Just Rannin' Around

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

“God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.”

Have you ever been in a swirling wind storm that picks up dirt off the ground, magically wraps it around you without any of it touching you but allowing you to stare in wonder and yet somehow knowing that reaching out to grasp some of it would chase the moment away?

That is what the thoughts seem to be doing in my brain right now and I am not quite sure where to begin or how to adequately express them.

I don’t remember a time when I have ever doubted that Heavenly Father loves me. I know that this is a gift that was given to me because I needed it in order to wade through the tribulations of my life that have, do and will come. Every other part of me (who I am, what I believe and know, what I should be doing with my life, ect, ect, ect) has been doubted and questioned with excruciating pain and turmoil throughout my lifetime.

It isn’t because I have lived a perfect life, not even close. If He only loved people who were perfect, there would only be one in the entire history of this world that could claim His love. I think that not only has God’s love been an innate part of me, but I think that I have been blessed with the specific men that have been in my life. Let me explain that a little further.

I truly believe that every child begins to form a view of Heavenly Father through the relationship with their earthly father. It is the most basic way to take something imperceptible and making it discernible. It is an unequivocal fact that I am a daddy’s girl. I was blessed with a dad that gave me an accurate view into the very nature and heart of my Heavenly Father. No matter what mistakes I made or how bad I screwed up, I always knew that my dad would still love me. He might be extremely angry or disappointed, but that didn’t change the fact that he loved me. I could even tell him that I hated him (which I am positive I did, sorry Dad) and he still loved me. He was always there patiently waiting when I was done throwing a tantrum to listen and then help me understand and figure out what needed to happen next. His love was (and still is) consistent.

With a few exceptions, my bishoprics and Stake presidencies have also had a hand in helping me to truly understand the love of Heavenly Father. Through these incredible men, I was able to grasp the cleansing power of the Atonement. What an amazing gift that is beyond description! I am able to approach my Heavenly Father because of the Atonement. I have the opportunity to continuously try again no matter how many times it takes. It is sometimes the only beacon of hope that I can see. I am learning to love others more unselfishly. I am learning to not judge. I am learning that there is only One that can truly fix me.

My male friends and dating experiences (as weird as it may sound) have also helped me to realize the deep love my Heavenly Father has for each of us. One of my favorite beliefs about dating is that the Lord will never put anyone in my life that ends up not staying there and expect me to accept something less the next time. As I look back, I know just how true it is. From every single guy I have dated, I have learned something new about myself which has helped me learn what I need in a spouse and what really isn’t that important (this will have to be a whole blog in and of itself). Every guy has been better . . . that is better for me. My guy friends have set a high bar for what I do expect. They have loved me so unconditionally and been there to take care of me. I have had a lifetime of guy friends that taught me what I deserve and what I shouldn’t accept.

Although this doesn’t even touch all that I have been thinking about, nor does it even come close to the complexities of my thought process, it does get down in writing some of the things that I hold closest to my heart. I will have to sit down and blog more about the last paragraph another day.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Diarrhea of the mouth, constipation of the brain

I consider myself a fairly patient person. There isn’t much that I let grate on my nerves. If allowed, I believe that one could cause themselves undue stress which unchecked could result in serious medical problems. When it comes right down to it, I just don’t thrive on drama and so I tend to be easy going. Not that I am a push-over by any means, but most things don’t tend to be so life-or-death as the over-reaction by many people would have us believe it is.

Forgot something at the store. No worries. The store is not going to disappear. If it is important I almost guarantee that the car still runs and, given it is inconvenient, another trip can be made.

Asked for medium rare and they brought out well done. No worries. Calmly explained and it can be replaced typically with a reduction in the bill at the end of the meal. If it can’t be replaced because it was cooked at home, it will do no one involved any good to get angry or upset, nor will it fix the problem (actually it would make it worse) so enjoy the company and use lots of steak sauce to add some moisture and flavor.

I know that there are so many things that can go wrong or produce unwanted results (the ones I listed were mild I realize), but really what is helpful about staging a dramatic scene?

So what does this have to do with the price of rice in China? Nothing actually, but I do have a point. There was a situation last night.

Yes, I was in institute which is probably one of the only reasons that I didn’t swear (at least not out loud). See I look forward to this class every week. The teacher is amazing. I soak in every word like a dry sponge and walk out feeling that I have gained incredible amounts of knowledge and enlightenment. I thoroughly enjoy the intellectual stimulation and spiritual uplift.

Let me start out by admitting that I am more guilty than most for whispering during class or a meeting, but it is typically a (by that I mean one) comment or answer a (by that I mean one) question. I don’t however come in, sit in a very populated area of the classroom and proceed to carry on a full blown conversation for the entire 90 minute class! Sure they were whispering but it was still loud enough for the whole row in front of them to intermittently turn to look at them with scowls, the row behind us to perpetually make comments about the rudeness of talking while someone was trying to listen to the speaker, and for all of us on the same row to continually fidget to get further away from them.

Either they were completely ignorant or just plain stupid, but none of that clued them into the fact that they were interrupting and annoying everyone around them. Due to the fact that they were sitting right next to me, I heard a large portion of their conversation. The false doctrine being shared between them was astounding. It was no wonder that the comment after the closing prayer dropped my chin to the floor . . . “I love coming to institute. I always get so much revelation while I am here.” Honestly! Don’t you realize that in order to get personal revelation you have to shut your pie hole long enough to listen to the Spirit?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy first day of Fall.

Winter is not a favorite of mine, but Fall is delightful!

Monday, September 14, 2009

I will not live my whole life without real adventures to call my own

As of tomorrow, I have been blogging for five years. Astounding how quickly that time can pass and yet still have so much happen!

I still read the blog that got me started. Honestly, on that blog I have read every entry from start to current on multiple occasions and quite frequently I randomly peruse archived entries. It is brilliantly written. There have been entries that have made me laugh so hard that my sides hurt all the way to some that have brought me to tears. Thank you for teaching me, for continually inspiring me!

In these five years I figure that I have read over 180 books. They have been books of my own choosing in a wide spectrum of genres. In this last week I have finished two books both of which contained no plot, no storyline at all actually, but read more along the lines of textbooks. I am thirsty for knowledge and understanding and have learned that there is much insight to be gained through books. However, I do read more often than not for pure pleasure and so my book shelves are full of nonfiction. My dream house has a library. My book collecting began a long, long time ago. I am always up for suggestions of good books . . . hint, hint. The book that can currently be found in my hands is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. Sometimes the classics just call my name.

My passport has been used, but not as frequently as I would like. I have been on two cruises, both of which were highly entertaining and a new-found favorite way to travel. I have been to Moab on our annual trip for all five years. I have been to Hawaii twice. I don’t think that I could even begin to list everywhere I have visited within the continental United States . . . but that is mostly because I don’t remember. However there is the can’t-be-forgotten trip to New Orleans to watch the Sugar Bowl and see Utah turn the Crimson Tide into a wave-free kiddy pool.

During this time my membership records were changed after 11 years of being in the same student ward to my home ward. That was a huge, challenging change in my life, but one I have found to be rewarding. In the five years I went from Temple Chair and teaching the Temple prep class to Family Home Evening Co-chair to teaching Gospel Doctrine and have finally settled in for the last three years as First Councilor in the Stake Relief Society Presidency while also teaching the fourth Sunday in my ward Relief Society. I have also had the opportunity to participate in a session in 17 different temples.

I have watched countless friends get married and start their families. If I think that counting the places I have visited would be hard, numbering the amount of bridal/baby showers I have been to would be even harder. I even fell in love twice which is unusual for me since it has only happened three times total. I have gained a brother-in-law, two nieces, two nephews and there is a new one on the way.

There have been hard moments also. There were a couple of divorces in the family and a couple of divorces that friends have gone through. My mom gave us a scare and had to have bypass surgery (which I never would have made it through that without completely breaking down without the constant support and love from an amazing friend . . . thank you sweetheart, I will never forget that). Not to be outdone, one of my nephews was born early and had to be kept in NICU for almost his first two months of life, Dad went in for replacement hip surgery and I went in for my very first mammogram (not that they really compare to emergency heart surgery, but hey they seemed big to us).

Let’s not forget (and this isn’t a complete list) that I have also re-done my entire house, had three different roommates, went skydiving, scuba diving, zip lining through the jungle, wrestled, hiked, biked, camped, cheered, played, met goals, had five birthdays, wrote letters, attended plays, traveled, worked, failed miserably, made huge mistakes, sinned, repented, had a couple of broken hearts, learned to love deeper than I even knew existed, hugged, talked, wiped tears, kissed, worried about finances, sworn, made new friends, attended funerals, disappointed and hurt people I love including myself, laughed, cried, felt completely alone, prayed, fasted, read . . . . lived life!

Friday, September 11, 2009

“Basically, the only thing we need is a hand that rests on our own, that wishes it well, that sometimes guides us.” - Hector Bianciotti

It is hard to believe that it has been eight years since the tragic occurrence in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania. Although we all tend to remember where we were when monumental events happen, this particular one will always stick out as one of the most memorable for me. Where was I? I was at home in front of the mirror putting on my make up getting ready for work when the first of many phone calls began to ring. However it wasn’t where I was, but where I had just been that made this extremely real for me (it also had a lot to do with why my phone was ringing off the hook all day long with people concerned about my whereabouts).

I had just returned from a week-long vacation to New York the day before. Only two days before the towers fell I had patted the side of those buildings and then to the embarrassment of those with me and the astonishment of New York business professionals, I laid down on the sidewalk next to them just so I could look up and enjoy their vertical feat. We then hopped on a ferry for a short ride. We climbed every last step until we were able to view the city from the very crown of Lady Liberty herself. We would be some of the very last to be able to do that climb for years to come. It all still seems a bit surreal to me even after all this time.

I will forever be grateful to our military and their families for their sacrifice for our freedom and our security. They enable us to get back to feeling the safety of living in this country and help others try to achieve that same goal in other lands.

God bless America!

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present

Due to the lack of time and the fact that I typically only have myself to feed, I don’t spend a lot of time in the kitchen and I forget how much I enjoy cooking. I have been spending more time lately playing around with different food items and broadening my menu creativity. A benefit of only cooking for myself is that if I totally botch up making something new, cold cereal and a good laugh always work for dinner for me.

My thoughts about recipes are that they are a great beginning point. I don’t think that I know how to follow a recipe to the ingredient or the measurement. The closest that I get to actually following a recipe is when I make cookies, but even then measurements change (they never have enough vanilla for one). The main ingredients always need to be there or I would end up making something completely different than intended. However the other ingredients are definitely up to my discretion as to how I think that it will taste the best.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

I need for you to pretend we’re having a scintillating conversation and you are wildly entertained

Starting last week, institute once again commenced. I am thrilled that Brother Wilcox is again teaching the class. It will be his last class since he is retiring in January. It will be my last class since those are the rules.

He is teaching the Book of Revelation. In the short two weeks, my eyes have been opened to some delightfully incredible knowledge. I am honestly in awe of the vast amount of insight that he has when it comes to the scriptures and the gospel. He is one of those people that I would love to have unlimited amounts of time to sit and pick his brain. Needless to say, I am extremely excited for the rest of the semester. I know it will be just as enriching as it has already been.

There could be one issue. I suppose that this guy missed the permanent tattoo on my forehead that has evidentially been there since I was as of dating age. I have never seen said tattoo as it only seems to be visible to the male gender, but I am fairly positive what it says. I know that there are only two types of men that ignore the tat.


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