Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I delight in both delights and un-delights.

life lately is rather representative in this picture
  • having 3 kiddo's happily sitting on my lap--apparently my lap was the prime lap landing spot
  • actually doing my hair--i used my blowdryer and everything
  • imagining what i look like carrying around my life in bags
  • the nice man who let me merge on wakara way at 5:50--late to my 6:00 class (as usual)
  • having a kiddo tell me that the picture of the judge on the BBTOP was President Thomas S. Monson, and that the church is a temple--you can so easily pick those mormon children
  • having the opinion of a friend validate my thoughts
  • not getting tired during class
  • switchfoot's new cd--definitely a new sound but i am in love (its a mood matcher as of late)--the afterlife is definitely my favorite song
  • actually writing 2 of 3 soaps
  • finding my green monkey
  • getting necessary 'amazon' books in the mail
  • the crazy traffic on wakara way--seriously, it is OUT of control and I can't stand it
  • eating primarily quiche--i love quiche, that's why i took the time to make it yesterday--that and i had all the ingredients but 3 meals of quiche in one day--ai yai yai
  • the random muscle twitches i seemed to have acquired throughout the day
  • the day is not over yet

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

I delight in a selfless example.

I am blessed with the best siblings in the world. They are two people who without guile and who radiate love. I am truly blessed to be loved by them and to love them whole-heartedly. This weekend, we had the chance to spend some quality time together on one of Craig's (but really 'the families' rides). I love the conversations, laughs, and smiles that happen on these rides. As I contemplate the changes ahead (can we tell that I really have to talk myself into 'being okay with' change?) mainly moving home in the upcoming months--I get so excited to see them every single day.

I delight in an attitude adjustment.

Sometimes, I am way too short sighted. I forget what's beyond the setting sun, a new day full of hope.

Today I went about my business. Studying like mad for an exam that had me all worked up. I finally took the test and well it just wasn't worth being worked up about. You'd think that I would have learned this lesson by now.

As I was driving home after the test, still feeling quite crappy actually (lack of restful sleep, tired body, fried brain) I decided that instead of grocery shopping--I would pick up some Rio for dinner. As I got in line, my heart strings got a little tug. The man in front of me in line stood there ordering and I stood there trying not to stare at him. He couldn't be much older than I, dressed in shorts and a t-shirt--nothing abnormal in that. But then there was the mask, the baldness, the bandaged arm--he was in chemo treatments. As I thought about life, our lives specifically, I thought about how each of us has our own individual 'challenges' or 'hard thing.' It appears in such different forms in our individual lives. I remember once when a friend insulted one of my "hard things" by saying that he could never do it. I was offended by this because in that instant I realized that 'hard' was not synonymous with 'absolutely terrible, awful, no good, very always bad', in fact maybe everyone should experience this 'hard thing' because of the way it had changed me and the way I think about other people.

In a way, maybe sometimes, just sometimes, we almost become partial to our hard thing. When we realize its source and its power to make us better people as we work to deal/overcome and even conquer it...there in lies the power.

This morning I read from the book of Joshua, first chapter. In that chapter the Lord calls Joshua to do a hard thing--take over for Moses in leading the children of Israel. The Lord tells Joshua in verse 5, "...I will not fail thee nor forsake thee." Again and again throughout the chapter the Lord reminds Joshua to "be strong and of a good courage." I think the Lord reminds us of this as we go about as spiritual beings in a physical world. Once a good friend taught me the following lesson. I guess the scriptures were telling it to me all along. In 1 Corinthians 10:13, we are taught, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man, but God is faithful and will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able but wherewith the temptation also make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it." Isn't it so great that the Lord told us that he would never give us more than we can bear? He knows all the power that is available to help us along the way because he is the power. We are weak but he is strong.

Let us delight in the little things. The main lesson of all of this essentially is that with spiritual eyes, we can see such a better and clearer picture of the experiences of mortality. Let us look beyond the setting sun to the Son of God who prepared the way for us to be refined by life's hard experiences, not damned because of them.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I delight in a challenge.

Sometimes I literally tell myself outloud, "I can do hard things." Tonight as I drove back home, I thought repeatedly in my head..."I hate this week and it hasn't even started." Now let's face the fact that I was/am having a bad attitude. Let's also face the fact that a great reward will come this weekend with General Conference. But until then, I'm just putting it out there that this week will push the limits with all there is to do and be.

As I was thinking about a picture that went with my thought, I ran across this picture of a the space shuttle. It is my favorite picture of the space shuttle and one day, it will be framed in my home. I feel like the space shuttle does a really hard thing because it literally defies gravity.

Gravity is one of the strongest forces I know of. Yet, thought lots and lots and lots of energy and engineering...the space shuttle defies it head on. This is important because sometimes it feels like I have major forces to defy to get done all that I need to. Even with fantastic delegation and prioritization seems that there still may not be enough of me to get it done.

But here's the rub...where there is a will, there is a way. That's a lesson learned as of late. When we believe that something is possible, even if it seems to be just a dream or a slight glimmer of hope--there in lies the first step in receiving that possibility.

Another lesson I've learned lately is, never say never. I use the word 'never' way too much. I'm never going to do a PhD. I'm never going to marry someone shorter than me. I will never like fish. The list goes on and on about things I tell myself constantly that I'm never going to do. In all honestly, the truth is...I never know what I'll end up doing in my life. For all I know I could live on an island in an ocean where all they eat is fish after getting my PhD and marrying someone a foot shorter than me. Probably not...but then again who knows. Never say never because you never know. I told myself when I moved to Salt Lake that I was never going to move back home. Well never say never because lo and behold...home is getting me back in January. Never say never.

When it comes down to it...this week isn't one big challenge. Its lots of little challenges to be conquered one by one. Individually they are what they are, but as a whole I believe (or really I am reminding myself to believe) that these challenges contribute to a bigger greater 'whole' picture and person.

The challenge is not in the events that this week holds. The challenge is to expand my perspective, to remember my lessons learned and to defy gravity because it is possible.

Friday, September 23, 2011

I delight in preparing for conference.

Tonight, my home teacher came over. I'm sure I have two, but a second was never mentioned and only one again I say, my home teacher came over. I've been rather blessed since moving to Salt Lake as far as home teachers are concerned. In fact, my entire college life, I've been blessed with fantastic home teachers. The more I think about it, the more I think...Wow...sincerely awesome brothers have blessed my life.

That however, is not what I wanted to write about today. Today I want to tell you how I love waiting for general conference. And by waiting I mean preparing, praying, and pondering. Sunday, my bishop's wife, who sings in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, shared what the choir members are asked to do in preparation the week before general conference.

1. Fast
2. Attend the temple
3. Do an anonymous act of service
4. Right a wrong

What fantastic preparation for conference. As my home teacher pointed out, if we always do the same things, we can't expect different results.

Maybe changing up the way I prepare for conference this year will help to increase the experience I have learning and receiving revelation during general conference.

And so the challenge comes...the challenge of change. Next week is already a mess in my planner between school, clinic and work but I'm up for the challenge of incorporating the recommendations made to the choir to my own life to prepare for conference.

Whose with me?

Sunday, September 18, 2011

I delight in hoodie weather.

While there are a lot more insightful things I could share with you today (since today was pretty fantastic) I'm just going to share the most simple but sublime delight I experienced today...

I wore a hoodie.
That means fall.
That means so many things I love: general conference, pretty leaves, yummy smells, pumpkin, thanksgiving, my birthday, fall decorations, fall break, the list goes on and on and on...oh and more hoodies!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I delight in the whole plan.

I'd heard it from Sister Oaks once, but I needed to hear it again. (Experience it here.)

When we came to earth, the plan of salvation or as I prefer to call it, the great plan of happiness was the plan we signed on for. Fortunately for us it is not a partial plan--it is a whole plan, an eternal plan. You signed up for the whole plan!

It is important to remember this 'whole plan' idea so we don't get lost in all the small moments. Earlier today, I was feeling very behind. It seemed to me that everyone around me was/is moving on to all sorts of great, new adventures. Adventures I might be a little jealous of as I currently find myself far removed from their various situations in life. As my day progressed and I spent time at the Children's Center, wrapping my arms around sweet children, ever in need of love and then later with an inspiring client of mine, I felt my heart being softened and my horizon being widened.

"Why should you mourn or think your lot is hard? Tis' not so, all is right."
This is one of my favorite hymns--Come, Come Ye Saints. Whenever I hear it, I think about my Grandma Bandley. You see, I used to play the organ for her. Now I am not an organ player--at all. But when she was in later stages of Alzheimer's Disease, I would stay with her while Grandpa ran errands. I had 2 choices--answer the same questions over and over and over regarding when "Daddy" was going to be home and where he went or play the organ. I did a bit of both, but I began to love plunking out my favorite hymns by ear. Surprisingly one day, as I played Come, Come Ye Saints, Grandma said the words at the end, "All is well. All is well."

She had not spoken my name in 2 years but she remembered the words to a hymn? As I have long considered this--what I claim as--a special tender moment in my life and the value of trials--I continue to recognize that each of our paths to eternity is different but is it SO different from the next? The way we "live the plan" and our individual experiences are different--but the principles, the virtues, the lessons, the faith required, the qualities--essentially they're the same. They make us stretch and grow, they make us uncomfortable sometimes as our situation can seem so far removed from those around us. But never fear--you signed up for the whole plan. Elder Jeffery R. Holland said it best when he said,

"Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come."

And so, as another piece of 'my path' worked out today, I became humbled knowing that He sees all the things that I can't see and He knows better than I how it will all play out. Yay for the whole plan!!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

I delight in memory.

For an entire class today (that's 3 hours) we talked about memory.

My teacher began the discussion by saying that memory is really important. In fact, it is our memory that makes us who we are.

And so, today I delight in memory. I updated my blog header this weekend. Its now full of summer memories. Getting the cutest puppy in the world, going fishing multiple times, standing next to the 5-segment rocket motor with my entire family and being able to have my Dad take me on the same tour he takes real NASA people, going to temple square with my family multiple times, walking Ruby around the island with Craig, kayaking with Dad, Mom and LB, and family campfires. That's such a short snippet of summer but its those family memories that make me smile from my soul!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I delight in America.

It started out like any other day. Ten years ago today.

It was a day never to be forgotten.

Every September 11th, I go through that day just, 10 years ago, in my head. The morning of September 11, 2011, I woke up never having heard the names "world trade tower" "osama bin laden" or even really the word "terrorist" for that matter. It was that day that my life, my generation was changed forever. The world has never been the same since then.

While most of those changes seem to be negative...some positive changes have also happened. Like what happened in this man's life and the change that happened in the hearts of people in Gander, and the change that has happened in my life.

I think its important to reflect and remember the feelings we each individually and collectively felt this very day just 10 years ago. Let us always remember that each day must be cherished!

For further enlightenment, read the On Faith section of the Washington Post, written by President Thomas S. Monson.

Friday, September 9, 2011

I delight in slc.

One thing I never thought I'd whole heartedly delight in is living in Salt Lake.

For years Salt Lake was the short-term destination-either for the hospital, a wedding, the engineering building at the U, a concert, shopping but never staying long term. Never.

Moving here was an adjustment--living where I do helped. Its the city but not up here in the aves. I love going walking, driving and sitting in various places around here.

I feel SL and I have really bonded in the past year. We've grown and changed together.

In some ways it seems forever longer than a year, and in other ways it seems like only yesterday that I sat on temple square with my best friend and she reminded me to breathe. Literally yesterday, we sat among strange trees near the same location as last year pondering what the next year would bring in both of our lives.

Change is in the air. I always feel change in cities because they change at a more rapid rate than rural country areas do. This time I feel the change within myself, change in my surroundings, change around me.

Monday, September 5, 2011

I delight in mini roadtrips.

I never knew until a year ago, what the Vernal Utah Temple looked like. In case you don't know--it looks like the picture above!

This weekend my friend Mary and I journeyed to Vernal to attend the temple and do some hiking. Along with doing those two things we also went to Swiss days (a new experience for me), did some speechie stuff, went to a dinosaur trackway (where I got fried and experienced some mild heat stroke) and then traveled to the middle of oil country to fantasy canyon. Ever heard of it? I hadn't either. Pictures to come!

All and all, it was the perfect road trip. Not too far and not too close and definitely on roads I'd never traveled on before. If you are in need of a weekend roadtrip in Utah, may I recommend Vernal. I never imagined those words would come out of my mouth but obviously I was pleasantly surprised at just how great a place it was to be.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

I delight in September.

September is one of my favorite months.

Historically, August is not.

And so, September is here--that's the focus of my delight today.

September is the welcome mat to so many things I love:
fall, peach days, the avenues fair, watching the lights go up at temple square (in preparation for Christmas), it gets cooler, general conference is almost here, fall break is almost here, the leaves are about to change which means canyon drives...

Basically my favorite time of the year is finally rolling in and nothing could make me happier.

Welcome to fall...its the best!

I delight in the feel good files.

Sometimes people just say the right thing at the right time. Lately, I feel I've been the recipient of kind words and I'm very grateful. Kind words can go a long way.

Today my home teacher came over and read me this month's home teaching message. He seemed surprised when my comments seemed like I'd already read it, yep...I only had 31 previous days to read it and I've already sat through my parents home teaching lesson so don't be surprised if I read it. I love the message though and I'm happy to hear it any time. I've wanted to count how many times the word love is mentioned in that compilation of quotes from President Monson.

I haven't counted but the answer is a lot. Something my home teacher shared with me is that a visiting authority on his mission told them something to the effect that there would be no hermits in the celestial kingdom. Warning: that is not church doctrine but I liked it! It makes sense though right? Communication is at the root of what connects us as a people. Expressively and receptively its the give and take, its how we learn and grow. Its is a means of good in our lives or at least can be.

I've been reminded as kind words have been spoken to me that I must share the kind words I think in my head. The excuse that 'they must know' or 'its so obvious' just won't do. Never suppress a generous thought.

***What does the picture have to do with anything? Don't be an ankle biter and save the souls who might get eaten. Ruby's run in with Chip on the island. Chip was a lost dog a long way from home, who didn't seem to recognize home when we got him there.