Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My love's too big for you, my love.

Image found here.

What do you do when someone doesn't want you in their life anymore?

As my little sister wrote in her latest blog post, it can me take a long time to love someone. But once my heart is open, I am fiercely loyal. "You don't throw people away, Tasha," is how my mother explained it. Like my sister, I believe that my loyalty is somewhat inherent, but my mother has helped bring it out in me. She has taught me in words and examples how to mend awkward relationships and move past painful experiences to discover the beauty and nourishment of friendships. When I was in the moment, it seemed so much easier to leave difficult relationships behind and start on something new. But now some of those relationships that once were awkward are so nourishing and important in my life. I am deeply grateful that my mom taught me to hold on, for people are not garbage but eternal beings with limitless beautiful and potential.

But sometimes people make the decision for us. They want to let go of the relationship and move forward without looking back. They want to throw it all away.

And for me, that it is hard.

I was contemplating this the other day and feeling guilty for not being able to mend some relationships, when Ingrid Michaelson's "Sort of" came on my iPod. I was amazed that the lyrics fit my situation so perfectly.

Baby you've got the sort of laugh that waters me
And makes me grow tall and strong and proud and flattens me
I find you stunning, but you are running me down
My love's too big for you my love
My love's too big for you my love

It was like a light switch flipped on. The problem isn't with me; these people are just unwilling to receive what I have to offer. My love is too big for them - but at the same time, I don't feel like I should try to diminish it.

At times I wish I could be more like my sister, that I didn't attach so deeply because I end up getting hurt. But then the Spirit whispers that this is who I am, and there is nothing wrong with that.

God has guided me through this lifelong process of rejection. He has taught me how to be full of love but direct it down different paths. Just because some people do not want the love I have to offer doesn't mean that it is not needed elsewhere. I find that the more I learn to love the Lord and the people He has placed in my life, the more love I have for these people who have rejected me. It is a different kind of love, though. It is respectful and calm and patient. It recognizes that I do not have to be a part of someone's everyday life to still care about them and find ways to serve them. And it hopes that somehow in the course of the eternities, differences can be reconciled and our hearts can be knit together in the love of God.

Heavenly Father knows all about this. He has children who do not want Him in their lives. He faces rejection every day. And yet, He still loves those children perfectly, wholely. I feel that He
is teaching me in a small measure about His love - and let me tell you, it is breathtaking.

My love may be too big for you, but that's OK. Jesus Christ can help us make everything right again.

And He will, in His own due time.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Love Quotes? I do too.

That's why I'm starting a new blog where I'll share all of my favorite quotes. Check it out!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

More than the World

Sometimes my heart breaks when I look around and see that some people get to live all my dreams of going to Europe and being an EFY Counselor and doing all sorts of other fabulous things.

But then, I look at this

and remember that I am right where I need to be, that I have what matters most, and that I wouldn't change anything. My family is more important than any of those other things, and I have been blessed with the opportunity to strengthen my relationships with them this Spring.

My family means more than the world to me. I wouldn't trade them for anything. And you know what? I haven't.

People have told me how to be happy
But I find that their remedies are empty
These are my pearls, God's treasures unfurled
Mean more to this girl, More than the world
To me.
-Mindy Gledhill

Don't take your family for granted. Whether it is big or small, rich or poor, it is a precious gift from God. We can spend our lives wishing for something else, or we can put our hearts and souls into what Heavenly Father has handed us. It will not be easy, but if you follow the Lord's counsel in loving and strengthening your family, you will find joy beyond compare.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Why I Went Home for the Spring

My patriarchal blessing says that part of my mission in life is to serve youth. I’ve always assumed that I would fulfill part of that as an EFY counselor as soon as I could. But as we all know, the Lord plans things differently.

I was heartbroken that EFY didn’t work out this year. I am still not completely over it. But now as I end my spring at home and begin my summer back at BYU, I think I can see why the Lord had me come home for this short season.

My sister and I haven’t been close for the last couple years. She wears awesome thrift store dresses; I wear T-shirts and jeans. She listens to 80s records and underground bands; I love the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. She devours the works of Henry David Thoreau and Kurt Vonnegut, while I am content read “Little Women” over and over and over again. Yup, we've definitely had our differences.

Yet in the last 8 weeks, everything has changed.

When I came home for the Spring, Megan was ready and excited to spend time with me. And I was ready to do the same with her. We have both had personal issues to work out over the years that limited what we could give to each other. But now that we had each been strengthened and humbled, we recognized how much we had to learn from one another.

I am amazed at how much my sister has sacrificed for me. Whenever we’d drive together, instead of putting in her iPod like she did a couple years ago, she would let me pick the soundtrack. When I bought tickets to the midnight premiere of Toy Story 3, she agreed to go along with us even though all her friends were planning to go as well. When she could have been working or playing with her friends she took time off to spend time with me and the rest of her family. Some of her friends are annoyed that she hasn’t been with them as much, but I hope she finds comfort knowing that her sacrifice brings tears to my eyes. She has grown and matured so much; I am proud of the young woman she has become and look forward to watch her continue to grow into a woman of God.

If I had had my way, I would have spent this spring doing fabulous things to serve other youth, leading inspiring devotionals, being a good example, changing the kids’ lives. But Heavenly Father knew that at this moment, the youth I needed to serve was my dear sister.

How grateful I am for the Lord's influence in my life that has brought me to this beautiful relationship with my sister!

Our most important and powerful assignments are in the family. They are important because the family has the opportunity at the start of a child’s life to put feet firmly on the path home. Parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles are made more powerful guides and rescuers by the bonds of love that are the very nature of a family. - Henry B. Eyring

The Assurance of Things Hoped For

It was so hard to come back to Utah for the summer term. So, so hard.

I feel closer to my family than ever before. We have had amazing adventures together, and summer will bring the start of many more.

I am jumping into a new ward with new roommates that I've never met - and I have been terrified.

I can't help but wonder - why does the Lord want me to go back to school right now?

And honestly, I don't know.

But I do know that that is what He wants me to do.

The doubts do come and my heart does feel troubled, but the Lord continues to pour sweet, Holy peace into this heart that is empty with longing for my four best friends in the world.

I may be missing them, but God's peace always returns.

We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern. -Anne Morrow Lindbergh

We five are partners in the same dance, a dance that will continue for all eternity.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. -JST Hebrews 11:11

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sunday, June 13, 2010

"All my life, I've lived for loving you."

My amazing little sister graduates from high school this week, and so for her graduation present I decided to make a slideshow celebrating her life and everything she is.

Our family watched it and bawled our eyes out.
The combination of me returning to BYU on Saturday and Megan's preparations to leave home at the end of August has made us a little nostalgic.

But we have faith in Heavenly Father's plan for us; we know that "some things are meant to be."

"All my life, I've lived for loving you. Let me go now."

Thursday, June 10, 2010


"Death of Marat," by Jacques-Louis David

...I am loving this painting.

And missing Art History.

Part of me is ready to return to BYU,

but no matter where I go,

part of me will always

be here.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

My Abundant Life.

Image found here.

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

This weekend, I've been seeing the abundance of my life everywhere.

I see it in the bright blue sky and the sunshine that tickles my arms. After a long winter in Utah, I am so grateful for summer.

I see it in my job, where I get to work with wonderful people and provide service to others. The hours may be long, but I'm grateful to be able to earn money in a time when so many are out of work, and to be able to do it with people I love.

I see it in the faces of my family as we giggle together before scripture study. I am grateful for the support they give me and peace that permeates the walls of our home.

I see it in the sweet comments from my readers that bring tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your kind words and encouragement with me.

I hear it in the music of the BYU Men's Chorus when I listen to it each morning. Their voices are so full of testimony. When I listen to them, I feel like I can do anything.

I see it in the face of my little brother as he tells me about his Lego car that he made, and as jumps up and down with excitement as we plan to watch a movie together Saturday night. Oh, to be content in the simple things of life! He is such an example to me.

I see it in my spunky little sister and the sweet relationship we are developing. She is growing into a beautiful woman, inside and out. I am so, so proud of her. She is a treasure in my life, and I feel honored to live with her, work with her, laugh with her, and be sealed to her for time and all eternity.

I see it in the baptism I attended Friday evening. The people who attended are so loving, so humble, so sweet. It is a privilege to know them and attend church with them. The sister who was baptized is so thrilled to be a member of the Church. When she emerged from the water, a beautiful laugh escaped from her lips. Her joy and enthusiasm for the Gospel are inspiring. I love the people in my ward and the opportunity to fellowship with them.

I see it when I lie in bed at night and reflect on my day's work. My life is so, so good. I am growing, serving and progressing in different ways than I had wanted, but in just the ways Heavenly Father wants me to.

I see it in the peace of the Spirit that fills my heart. I know I am exactly where I need to be.

"It was followed by a beautiful, spiritual confirmation that this is my new life. And it is good. It is oh, so good." -Stephanie Nielsen

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Now I Can See.

"He Anointed the Eyes," by Walter Rane

Women's Chorus. Folk Dance Team. Nauvoo Performing Missionary. College Scholarship. Trip to Europe.

So many of my dreams have turned to disappointment in the last year.

And now, EFY Counselor.

This one was especially hard. I've dreamed of being an EFY Counselor ever since my first year as a participant, and I've spent those last 6 years planning and preparing for then day when I would be old enough to do it. This disappointment was also hard because for they did accept me, but the logistics simply didn't work out. It made me wonder if any of my dreams will actually come true.

In the depths of my grief, the voice of the Spirit whispered, "Abundant life, Abundant life. Have faith in the promise of Abundant life."

As I look around me, now I can see the abundance of my life.

While I may not have everything I have dreamed of, I have what matters most. I have good relationships with amazing friends, supportive family, and my Heavenly Father. I have opportunities to learn, to serve and to grow. I have the fullness of the Gospel in my life. I have everything that will last for eternity.

"Maybe I am supposed to go," I wondered when I first heard the news of my acceptance. "I know it's my little sister's graduation, but maybe there's some kid going to EFY out there that I really need to teach." But then I remembered that I have no power to change; only the Atonement can do that. And the Atonement will be taught at EFY whether I'm there or not. My family is eternal, and right now the Lord wants me to be with them.

So often I think that I have to be involved in certain organizations and programs to really serve (which is why I have gone out for so many performing groups). It seems that Heavenly Father is trying to teach me a different way to serve. He is trying to teach me to lift where I stand, to perform little kindnesses each day, to live a life of service rather than spend a couple weeks in a leadership position. He is trying to teach me how to become more like Him.

Langston Hughes once wrote,

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore--
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

And today, I have an answer for him.

I have deferred my own dreams for something better - to live the dreams that God has for me. Yes, my dreams have dried like raisins in the sun and have been left by the wayside to die. But God has something more magnificent, more glorious planned for my life. My dreams were of a temporal nature, but God knows that I am an eternal being that can do so much more. I had planned to be a small sapling, but Lord is helping me to become a majestic redwood tree.

So what happens to a dream deferred? Well, if you are lucky, it is replaced by a dream of eternal life, which is a dream that God will help every one of us obtain.

"Christ in Gethsemane," by Joseph Brickey

I'm sure He had quite a different plan for His life. How grateful I am that Christ had the faith to defer His dreams to follow Heavenly Father's plan.

And look at what He gained.

"He Lives," by Simon Dewey

In my trials, Christ has anointed my eyes.

And now, I can see.

Dona Nobis Pacem.

EFY finally got back to me today. 4 months after my interview, and 2 months after I was supposed to have an answer from them.

They offered me a position as a counselor for 3 weeks in Arizona, the first of which starts this Monday.

Oh, how I wanted to go!

But the first week is a stay-at-home session that doesn't provide me housing, the second week is my sister's high school graduation, and the last week is when summer term starts at BYU. So it's not going to work.

I thought I had gotten over the disappointment already - but I haven't. And my heart is breaking all over again. Will I ever be able to do something I've dreamed of?

Dona Nobis Pacem - Lord, grant us peace.