Sunday, June 28, 2015

Thoughts on Opinions

In light of the last few months of happenings, I thought I'd just share some of the thoughts that I've had running through my mind.  

Feel free to ignore them. They are simply MY thoughts.

They started running through my mind when I got on Facebook.
You may or may not have seen all of the posts that have been roaming around. 

If you haven't, you probably live under a rock and you won't be reading this anyway. 

 I've seen some posts and comments agreeing with whatever subject is new that day, and some disagreeing. Some are kind and considerate, while others hurtful and inconsiderate.

And it's lead me to think a lot.
Really, what it all boils down to is so simple. 


We each have the capacity, as human beings, to every one of these things.

We each have opinions, which we are allowed to formulate with as much or as little knowledge and background as we want.
We each have agency, which allows us to make any decision, and think any thought that we want to.
We all judge others. We are taught not to--but it is inherently done, regardless of what we have been taught.
We each have the ability, and, in my opinion, the responsibility to respect each other, and each other's opinions.
And love. We each have an inherent ability to love others--or to learn to love them if we don't.

As I've read through opinion, after opinion, after opinion, and expressed some of my own; I keep coming back to the same thoughts. And President Uchtdorf says it best.

Why, with all of the problems that are already inevitably in the world, do we feel the need to create more problems? Why do we feel the need to act stubborn, bitter, or resentful towards people? I wish I knew how to answer the why, because if we're being honest--the answer is that WE DON'T. We DON'T need to be rude. Resentful. Stubborn. Bitter.  And we don't need to make other people feel that they need to be either.

President Uchtdorf also says:

In the scheme of things, are leggings important? What about bikinis? What about what I ate for dinner? What about my choice of major vs yours? What about how much money I make vs how much you make? What about where I work vs where you work? How about how I identify/define myself?

Nope. Nope. Nope. 

None of those things are truly important. What really will be important in the end? 
Our relationships--with God, with family, with friends, with strangers.
Our ability to love, and to forgive, and to forego judgement. (And, if I'm being honest, I'm going to need a lot of help and time to master any of those things.)
Our faith, and our belief in God, and the way that we have manifest it on the Earth. 

Now, I'm not saying that I think we have a free pass that allows us to not worry about standards such as modesty, honesty, language, etc. I'm not saying that I disagree, as a Christian, that marriage is ordained of God as being between one man and one woman.

I am, however, saying that we need to all take a second to take a step back and remember that we are all children of God, with agency. With the ability and the necessity to form opinions on our own. With the desire to express our faith in, dependence on, and love for God in our own unique ways. 

Honestly, President Uchtdorf's simple words say it ALL best:

"When it comes to...

As a young adult, it seems that I have been reminded, quite frequently in my short life, that life is fragile--that it is short, and that we should be taking advantage of every opportunity we have to learn, to love, to appreciate, to grow--and not to ridicule, to put down, to fight, or to hate. 

Stop taking time out of your life to ridicule others for their decisions and their beliefs.
Stop bickering over FaceBook about how you believe someone else is a sinner--because obviously when you're doing that you are proving that you are NOT a saint. 
Stop focusing on negative.

Take a step back. 

Compliment someone.
Smile at someone.
Do something little every day for someone else.
Be kind to everyone--no matter how rude they are to you.
Show love and respect, and you will get love and respect in return. 

After all, isn't America supposed to be 

"One Nation, Under God INDIVISIBLE"?

Regardless of your stance on the supreme court decision to allow same sex marriage; on Caitlin Jenner's sex change; on wearing leggings vs wearing pants; on owning guns.  The list goes on, and on...  

There will ALWAYS  be something to disagree with/argue about if you look for it. 

 Stop looking for it. And, if you really want a challenge,

START looking for the positive. 

Live life more like THIS

You will be happier! I promise! 
(and so will everyone who follows your social media ;))

Saturday, October 11, 2014


One day this summer, I decided I wanted to run a marathon for real. I have always thought about it, and never done anything about it, so I got online and used my good friend Google to search "marathons in Utah."  I found two on the weekend of October 4, and debated (for all of 2 minutes) Park City, or St. George. And went with Park City. I signed up for the marathon without reading much of anything about it, and then looked at the calendar to decide how long I had to train. I found a 16 week training program beginning the next day, and ending the day of the race. So I printed her off, put her on the fridge, and got myself out of the house and running!

In the middle of my training my leg decided to start acting up. After not being able to run for a few weeks, I went to see a doctor, and he "diagnosed" (more like just took a stab in the dark, but same thing, right?) tendinitis. He told me to rest up, ice it, and get back into running slowly. The problem was that the marathon was coming right around the corner. So after 2 weeks, I gave up the "resting" idea and jumped back in my running shoes to train. It was painful, but it was manageable until I stopped running. Then I spent time with a bag of frozen peas.

The morning of October 3 came (the day prior to the race, sorry guys, not quite there yet.) and my throat was on FIRE. My nose started to get a little clogged, and I knew things were going to be miserable pretty quick. Because of the beautifully timed sore throat, my racing mind, and my anxiety I did not get much rest the night before, but I got up early anyway and made the trek up to Park City. By this point, my cold had hit me pretty hard, and I didn't have any DayQuil to my name. Rough way to start the day, but no other choice!

 It. Was. Freezing.

I started talking to a couple who happened to walk up around the same time I did, which happened to be way too early. They were avid marathoners who were just driving through town and decided they might as well jump in the race. They also told me they do Iron Man's every now and again if they get tired of marathons. (seriously? crazy people....) Anyway, in our discussion it came up that this was my first marathon.  The wife looked at me with a shocked look, and proclaimed, "Are you an IDIOT?" (and yes, that was a direct quote.) She then proceeded to tell me that this was known as one of the hardest marathons in the United States at the time, and basically that I would loose a piece of my soul on the course...thank you for your kind words of encouragement woman.  She told me to take my "average marathon time" (since I have one of those....???) split it in half, add the half to the end of my average time, and then add on half an hour to an hour based on how my body handles elevation. 
Asthma + elevation = SLOW
But I couldn't back out then, so off I went. 
 About 10 minutes into the race, I tripped over the roots of a tree and fell on my face in the woods.  It was really great. Especially because at that point everyone was still running in a single-file line together. But I was able to pop right back up and keep going. About that point my iPod decided to start being really annoying, and only playing stupid songs. I got really fed up with it, so I just took it out and ran without any music the rest of the time. 
 The race continued to climb up the mountain on the ski trails. 
 There were times that we were in the trees, and it was dark and cold, and there were times we broke out and saw the entire city below us. It was unreal. And SO beautiful. But the course was so confusing. I definitely missed the first turn off and started running down the wrong road until someone saw me from above and yelled at me.  It took me a few minutes to get back on the right track, but I made it. 
 At points it was snowy, and icy, and cold. And did I mention, cold? It was cold.
Then I finally made it up to the peak. 10,000 feet elevation. And I stopped because the views were absolutely spectacular. 

 There was a couple sitting up there that said, "you're half way done!!! Now you just have to work your way back down!" 

At this point in time, I was running next to an older Asian gentleman.  He looked at me and we both looked down the side of the mountain, and looked back at the couple. He then blurted out, "What the heck do they think I am, an ANIMAL?"
The hill going down was insanely steep. One of those that you look at and, even if you've never had it before, your inner acrophobia comes out. I decided I'd better just get going, because it had to happen sometime, and about 10 steps later I slipped and fell onto my bum, and slid the majority of the way down the hill.  It was great. But my leggings didn't even rip! SCORE!

Now, if you're keeping track, that would be
Marathon: 2
Emma: 0
 After we got down the most steep part of the slopes, we wound back through some more of the woods.  At one point I went 7 miles without seeing another human, and just running through the woods alone. There were times (about every 4 minutes) that I thought I was lost, and I would get really worried. I mean, I was in the woods. Alone. With no cell service. And I was lost. But there was always a flag showing I was still on the right trail just around the turn. This was one of those tests of blind faith--you've got to take a few steps into the darkness before seeing the light, ya know? Weird to compare my marathon running to something of a spiritual nature, but honestly, I came to terms with a lot of things in those hours spent out there by myself in nature with nothing to distract me. 

 The entire time I was running through this portion of the woods, the poem by Robert Frost "The Road Not Taken" was running through my mind. I don't think I've read it since 6th grade when I had  to memorize it. Thank you Mr. Washington. Except for some reason, I could only remember one stanza at a time. So I would repeat it in my mind until the next one came to me, and then I repeated those two together until the third came to me. But then the last one would not come to me.  It was extremely frustrating. As soon as I got home I looked it up so that I could remember the end of it.

Also, I have never ever quoted poetry in my mind. Ever. until I became an English major, and now it never goes away. It's rather strange. 

 When I got to this point, I knew I only had a mile and a half left of the course. I could hear the announcer at the bottom of the hill, and I could see the finish line. My body decided that it was more capable than I thought, and I started speeding up. Lucky for me, the last quarter of a mile was a flat dirt path that wound around like a snake. I was trying my hardest to make it into the finish line, because I was so exhausted.
I was taught in high school to run looking up, not down at my feet. A method I like to call lock and pull. Lock your eyes on something and then pull yourself towards it. Once you reach that object, you lock your eyes on the next. That was the only way I would make myself pass people.
 (Side note, that was also how I would end up going way too fast down Southern Ave. I would forget that that strategy did not apply to driving and look down to find myself way over the speed limit. whoops. haha)
 Next thing I knew, my foot caught on a rock, and I ATE IT. Reeeaaaallllllyyyyy hard. I had a really hard time getting back up and making myself start moving again. Once I did though, I looked up and noticed a woman standing just to my left taking pictures. I really hope that she was not snapping at that exact moment, and that those pictures never surface. Anywhere. 

 I ran through the finish line, as the announcer said my name and stated, "she's not finished yet! Now she's got all the booze she could ever want to drink for FREE!" Thank you kind sir, but no thank you. I do not want any booze. Ever. Especially not after running 26 miles.
My body was so exhausted, my mind was so exhausted, everything hurt, and I just started crying for no reason. Welcome to the life of being a girl. It was a rough couple of minutes. I made it to my bag, picked up my shirt, got in the car and drove home as fast as I could. But first I made a stop at Sodalicious first for my first soda in months. Oh man, it was so good.

 I got home and realized that I hadn't put sunscreen on at all that day. My face and neck were a disaster. And with my lovely cold, my nose was especially bad and started peeling the very next day. I looked like I was trying to dress up for Halloween a few weeks too early. #awkward 

 The rest of Saturday and Sunday were spent in bed resting up, or walking around trying not to have to sit down, because it hurt too bad to try and stand back up. NyQuil and Ibuprofen have become my best friends. 
My legs are still bruised and scabbed a little bit, and this lovely cold is still hanging around making my life a little bit (or a lot bit) miserable, but I RAN A MARATHON. 

And I can't wait to run another one! 

Who wants to join me next time?? 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Thoughts on Feeling Overwhelmed

College has always been hard for me.  
Year three is no different.
If anything, it's become harder.
I'm at the point where I would say that it is brutal.
I switched my major. 
I am {finally} taking my last GE class.
(And in case you were wondering, it is ridiculously hard, even though it is actually incredibly interesting)
Actually, in case you were wondering, every class I am taking is ridiculously hard. And incredibly interesting.

PSA: Every class I'm taking has made me realize how LITTLE I know.

I've  found myself asking myself many questions...some of which include:

What did I DO in high school? 
aside from extra curricular activities...
What did I LEARN in high school?
aside from how to ignore annoying people...
How the heck does ANYONE know what anapestic tetrameter is? Or dactylic pentameter? Or common meter? 
[Common meter? I know what the 1600 meter is. That's pretty common, right?]
^That was a joke, in case you couldn't tell. I know that meter's are really just sticks you use to measure things. Jokes again ^
And, in response to the terminology, why does it seem that EVERYONE ELSE DOES know what those terms mean? 
cause i dont...
How are some people ALWAYS so opinionated? 
i feel like my mind is empty...
And HOW do they have the courage to openly share those opinions?
i mean, they are interesting, but man, they're courageous...
Does no one else feel they are having a MAJOR heat flash when called upon in class?
because I do......

I used to think I was a somewhat talented writer.
And I enjoy writing.
And then I got my first writing assignment back from my professor, 
[who I swear is a genius]
 and, well, the grade was definitely not what I expected it to be. 
Nor what I wanted it to be.

Because BYU, unlike the rest of the schools I attended throughout my education, remembers that there is a letter between D and F....

Why do schools skip E? It's strange. But whatever. That's beside the point.

Needless to say, I walked out of the Richards Building today COMPLETELY overwhelmed.  Almost to the point of tears. can take out the almost...

Then I remembered this statement found in my syllabus:
maybe even for the class I just received a failing grade in...

"If you have ever, even in private, made a connection between your worth as a human and your grades, please, for the love of all that's holy, get OVER that.  Academic performance is not going to make or break your life."

yeah, yeah, yeah. Easy for you to say professor.  You're not trying to get a degree right now...I have to get the grades if I want to get the degree...and you think my writing sucks. Confidence boosted. Not.

Then, I remembered that I had read a very this for class the night before.
(beware: some colorful language used here)

Hello outstanding teacher. Thank you for restoring faith in my writing. And in the writing process. 

Duh I suck at writing.
 I'm 20 years old.  
I have many first drafts waiting to be destroyed by myself.
And many "final drafts" to be destroyed by professors.
But to heck with it. 
I LOVE writing.
I ENJOY writing. 
I may not be as good at writing as my friends who just graduated with a degree in English.
 Or my professor who is a grad student.  
Or my professor who has a PhD in English literature. 

My writing doesn't define me.
My grades don't define me.
Being overwhelmed is OKAY.
Not being able to share my thoughts in class is OKAY.
I am OKAY. 

And I WILL survive two more years of college.
(Did I really just say I am half way done with college..that's scary...)

And even if I did fail that paper, I didn't fail life.
I haven't failed the class. 
yet...anyone willing to tutor me in English 251 would be treated with extreme kindness, and lots of sweets.  You know you want to...

Life continues. 
And life is GOOD. 
And I am happy.

And even though I may be smiling to hide how completely overwhelmed I am, 
at least I'm still smiling.  

Make today a great day.
And if you can't seem to, 
smile anyway.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A {week} in the Life?

I feel like I go for weeks without posting....
oh wait, I do.
Sorry I'm MIA.  Life is CRAZY.
I've been working, and studying, and trying to feel like I'm doing the whole "college" thing right.  It's super stressful when you really think about it!  But I'm still loving it. 
I got called as ward choir director, and held the first choir practice.  There were about 20 people that showed! I was suuuper excited about that!  And, guys, they sounded amazing.  Like seriously, I HAD MAJOR CHILLS the ENTIRE time.  So amazing.
Here's a low down of the days of my week, just for fun.
Sunday's are GREAT.  We have 9:30 am church.  On the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month, I have ward counsel at 8.  So stinking early!  But it's great.  I love being a part of it.  Then after church, I have choir practice.  (the timing of that one is still being figured out).  Then it's usually time for a nap, or dinner prep, depending on if it is my week for food or not.  We have a roomie dinner every week, and we usually have extra guests join us as well.  It's super fun, and I love getting to spend time with my roommates! Then we have ward prayer, and we usually end up staying up far to late doing a whole bunch of nothing.   
Monday's are my favorite, wanna know why? Because Monday's are P-Day's, and all my friends are on missions.  My inbox is FULL every Monday, and I feel so loved. :) Monday's are also great, because the testing center doesn't even open until 10, so I don't have to be there til 9:25 (normal days I have to be there at 7:40)  Oh I love the extra time to sleep.  Also, I get off work at 12, and don't have class til 2, and I only have one class on Monday.  Seriously, I SCORED big time there. 
Tuesday's are a little rough, but I really enjoy my classes.
Wednesday's, well, let me just say, I will NEVER be taking a class from 5-7:30 pm ever again.  I thought I would be okay, because senior year I had English at MCC from 7:10-9:50, and then last year I had Public Speaking from 4-6:30.  So 5-7:30 shouldn't be too bad, right?  WRONG.  It's soooo hard to stay awake and focused in that class.  But my professor is from Australia and so that makes it all better.
My Thursday's are exactly like my Tuesday's!  (THE ONLY REPEAT DAY)  Except, that Thursday nights I get to catch up on my Hulu watching. That may or may not be a highlight of my week.
Friday's are great. I have work from 7:40-12 and then I'm DONE for the day! I try to get homework done, but, lets be real, I've usually stayed up far too late the night before, and end up crashing on my computer/books/whatever I'm attempting to get done.  But I LOVE Friday's.  I really love Friday in the fall though.  I just love that happy feeling.  Agh! I JUST LOVE IT!
Saturday's are lazy days.  We (sometimes) do laundry, usually grocery shop, and laze around.  It's super great.
Then we have to throw in any sporting even that we feel like going to (which is usually the majority of them), and extra study sessions, reviews, etc.  And two of my roommates and I are doing Insanity the workout video.  We are on week 3 right now, and are doing so well!  I'm always SO exhausted, before, during, and after.  But I feel so much better when I'm working out and making sure that I'm not just gaining unnecessary weight.  It's super great.
Anyway, College life is stressful.  But college life is also fun and exciting and great.  I've learned so much academically, spiritually, and so much about myself the last few weeks.  Here's hoping (and praying) for a great rest of the semester!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Tuesday Thoughts

 Well, this week is a slow one.  I feel like it should already be the weekend.  But tomorrow is HUMP DAY! FINALLY! 
Monday night we had our first FHE.  We had dinner at our stake high counselor's house, and at the table they decided we should play the game, "Name one interesting thing about yourself!" You know, that typical, get-to-know-each-other game.
Well when it came my turn, out of my mouth came
"I hate this game."
Anyone who reads my blog knows me, so I'm sure you can hear that in my voice.
It came out matter-of-factly, although I was really just meaning to think it.
Here's my problem with this game.
In case you're interested, here's my thought process:
I'm short.
uh, duh. that's obvious.
I have red hair.
again, how obvious can you get? and that's not unique. lots of people have red hair.
Oh! I know! I have a big family!
honey, you go to BYU. Everyone and their dog has a big family.
Uh....what else is there?
Seriously. BYU is THE place to go from feeling like a unique individual, to feeling like a little Mormon minion.  {DO NOT TAKE THAT THE WRONG WAY! I LOVE BYU, AND I LOVE BEING A MORMON, AND I AM IN NO WAY SAYING I THINK WE ARE A CULT, OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT!}  It's just, well, BYU is a school run by Mormon people, with Mormon values, and, well, a student body that is practically all Mormon.  Try and be an individual there! I dare you! 
Finally, out of my mouth came,
"I was adopted."
Yeah, real unique, I know. But you tell me what I should've said.
Anyway, so we got home, and for some reason I kept thinking about that game, and how UN-unique I was here.  How NORMAL if you would. 
It got me thinking of last year when I first came here.  And holy crap, I was in shock.  Let me just explain for those of you who aren't really understanding me.
In order to get into BYU, you (for the most part) have to be one of the top students.
You have to have a certain GPA and a certain ACT score, and a well written essay or 2 or 3.
So, obviously, those who get into BYU are, "the best and the brightest" as they remind you.
But, like I said, EVERYONE who gets into BYU is "the best and the brightest".
In 2012 when I entered BYU, 12,705 people applied.
7,101 people were accepted.  That's a 55.9% acceptance rate.
The average unweighted GPA was a 3.81. (I don't remember what I had, but it wasn't that!)
The average ACT score was a 28.50 (I'm pretty sure I got a 25..)
The percentage of students who had achieved their Duty to God award/Young Women's Recognition was 84% (I did do that one!)
Sounding a little bit overwhelming?  Well lets add this in:
The first day of our freshman orientation, they decided to TELL us that we were just like everyone else.  That we were no longer the smartest of the smart.  That we had to fight to keep good grades.  Then they told us how many valedictorians we had in our class.  And how many senior class presidents, and how many student body presidents.  How many of this, and that, and this and that, and the lists went ON and ON and ON. 
And I shrunk in my seat.  Nothin' like a little "pep talk" telling you how much you suck.  Because, guess what? I was NONE of those things...and I was sitting here with these people who were ALL of these things.  These people who were talented.  Who were SMART, who were Mormon, who had good families.  And man, I was a nobody.  Right then and there.
Then I went to my ward on Sunday, and I swear, everyone in our ward had some huge obstacle in their lives that they had had to overcome--a parent or a sibling dying, having cancer, parents going through messy divorces, parents who were abusive, I mean, the list went on and on, and it made me sink even lower, because, in my mind, my life now seemed easy as making pre-made cookies. (like the ones you buy at Wal-Mart and take out of a package and put them on a plate)
Well, it kinda ate at me.  I began to fall into a bit of a pit.
I was depressed.  I didn't  like to talk to other people (I still don't love it haha)
I didn't like making new friends, because, they were just going to be better than me!
I felt like I needed to spend ALL my time studying--yet when I tried I realized that I have the attention span of a nat. (And yeah, I'm on blogger instead of doing my homework right now.)
And even after I studied, I BOMBED every single test that I took.  EVERY ONE. 
Lets just say that it was a bad semester--at best. 
I didn't want to come back, but I didn't want to stay home either. 
It was a huge decision.  One which caused MANY tears.
I decided to go back, with a lot of discussion between my parents and I.  A lot of promises, a lot of prayers, and a priesthood blessing.
During this whole situation, the mission age changed, making for even MORE of a reason that I wasn't measuring up to everyone else.
Mission calls were popping up everywhere.  Everyone was deciding to go.
Professors would ask at the beginning of each class who had a new mission call, and there was always at least one.  And I just sat silently.
I had prayed about it, and found my answer to be that a mission is not right for me.  Not now.  If it is in the future, I will know then.  But for now, I needed to stay. 
Anyway, this is a super long story of my life.  You are probably bored.  If you've read this far--props to you.  But here, I want to flash back to real time. 
So, this thought was still sort of plaguing my mind this morning. 
I am an individual, yet here, I am not.
And so I went about my routine.
I went to class, and it was sunny outside.  I came out 50 minutes later, and it was dark and cloudy.  1 minute later, there were HUGE drops of rain. 20 seconds later, it turned into a heavier rain, 10 seconds after that it turned to hail.  30 more seconds passed before it decided to hail and pour rain at the same time.  This pouring rain and hail lasted for a good 3 minutes straight.  While I was attempting to walk to class.  It hurt.  A lot.
But I made it to my next class.  And I was FROZEN the entire time.  But I made it through.
Then I had an hour break til my next class.  I have a friend who has the same break, so we talk then, but I had made up my mind that I was going home, and skipping my last class.  {again, for those of you reading this, you know me.  I DON'T skip class. I've never missed a single class my entire college career so far.  And the only ones I missed before were because I was VERY ill, or at a running meet.}
But my friend came out of his class, and we chatted, and before I knew it, it was time for class to start.  So I went in.
Seriously guys, that was SATAN telling me to go home.  I don't like him at all.  And let me tell you what.  He LOST today.  I love when Satan looses. 
So, I got to class, (which, by the way, is my ALL TIME FAVORITE class I've EVER taken) and my professor puts up the topic on the board. 
"The Divine Nature of Each Individual"
Say whaaaaaaat?
Hello answer to prayers.
He started off talking. And guess what he started with? 
"You guys know how when you are in high school you are the top of the food chain, and then you get to BYU and you are NOTHING.  I mean, you are just like everyone else.  No one stands out!" 
Ummm....did you read my mind?  SERIOUSLY?!
So the lesson went on, and an hour and a 45 minutes has never gone by so fast.  Holy crap.
Let me share with you two quotes that I got written down.  I honestly wish I had recorded the whole lecture.  Because he broke down everything. 
The reason we feel the way we do.
Ways we can combat those feelings.
Ways that Satan works WITH those feelings.
Ways that we can overcome Satan.
'Comparisons' by Dieter F. Uchtdorf
"Every mortal has at least a casual if not intimate relationship with the sin of pride.  At its core, pride is a sin of comparison, for the thought it usually begins with 'Look how wonderful I am and what great things I have done' it always seems to end with 'Therefore, I am better than you.'" 
And one more;
'Becoming' by Robert Millet
"One who chooses Christ chooses to be changed...The Atonement [is] the means whereby our hearts might be cleansed and our souls transformed and prepared to dwell with Christ and our Eternal Father...The Atonement does more than fix the mistakes.  It does more than balance the scales.  It even does more than forgive our sins.  It rehabilitates, regenerates, renews, and transforms human nature.  Christ makes us better, worlds better, than we would have been had there been no Fall." 
He taught us that, like when we meet people who know our families in mortality and are compared to them in ways like "Oh! You have your mom's eyes!" or "We know where you got your singing voice from!", if we were to talk to those on the other side of the veil, they would start comparing our qualities to those of deity.  For example, "oh, the way you work with children!  That reminds me so much of how Christ talks and works with children." or "Oh, your musical talent/any talent--I know where you get that from!"
How cool is that?!  We are in the process of becoming Gods and Goddesses.
He taught us that the 5 threats to "perceptions" of Divine Worth are:
1. False notion of the origin of man
2. False notion of who God is
3. Confusing worldly worth for divine worth
4. Comparisons
5. Mistaking worthiness for worth
I promise I'll close this up soon--because, unlike my professor, I'm no scholar, and I don't have the most amazing way of putting all of this.  But, I want to share one little bit of thought on that last "perception" that he shared with us.
5. Mistaking worthiness for worth
He asked us this question.
"Who has more worth in God's eyes.  Joseph Smith, or the man who killed him?"
Now, that is not to say that the man who shot and killed Joseph Smith would have headed straight to the Celestial Kingdom to sit on the right hand of God right after he had committed murder.  No.  That, is his WORTHINESS.  But, because he is a son of God, he has JUST AS MUCH worth as Joseph Smith has.  He has JUST AS MUCH potential to become a God.  He has JUST AS MUCH potential to be perfected and become just like our Heavenly Father.  He has infinite worth.  Joseph Smith has infinite worth.  YOU have infinite worth.  I have infinite worth.  Our choices in life do not lesson the amount of worth that we hold.  They may, for a period of time diminish our worthiness, but, as we rely on Christ, and use his atonement in our lives to repent, and to be forgiven of our sins, our worthiness improves.  This is a process that is done every single day.  The atonement isn't just a "hey, I did all that I can do, now Christ will bridge that gap."  The atonement is a personal, an individual, a daily, a momentary, and, I might even say, that the atonement is a process that is in full swing every single second.  It not only removes our sins, and helps us become unspotted before the Lord.  It heals our weaknesses, our infirmities, our uncertainties.  It is here for each of us.  Individually.  To use.  All day.  Every day.
I know that the atonement is real.  I know that Christ died so that I can be perfected.  So that I can become who God wants me to become.  I know that Christ lives.  I know that I am an individual, no matter how "normal" and "un-individualistic" I feel at this ginormous university. 
I am thankful to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  And I am thankful to be a student at this amazing university. 
I apologize for the length and preachy-ness of this.  If you made it to the end, I am very proud of you.  If not, I understand.  I just had to get these thoughts out. 
 And I really didn't want to read about Nutrients, Enzymes, and Metabolism.  

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Well, I had a super long and super fun post all about my summer....
and then blogger decided to be a booger about it, and ruin it.
So frustrating.
But whatever.
I had a 4 month long summer.
And now, I'm back at school.
It's weird.
I like it.
It's been a HUGE change.
I don't like change.
But I'm getting used to it.
BYU is kinda a dream.
The campus is GORGEOUS.
The people are nice.
The professors are BRILLIANT.
Classes are hard.
It's BYU.
Am I surprised?
Not one bit.
I miss my best friend more than words can describe.
Not having her here is stinky.
But we get to email once a week, and that's more than people could do even a year ago.
So I'm happy with that.
And she LOVES her mission.
And I love that she loves it.
I miss my family.
FaceTime is the GREATEST invention ever.  After the iPhone.
And, for all you haters who say that people forget about their families when they leave home,
Even if nothing interesting has happened.
So take that.
I miss my old friends from freshman year.
They're all on missions besides a select few.
I love seeing those select few. 
It restores my faith in life. 
I'm making new friends.
It's a slow and interesting process.
It takes me A LONG time to feel comfortable and confident in situations.
This whole "new girl" thing is not so good for my soul.
But at the same time, it's probably exactly what I need.
I like my ward.
We're not to the LOVE stage yet, but we're getting there.
Seriously.  I had the Goosebumps the entire time.
And it wasn't because I was cold--although I was that too.
You-tard is beautiful.
It has rained a lot lately.
This post is super random and I promise I'll get into writing more coherently. 
But for now, I'm done chattin it up with Jedavin in the Philippines,
And I'm headed to bed so I can get up good and early and catch Han in Kentucky.
Life is good.
I know Heavenly Father loves me.
That he hears my prayers,
and that he answers them
Here's to a good year at BYU!  

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Gettin' Real.

Okay. It's time to be real.
Blogger, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. You name it. Anything social media.
We are on them. A lot.
(In denial? Think you're the exception? Well guess what? You're reading a blog. Right now.)
We spend hours stalking other people's lives.
Dreaming of having them.
Planning ridiculously extravagant weddings, outfits, crafts, meals, and homes to live in.
All things that we'll never end up having.
(And by we, I mean, me...and I just hope I'm not the only one.)
Anyway, like I said, I'm a stalker.
I admit it.
And, I like to think that I'm pretty dang good at it.
Facebook stalking may, or may not be one of my favorite pastimes.
(you can ask Hanna and Sarah about that...)
Well. Stalking leads to something.
The same thing.
You'd think I'd learn?
Yeah, nope.
I guess I have a hard head.
You're probably wondering,
 "what is this crazy woman talking about?!"
Well, I'll let you in on my craziness.
It boils down to one word
One TEN LETTER word.
We are all guilty of it.
It is inevitable.
It starts at a young age.
Who is tallest?
Who is the skinniest?
Who is the most tan?
Who has the best nails?
Who has their hair done the cutest?
Who has the best clothes?
Cutest backpack?
Cutest folders?
 Best pencils?
(Maybe those last few are just me, but I always looked at the simple stupid things like folders and pencils. I come from a frugal family--the best kind. Sale items were, and still are, our favorite.)
As I've gotten older, the comparisons haven't changed too much.
But more have been added on.
Who has the best lap top?
The best phone?
The cutest phone case?
Who has the cutest room décor?
The cutest handwriting?
The most friends on FB, or followers on Blogger, Insta or Twitter?
Who cooks the best?
Eats the least?
Exercises the  most?
Has the best body?
Who sings the prettiest?
Who is the most popular?
Who does that super cute boy decide to sit next to in class?
(Never me. Usually it's by some other insanely attractive males.)
Who takes the best pictures?
The MOST pictures?
Who gets the most likes on their posts?
Whose posts does that super cute boy decide to like?
Who has the cutest boyfriend?
Who has the best love story?
The prettiest engagement ring?
The list goes on and on.
But here is the problem.
We are constantly comparing things that we see as our weaknesses,
 to things we see as others strengths. 
Things that we feel we lack,
to things we think others have.
Or vice-versa.
We view other people's lives as perfect, and our own as mediocre at best.
And the online world doesn't help us with that!
We see the best and brightest spots of everyone's lives.
I mean, who would find the ugliest picture they have of themselves, and post it?
Not me.
Who posts about their failed attempt at making a new craft, food, or decoration?
Not me.
In short:
Who posts about their weaknesses, shortcomings, or failures?
And why not?
The answer is simple;
Because that is not what other people want to read.
And our society has become all about pleasing other people.
I'm not trying to say that everyone should post ugly pictures, and only about their failures.
Honestly, I'm one of the "other people" that wouldn't waste my time reading those.
I'm not trying to say we should stop stalking other people,
I know I won't stop anytime soon.
What I AM trying to say is that we have created a false sense of reality for ourselves.
We hold ourselves to a standard we have made for ourselves,
based on someone else's life.
We try and become someone we're not, so that we can be "accepted".
But, here's my question,
By who?
By that little old lady in China who comes across your blog, and will NEVER meet you?
(no offense to little old ladies in China.)
By the flock of other women who are also attempting to make their lives into something they're not?
By a man, who is almost positively not going to read your blog?
(shout out to any men who are actually reading this.)
Why does it matter how many friends/followers you have online?
Or how many of them like your post?
Why is technology SO important?
Why do we let those things boost or ruin our self-esteem?
I've been asking myself these questions lately.
And I don't have answers to all of them.
And I don't know how to make them NOT be of such great importance to me.
It is hard!
But let me share one thing I HAVE learned, just real quick:
There is no such thing as a perfect life!
From here on, I am on a journey.
A journey to stop searching for a perfect life.
A journey to stop comparing myself to others.
A journey to become comfortable and confident with the woman I am.
No matter who social media deems me to be.
And it is going to be a process.
Step by step.
One thing at a time.
But, I know I can do it.
And why? Because I know I have someone to help me every step of the way.
I KNOW that I am a daughter of my Heavenly Father.
And I KNOW that I was created by His hands, and in His image.
And I KNOW that He loves me, for who I am.
Even my red hair.
Even my millions (or billions, or trillions) of freckles.
Even my big thighs.
Even my lack of height.
Even all of those "blemishes" that bother me. 
And I KNOW that He wants me to be happy.
 With the person that I am,
and with the life that I have been blessed with.
My "journey" has begun.
Care to join me?