31 July 2014

Happy Birthday, Elder James E. Faust!

29 July 2014

Happy Birthday, Elder Bruce R. McConkie!

25 July 2014

Beat Body Bullying...

I was probably about ten years old when I remember opening the wrapper of a Twinkie and looking longingly at that sweet piece of goodness. I held it cautiously in my hand-fearing just looking at it would change the shape of my body. So, I did the only logical thing a ten year old girl could do. I ran around the house while I was eating my Twinkie, in hopes of counteracting the calories by chaotically bouncing around. How I wish I could meet my ten-year-old-self in person, and tell her just how beautiful she really was. 

The other night I came across this story online, and it re-confirmed to me, again, why my ten-year-old self felt that pressure, even then. Our society is all kinds of messed up, and coming from someone who has been on the other end of the criticism, I'm going to do something about it.

People weren’t born this way. Girls weren’t born with an image-complex. We weren’t born wishing we were thinner, or taller, or more symmetrical than the girls in the magazine. We weren’t born unsatisfied with our blemished skin or our unevenly shaped nose. We weren’t disappointed in the thickness of our hair, or the chubbiness of our legs. In fact, it was quite the opposite. We looked at ourselves like the divinely beautiful creatures that we were. As a baby we looked down at our hands in wonder; we saw ourselves with brand new eyes just brought to life. As a toddler we felt confident in the fact that we were indeed princesses, and nobody else could have told us otherwise. 

We were beautiful. 

Twenty years ago the thought of getting in a swimsuit simply prefaced exhilarating adventures, and if I had the choice, I would have lived in my swimsuit for all the world to see. Now, swimsuit shopping is nothing but a self-destructive, comparison-driven, disheartening experience. 

Last night while I was in the car, a commercial came on, and it went something like this: “Not ready for summer? Still haven’t achieved your bikini body? Feel beautiful this year and get laser liposuction.”

It was in that moment I became angry. The world is telling us, over and over again, that we will finally be beautiful when we have achieved that bikini body. We will be satisfied only when the pounds come off, only when the inches fall away, and only when we meet specific criteria. And let me tell you—in the world we live in, perfect is never—and will never be—good enough.

It was then I decided I would come up with my own commercial. I kept the same theme but made a few changes. “Not ready for summer? Still haven’t achieved your bikini body? Feel beautiful this year and beat body bullying.”

So, that’s exactly what I plan to do. 

Week by week.
One step at a time.

13 July 2014

Life didn't go as planned, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

I came across this picture last night and wanted to hug Charlie Brown as tight as I could. This picture perfectly describes how I have felt lately! It's hard not to wonder every once in a while what in the world happened to the life I had once planned, but that same uncertainty has taken me to me knees more than it would have otherwise. For that - I will forever be so grateful. Had my life gone exactly how I hoped it would, humility wouldn't have brought me this close to my Father in heaven and His perfect Son, Jesus Christ. I know Their plan for me is sure - if I live worthily of it. And above all I know They see everything that I cannot, and for that I am so thankful.

Who said perfection is found in knowing and understanding?
No, perfection is found in faith. 

06 July 2014

Happy Birthday, Elder Neal A. Maxwell!

My love for Elder Neal A. Maxwell comes up in almost every conversation I have with someone. Truly, it does. The love I have for his spirit and his choice of words and his oh-so-evident testimony turns my legs into jello. I literally, very literally, can't put into words the love I have for that man. He epitomizes eloquence and radiates everything I want to be. He lived his spirituality in the classiest yet most humble way, and it continually amazes me.

So, in case you were wondering, Elder Neal A. Maxwell, you will be the first person I search for on the other side. (Also, I wish I knew what your favorite kind of ice cream was, because then I could have a birthday dessert in remembrance of you.)

You make my heart swoon.

05 July 2014

Two years ago today.

Maybe it's strange and silly to make such a big deal about making it through a divorce. I know now more than ever just how common divorce is - but for me it wasn't. Honestly, two years ago today, I never thought I would make it. My heart hurt in a way I didn't know was possible. And now, today, I look back with nothing but gratitude and pure joy

I owe everything to my Father in heaven and His Son, 
Who quite literally carried me through the past two years of my life. 

My heart that once felt empty is full
My self-esteem that once went missing is back
My faith in love that once was lost has been found
The peace that once wavered has been restored.
And the bitterness that once gnawed at my heart 
has slowly and beautifully morphed it's way into untouchable forgiveness. 

Living another day is nothing but a spectacular blessing, 
and I cherish each day more because of what I went through. 
I - in my own right - am my own hero.

Thank you to everyone for the love and support you have given me. 
I wouldn't be where I am right now without you.

Forever my favorite day of the year.

Two years ago today somebody walked out of my life...

... & if only I knew then...

that it was going to be the best thing 
that would ever happen to me -

My eyes would have stayed dry.
My doubts would have been vanquished.
And my faith for the future would have remained unshaken.


Today wouldn't seem nearly so beautiful,
if those tears hadn't come.

And I can honestly say,
that each & every year,
from here on out,
today will * forever * be,
my very most favorite day.