Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wrong

What if I were wrong?  What if all of the reasons we stayed apart were not really reasons at all, but fears with a facade of reason?  What if I should have said yes?  What if you hadn't let me go?  What if I could have seen in darkness?  What if I had stayed right there waiting for you, ever waiting for you?

                                                           "What if?"

When one says the words what if, the opportunity to seize is already gone.  The chance to have, to hold, to love, to live... it is never to be again.  Only God has the ability to hold the hands of time from ticking.  But He lets them tick, tick, ever tick.  Each tick is a moment, each moment a chance for change.

How often do we take a moment to step out of our reality and see life for what it really is?  How often do we take a moment to see people as they really are, and not as the environment around them wishes them to be?  How often do we take not just one moment, but several moments, to look deep within ourselves, and allow the true self to emerge?

I don't have a plethora of "What if?" moments in my life.  But the ones that have happened are huge, at least to me.  What is it they have taught me?  And have I really learned?  For the moment I say, "What if?", I have just taken a step, or many, backwards.

If we are not moving forward in life, we are moving back.  Back to old habits that were hard to break, comfortable situations that gave place for complacency, and places and people that were in our past to stay there.  This backwards direction does nothing for our growth and development in life.  Learning from, growing from, and appreciating the past is appropriate.  Not letting go and trying to rent a summer home there is not.

Living too much in the future doesn't really work, as well.  Although I think it is a better choice than the past, it still overlooks the day-to-day moments, the here and now.  Yes, prepare for the future.  Do all that you can to be ready.  But LIVE NOW.

The universal clock does not ever slow down or rewind.  Once a moment is gone, it is really and truly gone, forever.  Living now means today!  What will I do today?  This is the question that resonates within me.  For if we never live today, and are in the past or the future, we will die before we even realize that we lived!

                                            What if?  What if? What if?

When the portal of opportunity is closed, it is really closed.  Live now.  Live today.  Live for the future.  But live today!

But what if this is the wrong choice?  What if something better comes along?  What if we can't afford it?   Well, what if it is?  What if it does?  What if we can't?

If you never have a car, you will never have to worry about oil on your garage floor.  But it would stink to have no wheels.  If you never have horses, then your stable will always be clean.  But then there would be no point in even building one.  If you never dive in deep, you won't have to worry about getting your hair wet.  But then you will only have an outsider's perspective on what is underneath the surface.  Do you really want to miss out on the extreme beauty of the ocean floor?  On being an actual beholder yourself, even a part of that beauty?

Beware the choice you make once illumination occurs.  DO NOT BACK AWAY from a good thing!  For it could very well be the BEST thing!  But if you do nothing, or keep waiting for a diamond experience before you make your move, you will soon find yourself saying... "What if?"

So... what are you going to say?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Breathless

Sometimes I have these moments when the entire world seems to pause, Heaven opens up, and unmeasurable amounts of light, love, and glimpses of eternity flow down to me and all around me. And I am left breathless.

It is at these moments when I know, deep within me, that God exists, that He really is my Father in Heaven. I know that He is the creator of my spirit, and that this world in which I now reside is but a mere moment when compared to the eternities that have been and will continue to be.

Sometimes I focus so much on the things that I have not yet achieved, the goals which seem so distant, that I forget to take a moment to look around. It truly is a beautiful world in which I live. Yes, it is a troubled world. But there is still much beauty that exists throughout the peoples and cultures.

Oh, how I ought to thank my heavenly king! I do not live in a palace and have servants waiting on me hand and foot, but I would not have it any other way. For I have a family who loves and supports me. I have a roof over my head, and food on the table. I do not want for clothing or a job. Each day I get the privilege of using the talents and abilities that God has given me to bless the lives of others. I meet people each with whom I can strive to be a living symbol of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ, the Redeemer and Savior of the world.

How grateful I am for the Savior of the world! How undeserving I am of His grace and mercy and love. I am nothing without God. I am nothing without the atonement of His Son, even Jesus the Christ. I am just one in billions, insignificant and small. And yet, I am one. I have individual worth. And I was created with a purpose.

My life has purpose, meaning, and vision. I was sent to this earth to see if I wanted to live with God more than I wanted anything else. And though I sin daily, and fall short of perfection on a regular basis, I know the direction I have chosen to take. I desire to return to my Heavenly Father more than I want anything else in this life. For all real and lasting joy found in this life is tied to this very desire of my heart.

I see the world through the lens of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the core of my own personal foundation. He is the Light, the Life, the Way. He is my brother, and He is my friend. He knows my needs, my strengths, and my weaknesses. And He loves me very much. It is through His infinite atonement that I will one day return to the presence of my Father in Heaven, and wash His feet with my tears.

Somewhere, deep inside, I feel memories of another place and time stir within my soul. I see glimpses of eternity...and I know. I know that God lives, that He is real. I have seen His hand in my life, time and time again. And I give Him all praise, all glory, and all honor. He is my God, and I will serve Him all of the days of my life. I wait patiently for the day when I will get to return home, my heavenly home.... Praise be to God.


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Elephants In the Room...

Why is it that we think that if we ignore the elephant in the room, it will go away?

In Charles Dickens story, The Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge grows up full of faith and hope for his life, love, the present, and the future. Poor but happy, he meets the girl of his dreams, with which he wishes to climb into love. But as he gains success monetarily, he begins to believe that his worth is based on his earnings and worldly gain. Consequently, he allows his pride to keep him from the person he wishes to be with the most. So he watches his true love walk out the door. Not willing to humble himself and make changes in his life so lasting happiness can thrive, he chooses instead to build walls around his heart. He fools himself into thinking that these are walls of defense and protection. But in reality, they are walls of selfishness, fear, pride, and pain of his past.

He spends the rest of his life becoming absolutely wealthy, and absolutely miserable. Closing off his heart to any and all who would bring him lasting joy, he chooses instead to invest his time in gaining more worldly possessions. Money becomes his love. But, alas, money has no love to return. It is cold, inanimate, and at times ruthless. But that is just what he has become! It isn’t until life-threatening experiences in his old age that he is compelled to humility, and is finally broken enough to change.

When I watched the movie version of this tale, I was struck by the subtlety of change found in the character of Scrooge. It went straight to my heart and mind. I thought to myself, how many times have I had a scrooge attitude? When have I thought things such as the following?

- Poor me.

- Why can’t he/she be smarter?

- I am the only one in the world who has felt pain, sorrow, and heartache.

- I am the victim here!

- My world has fallen apart. No one understands the pain I am going through.

When we are not where we want to be, do we criticize those who are? Or do we create a false world where we look completely put together, polished in all we do, say, and even dress, thus hiding from what the core issues really are? Covering the elephant up with pretty jewels and expensive materials does not make it disappear. It is merely disguised as something else…a fa├žade that does not portray the heart beneath it all.

Scrooge wasn’t a bad person. In fact, he was a really good person. He had so much love to give, and he was really kind and gentle. But he had allowed life’s experiences (his past) to dictate his future.

I once read a quote that said that if you change your thoughts, you change your world. I believe this is a true principle. The beautiful part of the Christmas Carol story is when Ebenezer chooses to step into the light, and live.

Dear Life, I think it is time for a remodel. It is time to break down those walls and build bridges instead.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I Believe

In a world where infidelity in relationships, divorce, extra-marital affairs, and counterfeit love are rampant and ever-spreading, is it any wonder that our youth and young adults today are scared to believe that a happy, healthy, and eternal marriage relationship can happen for them?
We look around, and on every street corner, there is an ad, a campaign, a t.v. show or movie that distorts the joy, the passion, the fulfillment, and the lasting love that marriage can bring. Instead, slogans shout, “Follow me to a place where it will feel good…” “This is better than the pain of your parents’ divorce,” or how about the popular “The culture around me accepts this kind of behavior…I guess it’s acceptable for me, also.”
Wake up to the reality of what REALLY IS, people! If we will sit still long enough, in a place that is quiet enough, even our own private refuge from the world, and really listen, we will be shocked at what we will hear. The voice of the Spirit is speaking. Are we listening? Are we hearing?
I believe in marriage. I believe in its holiness, in its sanctity, in its eternal length of time. But I also believe, somewhere inside of me, that marriage in the world today has been beaten down until it looks nothing like that most glorious love story of the Garden of Eden.
Adam and Eve had learned great knowledge in a life before their Earth life. It was there that they developed talents and great abilities, and had prepared for their great Earth life, and for each other. Theirs was a glorious, intelligent, passionate, exciting, and eternally holy marriage, ordained of God.
The marriage of Adam and Eve is the model of all models for us here on Earth of what marriage really is and can be. I believe this kind of marriage can still happen today. And more than that, somewhere deep inside of me, I know that it should be happening. But that doesn't mean that there are no clouds of fear threatening my faith and work to believe?
Is it any wonder that hearts are failing? Failing to believe that it is our potential to have our very own personal Garden of Eden love story? Failing to believe that God really does want our personal happiness in marriage and family life? Are we failing to realize that our very existence here centers around the family unit, our own personal marriages, and that without marriage there is no point to this world having even been created?
When God spoke to Adam, He was speaking to Adam as a whole unit. Adam and Eve were the two essential halves of this unit. He married them for time and all eternity, there in the Garden. He created them, taught them, loved them, and gave them charges. Adam was made governor over the entire earth, and the powers of the priesthood of God were placed upon his shoulders. Eve was the mother of all living. It was through the power God placed within her to activate life that Adam and Eve were able to keep the first commandment that God gave to them once married. She was to teach and to direct and to lead her children in spiritual light and knowledge, in the nurturing of the spirit. Together, she and Adam made up the unit of Adam, or Man. Together, they would articulate the vision of marriage, family, and all that God would command them to do. Together, they, with God, would be unstoppable.
When the man that I desire to be united to walks into my life, I will either be prepared, or I won’t. And if I am not, then he will marry someone else. And I will be alone, out in the cold, on the other side of the door, while the wedding party is inside, feasting and celebrating the eternal union he will be making to another. But I am determined to not let such a thing happen. I am preparing, even now, even today, to equal him, to be worthy of him, and to fit naturally with him, without a struggle. My destiny depends on it. My future children depend on it. The future of the church depends on it. I must not fail. I will not fail, for God and legions of angels are on my side. Deceased family members, very much alive in the spirit world, will also be helping me, for one righteous, virtuous woman can save an entire generation. They are on my side. I will not fail.
So bring on the eternal marriage, and bring on someone who will choose me and choose to remain with me, such as Adam did with Eve, such as the prophet Joseph did with Emma, such as any good and righteous covenant-keeping priesthood holder has shown me.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tilt-a-whirl

Do you ever have times when there are so many thoughts swirling around your mind that you feel as though you are on a tilt-a-whirl, spinning and spinning, but never slowing down enough to see straight? I feel like the last two months of my life have been this way. There is so much inside of me that I wish I could clearly, exquisitely express, but putting my random rings of thought into straight sentences has never been my forte. Maybe this is why I go to paper and pen when I don't know what to say, or how to say it.

Dear life...is there ink enough for me?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Fireflies in the sky


I really hate spiders and snakes.

I can cry... a lot.

I really want to be kissed in the middle of a field, under a full moon. I realized this once again while driving across Nebraska in the middle of the night, with a full moon slipping in and out of the clouds.

Suicide is not a laughing matter.

I have a great work to do. I cannot come down. Will you stand with me? To help me accomplish this great work I cannot do alone?

Death, no matter how it is viewed, is still hard.

"When you're dreaming with a broken heart, then waking up is the hardest part." - John Mayer

Ex-boyfriends almost always have ulterior motives.

I had a dream that a boy I like came to visit. The entire neighborhood was in an uproar because I would not define my relationship with him. When I woke up, I thought to myself, 'maybe I should define that relationship.'  Yeah. We'll see about that.

True friends are the ones who will love you, listen to you, and then tell you what you may not wish to hear. They accept you for you are at this very moment, but challenge you to become who you were meant to become.




Monday, October 18, 2010

Some days I just want to be held...

Some days I just want to be held. Is that so bad?

Last night I just wanted to crawl up onto my daddy’s lap and have him put his arms around me and rock me to sleep. I know I am 29, and I don’t fit in the rocking chair with him anymore, but still...

Yesterday morning I found out via text message that one of my friends of many years had passed away. First it was a shock. Then the tears came. And then a phone call with her sister revealed the truth. It wasn’t a car wreck or a heart attack ora anything accidental. She had overdosed.

I don’t know what is worse; someone who takes another's life away, or one who takes his own life. But either way, the person is gone. I just don’t understand. Please, someone…just wrap me into your arms and hold me until it’s better. Dear life…I really need a hug.