Sunday, January 29, 2012

Lost My Voice

Backstory: As a child in primary* I learned sign language for three different songs, only one and a half of which I really remember. I think it is beautiful to watch people "sing" in sign language, although I personally would much rather sing aloud.

Today I woke up and I could barely talk. Losing my voice is usually really disheartening for me. Not only is it hard to talk, but I can't sing. I considered staying home from church. It wasn't just my voice, I felt a little feverish and my nose was stuffy, but then I decided that if I was well enough to go to school, I should go to church. Only, not being able to sing along with the hymns is so terribly depressing.

Under normal circumstances I would try to sing though it even though it hurts and would leave my voice in worse condition , (I know, shame on me for being so short-sighted) but I have a choir concert later this week, and lip-syncing in a performance is even worse than in church.

All through sacrament meeting I was hoping and praying that we would sing one of the hymns that I knew the sign language for, but they didn't come. Disappointed, but relieved to not have to worry about it anymore for at least an hour, I went to sunday school. The teacher suggested we start with a song (unusual) and I was sad... until he picked one of the ones I knew in sign language! I happily mouthed the words and signed as gracefully as I could, considering I hadn't done it since I was ten.

When I got to Relief Society, I was grateful that I had gotten to sign one song, and opened my hymn book, prepared to sit silently. It was the second song that I knew the signs for! I was ecstatic. It was a happy, happy blessing for me to be able to participate even though my voice is in very poor quality right now.

*the explanation of "primary" is at the very bottom of the linked page.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Leaky Faucet...

I once heard that your heart is about the same size as your fist and, as pointed out to me this morning, I have really small hands. So, proportionally, I should have a small heart.

This makes sense to me. Not just because I'm a small person, but because what other people seem to be able to sit through quite neutrally often brings me to tears--especially things pertaining to the Gospel and my Father's love for me and all of his children. My little heart just can't handle all of the grandeur, wonder, and love that I feel in these situations, and so it usually comes out my eyes. I just had one of those wonderful moments in my New Testament class.

So if you happen to see me on campus with one little tear on my cheek, or maybe a lot, but I'm smiling, don't panic. I probably just had a fantastically spiritual experience and am full of love and sunshine to the point of bursting.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Enjoying the Journey

I haven't been posting much lately because I haven't been having to force myself to think of things that I'm grateful for. I've been so happy! God is good to me :) I am so blessed, and I am so glad that I am seeing that now. Nothing in my situation has changed, everything that I'm sad that I don't have is still lacking, everything that bothers me is still there, but I haven't been focussing those things.

I was complaining to a friend a few days back that I was working so hard to be happy, but not getting any results. At first his comments made me feel like he didn't really get what I was trying to say, but then told me that I just needed to stop waiting for results, and just enjoy the journey. This really struck me because it was the theme of my stake's women's conference this past summer. I'm not completely sure what changed, but I pretty much decided there and then to stop waiting for happiness to arrive, and just be happy. Miraculously it worked!

Later that weekend I had a super cheesy thought, and I'm going to share it with you. Life is like a road trip. The point is to drive, and see the sights, and stop at random places along the way. My family knows this well; we used to drive from Michigan to California and back every summer, and we almost always took a different route. And the "destination" doesn't really matter, because the trip isn't over until you get home: it's about the experiences along the way. So stop asking "are we there yet" and just enjoy the journey :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

♥ Friends ♥

I am grateful for my friends. I'm grateful for their ability to patiently help me remember what I need to do to smile, and that I'm not failing just because I don't have a constant grin on my face, and helping to make that grin more frequently seen. I'm grateful that they let me vent to them occasionally, or frequently as the case may be, and for being so kind to me. I love you all :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Oh Love That Will Not Let Me Go

  1. I am so grateful for music and the power it has to bring the spirit to me and teach me the lessons I am to stubborn to hear when they are merely spoken. Last year in Women's Chorus we sang a beautiful number, combined with the other choirs, called "Oh Love That Will Not Let Me Go," and today I was listening to it on my iPod while considering how I need to stop being so selfish in asking for what I want, and wanting it now. Last year, this song touched me so much, and now listening to it again, I feel that same peace and resignation and ability to press onward, not because of my own strength, but because of my Lord's power and the strength he grants me when I give myself over to him. I am so grateful for this love and knowledge that I have of my Father in Heaven.

  2. O Love that will not let me go,
    I rest my weary soul in thee;
    I give thee back the life I owe,
    That in thine ocean depths its flow
    May richer, fuller be.
  3. O light that follows all my way,
    I yield my flickering torch to thee;
    My heart restores its borrowed ray,
    That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
    May brighter, fairer be.
  4. O Joy that seeks me through pain,
    I cannot close my heart to thee;
    I trace the rainbow through the rain,
    And know the promise is not vain,
    That morn shall tearless be.
  5. O Cross that raises up my head,
    I dare not ask to fly from thee;
    I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
    And from the ground there blossoms red
    Life that shall endless be.
  6. O Love that wil not let me go.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Patience is a virtue...

Mosiah 24:

[They] did pour out their hearts to him; and he did know the thoughts of their hearts.

And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.

And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.

And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.

And it came to pass that so great was their faith and their patience that the voice of the Lord came unto them again, saying: Be of good comfort, for on the morrow I will deliver you…

The Lord did not take away their trials or burdens, but he helped them to have strength when they turned to him; and it wasn't until after they were patient and cheerful in their afflictions that he delivered them completely. It's so hard to have this much faith and to be optimistic, and I'm having a lot of trouble dealing with rejection over and over again. I pray that I can be as faithful and strong as these people, and stop asking "why me" and focus on this scripture: peace be unto thy soul, thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt the on high. (D&C 121: 7-8) I need to remember that relief will not be instant, but it will come, as long as I persevere and continue in faith.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Thank You, Nephi

I don't know how many times I've read the first verse of The Book of Mormon, but I read it again today, and something struck me which I had not thought of before. The part that stood out was this:
". . . and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days. . ."
I realized that these two things are not mutually exclusive. Just because we are experiencing affliction, that does not mean we aren't also being blessed. Nephi had A LOT of hardship in his life, but he stayed positive and seemingly never failed to point out how blessed he was.

For some reason it feels a lot easier, at least for me, to see and dwell on what is not the way I would like it to be. When I take the time to step back and really look at all I have, I am very much blessed. If I were to tally up my blessings and my trials, the former would have won ten times over. So why should I let the few unideal parts of my life get me down?

I'm so grateful for the lessons I learn in the scriptures, and for the faith of the people who wrote them. I hope that by studying them, my faith will grow to be as strong as theirs. I know that The Book of Mormon truly is the word of the Lord and that by living according to the principals taught in it, we can grow closer to our Father in Heaven and find more joy and fulfillment in life than would otherwise be possible.

Things I find adorable that should probably gross me out

1. kisses from little ones that leave a sticky spot on your cheek.

2. holding tiny hands, even when they're dirty, sticky, and most likely germy.

3. baby spit-up. Yes, it smells bad, but I still find it adorable.

4. kissing in general. It's probably not the most sanitary thing, but I honestly don't care.

5. couples sharing drinks.

6. animals of almost any kind.

7. lying in the grass when it's warm

8. changing diapers. Again, not the best smell ever, but I really don't mind doing it.

9. catching snowflakes in my mouth.

10. swimming in lakes and the ocean.