Sunday, November 30, 2014

I delight in an awesome November.

Somehow, here we are. Its the end of November and I went radio silent there in the middle. Not a typical November for me but a great one nonetheless.

I have failed this November in my daily gratitude posting challenge. Sometimes I think this blog is more about my failures in life than my daily delights. But I'm okay with that because its the reality of the situation, the reality of mortality.

I think that could be the summary of what I've been grateful for this month...I am grateful for all the experiences of mortality. The good, the bad, the ugly, the happy, the sad, the bright, the bold, the beautiful, the perfect, the hard, the humbling, the dark, the simple, the complex and every experience inbetween whose sum equates to mortality.

The best parts of November included having the best thanksgiving with my family, being 28 with craig for 18 days, celebrating my birthday by a random trip to vegas with mary, visiting my mission trainer and going to the las vegas temple, doing some serious shopping, and starting to be a salt lake city temple worker. It has been a pretty fantastic month to say the least.

Monday, November 10, 2014

I delighted in my twenty-seventh year.

happy erins from twenty-seven
Dear twenty-seventh year,

Where did you go? When you started, I wasn't thrilled. I don't like the number 27, nothing against you personally but you're an odd number, the sum of my least favorite times table ever (9x3, why that still gives me angst, I'll never know) and you're just not an asthetically pleasing number either. Nevertheless, the you carried on and we had lots of adventures together. We wrapped up the LEND experience including a week in Logan at ASSERT. That whole thing is an experience never to be forgotten. We traveled to Island Park a few times, trips with just the boys, a Fourth of July first ever sisters weekend with LB, passing through on the way to Billings and a weekend with all the family for October General Conference including lovely morning walks all together. We had some hard times this year as we lost Grandma McQuivey, Uncle Mike, Aunt Janice and Larry Christensen. The family won't be quite the same without them. We gained a few new people in our lives this year, cousins Sarah and Gretchen getting married to their sweethearts, people having babies. And the babies from last year continue to grow and be more fun than ever. We learned a lot about family history and started to get the buzz to get a bit more into that. You brought us new adventures including going to Israel (hello bucket list check!). My first transatlantic flight ever! It was the trip of a lifetime with the best people ever. Dad and I were able to truly walk where Jesus walked, love the Gaililee as he did, traverse the busy streets of Old Jerusalem, bargain for deals with the shopkeepers, stand on the steps of the ancient temple, sing in shepherds fields in Bethlehem, float in the Dead sea, visit Masada and Qum'ran, we walked through the ancient city of Dan, sat in Caesarea Phillipi, on the Mount of Beattitutdes and sang hymns in the branch building in Tiberius. We backed up into the Orson Hyde Memorial Garden, gazed at the Damascus gate, enjoyed solitude at the Garden of Gethsemane and experienced the inside of the Garden Tomb. We worshipped at the Wailing Wall, stood on top of the Temple Mount, created holy and solomn space at the Pools of Bethesda and sang praises to our Lord and King via How Great Thou Art with other travelers in the Church of St. Annes. The things we felt, the impressions we had, the love that we experienced was uncomparable. I have truly been changed and continue to be so as I continue to learn more about my Savior Jesus Christ, his mortal and eternal mission and his Infinite and Eternal Atonement. And what an experience to have with my Dad!

Other unique experiences this year included going showshoeing on New Years, rafting down the Snake River with my ward, conquering my fear and yet having my fears confirmed when I got launched out of the boat at lunchcounter. Never again, but it was a great experience for what it was! I made it to do sessions in 3 new temples including Billings Montana (including a trip through Yellowstone, Big Sky, Bozeman (for the best Mediteranean food of your life), Billings, and back through the Beartooth Mountain Range (almost 12,000 feet in elevation!) to Cooke City and back home to Island Park), the newly rededicated Ogden Utah Temple (I got to help out at the open house, attend the open house with the family and grandpa and be in the temple during the second session of the dedication), and the Las Vegas Temple where i was able to enjoy a weekend welcoming in this next birthday of mine. 

It brought more social adventures including dating and relating, serving in the Relief Society Presidency in Ogden, moving to Salt Lake City (and getting yet another Relief Society calling, this time as a teacher...I feel so spoiled to get to serve in an organization that I love). I have been continued to be blessed with good friends. We've had great shopping days, dinner dates and late night phone calls...and ice cream, oh and diet cocaladas. 

Work has continued to be an adventure. I've learned a lot about voice, cognition, autism and feeding this year. Oh feeding, you've also conqured your own feeding issues...always the first step in then being able to help pepole. You've met lots of residents and trainees. You have had crucial conversations, loved more, played more and refined your teaching and communication skills. You have taught me how to be diplomatic and direct. 

Family and I parted ways this year...only in the sense that we don't live in the same house anymore. It was time and let's be honest, we've seen each other almost every week since. They continue to be the shining light in my life, the people who inspire me to be better, love deeper and who are each shining rays of happiness in my life. The grandpa's are still sticking in there. Visiting them makes me happy. 

27 has been so busy but so good.  28 is going to be even better. We already have big plans together looking ahead. Europe 2015 for starters and radiating the good things in life. Its going to be great. 

love always,

Thursday, November 6, 2014

I delight in breaking light.

november 6

this song has been on my mind today, "daylight to break" by switchfoot
and this one "glorious" by david archeletta

today was kind of a different sort of day because i was sick. i'm not often sick so that was strange. feeling much better now however. its given me time to think and reflect and when i do that...i just can't help but be happy.

something someone once told me i was blessed with is a happy heart and i really believe that is true.

i want that happiness and the source of that happiness to radiate even more brightly to others.

hence the breaking light...

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

I delight in friends.

november 5

i write about a lot of things. but one thing that i just don't blog about as much is my friends. i guess i always feel like its not my place to  disclose their lives. but it is my place to say how much i love them and how much they mean to me.

sometimes i feel like blogs can become about all the cool things i do with all these cool people. that's not really what this blog is about. there is no correlation between the coolness of things that i do and the things that i post about. actually, most of the cool things i do never ever make it here. that's pathetic. but true.

the take home point for today though is this. i have been blessed with some really great friends throughout my life. tonight, i went to dinner with one friend i live with, and another one who i haven't seen since i graduated from byu, oh you know six years ago! (how did that even happen, i mean how did that much time pass?) and you know what i just much i love them and how much loving them makes me love life!

i love to love people. that's why i love my job because i get to love so many amazing children and their awesome families and become their coaches and their cheerleaders and even their professional problem solvers...ha ha, not really but sometimes its what i feel like. :)

point of the story is many people have come into my life and i feel SO blessed because of it.

that is all.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

I delight in seeking happiness.

november 4

this year's gratitude month is being a little different. i really want to share what i'm grateful for by telling you about what i delight in, what makes me tick, what makes life good. and today i want to talk about seeking happiness. now note that i did not say by "being happy." i'm unable to live in a state of happy all the time. for me personally, there are too many other emotions that come into play. i like to live in a state of peace and be seeking happiness all. the. time.

what does seeking happiness look like? well in the two moments pictured in this post...i'm seeking happiness. i'm spending time and energy in places with people who i love doing things that propel me toward happiness.

standing in one of the most beautiful places in the world in a place i've never been, in MONTANA? happy! holding my amazing friend's 3 month old baby in a park on an autumn day, talking to my friend while the other kids run and play? happy!

seeking happiness is both in the big and small things. but its always in the simple things.

Monday, November 3, 2014

I delight in Christin.

november 3

forgive me for the incredibly large pictures, but they help capture the beauty that is christin. in case you've missed it up to this point, christin or LB as i like to call her is my incredibly talented, fun loving, happy going, teasing, sarcastic, over-the-top with love and adorable-ness sister, who yes also happens to have down syndrome.

this weekend, we got to spend some time together. christin has a lot of talents, but one of her biggest talents, in my opinion is that she can make anyone feel like a million bucks! its a gift. and i love it. christin can also love right through anything and everything. christin can also make fast friends, make someone smile just by being, and  she has a laugh that fills a space with happiness. she has no guile. she loves all the way and she never suppresses a generous thought. essentially, she's my role model in life and takes such good care of me. she is my protector, my arm in arm link and my sweet sister.

i used to post christin-isms all the time. i should get back to that, but something she said last night has been resonating with me ever since. you see last night we found out that my aunt janice passed away. it has been a rough year indeed for that entire side of my family as she makes the 4th person we have lost this year on the same side of the family. when i went and told christin about aunt janice's passing she handled it like a champ and ended up coming to play games with the rest of the family (pounce, a favorite sunday night activity). i can't remember what led up to it but christin said, yeah, in heaven i won't have down syndrome anymore, no diabetes, no shots! and of course she said it with a big smile.

i thought to myself, this girl knows what's up. having down syndrome doesn't define christin, it refines her. what a perspective checker. anyone who works with people with disabilities knows the importance of people first language (its actually a big deal). its a person is not "autistic" for example, they are simply a person with autism. so we should be people first too! we all should. we should be known for our eternal identity first, foremost and always. i am grateful that i am a child of god. that i am a daughter of a heavenly father who loves me and i love him. those two lines will always be guideposts to me and i am so grateful to know who i truly am and for the example of a sister who definitely knows who she is and who we all are. she's guiding us home, leading us home, taking our hands and helping us home, loving us home and helping us feel of our saviors love everyday along the way.

how blessed and truly grateful i feel to have christin as my sister.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

I delight in foundations.

november 2

while in israel, you spend a lot of time looking at walls, stones, foundations of things that once were and that have become something again in some cases. these are the western wall tunnels under the temple mount. the stones you can see on the left are from the herodian era or the time of king herod. they're the easiest to find because of the margin around them. each carver also had to put his initials on his work.

tonight i attended the ces devotional (soon to be called the worldwide devotional for young single adults) at the ogden tabernacle with elder donald hallstrom. he talked about foundations and it spoke to my soul.

i am so grateful for revelation, for the opportunity to learn and grow, to change and to become better.  key take aways from tonight include

  • buildings are temporary. we are building eternal lives. the engineering and construction of our souls must be build to withstand the wind and tumult of today
  • your identity is FIRST as a son or daughter of god, then you can choose to build other identities whether they be temporary or eternal. beware of the identities you're building
  • verse 7 of how firm a foundation: 
The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for reposeI will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, I'll never, no never,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake!

i love how firm a foundation. it is one of my favorite hymns that has been an answer to prayer on multiple occasions, but today it hit me extra hard because of the use of the word forsake.

one of my favorite scriptures is in joshua 1:5
"...I will not fail thee nor forsake thee."

what a comfort this was to joshua, reassuring him that just as the lord was with moses, he would be with joshua as he continued to lead the children of israel.

in sunday school today we were talking about isaiah and the word forsake again stood out to me.

"Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains;  for the Lord hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted. But Zion said, The lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." (isaiah 49: 13-16)

what powerful imagery. can a woman forget her sucking child? what does a hungry child do? they cry and eventually scream when they're hungry. they get their mother's attention in any way possible because growing and developing is their child. how can a mother forget her sucking child? i'll never know, most don't, but some do, especially in our day. it reminds me of the warnings that some will have unnatural affections. mothers not caring for their children, in my mind would fall into that category of warnings for the last days. even so, the lord will never ever forget us. he has graven us on his hands in every way.

so the only choice that's left is that we have to choose never to forsake him just as he has already chosen to never forsake us.

what a beautiful and firm foundation to be build upon, a savior who will never, no never forsake.


I am building my spiritual foundation by.... (future post reminder)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

i delight in a month of gratitude-november 1

november 1: grateful we are not made for endings.

i'm back at it. this poor neglected blog/the poor neglected amazing experiences of life that i have not been great at recording, i'm grateful we have repentance, internet and a bedtime. all essentials for this to be successful.

as i took a walk down memory lane over this 27th year of mine, i couldn't help but think about some endings that have happened this year. i'm so grateful that in april's general conference, president uctdorf (grateful in any circumstances) said "that in His (Heavenly Father's) plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings."

how beautiful is that? i'm grateful for a new month, another year of living a life of abundant blessings and for beautiful fall weather. i'm in love with november and with everything that comes along with it.