Sunday, January 29, 2012


Tonight, I just want to run. Run fast. Run far. Run from all of my stress, all of my angst. All of my troubles, all of my heartache. I just want to run.

Yet, as freeing and as grand as this sounds, it won't fix a thing. Our lives are made up of giant puzzle pieces, and our lifetime is spent trying to piece them together. We know that it probably will fall short of a masterpiece, but we hope that the final picture is beautiful, wonderful and worth it.

A lifetime ago, I sat in the Taylor 110 for missionary preparation class. I struggled in that class, and vowed that I would never, ever serve a mission. However, one thing I did gain, is a new understanding for God's view on our adversities.

Quoting Isaiah, Nephi teaches us this: "Behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." (1 Nephi 20:10)

This is why we can't run. We can't wander, can't stray. Because the promise is sure. All that is left to do is obtain.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Thursday, January 26, 2012


I just saw this in Pinterest: "How to write a Valentines Haiku" My eyes lit up, and I clicked on the link that took me to this little piece of heaven.

When I was in fifth grade, I had an eccentric hippie for a teacher. His name was Mr. Bob. (For reals.) He taught us how to make nature notebooks. Scraps of recycled paper bound together with twine, and a stick, decorated with leaves. He then taught us the art of writing haikus. I remember that at the tender age of 10, I thought that a haiku had to be among the most ridiculous of things in the whole world. Right up there with fairies, sugarplums and love-at-first-sight.

To this day, I can't help but laugh at the mention of the word haiku, and I appreciate all of the mocking references on prime time sitcoms.

But I decided to humble myself, and write my own Valentine's Day haiku. Love love love.

Vain, shallow, hottie
Really ripped attractive abs
Let's be facebook friends


I am treading water in a dark, vast ocean, the tide nearly pulling me in so I have no control at all. I kick; my arms flail, and I gasp for breath as the water level hits right below my jaw. But with the rolling of the waves, it covers my mouth and nose, allowing only my frightened eyes to see the diminishing light of day.

Anxiety is about to overcome me, and I reach back into the far reaches of my brain grasping for sanity. There, in the hidden, dust covered corner of my mind is a small, fragile looking box labeled "inner peace." The box looks as though it has gone untouched for months, possibly years. The worries of a thousand days, and the fears of a thousand nights have kept me from this box. I reach, stretching beyond my limited capacity, meanwhile the roaring of the water, and the rushing of the wind is getting louder and louder in the forefront of my consciousness.

My fingertips barely grace the side. It pushes it a fraction of an inch away. The harder I reach, the more unattainable it is. Yet, something from the chambers of my heart urges me to go on, just a little further, almost there. With a grunt of determination and exertion, I reach with all that's left in me and grab hold of the box. In my panic, it drops on its side and the lid topples off. But no matter, my effort was not in vain. Glorious, brilliant, blinding light fills my mind and in the midst of an ocean of trouble and disaster, I am filled with that seemingly unattainable desire: peace.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

From the Heart

Last semester, I had the privilege of being part of this choir. It's called From the Heart. Maybe you've heard of it. (It's kind of a big deal.)

This semester, I am blessed to be part of it again. I get to work with talented, gifted and passionate people every week. I have grown so much from it.

Each Thursday and Sunday night, I get to sing my praises to the Most High God. There is nothing better. Nothing.

On my mission, I often felt that I experienced moments that could not be put into words. Teaching the Callisons, learning of the Atonement in Kalispell, afternoon appointments with Jan Frost and the unconditional love I felt for all I came into contact with. These were experiences that could not be fully or adequately expressed through words.

This is why I love music. It takes a beautiful thought and combines it with a beautiful sound. It allows me to bear my testimony to my Lord and Savior in a more complete, personal way. Taking personal ownership of the beautiful songs we sing allows me to be closer to my Master, my King. I cannot express the fulness of joy that comes through bearing testimony with song. But with each crescendo, key change and final note, my heart becomes more of His, who has owned it all along.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Work in Progress

Rain fell on the pavement all day today. The wind slashed across my face, whipping my hair as I tried to tame it under my maroon Forever 21 hat. The cold precipitation hit my bare legs. I've never thought long skirts were fashionable. My high heels clicked across the tile floor of the bank. I deposited $55 and said goodbye to a friend. I picked up a copy of the Standard Journal and smiled as I saw the front page.  I looked at the clock. 9:52 a.m. It was time to drive to the temple on the hill.

It struck me as magnificent as I slowed to a stop at the intersection of S 2nd E and E 7th S. The sky was dull and gray, yet the piercingly white building stood out against it in brilliant splendor. This was the house of God. The words of a song from last semester's From the Heart program began to play in my head, and my heart swelled with gratitude to my Lord, my God.

It always seems to rain sideways when the closest parking spot is in the next county over. I walked the cement steps, wobbling in and out of my wet shoes. Anxious grooms and excited families swarmed the lobby. Familiar faces greeted me, and I felt that I had come home. This is where peace is. Two hours later, I stepped back into the cold rain, feeling more assured, more filled with faith, more resolute. But like the brilliance of a sunrise begins to fade as the dawn breaks, the feeling of complete trust began to fade into the normalcy of life. A normalcy that is filled with fears, doubts and worry.

I feel that I relate better to Thomas. I doubt when I have every reason to believe. I understand perfectly Peter's zeal and devotion, yet his weakness as he sinks into the sea as the Lord calls to him. "Oh ye of little faith," more often then not becomes my mantra.

In the quiet corners of my heart, I yearn to be mighty in faith like Ammon, Moroni, Stephen, Paul, and Joshua. I want each day to "bind my wandering heart to thee." Blessings and tender mercies are showered upon me daily, yet in return I give my Lord an unwilling heart, and a closed mind. But I know with my soul that the transformation of my life is not yet complete. Indeed, I am a work in progress. A work that should frustrate and try the patience of the best of men. Yet because of the unending love of God, he let's me try again and again. And try I will.

Tonight, the snow falls softly on my windowsill, reminding me that change is always in the future.