Tuesday, June 26, 2012

It's been forever....

Sorry that it has been so long since I've posted, life has been CRAZY!

And by crazy I mean wonderful.

I have so much to be grateful for. All of a sudden I can see the Lord's hand in the vast majority of my struggles over the past several years, and am so grateful for this newfound perspective. I have never been so happy in my life and I hope that I never lose this sense of wonder and joy.

On another note, I've been trying a different form of gratitude journaling. There is a website called gratitude160.com where you can have text messages or emails sent to you up to 3 times daily asking you what you're grateful for. Your responses are recorded (securely) online and a weekly log is sent to you by email eat the end of every week. You can also access it any time you want by just going to the website. Sorry if this feels a bit like an advertisement, but I'm just loving doing this. It helps me to consistently be more in the mindset of being grateful, and opens my eyes to more of my blessings as I try not to say the same things over and over.

I'll try to catch up on my blog posts, but it may be difficult as my family, Cameron, and I are going on vacation to California! It's going to be so much fun, not to mention he gets to meet my family... not sure if that goes under fun or not, but if he still likes me after 15 days of being stuck in the same place as ALL of us then he's definitely a keeper! haha.

Friday, June 8, 2012

♥ My Little Sister got Baptized ♥

This past week my little sister, Elizabeth, got baptized! When I originally made the decision to stay for spring and summer terms, I was really upset that I would have to miss this special day and moment. I still wish with all of my heart that I could have been there in person to give her a hug when she came out of the water, to help do her hair, and to sing with her and the rest of my sisters.

This isn't what matters, though. What matters is that she made the choice to be baptized, to covenant with God to keep his commandments and to look after his other children.* And I, through the miracle of modern technology, got to see the whole thing. Yes, my dad skyped me from his phone so that I could participate in a little way even though I was 2,000 miles from them.

I am so grateful for my family, and for the sacrifices that they make for me to be here. I'm grateful for Lizzie and for her example, and for the love of our Father in Heaven.

*Just some background for any of you who are curious why Lizzie waited until she was eight years old to get baptized:
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we believe that Christ's atonement, where he suffered for our sins and died on the cross and was resurrected, automatically covers the sins of all those who sin unknowingly. We also believe that He payed for Adam's fall, so we have no "original sin," and are therefore completely innocent until we are old enough to understand the difference between right and wrong. We believe that this ability develops around the age of 8 (a fact I actually heard scientific evidence for in my human development class, but can't remember who said it).
Understanding the difference between right and wrong is so important before baptism because it is not only a cleansing of sins, but it is an ordinance wherein we covenant, or promise, with God that we will keep his commandments, take our Savior's name upon us (we will do our best to be like Him and behave in a way that represents Him and reflects well on His church), and that we will always remember Him, in everything that we do. In return, the Lord forgives our sins and sends the Holy Spirit to be with us. Before we can be baptized, we need to be able to know and understand the covenants that we are making, so that we can keep them. This is why we wait until we are eight years old to take this step.

If you have any questions about this, or any of my other beliefs, feel free to leave me a comment! You can also click this link here. Have a lovely day! :)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Pure Joy

I haven't been so happy in, well, ever. At least, not that I can remember. The funny thing I'm coming to realize is that I've always had the potential to be this ecstatic. My life has not gotten any easier AT ALL. I'm struggling to finish assignments well and on time, I'm losing things, I burned myself really badly, my credit card expired and my new one hasn't come yet, the list goes on and on. The only thing that has changed is my perspective.

Cue Boyfriend. ( I promise there's a point to this tangent.)

A little over a month ago an incredibly cheery guy decided to sit next to me when Men's and Women's chorus were singing together in a BYU devotional. I was having a really bad day but I tried my best to be nice. He asked for my number, friended me on facebook, but I didn't think much of it. Then a week later he asked if I'd like to go on a walk with him on Sunday afternoon. We got to talking and I realized that he had such a light! (see previous post.) He was so optimistic and we have a really similar way of seeing the world. I hardly stopped smiling the entire time I was with him. Something about his love of life and optimism was just contagious. So long story short we started seeing each other pretty frequently and going on dates until we decided that we didn't want to date anyone else and that's where we are now.

So, tangent aside, his light, spirit, and optimism have really made me want to be a better person. I saw how happy he was and when I realized that he wasn't ignoring sad things, they just didn't bother him because of how much he loved everything else, I decided "I want to be like that, too!" So, I have. I am utterly full of God's love, I do my best to recognize the little wonders all around me, and share my joy with everyone I meet. I must say, I feel fantastic. I haven't been more in love with life for such an extended period of time that I can remember, or been filled with so much gratitude.

On a side note, I've finally figured out why I couldn't go to Nauvoo! It's because, if I had gone, I would  not have had this wonderful life changing experience, or get to be dating this amazing man. Hallelujah. :)