I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know who I am. I know God's plan. I'll follow him in faith. I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I'll honor his name. I'll do what is right; I'll follow his light. His truth I will proclaim.

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Day 273

[from The Thursday Chronicles]

You heard us. Didn't you, Thursday? You heard us discussing how we were too busy, and you decided to take vengeance on me. But I will stay stay loyal and true. Why? Because you made up by the teensiest bit. Was it a peace offering? A sign of hope? While I know right now it's the dangling carrot, it's still wonderful news to hear:

Josh Groban's new CD release date was announced today!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A New Anchor

Day 272

I have a renewed sense of hope. It's small. And it may not end in the result that I would like.

But it's there.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Rain and More Rain!

Day 271

You wouldn't believe the rain we've been having! Good, solid, steady, pouring rain!!! For two days in a row now, with more to come.

It is a sincere delight to and for my heart!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Keep 'em comin'!

Day 270

It wasn't just that I got to wear PJs to work. It was that people came. A good amount of people came! This is even nicer coming a week after my no-show program.

I know not to take it personally, but it is still quite nice when my programs aren't failures.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Patience and Learning

Day 269

Today was my first time to teach a Relief Society lesson as a Relief Society teacher. I've taught them many times as a counselor, but never as a teacher. I was a little bit nervous, but very excited. I mostly worried and hoped that I would have the Spirit with me.

I do believe he was, and I am grateful for that. I'm also grateful for just how much I gained in preparing to teach Pres. Uchtdorf's patience talk--as I wasn't even able to share 1/2 of what I learned for myself.

(And top that off with watching It's a Miracle while singing along to it? Well, it's been a fabulous day!)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

And more!

Day 268 - Part 2

My mother calling to tell me she loves me, and the Prophet speaking on one of the most sacred days for me?

I thought it couldn't get better, and I'm grateful I was wrong.

Out of the Ordinary

Day 268

A party at 1 am?

Singing a song I love to myself while blowing out 4 candles...7 times?

My own dance party with my own music?


Not what I had hoped for.

But so different, and so fun--it was wonderful!

Friday, September 24, 2010

"A New..."

Day 267

A new morning. A new day.

New chances. New opportunities.

A hope to leave behind some of the old.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I do what I can

Day 266

I'm still requiring every boost that I can get to help me through this month, this week. I rarely wear my Easter dress to work, because I think it's "too cute" for a place of profession. But today I needed it. And it was nice to hear the compliments.

But what I needed more involved finishing a good book and beginning its final sequel with no need to wait, and making my birthday wishful thinking wish list.

Best of all was receiving a lovely and wonderfully aromatic (early) birthday bouquet from my dear friend at work.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Our Apartment, Our Home

Day 265

I've been in a new living situation for the last ~4 months. Before that, I was working through an odd landlord-renter relationship. Before that, I had the indescribable joy of my very own place (dotted occasionally here and there with a weekend roommate). Now I am back in the situation of having a roommate 24/7. (Though this is the first time in my roommate history that I've had my own room!!!!) She is Roommate #38 for me (if you don't count the pseudo-ones over the last couple of years). I think it's safe to say I've done a lot of learning and adjusting when it comes to roommates. In personalities as well as living habits.

With Roommate #38, there have been adjustments. Not what I expected, but have not affected our friendship negatively. In fact, it's been really nice to room with an already bona fide friend.

But tonight as we laughed over our Star Trek Voyager, and cleaned up the water I sprayed all over the place, and snacked on our various forms of chocolate, and sighed about the ending of Lord of the Rings, it came to me that she is one of the best roommates and creating one of the happiest living situations that I have ever had.

I am so grateful to her, for her friendship, and for the home she offers to and shares with me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

To Autumn

Day 264

I got to not only have a picnic outside in the most beautiful weather for it, but also play in swings in it!

The First Day of Autumn!!!!!!

I happened to be baby-sitting during this glorious at-one-with-nature moment. That hadn't been the original plan. It was going to be a personal communing time between me, the Spirit, and the Lord. But this opportunity to serve just couldn't be passed up. So since I could not read the recommended poem to me then, I read it later. And I share with you now. (P.S. Thanks, Bri!)

John Keats (1795–1821). The Poetical Works of John Keats. 1884.
47. To Autumn

SEASON of mists and mellow fruitfulness,
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eves run;
To bend with apples the moss’d cottage-trees, 5
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease, 10
For Summer has o’er-brimm’d their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?
Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find
Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,
Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind; 15
Or on a half-reap’d furrow sound asleep,
Drows’d with the fume of poppies, while thy hook
Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers:
And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep
Steady thy laden head across a brook; 20
Or by a cyder-press, with patient look,
Thou watchest the last oozings hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?
Think not of them, thou hast thy music too,—
While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day, 25
And touch the stubble plains with rosy hue;
Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn
Among the river sallows, borne aloft
Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;
And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn; 30
Hedge-crickets sing; and now with treble soft
The red-breast whistles from a garden-croft;
And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Called to Serve

Day 263

I had a co-worker in my room that I don't often get to work with. We tend to talk. Or, maybe I should say I tend to talk and she's such a willing listener. But she asks some great questions that get me going, too! Tonight we happened to get on the subject of LDS missionaries.

How I loved talking about the glorious work it is for young men, women, and senior couples who sacrifice so much to be full-time servants of the Lord!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hold Fast

Day 262

I dressed in preparation and determination for having a magnificent week. And then something encountered me at church that threatened to throw it all away. But I would not let it. I held fast to my determination. I grasped onto my happiness.

And it stayed.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Day 261

I discovered a fabulous website today. One that had me laughing, smiling, even happily shrieking for two solid hours. Do you know when the last time was that such a thing happened?

That's a joy worth every gratitude I can muster today!

Friday, September 17, 2010

This + That = :-)

Day 260

A full, productive day. Yet still relaxing.

House cleaning.




Making up my own absolutely delicious doughnut recipe.

Yes, days where they can wander their merry way and be truly rejuvenating are an unequal joy.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Have you done your VT today?

Day 259

Done well? Done right? And done?

It really is a joy.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Play it Again--or for the first time

Day 258

I started my first Playaway book today. And it's a book that has been much talked about of late, which I've been anxious to read for a while but wanted an audio version.

So, not only do I get two--in-one, I'm already thoroughly enjoying the book!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

He knew

Day 257

Fun surprises when one currently more pressing appointment cannot be met on the other person's end, leaving you free to keep the other appointment which you preferred.

To the Lord who knows all things, even the unspoken desires of our hearts: Thank you.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Other friends at work

Day 256

I had one of my "regulars" return to our monthly program this evening. They were on vacation last month. Their return was marked with "How are you?" and "What have you been up to?" and "I've read...!" It's nice to have regulars at programs. (They keep them alive!)

But it's fun to feel like I'm forming a friendship of sorts with the teens I serve.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Rewards from Waiting

Day 255

There were some wonderful things about the day. A dinner with friends. I miss Sunday dinners with friends. And it's nice to not have to do any cooking once in a while. To just relax in company I enjoy and truly feel like I'm rejuvenating instead of stressing.

But even bigger than that--I was happy and contented all. day. long. No roller coaster of ups and downs. No beating myself relentlessly for not being and doing better. No headaches (major anyhow) to keep me from being open and social. Happiness throughout. It's been a long time since I've had that on the Sabbath, and I loved having it again. I'm not sure if I can say that this is the cause or the effect (perhaps it's both) of the new goal I have set for myself for the rest of the year:

I am going to couple the love that I already have for the branch members with actually enjoying being around them (as I tend to have an occasional Mr. Darcy-annoyed-with-practically-everyone personality trait).

Whatever the case, I'm glad that I enjoyed who I was around at least today. One day at a time, right?

Well, there were also two especially great things today which are more special because they came after yesterday's enlightening lessons and revelations.

First, I decided to stand up and fight back, in the non-revenge sense. This was something I thought before Church, and then the included scripture was shared in a talk in Sacrament meeting. I thought that was neat and not coincidental, so I'm sharing:

I refuse to be a dartboard any longer.

"And I said unto them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction." -1 Nephi 15:24

And then later there was the CES Fireside with Elder Scott speaking. I love our Apostles. And I feel a special connection to Elder Scott ever since he came and spoke to my stake a year and a half ago. (He told me I had a beautiful smile, and that still means so much to me.) The Fireside and the message he had to share came at such a perfect time for me. I was ready to receive it with the proper attitude, open heart, and ability to smile at it instead of getting depressed about it. (The topic was, as they usually are for ~every 1 in 3 CES Firesides, marriage--and family.) Plus, it was delivered as only Elder Scott can deliver. And I loved every bit of it. It was wonderful and timely and something that me happy and and hopeful. Which I think I've needed of late.

I've needed all of this of late, and I'm grateful I was blessed with it.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hold to the Truth

Day 254

I won't hide it. The last 24 hours have been extremely hard. OK. The last weeks were hard. All right, the last months. What they hey, let's throw in the whole season.

Summer has been hard.

But today was different. Today was so hard that even one of the most beautiful days I have ever seen and could have possibly experienced was very much lost on me. My body was telling me it was an indescribable day, not meant to be lost or forgotten or wasted. It wanted to thrill to the gloriousness. But my mind was unable to comply. I sat out in the beautiful day for at least 5 minutes, willing myself to soak in every beauty that there could be. But the emotional fog I was in only had me ready to add more tears to those I had been for many hours. And I believe the Lord understood that I acknowledged the indescribable beauty, but that what I needed was to return home and in my mind at least remember that it was a beautiful day. A touching tribute to 9/11, even if I was not able to feel every one of the joys that it offered.

Today had me realizing something that has probably been occurring over the summer, but truly reared its head in the last week. It feels as if the adversary has picked one single target. Me. And he's been hitting a bull's-eye every time. Not winning, mind you. But certainly striking hits, right to my very center and core. Using his wheedling yet smooth voice to turn me from all that is joyous, good, true, and right in life.

It really does begin with thoughts. And what we do with those thoughts is vital. Last Sunday, it was the voice niggling at me saying, "You're tired. You haven't felt well. You need rejuvenation. You don't get that at the Singles branch. They don't like you there. They don't understand you there. Your roommate isn't here to make you feel guilty that you didn't go. Besides, you can just go to the family ward. You're still going to church. And they love you at the family ward. And you love it there. And maybe that's what all this conflict needs in resolving is for you to ask to go to the family ward. Everyone would understand. Others have suggested that to you. You'd be so much happier."

However. That voice didn't come out with a "you." It came out with an "I." Such a trick of the adversary--making me think those were my thoughts. They would have become mine if I had listened and entertained them. Gratefully, the Spirit kicked in and gently whispered, "You know where you should be." And in that case, it was a "you." And I turned back and said, "You're right. I know where I should be." I squashed the thoughts and went about preparing for my Sabbath. At the Singles branch. It still wasn't the easiest thing for me to be there, but I was where I was supposed to be. And that was confirmed to me through the Spirit during the Branch President's testimony. It pierced my heart to know that such thoughts were ever in my mind. I don't have thoughts like that. But those were there, and had seemed so natural until the Spirit stepped in. Truth casting out lies and darkness. My part was to reach out and hold fast to that truth. That one time, I did.

As I looked over the week, I could see how much the adversary had been doing this same tactic all week. Trying to make me think that certain thoughts were my own. That certain things were true, and they were not. He attacked in every area who could think of. Again, gratefully the Spirit helped to prevail. In most cases. In one area that the adversary knew I am particularly vulnerable right now, he did enough damage to produce the aforementioned emotional fog. I listened ad believed, while at the same time confused because the Spirit kept feeding me truth waiting for me to reach back and take it. Grasping, slipping, reaching, wondering and more--it was not as easy this time. Someone else was involved, which brought in "I'm the victim" status and made it harder for me to push out the adversary's lies and take in the Spirit's truth.

All of this was leading into one course the adversary was trying to achieve: to keep me from the temple. Oh, the falsehoods he put in. The thoughts that had logic and pieces of truth behind them, yes. But not the entire truth, and what was most correct and right. In an emotional delirium and confusion, I followed a prompting that to anyone else would have seemed bizarre and reckless. I left for the temple in the middle of the night. Because I knew if I waited until morning, I would have listened to all of the "Don't go" reasons and not gone. Still, the adversary took this decision and kept putting in thoughts that did not belong. But having taken the action encouraged by the Spirit, I was more able to push out those thoughts, while dealing with the repercussions of the other matter--the emotional fog.

The fog remained until I returned home. It stayed as I drove. It stayed as I slept. It stayed as I did temple ordinances for my own family members, a joy I was not able to fully embrace because of the fog. It stayed and took away enjoying the beautiful day. It stayed. And what was important for me to realize was that the fog was not staying there because the adversary was putting it there. It came about because I had listened to the tiniest of thoughts. And because I listened, I was now spending a lengthy time trying to figure out truth that would not have been needed if I had held to the truth that the Spirit had been holding out to me the whole time.

In the end, the fog was beneficial as I succeeded in finding the correct truths, and then acting upon them to push out the falsehoods. I can look at it now and see many lessons I've received from this. Very hard lessons. Very painful. But ones I hope to now use to recognize and ward off the fiery darts the adversary is aiming at me.

There are so many things from this ordeal that I have to be grateful for.

-The safety which came from the Lord
-The blessing to hear and heed the promptings of the Spirit
-The forgiveness and understanding of a friend
-The knock-out punch in the adversary's face when I reached the temple, and did the work that needed to be done
-The Lord's enlightening my mind and understanding

Friday, September 10, 2010

Let Me Fall

Day 253

I think I can say it is official without worry of Indian Summer: Fall is here! I could feel it in every particle of air as I walked to my car this morning. It was magnificent! Gorgeous! Glorious!!!!

That was one of the fastest smiles I've had in some time, and it felt so good to feel my beautiful autumn returning! I'd had a glimpse of it for three days with the fallen, brown maple leaf that had gotten stuck under my windshield wipers, which I refused to remove because it made me so happy. But now it isn't just a glimpse. It's the feeling and excitement and joy and expectation.

I even managed to take a real lunch and went outside to read. With the beautiful wind, I was chilly! Of course, that isn't any wonder since I was comfortable in the over 90 + humidity all summer. Still. I was willing to brave the chilly breeze to love being in the coming of my favorite season.

Yay for Autumn!!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Just Talking

Day 252

I spent an hour and a half just talking to my supervisor. During work hours. Oops. But then, we don't often get a chance to just talk. And I think it helps. No. I know it helps. It helps me a lot. And I've always wanted to be better friends with her, even before she became my supervisor. Sometimes I feel so distanced from her in so many ways. But today, that talk made me feel like we had more in common than I would have realized. And that she accepts and understands me.

And not only did that mean a lot to me, it was something I needed. Really needed.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

All Things

Day 251

Things are stressful, in every way. Including financial. And that usually sweeps over everything else as I try to take care of it. It also tragically affects my self-esteem and treatment of self. But I keep plugging along, making sure I stay close to my Savior. For I can do all things in Christ, even meet financial needs.

And He proves it over and over. Most recently: Someone bought a textbook I listed months ago. A former editing client led me to a new client and a promise of a couple months' editing work.

I am so grateful that nothing is too mundane, trivial, or beneath-notice for my Savior--and that He is always there in everything I have ever and will ever need.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Adoring Aunt

Day 250

The absolute, uncontested highlight of my day:

Talking to my niece on the phone

(If you had amazing and adorable nieces and nephews like mine, you'd come close to understanding. But not quite.)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Relax again

Day 249

Part 2 of Lazy Vacation. Emotionally trying, but physically quite restful.

I'm so glad I got it.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Going back in time

Day 248

I got to watch a Church History DVD, full of many short videos about the Church's history that I watched when I was growing up. I love Church History. Adore it, in fact. And I really like visual, so video representations are quite enjoyable for me.

Watching the Church History videos was a great lift for me, and I really needed it.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A full and happy day

Day 247

Another day of many joys and happinesses:

-Waking up at a good hour on a day off.

-Cleaning my home because I want to, while listening to music that always makes me smile.

-Cinderellering the kitchen floor. Well, almost. I need to buy a brush so I don't have to use an old rag. But at least my feet aren't sticking anymore. Ick.

-A thorough vacuuming of the chapel.

-A sore right arm, reminding me that my bicep is still not as strong as it was over a year ago, but at least the pain from last year is over and leaves me with an arm that works.

-An afternoon nap. Gratitude for those will never end.

-BYU Football!!!! Even if I only have access to the radio and the little cartoon football figure plays and stats updates, it still is one of the happiest parts of my year.

-And to think of some of my family members getting to be together for the game.

-And to hear all of those BYU Hall of Famers and the amazing LaVell Edwards announced at the halftime show. *sniff* Raised in a BYU alum household, with a bunch of brothers, and BYU Football games whenever possible/available--these are names I know as well as my own cousins. (Uh...maybe more...)

-Cupcakes. I love that word. Love it! And the cupcakes themselves are a happy thing, too. In this case, I needed to use up eggs and carrots that my roommie asked I use while she is away. So, I found a carrot cupcake recipe that I adapted with oats and cocoa. And they are delicious. With so many that I can freeze for later.

I really am grateful that there are so many little happy things that--at least, at this time when I really need them--do not seem little to me.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Happiness to be Found...Still

Day 246

A few joys and gratitudes today, and I couldn't pick just one:

Chinese food--always leftovers. For days. Mmmm...

Organization--always soothing and calming for me, especially when it is in the workplace that has been slightly unsettling this past week.

Books made into movies--enjoyable when very close to the book.

Co-workers--wonderful additions to the day when they truly are your friends.

I love happinesses abounding when so much else can be going wrong for you.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sweet Togetherness

Day 245

Letting your voice and opinion be heard.





And then compromise.

They are such sweet things all together.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Voice of Friendship

Day 244

I put forth my effort and worked out the stress that was to start. In fact, it wasn't even going to be much of a stress at all.

Good thing I'd worked it out.

'Cause today just kept bombarding me with new stresses I hadn't even thought to expect. No one did. It hit our entire library over the head. I didn't know what to think at first. But as the day wore on, I got more and more upset. I didn't realize just how upset I was until my best friend called. I used to tell them everything. (Well...almost everything.) But circumstances of late and their immense stress and much more have kept me keeping my confidences to myself over the summer. Yet along with the joy once I heard my best friend's voice, I also wanted to simply spill out everything. While crying.

But I didn't. I managed to contain myself and not add more stress and difficulty to them.

I suppose it's an odd gratitude, and not one I know quite how to explain, but one I'm grateful for all the same.