Sunday, December 6, 2009

Asparagus and Aha moments

Okay, so this is about two months overdue, and I should be going to bed like an hour ago, but I really want to write on my blog right now.

A while back we were talking about this in Relief Society. I don't even remember who was giving the lesson, but she was talking about how she had never had any huge miracles or big life altering experiences that gave her a testimony, just little things in her life from time to time that affirmed to her that the gospel was true and that built her testimony. And I am the same way. I think many of us are, since we grew up in the church.

Later I was talking with my mom and she mentioned the fact that in the Book of Mormon the fact that the people are constantly falling away so quickly, and she wondered why. She had been talking with a friend, and they had decided that it was because they were always converted by a miracle. They were converted by the big thing. Only when the people's testimonies were built on the little day to day things were they able to stay strong. Isn't that ironic? We always think that we want the huge Saul or Alma the Younger type of experience, but statistically, the fact that they stayed strong was the real miracle, not the experience that got them to repent and gave them their initial seeds of testimony.

I would rather have a testimony like Asparagus than Radishes.

Stay with me for a minute. I swear it will make sense. Radishes are the fastest growing vegetable out there. You stick the seeds in the ground and *poof* you have radishes. But then what do you do with them? You uproot them! Asparagus, on the other end of the spectrum, can't be harvested until at least three years, and reaches its prime at six to eight years. But once it does, it can grow as much as a centimeter an hour. And that is why I would rather have an asparagus testimony. It takes longer to grow, but it doesn't get uprooted, and once it grows, it's there for good.

That's another thing. We think of a testimony as this static thing that is bestowed upon as like some sort of gift because we read our scriptures, or went to church, because we earned it. A testimony is not a thing, but a process. It is a a solemn attestation as to the truth of a matter,5232,23-1-646-15,00.html . I know that the church is true, and so does President Monson. But we do not know the same things. I can guarantee that his knowledge far outweighs mine. But hopefully both of our testimonies keep growing.

It's like the parable of the talents. One of them is given ten talents and another five and another one, and the first two double what they have but the third doesn't. That always used to bug me, because I thought that it should be the other way around, because it should have been the one with only one talent doubling his and the one with many not and getting punished. But I realized that it would be easier and less scary for him to go out and make something of himself. Who has it "easier?" Those with more talents. The Lord isn't asking us to all come out with the same at the end, though. He's just asking us to do something with what he gave us. He isn't even necessarily asking us to double what he gave us. Just do something. He can and will make up the difference if we let Him. So now I understand why it had to be the servant with one talent who had to not make anything of what he was given. Because it wasn't about what he had at the end. It was about making something of what he was given. Even when it was hard and scary.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Spring Snow

Fall Flowers

View from the Bottom

Words often escape me, anyone and everyone can attest to that. But images never can. I will pursue them relentlessly, and passionately.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Oh Sweet Mystery of Life, At Last I've Found Thee!

Okay, I hope that this does not sound like a bitter diatribe against men. If it does, stop me now. I hear so many men go on and on about how great mystery is in women. Which I'm sure is wonderful. I'm just not mysterious. I can't help myself. I am just too open for my own or anyone else's good. Which I know has made people uncomfortable before. It has also been the reason I have gotten burned before. I guess I just wonder, how does one be mysterious? By not talking about anything substantial? By being coy? What exactly is coy?
artfully or affectedly shy or reserved; slyly hesitant; coquettish.


a woman who flirts lightheartedly with men to win their admiration and affection; flirt.

Okay, so we have established that I have to be a sly, affected flirt...not so into that. I'm not even sure I'd know how to do that. People have told me I'm a flirt. Okay, I have ALMOST no bubble. But I would hope I don't come off as affected. Gah! I really hope that!
Actually, I think I have figured some things out since I started this post a few weeks ago. But I'm not going to say. Why? Because that would take away the mystery. ;)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tag, you're it! (And I'm Bored!)

What is your current obsession? Improving myself. Or wanting to drive so badly it's ridiculous. It's kind of sad when you're twenty six and you feel like a rebel driving your car from the underground parking to a different parking spot, but it feels soooo good!

What do you hate the most that everybody else seems to love? Twilight. Ugh. I just threw up a little in my mouth just thinking about it.

If you could have any other name besides your own, what would it be? When I was younger I wanted to be Rose, but now I really like my name. Except when people don't hear me properly and think my name is men.

What's for dinner? I made chili and cornbread. It was good.

What would you eat for your last meal? Haribo. And indian food. Mmmmm...

What's the last thing you bought? Panda Express

What are you listening to right now? The sounds from the freeway, the hum of my computer, and the gentle tap of my fingers on the keyboard, punctuated by the space bar. I love the sound the space bar makes.

What do you think of the person that tagged you? Lindy didn't tag me, I followed in a line of I'm bored, so I'm stealing this from yous, but she's cool.

If you could have a house, fully paid for, and totally furnished anywhere in the world, where would it be? Cardiff, Wales. Hands down. Close enough to London to go play, but cheaper, and it has a beach.

What is one of your hobbies? People watching. But not in a creepy way.

What are your favorite smells? Leather covered books, good boy smell, rain, the ocean.

What is your favorite color? Yes. It depends on a lot of things.

What is your favorite piece of clothing in your wardrobe? Oh gosh...I just thought of a really good answer, but I can't really say it, so I would have to go with whatever makes me look skinny and attractive at the time. Which is a very vain thing to say.

What is your dream job? Librarian, in some sort of big university type of library where I get to handle all sorts of cool stuff. Like running special collections at BYU, except I probably don't want to stay in Provo.

Describe your personal style. Not quite trendy, or classy, or boho, but somewhere in the middle.

What are you going to do after this? Go to sleep.

What inspires you? Beauty. And goodness. Which are the same thing, right?

Who was the last person you kissed? My nephew.

What are you currently reading? Nothing, surprisingly. It's weird.

Why do you participate in these question answering blog/facebook chain letter question answering notes/posts? Because I think it's an interesting way to learn about people, it's a cultural experience, and I get bored. Even though it is kind of a passive way to learn things about people, now that I think about it.

By what criteria do you judge a person? Expression, I think. Although I actually hate the word judge. HATE it. It's a four letter word in my dictionary.

What is something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t done yet? Have one of my photographs on display somewhere besides my living room. Like a gallery.

I tag: Whoever wants to do it. I don't feel like typing anyone's name. If you read this, consider yourself tagged.

The rules:
1. Answer the questions on your blog.
2. Replace one question you dislike with a question of your invention.
3. Tag eight other people

Monday, August 10, 2009

My Talk, the way it was Supposed to Go Before the Printer Broke and I had to Fake It

We demonstrate our love by how well we serve our God. Remember when the Prophet Joseph Smith went to John E. Page and said to him, “Brother Page, you have been called on a mission to Canada.”

Brother Page, struggling for an excuse, said, “Brother Joseph, I can’t go to Canada. I don’t have a coat to wear.”

The Prophet took off his own coat, handed it to John Page, and said, “Wear this, and the Lord will bless you.” 

My grandparents volunteer with the homeless in downtown Milwaukee a lot.  Each year in the winter, they spend a lot of time trying to find coats for the people, because otherwise they literally freeze to death.  One man had no coat, and they had no more donated coats left, so my grandfather went home, went through his closet, and found a nice suede coat, and gave it to him.  A few weeks later, he ran into the man, and he didn't have the coat.  My grandpa asked where it was, and the gentleman said "Someone else needed it more than me."

That is true service.  Seeing a need, and filling it, even when the service you give may be the widow's mite.   

In Mormon Doctrine it says, "Service is synonymous with keeping the commandments of God; it is the child of love."  We keep the commandments because we love God, and serve others because we love God, and because we love God, we love and serve them.

  1.   29 If thou alovest me thou shalt bserve me and ckeep all my commandments.
  2.   27 Pure areligion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To bvisit the cfatherless and dwidows in their eafflictionand to keep himself funspotted from gthe hworld.

Why do we serve?

  • Sometimes as part of the repentance process as compensatory restitution when restitution in real terms is not possible.  
  • We serve because it is a covenant obligation of all members of the church.  It is a vital part of our religion.
  • We serve others to overcome feelings in inadequacy and become our best selves
When we serve, we forget ourselves, and spend our energy thinking about others.  We stretch ourselves as we go outside of our comfort zone, and as we forget our own challenges, and bring help and happiness to others, this brings us joy.

President Spencer W. Kimball (1895–1985) taught this concept most powerfully: “The more we serve our fellowmen in appropriate ways, the more substance there is to our souls. We become more significant individuals. … Indeed, it is easier to ‘find’ ourselves because there is so much more of us to find!”7

  • We serve to be instruments in the Lord's hands for good.  We may not know why we feel prompted to do some little act of service, but it could make a world of difference, or it could just make someone's day. My family recently went out to dinner, and an older woman with a cane came in to get some food.  She got her food to go, and was heading out the door.  My brother jumped up from his seat, ran across the restaurant, and held the door open for her.  As she continued to her car and got it started and pulled out, she was smiling and happy.  Maybe she had been having a great day already, but maybe that one thing made the difference for her.
  1.   5 ¶ aTrust in the Lord with all thine bheart; and lean not unto thine cown dunderstanding.
      6 In all thy ways aacknowledge him, and he shall bdirect thy cpaths.
  • One of the most powerful ways we can serve people is to listen to them.  Henry B Eyring said in the the April 2004 Conference, "When I was a young man, I served as counselor to a wise district president in the Church. He tried to teach me. One of the things I remember wondering about was this advice he gave: “When you meet someone, treat them as if they were in serious trouble, and you will be right more than half the time.”
It is part of human nature to want to connect to people.  We want to feel that someone cares enough to listen to us.  Be that person who cares enough to listen.  
  1.   7 For as he athinketh in his bheart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.
  • We serve because that is who we want to be. We want to be like Christ.  Christ served, and the best way to understand someone is to do what they do, to share their experiences.  When we serve, as Christ did, and do what we can to share his experiences, we will grow to understand him better.  As Henry B. Eyring said in the April 2004 Conference, 
"In the Master’s service, you will come to know and love Him. You will, if you persevere in prayer and faithful service, begin to sense that the Holy Ghost has become a companion. Many of us have for a period given such service and felt that companionship. If you think back on that time, you will remember that there were changes in you. The temptation to do evil seemed to lessen. The desire to do good increased. Those who knew you best and loved you may have said, “You have become more kind, more patient. You don’t seem to be the same person.”

You weren’t the same person because the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real. And the promise is real that we can become new, changed, and better. And we can become stronger for the tests of life. We then go in the strength of the Lord, a strength developed in His service. He goes with us. And in time we become His tested and strengthened disciples.

You will then notice a change in your prayers. They will become more fervent and more frequent. The words you speak will have a different meaning to you. By commandment we always pray to the Father in the name of Jesus Christ. But you will feel a greater confidence as you pray to the Father, knowing that you go to Him as a trusted and proven disciple of Jesus Christ. The Father will grant you greater peace and strength in this life and with it a happy anticipation of hearing the words, when the test of life is over, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

Monday, August 3, 2009


I came to a realization last week. I have epilepsy. (okay, I didn't realize that part last week) But I have two options: I can fight against it, or I can live with it. I realized if I fight against it, I'm just kicking a brick wall. I'm just increasing my likelihood of having a big seizure and inconveniencing myself and everyone else around me. If I live with it, I can survive.
When I was diagnosed last year, I didn't realize how much it affected my life. I just knew that I would have to worry about things when I got pregnant, like whether or not to take my medicine and risk birth defects, or not take my medicine and risk seizures. But that's ages away. But there's the fact that I am now protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. I am "handicapped." Will it affect me if I ever date anyone seriously and we're considering marriage? Because I wouldn't blame anyone for not wanting to deal with my health problems. But then again, I'm amazing, and it's not genetic, and if they're that shallow...
I have seizures all the time. Not just big ones (tonic-clonic), little ones all the time, and more often when I'm tired. My neurologist asked me if raising my medication made the little seizures stop, and I told him yes. It's not true. When I'm tired, I still have myoclonic seizures (where I twitch), sometimes they wake me up in the middle of the night, sometimes when I'm just sitting around, whatever. I'm not going to tell him the medicine isn't working. I don't want to take more medicine. It works most of the time.
Then there is the absense seizure. This is when I just kind of zone out, body or mind, for ten or fifteen seconds. I've done this pretty much my whole life, but it happens more often now than it used to, and once again, more often when I am tired. These are great because I just look like a space case. It's not that I am completely unaware of what's going on. Sometimes I feel like I am having deja vu, or I feel really really weird, like tunnel vision in my body, or really heavy, or just really really weird. Sometimes they last for a few minutes even. In fact, I feel like I am having a tiny one right now. Not enough to keep me from typing, but the back right part of my brain feels funny, and my arms feel heavy, and I feel sort of tingly, but not quite to the point of pins and needles. And my forehead feels like something is very lightly pressed against it. And my upper chest feels heavy, right on my clavicles. I don't want to move. This is really weird, typing about this.
Okay, better now.
I have to adjust my life. I can't just go hang out until four in the morning every weekend. If I did, no matter how much I might want to, for my health, it's impossible. Unless I want to have another seizure. Going to see Harry Potter at midnight was a big deal for me, I had to get the morning off of work and spend more than a week recovering. While my friends are out late most nights and definitely every weekend, I can't do it. I can do it maybe once a semester, with advance planning, including planning for naps before and recovery after, which have to be worked around my 8-5 work schedule.
I have to be responsible and take my medicine or the state will take away my license. However much I wish I could just go back to the way things were before, when they were easier, and try to ignore them like I did last year, and the beginning of this year, I can't do that anymore. It's like trying to deal with diabetes by just not eating candy. It's not that simple.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

What I am

What I am
  • Intelligent
  • Fun
  • Too caring for my own good
  • a Daughter of God
  • Full of Promise
  • Epileptic, this means my brain likes a little excitement
  • A good listener
  • Touchy feely. Deal with it.
  • Thoughtful
  • Pretty
  • A work in progress
  • Imperfect, and that's okay. In fact, I think I'm better that way, at least for now.
  • A shower singer
  • Too open hearted. This is my downfall.

What I am not
  • is irrelevant, because I choose from this moment forth to define myself by who and what I am rather that what I am not. this means no more comparing myself to others, only to myself and who I know I can be. Today I celebrate my independence day.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hungering for Purpose

It amazes me that although I have been acquainted with myself for upwards of twenty six years now, I am still just getting to know myself.
Recently I have been doing a lot of thinking, for several reasons. It's amazing how much you have to think when you can't get in your car and go off and distract yourself. I have found myself hungering for something missing from my life, examining every little aspect of my daily existence, aching to break down in sobs but unable to do so. I have looked at my relationships with my friends, family, God, myself. I have signed up for classes on everything from InDesign to finances to how to communicate effectively. I go out and buy books that aren't what I normally read (Thank you for convincing me you know who you are)
But why? Why have I felt this way? I think there are two reasons that are closely connected. The first is that I have betrayed the trust of someone very close to me, just by being me. In trying to help, I pushed too hard. I don't even know if this person thinks that I have betrayed their trust. But I feel that I have, and that our relationship has suffered for it. I hope that relationship can return to the place it was before. Even if the difference is all in my head. I have learned something about myself because of the experience because of it. And that's what this post is about. What I have learned about myself.
I think the other reason, the primary reason I have been examining everything in my life, is because it is stagnant and without purpose. For the past several months, everything I have done has been about having fun. I have gone to work, and come home and just "had fun." The problem with that is that it is not intellectually or spiritually or emotionally stimulating. It doesn't help you progress at all! And all of that fun has finally caught up with me. I'm not happy just doing nothing. I know that I'll actually be happy when I am learning and progressing and doing and becoming everything that I can be. Maybe that's why I was pushing others. Because I was really subconsciously pushing myself. Or maybe it's because I felt like I was doing something, and I didn't know what else to do. Heaven knows I have more than enough things of my own that I need to improve on. I'd make a list, but no one needs to see my dirty laundry.
I guess that's my purpose for the next while. Maybe that's why I had a seizure. It was the Lord's way of knocking me over the head and getting me to stop and think. The sad thing is, it took something that drastic.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Diary of an EEG

4:30 wake up. Consider not doing this whole thing. Drag a blanket into the living room, put two discs of Friends and one of Northern Exposure into the DVD player. Hopefully this will get me through the next four and a half hours...
4:48 check the TV guide channel to see if there's anything on, just in case something grabs my attention. There is nothing. And the music on the TV guide channel was really annoying. It was the Mouseketeers. Start the DVDs.
5:15 I'm already tired, and I I've been up for 45 minutes. And I'm hungry. I think I can eat...
6:07 It's surprisingly light outside. I can hear a bird chirping. It's kind of sad that watching the credits on this show, I recognize which episodes each clip come from. Gotta do something else to stay awake.
6:57 Decided to take a picture of myself. Accidentally hit the off button. Took a few pictures...eeewww. I'm breaking down and putting on under eye concealer.

7:56 One more hour...
I had a whole list of things to do this morning. I did none of them except write on my blog. Oh well.
8:37 Off I go
9:00 Get to the doctor's office. The testing room is set up with a bed where all the wires are set out, and the tool box with the conductive wax gel crap and gauze and other assorted EEG equipment. I sit in the chair at the foot of the bed and she measures my head and starts marking it with a wax pencil. She tapes stuff to my forehead, temples and collar bones, and sticks stuff to my scalp in the hair with the waxy stuff. The consistency is somewhere between vaseline and warm candle wax, with little gauze patches and tiny little metal spoons with wires attached stuck in there. The stuff in my hair is somewhat akin to getting highlights, except heavier, stickier and less desirable.

When she's all done she gets me set up in the bed. Since it's only for a half hour, they don't really worry about you being too comfortable, but sadly I am a seasoned pro at this (it is my third EEG) and I want to be comfortable so I brought my own blanket and pillow. Anyone who knows me knows I always need a blanket, and the one pillow they have is grossly inadequate.

She goes out of the room and starts talking to me through a microphone. They have an infrared camera so they can watch me, and they have me do some things to see how I react before I sleep. First they want a baseline reading, so they have me open and close my eyes a few times. Then they ask me to hyperventilate (my favorite part of the test NOT) to see how my brain does when it's oxygen deprived, then they flash a strobe light at me, faster and faster, since some people's epilepsy is triggered by that. Then she tells me to relax for half an hour, but try to stay on my back. Great. I am a side and front sleeper. I can understand I guess, they don't want the wires all messed up, but I wonder if I am actually going to go to sleep. I think that's why they want you to be sleep deprived. So you'll sleep no matter how uncomfortable you are.

10:16 I just walked out of the doctor's office. I have wads of gunk in my hair. I had to go in the bathroom and get the worst ones off of my forehead, but there are still so many in my hair it's funk nasty. I also still have the patches on my collar bones. She told me they would come off easier with warm water, and that without it the skin just rips off. Joy. I'm starving, and so ready to get some wonderfully unhealthy fast food breakfast, drive through of course, go home and shower this gunk off and go to bed.
Nasty Hair!
11:00 Home. Long hot shower now. I hope this was more scintillating for you all than it was for me. I'm going to bed.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Seize the Day

Last week I had a seizure. Yippee. Most of you who are reading this already knew that. I remember talking to Brian, and then waking up on the couch really really tired. Now I can't drive for three months, and I have to do all sorts of tests again, and you know what? It's frustrating.

It's frustrating to have to go to the neurologist and have them bump up your medicine and do more tests that cost more money and deprive you of sleep to tell you nothing new. It sucks to have your parents tell you that you should really think about getting a medical ID bracelet, which costs like 75 dollars, when you have to pay for aforementioned stupid tests. And having the bracelet is almost like admitting defeat. It's not that I can't admit that I have epilepsy, but having the bracelet is like saying that I'm letting it run my life.

What sucks the most is being 26 years old, having a car and not being able to drive it. I am an independent person. I like being able to go where I want, when I want, and my wings have been clipped to the quick. No running off to the store because I feel like buying a new pair of shoes, or going to Wendy's because I'm hungry. I can't even go grocery shopping whenever I want. I really shouldn't complain, I have wonderful friends and family who are more than willing to take me the places I need to go, but I still can't expect them to drop their lives to do what I want. Plus, the freedom of going by myself is gone.

Maybe the Lord is doing this because I didn't learn my lesson last year. I didn't learn to be interdependent enough. I have to learn to let others take care of me sometimes...I'm not very good at that. I'm much better at taking care of everyone else, even when they don't want to be taken care of. I hate asking for things. This is going to be a long three months. Any advice?

Now playing: Alan Menken - Seize The Day
via FoxyTunes

Friday, May 29, 2009


You can learn a lot about someone by observing what and how they create. In fact, I think it's really the most telling way to understand a person. They will censor their words, even their actions toward you, but when they create (or destroy), they are being their most honest self. You can't create that which you aren't.
Some people create a lot, frantically and recklessly. They are free spirits who approach life with their hearts open and aren't afraid to go at it over and over again. Maybe some of the things they work at don't work out, but that's okay. They're too busy moving on to the next thing. What they cook may not look beautiful, but it's usually edible. They mostly follow the recipe. Like Monet, who created a huge series of paintings of water lilies, working through each one quickly, getting it out there, and on to the next. These people also destroy recklessly, without thinking about the consequences. It's not that they don't care, but they just don't always realize.
Other people are more meticulous. They spend time poring over details. Even if they aren't perfectionists, they want to make sure that what they create is what they intended. Even if it doesn't go where they intended, it still needs to follow some sort of logical path to get there. Creating things is often a labor for them. Not that it is more exhausting, quick creation can be exhausting, but that it takes energy to focus on a concept for longer. If that makes sense. These people might create less in volume, but it doesn't mean that they are any less geniuses than reckless creators. Their hearts are more protected, not necessarily because they have been hurt, or they have can't express themselves, it's just often a part of their personality. When these people cook, they make the works of art you find in fine cafes, that look like art on the plate, the perfectly round cookies, they follow the recipe precisely, when it comes to things like creaming the butter and sugar, and making sure to mix the dry and wet ingredients in different bowls before putting them together. These people destroy purposefully, too.
There are all sorts of people in the spectrum, these are just the ends of it. Maybe I should get a Master's in Sociology...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

An Honest Opinion

This time of life is difficult. We have so many things to deal with, with school, and the beginnings of our careers, dating, and figuring out who we are.
I have been having trouble with one of my friends lately. I had the same trouble once before, once we started calling ourselves best friends, it became so much harder to be friends. When I was talking to someone today, he made a good point. At this point in our life, it's probably best not to have "best friends". It's good to have friends and people to depend on and care for, but having a "best friend" when you are supposed to be making all sorts of life decisions on your own, for your own progression can actually be counter productive. Just the psychology of the label itself can be detrimental.
Look at the TV show Friends. There are six of them, but none of them are any more "best friends" than the others. Some of them were at an earlier point in their lives, but now that they are in their twenties, they are just a group of friends. Their relationships with each other are different, but not any less valuable. That's how it should be. No one has to depend on one person for their emotional support, or feel drained by the needs of another person. Everything is spread out and diffused. Doesn't it sound wonderful?

Monday, March 30, 2009

Just Push

A man was sleeping one night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light, and God appeared. The Lord told the man he had work for him to do, and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin. The Lord explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might...

So, this the man did, day after day. For many years he toiled from sunup to sundown, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all his might!

Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain. Since the man was showing discouragement, the Adversary (Satan) decided to enter the picture by placing thoughts into the weary mind: (He will do it every time)!

You have been pushing against that rock for a long time and it hasn't moved." Thus, he gave the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man.

Satan said, "Why kill yourself over this? Just put in your time, giving just the minimum effort; and that will be good enough."

That's what the weary man planned to do, but decided to make it a matter of prayer and to take his troubled thoughts to the Lord.

"Lord," he said, "I have labored long and hard in Your Service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?"

The Lord responded compassionately, "My friend, when I asked you to serve Me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all of your strength, which you have done.

Never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed.

But, is that really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled, your back shiny and brown; your hands are callused from constant pressure, your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much, and your abilities now surpass that which you used to have. True, you haven't moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. That you have done. Now I, my friend, will move the rock."

At times, when we hear a word from God, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants, when actually what God wants is just simple obedience and faith in Him.

By all means, exercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it is still God who moves the mountains.

When everything seems to go wrong.........................Just P.U.S.H.

When the job gets you down.........................Just P.U.S.H.

When people don't do as you think they should.........................Just P.U.S.H.

When your money is "gone" and the bills are due.........................Just P.U.S.H.

When people just don't understand you.........................Just P.U.S.H.

P = Pray
U = Until
S = Something
H = Happens

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hear You Me

When I was seven, my dad got excommunicated. I grew up without a Priesthood holder in my home. I never got father's blessings, he never got to baptize any of us. He's a good man, he just has an Achilles' Heel. Yesterday I realized though, how lucky I am to have the other men in my life.

Yesterday I had a meltdown. I cried in front of everyone, especially guys. Lesser men would have run away from a girl who can't stop crying, but you didn't. Thank you. Thank you for taking the time to listen to me, and to let me cry and give me hugs, and throw chocolate at me, and try to act normal.

I am grateful for you men, who hold the Priesthood righteously, and who I can turn to when I need a blessing, or even just for a hug. Your wives will be very lucky. If I ever marry (or even date) someone half as wonderful as the men I am friends with right now, I will consider myself incredibly blessed.

May angels lead you in.
And if you were with me tonight,
I'd sing to you just one more time.
A song for a heart so big,
God wouldn't let it live.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Months of Musing

A lot of girls complain when the guys they are interested in don't seem to realize how wonderful and amazing they are and fall madly in love with them. I used to be the same way (Okay, I still have days).
But what do you do when guys realize (or at least say that they realize) how wonderful and amazing you are and still don't want to date you? Girl sense, which really isn't very sensible, would say overwhelm him with your wonderfulness until he realizes that you are the one for him, and that he can't live without you. Or, in an attempt to not be that crazy girl, do you stop talking to the guys that don't understand and don't want to date you? Well, that would be great, except for that I personally would end up with very few guys left to talk to. And I like hanging out with my guy friends.
After months of pondering over this question, I have no good answer. I think the only thing I have to say is to give up, and just be myself. If I am myself, it doesn't matter, right? If someone likes hanging out with me for being weird and childlike and a spaz, great. If they don't want to date that, that's okay too.
More importantly I need to remember not to lose focus. Focus on my relationship with the Lord, because that's ultimately the only relationship I have full control over. The Lord will always be there, just waiting for me. He KNOWS how wonderful I am and everything I am capable of. He doesn't care if I am a hottie or a sweet spirit. And He likes me the way that I am, and the way that I can be. It's always my choice.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Schrodinger's Cat

"In 1935, Erwin Schrodinger, in an attempt to explain the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum physics; he proposed an experiment where a cat is placed in a box with a sealed vial of poison that will break open at a random time. Now, since no one knows when or if the poison has been released until the box is opened, the cat can be thought of as both alive and dead...
Just like Schrodinger's cat, your potential relationship with Leonard right now can be thought of as both good and bad. It is only by opening the box that you'll find out which it is."

This comes from an episode of Big Bang Theory. Two of the characters are thinking about going out on a date, but they are worried about awkwardness, so they both go to a friend for advice. The advice they get is Schrodinger's cat. And it's brilliant.

Dating, and all relationships are that way. You never know unless you take the plunge. Yes it could be bad, but you don't know unless you try.

The best thing about this concept is that there are myriad applications. It really applies to everything in life, although at this point in my life, dating sticks out the most.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Someone recently told me that I am brave because I can talk about my emotions and deeper problems with other people and cry. Or at least that's what I think this person said, I could have completely misinterpreted and am now giving myself way too much credit. But it still got me thinking. The sociologist in me stretched and said "Why do we not talk about deeper emotions and share things? And why would someone consider that brave?" Because I consider it being a burden on others, but I can't help myself, I have to get those things out or I will explode.

As I look at the conversations I have with my friends, the people I work with, and my family, I see a few things. We talk a lot. There are very few moments when I am by myself, or even just one on one with another person. This type of atmosphere is not particularly conducive to even getting to a point where deeper topics even come up. The bigger the group, the more uncomfortable it is.
So we are never in situations where we can talk about anything more than six inches deep, twelve if you're lucky. Which makes me sad. I crave deeper conversation.

There is also the fact that certain people fill certain roles in our lives. Some people we hang out with a lot, but don't talk about much with, others we might not see very often, but they are a comforting shoulder to cry on every time we see them. If someone is always a part of a group of friends we hang out with, they are probably not going to be someone we confide in, as opposed to someone we hang out with one on one, simply because of the nature of the time spent together.

We are also largely a product of our individualistic and privatized western society. Privacy and freedom are our most valued possessions. If we let someone know about our deepest fears, hurts and problems, we give those things up. We sacrifice a lot of privacy, obviously. We give up freedom with that privacy because with the knowledge we have just given to the person we share with, we give them a piece of control over our situation. The size of that piece is dependent on the relationship between us and them, but we feel that we could very well be placing our lives in their hands. That is why a lot of people have trouble sharing deep fears and troubles. They are afraid of giving up that freedom.

Love is giving that knowledge freely to another person and trusting that they will not abuse it.

Now to the second part: Why would someone consider me brave?
Well, the only thing I can think of is that because of years of therapy I have grown accustomed to getting things off my chest to a third party, and as I said earlier, if I don't I will explode. I try to hold it in, but when I can stand it no longer, I have to find someone to talk to. So I do. I cry. I'm used to crying in front of people. I realize that telling people things does not mean that I am giving up any freedoms. It is actually incredibly liberating. I only hope that I am not burdening them, which is one advantage of a licensed therapist. They are paid to listen. *Dream job* if I could leave it at work. So I am not brave, just well practiced. There are plenty of other areas I need a lot of work in.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Two Face?

Lately I've been meeting with Sister Potter about once a week. We've been talking about a lot of different things, but this last week we talked about the fact that I am in fact, two different people. Don't look so shocked. You knew it was true. But if you didn't, let me explain.
Ever since I was young, I have been very shy. I have a really hard time talking to people I don't know, and the fact that my chin wiggles doesn't usually make the situation any better, because it betrays any nervousness I feel before I get a chance to even attempt to mask it. But starting in high school I began to compensate for that by being kind of...very...loud and rambunctious. I am a lot to handle when I am being that Maren. The sassy flirty brazen ready to go do almost anything Maren is what most people see most of the time. Even when she is upset or sad she is still loud about it. In fact, I have a hard time turning her off.
But sometimes she does turn off, and the world gets a glimpse of the "other Maren". This other Maren might actually be a truer version of myself, since she has been around longer. I have known her a lot longer, even if the rest of you haven't. The funny thing is, when people see this me, they assume something is wrong. What? Maren quiet? No, never! Actually...yes.
The thing is, one Maren is too loud and talks too much and is crazy, and the other is too quiet and doesn't talk enough. So how do I take those two girls and meld them into one balanced woman who people want to be around, and feel that they can connect with? It's hard, because like I said before, I have two settings, and not much in between, so I kind of have to build a whole new set of switches to accommodate the person I want to become. And I have no idea why I just published this on my blog. Accountability maybe? To explain why I will (hopefully) be a bit more quiet in the future? Who knows.
Oh, and for those of you dying to know, the picture represents the two parts of me. The curly hair and no makeup is the shy Maren, and the straight hair and make up is the out there loud Maren that everyone sees.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Drama as a GOOD Thing? Gasp!

Okay, I am well aware that I will probably get lynched for this, but here goes...
Everyone I hang out with has been complaining about how much drama there is in our lives lately, and that it sucks, and that boys and girls are stupid and that the whole world is coming to an end and we will all be single forever and the rock bucket is the evil of the world, blah blah blah...whatever. The rock bucket is officially retired. But I digress...
So this has been on my mind a lot lately. And I have decided that we're all just whining. All of us. Yes, that is harsh, and yes, I have been one of the worst offenders, so I make a pledge now to not whine, and not get on kicks about how much guys or girls or dating suck. Because I have changed my mind. And this is why.
I think that what we have been calling drama is just trials. And trials are mandatory. Misery is a choice. Yes right now a lot of our trials have to do with dating, but that's just because of our age and situation in life. It sucks for everyone, and complaining doesn't make it any better. In fact, it probably makes it worse.
Drama is a good thing, because without it, we wouldn't know who our true friends are. We would not be able to grow from our adversity. We wouldn't be able to figure out how we handle difficulties and change that if need be. (Even if that need is medication...) We would not turn to the Lord because everything would be peachy keen. We would be everyone in the Book of Mormon who becomes lazy and unrighteous because everything is great. If everything is perfect and there isn't anything to work through, how do you know something is worth hanging onto? Without the hard times, you can't properly appreciate the good ones.
So I would like to say to all my friends out there who may be reading this, thank you for the good times, and even more,for the bad times, because we have stuck through them, and we are still friends. And that says a lot about us. We have, and will continue to make it through the drama.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Truth From Keith

A woman has a close male friend. This means that he is probably interested in her, which is why he hangs around so much. She sees him strictly as a friend. This always starts out with, you're a great guy, but I don't like you in that way. This is roughly the equivalent for the guy of going to a job interview and the company saying, You have a great resume, you have all the qualifications we are looking for, but we're not going to hire you. We will, however, use your resume as the basis for comparison for all other applicants. But, we're going to hire somebody who is far less qualified and is probably an alcoholic. And if he doesn't work out, we'll hire somebody else, but still not you. In fact, we will never hire you. But we will call you from time to time to complain about the person that we hired.

So true, for men and women...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Blue Ruin

I'm just a f*#%ed up girl who's looking for my own peace of mind.
Clementine (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)

I am "nice." I am Clementine and Joel. I am afraid and passive like him, and crazy and impulsive at times like her. I'm looking for peace of mind. I don't know that I'll ever find it.

Blessed are the forgetful; for they get the better even of their blunders.
Friedrich Nietzsche

How happy is the blameless vestal's lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray'r accepted, and each wish resign'd;
(from Eloisa to Abelard)
Alexander Pope

Sometimes I want to forget. It would be easier that way.

or bends with the remover...

"Psychologists, psychiatrists, sociologists, anthropologists and educators have suggested in countless studies and numerous research papers that love is a "learned response, a learned emotion."...Most of us continue to behave as though love is not learned but lies dormant in each human being and simply awaits some mystical age of awareness to emerge in full bloom. Many wait for this age forever. We seem to refuse to face the obvious fact that most of us spend our lives trying to find love, trying to live in it and dying without ever truly discovering it."
-Leo Buscaglia

Everyone wants the chick flick. Even guys. Maybe guys want less drama, but they still want to fall in love that fast and live happily ever after without working at anything. Maybe I'm weird because I have never dated anyone I've had a crush on, and vice versa, but I don't want it to be that easy. Without the work, it's not worth it.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

Putting them down makes them more real, and I am more accountable for them, and if they are in a place where others can see them, then I am even more accountable for them, right?

1. Work on spiritual things
a. reading scriptures
b. attending the temple
2. Don't do too much for others or give too much of myself, and learn to let others do nice things for me.
3. Get in shape. This does not mean lose weight or get amazing washboard abs (not that those things are bad). I'd just like to be a little more in shape. Also, eat more healthy foods, and eat out less.
4. Spend less money, and pay off more debt. (Directly related, the less I spend, the more I can pay off)
5. Learn something new about myself.

Friday, January 2, 2009

When is Enough Too Much?

Do I give too much of myself?
I am what you would call a giving person. I express affection through giving and doing things for people. I like to do things for people, to show them that I care. In the words of a wise woman, "It's one of your love languages." But this can get me into trouble in a few ways.
First, it can lead to people taking advantage of me. People assume that because I am a nice person who will always do nice things that they can ask me to do anything and I will say yes. Sadly, this is often true. Even worse, while I am doing the "nice" thing that I don't want to do, I resent the person who asked me for the favor. I get upset and frustrated and stressed out and don't like the person that I become. I guess I just don't like to be asked to do nice things. I like to be able to see needs and fulfill them without being asked.
Second, I take care of people too much. I sometimes forget that people need to take care of themselves. And I never let anyone have a chance to take care of me. I need to learn to do that.

This last part is a common problem with women I think. We are raised to be nurturers. We are taught to take care of everyone and put the needs of others above our own, to sacrifice for our children and the men in our lives. Then we whine and complain about how we don't know what we are doing to drive men away. Well, we're taking too much care of them. That's what drives them away. Women, no let me rephrase that, I need to remember that they're big boys and they don't want me to pay for things, to do everything for them all the time.
The first step is admitting you have a problem, right?