Saturday, September 6, 2008

Listen to the Still, Small Voice...listen…listen

You know that thing that we call the “still, small voice”? Well, tonight is wasn’t so still, or small. I felt like it was screaming at me. GO TO STAKE CONFERENCE! I’ve had a hard week with lots of tears… lots of emotions in general. I’ve been spending a great deal of time praying, reading my scriptures…doing anything that would help me find some answers and direction. And, knowing that this is how my week had been, I knew that things would not get better if I ignored the things that I am supposed to do; like attend Stake Conference.

So…to Stake Conference I went. I walked in about 5 minutes late and felt a bit awkward as the usher showed me to an open seat…right smack on the front row! But, at least it was cushioned and not on a folding chair in the cultural hall. Don’t you hate when you have to sit back there? The minute I sat down my emotions began to surface. The music, the words spoken…everything. It was as if the heavens were literally opening and telling me that everything is going to be okay. I knew right then and there that I was where I was supposed to be.

After an amazing musical number, and four fabulous talks (about testimony, scripture study, prayer, and temple attendance) the First Counselor in the Stake Presidency stood and said something like, “After the rest hymn the Stake President would like to hear the testimonies of the following individuals. Brother So-and-So and (long pause while staring directly at me in the front row) this lovely young woman on the front row.” (GASP!) What? Me? Is he really looking at me? And then it hit me, the Stake President had been staring at me through the most of the meeting. He caught my eye at one point and I felt that he was genuinely concerned about me. Interesting!

I made it through my testimony virtually tear-free and was then able to listen to the final two talks. But then, the choir stood to sing the closing song. The minute the organist played the first note the tears gushed out and there was no stopping them. As I sat and listened to the words of “Come Thou Fount” I was overcome with emotion; gratitude for the knowledge that I am a daughter of God and He is very much aware of me, individually. He loves me and is blessing me. I need only take a step back and recognize His answers, His love, and His amazing ability to bless me with what I stand in need of. He definitely answers prayers!

As I gained my composure during the closing prayer I was preparing to make a quick exit. I took a deep breath as I said “Amen” then I bolted for the door. Darn! I heard someone say my name just as I was taking my final stride toward obscurity. I turn and see Kirstyn Smith, one of my favorite college roommates. She stood there with tears in her eyes and then we hugged. We haven’t seen each other in years!

It’s amazing what obeying the promptings of the Spirit can do: prayers are answered, peace is felt, lessons are learned…and you may just get called on to stand in front of hundreds of people to bear your testimony. But, the sweet reward also can be…that there may just be a long-lost friend waiting to embrace you and help you to feel the love of our Savior even more sweetly.

Oh how I love my religion! I am so grateful for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I know that it is through my Savior, Jesus Christ, that I am able to do all things. I know that He lives, that He loves me, and that I will one day live with Him again!

A day with Sheri...

Sheri and I spent the day together in pre-celebration of her birthday (which is tomorrow – Happy Birthday, Sheri!)

First: pedicures (never a dull moment in those little Asian-run shops where you don’t understand a single thing they are saying, and I’m often convinced they are discussing me, my toes, my outfit…I guess I’m self-conscious!)

Second: Café Rio (enough said!)

Third: organize Sheri’s kitchen pantry (if you know me at all you know that THIS was by far the best activity EVER – I was only sad I forgot to bring my label-maker.)

Fourth: a little shopping at Target (what’s not to love about that store – honestly?)

Fifth: Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 (I’m pretty sure it isn’t actually a sad movie, but (confession coming right up) I cried through the majority of it!)

It was such a FUN day!! And, for Sheri and I…well…our Birthdays tend to last a full week, not just a day. So…let it be known that today the FESTIVITIES officially began!

The game of darts!

A couple of years ago I was playing darts with some friends in Ryan Shupe’s garage (random…I know!) I remember that I was completely determined to win! I was the only girl playing against 3 guys. Of course I wanted to prove to them that I have skills. What girl wouldn’t? I would stand at the line, I would stare at the bulls eye, I would do a little positive self-talk, and then I would throw the best I knew how. Time after time I was just so slightly off. It was frustrating! I kept thinking, why can’t I hit the mark that I am aiming for?

I reflect now on that night as I think about the circumstances in which I find myself. How is it that I continue to try to do what is right, and yet it seems the blessings that I so desire are yet to materialize? Just like the game of darts, I’m in the game, I’m aiming for the target, I’m being positive, I’m making the move, and…nothing! I lose again.

Well, I woke up this morning at 2am, unable to sleep. Life…that is what was on my mind. My life…to be exact! My own little private game of darts. My mind was spinning out of control. I needed to figure out how I ended up here, when I was aiming for something so entirely different.

And that is when it hit me. I can do everything I need to, and still, there are forces beyond my control that affect the outcome of my aim. The important thing is that I do not give up. I need to keep my life on the right path, aiming for the blessings of exaltation. I need to “lay aside the things of this world, and seek for the things of a better.” (Doctrine & Covenants 25:10)

Life is not supposed to be all hard work. It is supposed to be an enjoyable journey, with moments of pain (to help us grow)! But, also, it is about having faith that He, our Father in Heaven, will continue to bless us in our efforts.

And, so, with that in mind, I plan to continue to play darts. And one day, because “Faith makes things possible…not easy!” I will finally hit the BULLS EYE!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

About Me

Three Things about Me:
I'm a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
I love to run
I'm a morning person

Three jobs I have had:
Corporate Liason, Nu Skin
Editorial Assistant, Journal of Organic Chemistry
Nanny, Roney Family

Three places I have lived:

Three shows that I watch:
Dr. 90210
So You Think You Can Dance

Three places I have been:
Cayman Islands

Three places I have been this week:
Mt. Pleasant
Grocery Store
TJ Maxx

Three people who email me regularly:

Three of my favorite foods:
Anything Italian
Cold Cereal
Recess Peanut Butter Cups

Three places I'd rather be right now:
Getting a massage
(or all 3 in Texas with my little sister!)

Three things I am looking forward to this next year:
Getting the hang of things at my new job
My little sister, Tina, having a baby!
Beating my 1/2 Marathon time

Three people I tag to do this on their blog:
Sheri, Kari, and Lisa