Saturday, November 15, 2014

Opportunities to Grow

One of my least favorite feelings is knowing I've upset or hurt a friend. I recently made a friend feel unimportant, which stinks, because I know that's definitely a feeling that hurts me a lot. 

I'm trying to apply Elder Klebingat's conference talk. I've been trying to apply it in many areas of my life, but today I get an opportunity to focus on "Get really really good at repenting daily" and "Get really really good at forgiving others."

I know I could improve in both these areas, so the eternal optimist in me says thank you, Life, for the opportunity.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

PMS and Sarcasm

Wow, PMS, thank you for inviting me to cry during every song on the Frozen soundtrack. And The Bare Necessities too. Thanks. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Digging Deep

To quote from Brene Brown, on page 4 of "The Gifts of Imperfection":

[The Wholehearted] get:

  • Deliberate in their thoughts and behaviors through prayer, meditation, or simply setting their intentions;
  • Inspired to make new and different choices;
  • Going. They take action.
Close quote. =)

For becoming more comfortable with myself:
  • My intention that I'm setting right now is to become more fully comfortable with myself.
  • My new and different choice will be to read from this book every day, and apply something in it.
  • And I will prove I did something by reporting that I did, on here.

I will also apply this to my work tomorrow.
  • I will set my intention to put patients first.
  • My different choice will be to use positive language - "I GET to see several patients today" instead of "I better see several patients today."
  • I will go do several sessions. As many as time will allow.

Time to Dig Deep

Today I was reminded that I am not as emotionally resilient as I would like to be. After a rough conversation with my internship director, I realized several things, and these are two that stuck out the most:
  1. If I don't become comfortable with myself, I will never succeed as a therapist.
  2. I also need to believe that the music therapy sessions I'm providing are extremely valuable, or at least of worth, to the well-being of my patients. I can't succeed without that either.
I feel like these are a foundation that I have to have, in order for anything else to work out.

How does one become comfortable with oneself? The answers I've thought of so far are:
  • Praying for healing
  • Praying with the purpose of developing a relationship with God, who loves me
  • Praying specifically for Him to remind me of His love
  • Prayerfully guided scripture study
  • Exercise and good diet and sleep
  • The 10 guideposts in "The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brene Brown. I started working on it earlier this year (it helped!), and I think its time to pick it up or start it over.
So I might be sharing some of my Wholehearted Journey on here. Starting with this amazing quote from page 6 of "The Gifts of Imperfection":
Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy -- the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.

 The 10 Guideposts
Painted in July 2014 =)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

8 Weeks

Somehow, I have been here for 8 weeks. Two months. I'm basically a third of the way through. How did that happen?

If I had to sum up my time here so far, I would say that the first four weeks were the hardest. They were exciting because everything was new. But  it was also stressful because everything was new! It was hard to adjust to the internship itself, to my new house and roommates, to a long-distance relationship, to being alone... It was a rough time.

But things have been getting better. I'm starting to find a lot of joy in my internship. It is stretching me, but its delivering joy too, so I'm very happy about it. I'm feeling more at home in Chicago, and more used to my surroundings. I can even travel around without using my Maps app, most of the time. =) Instead of a long-distance relationship, I'm focusing on friendship. And I'm making friends, and spending much less time alone.

It astounds me that I'm only a month away from half-way. And that after that, I only have three months left. I'm curious to see how much I will grow. It's kind of exciting to think about that. I don't know the details of what my future holds, but its actually pretty exciting to think about. =)

Friday, September 5, 2014

Faith and Abuse

"Satan uses your abuse to undermine your self-confidence, destroy trust in authority, create fear, and generate feelings of despair. Abuse can damage your ability to form healthy human relationships.
You must have faith that all of these negative consequences can be resolved
otherwise they will keep you from full recovery. While these outcomes have powerful influence in your life,
they do not define the real you."

This is from a talk by Richard G Scott. Looks like this is my next big faith challenge. A few years ago, I gathered my strength to do something that seemed hard and scary, and I started doing family history. And it has turned out so much better than I imagined. 

Now it's time for me to exercise faith in Jesus Christ that I can be healed from the abuse in my past. I need it for my internship. And I need it so I can truly love and support the people I care about, without being sabotaged by these outcomes of abuse.

I believe the real me knows how to love. This unhealed abused me has a much harder time. 

I want to get to know the real me better. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Monday, September 1, 2014

Firsts on September 1st

Today had several "first" experiences:

The first day in a long time that I've been in my pajamas until 4:00 pm.  Maybe I shouldn't admit that...
The first time I've gone running since I moved to Chicago!
The first time I've seen hundreds of dragonflies all around me.
The first time I've seen the stars since coming to Chicago.
The first time I stood on a Lake Michigan beach.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

With Thee

"...and thou didst bear all these things with patience because the Lord was with thee; and now thou knowest that the Lord did deliver thee."
Alma 38:4

When I started to realize The Lord was with me, it DID become a lot easier to bear things with patience. I try to think of Him not only as a Savior, but as a Friend. His companionship makes all the difference in my happiness and peace. 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Would it spoil some vast eternal plan?

"If I were rich, I'd have the time that I lack
To sit in the synagogue and pray.
And maybe have a seat by the Eastern wall.
And I'd discuss the holy books with the learned men, several hours every day.
That would be the sweetest thing of all."

Sometimes I wish I could stay all day at Deseret Book. Have a Deseret Book type of store with tons of bean bags, and some computers or paper to organize our study, where all of my likeminded friends and I could gather, read, relax, and have gospel discussions. And work on family history and online missionary work too. Hmm... If I build it, will they come?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

18 Months

The last 18 months of my life have been the happiest since 2008. And maybe even happier than that. I've been a lot more at peace, with more faith and trust, and more excitement for the present and the future. I've learned, felt loved, and grown a lot. And I'm just really grateful for that! I'm grateful for people who helped along the way, such as Juan/Tito who started it all with one conversation, Steffen, Sarah, and all my other friends who have inspired me. Above all, the happiness has come from the Savior. Each of the people I mentioned inspired me to come closer to the Savior in different ways, and He has been healing me, inspiring me, accompanying me, and helping me grow.

I feel fantastic. =) And the best is yet to come.

Monday, July 7, 2014


A dear guy friend yesterday said I was gorgeous. I know there are a lot of things more important than physical appearance... but for some reason it just feels good to be told I'm beautiful. =D Especially because I haven't felt all that pretty recently, so it felt great.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Friend Zone Opinion

Was going to post it on Facebook, but that doesn't feel right. People will be too sensitive about it.

I feel like sometimes guys "friend-zone" themselves by never making their intentions clear.

I'm all about friendship though, and feel like its essential for a true long-term relationship. But if a guy never asks that friend on a date, or never makes his intentions clear, of course he'll be in the "friend-zone" forever.

It's confusing for me when someone continues to spend time with me, but never asks me on a date. He's either shy/afraid of commitment, or he's not interested in dating me. And if I hear that he's going on dates regularly with various people, but still hasn't asked me, I'm probably going to assume he's not interested in dating me. No matter how many nice things he says.

So what options are there at that point? Either stop hanging out (which is sometimes warranted but sometimes not), or continue to spend time with each other thinking of him as only a friend. There's the friend zone.

(Of course this does not apply to every friend zone situation. But I think its something to think about.)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

I'm going on an adventure!

I've been nervous about flying alone and going to my interview in the Chicago area. It feels weird. But I went outside and looked at the valley, and as I was coming back to my house, The Lord helped me feel powerul and unafraid. I realized that I really am seeing an important part of my future unfold, and I can handle it. If not by myself, at least with Him. It's just kind of crazy: you get these far-out ideas and goals, and take small steps working towards them, and a few big steps in there too, and then suddenly, those far-out ideas start to become reality. I mean, tomorrow morning I'm flying to Chicago! It's pretty crazy. I hope it goes exactly as its meant to, and that everything important that needs to happen, does. And I hope I have a blast as well. =) I think I will. I'm on an adventure, and Ross and Liz are fantastic friends.

The plane leaves early, so I am definitely going to head to bed now. Hopefully I don't wake up as late as Bilbo did, for his adventure.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Second Witness

I went to the temple tonight, and the answer I received is that the Atonement is all about hope and change. That gave me a lot of peace, and also excitement. =)

"All things become possible"

"To the sophistry of Satan, Jesus turned His back. To the duty designated by His Father, He turned His face, pledged His heart, and gave His life. And what a sinless, selfless, noble, and divine life it was. Jesus labored. Jesus loved. Jesus served. Jesus testified. What finer example could we strive to emulate? Let us begin now, this very night, to do so. Cast off forever will be the old self and with it defeat, despair, doubt, and disbelief. To a newness of life we come--a life of faith, hope, courage, and joy. No task looms too large; no responsibility weighs too heavily; no duty is a burden. All things become possible."

("Examples of Righteousness" by Thomas S Monson, 2008)

I don't often quote the parts of talks where they give background again on Jesus' life. For some reason. But this one captured my heart! I love that we can be transformed! I love that change and happiness and joy are all possible, and it's through Him.

It needs to be shared. THIS is the effect that Jesus Christ will have upon our lives, if we let Him in and believe.

Sidenote: I'm really enjoying going back and reading President Monson's conference talks, starting in 2008 when he was sustained as President of the Church. His talks are a lot more powerful than I remember, and I'm loving it. They are speaking to my heart.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Talita's Honest Questions

My sister is not gifted with tact.

I'm used to her asking various questions about my single status. Today it was "So have you chosen someone to marry yet?"

But today she added another, this one aimed at my dad. "Why did you buy such a small car?"

I wonder if she'll outgrow it, or if she'll be asking guys in high school "Why do you have acne all over your face?" 

I guess there's often a bright side to bluntness and honesty, so maybe she'll occasionally wake people from their apathy and help them rethink their life. After they forgive her.

Lucky for her, she currently says it so innocently and curiously that I can never really get mad at her. =)

Honest Opinions #11 and #12

Hugs are one of the best ways of expressing love and care and friendship of which I know. It has a good pure awesome feeling to it. Some of the best huggers I know are Stephen N, from high school, and Darrell, my friend from Utah State. And there have been many other wonderful hugs throughout the years. Most recently, the hug with Ryan after not seeing each other for two years. There's just something about that.

Rain can be fantastic. I'm being rained on right now and I love it. The getting wet, the smell, the melancholy ambience, all of it. It's lovely. =)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

One of my favorite quotes about keeping a journal

I believe all our stories are worth sharing. =)

"Get a notebook, my young folks, a journal that will last through all time, and maybe the angels may quote from it for eternity.  Begin today and write in it your goings and comings, your deepest thoughts, your achievements and your failures, your associations and you triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies."


"A journal is the literature of superiority.  Each individual can become superior in his own humble life.  What could you do better for your children and your children's children than to record the story of your life, your triumphs over the adversity, your recovery from a fall, your progress when all seemed black, your rejoicing when you had finally achieved?


Some of what you write may be humdrum dates and places, but there will also be rich passages that will be quoted by your posterity."


Source:  Spencer W. Kimball, "The Angels May Quote from it."  New Era, Oct 1975

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Safe and Sound

I have two songs to wrap up my day with. "Safe and Sound" from the Hunger Games soundtrack, and "Count Your Blessings." The first one because one of my friends was telling me creepy stories about her time working in a hospital at night, and I was nervous to drive home alone. I prayed a lot. And tried to focus on happy things. And when I got home, "Safe and Sound" came into my head.

The second one is because I received comfort today as we sang "Count Your Blessings" in Institute. I've mentioned that there's some very uncertain situations in my life right now. And since it's about dating, I feel silly talking to people about it. I feel like people inwardly roll their eyes. Anyway, we sang "So amid the conflict whether great or small, do not be discouraged, God is over all." He's over things like cancer and callings, but He's also over dating situations. He's got it all under control, and He'll help it happen just the way it needs to, with plenty of growth and learning for those involved. I can trust and not be afraid. "God is over all." What a happy feeling! He cares about my "small" and seemingly silly challenges. He'll help them turn out beautifully.

"Count your many blessings. Angels will attend, help and comfort give you to your journey's end."

Monday, May 19, 2014

To Where the Sidewalk Ends

Weary of screens and online friends,
Take me instead to where the sidewalk ends. 
Tired of worrying about texts and tweets,
Just give me my bike and some shoes on my feet. 

Tired of wondering if my words are alright,
I'd rather marvel at the sun's golden light.
Instead of worrying about people to please
Let me look up in awe at the sky through the trees.

I want to be still, hear the sounds, feel the air
I want be open to all that is there
Waiting for me to stop and receive.
Peace and answers are waiting, if I will believe.

Sometimes there's a whisper, sometimes there's a chill,
Sometimes there's no words, but peace, on that hill.
Each time that I go, I feel an embrace.
I'm so very grateful for my sacred space.

There are so many times I just didn't see
The beauty that always was waiting for me.
I see it right now, and hope that I will
Remember this place, my space on this hill.

Originally composed for Facebook but decided not to leave it there

Taking a Facebook break for a while.
Struggling to feel like my time is worthwhile
As I scroll through my newsfeed and see what's been shared.
There's all of this sharing, but sometimes we spare
The parts that are real, when times don't look swell
It's still part of our lives, but we'd rather not tell.
And thats probably fine, maybe this isn't the place.
But then why am I spending so much time in my day
To read all that's filtered, all that's fixed and repaired
To prevent all offense - We do it because we are scared.
I know that that's often the truth, at least for me.
I put forth the image I want you to see.
I try to be real, but I sense that my mind
Is always looking for ways to garnish more "likes."

I don't think Facebook's evil, I don't think its a sin.
I'm grateful we're connected and can let each other in.
But I think I need a break, I need to train  my mind
To let go of what other's think. I hope that I will find
A deeper sense of who I am, what I like, and what I think
When I don't have to worry about what others see.
I like to talk, so give a call, or send a text. Please do!
My number begins with 801 and ends in a 2.
I'll also respond to messages. 
I just won't scroll through my feed.
I don't plan to post anymore for a while.
See ya in over a week!

(Why was this written in poetry? Sometimes I'm just in the mood.)

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Honest Opinion #4-10

Pistachio is one of the very best flavors of ice cream.

Sunglasses should never cost more than about $30.

Painting wood is fun and sometimes therapeutic.

Music is awesome. Sharing a love of music with others is a fantastic feeling. =)

May and June are two of the most beautiful months in Utah County and Cache County. 

My life is awesome.

Gratitude is one of the most important elements to happiness.

Friday, May 16, 2014


Liking someone is the most vulnerable thing I can ever remember going through. I feel like karma has come to get me. All the emotions that others went through when I was on the "in-control" side of the relationship are now attacking me, and its really quite surprising. Once again, I'm developing a lot more respect for you men out there! You put yourself through a lot of vulnerability whenever it comes to dating, and dang, it's hard! I feel like a crazy person.

I remind myself, the torture of uncertainty that I'm going through right now is better than the alternative. Because the alternative is to numb, pretend like its not a big deal, and detach emotionally. And I will never be able to find joy if I'm emotionally detached.

So here's to taking a chance, a risk, and seeing what in the world is going to happen. Even if its pain, I've gotta try.

To quote myself, "I must be willing to guess if I ever want to know."

Even though I'm terrified.

Friday, May 2, 2014


It started out as stressful as all the other days have been this week. The days have been frustrating because of all the things I have to do that I can't do while I'm at work. But fortunately, I got to leave at 2:00 and go to the temple. I printed off the family names from a few days ago, and went to the Baptistry to do the work. I think I confused every temple worker in there. They're not used to having endowed single women do family names, I guess!

I stayed outside afterward and worked on things on my iPad (the iPad Air with an awesome keyboard/case I got at work today!) and finally started to feel like I was beginning to get some stuff done. I was able to get a letter of recommendation requested and returned to my by Gerry, all within a couple hours. It was nice to finally be make progress on some things.

We went home and had Sensuous Sandwiches while watching "A Goofy Movie." Which was great, as always. Then Charles and I went bikeriding for nearly an hour, as the sun was getting lower and setting. We had a fantastic time, and Charles kept saying "I love riding my bike. This is so fun!" I think he'll remember doing it, when he gets older, and it will mean a lot to him. I know it meant a lot to me when Dad took me bike riding in Provo canyon when I was young.

And the bikeriding felt so good to me! Its a good bike (for a WalMart bike) and I felt so free! I was even able to bike up several hills! It was such a lovely feeling to be riding it. I'm glad I got it, and I hope it serves me well for a long time in the future.

Tomorrow I get to go to Logan and see Sarah graduate! I also have other awesome friends to visit too, and I think it'll be a good day. I wish it could be longer, because I'll have to come home before too long and get everything ready for Sunday.

Anyway. It was a happy day, thanks to my family and my bike and the friends who are willing to help me and the benefits of my job and the peace and beauty of the temple. 

Forgot to mention, The Lord let me know that He would help me and things would work out in my callings if I would really turn to Him and allow Him to change me. I can be happy as I become better, if I remember it's only through Him. If I give Him the glory, I will find peace and joy and direction as I serve. Good to know. =) I'm grateful He spoke it to my heart.

Thursday, May 1, 2014


I'm feeling inadequate. Doubting I can handle my responsibilities. I think I can do a mediocre job. But I want to do more. My responsibilities are pretty important things. That help people. Sigh. 

I went to an Institute Inservice meeting tonight, which overwhelmed me a little. But also gave me some comfort too. We read Doctrine and Covenants 123:16-17. 

16 You know, brethren, that a very large ship is benefited very much by a very small helm in the time of a storm, by being kept workways with the wind and the waves.

17 Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.

I guess I just need to remember what someone said a few days ago. There may be more work than we can do, but the only healthy way to approach it is just to start. Get working on what there is to work on, and whether or not it gets done, the time was used well, and good things happened that wouldn't have happened otherwise. 

And I also need to remember my worth does not hang on my performance. God loves me no matter how well I teach Institute, lead Relief Society, play the piano and guitar, take care of my body, meet my job expectations, serve my family, and get at least one the few awesome guys I know to date me (the hardest one!). These are important things, but my worth and His love for me don't change based on my performance of these duties.  I'll try to look at all these things as learning opportunities, and chances to do good for others.

And I need to remember that "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." I don't FEEL that at present, but I do choose to believe it and hope it'll sink in deeper as time goes on. =)

I am grateful for my life and all it's facets. I need to remember that. Because it's a wonderful feeling when I do. 

Monday, April 28, 2014


This might be hyperbolic, but I may have more responsibilities than I've ever had before. But maybe it just feels that way because I had so few responsibilities in December, January, and February. 

A little over a week ago I was called as a Relief Society president for my singles ward in Payson. I think it's going to be more difficult than it was in Logan, because of the different demographics. But I have a better perspective than last time, because I have some experience, and a more healed spirit. One of my goals is to serve diligently without succumbing to the discouraging thoughts put there by the adversary. 

I'm helping put on a Family History Fair in my stake, which will take place in June. I will also keep teaching Institute in my stake, teaching Family History. 

I'm going to become a tutor in about a month, working in Salt Lake.

I'm applying for another internship in Chicago. It might be a better fit for me. I'm taking lessons still, to help me prepare. 

I'm gonna run a half-marathon with my mom this summer. And I'm going to lose 18 pounds. 

And I'm still working at my current job for a while, with a different position within the IT department. And I get to use a MacBook Pro and an iPad Air. With great responsibilities come great electronics. 

I definitely didn't know my life would be this way when I moved home!

Thursday, April 17, 2014


Yesterday I played a lot. Jumped on the trampoline and taught my brothers how to do a flip (it'll take them a lot of practice), ate FRENCH TOAST (emphasized because I love it and rarely get it), ran/sprinted along with my brothers as they rode bikes (I need my own bike), watched a few good short videos, and painted. And texted Sarah. And talked to my childhood friend Alice. Life is good. Life really does feel better when you mix in a good portion of fun along with the work. As I sat on the trampoline and watched my brothers flying all over the place, I just felt really content and peaceful. It wasn't flashy fun, but it was simple fun, and I was lighthearted and content. =)

Monday, April 14, 2014

Because of Him

Yesterday was awesome. It was a pretty full day. The awesome part is that I felt like I was the best version of myself I've been. I felt sincere and kind. I've been kind before, but not always sincerely. My authenticity and sincerity improvements make for a richer experience in life. =)

I can sense a more real conversion than I've had before, and I love it. There's a lot more love and happiness available in life than I thought there was. And it's because of Christ.

The day really was awesome. The Spirit in our testimony meeting was actually really strong! I had a temple recommend interview, and felt deep peace and emotions. I got to go visiting teaching, as well as to a meeting where I also felt the Spirit as we planned for an awesome family history event. I got several opportunities to serve, and took them, even though I didn't have to. I'm glad I did. 

My friend Bronson asked his Facebook friends how Jesus Christ has made a difference in our lives. I responded that because of Him, I can be brave and act in courage, knowing that all my mistakes that I make as I'm trying to learn by experience can be forgiven, healed, and made into something beautiful. So there's no need to be afraid. Because of Him I can leave behind perfectionism and experience true growth, joy, and gratitude instead. He's my safety, and provides me with all the hope I need. 

I am so eternally grateful to know I have a Savior who loves me infinitely. Believing that changes everything. I know He lives and I know He loves me. And I know He is the Son of God. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

I'm Sorry Because...

We actually had a really good Family Home Evening tonight! After a few Mormon Messages videos, we had a lesson on apologizing. And it was really good! It came from something my dad read on Facebook. We talked about the four steps of apologizing, then practiced it, using real but not-too-serious examples. It went amazingly well. If we can keep it up, I think we'll definitely improve our relationships. Especially considering that forgiveness and humility are two of the mist important parts of a relationship. 

On another note, I want to buy that bike I tried a few weeks ago. I need a solid way to get out the stress I've been feeling a lot of lately. I feel like I have responsibilities and expectations pressing on me from every direction. I think I need to slow down... But purposefully. I just don't always know what can be cut out. I'll figure out something. Anyhow, I feel a 25 minute bike ride could do me a lot of good. Because it's truly fun. =)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Meet the Candidates

I went to my first Meet the Candidates meeting tonight, as a county delegate. Luckily for me and my fellow county members, most of the candidates seemed like really decent kind people. I've got a good county here. =)

Work was a little crazy. Busy. But it's amazing how much happier I am when working on a project than I am doing busy work. I haven't been taking lunch breaks, because I'm pretty engaged in what I'm doing.  Even if it's stressful, it's still engaging. I just eat while I work. 

I'm excited for my mission reunion and General Conference this weekend! I need it.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


I'm still trying to shake the sadness and worry that I've had since yesterday. I was stressed about preparing my Institute lesson, but I got it prepared and went to my classroom... And no students came. It was discouraging. But on the bright side, I got to attend a different class and reflect on the doctrine of repentance (the topic being addressed by Dustin and Derek).

I'm hoping for a return of confidence soon. Maybe I'm also feeling a little deficient when it comes to my new job I started this week, my duties as a county delegate, not having an internship secured yet, and wondering if I can really do all The Lord asks of me. 

Sounds like I need more genuine faith. I will choose to embrace optimism, hope, and humility. Even though I don't feel like it right now...

Monday, March 31, 2014

My 4th First Day

Today was my "first" day of work at a company I've worked for three times in the past. Last time was in 2010. It was a good day. I work in the IT department, doing internal technical support and clerical tasks. I feel important and valued there, and my coworkers are friends who believe in me. They give me plenty of opportunities to learn new things. It's great. =) Add to that the fact that I'm getting paid more than I ever have before, and I get to use a company iPad, and I'd say things are pretty swell. Getting laid off from that other company earlier this month was quite a blessing. I'm grateful to be where I am. 

Oh and did I mention the commute is half as long? Yeah. Life's pretty awesome. =)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Discovering Joy

Poetry/lyrics to capture the last few months, since I moved home from USU:

Good food
A safe home
Finding new favorite songs
I'm discovering joy

Having purpose
And vision
Knowing that I have a mission
I'm discovering joy

Freedom from constraints and policy
I can go down the paths that call out to me
Knowing there is a plan
And things I must prepare for
I have such a bright future in store
But I don't have to wait until then
To find my excitement again. 

My true friends
My family
The ones that know a truer me
Help me rediscover joy

The laughter
The connection
The kindness and friendship and quiet protection
I'm discovering joy. 

The Savior
His Gospel 
His Coming in glory
I'm discovering joy

Knowing I'm on His right path for me
Learning He'll help me be all I can be
Through Him being thoroughly healed from all things
Finding the light and the joy in each day
Being guided to know what to say and not say
Feeling excitement and love as I pray,
I'm discovering joy. 

Embracing the the challenges given to me
With my Savior I can do anything. 
As I lose myself I will find me. 
I'm discovering joy. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Honest Opinion #3: Men's Voices

Given equally talented choirs or ensembles, I would much rather hear men sing than women. Some women's groups are great (The Wailin' Jennys are my favorite) but in almost every case, men are better. Their voices are powerful, heavenly, soothing, invigorating, etc. I just love them. 

Because of how much I love men's voices, it is one of the things I really insist upon in a future husband. I genuinely care more about vocal cords than biceps. 

Men's voices just generally have more power to move me than anything else musically. They're the best. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

"A New Hope"

Several honest opinions today:

Star Wars IV and V should definitely be seen before I, II, and III. 

Peanut butter in chocolate ice cream is a very delicious thing. 

FHE should not involve anyone acting on anger. 

Gandolphos has pretty good sandwiches. 

News of my day: I was happy at work. The 8 hours flew by, which was a nice feeling. 

I left the house during an angry moment in FHE, and was able to calm down and eventually pray for my family. I found peace of my own, and charity, which helped me to not provoke anyone further when I went inside. 

Hoping I can get a lot done at work tomorrow. I hope to finish my journal project soon so I don't feel so bogged down with the past. I'm liking the past less. I like the present and the future more!

Friday, March 7, 2014


One of the most painful verses in the Old Testament:
And [God] said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.
In order to be refined, we have to be perfectly willing to give up everything we care about the most, in faith that somehow God will still keep His promises, and that either in this life or the next, everything will turn out better than we imagined.

It's one thing to casually acknowledge it, and another thing to go through it.

For me, part of it has been being single when nearly all of my friends are married with children. I've always wanted a loving relationship so much, but I think one of the reasons I am still single is that God needed me to learn to turn to Him for comfort and help with my problems, instead of trying to find another person to make me whole.

I'm happy to say that recently, I've really started to feel whole. I've found comfort in God, and I don't have that desperate lonely feeling anymore (or at least not nearly as often). I know that God has plenty of work for me to do to help me grow and to help me serve others. I feel like I have work to do in the building the kingdom, and I feel no need to worry about the fact that I am single. I trust my Heavenly Father that everything will turn out right, and I'll just simply trust in His timing and focus on the things He's asked me to do at this point in life. It is a fantastic feeling, starting to feel whole.

After I've learned this lesson sufficiently, I'm sure I'll be called upon to sacrifice something else. But with each trial my faith and confidence in Him will grow, and I'll be able to meet every challenge that comes and every sacrifice that is asked of me.

Faith is such a good feeling. =)

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Honest Opinion #2: Sushi

Sushi is awesome. Some people worry about raw fish, but I just really don't. I love the taste of the sauces and all the ingredients; the textures of the fish, rice, seaweed, etc.; the large-bite-size of them; the soy sauce and wasabi; the ginger in between. And I think I really love eating things out of the norm, things that I don't have very often. I love the novelty and variety of it. And I love sharing rolls, so that you can keep switching from flavor to flavor. It really is the way to go.

Fortunately for me, some of my favorite people of last year were major sushi fans as well. I had sushi for my birthday with Steffen, I introduced Sarah to sushi for the first time (of many times thereafer), and when I moved away from Logan, Sarah and Steffen and I ate tons of sushi.

Unfortunately, sushi is a little expensive, and not everyone else likes it. But let it be known that I do.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Honest Opinion #1: Immigration

So, back when I dated Jeff, I gained a lot of political opinions. Some I still hold, but not all. I think. Anyway, one of the strongest opinions that stayed, and was later amplified through my own experiences is my opinion on immigration.

I believe that reforms should be made so it is much easier for immigrants to come to the United States to live and work.

I do not believe that crossing the border is a crime in and of itself that deserves the punishment of deportment. I believe that immigrants who commit felonies or serious crimes should be the only ones to be deported.

I do believe that the process to become a citizen should take some effort and time, but not money, and not a ridiculously long amount of time. The right to vote would be granted to those willing to put in the extra effort of becoming a citizen.

I see all these immigrants as people, and believe they should be allowed to seek the opportunity to provide for their families and have a better life than they may have been having in their home countries. And I believe their presence blesses our country, not damages it (with the exception of those who commit serious crimes, and the non-criminals far outnumber the criminals).

I  know I haven't addressed everything about the subject, but these are my current opinions on the matter.

That feels good. =)

Honest Opinions

In the past I have been someone that likes to please others. However, I am now making it a point more than ever to work on my authenticity. I had the thought a few days ago:
Somewhere I want to write down my opinions so I don't change them all when I start dating someone. I need to be honest with myself. So I can then be honest with others. Opinions can change, but only for valid reasons. If I later change opinions, ask myself why I did, honestly.
Then I thought
Hey! I have a blog! And not very many people read it, so its a perfect place to teach myself to be honest with my opinions.
If I go viral, I'm in trouble. But I really don't think that'll happen.

So, I plan to post some short opinions with the label "Honest Opinions" and challenge myself to think about and commit to an opinion enough to say/type it out loud.

My goal is not to persuade, only to express. And mostly for my own sake.

You can comment if you disagree. It'll give me an option to stand strong for my opinion. =)

Monday, March 3, 2014


" not easily provoked."

How does charity manage that?

How does anyone manage it? Anyone know?

Friday, February 14, 2014

"I Will Give My Heart to Him"

As I've been working on emotional things the last few weeks (mostly because of the Wholehearted Class I'm taking online), I've realized something about myself. I identify myself by my challenges and the pain I've felt. Emotional abuse, a challenging mission, hard break-ups, and being single... these are my identity. Which is a problem, because my main goal for 2014 is to become emotionally and spiritually whole. To be healed. So that I will be able to move on, with the future being more about maintenance and growth than about recovery.

I know the Savior CAN heal me... but I realized recently that I haven't wanted Him to. Because then who would I be? What would be left of me? What claim would I have to people's kindness? I imagine myself feeling naked and alone.

Which brings me to a realization I just barely had as I was writing this! So, Brene talks about perfectionism being a shield that protects us from being seen. And that's true, I've lived that. But I think I'm also using my pain and challenges in a similar way. I hide behind it. The fact that I would feel naked (vulnerable) without it helped me realize that.

My fear is that no one would pay attention to an emotionally stable me. Because I wouldn't need them. And I would be boring. (I'm not saying I am boring, but that is my extreme fear.) Wow... I currently don't actually believe that anyone would like me for me, and care about me, unless I had some problems for them to "fix" or some need that could pull compassion from them. (Maybe part of this comes from being in a large family where you mostly just get attention when you have a problem. Or from my therapy education background of everyone having big problems.)

The sad thing is, that might mean that's how I see others. I care about those with the biggest problems, because of their problems. Because then I feel needed.


I've got some work to do.

This blog post took an unexpected turn... Anyway, I will still post the quote I intended to from the beginning. It still applies. =) Basically, I've been thinking about this concept a lot, and how healing and sanctification are only the beginning of a beautiful future. I've been so afraid to be healed or give my heart to God, because I see it as the end of something. But, it truly is a beginning.

This quote is from President Osguthorpe's amazing CES Devotional in November, spoken by one of the young adults in a video segment.
"Giving your heart and your will to God … the first thing He does with it is He sanctifies it. It’s not like we’re all just giving our hearts to God and He just puts them in a big vault and says, 'Yes, one more heart for me to enjoy.' He takes it and sanctifies it and proves it and gives it back to us and says, “Now go use this and do great things.” I just never really thought about what happened after you gave it to Him. I thought that was kind of the end, but that’s just the beginning."
What things are ahead? What might I have to look forward to after becoming more emotionally whole? Any thoughts or comments, especially from those who have gone through something similar?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

No Twenty-Something's

Recently I've prayed a lot to find friends. This week I've had some great friends to spend time with, and have been very social. I had to laugh though, when I realized that none of my friends this week are in their 20s. My friends here that spent time with me this week include my  17-year-old brother, the Bradshaw's (in their 50s), my friend Guy (early 30s), and my friend/teacher/mentor Gerry (36ish). And tonight I'm having a sleepover with the sibs.

I'm glad I wasn't more specific, because these are some pretty great friends. I may be more specific in my prayers about finding someone to date... My own decade is preferable for that. =)

Anyway, the last few days have been good. Tonight I was able to rock out to "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" at my guitar/piano lesson. Therapy right there! It was nice to goof off, get a little bit of anger out, and improve musically all at the same time. =)

On a different note, I want to come closer to Christ. I thought a lot about the Second Coming yesterday during a conversation with Guy, and I just want to do everything in my power to feel ready and secure in my relationship with Divinity. 

Monday, February 10, 2014


I had several highlights or moments of happiness today. I got to leave work early, and even though the sky had been gloomy this morning, the sun was shining and the sky clear when I left at 4:00. It was beautiful, and I sang out loud as I walked to my car. =)

The second highlight was eating at Brick Oven for Tanner's birthday, and being called "Sweetheart" by the balloon guy, who made me a lavender seahorse. Maybe I've never admitted it, but I love terms of endearment and little names like that. When Rob called me "Babe" the first time back in July or August, it made my day. And Elder Hammond called me "Sweetheart" all the time and I loved it. 

Which leads me to the third highlight. I enjoyed my evening with the Bradshaw's, and was even referred to as "Sunshine" by Brother Bradshaw. They invited me to join them for dinner, then scriptures and prayer, after we had recorded the video I'll be sending to ITA as part of my audition. Wanna see it?

Suffice it to say, I felt very loved today. By God, strangers, family, and the Bradshaws. I'm especially grateful for Sister Bradshaw's time and talent that she shared with me tonight. It's good to know I really do have people around who truly care for me, and show it. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Goals Met and Goals Made - And a Happy Day at Church

And I totally carried through on one of my plans already! My page about 2013 is now completed. See the right sidebar for the link. =D

Church today was fantastic. We talked about balance and some "temporal" things to work on. And we also talked about self-compassion. I felt the Spirit more powerfully and peacefully and cheerfully than I've felt it at church in while. I made some plans to change, and actually most of them have to do with health. Its also my NY Resolution for this month. So I hope I can report some fabulous changes by the end of the month. I hope I can report a consistent new habit of exercising and eating healthy. I started the ball rolling today on a way to change some of my food habits. And I will be going to bed REALLY SOON so I can run on the treadmill at 6:00 tomorrow morning.

Today was my first day playing the organ in the ward here. It went alright. Nowhere near perfect, but I was doing my best. During the middle of the meeting, I was asked to play a surprise intermediate hymn ("You Can Make the Pathway Bright"). I had not practiced it... and it was pretty obvious... but everyone was extremely kind about it and I got complimented by a few people on my willingness to go for it even though I wasn't prepared.

I just felt happier and friendlier today than I have in a while on Sundays. It was a really nice feeling.

In the Wholehearted class, we will be focusing on Resilience. Expect to hear more from me about that.

And without further ado, I will be on my way to bed.

Family selfie! The girl part of the family, anyway. =)

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Big Blog Plans

I've got bigger plans for this blog than I have in years. I went to RootsTech today, and it was awesome. Instead of going to research classes, I went to classes about telling stories - my own and my ancestors. And it just got me really excited! I want to share my story, my family's stories, and the stories of my friends (those who want to share them, anyway).

I also want to continue sharing about my Wholehearted Living class, and start sharing more. I've become nervous for some reason. But luckily for me, hardly anyone I actually know reads my blog. And if I post a link to Facebook, it can just be to my "Close Friends" list. So yeah.

I am excited to start sharing more. And scared too. But I'll try to be purposeful about what I share. I really want to grow in authenticity. That's one of my main reasons. I hope this helps me feel more centered and stable.

First thing I want to do is add another page summarizing the year, and talk about why my 2013 was a year of courage. I did something similar for 2011 and 2012, and plan to continue that tradition. =)

Captain Jack, the FamilySearch pirate. And me. =)
Why a pirate? To tell us "Dead men tell no tales... But their obituaries do."

Monday, February 3, 2014

The Scripture I Needed This Morning

Jacob 3:1-2

But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto Him with exceeding faith, and He will console you in your afflictions, and He will plead your cause, and send down justice upon those who seek your destruction. 

O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon His love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever. 

Physical affection

One of those posts I don't want to put on Facebook, but still want to say.

Here's my thought:
If physical affection is the ONLY way you show someone you love them... you don't really love them. 

I believe physical affection is a great way to show you care... IF it's backed up by respect, kindness, service, sacrifice, and other ways of truly showing love and care. 

Just sayin'.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"Happiness, Your Heritage" - Overlap of Brene Brown and Dieter F. Uchtdorf

As I was reading my scriptures and listening to conference talks, I decided to listen to Pres. Uchtdorf, because he has a way of vocalizing the bridges and connections between the gospel and the work of Brene Brown. What she says feels true to me, and President Uchtdorf is able to back that up really well, and the Spirit confirms.

In September 2008 he gave the address "Happiness, Your Heritage" from which I'll be sharing some quotes.

First, he talks about how happiness is what we all yearn for. And what happiness is the greatest kind possible? God's happiness. So what is God's happiness? What makes Him happy? We probably can't understand everything that makes him happy, but we do know what His work and His glory is: to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
"Heavenly Father is able to accomplish these two great goals—the immortality and eternal life of man—because He is a God of creation and compassion. Creating and being compassionate are two objectives that contribute to our Heavenly Father’s perfect happiness. Creating and being compassionate are two activities that we as His spirit children can and should emulate." 
He then goes on to talk about both being creative and being compassionate. Both of which are focuses of Brene's work. The intention for the first week of her class is "Courage, Compassion, and Connection will be my constant companions." It's an art-journaling class, because creativity is needed to help open us up so we can practice vulnerability.

Here is a long excerpt from when he talks about creation:

The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before. 
Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty. 
Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty—and I am not talking about the process of cleaning the rooms of your teenage children. 
You might say, “I’m not the creative type. When I sing, I’m always half a tone above or below the note. I cannot draw a line without a ruler. And the only practical use for my homemade bread is as a paperweight or as a doorstop.” 
If that is how you feel, think again, and remember that you are spirit daughters of the most creative Being in the universe. Isn’t it remarkable to think that your very spirits are fashioned by an endlessly creative and eternally compassionate God? Think about it—your spirit body is a masterpiece, created with a beauty, function, and capacity beyond imagination. 
But to what end were we created? We were created with the express purpose and potential of experiencing a fulness of joy.  Our birthright—and the purpose of our great voyage on this earth—is to seek and experience eternal happiness. One of the ways we find this is by creating things
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.  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. So what if the eggs are greasy or the toast is burned? Don’t let fear of failure discourage you. Don’t let the voice 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. 
The more you trust and rely upon the Spirit, the greater your capacity to create. That is your opportunity in this life and your destiny in the life to come. Sisters, trust and rely on the Spirit. As you take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness, you improve not only the world around you but also the world within you.

Perhaps tomorrow I will post more about compassion. This post is pretty long already. To end this, I'm going to include my act of creativity that I completed yesterday:

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Brene Brown eCourse

I'm starting an eCourse by Brene Brown, and today is the first day. I figured I could use this blog as a good journal on my way, of the things I'm comfortable sharing with the world. So, be prepared, its going to be taking over my blog for a while here. =)

Every week we set an intention, so I'm gonna post mine right here.

I will keep courage, compassion, and connection on my mind and in my heart, and look for ways I can live them each day. I will be humble enough to realize their value in each situation, and also forgive myself when I fail to live them. I will seek to show courage, compassion and connection at every opportunity, and love myself through the process.

"Courage, compassion and connection will be my constant companions."

For any of my blog readers who don't know who Brene Brown is, or what her work is about... you can watch her TED talks right here. To me, they were/are life-changing. They feel completely true to me. And so important. Enjoy! (She curses now and then, but I feel that watching these videos is completely worth it!)

Friday, January 3, 2014

Happy Interviews

I love interviews where I feel happy and good about myself afterwards. What a blessing!

I've had two interviews this week, and should have at least two next week. Hoping I find an excellent fit. =)