Friday, April 4, 2014

did ya know


Its true, i am engaged


Pretty images by Tavis Johnson Photography.  

Saturday, February 1, 2014

on wearing clothes.

ive had a repeated thought.


maybe everyone experiences this to some degree, maybe others are smarter than I and bypass it--
but some time when i was a teenager it took me some time, some experiences before i realized it is not COOL to cuss.
do you remember this?

it took me some time to realize that drinking actually isn't cool at all.  it's many other things.

it has taken me more years than i would like, to realize that sex isn't cool.  it's scared.  and it is really something i still have to work on to know that sex, intimacy, or anything physical at all, is not where my worth comes from.

it took me some time to realize that it really isn't better or cool or more sexy to dress immodestly.  i began dressing more and more modestly as i investigated the church and became a member.  i didn't dress that way as a teenager.  i wasn't a bad girl, but i didn't dress modestly.  and i got attention for my legs or abs from being athletic.  and that felt good. i felt like my hard work paid off on my body, and i was proud to like my body.
then as i became a member, i didn't quite understand modesty or the reasons why it was important, but i did it anyway.  i tried to be as obedient as i knew how to be.

and i just realized something this month--
sex, my body, my feelings of self worth, the way men express love, my insecurities, my natural comfort level---are all a little bit messed up from my experiences in the past.

they are messed up.  i can read books and talk logically about how i know its messed up, but it doesn't change that it is.  so im working on that.

and i think andy is the best thing for me.
for literally the first time in my life, i don't feel like my man wants a girl with big boobs.
i don't feel like my man is wishing i looked different.
i don't feel like he wishes my skirt was shorter, or my top cut lower.
i KNOW he likes when i am modest.
when im not showing too much skin.

i adore this about andy.  he likes me most with less make up, clothed right, simple hairstyles.  i don't have to look like a celebrity/porn star to get my mans attention.
whew.
i honestly have not felt that way before with other men.
and how grateful i am for andy.  what a good man i have.

and honestly it feels like the weirdest (and most awesome) thing.
when i am getting ready to go see him, i never feel like i have to try to win his love by showing off my body. i actually am more conscious about NOT being immodest because i know he prefers it.  and i love that.
  he loves me just the same in sweats and a tee.


so finally, after 27 years. i am beginning to see how i dress, differently.
my sisters tease me that i dress like a grandma.
and yes i wear sleeves on everything. and nothing is lacey see through.
and nothing is too short on my belly or legs.
and i feel better!
i feel more beautiful.
i feel better about myself.
i feel like im loved for me and not for what my body looks like.

i feel like a womans value increases as she dresses appropriately.
we don't have to unconsciously beg for love or attention or acceptance by showing skin.


and if men in our lives don't love that.  drop em. find someone that respects and loves that you are modest and beautiful for so many other reasons.





Sunday, January 5, 2014

my one big goal for 2014

well..
this is the time of year to contemplate change and improvement and fresh beginnings.
but i have been muling these type of thoughts over for a couple months and have tried in a couple different ways to invoke change but to little success i feel.

i spent the first half of 2013 in one relationship, and the last half of 2013 in another. 
2013 for me held a lot of anxiety.
a lot going on in my head.
and a lot of personal growth internally for me.
i feel stronger from the experiences ive had.

in the middle of the year, i spent several months serving in a calling that required a lot of my time and energy, a lot of my heart and love.  and it was probably one of the most rewarding and definitely the most spiritual times of my life.  i know that a mantle, a power, a strength was placed on me during that time in that calling.  i had the Spirit with me in a way, a strength, that i've never felt before.  it was remarkable.  i felt like i was constantly seeking to know what the Lord's will was, then went and did it.  
this may sound like a boast, but i don't mean it in that way at all.
i was just willing to be an instrument. thats all.
everything i did and said, the work that was done--was all Him.
he led me.
it was the best feeling in the world.

the beginning part of the year, i was wrapped up in some big problems.
i have been in 2 serious relationships where the men were pornography addicts and last year, i finally found myself attending the Church's 12 step program for wives/families of addicts.  
it was one of the best, scariest, most painful, and most rewarding experiences ive ever had.
the Spirit in those meetings is only comparable to that of the temple.  i became close to the women i met there and learned what it really means to edify one another.
there i learned SO MUCH.
so much about myself.
so much about the pain others carry.
so much about addiction and the sweet men that struggle.
so much about my Savior.
i finally began to heal internally.

i learned COMPASSION for what i felt like was the first time.
i would look at people i knew, strangers, people that annoyed me—and i knew they too struggled with insecurities of their own, they too surely had quiet things that pained them
and i felt love.
i wanted to help people. i wanted to take everyones pain away.
i had true compassion on people.
i judged people so much less during that time.
i saw people differently.. i began to see them more like Heavenly Father must see them

following my calling, i felt prompted to move.  6 months ago i moved to Farmington, Utah.
an adorable, pretty small town.  i truly love this quiet town. 
its a safe little wedge cradled against the mountains here.
i found myself, here, in a spiritual lull though.  
i'm trying to think of all the reasons why i got myself into this rut, and perhaps there are many.
one thing i thought of today was that ive stopped writing on this blog.
writing here is not for the purpose anyone elses benefit but for time to reflect. time to document what i learn and experience.  a place for my thoughts.  
in my patriarchal blessing, there is a line that ive considered often concerning taking quiet time to be alone to ponder.  
writing does that for me.

so in effort to lift myself out my lull,
im going to write more.

i have a list of other things i want to do and try as well, but this is a big one that i want to commit to.


today in sacrament meeting, a gentleman got up and spoke about how awesome it is to be perfect with scripture study 7 days week, but that its also ok to only find yourself reading 5 times a week but still trying for 7.
i looked around the room.
i chose not to take the sacrament today.
i've repeatedly made mistakes and felt i had repented but obviously not.
i keep thinking in my head about what i can do to really change.  i know i want to.
its not a matter of will. its a matter of what will motivate me. 
nothing precious enough has been taken away..
so i didn't partake of the sacrament.
something very sacred and meaningful to me.  
something i truly don't take lightly, despite my previous actions.
as i scanned the crowd, i knew no one very well.
a bunch of strangers, giggling and passing notes. 
i was happy to be in the right place, but felt disconnected.
like the weeks, months before—i sat there telling myself 'somethings gotta change'..what should i do…i made a mental list and resolve to be better at x, y, z…
and the thought came to me to get up and DO something.  
start now.

so i walked up to the pulpit.
its fast sunday, so this was appropriate haha.
but i went up and said something along these lines:

jeff spoke about something that reminded me of a great lesson i've learned. i feel like im the one jeff was speaking about. the one that reads 5 days a week, but somehow, despite all my desires and efforts, i can't get 7 days in for the life of me. life hasn't been perfect or easy the past couple of months, and it shouldn't be.  i don't know why i ever expect it to be.  but i've been sorely imperfect.  ive been incomplete.  ive fallen short.  ive made mistakes.  but i wont stop trying.
i never will stop trying.
my testimony, even though i struggle to always be obedient, is steadfast. and it is immovable.
i may fall down.
but i will ALWAYS get up again.
i know that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true.
and how grateful i am to have truth in my life.
i know so many that do not, and my heart aches for them.
many years ago, when i was a recent convert, i asked my bishop "how do i prevent the spiritual highs and lows in life??" i just wanted to consistently, always be awesome.  he didn't give me much of an answer but left it up to me to figure out.  it wasn't until about 2 years ago that i think i figured out the answer.  it is: continued repentance.  DAILY repentance.  immediate repentance.   there must be an Uchtdorf analogy of the airplane, but if we DAILY are correcting our course— realigning often with God, then we will never get so far off.  
this consistency is important.  
i knew this.
i learned it.
and i still got myself off course, because i didn't take action.
i didn't work on it.
and like changing any of our bad habits or personal weaknesses, it is really hard to control.
but if daily, i realign myself through repentance, i have no doubt i can improve myself and my situation.

so instead of feeling overwhelmed by new years resolutions to be a super human, im going to commit to quick and continued repentance when i do fall short this year.   i will never stop trying.  
this is my number one goal for 2014.  


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"Do material possessions make us happy and grateful? Perhaps momentarily. However, those things which provide deep and lasting happiness and gratitude are the things which money cannot buy: our families, the gospel, good friends, our health, our abilities, the love we receive from those around us." - Thomas S. Monson

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

give.

"There is a serious need for the charity that gives attention to those who are unnoticed, hope to those who are discouraged, aid to those who are afflicted. True charity is love in action. The need for charity is everywhere." - Thomas S. Monson

Saturday, November 30, 2013

gratitude give me

a thought i recently had…

Why would God bless you
if you have not noticed, or been appreciative of,
blessings that he has already given you?


you and i wouldn't keep giving awesome gifts to someone that threw them aside or took them for granted… right?

it seems there is power behind being grateful.
i have so much i need to be more grateful for.

life is good.

Friday, November 8, 2013

over.

during institute this week we spoke for some time about preparing ourselves. for trials, for marriage, for when the Savior comes, for death, etc.

when we spoke of death, we talked about things we would do before we passed on. on my piece of paper i wrote, express love to all of people i needed and wanted to. my family, my close friends. perhaps individual letters.

and then the teacher mentioned something very interesting and important.
so often our perspective of death--we want for ourselves and others for it to pass very quickly. some people say, they just randomly don't want to wake up one day.   right?
and this is because of our fear of PAIN right?
perhaps pain isn't the worst thing in the world?
maybe?
the teacher said, what a blessing it is for those of us who get a warning.   for those of us who get sick, for those of us who get injured and get some time.
TIME to do those things we want to do last minute.
time to say goodbye.
to kiss and hug and express love.

i've never thought of it that way before...

what a blessing.
what a gracious God.


if being afraid is a crime,
we hang side by side

Monday, November 4, 2013

home.


“I want you to tell me about every person you've ever been in love with. Tell me why you loved them, then tell me why they loved you. Tell me about a day in your life you didn't think you’d live through. Tell me what the word “home” means to you and tell me in a way that I’ll know your mothers name just by the way you describe your bed room when you were 8. See, I wanna know the first time you felt the weight of hate and if that day still trembles beneath your bones. Do you kiss your friends on the cheek? Do you think that anger is a sincere emotion or just the timid motion of a fragile heart trying to beat away its pain? See, I wanna know what you think of your first name. And if you often lie awake at night and imagine your mothers joy when she spoke it for the very first time. I want you tell me all the ways you've been unkind. Tell me all the ways you've been cruel.Do you believe that Mary was really a virgin? Do you believe that Moses really parted the sea? And if you don’t believe in miracles, tell me, how would you explain the miracle of my life to me? And for all the times you've knelt before the temple of yourself, have the prayers you've asked come true? And if they didn't did you feel denied? And if you felt denied, denied by who[m]? I wanna know what you see when you look in the mirror on a day you’re feeling good. I wanna know what you see in the mirror on a day a day you’re feeling bad. I wanna know the first person who ever taught you your beauty could ever be reflected on a lousy piece of glass. If you ever reach enlightenment, will you remember how to laugh? Have you ever been a song? See, I wanna know more than what you do for a living. I wanna know how much of your life you spend just giving. And if you love yourself enough to also receive sometimes. I wanna know if you bleed sometimes through other people’s wounds. And if you dream sometimes that this life is just a balloon that if you wanted to you could pop—but you never would because you’d never want it to stop.”
― Andrea Gibson


i ate the last of my girl scout cookie stash tonight.
and despite how dreadful that truly is,
i am grateful my heart could love someone so wonderfully.
from the deepest parts of my desires. i want to know what he thinks.
i want to know what he dislikes, what he worries about, what makes him happy.
i want to hear all of his memories and hear his voice.
i want to trace his hand writing and laugh over exaggerated stories.
i want to cry with him and ache for his pains.
i want to shelter him and protect him.
i want to make him lunches with his name on it with a treat inside.
i want to love him every single day.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

what material i have

I tried to calculate today, how much time I would count as "wasted" in a given day in my life..


"Today is here.  I will start with a smile, and resolve to be agreeable.  I will not critisize.  I refuse to waste my valuable time.
Today has one thing in which I know I am equal with others--- Time.  All of us draw the same salary in seconds, minutes, hours-- 24 Golden Hours each day.
Today I will not waste my time, because the minutes I wasted yesterday are as lost as a vanished thought. 
Today I refuse to spend time worrying about what might happen.  I am going to spend my time making things happen. 
Today I am determined to study to improve myself, for tomorrow I may be wanted, and I must not be found lacking.
Today I am determined to do things I should do. I firmly resolve to stop doing the things I should not do.
Today I begin by doing and not wasting time.  In one week I will be miles beyond the person I am today.
Today I will not imagine what I would do if things were different. They are not different. I will make a success with what material I have.
Today I will stop saying 'If i had time', for I never will 'find time' for anything-- if I want time I must take it.
Today I will act toward other people as though this might be my last day on earth. I will not wait for tomorrow. Tomorrow never comes."
-john longden