Saturday, March 31, 2012


Be kind and be thankful God is kind.

Friday, March 30, 2012

March Thirtieth

Night comes each day, signalling an ending to another window of opportunity, another door of possibility. With each night comes the reflection of the morning, the memory of the afternoon, the lingering feeling of dusk. Words were spoken. Promises made. Attempts failed. Mistakes unavoided. Friendships strengthened. Deadlines met. Skills refined. Each night is a landmark of a day lived, a day learned, a day loved.

The word count on my screen continues to go up with each stroke of a key. A meaningless commercial blares on the television screen. My eyelids feel heavy, itchy, my contacts beg to come out. The only connection I feel with my brain are my fingers that stroke the keys. Somehow, the strings of my heart are ever so slightly touched with each stroke.

My thoughts are a thousand miles away in a car speeding down the freeway. A pink sundress that makes me feel beautiful. A warm beach off the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. Saying goodbye to my mother at the MTC. My thoughts come closer to home and think of a hospital, a commissioner, Applebee's, Italy, my itchy contacts, 60 watt lightbulbs and do it yourself crafts from Pinterest. But then they travel far away again to a dark movie theatre in Eureka, California. They flutter to the many different homes in which I've lived. Yet in all of it, they are guarded. Hidden from even myself. My thoughts carry with them secrets in the folds of their privacy.

Sometimes the wonderment of my life is more fascinating than the reality of it. Sometimes it's the hope of what could be, what will be, what should be that gets me through the here and now. The comparison of a life can be daunting, discouraging, defeating. However, it is rarely accurate. The carpenter of my life has a different set of plans for me to follow. I trust His skills, His craftsmanship, His expertise. I read His words, feel His love, observe His influence. Patience, He whispers. Patience until you become what you need to be.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Peak

Here is a peak into my past.

When I was six, I won a coloring contest for the Salt Lake Tribune. I carefully and methodically colored Simba, Nala and Mufasa all posed on Pride Rock, thinking to myself that a finer masterpiece not even Michaelangelo himself could have created. It was beautiful. I licked the envelope, carefully pressed my pudgey fingers to the white flap, applying all my weight to make sure it was doubly sealed shut. Then I worried and fretted for about a day and a half until I forgot all about the coloring contest. The only thing that brought the anxiety back into my frontal lobe was my mom, mentioning that a letter had come about it. But my anxiety was quickly turned into elation as she told me of my winning fate, and a season pass to Lagoon that would very shortly be mine.

I remember fifth grade. I missed picture day. Make-up picture day was the worst. Especially when you forgot it was make-up picture day and you wear your periwinkle turtleneck, have a smudge on your glasses, wear your necklace backwards and in attempt to look trendy, put your hair up in such a way that leaves you looking a little homeless. But the only thing worse than having to take pictures on make-up picture day is have to pick them up 3 weeks later. Suddenly you are in the limelight because everyone else in Mr. Bob's class has forgotten about theirs from two months ago and want to see yours. The homeless looking ones. But then you go to lunch, pay 30 cents for your small carton of chocolate milk and eat your homemade peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Then you find your BFF Ashley and run out to the playground. Suddenly, your worries escape you. Life is once again, complete.

When I was 14, I went to my first stake dance. I wore my coolest looking outfit. A denim jean floor length skirt with a tan and toupee stripped three quarter length sleeved shirt with ties at the V-neck. I wobbled in and out of my three inch platform dress shoes thinking, "I look good." I flashed a smile, revealing my pearly whites being forced into place by those charming braces with orange and yellow rubber bands on each bracket carefully forming a coordinating pattern. I looked good. Thank goodness the gap in my teeth had finally closed. I painted a final coat of pink on my fingers and was ready to go, the butterflies in my stomach morphing into small pterodactyls. I walked into the dimly lit gym of my stake center ready to find love. After an hour of searching to no avail, I found comfort in my other single friends, Emily and Nicole. The despair nearly overcame me, and I vowed I would never find eternal love.  Suddenly, Ben, one of the seven highly attractive priests in our ward asked me to dance. Regretting the last handful of goldfish I had just consumed, which had most definitely given me cheddar breath, I danced blissfully in his arms, so happy that I couldn't think of how to make words come out of my mouth let alone produce intelligent ones. Each priest in our ward asked me to dance that night. It was fantastic. I later found out that one of the Mia Maids put them up to it, but I didn't care. Life had once again been good to me.

I have slightly different concerns now. I miss these days, awkwardness and all. My worries were so simple in comparison to rent, college and career. But the moral of each story is that in the end, it all works out. And guess what? It always will.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Art of Imperfection

Last night I had the opportunity to do something I had never done before.

From the hours of 10 to midnight, I was dressed in a white jumpsuit and white slippers. My hair was pulled back out of my eyes, but it didn't stop my bangs from covering my view as I bent over the blue vacuum cleaner that sucked up the miniscule particles of dust that I was sure wasn't there from the pearl colored carpet.

Magnificent chandeliers hung over head lighting the room, giving a soft glow to the windows that I look up at on nights after long days from the parking lot three floors below.

Intricate pictures of wheat made of stained glass and carved into the plush carpet reminded me of the beauty not only surrounding me in the quiet and peaceful room but of a small and simple town named, Rexburg.

I have always been grateful to have a temple on the hill, reminding me of someone far greater and far grander than I who knows my name and hears my prayers.

But now I have an even greater appreciation for that sacred and magnificent building and for those that serve so faithfully there in dozens of capacities.

The strokes of the vacuum were methodical and mesmerizing, and like the many others who were there that night, I found myself lost in thought.

As I maneuvered the blue vacuum around each corner, and under each chair I waited for the familiar click click click click click of seemingly invisible dirt and dust that are found in each and every carpet.

Not too surprised that the one place I wouldn't find a dirty carpet was the temple, it stirred my thoughts. Now, I'm sure that what came to mind was a thought that has entertained the thousands of other volunteers that come and go almost every night of the week. But last night, I was grateful that the thought was mine.

This beautiful temple was clean when we started. There were a few spots of dust here and there, a couple of loose hairs on the floor, some dust on the light fixtures but for the most part, it was very clean.

 Yet it was still necessary to mop the floors, dust the stairwells, clean the upholstery, sanitize the bathrooms and polish the door handles. It's a routine that happens almost daily.

My thoughts instantly turned to my own life. For the most part, it's pretty clean. I strive to live the commandments, serve others and develop faith in Christ. But each day, I have some cleaning to do.

Each night, I hope to find myself on my knees praying to God for forgiveness for the follies and sins of that day.

Each and every day I seem to perfect the art of imperfection. But God is good enough to allow me to perform those daily and routine cleanings often times helping me along the way to make the most of the process.

This thought was empowering. I was suddenly grateful for every moment that brought me to painful humility, quiet introspection and slow, but gradual change.

I am indebted to God for his endless love, his limitless patience and his magnificent omnipotence. I love Him. And the most beautiful part is that somehow, he loves me; someone has broken and flawed as I.

I cannot express the love that I feel for my Father in Heaven. Instead, I hope that my life can reflect what my words cannot.

It won't be done in a day. In fact, I have miles to go. But that's why I'm grateful for daily cleanings that help me one step at a time back into the arms of his redeeming love.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Advances in Miscommunication

“Where R you?”

“2 min. away.”

“Gr8. C U soon.”

In 1992, a new form of communication was born. It allowed users to send information instantly through the use of the telephone lines. It was called the text message. Over the next few years, this technology was upgraded and improved. It grew until it became a worldwide phenomenon. It helped to make the world a little more functional, a little more accessible, and a little more awkward.

Never mind the fact that students everywhere are suffering from the inability to properly punctuate, spell and form complex sentences. Never mind the fact that college professors are baffled as to how to teach the rules of grammar to a generation of texters. We cannot live without the instantaneous gratification of question and response.

Aside from our failing grammar, text messages are creating rifts in relationships. It makes men and women cowardly when it comes to things of depth and meaning. It is the easy way out. It’s the means of miscommunication.

I once was interested in a man named Eric. He was interesting, fun and my saving grace while at work. We hit it off right away and I hoped that something would come from our shameless flirting on the clock. We became Facebook friends. Once again, technology rears its head into our relationships. 

Eric finally got up the nerve to ask me out—via Facebook—and we had a date set up for Saturday. I was thrilled at the prospect of spending an evening at the park with him. I was already envisioning us laughing like children as we played on the swings, and walked underneath the light of the pale moon.

The sound of a new text message brought me back to reality. It was Saturday night, and Eric would be there within minutes. I hastily checked my phone. The text informed me that Eric had changed our plans.

“hey- i don’t want to go to the park. i’ll just come over and we can play cards.”

The anticipation began to leak out of me like a deflating air mattress. All I could think of was how lame he was being. But I relented and responded.

“Alright. See you then.”

Disappointed, and wanting someone to validate me, I texted my roommate.

“Just so you know, my date is being lame and is coming over here to play cards. See you when you get home. Love you.”

I sat on my couch waiting for a response that would make me feel better about my emotions.

A high-pitched beeping filled the room. Here was the response that would bring me sweet relief. But it was not from my roommate. It was from Eric.

“Did you mean to send that? Sorry I’m so lame.”

You know the moments where your life flashes before your eyes? The moments where you feel all the breath leave your body? That was my moment right then.

With shaking hands, I checked my worst fear. Confirmed. The most recent message in my outbox showed Eric’s name in big, black, bold letters.

I did my best to salvage our date, while secretly wishing that I could board the next flight to Tibet. My face was hot with embarrassment. I had no idea what to say for myself.

I played it off as a joke, but there is only so much you can do via text. Six minutes passed, and my roommate along with what I can only assume to be half of campus showed up at my door. I recounted my sad tale. They gasped and groaned at all the right places.

Four minutes after that, Eric arrived. To say it was awkward was an understatement. But we valiantly persevered, and no later than 10:01 p.m., he dropped me off.

I will not venture into the details of the rest of our relationship. Needless to say, it did not progress.

Technology masquerades as a friend, allowing easy access to information and witty remarks. But in the end, technology will betray you.

Miscommunication has never been so readily available. Simply pick up your smart phone, and press send. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Simple Truths.

My life revolves around words. Words with roommates, dear friends, co-workers, and family. Words to the community, words to the campus, words to the internet. I speak words to my God, words to myself and words to everyone in between.

There is safety in silence. You can find assurance in avoidance. Neglecting a problem can become more of a net of safety than anything else. It can also cause insanity.

Weakness to one may be bravery to another.

The sinking feeling of a heart bogged down by worry, concern and fear can propel one to act.

Sincere laughter is the best form of medication.

Sometimes words are not enough to express the blinding yellows, burnt oranges and fire engine reds of my emotions.

"We don't think in words."