Sunday, September 27, 2009

no want shall i know

yesterday, at approximately 5:57 pm, i was standing next to my best bud surrounded by hundreds of other women and one man. that one man was right in front of us, singing tenor with those hundreds of soprano and alto voices almost drowning him out. but i could hear him, and my already wet eyes just kept producing more and more tears. there i was, on a saturday night, listening to a stake president i didn't even know singing the words to my favorite hymn. and i asked myself "how did i get here? what have i done to be so blessed? how have i found myself as a part of this beautiful gospel, with these beautiful people who are all so unique and yet so much a vital part of this beautiful work, with a place made for each individual and their abilities and talents used to bless each others lives?"

i have thought a lot lately about these things, and sometime struggled to understand what significance i can have in any one's life. there are so many out there who are more qualified, who have more experience, who can do things faster and more effectively than i could ever hope to, i haven't come up with a good answer to those questions yet, but here is what i do know:

i know that i am loved by my Father in Heaven and by His Son, my Savior.
i know that i am here in this life for a purpose, even if i don't know what it is now.
i know that the true gospel has been restored on the earth, and that i am a part of it, however small that part may be.
i know that by doing the things i know to be right, i will ultimately receive blessings far beyond my capacity to comprehend.

when i get discouraged, or overwhelmed by my insignificance, i try to find the time and means to sit and think about those things. because when i do, an amazing thing happens. the weight of that testimony seems to settle comfortably on my shoulders and sink into all my nooks and crannies, filling in the gaps where emptiness and uncertainty usually reside. all thoughts of my insignificance dissolve into insignificance themselves, and i am left with a feeling a purpose and happiness that i can't describe.

the next feeling comes naturally - who can i share this with? who can i help to find this same feeling? because who doesn't want to feel that way? who doesn't want that surety in their life as often as they can get it? i think that is something the whole world is looking for, consciously or otherwise. and who am i to keep it all to myself?

this coming up weekend is one of my absolute favorite weekends of the year. it's almost like christmas. listening to the prophet of God is not something you can get enough of. i hope to keep this feeling with me all week, and then to gain the inspiration i need to carry it with me longer, so that i can share this feeling with everyone i meet. because everyone has a place here, and something to offer, and i think we all can use a little more strength and help along our way.

Monday, September 21, 2009

many a mile to go that night

this week, in three poems:

to the scorpion in my bathroom last week
i'm sorry i had to flush you down the toilet.
some things just have to be done.
also, i would appreciate a warning to any friends and family left behind
others in a similar situation will meet a similar fate

playing the spoons
learned from a man in a leather kilt
ward talent shows will never be the same again.
(even if my hands remain scarred for the rest of my life
and my legs stay bruised that same amount of time.
it was worth it.)

yellow orchid on my desk
please do your best to stay alive
you looked like you had the will to live
and i would appreciate the effort.
life is so much better with orchids.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

but the one thing i know

*warning: the following thoughts could be described as a broken record. or beating a dead horse. or something like that. however, this has been on my mind pretty constantly the last little bit, and i keep hoping the next time i write about it will purge it from my brain. either that, or someone will solve all my problems. someone, are you out there? please?

i suppose it is not uncommon for someone my age to look at the number and immediately want to fight against it. we get dragged into these years kicking and screaming, refusing to age gracefully and wanting to fight with every gut we have to stay this way, or to get younger, to keep our youth about us. i am no exception, except for the days (which are pretty frequent) when i simply ignore my age - i refuse to acknowledge it, expecting every morning to wake up late for mr. clark's advanced geology class.

and here is what i think is the problem: my life is the ocean. i'm out in the middle somewhere, treading water. and, for the sake of this metaphor, i am pretty fit and strong. i can tread water for quite a while, and i am happy doing it. there are people constantly swimming by me who stop for a while to have a chat and exchange smiles. there are people rowing by on rafts who invite me up for a rest. but eventually all of these people move on. they swim away or kick me off their rafts and go forward to one of the islands in the distance, leaving me to tread water again.

why don't i move towards an island myself, you ask? i'll tell you. i can't make up my mind about which one i want to swim towards. i can't figure out which one is worth the effort it will take to get there. they all look beautiful - nice beaches and warm sunshine and cool trees. but some of them have a fence around them, and if i go to one of those without the key they will make me turn around to find it somewhere out in the big ocean. and some of them only look inviting from a distance, but really the sand is poky and the sun is too hot and the trees are just mirages. some of them won't let me in until i go to some other island first and pass some test on that one that is a prerequisite for the next island. some are too far away, and just seem to get farther and farther the more i swim towards them. so i turn endlessly in circles, trying so hard to choose the right island and make all my effort worthwhile.

and i have to choose soon. treading water is becoming exhausting in more than one sense of the word, and i'm tired of this same scenery. i'm tired of people passing me by. i'm tired of trying to make decisions i am not equipped to make. i want someone else to choose for me, to tell me "that island contains everything you need to make the rest of your life happy - every decision has been made for you, just swim!"

but that isn't the point - i need to choose for myself, and figure out for myself what i need, as much as i detest the idea. and if i really stop to think about it, i know how to make those decisions i am dreading. i know that the right island will be clear at some point, and all the work and effort i put into getting there will be worth it, even if the path is not straight or easy. and everyday i become more and more grateful to have that knowledge, at least. if i don't know anything else, i do know that i am loved and watched over and guided. and i'll find the right place, with faith and hope and patience.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

for better or for worse i've yet to know

i've spent (maybe wasted... we'll see) a lot of my life wishing i could be different. you know, different hair, different nose, different eyes, different personality (just certain elements.) i wish my brain was different, or my life was different. not better necessarily, just... different.

today, my wish was to be one of those people that thrives on uncertainty. i do like to have an element of surprise in my life, but i wouldn't say i thrive on it. for example, i like it when i know a surprise is coming, just not when exactly it will arrive. or to know when something unexpected will happen, just not what it is. not that those two things are common occurrences, but they are happy occurrences when they do come around.

but when all factors are up in the air, i tend to become a little neurotic. i obsess, going over every single possibility relentlessly, until i have exhausted every option (and i mean exhausted, and i mean every option.) and then i repeat. and repeat. and repeat. this usually goes on for a couple of weeks, or until i find out something and can put my mind at ease. unfortunately for me, it is usually the couple of weeks, so i am stuck acting like a crazy person for long periods of time. explains a lot, eh?

side note - byu football starts this week. go cougie bougies! and basketball is just around the corner, if time keeps on slipping the way it has been. thank goodness for that bright side.