Sunday, December 7, 2014

Touching the Hem of the Savior's Garment

Today during Sacrament meeting, someone shared the New Testament story of the woman sick with a blood disease. She could find no other way to heal her broken body, and did all she could: she sat waiting simply to touch the hem of the Savior's Garment.

It was an extremely simple act of faith, but it was rejuvenating for her soul. It changed her. It healed her.

The speaker in Sacrament Meeting pointed out that when we come to church, it is our simple act of faith, of reaching out to touch the Savior's robe.We act in faith, coming, knowing the action is small, but it is what we can offer. We know we must seek His power, if only our fingertips can grasp it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Cake

Today is my Mentor Teacher's birthday. The three of us Special Ed teachers got together early this morning to get ready. We decorated, signed the card, arranged the flowers, and displayed the GIANT Costco cake.

The kids were so distracted by it this morning, we invited them to just go in her office and look.

Fifteen minutes later, one little first grader kept looking into the office longingly. Eventually she turned to me and asked sincerely,

"When are we going to the party?"

"What party?"

She motioned her head towards the office...

"Oh honey, there is no party."

"But there are balloons and stuff."

"We just decorated to celebrate."

She thought for a little while. You could tell it wasn't quite computing in her head. Finally she said,
"But why is there CAKE?"

I tried not to die.
She was totally right. I guess if there is a birthday, decorations, and a cake....and you are 7....Then of COURSE there is a party.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Happiness

The Wilkins Clan is planning to load everyone (and the dog) up and drive to California for Christmas. We will be going to Disneyland. (Mostly because Mom said one day that we should, so we are.)

I was telling someone how excited I was for it...and I was told sometimes I act just like my kids (students)...in relation to being giddy.

I quickly responded....

"Why not let that kind of happiness be a part of every day life? Happiness is the purpose of existence, so I try to embrace it however I can.

I like to savor the moments of:
- a giggling child
- the smell of something delightful in the kitchen
- the colorful array of flowers
- a simple joke that is quite clever
- the warmth of a beloved quilt
- a tender kiss
- a simplistically elegant instrumental song
- the warmth of men's voices singing

There is always something to treasure...something we can be happy about."

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hidden Wounds - September Ensign 2014

Since returning home from my mission, I have been continually exposed to the pain and reality of pornography in today's society. I have seen it take over the lives of people I care about. I have seen the pain of those indirectly affected. I have seen families become filled with hurt as they watch one they love struggle. I have seen the joy and beauty of the Atonement. I have seen the full spectrum of its influence.

I was reading through the September 2014 Ensign yesterday, and discovered something wonderful. It was a article for parents about teenagers and their exposure to pornography. It was very straightforward, and I greatly appreciated it. It is not a matter of if our children come in contact with pornography, but when. And when it happens, how will they handle the situation. How will we handle the outcomes? Will we act as the Savior would?

I was so impressed by the perspective presented in the introduction, that I wanted to share it. Even though I know there are a grand total of 5 people who actually read this, I want the world to know this was a big deal for me.

Hidden Wounds - By: Jennifer Grace Fallon
"In the great battle for the city Cumeni, Helaman tells of his 2,060 stripling warriors who 'fought most desperately' against their enemies (Alma 57:19). While 'there was not one soul of them who did perish' in battle, 'neither was there one soul among them who had not received many wounds" (Alma 57:25). Many of these teenage soldiers were so terribly wounded that they fainted from the loss of blood.

"These young warriors fought a battle that their parents could not fight for them, and they fought it because their society had been attacked. A similarly disastrous war rages among modern teenagers, for similar reasons. Today's parents can no more fight the spiritual battles for their youth than the people of Ammon could. But they can learn to recognize the spiritual wounds this war inflicts and arm their children with the knowledge and resources they will need to survive."



Wow. I wish I had seen it this way before. Maybe my heart would not have been so hard when this war appeared in my line of sight. Maybe I would have been more loving and courageous myself. Maybe judgements would be more Christ-like.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Changing Lives

I discovered this quote today....

I think it might have the power to change my life....

I'm afraid to let it...which is silly. I have to let go of my small amount of control, and let Him have it. I have to be vulnerable....

But if I am vulnerable, I might find what I have always saught.

“God is eagerly waiting for the chance to answer your prayers and fulfill your dreams, just as he always has. But he can't if you don't pray, and he can't if you don't dream. In short, he can't if you don't believe.” 

― Jeffrey R. Holland

 

Tender Moments

Very rarely do I slow down enough to stop and calm my troubled heart. Or even slow down enough to ask for Heavenly Father to calm my troubled heart.

This morning, I fell on my knees and begged that my heart be calmed. 

And then I had a wonderful moment where I connected with Heaven. 

Thank heavens for tender moments, and tender thoughts.
(And surprisingly, thank heavens for these little quotes)


 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Something Amazing Just Happened!

Something Amazing Just Happened.

I was in the middle of my humdrum day, doing my normal humdrum teaching stuff...BUT I LOVED IT!

I LOVE MY JOB!!!!!

It just came to me.

And by the end of the day, it was confirmed again!

Today my math lesson with R and E was FANTASTICALLY fun. We started off with lots of fun energy....but then E decided he should be a detective. So we started acting everything out like we were detectives. (We had to whisper, use our magnifying glasses, and solve the case.) Then he decided he should be a cowboy detective (and he started using a cowboy voice). I then had to refer to him as Cowboy Detective E. (And R was Cowgirl R). But it got better! I did the entire rest of the lesson in my cowboy voice! And by the end of the Lesson, Cowboy Detective E was using his skills to look for Star Wars Droids!

BWAHHHHHHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I love my job!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

What should I do now?

Something has happened. My last mission buddy came home. What am I supposed to do on Sundays anymore? I don't have one of them to write? I feel slightly empty inside. There are no young missionaries still in the New Mexico Farmington Mission, who have met and served with me. None.

This is a sign that life moves on. And it keeps going forward. I can choose to move, or I can choose to dwell, and wish for days long gone.

I choose to move forward. To remember with fondness, but I have a new purpose.

I have new people to teach.
And they need me.
I like that they need me.

I can move forward. I can.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Be Careful What You Wish For

I learned this week, you should be careful what you wish for (verbally, and just in your head. (These all happened to be non-verbalized)

Wish 1: Oh please let 30 year old boy (who keeps inquiring about me) see me in public with another boy. Maybe even me hanging on that boy....that way I don't have to turn him down, but he will get the picture.
Answer: *To be explained later

Wish 2: Please let cowboy dance with me, and make me feel like the only girl in the world....and let it be GOOD.
Answer: Best looking couple on the dance floor, with people asking if we are dating.

Wish 3: If cowboy would just do something sweet already, I would be so happy.
Answer: Held my hand....and more to follow....

Wish 4: Good grief I feel sick. I can walk to my car, but I don't want to. It sure would be nice if giant cowboy decided to be a gentleman and carry me to the car like in the movies.
Answer: Cowboy carried me to my car and kissed my forehead.

Wish 5: Ok, I'm not supposed to be thinking these things about Cowboy. I wish he would do something to help me see straight and realize he isn't for me.
Answer: Cowboy is NOT for me! Oooooh, that made me so mad what he did! Thank heavens for that answer!

Wish 6: I wish nice kid would get over the fact: "I'm not the one." Now there is no pressure to be my friend. And I don't have to stress about it, or worry about slowing him down. I wish we could be comfortable again.
Answer: Nice kid is willing to go to the parade with my whole family. Also willing to talk to me again.

Wish 7: I hope nice kid has a good time at the parade with my family. I hope this patches things up. Thank heavens he isn't interested anymore, because now this can just be simple.
Answer: Nice kid has a fantastic time.

*Too fantastic of a time...*

?Remember Wish 1: Public display of affection to ditch 30 year old......?
Answer: Nice kid holds my hand in PUBLIC! What?!?!?!? Didn't see that one coming! Also, don't know what to think or say or do or wish now.

NO MORE WISHING. No more thinking. What's the point? Life will just throw you a curve-ball anyways!


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

He knows your needs

Heavenly Father knows each and every one of his children. He know their wants and needs. He listens to their prayers. But more importantly, he ANSWERS the prayers of his children.


This is a photo of one of my favorite families from my mission. In the very center, making a ridiculous face, is Aviana. (I wish I had a photo of her simply smiling.) I love her with my whole heart. She changed my life. I was always amazed at how dedicated she was. There were times when I would come and visit, and I would think, "Wow. This girl's faith is helping to hold her family together. I hope I can be as determined and faithful as she is."

We have kept in contact since I came home. We talk about anything and everything. A few months ago she told me her family was moving to Mississippi. My stomach dropped to the floor. This girl was thriving where she was. She had a great ward, with loving people all around her. She was on a path to spiritual success. I wanted her to be celestially happy with my whole heart. I care for her as if she were flesh and blood.

I was worried that she would get lost in the transition of a move. Maybe she wouldn't find a church...or she wouldn't run into missionaries....or she wouldn't be able to find any good church friends or support. That night I wept as I prayed to Heavenly Father. I pleaded with Him that He make sure this little girl would be ok. I care more about her salvation more then I ever thought possible. I can't bear the thought of something spiritually or physically happening to her. I begged that he would keep her spiritually safe: that she would find the church in her area, that she would find loving ward members, that she would stumble upon the missionaries. (I knew that if she could simply meet the missionaries, she would swoop them up with her loving arms, and never let them go)

Tonight we talked on the phone, and I tried not to cry as I heard my prayer had been answered. She was outside with a friend, within a week of moving in, and saw Elders. Heavenly Father put those elders in Aviana's path. He placed sister missionaries nearby who are there to nurture and love Aviana in this vulnerable and challenging time in her life. She is still on the path towards Heavenly Father. He listened to my prayer. He knew the needs of this little girl. And bless the missionaries and members in Mississippi who listened to promptings, and were in the right place when this little girl walked by.

He answers the prayers of His children.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

I got my panties in a wad today. Anyone else would think this is a silly thing to get upset about...but this is a big deal to me.

Preface:
I believe that we have prophets, seers, and revelators on the earth today. I believe Thomas Monson is the Prophet on the earth. He has 2 counselors, and 12 Apostles he works with. They are all men of God. They receive revelation together to help guide Heavenly Father's children on earth. When they speak, we should do what they ask, because they have that connection to Heaven.

Family Experience:
Many years ago, the prophet asked women to only wear 1 set of earrings per ear. My aunt took out her second set at that moment, and never put them in again. I have always respected her immediate decision to follow the counsel of a Prophet of God.

Doctrine:
The prophet and apostles cannot run every congregation in the church by themselves. They delegate responsibility, leadership, and Priesthood Power/Keys to local leadership.

Melinda's Thoughts:
Based on my belief and testimony about Church leadership and following their counsel (as discussed in my Preface), I believe it is also extremely important that we follow the counsel and instruction of the local leaders. Even if it is a simple request it is important that we follow. If you can't follow the simple request of a local leader, then what does that say? If it came from a local leader or a prophet, does it matter?

Panties In a Wad:
Today, the leaders of my local congregation asked us to do a simple task....There were about 30 of us who did it immediately. But the rest ignored. Simple, silly request. Really of no importance. Not life changing...but it bothered me.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

too much companionship fun

Sister Kelsey Isaacson is in my bed right now. We are having WAAAAAY too much fun being goobers together. We may have just taken a silly photo and sent it to our mission president....

ANNNNND, I may have just sent him this text:
*Preface: It is Sunday night, and the mission president is currently waiting for numbers to come in from all of the Districts/Zones...

"This is Sister Wilkins reporting our Weekly Numbers. I went on a date last week. Sister Isaacson went on two this week. And I have a date set for next week. But potential investigators....0. Hope that's all the info you're looking for."


Um, we think we are super funny.


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Have you ever bitten into a piece of fruit, and immediately thought:
God Is Good. 

I did. Today. Actually, a few times this summer.

For me, its nectarines. They are bliss. 

Its like I can taste the feeling of Heavenly Father's love. I know that probably sound hokey, but I mean it. I taste beauty. I taste happiness. I taste hope. I taste bliss. I taste goodness. I taste LOVE. 

I know, who else would think, or even blog about this.

Try it though. Take a  minute and taste a piece of fruit. Can you taste the Goodness of God? 



Friday, August 8, 2014

Grouchy

What is the deal with being grouchy? How does it come about?

Because I am a grouch.
Have been for days.

(actually, my family would probably say that I have been for decades)

I don't like being grouchy.

I don't like how unproductive I am.

I don't like how prickly I feel on the inside.

Part of me wants to ask how to make it go away...but someone would probably answer that I need to get outside myself and serve or do something nice....

....but remember....I'M GROUCHY!!! I DON'T WANT TO DO ANY OF THAT! That's kinda the point of being grouchy!

Bluh. 

These pictures show how I really feel:


Monday, August 4, 2014

can you hear the spirit over the rain?

Sometimes there are moments that strengthen your testimony in the simplest of ways.

Two such events happened today:

1) Ward FHE Carwash. I was asked to give the opening prayer. It was cloudy and threatening rain. It was dry the entire event...but as I stepped under the front porch, I felt the first drip. (Sure hope all those people had garages)

2) It was a simple pitter pat for a while...but then WHAM! BAM! POW! The rain was going nuts!
Just go downstairs and play in it.
"But I should -"
Just do it! Why not?! Get your family.
So I ran down the stairs and was about to swing around the banister, when I heard crying. I froze in place. There were frantic shrieks somewhere behind the dumbing rumble of the pelting rain. I opened the front door, and found the 2 year old from next door terrified. He had gotten stuck in the momentary rain as he followed his siblings. They had come into the house and shut the door on him. The poor guy was TERRIFIED. I tried 3+ times to get him to come to me....but he wouldn't have it. It took a bolt of lightening for him to realize that I wasn't nearly as scary as it was.

The Spirit is so great! I mean it! So great!


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Stop snuffing, start sniffing

Today I learned 2 very great lessons from my sister and mother. Each one has its own tag line.

Lesson 1: Stop snuffing boys.

Lesson 2: Start sniffing boys.

Here's the short story: New single's ward, Lauren gets myphed at me, because she said I blew off a few boys when they tried to talk to me. I did not realize I was doing this. Hence she started to call me "the snuffer." Then we carried on our conversation with Mom. At which point she said explained that I need to take time and "smell the roses"...but really I should take time and "smell the men"...it might result in a happy Melinda.

#howtodad

I came across this today....I LOVE IT. We need more videos around like this one. Videos that show competent parents, who love their kids, and love raising them. I taught a lesson on raising children in the gospel today....so this is TOTALLY fitting.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

A new look at Selfishness

Don't take naps after 4....it results in an inability to sleep at the end of the night. 

Last night I found myself trying to wind down...but unable to sleep. I stumbled onto a British TV show, about out of control teens going to live with "the world's strictest parents" across the globe. 

The episode I watched happened to be a family in Toole, Ut. They were obviously LDS...and handled the opportunity different from other parents. This family had "strict" rules...at least by the standard of the world...But I thought they seemed rather understandable. These parents ruled their home with love, and focused on showing honor and respect.

They had one particular concept they were trying to instill in the teens who had come to live with them. When the teenagers would storm off cussing and screaming and pouting, the parents would talk to the camera and explain their thoughts.

The mind blowing thought:
Having a fit is being selfish.

SELFISH!

What? Explain that one too me. I don't get it.

Thank heavens they did explain....

When a child is throwing a fit, what message are they trying to convey?
"I am mad."
"I want something."
"You aren't doing what I want."
"My desires are more important then your rules."
"If I don't get what I want, then I am going to throw a fit."

I.....me.....my.

The child sees their own feelings/wants/"needs" as being supreme to all other elements of life.

"I should be able to do what I want...whenever I want. You are in my way. I get what I want, and I get it the moment I want it!"

This concept threw me for a loop. It opened a whole new realm of pondering and the purpose of behaviors, and how those behaviors affect people around you. (sounds exactly like a special ed teacher to me)

And then I was ashamed. This week we had a family get-together in the backyard. I tried to grill an onion...on the BBQ. (Laugh now...but obviously I learned that doesn't really work)...I was tired, hot, and grouchy. I kinda had a little complaining/pouting moment in front of the whole family...over this stupid non-grilled onion. If I had been a small child, I'm pretty sure I would have sat down and cried....rather hysterically. Now I feel terrible. Because I looked like a fool, and I really was being selfish.

"Oh poor me! I'm not getting what I want. Let me show you that I'm ticked about it!"

BLUH! I apologize for that everyone.

Who knew. Throwing a fit, is actually being selfishly minded.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Choose

I tell my kids every day...They can choose to stay and participate with us in the lesson, or they can choose to cry in the hall. I assure them that we want all of our friends with us...and they make a choice.

To cry or to stay.

Today it has been a choice: to cry or to stay and join.

I'm choosing to join...

But you bet your bottom dollar, that every, single, moment, I am sorely tempted to sit down and cry.

Hard days are not normal for me. Yes I'm busy, and yes I can do hard things...but hard, ugly, don't talk to me, kind of days are not normal in my world...at least not until practicum (student teaching) started.

I have had a hard day. At this point, do I cry or laugh....
I think I choose neither, because either one will make my headache worse.

(But just so you aren't worried...I would pick laugh.)
After a rotten day teaching, and a bug bite that itches to Texas and back, walking into the bathroom and finding a clogged toilet was simply too much.

At first I scowled. It was the I-Wish-I-Were-The-Living-Epitomy-Of-A-Romantic-Comedy....instead of doing this, sort of scowl.

But then I smiled. Why not? I mean, who else get's to unclog the toilet...that is perpetually clogged by an innocent 8 year old girl. (I mean seriously, I don't know how she is capable of that sort of thing on a weekly basis!)

I choose to smile. I choose to participate. I choose to pout for a bit, but then buck up and keep going.

I tell my kids, "Thanks for joining us! That was a good choice. You will be glad you joined it."

Someday I will be glad I joined in and decided to stop pouting.
Someday I will look back on the rotten day, huge bug bite, headache, and clogged toilet, and laugh.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

It profiteth him nothing

I have been in a funk. Not a good one....

One where scripture study disappeared. The scriptures did not, but study did. I told myself long ago I would never again go a day without connecting to the scriptures in some way....So when Student Teaching started last month, and my entire life blew up...I knew I had to keep my promise.

In a way I did. I made sure to read a verse every night...but it was usually just to cover my bases, and keep to my personal promise.

I confided in a dear friend, and she started to preach at me a bit about fixing my life up. I say preach, but really it was just a concerned friend, who knows the standards I have for myself, and knows I am capable of more then I was actually doing. It "felt" like preaching, because I was hardened. I had gone so long without drinking in the spirit of scripture study, that I felt guilty trying to even think about entering that world of total connection with Heaven. I didn't want to listen to her, because if I did, then I was in the wrong...and would feel even worse about myself.

I didn't like where I was. I didn't like what I was doing...or in reality, what I wasn't doing.

Today I had a small slap in the face. Lauren has decided to be endowed. And I realized I needed to be spiritually ready for how big of a day that will be.

It is just around the corner. I don't have much time.

I felt ashamed of where I had gotten. I sat thinking, and looked over, saw my tattered and beloved Book of Mormon, and picked it up.

I began to read. But this time, I wanted to.
And for the first time in WEEKS, I felt the connection to Heaven.
It was a few simple lines under my belt, and whooooosh! That peaceful beauty swept over my heart.

"All I needed was to want it? Really? That's all I had to do to feel that channel to Heaven...where my heart is joyful, and my mind is clear? Wow. Why was I so blind?"

Two verses later, I read: "except he shall do it with real intent it profiteth him nothing."
And I smiled.
Real intent. It makes all the difference.

Disclaimer: this is not a photo of my tattered but beloved copy...this is one I found on the internet

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Heavenly Father, the Supreme Teacher

Today I realized just how much teaching will prepare me for motherhood...It happened when someone made a comment during Sunday school about Heavenly Father being in charge of the big things, and the little things. I began to see how teachers live in a similar sphere: They are in charge of big things and the little details.

Heavenly Father is in control of all things...and teachers are in control of all things within their classroom.

Watch for the symbolism with God:
Teachers are responsible to keep the entire room going. They  make it a good environment for learning and change. It It looks pleasant. The room and teachers are organized. Teachers know all things about the space. Teachers know the final learning goal...they know the path to get there, and they know the specific skills needed to get to the final destination

But teachers are also in charge of  knowing each individual student: their personality, how personality affects learning, triggers and positive reinforcers, and all of the individual skills possessed. Teachers also have a knowledge of tricks, accommodations, and strategies to help that specific child.

Teachers are in charge of all things, on a grad scale, but they are also very aware of the  individual needs of each child. They run an organization, AND they minister to the one. Do you see the connection to Heavenly Father?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Chocolate Cake

This last week was the beginning of Student Teaching.

It was possibly the most exhausting week of my life. And most certainly the busiest week.

I broke down Wednesday night. I had gotten 12 hours of sleep in 3 days, and I had put myself through WAY too much. My mother walked into my Lesson Plan Generating Cave...and found me crying. She listened as I lamented the frustrations of the experience. And at the very end I sputtered out:

"And I just want Chocolate Cake! I have been craving chocolate cake for days, and I don't know why! I don't need it. It probably wouldn't even satisfy my emptiness....BUT I WANT IT! It is such a ridiculous want. Guh. But I want it."

She smiled at me, kissed my head, and walked out so I could get going on my assignments.

The next morning I heard tinkering around in the kitchen....


She had made me MY FAVORITE CHOCOLATE MUFFINS!!! She uses a chocolate cake mix and a can of pumpkin. That't it! 2 ingredients....and SO MUCH JOY!

She loves me. I got my chocolate cake.

Ready for the surprise? It was exactly what I needed...and TOTALLY satisfied me. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Spunky Hero

My Great Grandma has become my hero over the years. At first she was just funny...then I realized she was a hoot...and then she became spunky...and then I realized I wanted to be just like her.

My mom requested a family story from her dad...an avid journal/history keeper. This is one of his memories of his Mother: Marjorie Eyre Hardy Bailey Carter. (She outlived 3 husbands)

"During the summer of 1948, my Dad and Mom worked at Johnson’s Saw Mill, high upon the Big Horn Mountain, about 35 to 40 miles east of Lovell, Wyoming.  Dad worked as a laborer at the saw mill, and mother worked as a cook for about 12 men.  She helped feed the men working for Mr. Johnson three meals a day.  We lived in the mountains the whole summer.  We went to town about once per month, to get supplies. On one of our supply trips, my Grandfather Hardy who was a beekeeper, and sent us a five gallon can of honey. Up to that time, we had not seen any bears around camp. We saw a cougar, plenty of deer and elk, a few moose, and lots of ground squirrels and other animals. My mother didn’t know what to do with that much honey. My dad suggested that she make honey taffy out of some of it.

"Soon after that, Mom got a picnic lunch ready for the men. The men were working in the timber several miles away from the camp.  She did as Dad has suggested. She used some of the honey and made honey taffy and cooked it over an open camp fire. She boiled it until it was just the right consistency (softball stage), and let it cool a little, and then she buttered her hands and would pull it into long strands. She would pull it in strands, as long as she could stretch her two arms apart, and then would bend it in half and stretch it again, until the color was right and it was cool enough to wrap. She then cut it into bite-sized pieces, would wrap the candy in waxed paper. She took plenty of candy for the men to enjoy with their lunch.

"We drove as close to where the men were working in our car.  She took the men’s lunch in a lunch basket with their food in it, and when she got back, we were going to have our lunch with her there in the woods.
She had four small children. My older brother, Ed was eight years old, Beverly was six years old, I was four years old, and my youngest brother was, three years old. She took the lunch up into the timber to the men and left us four children in the car to await her return. Soon after she was out of sight, the four of us got out of the car to play around. Near the car, someone had built a lean-to table against one of the big pine trees—that was where we were going to have our lunch. She placed our lunch on the table, with the food, plates, and silverware, and covered it with a dishcloth, in order to keep the flies off our food, while she was gone. As she was taking the lunch up the trail, she ran into a bear coming towards here—down the trail. She saw him coming and stopped and put the picnic basket on the ground. The bear didn’t stop. Apparently he smelled the candy and continued coming towards her.

"During that summer, Mom didn’t have too much to do between meals. When she wasn’t otherwise occupied, she took a small hatchet, and got so good that she could throw the hatchet and stick it into a dead tree, about 99% of the time. She had her hatchet with her, as she carried the lunch up the trail. She got the hatchet in her hand and when the bear didn’t stop, she threw it and hit him right between the eyes—he fell dead! Then she didn’t know what to do with it. She took the lunch up to where the men were working and told my Dad what she’d done. They were afraid the Game Warden would find out about it. Some of the men helped Mom and Dad hang the bear up, in a tree. They left it hanging in the tree until my Dad’s shift was over, and then the two of them went back to get the bear, Dad skinned it and cut the head off. He said that it looked just like a man hanging there in the tree. They had to get rid of the evidence!

"While Mom was gone, another bear showed up at the car while we kids were playing around outside. We all jumped back into the car—thinking that the bear would go away soon. He didn’t! We would get out of the car on the far-side and tease the bear—and get back into the car, if he came in our direction. This hide-and-seek went on for quite a while, until Mother got back. When he saw her coming, he ran up the tree with the lean-to table, with our lunch on it. While climbing up he picked up the tin can containing our silverware..
He climbed up the tree about six or eight feet and stretched out on a limb just above our table. Since Mom was back, we all got out of the car. The bear took the can with silverware in it, and threw it at us one-at-a-time. Mom suggested that if we left him alone, and got back into the car, that he would come down and run off—he didn’t! He laid on this branch over our table for about 30 minutes. Then he had to go to the bathroom and urinated all over the table, our lunch, and plates. That did it! Mom got us back into the car, and we went back to camp for lunch. Two encounters with a bear on the same day was just too much. The surprising thing was, that up to that time, we hadn’t seen a bear anywhere—from then on we had bears around camp the rest of the summer. We think that it was mother’s homemade honey taffy that drew them in from miles around.

"In order to get rid of the evidence, Mom and Dad took the skinned bear to town, where my Aunt Cora Johnson and her family lived.  My parents told the Johnson’s that it was a deer they had shot and gave it to them to eat. To this day, the Johnson’s said that that was the best deer meat they ever ate!."

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Oh stoaaawwwwpp!

I didn't know what kind of warm fuzzies I was getting myself into when I watched this video...but I just had to share.

The first 30 seconds were cheezy...but then I couldn't help it.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Love Story Meets Viva La Vida - ThePianoGuys



This video has been around forever....but I still love it!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Scabby

I rarely think of funny stories to write about on here...but then I email my missionary buddies, and these stories just come out. Here is an excerpt from today's letter:

"The biggest thing from the week happened Tuesday night. My sister (age 22) was being dramatic. Most of my family's good stories start with someone being ridiculously dramatic. She has had a hard time living at home without the big social life she had while living in an apartment. ...So when she was bored out of her mind Tuesday night, she flopped herself literally across my lap and whined: "I'm sooooo BBBBBOOOORRRRRREEEDDDDD!!!!" (Envision a full grown adult flopped across my lap, with her arm to her forehead, looking as devastated as possible)

She continued: "PLLLLLLLLLLLEASE come play with me!"

I giggled and told her I couldn't because I had homework to do. She moaned and rolled away. I didn't know she had left the house until I heard a large commotion 30 minutes later.

I came to the kitchen to see her at the kitchen sink, half crying/half laughing, with my dad "dabbing" her face while she sputtered. As I got closer, I realized her face was covered in blood and dirt. She had gone on a bike ride with a close guy friend. She was flying down a SUPER steep hill, hit a patch of dirt, and then decided her face belonged licking the ground instead of up in the air. ;) She broker her fall with her face, and the length of her arm.

Poor thing. She felt so silly. Besides being wounded and a mess, her pride totally ate the dust. (did you like the pun?)

Her chin, upper lip, nose, and forehead were pulverized. Poor scabby thing was even performing in a play thursday-saturday. Her oozy scabs have been the talk of the town (ok.... just the ONLY topic of family discussion, not the town....well, except for all of the customers she serves at work, and all the people at church)

Don't worry, something really good came from this.
We all tried to just clean her up, and get her to bed. When I said my prayers, I realized how thankful I was that she was ok. She hit her head pretty hard, and couldn't remember the event. she was totally disoriented and repeated herself constantly. I tried to be tough, but I turned into a giant boob and tried not to become a crying mess. I really was thankful that she was ok. I crawled into her bed and curled up next to her. We were able to be boobs together. I didn't realize how deeply I cared for her until I saw her be hurt. It was a good moment for us to draw close together."

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Do you ever simply want to see something beautiful?

Sometimes I just get the inkling that I want to be inspired. That I want to see something beautiful. That I want a moment to escape the pressures of the world. My sister is always really good at finding things that take my breath away. She shared this with me...


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Knees

Well...its official: 
I am a whoose.
(is that how you spell it?)

Yesterday I rode my bike to school. Its a 20+ minute ride from my parent's house. Yesterday I wore skinny jeans. 
BAD PLAN.
SOOOO uncomfortable! The seam on my pants was not my ally. That little booger made me super mad. It made the ride feel FOREVER long.

So, today I was going to have the upper hand. I wore yoga pants. No problems right?

WRONG.

It was worse.
The problem is not the pants. The problem is my bum! Its too skinny! 
There was no padding what-so-ever! WORST RIDE EVER! Seriously, I thought yesterday was bad...today was terrible. 

A simple solution is to get one of those big comfy ones...or I could just plump up....

New Plan: I am going to install one of these bad boys!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Life Moves On

I started off writing about 15 missionaries when I got home...and now it is down to two.  The odd thing is, I'm ok with that. It has taken me a long time to realize that my official missionary service is done. I have different responsibilities now. I have a new focus in life, and its alright for life to keep moving. 
 
Sometimes it hurts. Today it hurt. Mother's day was supposed to be joyful, but for me it was sorrowful. 
I ached for the children next door who lost their mother this last year. 
I ached for my own lost dreams.
I ached from personal hurt.

Life moves on...and sometimes it hurts.

But sometimes its ok. Sometimes it moves in a totally different direction then you think it will...but that's ok.

I wrote those two missionaries today. One of them comes home in a few weeks. We have written often about the transition home...and how secretly wonderful it is to be a missionary. I wanted to include some of my thoughts from that letter: 

"But just a word of caution...Life does not move on the same time table for post mission life. You will come home fired up and ready to blaze a trail! Go to school, volunteer, serve, temple work, dating, marriage, family, career, lifetime of selfless and perfect service, grandparenting, and celestial kingdom. Its all mapped out in your head right? And there is a part of you that expects it to work out mostly as planned, but maybe with a couple trials thrown in there....

"Life doesn't always play out like how we envision it while wearing the badge. And when we don't achieve the plan we had set up, we start to feel like we aren't progressing. Oh no! I can't believe Heavenly Father hasn't dropped me as an investigator, because I'm not moving forward! At least not at the speed I wanted to! What is wrong with me?

"Nothing is wrong with you. Life is different without the magic of the tag. Progression happens differently here. Endurance and patience take on new definitions. Faith becomes an integral part of your spiritual cell structure, and instead of constantly and actively thinking about it...you live it...day in day out...monotony and all. And that's ok. In fact, that's good. Because your role will change. And your life will go different directions then you thought. Which is ok too. Its probably better. (well...as long as you continue to make righteous choices."

******************

Right now, I hurt. It may not feel like life is better then I envisioned it. But I can't see my ending right now. This too will pass. And I will continue to move forward. I will continue to serve. To work. To try. Walk. The ache will leave, and I will find myself in a better place. It won't be where I envisioned myself while I wore my tag, but it will be a good place.


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Love My Mom

I love my mother! 
She is the greatest. I'm not just saying this because Mother's day is coming. 
Today I emailed her about a big decision I had made rather quickly, and I sort of freaked out a bit. 
She responded with 3 words: 
"Buck Up Whiner" 

Love her!!

(She may not appreciate this photo, but it is one of my ALL TIME favorites)

Mom


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

To freak out? Or not to freak out?


The Spring Term has started....it is the preparatory time for my student teaching. The binder they had us organize is 
HUGE
The syllabus quiz I just took, has opened my eyes to the monstrous mound of work ahead of me.

I'm calm right now, but I feel like I should freak out. 
As if the magnitude of the situation warrants or qualifies for a freak out session.
What a silly thing to be thinking about: Do I need to spaz out at this moment?

Do I stay calm? Do I force myself to get anxious? 
Does the anxiety cause me to function better? Or take the situation more seriously? 

Or... 

If I keep calm, am I showing that I am an adult and completely capable of doing ridiculously intimidating things?

Monday, May 5, 2014

My Ship

I have mentioned multiple times that my dad cracks me up. Today after messing with my old and highly frustrating computer, he turned to me and did it again.

"Your ship needs to come in so you can buy a new computer."

"Dad, my ship already came in. I have enough money for tuition next semester. That's a pretty good ship."

"Noooo! I mean your ship needs to really come in. This computer needs to go away."

"Dad, I have so many things to buy when that ship comes in. What am I supposed to do? ... The only solution I can see to all of this is to marry a wealthy man who already has everything and my ship coming in is the fact that he already has his ship parked in port."

"Well, HURRY UP AND FIND HIM!"




Working on it Dad. Anyone know an eligible bachelor who's ship came in and can give me a ship? That would be great. Thanks. My dad would greatly appreciate not having to fix my dinky laptop ever again.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Why Wait?

Why wait to be greeted?
Why wait to figure things out?
Why not be proactive?
Why not ask people?
Why not seek to be put to work?

Today I tried to find my new Singles Ward. It was a challenge. It involved 3 wards, 2 welcoming committies, 2 bishoprics, and a very kind girl. But it is done. Not everyone has viewed this new situation as I have. I am optimistic.

Don't look at the new situation as something scary. See the new situation as a new start:
a time to thrive
a time to grow
a time to make new friends
a time to learn from the example of others
a time to have a more full life
a time to embrace the life presented to you

I feel like a new kid just moving into a non-freshman-dorm-ward. I feel young and inexperienced...but that's ok. Because it was when I was in those shoes, 5 years ago, that I grew the most. This has the potential to be a really good thing...if I let it be.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Finding Yourself

I went on a trip. 
I was looking for things. 
I found them. 
Multiple things. 

While there, a dear friend asked me to send her a quote I had in my room. Its about finding yourself. And discovering more. On my trip, I found a part of myself...a part that I had kinda forgotten. 

"Don't worry about searching for who you are; focus your energies on creating the kind of person you want to be! You will discover that as you pursue that journey you will not only find yourself, but chances are you will be pleasantly surprised and proud of the person you find along the way."
- Joseph B. Worthlin

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sometimes you just need it

Sometimes you just need something wonderful to spruce up your life....this will probably be it.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sitting on my hands

I went on a date. 

That happens periodically.

But very rarely do I enjoy the date soooooo much that I deeply hope for a second date. 
Actually, often I think, 
"Well, that was nice. He didn't do anything wrooooong, so I guess I would go out with him again."
Sometimes I get that opportunity, and when I don't get excited about it...
I just think there must be a twitter-pated switch that got turned off inside me.

Then I think like a girl, so I hemmmm and hawwwww over everything, and I decided there must be something wrong because he was a good guy...

THERE IS NOTING WRONG WITH ME!
My Switch Works!

I got excited about my date! For the first time in a while my little excited sensors started flashing!
And it was a good date (at least I thought it was).

And now I am sitting on my hands. 
My sensors are going, my face is glowing, and I smile when I think of something connected to the kid...

but I sit on my hands.
Because I don't want to mess this up. I don't want to be clingy. I don't want to come off crazy....
but by golly, TEXT ME ALREADY! ASK ME OUT AGAIN! anything!

My sensors are making all kinds of emotional noise inside of me....and the excitement is trying to manifest itself through the use of my independent and confident texting skills. Every time the sensor rings, my brave little ringers reach out for my phone, so I can contact him....

But I hold back. I sit on my hands. 

It is in his court. Melinda is going to be wooed. She will let him take charge. Even if it means having to sit on her hands. (Yes, I'm talking in 3rd person. I have the tendency to do that when I'm excited.)

She literally sits on her hands. She does. But she wishes she didn't have to. 

But to save herself from being too pushy or looking like a love struck fool, she sits on her hands....



....She is still sitting....



Still sitting....

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Looking Up

Do you remember how distraught and heartbroken I was?

And how Heavenly Father sent helpers to lift me up and dust me off?

And then I found myself looking up...with more hope....more than I expected.

.....

I almost dismissed this.
I almost took it as a given.
I almost didn't see.
I almost missed it.

There are things to look up about. There is hope. There is joy. There are blessings. 

Oh,
there
are
blessings.

Yesterday I found out I had been awarded a full tuition scholarship for Spring/Summer terms. 
That means......
HECK! I don't even know all the things that means!

I have been saving money really strategically for MONTHS! When the school year started, I knew I didn't have enough to graduate. It just wasn't there. So I put away a few hundred dollars every month. 

(this is me totally bragging: that is a hard thing to do! putting away a few hundred, EVERY MONTH. 
AS A COLLEGE STUDENT!)

Well, all of that hard work has paid off....sort of. Because now I can use it for something else. I mean, I still have Fall Semester Tuition that I need to worry about, but I have it all. If I keep saving and going at it, maybe I can use the money to buy a car! Maybe.

I am looking up. 
I almost didn't.
I almost kept chugging along without expressing thanks.
I almost missed the biggest blessing that has been handed to me in MONTHS!

Thank you. Heavenly Father, thank you. I don't even have words. Thank you for helping me to look up. Thank you for showing me that blessings come. Thank you for allowing this blessing to come so soon after a distressing weekend. Thank you for uplifting my spirit, and lightening my load. Thank you for being good, kind, and loving. Thank you for opening my eyes to hope.

I am looking up.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My Motto

Look! BYU must have heard me say this around campus, and they adopted it!


The Cure

True

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Falling on your face

 (the face-plant)




http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/11/07/article-0-19408A0C00000578-349_634x410.jpg 

http://rightsideofthechart.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/faceplant-IPO-3.jpg

Did you know that falling flat on your face, gives other people the chance to pick you up?

Did you know people actually notice when your face is firmly smashed in the dirt?
They do.
Because they care.

And you didn't know they care.
Now you have people who love you.
More then you expected...
(Especially when you didn't think they knew you existed)

But the person who notices the most is Heavenly Father.
And He loves you more then ever.
More then you expected....

You think:
He will be disappointed. He will be sad. He will just let you deal with it. He will let you figure it out. He will let you cry.

But you only got one thing right: He will let you cry.
....more then you expected....
Because He knows that if he tried to tell you in pre-tears mode....or even torrential-rain-tears-mode (the kind where even your nose is pouring down your face and it all turns into a sticky mess down your neck)...that you aren't in a place to listen. He lets you cry, and vent, and be unreasonably mortal. Because when you have finally stopped whimpering, and you have washed the stickiness off, He softly kisses your forehead and shows you what love is. He shows you He cares. He shows you the love when you are ready to listen. Ready to learn. Ready to rise up.

He helps you rise up. He has your brothers and sisters here on earth, reach down, grab your hand, and help you up. Your brother pulls the twigs out of your hair. Your sister wipes the dirt from your face. Another brother guides you to a place to sit and catch your breath. Another sister organizes relief efforts to be continued for an extended time.

Once you have stopped crying, you realize how loved you are. And you can keep going.

...Its more then you expected....

Your face is not in the dirt anymore. It is looking upwards.

...And you have more hope then you expected....

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I'm not ok

Today was supposed to be the GREATEST day in weeks!! and it was the worst day I have had in YEARS!!!

It was supposed to start with the best convention and answered questions....I didn't get to go. It was supposed to be sunny and wonderful...I literally froze my feet purple. It was supposed to be a nice drive. No. The car was broken into. My wallet was gone. My make up was gone. Be brave for everyone else. Keep a level head. Go home, get ready, go to the last event of the night: the big black tie ward event everyone has been talking about for months. No. Nothing worked.

I started to cry behind closed doors. And I cried. And cried. I'm still crying. As in right now, as I type.

Now I have no money. No license. No makeup. No fun.

Instead I have:
anger
resentment
open insecurity
no boy
no one at home with the time to hold me
no money for food
...no food...
no fun tonight
AND
bitter ugly feelings that I don't like.

I'm not ok. I'm not brave.
I am mad.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Who am I? Where do I belong? Because it certianly isn't here

I started a paper today for my course on Diversity in the Classroom. I was asked to interview someone who is culturally and linguistically diverse from myself. I was to discover the struggles and successes they encountered while attending school. The purpose was to help future teachers like myself learn what they can do to be supportive of diverse students in their classroom.

I asked to interview my best friend on the Reservation. She is like my big sister. We talked for hours last night. I felt that I could identify with her plight, but only in the slightest way. I felt that I had been accepted on the Reservation and become one with the dirt...but I also know I fit in with the pioneer town just outside its boarders. I can enjoy and be accepted in both worlds, but I haven't decided which one I want to join.

I REALLY LOVED the introduction I created for my paper. I wanted to brag and share it with you. I feel it shows my love for dirt, and my love for the lush. It conveys how my heart can be connected to both worlds, but be torn by the contempt felt between the two communities. I hope you feel something. Anything. Just feel.




            "The Navajo Reservation is located where the four corners of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona meet. It is also the location where the desert floor seems to blend into the sky in a transition of brown and gold to orange and yellow. It can hold the hot piercing air in a stagnant haze, or it can blow and twist as if the sky were a giant swirling whip. The Reservation holds the Navajo Nation, a separate governing entity, surrounded by the small white pioneer towns common to the Southwest. It is on the border of these two worlds where April ****** was born and raised. “Who am I?” she asks.
           "Between the Navajo city of Shiprock and the small farming town of Kirtland, New Mexico, runs the invisible boarder of the Reservation and the “outside world.” In this particular location, the line is drawn with a physical mountain: one side is spiked and jagged; the other is smooth and bulbously rising from the ground. One side is dirt, with sharp edges of rocks, shale, weeds, and cliffs. The other is green, billowy, and full of trees. “Where do I belong?” she wonders.
            "April asks herself these questions, because she certainly does not believe this is where she fits in or belongs. This invisible line is simply that: a division. There is no blending of ground and sky, just as there is no blending of cultures. Stale and stagnant faces ignore diversity with heated contempt, and yet swirling and twisting emotions torture the air. It is where the two cultures meet and clash that April tried to find who she was" 
http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/39642853.jpg

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Most Awe Inspiring and Terrifying Thing

 
The highlight of my week was loving on a WEEK OLD BABY!!!! (The picture is just a picture, it isn't Baby L). His mom and I are the dearest of friends. We are practically the same person. We are the same size, build, and coloring. Our brains think the same way. We have similar majors. We were meant to be twins. This sweet new mom invited me to come over and for an hour I got to hold Baby L and just stare at him.

He is beautiful. He is soft. He is pure. He fits in my arms. It felt natural to have him curled up in my arms. Instantly, I loved Baby L.

This was one of the most surreal hours of my life. I knew about this baby boy before anyone else in the world (no joke, hubby and Twin Mommy knew, and then it was me). It was just the idea of him. The intangible idea that he was there, but not even visible enough for technology to see.

I saw Twin Mommy a week and a half ago, and now he is here. Breathing, sleeping, making noises, and existing in this big world.

I asked Twin Mommy if it felt real yet, or just babysitting,
Babysitting, for sure.

She explained how her thoughts had evolved and how this probably wouldn't be accepted as reality for quite a while. She is a mom. A person completely responsible for the life of another being. A being that has infinite and divine potential. Little Baby L will not go away. He will FOREVER be in Twin Mommy's charge.

And instantly, I was scared. I have always wanted to be a mother, always wanted that responsibility...but now I was scared. Here is a girl, who is just like me in every way, but now she has this infinite and eternal responsibility. Instantly I felt incompetent. Instantly I felt like retreating and not moving forward.

I didn't like that feeling. I did not like that the most wonderful creation in the world was in my arms, and I was nervous. I questioned myself. I questioned my ability to be who Heavenly Father wants me to be. That was so not the feeling I intended to have yesterday.

But Twin Mommy is amazing. She looked at me and could discern my thoughts.

"But you are not alone. This will be your stewardship. You are entitled to revelation about this. It is not what the world calls "Mother's Intuition"...it is divine revelation given to you, the mother, to do what is right for each child. You do what Heavenly Father inspires you to do. And you are successful." 

Look at that, only a week, and Twin Mommy is already growing and maturing, and becoming a better steward. She is my hero.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

A Simple Phrase

One of my role models, and dearest friends shared wisdom with me a while ago. I was so impressed with her insight, that I wrote down her quote, and posted it next to my bed. I have read it multiple times in the last few weeks. She has lived it. She knows it. I am living it. Someday I will know it.


"The scriptures say: 'And it came to pass..." 
No where did it say: 'And it came to stay.'"



The best part about it, she will read this blog post...