Sunday, November 29, 2009

Disappointments and Tender Mercies

What a crazy day it has been! I flew home today from my Thanksgiving visit with my family, and had many complications with the lovely air travel systems. I ended up missing my connecting flight from Vegas to Salt Lake and was stuck in the Vegas airport for a couple hours. Being surrounded by slot machines and overly well dressed people was not exactly my favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon. But I was able to find the Lord's hand in all of this, and learned a valuable lesson from the experience.

First of all, it cost much less to get another flight than I had expected. Second of all, I was able to get a ride home from a good friend rather than having to pay for the shuttle. And on top of that, on the drive home she and I had a really good talk, one that we have needed to have for quite some time. I don't think we would have had that if I hadn't had been late for my flight and had her pick me up. It was worth the $20 extra dollars I had to pay.

And when we touched down in Salt Lake, I looked out the window and got to see my beloved Wasatch Mountains. In the midst of a crazy, stressful day, the Lord still showed me that He cares about me. He helped me to find beauty in the midst of an ugly situation. He truly does know what is best for me, even when it is rather messy.

"For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee."
Isaiah 54:10

Monday, November 23, 2009


This year, I am grateful for my trials, for they are truly opportunities to become like Christ, and through them I have come to have His strength more powerfully in my life.

I am also grateful to go home to these wonderful people TOMORROW!

What are you grateful for?

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The blessing of work

Today I realized that going to my job is basically a party. I work with wonderful, loving people who make our labor enjoyable and satisfying. We talk, we laugh, we play, but we get the job done and create a place that is joyful for both customers and employees. How grateful I am for a workplace and coworkers that are so lovely!

"The promise of living with hope and thanksgiving is born of our loving our friends and our labor." -Horace Everett

How has work blessed your life?

Let it out

Today, I had a good talk with a friend. She allowed me to share my struggles, glory in my growth, and just feel. She encouraged me to stay with my feelings, as painful as some of them are, and work through them. Most people think I should suppress my feelings and that will make them magically go away, but this friend has taught me that in allowing myself to feel I work through them and am empowered by them. I am grateful for what this friend has taught me and how she has helped me to discover new things about myself.

How have your friends helped you?

Fall is here

Yesterday I wore a sweater and cute scarf, and I had chicken noodle soup for dinner. I felt that the world is truly beautiful.

What do you love about fall?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Who does she think she is?"

Today for my art theory class we watched a beautiful documentary titled "Who Does She Think She Is?" about artists who are mothers and their struggle to balance those two passions when society condemns it. At first I was nervous (again) because I strongly believe that the most important thing for a mother to do is to take care of her family, but again I learned that that there is a place for creation in motherhood.

One of the women was LDS and a BYU grad, and I think she was able to explain it all very well. She said that she had tried to live without making art, and she had gone crazy. She needed to create. And she said that making art was good for her family and her husband. I think that as these women express themselves - and take care of themselves - through art, it helps them to be better mothers. Of course, there needs to be balance in all things and priority given to what matters most, but creativity is necessary and good. Elder Uchtdorf taught us this truth in the 2008 Relief Society broadcast.

I am grateful for a church that understands this need to create! Of all the women in the documentary, the LDS one was the only one who had a husband that valued her artistic endeavors and stayed by her. I'm glad that there are others in the world who recognize the beauty and need for art in our world.

"I think our society today tends to qualify success as financial success, but...the biggest success is to have inner happiness with what you're doing and the people around you and that certainly happens when I create, whether it's been my kids or relationships in my family or int the studio, I think it's core. That's success - it's being happy with what you're doing." - Maya Torres

"But then I began to understand the power of living on purpose." - Angela Williams

Even though I am not an artist or a particularly creative person, these women left me feeling empowered. I feel that I have my own opportunities to create, which I will discover in time. I am going to live on purpose.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Today in my art theory class we talked about feminism. I had been afraid of discussing this topic because I have always had a negative prejudice towards it - angry women complaining about oppression and doing nothing other than being angry. The blessing of attending BYU is that after yesterday's discussion I have been able to reconcile feminism with teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. While there are, of course, extremes in feminism, I feel that there is a place for feminism and I am now able to understand that.

God sees men and women as different, yes. We have divinely appointed in specific roles. However, this doesn't make one gender superior to another; men and women are equal partners in this great journey of life. We both need each others' skills, perceptions and strengths to help us in our own weaknesses. As my Doctrine and Covenants teacher Brother Perkins explained, husbands preside in the priesthood with their wives as counselors. Wives preside in parenthood with their husbands as counselors. In both of these divine offices, both men and women have the opportunity to do the work of Jesus Christ, to better ourselves as we stand in His stead.

And so, what feminism means to me is to advocate a perception of women based on how God perceives us. Women have been, are now, and will be a powerful force for good in the world. Men need us, and we need men. We have been divinely appointed to teach and nurture, which is not an oppressive role, but a glorifying and exalting one! There is great satisfaction and joy in doing the work to which God has appointed us. Women are worth great thought and study.

One of my professors asked on her blog for readers to describe their favorite "femocentric" art work and explain why. Here is mine - the statue of Joseph and Emma Smith on Temple Square. (Unfortunately I do not know the name or sculptor.)

I'll admit that I am a bit biased in this because I absolutely love Emma Smith; she is my hero. But I love this work because it represents the perspective on women that I have just shared. This statue depicts Joseph giving Emma a coin as a symbol of how she is to direct the Relief Society in caring for the poor. In this way, it shows the power of good women. Her face is resolute, determined and eager to do the work God has asked of her. Both her husband and her God trust her to do great things, and she did do them. I feel that this work portrays both the equal importance and different roles of men and women in God's eyes. Here's another angle.

I just love it. How grateful I am for the gospel of Jesus Christ which opens my eyes and helps me to see.

Monday, November 2, 2009

A Long Pull

"But you see, Jo wasn't a heroine, she was only a struggling human girl like hundreds of others...It's highly virtuous to say we'll be good, but we can't do it all at once, and it takes a long pull, a strong pull..." - Louisa May Alcott

Sometimes I feel like I am battling all these little monsters inside of me. But the harder I fight, the better I get at it. These experiences are difficult, but I am truly grateful for them because they are opportunities to practice a Christlike attitude and love. I am so grateful for this gospel of transformation that changes my heart a little more each day. It is so wonderful to feel myself being changed by Him! I am so grateful that my Savior considered me worth Atoning for, even though I still have so much to learn and work on. I am grateful for opportunities each day to stretch a little taller and come a little closer to Christ. He is truly my friend.