Monday, November 25, 2013

A lot can happen in a year.

It's true. A lot of good can happen in a year! At this time last year I had a broken heart, my applications for graduate school were in and I was anxious to fly home to Georgia for Thanksgiving. This year my heart is mended, I'm finishing my first semester of graduate school (with flying colors), and excited for spend time with my extended family for Thanksgiving. It's been a bit of a bumpy ride, but think about what bumps do. When I was in high school, Doyle would drive me and Ben home in his jeep. He would hit the speed bumps and we would fly. Yes, speed bumps are there to get us to slow down, but they can also take us really high. That's what they can do for us. Speed bumps can help us slow down, get perspective and take us higher.
I'm pretty sure my speed bump days aren't over, and I don't think they ever will be. This is how we grow and progress. So, if your dealing with a broken heart, let it mend. If you're waiting for word back about graduate school, wait actively. If you're anxious to leave, take a minute to enjoy where you are. Let speed bumps take you higher to our Heavenly Father. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


There has been a lot of talk out there about who is responsible for chastity before marriage. Guess what? "(Men and women) have a sacred responsibility to rear their children in love and righteousness." This righteousness does not magically appear when two people are married. Even when they are married in the temple of the Lord.

Instead it comes through preparation as individuals and a couple commit to one another. It continues long after the marriage has been performed as these two people strive to become celestial. So men and women can both prepare to rear their children in love and righteousness when they live chaste lives before marriage. Some people would say this is "old fashioned". Guess what, it is! Marriage was ordained by God. That means it has been around for a very, very long time. So, be chaste. It isn't a matter of gender, but instead genealogy. Because you are a child of God, you should treat yourself, and others, as the children of a King.

P.S. Doesn't that temple look like a castle? This is "The house of the Lord"- the house of a king. Because we are His children, THIS is where we go to become like Him. I love that. 

What I learned about relationships today: Communication

I realized something today. Sometimes, even when you do your best to communicate, it doesn't seem to work. Even when you mirror what the person is saying, explain yourself clearly, stay calm express your desire to understand their viewpoint, it still doesn't "work". So, here was my question: What is considered a successful communication? Joining the Gospel and secular research together, here is my answer: 

1. "The real challenge that we face in our communications with others is to condition our hearts to have Christlike feelings for all of Heavenly Father's children. When we develop this concern for the condition of others, we then will communicate with them as the Savior would. We will then warm the hearts of those who may be suffering in silence" - L. Lionel Kendrick 

We communicate out of love and concern for other people. We want to see them as God sees them and we want to better understand their point of view. We cannot control others' reaction to our communications, but we can try our best to effectively communicate our message so they will understand. We CAN control our reaction to their reaction. 

2. In our communication, there are filters that we have to pass through. Here is the sender-receiver communication model. 
So, multiple things can happen. We can either not convey our message correctly because of an inability to use the right words, we can use the wrong body language or the other person can have a negative view of us that distorts the message we are sending. No wonder communication is so difficult. 

But there is hope! I am weak in my communication skills with others and it wouldn't surprise me if other people are too. Remember the promise give by a loving Father in heaven:

"I would show unto the world that afaith is things which arebhoped for and cnot seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no dwitness until after the etrial of your faith... 
 And if men come unto me I will show unto them theiraweakness. I bgive unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my cgrace is sufficient for all men that dhumble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make eweak things become strong unto them."

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A quick update

Life in Logan has been wonderful, albeit a little stressful and tear-filled. Last week I grabbed a couple of people and went to peach days in Brigham City. It was a cute parade, although apparently Aunt Chris said it was unimpressive in comparison to most years. 

Flags honoring Utah.

What parade is complete without some beautiful Palominos?

We had a great spot by the temple to watch the storm move in. 

 Down near the vendor booths

For my birthday my brother made me a Georgia cutting board. I miss Georgia, so I pull it out every now and then. It smells so good! 

 A beautiful Logan sunset. I get to see these, or city lights, as I come down from school. Just a reminder of God's tender mercies to a graduate student. 

Utah State Game!
The first Utah State home game was so great. We had a down pour, which sent many people home. But that's okay, because we took their seats and ended up in the third row by the end of the game. We creamed Weber State, it would have been embarrassing if we hadn't, but they did score a touchdown in the last 2 minutes of the game. Jumping in puddles on the way home and drinking hot chocolate at the nottingham house put the cherry on top of a pretty great game. 
 On our way to the game.
 Courtney, Aubree and Emily. 
 I actually thought of the BYU fight song: "We will fight, day or night, rain or snow!" We had quite the sprinkling during the game, but it was so worth it. I feel like a real Aggie. 
Right before Weber scored. We didn't get to 100, although the fans were chanting it during the last ten minutes. 

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Covenant to do His will

Sometimes Satan really gets on my nerves. We know, through revelation, that God will allow Satan to tempt us. It is part of God's plan for His children, that we are tried and tested and made stronger. But God will not allow us to be tempted above that which we are able to bear. But think about it. I mean, really think about it. If we are tempted, and able to bear that, we are tempted again. This whole time, we are building spiritual muscles, until one day we are able to "endure all things". All things? Right now, as Becca would say, "I am doing life. I am not necessarily doing it well, but I am doing it." Today was one of those days where I prayed in the temple, dropped to my knees in my bathroom, living room, bed room and prayed as I exercised. It has been a day with a loving Father, because no other solace seems to be working. I tend to have to learn the same lesson over and over again. 

I have recently been struggling, trying to figure out why God would uproot a girl, firmly planted in the soil of Provo, Utah and just putting down baby roots in Athens, Georgia, in Logan, Utah. Everyone seems to be from Utah. Everyone seems to know the traditions. Everyone seems to be so sure of themselves. Everyone, except me. Why does He need me in Logan? For anyone who says, "To get an education", I know. But I firmly believe that there is some other reason. If the only reason was to get an education, it wouldn't really matter where I went. But, for some reason it did. 

So, I've been searching for an answer. Nothing spectacular has come yet, but I found comfort in the talk given by Sister Pingree.  She said that she "feared (going to a new land), but I realized I hadchosen to make personal, binding, sacred commitments I meant to keep." At first I thought only of marriage covenants because, let's be honest, that's what I worry about. Not making those covenants in this life. But I then thought about how in the pre-mortal world we made a decision to come here and be tested and tried. Now we have the opportunity to make a covenant that we will continue to do that. This is my mission. Remain faithful to the covenants I have made, continue to make covenants and look forward to new covenants. 

Yes, I will work hard in school. But I will also find the Lord's will for me here in Logan, Utah. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I needed this yesterday

Yesterday was wonderfully humbling. I woke up tired, missing my family and my friends Ryan, Becca, Davina, Beatriz and Camille and feeling a little defeated as I realized everything that needed to be done before the day was over. Don't get me wrong. I would rather be struggling with graduate school than struggling to work a full-time job that didn't pay well or, right now at-least, be a mom. There is a time to everything, and this is my time to enjoy, not just endure graduate school. Anyways, of course we had to sing, "Master the tempest is raging" in my institute class and of course I had to start crying. "Awaken and save I pray" the song said. That's exactly how I felt? Where was my redeemer? Hadn't he promised to save me? I was mistaken. He had already reached out, I just had to stretch forth my hand as well. Like Peter, I had walked on the water. I just had to keep my faith.

Back to the story. Of course my teacher had to come looking for me, and of course a girl came and located me in the bathroom. Guess what? She was in my LDS Stake. Like my mom said, "It seems like everyone is in your stake. Probably a reason for that".

So, this morning when I woke up, as I was running to the temple, I remembered a poem that I wrote a few years ago and I realized I wrote it for now. Now, when I was tired. Now, when I was missing my family and friends. Now, when I was feeling defeated. I needed a gift that God gave me. He is so wise and loving, and for that I am grateful. I love my Heavenly Father.


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.

Time to get moving. There are people to be served and things to be done. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

A little bit of wonderful

That title pretty much sums up my life right now. I'm in a new ward and loving every minute of it (mostly). I'm slightly terrified at all these new experiences I'm having and all the new people I'm meeting. Most people don't think of me as shy, but meeting new people causes panic to well-up in my chest. Will they like me? Will I like them? Will they think I'm weird? Do they think people from the South are crazy? Will I come off as too religious? Most of the time I just have to decide that it doesn't matter and just go for it. And always, so far, people have been kind and understanding of my tears in relief society and my over-enthusiam as I talk about my major.

When my parents were still here, we went on a beautiful hike in Logan. That's when I fell in love. Just don't tell Georgia.
Dad hiked the Crimson Trail!
Aren't they just adorable? 

Beautiful Utah Scenery 


And look what else I found in Logan? I had so much fun hanging out with Josh, Tami, Keean. Go Dawgs!

And in other news, my little vacuum/broom thing does a wonderful job of cleaning up after itself :) I really like my apartment. Lots of people think it's crazy that I'm living alone, but I enjoy the solitude and I think it is actually making me more social.  

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Why I am a Latter-day Saint (Mormon)

The short answer: I was born a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Now for the long answer. But, I can promise you're going to love it. This is the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. How exciting is this? The same gospel that was taught by Jesus Christ while He was on the earth, is on the earth again. The same baptism, the same sacrament, the same temple worship, the same teaching. I feel so much peace in this religion, but one thing to remember about me, and many other LDS persons, is that this is not simply a religion. Rather, this is the way that God intends us to live all the time. And guess what? I mess up. A lot. Another reason why I am LDS. The Gospel teaches me how to repent and become with my Father in heaven. This Gospel has taught me that I have a Father, as do all the people on this earth. This gives me a lot of hope as I begin working with people who have suffered from abuse. Regardless of the earthly father we have, our Heavenly Father is perfect. I understand I don't have all the answers, but this Gospel does. I love the way that a women in my congregation put it, "The power we get from ordinances will be as deep or as shallow as our knowledge of the Gospel". I'm still a baby in the Gospel, but I know it's true. I am so grateful that I can answers to life's questions. Just this morning I went to the temple, a sacred place of worship and I realized that I received comfort and strength within those walls, something that is so special to me. The reason I am a member of the LDS faith is because it answers life's questions, both the grand and the personal, through teaching and revelation. I love the Lord and am so blessed to be able to learn through His prophet and other leaders that have been appointed on this earth.

And just in case you want to understand more about the sacred nature of the temple, here you go:
LDS temples

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Never quite pleased with where I am

When mom and dad are away, the kids must play. That's the rule, right? Well, tonight mom and dad are at church meetings (they're off getting our blessings as mom would say). So I scavenged the house for something to eat. Surprisingly after 5 years of school the same thing happens... there is nothing in the house to eat, or rather nothing that is quick enough. So I will revert back to my college days. Yes, I can legit-ly say "When I was in college". And what am I reverting back to? Peanut butter toast with cinnamon and sugar. Thank-you Camille for teaching me this. So much better than regular butter.

And with all of this talk of college I miss Provo. I miss crying on the phone to my mom. I miss running over to Beatriz's apartment to talk about boys. I miss school.

One month. Is it only one month until I leave to go to Logan? Amazing how times flies. Well, peanut butter toast here I come! Running in the cold, slipping on the ice and papers to write. Now I miss Georgia.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Who, me?

My best friend, Becca Hay, is visiting from Texas. Everyday she's been she's said two very important things: 

1. This is not where I expected you to live. 
Apparently my country-ness did not come out while in Provo. The horses, chickens and cows just never seem to come up in everyday conversation. I wouldn't trade where I grew up for anything. 
2. I love it here, it is so peaceful. 
It is, isn't it? I wake up and there is no noise. No cars, no loud people and no self listing everything that needs to be done during the day. Yes, things need to be done. Horses don't feed themselves, and graduate school will not pay for itself. But, a person to be loved is always more important than a chore to be done. 

So, while I anxiously await the next chapter of my life, I can also revel in the time I have here at home, because it is beautiful. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Live the life.

"Love the life you live. Live the life you love." The other day I ran into an old friend. Okay, an old boyfriend. With a little sadness I thought back to the time during which we had dated and all the not-so-fun stuff that has happened since that time (dealing with saying goodbye to my best friends, trying to avoid heartache- very unsuccessfully, I might add and packing). Yes, I add packing to a list of not-so-fun things because I have been "packing" for almost eight weeks now, but have to keep unpacking. But guess what? This is the life I love. I love the cloudy days because they make me love sunshine. I love running down roads I probably shouldn't (literally and figuratively). I love going shopping at D.I. with Chelsea (Becca, don't cringe). I love the snow, and all the other things that have made this time in Provo so stinkin' enjoyable.

 I've loved my wards (congregation) and my bishops. Their service is so appreciated by all of the people that they touch and all of the lives that they help us figure out how to lead! I remember distinctly sitting in Brother Barlow's office (a leader in one of my old wards). I was complaining about life... about boys and how nothing was working out as I had planned. I was twenty-one at the time and bemoaning the fact that my boyfriend had broken up with me and blah blah blah. He looked at me and said, "I've heard you say, 'I want, I want, I want', but what does the Lord want for you?" So over the course of these last few years, I've asked what He wants. He wants me to live righteously, repent and turn to Him.

That is the life I want. To live with God, both now and in the eternities. Oh how blessed we are!

Thank-you to everyone who has helped me at BYU. I appreciate you.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

The sacred matters

Have I mentioned lately how much I love my major? How much I love BYU? How much I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Well, I do. A lot. I love all of these things because they help me find truth. I like truth. It gives me peace that other things simply can't.
One of my classes, advanced family processes, uses the book "Sacred Matters" written by a lot of Latter-day Saint scholars. It's about how sacredness matters in family life, and how true they are. I think of my own family and the car ride talks about Jesus Christ and how to live the restored truths. I think about the media choices that help us realize that our bodies are sacred and that we are children of God. The sacred matters because it gives us purpose in life, purpose in family and purpose in future. The sacred allows us to see beyond ourselves and instead see how we can contribute to the greater work that God has given us. Pray with your family tonight and you will be united. Invite everyday sharing of your belief in God and your children will be strengthened. As one man put it, "I love the Gospel because it helps me love my family and I love my family because they help me love the Gospel". Read The family: A Proclamation to the World and you will understand how much the family means to be me because I know it is a gift for my Father in Heaven.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dating and sacrifice

I'm sitting here in the family history section of library, typing on this annoyingly loud keyboard. But, I guess it's not inhibiting my thinking that much, just enough as to where I decided that I wasn't going to be able to read the article for my family processes class because all the other keyboards are too loud as well. So, I will join the typing.
Yesterday was one of those days where the world kind of stops and you realize that you can't control everything. You can't control the fact that two months from now you will either be driving or flying to Georgia or that you now realize that you and your best friend won't be living anywhere close to each other because neither of you got into the graduate programs you needed to. It's definitely one of those days.
So, I've decided to "focus" on my studying. An article about sacrifice as a predictor of marital quality. Along my bookmark bar I had noticed and decided to see what they had to say about comparing ourselves to others, something adding to my large amounts of stress in the past couple of days.  Which leads me to a question: what do we sacrifice in dating, or in order to date? Well, lots of things.

Family of origin. This is temporary, but I've noticed that I often feel as if I have to choose between my present family and my future family. I came out to BYU in part to date and marry. The marriage part hasn't happened, but I'm happy for the experiences I've had in dating. It's taught me a lot about myself, particularly how much I can handle and how gosh darn strong I am (yes, I still hold on to my Southern roots).

The future. Dating changes a lot of things about our futures. I have friend who is currently dating a young man, and even though they are not talking about marriage yet, she is pursuing the relationship in spite of graduate school plans. I'm actually very proud of her, because that is courageous.
Friends. This one doesn't always happen, but a lot of the times as you date you spend more and more time with your significant other and less and less time with your friends (atleast your single ones). This is so sad. I just really like people and want to stay their friend inspite of recent relationship changes.

What I really like about the research is that it shows that sacrifice of ideas, those separate from your core values, helps to strengthen a relationship because it shows your investment. So, make sure you invest more than money into your relationships. Invest love, concern and time. Remember- Love is spelled T-I-M-E.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Pure honesty and a question

This one needed something seperate because it breaks my heart a little. I promise. Within the last 5 seconds I am still loving everything out of life. But, my question is: did I fail? Everyone talks about BYU as being this place that invests tithing money from members because the general authorities (leaders in the Latter-day Saint church) are invested in their young single adults meeting one another and marrying. Why? Because we know that families can be sealed together for eternity in temples of God and that the only way to enter a temple is by taking steps, including baptism into His church.

So, did I fail? Did I waste their tithing money? I firmly believe that God wants His daughters to be educated, as noted by the talks by Mary N. Cook and the one by Elder and Sister Oaks. I did that. Gained an education. But what about marriage? Leaving here unmarried is terrifying. If I decide venture out  beyond the wasatch for graduate school, from where there are maybe 10-20 LDS singles in the area, there is always I chance that I will not marry.

So, what now? Choose faith. God does not make promises that He does not keep and as long as we are striving to live up to the covenants we have made with Him (Always remember Him and keep His commandments) then no blessings will be with-held. Now is a time to employ active waiting. Waiting upon the Lord is not a "sit down and I'll wait for you to bring me blessings" idea. It's more of a "I'll trust in your timing and persevere to bring your work forward in the way you need me to". Things will come in His time. I have quote on my wall that says: Waiting=Trusting. Time to employ faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (and His promises). 

Pure honesty and a lot of love

A few things have been on my mind lately. I am so scared to death about leaving Provo, it's not even funny. Don't get me wrong... I am SOOOOOO excited to graduate but sometimes I just scared about living the life I want to have. That's right, my own potential scares me. I know I can do great things, but the question is, will I? There are times when fear just sucks everything out of me. Like being lonely. I am so scared of being lonely that sometimes I'm afraid I will take drastic measures and marry that boy that would be so incredibly wrong for me and make my life so incredibly miserable. Never-mind. Crisis averted. 

So, as I'm sitting here and thinking about being honest. I'm scared of going to graduate school. But excited because it means new adventures and hopefully being closer to my family. Which is true regardless of where I choose, it's just a matter of extended family or immediate family. But I am scared to lose touch with friends. The other day, Bea said, "Let's be honest, we talk about having all of these reunions, but it probably won't happen." My best friends are leaving. I am leaving. Sad. day. 
Photo: Friends

Firstly, there's these girls. Oh goodness. Camille and I met at BYU-I and Beatriz and I in Alpine Court. Oh, the years are flying! Camille is going to Armenia to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Have you ever seen Armenian? It looks like this: ճէրմակ
(White) and then sounds like.... yeah um, I'll let you know that later. Beatriz is going to go to Puerto Rico and become an amazing lawyer, eventually a guardian ad litem. We have a plan. She's going to prosecute the criminals, I'm going to therapy on the families and Camille will do their family history. I like this plan. It means we get to see each other again. Well okay, before we die. 

And this girl. Becca Hay. Fondly known as Becca Texas to my phone. We connected in the library almost four years ago, yes? We decided that a breakdown in the library was a good way to form a friendship. She always talks about how I saved her that day, but in reality I couldn't get along without her. That's why we have a plan. We will live close enough to one another to drive. I know my parents approve of this plan. I was talking to them about South Carolina and they said, "And you'd be close enough to visit Becca when she gets into Emory". Love it. 


And this girl. Oh Davina, Seattle is going to be so happy to see you! Davina is going to be an amazing travel agent someday and we are going to take trips to Italy and Spain and Ireland. It's going to be amazing. Choir friends years ago= living close enough to walk to her house and deal with life crisis things together. I will miss that. 

Provo sunrises. I will miss walking to school and seeing this. It is breath-taking. Running on still mornings and praying to my Heavenly Father is such a wonderful way to start the day. 

Another honesty thing. I love being happy! "there is nothing wrong with loving the crap out of everything. negative people build their walls. so never apologize for your enthusiasm. never. ever. never"- ryan adams. Forget the fear. I'm going to love the crap out of life. I'm going to love getting into graduate school. I'm going to love talking with my Heavenly Father about my decision. I'm going to love skyping with my family. I'm going to love being single (Not gonna lie, sometimes this one is hard. But, I've realized that I grow so much from having to fight heartache like this. I think Heavenly Father thinks I am very strong). I'm just going to love. Because hate corrodes, but love grows! 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Missin' a memory

This song also features my new found love for the guitar. It's still working on becoming a "talent". But I do love it!

Missin' a memory

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Things fall apart

It's still in the finishing process, but here's my song that I wrote. More about the song later :)
Things fall apart