For my post today I wanted to post something I drew from my feelings and thoughts today. Many times we feel alone in our lives, we feel like we are a one man army, fighting all of our struggles, problems, temptations, weaknesses and opposition alone (weather it be people, standing alone in our standards, peer pressure etc.). So, today, that is how I felt. I felt so weighed down with everything and so different and so alone in my standards. I was feeling like I was a one man army, fighting a whole huge army by myself. In this picture, there is a girl in the left hand top corner who seems to be crying or sad.. something. You see the little bubbles coming her head meaning this is what she is thinking of/feeling. In the picture, the soldier girl is the girl in the left hand corner. She is alone, facing this huge (what is meant to be huge) army by herself, she is fighting the battle by herself. All the people that stood with her are fighting their own battles or gave into fear, peer pressure and followed the crowd, deciding to join the other side (symbolizing another of her pains. Standing alone in what she believes or does or does not do). The girl sticks to her guns and is by herself. Almost. As is apparent there is a dog by her. For many years, I have had a German Shepherd named Simba (sadly he could not join us in Ecuador) Simba, like all dogs showed perfect, undying love to me. He never left me, he calmed me when I was sad, he licked my face when I cried, forgave me when I yelled at or neglected him, he showed pure love. Well, while this dog also represents my faithful dog he also represents God. God never leaves me. He never leaves us. He sticks with us, always wants us to be happy, he will never follow the crowd, be against us, or leave us for gone. God shows us perfect love and never fails to show us his mercy and forgiveness when we forget him or disrespect him, he never forgets us, never leaves us and will always accept our sincere apologies. A couple more things. You probably can't see it, but, I drew a small, very light aura around the girl. The aura represents the light we each have inside, if you don't look close at my real paper you don't notice the aura, it goes overlooked and not seen. The army on the other side pays no attention to the girls aura, they only look at the outside. "She's alone. She's a girl. She has a dog with her, so what?" Yeah, haha so what. The light signifies that she has more to her than what is easily seen. What can be seen, the aura, is seen with the heart, by looking on the inside. The dog and the aura as well as the girl are all things that are overlooked and mistaken for weak and unable. Not true. With God and through him we can do all things. We can do anything we put our minds to and by using our full potential. The shield and the sword are the scriptures and prayer, keeping the commandments and doing what's right. Two more things, the dark figure at the top of the right hand corner is Satan. He leads all the opposition and confusion. He is the leader of the army the girl is fighting. He is perhaps one of the only people in that army that knows her true potential but will not let that knowlege get to the other's so as not to drop everything and run, he will not leave without putting up a fight. The helmet in the corner and dust trail were of those who once stood with her but chose a different path or left to join the other army. And finally, the reason the girl in the corner is sitting at the base of an oak tree is because an old oak tree is sort of symbolic, seen as wise, and so she is seeking this insight, this vision, this uplifting message or dream from the wise, meaning she is praying to God on a hill/mountain which is symbolic in the scriptures as Temple of the Lord, House of the Lord. So the girl is going to the Lord, praying to him, and she tells him how she feels and then she sees the dog in her dream, symbolic of him telling her he will not leave her. So, just remember next time you are going through something hard, God is always with you, he will not leave you, he will always forgive you and welcome you back, no matter what mistakes you make or how you've been feeling. He will always be there to help and to guide you. :) Have an awesome day, hope you enjoyed my picture/thought. YOU CAN DO IT!! Heavenly father will help you through whatever you are going through and in the end it will all be alright. He helped me through today, and I ended up having one of the best days I have had in a long time.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
I told you all I would do a follow up on my last post so here it is. MY LEG WAS COMPLETELY BETTER FOR MY GAME!!!! It gave me 0 problems. I was able to play my hardest without it hurting me and oh my goodness how thankful I was! What a blessing!! Put your trust in the lord and he will heal your leg!! haha Put your trust in the lord and he can help you with anything! That to me was amazing! I had faith but way back in the corners of my mind I thought, "It's not going to get better. I just have to accept that." And I did. I accepted it and I was willing to play anyway! I think that there were two parts to that. Even though I saw that my 'Accepting' it was a negative thing come to look at it now, I don't think it was. I think we have to accept ourselves first and accept our condition and submit cheerfully even if it is hard and then heavenly father will do the rest. When my brother had dengue, he never told us how bad it was until after. He said he almost died. He almost didn't make it. His platelet levels were just too low and he just knew he wasn't going to make it. But, after he said he stopped being scared or sad about it, worrying and upset, he said he accepted it, he trusted in the lord that he knew what he was doing and he accepted it. I think that was a lesson Josh was meant to learn. He said he accepted it, he accepted that maybe it was his time to go and that he had fulfilled his mission here on the earth and that it might be his time but that is was okay, that everything would be okay. Ladies and gentleman, Josh said that as he thought those things to himself that is when he started to get better, that is when he made his full recovery. I believe that was the lesson I was meant to learn too. To accept things and trust in the lord. And look what that did! A full recovery. Maybe with some of you this is a lesson you need to learn also, but one thing I've learned also is that while this might be the lesson you need to learn, God isn't going to just take away what you're going through right away, maybe he isn't going to take it away at all. But that isn't because he doesn't love you, it is because he does love you and he wants you to learn and to grow and he wants you to become stronger. He is trying your patience to see if you will give in to the adversity or to see if you will bloom from your adversity. It's one or the other. It is completely your choice. But all the time what he hopes for is that you flourish and grow strong and bright. He doesn't want you to be crushed by the weights he wants you to become stronger by lifting them and using them to your advantage; to become stronger. In a gym, you do not not pick up the weights simply because they are heavy, you pick them up because they are heavy and because they will make you stronger (That's kind of the whole purpose of a gym). Think of it this way, maybe life is our gym and I think that's what I just learned. :) ”I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.” Ether 12:6
Monday, January 20, 2014
I'm just going to get straight to the point. TODAY ABSOLUTELY SUCKED! Just to be quite plain. Our girls soccer team has an upcoming tournament in Quito this weekend which I was and am so excited for but, all my excitement kind of diminished when I hurt my leg really bad. I'm pretty sure I pulled a muscle or over stretched a ham string but for any of you that play sports or do dance you know that playing hard and a sports injury or set back don't go comfortably together. So all the weekend I was trying to do hot and cold on it and take ibuprofen and anything I could to heal it as fast as possible (because there is no way in heck i want to be sitting on the bench the whole time) so I got there today feeling a lot better and then it started hurting again as soon as I had finished a couple laps around the field. You can imagine my utter joy. Joy. Not. I was sooo disappointed and so upset because I need to practice but how am I going to without a good leg to practice on? While that was all very distressing I had already been having some other problems, big small, a big dirty moth landing on my uniform shirt and getting it all muddy, and then of course the car running out of gas the minute my mom pulled in front of the school (At least she made it there instead of the highway) and having to wait for almost an hour and a half in the hot humid "Paradisaical" air. All just seemed to add to my frustration. Today, being somewhat discrete was what I would call a no good very bad day.
After coming home and moping for a couple hours and watching the news and all the problems going on in my country, from health care to super bowl play offs my mom finally decided that we should have family night. At first i really didn't want to and then finally I just gave in and listened. During our little family my mom had just opened the Liahona magazine and flipped through it to find a little story we could read and she stumbled upon the perfect one. One that had to do with dealing with adversity and the troubles of life. What a coincidence huh? (Not at all.) So as she was reading it, it talked about the stories of Job from the bible and that of Joseph Smith. Job, having been highly blessed by the lord, and a very righteous servant when he was put to the test. Satan had gone to God and told him let me take away all you have given him, surely then he will not be so righteous, but as we see is many times the case, Satan was wrong. Heavenly Father let Satan take away all of Job's things. Job lost his wife, his children died, he lost all of his possesions and he began to have a skin disease. All his "friends" told him that God was doing this to him because he was a wicked man and because he had wronged but of course he had not. He was one of God's most righteous, faithful servants. If then he was not wicked.. why had God let these things happen? Well, as it happened, Job stayed righteous and worshiped God, despite of all of his dispositions. He loved the lord and didn't turn away from him. He had turned an opportunity to turn bitter into an opportunity to grow and become stronger, and prove himself to the lord. For doing this he was blessed, and his dispositions or so we would see them, were no dispositions at all.
Next, we have the story of the Prophet Joseph Smith who was judged, persecuted, hated and tortured most of his life. One of the biggest events that we as Latter Day Saints hear about was the event in which he was taken to Liberty Jail in Missouri. A basement like room, stingy with dirt floors and no access to anything outside. Joseph pleaded with the lord to take him out of there, to avenge his enemies and those who had wronged him, taken him away from his wife and family and those who had persecuted him for doing what he knew to be right. Although that way would have been less painful and hard for Joseph, the lord did not take away his situation. He left it as it was. And for why? Why would he let his children suffer like that? Why would he let his own prophet, endure the harshness of the enemy that imprisoned him? In a talk many, many, many years later given by one of our prophets today, Elder Holland said that the prison Joseph was in had turned into a temple and a holy place instead of only a prison. How could that possibly be? It could be because the lord let Joseph suffer so that he could learn and grow, so that he could become stronger and receive inspirations and teachings that he might not otherwise get in the comfort of his warm home in the company of his warm, loving family. How could he have learned those lessons in such circumstances? He couldn't have. He had to go out and learn and see and feel for himself, to be softened and purified by fire so to speak. Crystals are not made beautiful by soaking in water or sitting in the nicely conditioned cave, they must be put through fire and chisled at to form the beautiful things we see in necklaces and in rings and in museums around the world. These diamonds are beautiful because of the heat and pressure they underwent to become that way.
Now, think of me. I left my home in Bountiful, Utah, where my family could come and rescue me (as I addressed last week) where I could have access to everything I needed whenever and wherever and did not have to worry about feeling like the odd one out. Sure I had trials but nothing like I have experienced here.This is a situation in which I am being formed and crafted into a diamond. Things may come my way in the future that I would not otherwise be able to stand were it not for these experiences. Today was horrible, but not for no reason. There were something I needed to learn.(obviously) This 'Liberty Jail' I was in today made me ask the lord "Why, why do you let these things happen to me? Why do you let me feel pain over, and over again. Why? Why? Why?" The answer can be found in D&C 121: 7-8 and 122: 7 Where they say: 1st one: 7." My son (daughter), peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;" 8. "And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes." (That could mean literal people or hard things) 7. "... And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if feirce winds become thine enemy.... know thou my son (daughter) that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good."
I learned today that no matter what happens, I just need to have faith and trust heavenly father that, everything that is happening will be for my good and that if i just have patience and do all my part and everything that I can he will help me and do the rest. 2 Nephi 25: 23 - "...for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do." I am going to keep trying and praying and hoping that my leg gets better but I have learned, Heavenly Father isn't going to take it away right away, there is something I need to learn first and I still need to do all that I can do, weather it be being positive or trying everything I can to heal my leg I need to do all I can do and then he will help me with the rest. I will write again soon and let you know how things turn out. :) Have a wonderful week and remember that we are all learning, we all make mistakes and we all go through these times, but, we will all most definitely be alright.
Sunday, January 5, 2014
Hello!! I am so sorry I didn't write sooner.. I was planning to write for Christmas but our family came to visit and I wasn't really thinking about the blog haha. So, here's a late Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!! We've kind of had a crazy month! The rains stared a couple weeks ago and there have been crickets! Tons of them, they fly and get in the house and eat fabric it's gross!! The cockroaches keep coming but more so, they are just disgusting and then to our surprise my brother found a small tarantula while so far we have seen no large spiders up to that point. Great. As I said my family came and that was the greatest Christmas gift ever! Seeing them and being able to be with them for a while.I really wasn't grateful for all the noise until we had to come here and it was almost always constantly quiet. All the while they were here I just felt so grateful to have a family. In Utah, I really took my family for granted. They were always there, it was just normal to have them around and to help. Many weeks everyone would just come over and hang out and eat dinner on Sundays after church, some weekends I babysat their kids and hung out at their houses. When I had problems at school there was always someone to pick me up or take me to McDonalds to get fries and have a breather if I had an anxiety attack. Josh was right down the hall and I could talk to him about anything whenever. If I needed a ride somewhere and my parents weren't around my grandma was just a call away and was always willing to give us a ride when we needed one. I took that for granted biiiig time. And now I am even more grateful than I ever could have been because I don't have that. Not having them here has done different things for me. One, it has obviously made me miss them, that's just a given. Two, I have become more grateful and now more fully recognize how generous everything they did for me was. I mean, two of my siblings have kids 4 and 5 kids but would load them in the car if we needed something or were having problems. My parents, my dad had his work but if I needed something he would come, my mom the same. My brother had his friends and homework but would let me tag along or put his homework on pause to talk to me. My grandma, she had her life also, her visiting teaching, her many other grandchildren who she always generously helps, she would also come to my rescue. Three, I have realized I had depended so much on others, I didn't have to be very patient because there was always someone or something to help which is probably why I developed such a bad habit of impatience and laziness. I never had to completely trust in the lord because I could always trust in other people. But that is thing, in life, we are not always going to have people around to help, (heavenly father on the other hand is ALWAYS there) to be at our beckon call. Being here I have had to learn more to rely on myself and on the lord. If I need something at noon and school doesn't end till two thrity well then gosh I'm going to have to be patient and wait till two thirty, praying that I will make it alright because we live about the distance of provo utah to bountiful utah away from my school and mom can't just come and drop something off real quick. No one has been forcing me to be patient or trust in heavenly father, but I have been learning if I want any peace or to feel any comfort at all I am going to need to trust in him and have patience or I might as well go crazy. As you can see, not having my family here has it's pro's and cons but what I have seen mostly is heavenly father knows what he is doing. He knew coming here would make me a better person, even if everyday was so hard inside and out, and I'm sure he has more planned. He knew that it would form and mold me into a better person, and I am already starting to see it. While I still have a ways to go, I am making progress, which is the point. This doing hard things has obviously been doing things for me. This feeling out of place and unsure feeling has caused me to change something about myself to adapt to it. What I am saying to all of you is that maybe, just maybe, coming out of your comfort zone and doing hard things is what is going to mold you into a better version of yourself. Not giving into the hard thing but learning from it and and manipulating it into a lesson and a great opportunity to do good, to become better is what i think, the purpose of all hard things. Wheather coming out of your comfort zone for you is talking to someone new and growing a better tolerance for others or trying to rely on yourself and the lord more instead of counting on other people to make you happy, because let's face it, that's not always going to work in your favor. Many of those kinds of things will not work in your favor and have not worked in mine. Being that it is a new year I plan to be better than I was last year, more kind, more patient, more trusting in the lord, more hard working and overall just improved. I wish the best to you and your goals and wish you again a Happy New Year:)