20 June 2015

It's My Birthday!

23 Things I Learned When I Was 23

1) Maya Angelo was right. 
Have enough courage 
to trust love one more time...
and always one more time. 
The next time could be the right time. 
Take my word for it. 

2) Faith is all we need. Faith and only faith. With faith we can trust we will not fail. With faith we can believe in better days. With faith there is hope. What more could we need?

3) Pursuing further education is always a good thing. Knowledge is power.

4) Loyalty is the key factor in friendships. Without it, friendships simply won’t last.

5) Family is truly the most important thing in life. I thank Heavenly Father every day for the family that surrounds me. Also, kids will always need their parents. I'm not sure if that's good news for them? But it sure is for me. 

6) Dogs make life infinitely more meaningful. I plan to pass a law that makes it mandatory for every human being to own a dog. The bill's name will be happiness truly lies in four paws and a tail.

7) Spontaneity shouldn't be so stinkin' spontaneous. Make it a regular thing. Live with the fever called adventure!

8) The decision to become a vegetarian is still one of my favorite decisions. Two years going strong ;) #savetheanimals #animalsarefriendsnotfood #impartlywritingthistobugmyfamily #theyarerollingtheireyesrightnow 

9) My desire to travel the world only grows more with time. 

10) My heart still (wait for it) belongs in New Zealand.

11) California really is a great place to live.
(Check off bucket-list.)

12) Roller-coasters will forever be one of my most favorite things in life.

13) I'm terrified to be a mother, and terribly excited at the same time. I don't know how that works, but it does.

14) Marriage can live up to all the hype, if and when you marry the right person, and I truly believe I married the person who was the good, better, best person for me. His heart was what my heart needed. His spirit was what my sprit needed. There isn't a day that goes by I'm not immensely grateful he purposely ran into me at church. His friendship and his love is a gift. His tenderness and sensitivity is one of my most precious blessings. And I'm forever grateful my forever will be spent with him.

15) You will never have regrets if you react in kindness.
Always, always be kind.
Especially when they don't deserve it.

16) Books are still the best kind of friends.

17) Listen to the spirit, even when it doesn't make sense! Develop a meaningful relationship with the Holy Ghost. It will always lead you right where you need to go. I promise your relationship with the Holy Ghost will forever be one of the very most important relationships in your life.

18) My Heavenly Father loves me more than I could possibly know... and my love for Him absolutely overwhelms me. You know when you feel so much love, you kind of feel like you can't breathe because the love you feel is just so thick it's kind of hard to focus on anything else? I have those moments when I pray, and those moments will forever be the greatest moments of my life. I live for those moments. I do.

19) If I was the only person in the world who needed the Atonement, my Savior would have died for me alone. That knowledge is some of the most important knowledge I will ever have. I was that important to Him, and I will always be that important to Him. Jesus Christ suffered so He could be my Advocate, my Friend, my Comfort, and Best Friend. 

Who He is? 
Is everything. 

20) The scriptures are our constant. They are our safe place. They are the only thing that make sense when nothing else does. They are home. 

21) The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints is true. It is the only thing that matters. I live because I know this. I will live forever because I know this. This gospel is eternal, and it is my greatest gift. 

22) Loving ourselves must come from within. It takes personal effort and determination. It takes consistency and most of all it takes faith. It takes faith in our Father in heaven. It takes faith in Him and His creation. It takes faith in Him and His perfection, and it takes faith in His inability to ever make a mistake. To Him we are perfect, and that is everything.

23) Each year brings new difficulties, but with those difficulties come added blessings, extra tender mercies, and growth and wisdom that is necessary for our exaltation. I am so grateful for where I am in my life. I am so grateful that I am at this point. It's been a rocky twenty-three years, but where it has led me is pretty extraordinary...

and there is nowhere else I'd rather be.

05 June 2015

A Christian Perspective Of Bruce Jenner?

This is definitely not something I would ever dream of blogging about... and I feel kind of silly doing it, but I feel like everywhere I turn someone is saying something about Bruce Caitlyn Jenner... and frankly, I have an opinion. 

As a Mormon I believe certain things. The first thing that should be noted, is I believe that our gender is an eternal characteristic which was given to us long before this life. I do not believe that a perfect God made mistakes when creating us... and I believe that an all-knowing God created us the way He hoped we would stay.

With that being said, I understand there are hundreds of thousands of plagues we suffer from while living in mortality; many of these mental. Experience is a powerful thing. Experience changes us. And frankly when we don't understand something... when we don't fully understand the feelings and emotions another person is going through, we ought to be a lot less quick to speak up.

I can't pretend to know what others are feeling. I can't pretend to know the pain they are experiencing... which brings me to my second point. 

"While one portion of the human race is judging and condemning the other without mercy, the Great Parent of the universe looks upon the whole of the human family with a fatherly care and paternal regard; He holds the reins of judgement in His hands..."
-The prophet Joseph Smith

Coincidentally, a couple of nights ago I was reading D&C chapter 19 verse 10-11:

For behold, the mystery of godliness, how great is it! For, behold, I am endless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless punishment, for Endless is my name. 

Wherefore- Eternal punishment is God's punishment.

Where's the balance in all of this? I believe that gender is a God-given gift... yet I want to be like my Savior who loved us all perfectly.

I can't control what people do. I can't control the decisions they make. I can't control the opinions and mindsets of the world, but I can control myself. 

And with that control, I choose to love more, judge less, and trust that God will take it from here.

02 June 2015

The generation of comparison - social media's hidden agenda

A Los Angeles-based clinical psychologist (and psychology professor) once said, “Social media is basically social comparison on steroids.” 

Another favorite of mine, Brene Brown, said “Social media has given us this idea that we should all have a posse of friends when in reality, if we have one or two really good friends, we are lucky.” 

An author, Barara Kingsolver said, “That’s why everybody wants Internet friends. You can find people exactly like you. Screw your neighbors and your family, too messy.” 

Daniel J. Levitin said, “Each time we check… Facebook… we encounter something novel and feel more connected socially (in a kind of weird impersonal cyber way) and get another dollop of reward hormones. But remember, it is the dumb, novelty-seeking portion of the brain driving the limbic system that induces this feeling of pleasure… not the higher-level thought centers in the prefrontal cortex. Make no mistake… Facebook checking constitutes a neural addiction.” 

Pete Cashmere said, “Privacy is dead, and social media holds the smoking gun.”

David Levithan said, “I have a friend request from some stranger on facebook and I delete it without looking at the profile because that doesn’t seem natural… Friendship should not be as easy as that. It’s like people believe all you need to do is like the same bands in order to be soulmates.”

Robert A. Heinlein said, “Most neuroses and some psychoses can be traced to the unnecessary and unhealthy habit of daily wallowing in the troubles and sins of five billion strangers.”

Charles Bukowski said, “Now it’s computers and more computers and soon everybody will have one, 3-year-olds will have computers and everybody will know everything about everybody else long before they meet them. Nobody will want to meet anybody else ever again…”

Alexa Chung said, “Often I long for a simpler time when break ups weren’t made a trillion times worse by photo tagging, and rather than spelling it out for people you could be irritated by something and not feel as though you had to voice your gripe with convenient hashtags…”

Brooke Hauser said, “Facebook is the perfect place to try on different identities until she finds one that sticks.”

Joshua Ferris said, “…Liking and digging and bookmarking and posting and tweeting all those things, and feeling more disconnected than ever? Where does this idea of greater connection come from? I’ve never in my life felt more disconnected…”

What I have to say is this: 
Don’t give in. 

Don’t compare your first chapter 
to someone’s chapter 12. 
Don’t type things you wouldn’t 
feel comfortable vocalizing face-to-face. 
Don’t hurt others through a lit-screen because 
it’s easier than hurting people in person. 
Food doesn’t have to look pretty, 
it just has to be eaten. 
Your former roommate who travels the world
isn’t a single plane-ticket better than you are. 
Filters should not be the means to making friends. 
Status updates aren’t nearly as satisfying as 
savoring the moment with technology-free hands. 
When that beautiful sunset is screaming, 
“take my picture and instagram me” 
close your eyes and take a mental picture. 
This is your moment. 
This is your individual, precious moment. 
Nobody else needs to comment on it. 

To my friend who got dumped, listen closely: searching your ex’s name on facebook and seeing newly-tagged pictures with him and that girl you took an English class with last semester will in no way improve your life, your sanity, your self-esteem, or your sense of being. To my thirteen-year-old cousin who follows fitness models on instagram, listen closely: each time you search #victoriasecretmodels you are in no way doing a service to yourself, or the millions of other thirteen-year-old girls who are struggling just like you to find value, acceptance, and the kind of love that truly matters. To the generation who is sucked into this sick notion of comparison, listen closely:

Don’t give in. 

Your life is beautiful and meaningful 
exactly the way that it is. 

(Inspiration for post found here
and here)