Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I can do hard things.

Today I realized that sometimes I'm good at things without realizing it. I also realized that sometimes I am not so good at things, but I force myself to do them and that's okay too.

I was really excited today when I realized that I could double minor really really really easily. Like for my management minor I only need to take 3 or 4 extra classes and I tested out of math, so now it's 2 or 3. Or how I have 10 hours of credit towards my environmental science major, and then I'll have more after this semester is through. Did I mention it's a 17 credit hour minor? Oh, or did I mention that other than one credit hour, the classes I need are required for my major anyway? Booyah. Seriously guys, I've wanted to look into that for awhile, but I was so nervous that it would just overwhelm me. Then I had the courage to even try and I found out that I've already done half the work. I will take it. Seriously blessed.  I really need to email my calc teacher and thank her and ask her how her new baby is doing.

Today I also forced myself to do something terrifying. I asked a boy in my ward to the Sadie Hawkin's dance coming up. He's cute and really sweet, so I don't know why I was nervous but I totally was. Ehh, that statement will probably have people making this into a big deal, but to be honest (which is scary), I just hate feeling vulnerable. I made myself do it though and now I have a super fun date lined up in November, so holla at yah girl.

Also, I'm really liking things out here. I really am.
I like who I am out here.
I like being in charge of myself.
I like that I am not always perfect and that I'm not so busy all the time that I can just ignore all my feelings like I did all through High School.

At first I thought I hated that about being out here, but I know it's a really good thing.
...even if it's also a hard thing.

So yeah. got a little serious on you at the end didn't I? weird...

abrupt ending.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Goal Digger.

Today was a great day, as most of my days are. ...perhaps I should explain that comment because it sounds a little cocky. I never ever ever ever go to bed feeling like I had a truly bad day. It's a wonderful thing. Here's the thing... I am blessed in my life, yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, hourly, and down to each minute and second. Sometimes lame things happen, but I remind myself that one lame event should not define my day, just as I wouldn't want one mistake to define the person I am. When I feel sad about how one of my days has gone, I take the time to attempt to recognize all the good things that happened to me. I say attempt because I fully accept and recognize that no matter how hard I try, I will never be able to notice all the things that go right that could go wrong or all the silent acts of service in my life. I let the happy moments outweigh the unhappy moments in my mind, because we all know that good is more powerful than bad. In reality, the only power bad/evil things have is the power we give them as we dwell on them. The reality is that the love my Heavenly Father has for me is real, and if I'm willing to open my eyes to seek for it, the evidence is overwhelming. So when I say I don't have bad days, I mean it. I have bad moments and bad hours, but I never go to bed having a bad day. I have too much to be grateful for for that kind of nonsense to be true.

Today was a good day, as most of my days are. I woke up and got ready for the day. I checked Facebook and saw a picture that my four year old sister drew of my family. I took a picture of it and made it my phone home screen. I walked to the south side of campus to wait for the landscape management activity meet-up to happen. I was way earlier than I intended to be (a blessing in disguise), so I called my mom's phone. My intention was to talk to my little sister about the picture she drew, but my little brother answered the phone. I literally haven't gotten to talk to this kid since I left for school... mostly because he's a punk... we'll just say it's because he's really busy. That was pretty sweet.

I got to go to the Gaumer Residence with the Landscape Management Club, where we winterized the property. It was fun, hard, gratifying work, and I can honestly say, I put my effort in it. I am exhausted, but it was definitely worthwhile.

During the drive home I got to talk to a friend and look at all the beautiful trees as we drove through the mountains. It reminded me of home a bit, but with this whole other side to it because (to be honest) Virginia has no real mountains!
Sidenote: Today Jade was talking about the Appalachian mountains, but he called them something like "ab-la-shawn" or "abba-lay-chain" or something, I have no idea what he said, but my first thought was "I thought the only mountains in the East were the Appalachian Mountains...." Then I realized that was what he meant. Too funny.

Now I am home and clean, with tan lines on my feet from the shoes I was wearing. It was a great day and I feel motivated to have more great days.

This is my "19 Things to Do Before I Am 19" List. I started it October 1st, and am committed to finishing it.

-Write and record an original song
-Read the Book of Mormon
-Try a new recipe at least once every two weeks
-See the temple lights in Salt Lake and visit at least 4 temples in Utah
-Read through all of Preach My Gospel
-Plan and carry out a new workout program
-Reread and Study each of the talks from Oct 2013e
-Crochet a scarf for each HE member
-Do something to serve someone else everyday (begin 10/1)
-Begin Blogging on a regular basis.
-Increase my photography profile.
-Get a job
-Be able to run 3 miles without stopping
-Meet with school counselors
-learn to make tortillas.
-begin journaling
-patriarchal blessing personal study
-Complete the BYU Tree Tour
-Write all the the Elders/Sister I know on missions

And yes, I am writing this post because I realized I am supposed to start blogging more... (;

Thursday, October 10, 2013

United We Stand.

As a Northern Virginian here in Utah, it's interesting to see the way that a government shutdown affects our country.  Here, I mostly hear about the shutdown in general conversation and when we talk about different parks being closed in my classes. Although the shutdown affects many lives and families here, I feel as though it is nothing compared to how pressing the issue is when I am at home. I remember when it happened in High School and a number of my friend's parents were out of work. That's not as evident here in a university setting, the way it is at home when surrounded by government employed families.

Since the shutdown, I have read any number of statuses, tweets, comments, and memes about the shutdown. All with a negative tone. Some blame the system, some blame the congressmen, and some blame the opposite party. None are productive, none are inspiring, and none are eliciting a change in what's going on.

Recently I've pondered on what I can do to make a difference. I'm just an 18 year old girl after all. A first year student at Brigham Young University thousands of miles from a home I love, a home that is hurting. I'm not a political activist. I don't claim to know what the best solution for our country is, and I would never desire to be the person who has to make that call. However, there are some things that I do know and that I've come to realize even more as I've reflected on our circumstance:

First is that I am proud to be an American. I commented that I felt my home in Virginia was hurting, but in reality, this country is my home and we as an American family are going through a hard time. I don't always love the things we as a country do or agree with the course we take, but I am proud to be here. I am grateful for this land and the freedoms it offers me. I am grateful for the precepts our great nation was founded on, and though I have long since accepted that we are not perfect, I will never stop believing that we can grow together.

Second, I have the knowledge that there is a God who knows and loves each of us individually. I also believe that He knows us as a country, and most significantly, I believe that He hears our prayers and answers my (and your) prayers.

Thus, I concluded that the best thing I can do for my country is pray to my Father and ask for His loving hand to guide and intervene. I am but one individual on this earth, but I have faith that even my most quiet prayers count for good when I am sincere. It's such a simple act, but I owe it to this country that has given me so much, to not complain, but to do my part, however small, so that's what I've been doing.

Today I felt a great call to action to do more for my country. I felt it as I read the status of a friend from Virginia, about her concerns as her father has been out of work for over a week. Her concerns about how her family will make ends meet when all he can find are minimum wage jobs. I felt the same call as I read through each of the comments posted by her friends and acquaintances in similar situations. These individuals who themselves or whose loved ones have served their country through government employment and are now left in a lurch, their lives are on hold, and they are fighting to stay afloat.

As I read their comments my heart hurt for them. We are all part of the American Family and this is only a fraction of the members of my family and your family that are hurting.

I've realized there is more that can be done, but I can't do it alone.

The reality is, the answer hasn't really changed in my eyes. The most helpful thing that I can find for myself to do is pray. Pray when I awake, pray at each meal, pray in quiet moments, and pray before I go to bed at night. Pray for this country. To pray not for a political party or for things to work out the way that I want them to, but to pray to our Father in Heaven that things will change, that we can work together and really say "United We Stand," the way claim to live. We can pray that our elected leaders will be able to work together, that their hearts will be softened to compromise, that they might be able to come to a solution that will benefit our country, and we can humbly trust that God will lead us to where we need to go.

So now I am doing my part by asking. First I pray and ask God for help, and now I ask each of you "Will you pray with me?" It doesn't matter to me what your belief system is. I endorse our right to freedom of religion and encourage each to worship God as they choose. Thus, I invite all of you, whether you be Muslim, Jewish, Baptist, Protestant, Agnostic, Mormon, Lutheran, Catholic, Presbyterian, Sikh,  Christian, or anything else, to knee down and pray to your God. Pray to him even if your don't know that He is listening (though I can promise you He is). Ask Him to help His children. Ask Him to help our American Family. Ask Him to guide us in the right way, and don't tell Him what way that is. Just ask Him and take a chance in believing that He will answer.

How powerful would it be if all of us, regardless of faith, were to join together in prayer?

We are all different. We have different skin colors. We have different hair colors. We have different incomes. We have different educations. We have different backgrounds. We have different trials. We have different hardships. We are all different, but we can choose to be as one. We can be one family. We live together. We work together. We play together. We learn together. We stand together. Now let us pray together. For together we are stronger than we could ever be on our own.

United We Stand. United We Pray.