Sunday, December 19, 2010

Learning Through Examples

This past week has been really hard for me. Don't get me wrong, I love being home, but I'm not keeping myself as busy/entertained as I generally do at school and so I get down. I have been praying a lot to be a happier person, and not just superficially happy, but truly happy.

I was given a most wonderful example of what true happiness is in Sacrament today. A young boy named Jefferson spoke in church. It was his first time speaking and he was very nervous, as we all get before giving talks. But Jefferson is very special. He was born with cerebral palsey and has a difficult time walking and speaking, but you NEVER see him without a smile on his face. He loves life and loves the gospel. One of his brothers helped him speak and his message touched my heart. It was so powerful to see him on the stand giving a talk about why he loves Christmas because the Spirit just radiates from him. He is so happy, despite his setbacks.

Jefferson's example reminded me of some other wonderful examples in my life:

My uncle Kent was also born with cerebral palsey, but he never lets that slow him down. He's always up for a game of checkers and loves sports, especially when BYU's playing. He loves all of his nieces and nephews as if they were his own children. He always tries to be so helpful and is one of the kindest people I know. He is truly happy.

My cousin Jenna has down's syndrome. She is the cutest girl you'll ever meet and she has the biggest smile! When she smiles, it literally lights up the entire room. She loves her family and she especially loves being an aunt! She is the best friend you could ever ask for and she is so brave. Every time I see her, I wish I were as strong as she is because she is truly happy.

Then I started remembering people who have had very difficult situations that they've been through.

As many of you know, a ranger in our community named Brody Young was recently shot multiple times while on duty. His young family has been through so much in the past 6 weeks and they still have a long road ahead of them. Brody's wife, Wendy, and my mom are really good friends and because of this friendship, I have been able to witness Wendy's strength and the power of remaining positive, no matter how difficult a situation may be. Wendy loves her family and is doing everything she possibly can to hold her family together through this hard time. She always smiles, no matter what, and has this magical ability to look at the positive side of any situation. She is truly happy.

All of these examples from my life draw their happiness from the Ultimate Example: Christ. Christ is the reason for Christmas because He is the true source of all joy. He loves each of us individually and wants each of us to succeed. Success means something different to each of us, but I think the biggest success we can have in this life is to be truly joyful no matter what our circumstance is. That is definitely something I need to work on, but I am so grateful that I have the examples of Jefferson, Kent, Jenna, Wendy, and countless others to encourage me to smile more and be kind to people. I know that if we center our lives arount Christ we will be happy, no matter what life dishes out at us.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Funny Dream

So today I had two finals and decided to wake up early to finish studying for them. I had set my alarm for 5:45, hoping to get up at 6:30. I ended up getting up around 7:00 which was good, but while I was hitting the snooze button every five minutes for and hour and fifteen minutes I had a sweet dream. In this dream, I had hired the characters from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers to come and wake me up early because they lived on a farm and farmers wake up early. So they came to help me wake up and made me flapjacks! The funniest part is that I've only seen Seven Brides for Seven Brothers once when I was really young and my high school did it for their annual musical. I don't even remember what happens except that the brothers live on a farm. Needless to say it was great entertainment!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Surprisingly Saddened...

You know those times in your life where everything seems to go wrong, but you've enjoyed it more than you really should have?

Take this morning for example: I had class at 10 (but I should technically leave at 9:40) and didn't roll out of bed til 9 ish. I had been awake since 7:30 (thank you email notifications on my cellphone), but I just couldn't bring myself to get up! So when I finally got up at nine, I decided to look cute today by curling my hair...not smart. By the time I finished getting all ready it was 9:35 which left no time for breakfast. I hurried and put some snacks in a bag to eat during class for breakfast (I eat like a champion) and went to locate my converse but I could only find one! So I had to find a different pair of shoes (that aren't quite as comfy but are equally functional), but it took forever to find them too! By this time it's 9:45 and my roommate is waiting for me to brush my teeth and pack my backpack so we can walk to campus. By the time we walk out the door it's 9:52. At approximately 9:55, I realize that I didn't grab my paper that was due in my 10 o'clock class and hurry and run back to my apartment only to find it was in my back pack the whole time. As I walk through the parking lot of my apartment complex, again, I slip and nearly face plant on the pavement (thank you hands of mine). As I'm shop walking (aka speed walking) to class some creeper man in a truck honks and waves at me. And then I walked into class late (obviously). Needless to say, today started as what could've been a really really bad day, but you know what?...

I can't stop smiling!

Why you may ask? Because my morning was freakin' hilarious (yes mom, that expression deserved a sentence enhancer). I mean, I was seriously a frantic mess on the second to last day of classes! How unlucky is that?! But yet, oh so awesome (some may call it situational humor)

This leads me to my next point of this blogpost...

This semester has managed to be both the worst and the best time of my life and I'm sad it's nearly over. My life has seriously been insane in the last three and a half months-ish. First of all, for whatever reason, I signed up to take 18 credit hours (including biology AND chemistry), I got engaged my 1st week, had a long distance fiance, had a part time job, tried to balance being social and anti-social all at once, began planning a wedding, and then (to top it all off) became unengaged. In the 2 weeks following the ending of my engagement, I had 2 big tests, 2 big papers due, teaching relief society, and it snowed.

Wanna know something?

I've never been so happy! This semester was so fun and I've learned so much! I've had my all time 3 favorite classes this semester (complete with my 3 all time favorite professors), I've learned more about the world around me than ever, I have the best roommates and neighbors and friends ever, I've learned a lot about my family, and I've managed to have tons of fun and be absolutely crazy (like a college student should be!).

This doesn't mean that it hasn't been hard. I've wanted to give up so many times ("giving up" would include lying in my warm bed all day, watching chick flicks and crying the whole time, eating way too many tubs of ice cream, wearing sweats, not wearing make up, and listening to every sad song on the planet). But luckily, I didn't. I've done what I can to learn everything possible from all of these experiences and I still have tons to learn.

What's really helped me is my institute class. This semester I took a class that focused on sermons about the Atonement in the Book of Mormon. I've never understood the power and importance of the Atonement like I have learned this semester. Because of this class I was able to understand that life doesn't always make sense, but no matter what happens, my loving older Brother knows exactly what I'm going through and will do everything in His power to help me if I let Him. He wants me to be happy and He is so glad that I'm learning the things I am at this point in my life. I have no idea what's going to happen next (in fact I'm almost worried because my semesters keep getting crazier and crazier, remember my near death experience?!). But I do know that in the end, everything is going to be great and the right things will fall into place! So awesome!

Besides...It's more fun to be happy instead of sad, no matter what is going on in your life!
(But I really am kinda sad this semester is basically over)