed, I'm the most 'not-spontaneous' person I know. In fact in relief society today, we discussed (for the second week in a row now) talents. And for the second week in a row, when the question was posed, "What talent would you like to possess?" I have written down two things: 1. The self-discipline NOT to push my snooze button in the morning and 2. The ability to be spontaneous.

And so, this week I was offered an amazing opportunity but it came down to a question of time. Do I have time? So much to do, but so little time. Balancing life, school, clinic, family, and in a sense a job I already have, is there time for another? I just wasn't sure.

All week I've been planning and thinking and hoping and praying. I even went so far as to write my 'acceptance' e-mail last night, but I couldn't bring myself to send it. Then, I went to Sunday School where my friend Mitch was teaching the lesson. We talked about the parable of the Unjust Judge. We'd talked about it last week as well but honestly, my attention span was shot last week, but this week...I was tuned in. During the comments of others, I realized that even when the Lord doesn't answer our prayers it does not mean that he isn't interested or that he doesn't care, that's just an assumption we naturally make as a result of being 'natural men'. It doesn't mean that we should stop praying about it because God doesn't care, it means that he is so interested in our welfare that he has better plans for us--whether it be us using our own judgement and figuring things out or him telling us the answer when the time is right. After I made this comment, Mitch asked me to read this quote from Elder Scott:

  • Elder Richard G. Scott said:

  • “It is a mistake to assume that every prayer we offer will be answered immediately. Some prayers require considerable effort on our part. …

  • “When we explain a problem and a proposed solution [to our Heavenly Father], sometimes He answers yes, sometimes no. Often He withholds an answer, not for lack of concern, but because He loves us—perfectly. He wants us to apply truths He has given us. For us to grow, we need to trust our ability to make correct decisions. We need to do what we feel is right. In time, He will answer. He will not fail us” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1989, 38; or Ensign, Nov. 1989, 30–31).

    He then posed the question: What have you learned as you have persevered in prayer? In an instant, I knew the answer to the question I had been pondering all week. I realized that the Lord is aware of my time and my abilities better than I am. And I need to trust that. I saw the situation with new eyes and knew my answer. We need to do what we feel is right--that was the take home lesson. Whether by my own thoughts or by the feeling that comes by the Spirit of God, we can know what is right and we will feel it in our hearts.

    For a situation that seemed so chaotic, it is now a beautiful whole. I see the picture. I see all the pieces and desires of my heart that have come into play. This wholeness I think can only come when we allow the Lord help us see the plan he has in store for us. The moments he lets us see how the pieces are coming together and working for our good.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

I delight in U2.

I am my mother's daughter. We enjoy almost all the same music. She's taught me all about the music of her day. She can even tell you how old she was when certain songs came out. I teach her all about the music of today. She starts out not liking at all and then warms up to it and in some cases ends up liking it more than I do! Examples: Switchfoot, Ben Folds, The Fray, Lady Antebellum, and others I can't think of right now.
Well Tuesday, U2 came to Salt Lake City. They pretty much shut down the University of Utah campus by 2, clients at the clinic even cancelled their appointments to avoid the traffic.
I was so lucky to be invited to go by these fabulous ladies! I've nominated myself to be their adopted sister! I think I've been to almost every concert ever with Natalie. Christie and Emily have been along on a lot of the concert ventures as well! This one however, is one never to be forgotten. Natalie warned us that we'd be be speechless and that we were. We had fantastic (and bonus, probably the cheapest) seats. We even got to watch U2 jump in cars after and drive away. We also had a getaway route planned so we got back to my place super quick.
Another fantastic memory with my best friend!

Monday, May 23, 2011

I delight in written word.

I am a journal writer. I've been a journal writer for years and as much as it tempts me to convert to typing my journal, I just can't do it.

While writing, whether it be typed or handwritten is very therapeutic, I love hand-writing. I love the thinking that hand-writing requires. I can type so fast that I am sorely tempted to write things I don't mean when I'm on a 'mind spill.' Besides, this keyboard has a delete key. A joy I find in writing in my journal, is that whatever I write is real and its written forever, it can't just be deleted with the click of a button.

And so as I finished another journal last night I reflected on the portion of my life it contains. Each journal has its own story, its own time slot of my life. This one will always be significant in so many ways. From last July to the present, a big learning curve has come into my life. Today is the start of another story in a way. Another journal and its bigger and will take me longer to fill it up. The adventure excites me. Just knowing that currently my life is unwritten but that I already have new opportunities and experiences to record in its pages. If its any foreshadow of what is to come, all I know is that it will be good.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I delight in being a half marathon finisher!

Me and the Hewletts! We all ran the half today!

Today, I did one of the most crazy things I've ever done. I ran/speed walked 13.1 miles. It was a fantastic experience and I could not have done it without Emily who let me chat her ear off all the way down the canyon. Ogden is a beautiful place and today, I gained a new found appreciation for it. I also gained a greater appreciation for what bodies can do. Especially at mile 11 when my feet were just done and I didn't think a second wind was possible, it was!

Now, please excuse me as I cross another thing off my bucket list! Yay!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

When it rains, it pours.

Its been raining for two days. The sun has not been seen. Life is mirroring the weather as the rest of this week will include lesson planning, dvd watching (previous client sessions), quiz studying, reading, relief society lesson planning, 13.1 mile walking, antiquing, gathering, and writing. What a weekend.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I delight in institute.

Institute is a program in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the Young Single Adults in the church (there are classes available for those who are older, and a seminary program for high school age students) to continue learning in the gospel. Institutes are often located near the campus' of most major Universities in the United States (and elsewhere) or are held in nearby chapels and homes. Its a great opportunity to learn about the gospel in a group with peers.

Tonight I went to a class on the Book of Moses, found in the Pearl of Great Price. 10 weeks of class, 8 chapters. Tonight we had the opportunity to talk about the plain and most precious truths that were removed from the Bible as we now know it. We discussed how the world would be different had just the first Chapter of Moses (or Genesis as we know it) not been changed, most of the confusion about the nature of God, our relationship to him, our purpose, the role of our Savior Jesus Christ, the existence of Satan, and the fact that God speaks and not spake would all be so clear.

My gratitude deepened for a 14-year old boy who read James 1:5, who believed that God would hear his prayer and who had the faith to act on the answer he received. Out of the darkness came light, a brighter day, the restoration of the Gospel. To learn more about the restoration and about the Prophet Joseph Smith, click here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I delight in the opening of doors.

Life has a fantastic way of opening doors. Today I feel one was opened. Nothing really spectacular happened, its a culmination of a million tiny little things lately. My 'purpose' is being refined and in a way redefined by life's experiences in such a way that all of my life has prepared me for this moment. God has a way of pulling things like that off. What a blessing he can see the bigger picture and that He can let us have glimpses.

The saying I'm living by today, one of my personal commandments I suppose you could call them is, "Don't be distracted." I think I could have recognized the guiding hand of my Heavenly Father more clearly a while ago, but I got distracted. And so, I've put limits on somethings (the internet, the news, 'fluffy books') that are 'distractions' and have put 'must-do' stamps on things that keep me from being distracted--prayer, scripture study, pondering, meditation, journal writing (this one is KEY for me!) etc.

Simple lessons I've learned about a thousand times now but He is patient and I am a work in progress.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I delight in school in the summer.

if you read this on google reader you won't see my cute new header...check it out!

Okay, it's a delight in the works. Let's be honest, school in the summer is both good and bad. I've done it twice before so its nothing new but previous class loads have been oodles lighter than this one. Having said that, this course load is going to be boat loads more interesting than previous ones. I have an entire course about Autism Spectrum Disorders--how cool is that? I also get to have a class about Motor Speech Disorders and about Pediatric Aural Rehabilitation (not to be confused with pediatric audiology which I have already taken but doesn't count--I'm not bitter don't worry!).

The 1 week break from school I have just completed was absolutely fantastic and much needed. Family, friends, hiking, sewing and sleeping...all things that make me extremely happy. I feel rejuvenated and ready to hit the ground running...ready set...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I delight in the good women in my life.

"Satan is always attempting to undermine the most precious element of a woman's divine nature—the nature to nurture.

"A mother-daughter relationship is where a daughter learns how to nurture by being nurtured. She is loved. She is taught and experiences firsthand what it feels like to have someone care about her enough to correct her while continuing to encourage and believe in her at the same time."

M. Russell Ballard, "Mothers and Daughters," Ensign, May 2010, 20

"What can . . . young mother[s] [do] . . . to reduce the pressure [of raising young children] and enjoy [their families] more? . . .

"Recognize that the joy of motherhood comes in moments. There will be hard times and frustrating times. But amid the challenges, there are shining moments of joy and satisfaction.

"Author Anna Quindlen reminds us not to rush past the fleeting moments. She said: 'The biggest mistake I made [as a parent] is the one that most of us make. . . . I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of [my three children] sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages six, four, and one. And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night. I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less' (Loud and Clear [1004], 10-11)."

M. Russell Ballard, "Daughters of God," Ensign, May 2008, 109

“And so, my dear young women, with all my heart I urge you not to look to contemporary culture for your role models and mentors. Please look to your faithful mothers for a pattern to follow.”

M. Russell Ballard, “Mothers and Daughters,” Ensign, May 2010,19

"If you are a mother, you participate with God in His work of creation—not only by providing physical bodies for your children but also by teaching and nurturing them. If you are not a mother now, the creative talents you develop will prepare you for that day, in this life or the next.

"You may think you don't have talents, but that is a false assumption, for we all have talents and gifts, every one of us (see D&C 46:11–12). The bounds of creativity extend far beyond the limits of a canvas or a sheet of paper and do not require a brush, a pen, or the keys of a piano. Creation means bringing into existence something that did not exist before—colorful gardens, harmonious homes, family memories, flowing laughter.

"What you create doesn't have to be perfect. . . . Don't let the voices of critics paralyze you—whether that voice comes from the outside or the inside.

"If you still feel incapable of creating, start small. Try to see how many smiles you can create, write a letter of appreciation, learn a new skill, identify a space and beautify it."

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Happiness, Your Heritage," Ensign, Nov. 2008, 119

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Because you never know and because you do.

A lesson I've learned time and time again in life is that you should always be true to the trust. The trust others place in you, that God places in you and to the trust you place in yourself. Your character should be your best credible reference. That can only come by internal consistency in who you are, what you do, and where you go.

And so, as I venture to unknown roads this week I keep this thought in mind,
Wherever I go, act well my part.

Be where I ought to be when I ought to be there. And even when I'm in the middle of no where where no one will see because I don't plan on running into a single soul in the middle of no where. I will be true to who I am and act well my part.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

I delight in done.

The semester is over. I've made it through two semesters of grad school. If I just survived that last one though...I can do anything! Anyway, in celebration, I share with you my favorite new comedy clip straight from my alma mater. Enjoy it!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I delight in a plan.

Plans make me happy. I get a lot of satisfaction out of life by creating a plan and then moving forward to carry out the plan. When I saw this creation (pictured above) over the weekend, my heart was instantly happy because I identified with the artist. I feel the same way she does about plans.

Monday, May 2, 2011

I delight in the 3 special words.

At my house...we believe in these words. I love you. We say them often.

I've always very much appreciated living in a home where I love you is said on a daily basis. And if you spend the day with Christin, its said about 20 times (minimal). We say I love you in the serious times, the humorous times and sometimes completely out of the blue. We say it when someone needs to hear it and when they already know. Its said in the morning, afternoon, and evening before going to bed. The words I love you bring happiness to my heart and warmth to my soul.

As I reflect on life, I'm grateful to have these words in my vocabulary and to feel comfortable in telling people that I love them. Roommates, friends, extended family, its all the same. Being able to identify emotions and then convey them is a necessary ability in building happy and healthy relationships.

Where is this coming from? Yesterday after attending Music and the Spoken word, I took a stroll through a quilt exhibit at the Church History Museum. The picture above was taken there. Someone had constructed it from magnetic blocks meant for the children to play. It warmed my heart. I thought to myself...those words make me happy. Those words make me delight every single day of my life. My life is delightful because I am able to tell others how much they mean to me and I am blessed daily by people who share their feelings with me.