Friday, January 24, 2014

I delight in light.

I'm really good at writing things and deleting them. It's been happening all week. I so want to bear my soul to you but I clearly recognize that this is not the time, nor place. But here's what I do have to say and what I do have to share.  

I am grateful for sunshine. But I'm even more grateful for the shadows that prove the sunshine is there. I'm grateful to know what is wrong so I can know what is right.  I'm grateful for hard times because I treasure the good times more fully. I'm grateful to know what it is like to be unclean so I can appreciate being cleansed. I'm grateful to know tribulation so I can appreciate calm. I'm grateful to have experienced anxiousness so I can feel peace.  I'm grateful to have experienced pain so I can appreciate feeling good. I'm grateful to experience sadness so I can seek happiness. 

I delight in experiencing both sides of the spectrum. I am especially grateful today to my Savior Jesus Christ, for the infinite virtue of his great atoning sacrifice. To know that everything that is unfair about life can be made right through Him. To know that He has provided a way for us to return home to live with our Heavenly Father. I'm grateful He experienced such pain, sorrow and grief so that we can one day be redeemed from the things of the world and be cleansed in preparation to return home to God. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His divine Son.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

reminising my streets

the streets of charlottetown
summer 2010

it is absolutely mind boggling to me that four years have passed by since this very night when i was sleeping in the mission home is my mission over? when i look at the years since my mission i can think of a thousand ways that my experience as a missionary for the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints has blessed my life. i'm humbled by every single one of those ways and i'm so grateful for the experiences on this street and so many others like it.

it feels like only yesterday in someways and in other ways it seems like my time as a missionary was an eternity ago. or that it all just happened in a dream.  but i know it didn't because i am a different person because of what i experienced then and how i view the world in consequence now. 

as i look around my environment, i'm grateful for all the visual reminders that have kept my sights set on the experiences i had, the things i learned, the people who blessed my life and the many experiences i had with the spirit. the dog paperweight the cox's gave me for christmas, my missionary plaque with the efy scripture from the summer before i left. the picture will painted for me. my canada post stamp dispenser. the margarettesville lighthouse painted by a sweet sister in kingston. my missionary library books and copy of preach my gospel that sit on my study table. my scriptures complete with missionary tag attached. a small canadian flag pin. my journals. a lighthouse necklace and sand dollar earrings, oh and the clover necklace. and then there's the kindred spirits poster and the picture i took at peggy's cove. and last but not least, my book of mormon holder i made and carried my copy of the book to give away as well as other pamphlet's and teaching tools. 

while that might sound like a lot of stuff...its not. its physical, tangible objects that bring back a flood of thoughts and feelings, things that remind me of who i was, who i wanted to be and what i am still striving to become. 

i'm grateful for those experiences and for the way they still shape my life now. i don't think the mission was the best 18 months of my life but it was definitely and undeniably the best 18 months for my life. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

i delight in moments.

today is a marks the end of the most excited three months of the year...the countdown to lb's birthday.  you'd think that by 26, she'd not be quite as excited but...she is. like a lot! my favorite moments of the birthday countdown this year include:

"sis, will you still love me when i am too old twenty-six?"

christin: "oh i am so excited my birthday"
me: "christin, what's your favorite number?"
christin: "twenty-six"
me: "what will your favorite number be next year?"
christin: (with a huge grin) "twenty-seven"

"christmas is all over. i got a card. its my birthday."

"sis, my birthday is in 10 days. i can't help it, i am so excited."

"don't forget to give me my purse for my birthday, okay?"

"you make my tangled cake?"

"these people is so sweet"

christin-isms as i call them are my favorite. i'm going to miss these moments of anticipatory joy!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

a year to thrive

2014 is going to be a great year, because it already is and because i decided so.

every year i pick a word to live by (i guess you could say). a word that reminds me what i really want to do during the year and how i want to focus my life. last year's word was focus which is highly ironic in many ways. last year i felt like i was pulled in every direction imaginable with various obligations and decisions but i felt like i was also able to begin with the end in mind and come out surviving and somewhat focused (there could be some debate on that one!).

i like the juxtaposition of survive and thrive. i have been in an overall survivial mode for too long now. grad school, life after grad school with lend. this year though, this is my year to not just survive, but to learn to thrive.

and thrive i will do. i decided other words that really coincide with thriving in the way i want to involve:
changing for good. stressing less. playing more. having real intent to obligate myself to less unnecessary things and commit myself to the most important and essential things. taking care of myself in every way. respecting myself and my body and the gifts god has given me and doing what i should with them. loving life a little more. living with more vulnerability. being more willing to do new things. to go confidently in the direction of my dreams and live the life i've imagined (thoreau with an erin twist). doing things i've always wanted to do. getting in and staying in the best spiritual shape of my life. deciding that now is the time to do something rather than putting it off. spending more quality time with people and places that mean the most to me. living a more transparent life, more clear about what my priorities are that they can be seen by the way i live my i spend my time, the words i say, and the things i do. thriving is living more in the moment, worrying less and being where you are.

so here's to a brand new year.
here's to new adventures.
more growth.
more adventures.
and more fun.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

i delight in 2013.

the backside of my favorite mountains
mantua, utah

...::: Highlights from 2013 include :::...
---going in a cave for the first time (minnetonka)---being in 4 different states in 4 weeks---
---spending time with carly and her twins---presenting at the caai conference in washington dc---
---a week with craig and christin while my parents were in alaska---island park with craig and dad---
---decorating a float for the 24th of july parade---temple trips with LB (and little lisa)---
---finding my own family names to take to the temple---having all my grandparents in one town---
---weekly grandparent and temple trips---st. george and tuachan with the family---reading books---
---building better habits---getting my ccc's---stopping biting my fingernails--
---crossing things off my bucket list---random summer adventures with heather---
---going to portland to meet porter and spend time with nat and jd---going to sarah's wedding---
 ---another great mission reunion---completing my CFY---
---going to three new temples: portland, boise and twin falls---
---signing up for and preparing for the trip of a lifetime in 2014 (jerusalem!!!)---
---campfires with friends---fishing and shooting at mantua---walking around mantua (its about time)---
---loving and cuddling babies---bear lake with my ward---throwing a virtual baby shower---
---starting and stopping to look for houses--traveling to boise for urlend---
---thursday institute and warren's night with car---adding oregon to my "state's visited list"---
---decorating for christmas in november---ordering salmon at multnomah falls---kayaking at mantua---
---navigating the washington dc metro on my own---
---seeing the dc memorial sites at my own speed and style---being introduced to dirty diet cokes---
---early morning and late evening walks---reading my first dating book (and loving it)---
---listening to conference talks as I drive---learning how to tie fishing knots---
---going to the wedding of the rails reunion/reinactment at promontory point---
---almost running into a bear on mack's inn---quality hammock time at island park and monte cristo---
---another year in my ward---sewing more quilt squares---a new calling---
---keeping my personal christmas traditions---finishing the book of mormon (again)---