Sunday, March 10, 2013

Good Morning... Let the Stress Begin!

In February of 2008, My Grandpa Shelton got

very sick and when he was put in the hospital my family spontaneously left one night and drove from Colorado to Utah to visit him. As we were driving through American Fork Canyon (about ten minutes from my grandparents house) a deer ran across the road, and we hit it going sixty miles an hour. This caused 10,000 dollars worth of damage. Crisis!!! Right? If you would have asked us after it happened, we would have told you that we have very bad luck. In fact, problems continued after this... our car was going to take about a week to fix, and because my siblings and I had to get back to school we drove in a rental car back to Colorado, and my dad would come back to Utah the following weekend to pick up the car. Well... my dad came back, and drove the car for about 10 miles and discovered the problems had not all been fixed. He took it back to the repair shop, only to find out that it would another few days before it was fixed. So he went back to Colorado to work for a few days, and then traveled again to Utah. At the time, this trial was hard and seemed to never end. As we look back at the trial now, my dad has helped us see it differently. While, going back and forth was an exhausting task, it was time that he got to spend with his dad just before his passing a few months later in May. He has explained the experience as one of the tenderest of mercies in his life.  As I think back to this trial and other hard experiences in my life, I am reminded of a song...

By: Laura Story

We pray for blessings, we pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your word is not enough
And all the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not,
This is not our home
It's not our home

'Cause what if your blessings come through rain drops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

What if your mercies sometimes are in disguise? How do we learn to recognize them? Personally, I think we learn through experience. When I had to move from Utah to Colorado at 13, I was devastated and thought my life was over. And now, Colorado is one of my favorite places in the world. I experienced significant blessings, and lessons that I would have otherwise not learned. In my life some of my hardest moments have brought tender mercies.  This week in my family Relations class we learned about stress, and how to cope with it. We talked about how we learn through experience to change our perspective on how we think. 
At first, during the trial it might seem unbearable, unlucky, or perhaps you feel you are in a deep dark place where loneliness and despair seem to take hold of all you are. A thought to keep in mind, is that the stars are only seen in the dark of night. They're always there, but it takes darkness for them to become visible. That's the way I think life is. Sometimes it takes darkness for us to see the metaphorical stars in each of our lives... whether it be a good friend that gives you a call at just the right time, a shoulder to cry on, or the peace that comes through the Savior. Their are stars that fill each of our dark sky's if we only look and rely on their constant guide. Try not to be to hard on the changes that come... when we anticipate horrible things to happen before they do, we put ourselves through unnecessary misery. Believe in the light, and keep in mind that even the smallest of stars stand out in the darkest of nights.

P.S. Life is Good!

Friday, March 1, 2013

This thing called life...

Ahhhh life...what words can possibly describe it, Right? Whether your glass is half empty or half full today I would like to ease your mind, and if I'm lucky, perhaps I'll inspire you. I am learning so much during this time of life. I continue to discover how much fun college is, but I also am constantly reminded of how hard life can be. And knowing that life is only going to get harder causes me to question "How much can I actually handle?" I have come to know for myself, however, that the challenges help us appreciate the happy memories. If your conscience weighs heavy tonight, I remind you that happiness lies in our everyday life, if we will only choose to feel it.  Learning about the family here at BYU-Idaho has increased my understanding about the family system. I have recently finished a project about my family, and it has helped me gain an understanding of the deep impacts the home makes.

 I am thankful today for family. Being on my own, hundreds of miles away, I have found myself missing the very things that I couldn't wait to get away from. My family is loud, I forgot what quiet sounded like until I moved away. Sitting here, at this very moment, I miss the noise. I miss the laughter. I miss helping my mom make dinner. I miss watching my dad dance and hearing him talk like Donald Duck. (He likes to be silly) There is something about home. It's that one place where you don't have to be afraid of being yourself. It's familiar, and comfortable. And it's where you grow taller in more way than one.

Relationships are where we live our lives. What else matters if we don't have people around us to share the ride with? Thanks to my incredible parents I know what it means and feels like to love deeply. I love my family so very much, the flaws and all. If  you are feeling overwhelmed. If you aren't feeling good enough. If you have forgotten what happy feels like. Think back........... Remember the adventures yet? The time dads "short cut" turned out being twice as long as the suggested route. That day that laughing with your sister healed your broken heart. Can you see the flashback of mom holding you in her arms when you needed comfort the very most? Hold on to those moments. Let them be the reminder that in life we are never alone. Look through the old pictures, tell your parents you love them, be there for your siblings when they need you. Stop regretting the past, and live life more fully starting NOW. From a wise heart I have learned "You pile up enough tomorrows and you'll find you've collected a lot of empty yesterdays." Live life's adventures whatever they may be. Keep in mind, that the greatest adventures don't have to happen in some far off land. Just do simple things that make you laugh, and be sure it's with the people you love. One final word of advice, don't waste a single second!

"Enjoy the Little things in life...
for one day you'll look back on life and realize they were the big things." 

P.S. Life is good!

Friday, February 15, 2013

What is love?

"How do you know when you're in love? 
... All the songs make sense."

Yes! This blog is all about that four letter word that deep down we all want to hear, and yet, afraid to hear all at the same time. What is real love? Well... Love according to Webster’s dictionary is a “Warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion.” Responding to this question reminds me of a sweet experience I had a few weeks ago. I babysit for a family back in Colorado, and I love the kids with all my heart. Their oldest, Ady is 11. While talking with her one night after her younger siblings had gone to bed she asked me the question “What is true love?”

 At first, I immediately tried to avoid the question not knowing how in the world to answer it. After thinking about it though, I told her that true love is the cute little old couple holding hands while smiling and laughing in the park. After telling her that, a few weeks later I saw the picture at the top of this page. Maybe, I had gone a bit too ideal when I pictured the cute old couple as perfectly happy. Though I believe there are times when marriage is very happy. There are also many times that you won’t really like your spouse. I like how well the picture illustrates love. The old couple may not be walking in the park hand in hand; but they are there for each other side by side. And even though the old man is angry, he cares enough about his wife that her comfort is more important to him than his own. To me, that is real love. It’s love that lasted through all the ups and downs they surely faced. The statement that “He may not always like her, but will always lover her” puts love in its simplest form. Love can be described as a “warm attachment”. I also, however, believe that love is unconditional, deeply felt, and selfless. Gordon B. Hinckley states it best when he says “How sweet is the assurance, how comforting is the peace that come from the knowledge that if we marry right and live right, our relationship will continue, notwithstanding the certainty of death and the passage of time. Men may write love songs and sing them. They may yearn and hope and dream. But all of this will be only a romantic longing unless there is an exercise of authority that transcends the powers of time and death.” Love that can stand the test of time is true and real. That is why relationships in this life are so important; they are what stay with us beyond this life.

   According to Gary Chapman, “Our most basic emotional need is not to fall in love but to be genuinely loved by another”. He describes that “The kind of love requires effort and discipline” and also states the important note that “True love cannot begin until the in-love experience has run its course” He explains that “Once we return to the real world of human choice, we choose to be kind and generous, that is real love.” If we can truly learn to love, or better yet meet his/hers deep emotional needs to feel loved, “Then the love we share will be exciting beyond anything we ever felt when we were infatuated.” If you learn how to love your spouse using their love language, “You can make your efforts at love most productive.”
Also in class we learned the different kinds of love...

P.S. Life is Good!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

... And they lived Happily Forever After

"All because two people fell in love"

At home my mom has the above quote next to pictures of my siblings and I. After talking this week about family trends that are occurring in our society, it made me all the more grateful for the eternal family that I have been blessed with. 

We have been studying significant trends from delayed marriages, to the increase of births to unmarried women. We have talked about cohabitation, and how it has changed the patterns of intimate relationships. It was interesting to see that over the last few decades births to unmarried women have gone up almost every year beginning in 1960 up until 2007. Connecting the two, causes me to wonder how many births have occurred due to cohabitation? 

Through all that I have studied in this class, I have come to understand that although every family has some flaws, the gospel makes a difference in my family life. I was raised in a home where I always knew I was loved, and more importantly I knew that I was a child of God with a purpose. I don't think I would be the person I am today without that knowledge. And for me, I am grateful that my parents taught me how to live a happy life.


I have seen my parents go through the good times and bad, and they do it together. They have the kind of love for each other that I hope and dream I will have someday. It's through their love that I have learned what love is truly about. The real love. The kind of love that lasts forever. Families teach us to love deeply. And I am grateful that through my Heavenly Fathers plan, I can live with my family forever.

P.S. Life is good!