Monday, November 30, 2009

The Healers Art

I was ready to come home from class and write a lovely satirical blog post about the Daily Universe's report on the Max incident. I even had a perfectly sarcastic/witty/festive title.. "Deck the Hall". Get it. Deck like hit, hall like Maxy. Funny you gotta admit. So, why not write it, give my unbiased opinions, make great points? I have something better to say. Something better to express.

First a little background knowledge is needed. This week I'm going to declare my new major of...(drum roll)... Public Health. I'm taking the epidemiology route and learning all about diseases and epidemics. It makes me more excited than anything right now. The plan is to get a bachelors degree in Public Health than do an accelerated bachelors in nursing. Sounds like a good plan eh?

As I was sitting in my International Relations class today we started discussing the theories and reasons why various countries experience poverty. We talked about how the common population of the world does not have electricity, access to real a real sewer system, rule of law. Let me interject here, because it's my blog and I can, to say something. We are not the common man. Our lives here are anything but what the common man experiences. I have running water, electricity, a higher education, a car, more than enough food, and the comfort of knowing I'm safe. They do not. There is also something else I have that the common man across the world does not-access to medical assistance.

I'm not going to talk about Mr. Obama's health care plan right now. I believe health care is something everyone should have. I also believe it is not something that should be dictated by those who have no idea what goes into it. I do however believe that those blessed enough to have the means, and the education in health care should do all in their power to share it with those less fortunate.

In class we continued to talk about the diseases that are so rampant in these various countries. Diseases that we cure and treat on a daily basis here. Diseases the majority of Americans never even have to worry about. Diseases that have been conquered, that should not be around, especially to the extent that they are. Diseases that fascinate me. Diseases that when diagnosed affect the spirits of so many, diseases that when treated can have the same effect, in an opposite way.

And that was the moment that I decided.
I decided right then and there that I'm going to help people fight these diseases, and hopefully even on an international level.
I'm going to work with the children.
I'm going to cry a lot.
I'm going to pray a lot.
I'm not going to be wealthy, or famous, or a great leader.
I'm going to have my life changed by this desire.
And I'm so excited.

Friday, November 27, 2009

I <3 Thanksgiving

So, this month leading up to Thanksgiving has been the best ever. I've loved taking time each day to express my gratitude for some of the many blessings that are mine. I'd like to end my gratitude posting spree with this post today. I just want to express my gratitude once again for the things that mean the very most to me.

*The gospel of Jesus Christ and all it brings:

My Savior and the Atonement
The power of prayer
Eternal Families
The Scriptures
President Monson and the apostles
My Testimony

*My family, and the love I have for them:

Grandmas and Grandpas
The best Uncles and Aunts
The 5 girls that make up my "other" family
Dear friends
My ward family

*My life, and the opportunities I have:

My education
My desire for learning
My calling
To live in this country and have the freedoms I do
My health
My happiness
And the peace I have from the gospel

These are just a few. I find myself overwhelmed with the blessings my Father in Heaven has given me, and I want to encourage you to look at all you have to be grateful for as well. Not just now at Thanksgiving, but daily. I know I will strive to do that and that as I do, I will find happiness. Happy Thanksgiving!

PS-Mmmm I can feel the holiday magic in the air, and it is spectacular :)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Eve

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, well I guess technically it could be right now. The turkey is already very involved in the defrosting process, the house is very very clean, the tables are set up with table clothes all laid out and my stomach is very anxious for such delicious food. These are all just side dishes to the main event of Thanksgiving though-being together with those you love most and reflection on all of the blessings that are yours.

Tonight I'd like to express my gratitude for something that is very difficult to always be grateful for-Change.

I struggle with this one sometimes, but at the same time I love the idea that situations do not have to stay the same, and neither do we. Without change progression, achieving goals and becoming would be impossible. In my life the hope that tomorrow can be better, that I can do better at Chemistry, that I'm not stuck in any situation, that I can make more friends, set new goals and become what I want to are the things that bring me happiness.

And tonight it was the thought of change that made me smile.
The hope for something different.
The knowledge that I'm in control of some changes.
Hoping I can make those changes for the better bring more happiness.
And vowing to find the good in all change that seems "bad" on the surface.

So-here's to change, and the unknown excitement it can bring to my life. Who knows what the future holds? :)

Trick question: the answer is change

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Home and Hard Work

(my home last Christmas)

I was so grateful for home. I'm at the stage in life where I'm blessed to have two homes, and two familial groups. One with a mom and a dad and sisters; the other of just sisters. I love my little home of just sisters in Provo but I today that is not the home I wish to express gratitude for. Today I'm grateful for my real home, with my real family. One of Webster's definitions of home is : a place in which one's affections are centered. In more common lingo-home is where the heart is. The past few weeks have been filled with hard tests, papers, homework, social stresses, disagreements, cleaning check fiascoes, and not enough sleep. My thoughts would often drift to the Thanksgiving break when I would be able to really be home-not worrying about school or anything but relaxing and enjoying time with the ones I love, now is that time. I'm so grateful for the feeling that comes from being home. Its a distinct warm, content, comfortable feeling and today as I lay in my big bed in my basement bedroom I am grateful to be home.


Today and grateful for my ability to work hard. Last night I got this great idea that I clean out my entire room and rearrange the furniture. My room definitely needed a fung-shie face lift- I knew it would be hard, tiring, but very worth it. As I type this my entire room is clean, my laundry is done(not all folded yet though), and my furniture is rearranged. I'm grateful my parents taught me how to work, and that I've always had the ability to work. And today I'm grateful I was productive and put my ability to work hard to good use.

PS: Bonus gratitude for today. Many times I find some of my favorite songs while watching Grey's Anatomy. I love the music they use on that show. I listen to the lyrics and then google them later and listen to the song. Today I watched last week's Grey's and found my new favorite song. Snowfall by Ingrid Michaelson. Listen to it HERE. So grateful for the excitement that comes from finding new songs :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

My Best Bud Part 2: Abbie

Once upon a time I was a little 3 year old girl. I had a pixie hair-cut and thought I knew everything. I had one little sister so when Mom and Dad told me we were having a new baby coming to our family I desperately wanted a brother. Instead Heavenly Father in his infinite wisdom gave me Abbie, and I've been grateful ever since.

Abbie has a many great qualities about her. She is one of the kindest, friendliest, determined, people I know. She is an example to me of how to live my everyday life, how to be friends to all, and how to make the most of each day. There are so many things I love about this girl and here are a few I'd love to share.

Abbie makes friends easily because everyone loves being around her

Abbie has always had lots of friends, she is easy to get along with, very fun to be around, and very kind. She fiercely loves and defends her friends, even when they may not always deserve to be so loved. She sees the best in everyone of her friends, and in everyone. I love the way Abbie sees and treats others.

She's got spunk!

Mom and dad sometimes refer to her as the exclamation point at the end of our family. I LOVE it! From ghetto fabulous baby clothes, to her magenta sparkly eye liner Abbie is never afraid to try new things, get out there and experience life. I admire this so much. While others sit on the sides, terrified of what others think of them she does exactly what she wants to, and because she has the courage to do this everyone loves her!

Even though she is younger than me, she takes care of me.

Sometimes when I have bad days and I call home hoping to vent to the parentals I get Abbie on the phone, and she knows just what to say to make me feel better. She even lets me cry, holds my hand and tells me everything will be alright when I back into the garage. She makes me feel loved, and like a good person. She has such a gift for helping others see the good in themselves, and she especially does this for me. Thank you so much dear.

She is happy.

Rarely does she have pity parties, and even at her moodiest teenage stage she is usually very happy. I love her smile, it not only lights up the room but continues on to light up the whole block. She has always been this way and it's something I completely adore about her.

Her laugh.
The way she devours books now.
Her tender love for others.
Her love for church sports, I so admire this because it's something I don't really understand. :)
The dedication she has for her schoolwork.
Her picky eating.
Her sweet dancing, especially when we're in the car.
How she works on Personal Progress every week.

Abbie, you are one of the most beautiful people I've ever known, both outside and in. Please don't ever forget this. If you ever are feeling down remember that I love you so much, and would do anything in the world for you. Thanks for being patient with me when I think I know more than you do and get a little bossy, for making me laugh, and for always loving me. Oh and for never beating me at Disney Scene it. I love you girl! And will forever!

PS-I love that you want to be gangsta too! ;)

My Best Bud Part 1: Megan

I didn't mean to save the best for the end, but this post and the next one are two of the things I'm the very most grateful for.

One is Megan, and she is one of the two people that I love the most in this world. I truly believe that the three London girls loved each other so much in the pre-existence that God let us be sisters here on earth. Megan has a place in my heart that is just her own, as does Abbie, and those spots are two of the most tender. There isn't anything I wouldn't do for these 2 girls. There are many reasons why Megan is one of my best buds. She is the most tender, caring person I know. She never thinks of herself. She never sees someone who is hurt and does not stop to help. She never lets anyone be an outcast. She always loves me, even when I am far from being a good sister. She inspires, uplifts and encourages me. She is truly my hero.

Here are just a few things I love the most about her:

She loves easily and completely. Always.

She is an example, and doesn't know it.

Her eyes have watched me as the older sister for years, wanting to do what I do, thinking for some reason that I'm cool. Sometimes I think I failed as an example but she never sees that. What she doesn't realize is that while she was busy watching those older than she, I couldn't take my eyes off her. She makes me want to be kinder, nicer, better. She is an example I strive to emulate.

She gives her very possible best.
This is one of the famous Family Home Evening Lessons taught by her. Look how she goes all out, wearing a suit and tie and even having a picture of the prophet. One time she even created an "iron rod" for us complete with chairs as obstalces. I will never forget that lesson :)

Her little quirks.
Falling asleep anywhere, dressing up, having the volume of the radio on only numbers, lining up all her stuffed animals, shutting the pocket door, evening out the light switches, her love of star trek-all of the little things that make her my Megan. I love them.

She forgives me for my flaws, and forgets them.
She drinks diet coke like it's going out of style.
She gets excited about organizing music.
She scrapped the ice off my car windows when I was cold.
She reads the ends of books before the beginning.
She is beautiful but doesn't know it.
She is always there for me, no matter what.

No matter what, she will always be a sister. As Jo puts it sisterhood is a "bond even stronger than marriage" I don't know about that-I'm not married, but I know they mean more to me than anyone else in my life. Megan, wherever you go, whenever you feel lonely or like you're not good enough-think of me and know that to me you're the world. I love you.

Sneak Peak:Tomorrow, well I guess it's actually later today: Abbie

Friday, November 20, 2009


I know life does not end when our bodies die. I know that our spirits live on forever. I believe that those who die, are still very much involved in our lives. They can in fact watch over us, give us courage, and comfort when no one else in this world can. I love my angels. I feel them near. When I need someone, He send them to me, and for that I am more grateful than words can express.
Thanks for coming when I call.
I love you.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Good People Around the World

One of the things that gives me the greatest hope in my life is knowing that there are good, kind, helpful, caring people in the world everywhere. As I read the NY Times and see the headlines about Iran and North Korea's weapons of mass destruction, the bloody wars that plague Africa, the disagreements that cost thousands of lives in the middle east, the terrorists that are willing to give up their own lives in order to hurt others, global warming, H1N1, national health care, and so many issues it's very easy for me to get discouraged and worry about the future of our world, and this country which I have so much passion for. Then, something will happen that reminds me that there are good people out there, and that good will win out. Whether Catholic, Muslim, Mormon or Atheist; whether African American, Caucasian, Pacific Islander, Asian or Arab; whether a young child or a an elderly man and any in between; whether from Turkey, Norway, Iran, Somalia, or Mexico; whether a female or male-good people can be found in this world.

Today this hit me as I watched the documentary called "Pray the Devil Back to Hell". It is about war torn Liberia and how peace was eventually reached by a group of women who had were tired of violence, rape, and starvation characterizing their families lives. Their peaceful protests, movements and statements not only brought about peace but allowed for the first female president to be elected in Africa. I was touched with the fact that good people coming together can conqure complete evil.

One thing I know, is that no matter how bleak the world looks, there is always that gentleman that holds the door, the Wal-Mart greeter who makes you feel more than welcome, the child that waves to you as you walk to school, the airline steward who makes extra sure that you're ok, and the lady who smiles at you on a busy street. And that one day, when evil surrounds us at every corner it is going to be these good, kind people that make me realize that happiness and peace can still be found somewhere. So, I'm grateful for good people. And I'm inspired to be better.

Roommates, and My Apartment

This is something that is a little bit more difficult to be fully grateful for a times. It is very rare that my roommates and I see exactly eye-to-eye on every issue at the same time. Sometimes there are disagreements, sometimes there are problems, but always there is love.

Last night I arrived home to a distraught roommate. She had forgotten to turn the fridge back on the day before when she had cleaned it and she was upset. It totally could have happened to any of us, so I was not upset about that at all. I'm very far from perfect, and I'm very forgetful so it easily could have been me. The only problem was that as we glanced over at our fridge we saw a huge red puddle underneath it. We opened it to see that Popsicles in the freezer had melted all the way down into and all over the door of the fridge and all over the floor. My roommates and I looked at it, and then they walked away. The one who left the fridge off just went to bed, didn't even try to clean up the mess. So, I grabbed some cleaning supplies and got to work. When one of my other roommates realized what I was doing she grabbed a sponge and started to help. I was kind of angry, that the others would all just see the mess and assume someone else would take care of it but I was so grateful for the help I did receive.

Living with roommates is very hard at times, but very, very rewarding. I feel so blessed to live with these girls and the experiences we share and the things I learn because of it. I feel that it's the natural order of life to move out once you are done with high school, at least for the school year, because you learn things by living with other people that you wouldn't learn from just living with your family. I mean I've lived with them for 19 years, and while the dynamics change as we grow older and such, living with roommates is a completely different experience which I think has helped me mature and grow in amazing ways. Someday, I'll be able to live with a husband without going through the shock of not knowing how to live with someone else. There is a lot of compromise, thought and patience that goes into living with other people, and I'm so glad I'm learning these things.

So, even though it's rough sometimes, I dunno what I would do without these girls. I love them each so much! They make me smile when it's been a hard day, plan fun SPARK nights, are there when I need a hug, and so much more. I am very blessed to live with these girls that I do, I couldn't ask for better roommates. So yesterday, I was grateful for them.

Love you girls!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mickey Mouse Vision

Tuesday found me and Rach, one of my amazing roommates, on the road again heading northbound on I-15 to make a quick voyage to my home. Rach loves my family, and my family loves her so I know whenever she comes home with me that I should expect my sisters to admire her, ask her for help with their bibliography, and my mother to dote on her-I love sharing the family lovin' though! Yesterday was no different. Except it kinda was, because we had a special mission on this journey home-retrieve Christmas decorations! Well, and visit my sick mama... and hug my sisters, and pick up Chinese food for the fam and steal some cans for the ward can food drive. So I guess it was a many-mission voyage. Anyways we were successful on all our missions and even got to bring home left over Chinese and individual buntletts! (D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!) Then we headed home and began the Christmas/Cleaning frenzy that needed to take place. We cleaned the apartment for cleaning checks, while decorating for Christmas, oh and we rearranged the furniture. It was a very busy day. As we grew tired fuses began to run short on all ends, and stress took its toll, as did delirium a little bit! Which leads me to my gratitude of the day. We have these big paper lanterns that we hang from the corner but since we were moving the room around we had to move them too. So, as Gwen was hanging all six of them in a beautiful clump I kept seeing Micky Mouse in the shape of them. It was hilarious. Conversations like this ensued:
Gwen: "Does it look good here?"
Me: "It looks like Mickey Mouse."
Gwen: "Ok then I'll move it to here."
Me: "I still see Mickey Mouse"
Everyone: "Stop saying that!!"

But I couldn't help it. Well I could help saying it but not seeing it. And for that I am grateful.

Still confused? Allow me to make this long post even longer and explain.

There is a 30 Rock episode in which Mr. Donaghy says "Kenneth, I wish I could see the world through your eyes." And Kenneth responds that he is sure it's the same way everyone else sees it, but when the camera shows Kenneth's view everybody is a Muppet character.

Still confused? Hang in there I promise I'll get to the point in just a second.

When the camera showed the world through Mr. Donaghy's vision, everyone had different amounts of $ signs over their head.

Wait for it, wait for it.

I'm different that the Donaghys of the world. I see things are pure, innocent and happy. Some may say it's because I'm naive, other because I'm stupid. I prefer to believe that it is because I want to believe the best, see the best, and bring out the best of this world. I believe it makes things better, it makes me smile instead of get discouraged, it makes me feel like a child in the best possible way, and it lets me be myself-and oh so happy. I'll call it my Mickey Mouse Vision for now. Whatever people call it though, I'm grateful for it.

Monday, November 16, 2009

2 Day Special

Yesterday: Change. I'm grateful that people can change, that lives can change, that opinions, relationships and styles can change. I'm grateful that change helps us progress, that it can bring great happiness, and that it gives fresh starts!

Today: SLEEP! And my warm bed that I get that sleep in :) Some may say it's idle to sleep lots, and I've heard the old early to bed early to rise thing, but I just don't buy it. In fact I believe it should go like this:

"Late to sleep, late to rise makes a girl kinder, prettier and have thinner thighs"

Thats right! Plus-I gotta enjoy it while it lasts! Doubt I'll be able to do this my whole life!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

While You Were Sleeping

Today I'm having a hard time being grateful. I've been trying hard, trying to notice the little things but right at that moment something goes horribly wrong, tears are had, and my progress toward great gratitude is lost. I'm a determined girl so I try again, and sadly the thing keeps happening. Kinda like the directions on the shampoo-lather, rinse, repeat but more like, gratitude, disaster, repeat. It's exhausting. Don't get me wrong these disasters are not huge, horrible things-just small things that cause me to become discouraged. I'm very grateful they are not huge though, I am grateful for all that has not gone wrong today(safe driving from Provo, snow, a warm shower, that I didn't fall and break my neck)!
That is not the subject of this post though, and I only include it to let you fully understand why I am so grateful for a certain movie- While You Were Sleeping. Ever since I was a little girl that movie has had a place in my heart. It's always made me feel at home, comfortable, and better. It taught me that life doesn't always turn out like you plan it, to stay away from train tracks on Christmas day, that when mashed potatoes are very mashed it's acceptable to exclaim "These mashed potatoes are so creamy!" multiple times and that a great conversation can come from the question "If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?" Florance. Well not for me, for Lucy. London for me. (to start with) Anyways, no matter if I was sick, or sad, or bored, or lonely or whatever this movie always makes me feel better. So today, when I was not doing so well, and when I realized that I was not in fact happy, watching this movie was all that I wanted to do. So I did. And guess what, it is the thing that made me feel the most better today. It worked it's magic once again. So thanks mom for introducing me to the beauty of this movie years ago, today it helped again.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Alta Heights ward

Today I'm grateful for the Alta Heights ward. Some of the very best people in the entire world are a part of that ward and the affect they've had on my life is something I am truly grateful. There is the Sunday school teacher who made me love going to Sunday school. The primary children who taught me how easy it is to love. The young woman's leader who was in tune with the spirit to know when I was really struggling, and do something about it. There is the sweet sister who always loved to visit with me, and treated me as if I was her own granddaughter. The couple who showed constant love and taught me it's never too late to make things right. The girl who became a sister. The family who taught me that trials can be overcome. The woman who taught me how to live life to the fullest while losing hers. The young man who demonstrated the power of prayer. And the girl who taught me the evil of contention, and that prayer can solve anything.
And these are just a few.
I love you Alta Heights ward. I feel blessed to know everyone in that ward, and hope that you know of the love I have for you all.

My Tunes

My new favorite artist is Joshua Radin. Well he isn't new, but he is to my life, and oh how he has blessed it-especially in the song Sky where he is coupled with the woman I probably admire more than any other song-writer singer: Ingrid Michaelson. (No offense Tay Swift, but you're a whole other genre and you know you're my home-girl-bifl-know-every-secret-of-my-heart so please don't find offense-I'd hate to be the next 'Drew'.) Anyways, back to Ingrid. She has a hauntingly beautiful sound that brings automatic peace to my open, listening heart. Wow I should be a writer-note to self remember this epiphany when at the advisement center. She speaks to me in a way that no other song writer does. She remind me to "keep breathing" and expresses the fears of "what if I fall further than you? What if you dream of somebody new? What if I never let you in and chase you with a rolling pin, well what if I do?" and to "give up on half-empty glasses". Seriously, she is wonderful. If I could only listen to one singer, it may be her-don't quote me on that but check her out by clicking here.
Now back to Joshua Radin, I heard the song I'd Rather Be With You the other day and I'm completely head over heels in love listen to it here. And of course I have to share my love of the men who always bring calm to my life-The Fray. listen to one of my favorites here. And then there is Sara Bareillis, and Matt Nathanson and Kate Voegele and I'm stopping now. Oh except I have to mention Mat Kearney too. But Really. Now.
Anyways the reason this is my thankful thing today(Thursday- I know it's past midnight but I plan on being up till twoish studying so I'm counting it as Thursday still) is that it was a lame day. It was a sad day. There were tears. There were no phone calls answered when I wanted them, there was disagreements with people I love, and there was serious need of space at times. So, I went and studied for 4 hours and while I did I listened to my mix i like to call 'alternative dusk music' despite the fact that its not really alternative which includes all the artists I mentioned, and it made me feel ok. Then I came home and there were some arguments I didn't feel like having, and some judgements that were placed on me that made me angry and this led to a need for space and no place-except in my music. So, right now I sit with my headphones in and my mix back on, and I feel ok. I feel capable of remaining calm. I feel like I'm finding the space I need, in a way that still lets me accomplish my studying, except when I'm blogging.
So today I'm grateful for good, beautiful, uplifting, clean, peaceful, calm, hopeful, loving music that makes me feel good, in a grown-up choosing to get space and study instead of cause contention kind of way. In a peaceful you're ok kind of way. In a tomorrow is another day, and everything will work out kind of way. In a 'Nicole your life is tricky but you're capable and this gift of good music is from me to you to help you when you need it because you appreciate the wonder that is music and I love you' kind of way.
Needless to say, it's a very good feeling. The kind of feeling that makes me smile when there isn't as much to smile about.
Hope you enjoy it too. And that you smile :)
(now my studying time will be more around 3-wish me luck)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Country and our Troops

On this veterns day I find myself especially grateful for my country and those who sacrifice everything for the freedoms that I enjoy. All my life I've had a deep gratitude for this country and the principles it was fouded upon. I love America, and feel so grateful to be a citizen here. All of these freedoms I enjoy, value and love would not be mine without troops to fight for them and protect them however. In my religion class my professor told a story about a vetern he met a few years back. They were having a memorial for lots of troops in the area who fought in Vietnam. A certain vetern came to the memorial dressed in his uniform and informed my professor that it had been the best day of his life. Professor Freeman asked why and the vetern informed him that at the gas station and at the resturant he went to for breakfast people saw him in his uniform, asked him about, and thanked him for his service. He had waited 30 years to be thanked for his service, it was the very first time he had been thanked. I nearly cried upon hearing this story. So, let me do my part by saying to all veterns, no matter the conflict, no matter who was president, whether I agree on the issues, or who we were fighting, thank you for your service. Beacuase of you I enjoy the freedoms that I do, and I will never be able to express my gratitude enough.

Let Peace Then Still the Strife

Yesterday I found even grater gratitude for the gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm grateful everyday of my life to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and for the knowledge, faith, hope, understanding and peace that I've found because of this gospel.
Last night I found more gratitude for this gospel while studying my scriptures. I was listening to some of my church music while doing so and I came across a beautiful song by Mack Wilberg-it's part of his Requiem and is called Let Peace Then Still the Strife. It is beautiful, but the reason I love it is because it is a requiem. My Junior year of high school I spent hours learning about Requiems and rehearsing Mozart's famous requiem. Sung to honor someone who has died, a requiem can be a very spiritual arrangement of music. For Mozart it was one of great fear, anger and confusion though. Many musicians and historians believe he was writing his own Requiem, and the tone of the music expresses his feelings of the finality he believed death brought, and his confusion about it. It is an extraordinary work of music, but I always felt sad for Mozart and his perceived anger toward death. As I listen to the requiem Brother Wilberg has composed, especially this movement, I'm not filled with any of the feelings I had while singing Mozart's. I'm joyful, peaceful, and grateful for the knowledge that death is not scary but a beautiful and necessary step to return to my loving Father in heaven, a step that will bring peace everlasting.
I'm grateful I know that I can live in a way to "make the crossing forth joyful passing".
The knowledge that I have about this life, and what happens when it comes time for me to pass are miraculous things that impact every aspect of my life. I'm blessed to know that this life is not the end. I'm eternally grateful to know that once I pass here I keep living in a beautiful, peaceful state. I find peace in knowing that the relationships I cherish on this earth will not end, that the knowledge I gain will not be for just this life, and that the family I have and will have will be eternal in nature.
I know these things to be true, because I've learned them for myself. I love this gospel. I love the peace it brings to me everyday. I'm grateful for it more than I am grateful for any of my many other blessings. It means more to me than anything, and it has and will continue to sustain me through everything and shape me into the person I need to be.
"Let peace then still the strife, the loneliness and grief,
come heal the piercing silence of passing.
And sweet familiar strains, the voices lost in death,
arise in songs of hope everlasting.
Then let the voices roll as waves upon the sea;
come forth and break up on us,
And barren coves be filled-o're flowing reverie!
Let memory sable as Gilead's caressing.
And though the balm be spread, let tender rifts remain
that breaking hearts not yield to forgetting.
For hearts rent wide at death, unfolded to our dead
hear singing from beyond sunlight's
Then sing, beloved ones, reach o're the summer sea.
Pour forth thy boundless love for us living!
Sweep into every soul, make music of our tears,
turn all our songs to joy and thanksgiving!
And when we silent pass, from far across the sea
let praises ring for life's wondrous
Then sing ye living souls! Sing generations past,
swell high the tide of life, us refreshing!
Sing forth as with one voice, bear silent grief away,
resound with peace and hope everlasting!
And all who wait and sing, sing on from earth and heaven
and make our crossing forth joyful
-Mack Wilberg

Monday, November 9, 2009

Friend Near and Far

2 Emails, a text message, a cookie, a phone call and a facebook message were four signs that I have the best friends in the world. From here to New Zealand and all in between I'm grateful for everyone that I've been lucky enough to consider a friend. To my friends, thanks for putting up with all my flaws and loving me despite them. I'm so grateful for the influence you've had in my life. You've shaped me to become who I am today, and continue to every day. I LOVE each and everyone of you :)

PS-If you're not pictured please don't feel bad, this post can only be so long!