Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sheep and blessings

We all know the song. "When I'm worried, and I can't sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep." Since I've been home I haven't been sleeping as well as usual. It takes me longer to fall asleep and I can't seem to stay asleep. This morning, for example, I woke up kind of startled (I felt as if I'd been woken up by a nightmare that I couldn't remember) and checked my phone. 5:56. 5:56?! Who wakes up that early anyways. So, I tried to count sheep. Sheep run awfully fast and so I couldn't keep up. I tried counting blessings, but that got my mind too worked up.

So, I began to recite The Family: A Proclamation to the World. This is a document given by our prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, who passed away a few years ago. However it still holds many truths. It teaches us that we have purpose in life, that we are children of God, that the family is central to the plan,  that gender is an essential characteristic of eternal identity, that marriage is between a man and a woman and that children are a special blessing. While it didn't help me sleep it helped me remember that although hard things are ahead, the Lord is right there beside us. This proclamation was issued in 1995, a while before many of the issues on the family had come to light. The gratitude I feel in knowing that God loves us enough to give us warning is inexpressibly, but I AM profoundly grateful.

To read more:

Saturday, June 16, 2012


Sometimes He lets your heart break
Sometimes He lets you cry
Sometimes you feel as if,
the world's going to pass you by.

Sometimes the grief comes down
in sheets of torrent rain
and you wish for comfort, peace and still
that would take away your pain

Reach upward
Reach outward
Reach for His hand
Reach for His mercy,

Get up and stand.

Stand for something
Stand for what's right
Stand with power,
Stand with might.

Stand with the wisdom,
Stand with your will
Stand with your virtue,
but never stand still.

The world we live in

Today I went hiking up to Stewart falls with a close friend of mine. But, we never made it to the falls. A glimpse from about 5 minutes away was the closest we could get. My friend, on a particularly rocky part of the hike, slipped and fell, skinning her knee pretty badly. So, we hobbled back to the car. Along the way though I found out something interesting: people are very kind. I hear all too often about child abusers, murders and fraud that sometimes my vision is the opposite of rose-colored glasses. In fact, I believe that sometimes my vision of the world becomes so clouded that I miss the beautiful things in my life. A girl gave us her water to rinse off the wound, many people stopped to help and a policeman checked my friend's leg to make sure nothing was wrong (his wife still said we needed to go to the hospital. We weren't that worried). There are good people in the world. Most of the people we met along our hike we polite and cheerful, even near the end. One man, as we stopped to take his picture, asked if we were BYU students. I responded, "yes sir", to which he asked, "You must be from the South. Georgia, right?" I'm glad us southerners are still known for our hospitality.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What I learned from my Piano

Today, I was playing the piano (now that finals are OVER) and I had some Colbie Calliat music on pause on my computer. For some reason, it decided to start playing again. I continued to play the piano because no was in the house to hear the clashing dissonance of my "abide with me medley" and Colbie's "I do". However I noticed something interesting. I couldn't concentrate on the music in front of me. I was losing my place like crazy. Also, I suddenly sped up, trying to keep the tempo in perfect time with Colbie's music (let me tell you, they are not the same tempo at all). My little analytical mind got going and I realized that this connects so well to our lives. When we let the worldly things in our lives take over, it is not only the fact that we can not hear the things of the spirit, but we can not focus on what we ARE being told. We know we can hear something, a spot of direction hear and there, but for some reason we are losing part of the communication. Simply and purify our lives.

Also, sometimes we try and get our lives to match perfectly with the lives of the world while still desiring to hear the song of redeeming grace. We are asked to sacrifice the things of the world, which ultimately means sin, for the things of the Gospel. By tuning in to the spirit, we may still hear murmurs of the world around us, but we can definitely hear the music of the spirit.

Lastly, I seriously made a mistake while playing that piece today. It was awful and jarring, terrifying seeing as I have to play in church on Sunday. But, because I was practicing for the actual musical number, I kept going and finished the piece. My favorite time in music is the end when all you do is listen to the silence and soak in what has just been expressed. For just a moment, I hold my breathe, savoring the last note. But you know what? The song was still beautiful. Even with that jarring mistake. That is a metaphor for our lives. We may make jarring mistakes, but as we move forward and repent, God will allow us to have a beautiful and glorious ending that we will look back on with awe and wonderment.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I like strange things

I've realized over the last little while that none of us are normal, not even me. I do declare that I like strange things. The follow list is an example (feel free to add those weird things you like):

1. I LOVE doing dishes. Something about hot soapy water just makes me so happy.
This morning I got in trouble for doing my room mates' dishes. She'd told me not to, but we had cleaning checks, I'm addicted and what a great way to serve her because I love her!
2. Analyzing music theory.
I haven't been required to do this for five years and yet I still find it fun. OR I like to try and pick out classical musical elements in today's music. :) 
3. Running (I'm really not very good at it, but I love it when my body aches)
My favorite time to run is in the winter after a new snow. Being able to be the first one to crunch through new fallen snow is just amazing and exhilarating! 
4. I love learning about abuse.
Yes, this one is strange, but I've decided to just embrace it and help others. I've probably read 5 or 6 books on the topic and have a list I've compiled from my supervisor and professor. 

The point of this is find those odd things you love to do and just do it! I probably won't ever be a world-renowned dish-doer, but happiness is more important than fame.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Why of the Y

Today was Monday. Mondays mean FHE (Family Home Evening). I am a co-leader (mom) for FHE. And sometimes, I am amazed at what lessons we come up with. Tonight we had a discussion on what BYU does for us in preparing us to be future leaders. The group, though small tonight because of the ending of the term, came up with some awesome, albeit unexpected, ideas.

The first idea was that BYU helps us during the transitory period between teenager-dumb and adulthood (now being deemed the young-adult years, an actually distinct period of time for us). It helps us to feel included and understood in a world where everyone is questioning who they are and where their values lie.

Second, it keeps us in the church and active in the Gospel. Too often, we see young adults falling away once they are out of the reach of their parents physical grasp. One young man served his mission in Finland, and did clerical work for the church while he was there. He said that only 1/3 of the young adults stay active there, regardless of service as a missionary.

Third, BYU is here for us to find our eternal companions. I thought this was a kind of duh moment, but we took a new spin on it. Going along with the idea of being active we thought of why having an active spouse would help you stay active. Support, a solid example and lessened loneliness. This is something that worries me here. I see too many people (myself included) who don't reach out to others enough, and therefore many people are struggling with loneliness. The questions of "Am I forgotten?" ring in the ears of many people. Marriage is not a cure-all for loneliness, however I'm guessing it helps.

Sounds like a research topic to me!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

This is my BYU education

I'm finishing up my Music Civilization class notes (Last GE, thank-you). As with all exams, I go through my notes and make flash cards. I'm glad I made "special notes" for this class... a list of quotes from my teacher. Hope everyone else finds them as funny as I did:

"Hey! We're kissing in Triple Time!" This came after the discussion of fair phyllis, an Italian Madrigal. Our professor was telling us about how he had a graduate student who was obsessed with realizing musical rhythms in everyday life. At one point this graduate told our professor about how he was kissing his wife, thought about it stopped kissing her and said the above statement.

"But if I'm every too hard on my students, you can always hope I contract stage four ovarian cancer". My professor showed us clips of the movie Wit (It is now on my summer watch list). In the movie a professor of John Donne poems contracts this kind of cancer and few people show her sympathy because she was such a harsh teacher. Some people say that Dr. Howard, my professor, is too hard and therefore he says that you can always pray for bad things... Kind of like

"You poor altos, you never get the guy. You always get jilted." We were talking about how the sopranos and the tenors sing together in order to try and make it sound like a mom and her son, and the sopranos and the tenors sing together to sound like a wife and a husband. Dr. Howard even pointed out how sometimes the altos will sing with the soprano, if the tenor can not get high enough on the tenor line. But the altos never get the guy. :(

Thursday, June 7, 2012

In case you forget

In case you are like me forget how blessed you are, come volunteer at the Children's Justice Center. This is where I'm doing my internship. Tuesdays I work with children who have been abused. Thursday I work with teen girls who have been abused. All of these cases are sexual abuse, most of the perpetrators are family members. Everyday I leave my internship wishing I could do more, praying that these girls will find peace and hoping that this never happens to my children. What a scary thought, to have your childhood snatched away all because someone wanted to usurp your personal freedoms. Everyday, I leave with a little glimpse of the view Heavenly Father has for these children and hoping that they can find that same outlook.


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Here they come again.

Finals seem to always come at the most inconvenient time: we you're stressed, tired and ready to just be sitting in the sunshine doing absolutely nothing. So, I blog. Because that is such a good use of my time with finals around the corner.

However, if everything goes according to plan (which it rarely does) I should only have one final. Gigantic music civilization. But atleast we finally hit the interesting parts. We just now got to the 1600's. Did you know there was good music before that? We finally get to learn about Bach! Growing up and taking piano lessons, I really did not enjoy Baroque music, but now I love it.

So, in 2 weeks plus some, I'll be seeing Little Scott and Evie. I. Can't. Wait.

 Between now and then, I'm packing, studying, catching up with friends and cleaning, I was talking to my old room mate the other day and we had to wonder where the care free days of Sophomore year went. (Freshman year was extremely stressful, not care free at all). We were able to just enjoy life and really, classes weren't really that hard. All of the sudden we're dealing with missions and marriages and graduate school and we feel as if we have experienced a little bit of whiplash in how fast the time is going. I haven't even left Provo yet and I'm already missing it. Weird. Here's to a good last year of school (which will probably end sooner than I can expect) and a life full of happiness and adventure.