Sunday, August 29, 2010

It doesn't get much better...

The ha game

...than having your friends, family and the people you love return to Provo. 

I'm also excited because my little sister gets to stay here with me and start college! She is going to grow so much and I am excited for her upcoming adventures. 

And while I'm nervous about everything that's changing, I'm excited for my adventures too. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Messy Version.


Hillary was my best friend during my teenage years. We met in Christian Youth Theater when I was 12 and she was 13, and we spent the next 6 years doing all kinds of musicals together. We were very much alike; we were both oldest sisters, both liked the same music, both were casted in similar roles, we even had the same hair color and style. "You are just like Hillary," my mom once remarked, "but the messy version."

It was true, one of our few differences was my messiness. Her hair always stayed perfectly in place while mine easily fell limp and stuck up in every direction. Her make-up always stayed nice, while mine always smeared and wore off. (Fortunately she is a whiz at stage make-up, so she was always there to fix it for me.) She always looked so put together while many times I looked like a train wreck. Even her speech and relationships seemed pretty perfect. Sometimes I say things without thinking, but Hillary has always been the epitome of grace and poise.

I didn't mind my mom's comment so much. I acknowledged my messiness and knew that it was part of who I was. But every once in a while I wish I was more like Hillary and less like myself. I see other beautiful people and wonder why my hair looks funny and my clothes get ripped and my mouth says dumb things. Sometimes I long to be flawless. 

When these doubts and self-abusive thoughts come into my mind, I think of my blessings. I have incredible family and friends who don't mind my messiness. They love me for (and in spite of) myself. It is an honor and a blessing to associate with you Christlike people. I learn so much from your examples and testimonies, and you inspire me to be a little bit better every day. Thank you for loving me and teaching me by the way you live your lives.

families can be together forever

Hey Soul sista


best roomies ever


Pop it lock it

Hey Jamba Jamba

Heavenly Father could have created me as a less messy person, but for some reason He didn't. He loves me despite my messiness and my shortcomings. Yes, I have weaknesses, but the Lord doesn't let them define me. He knows my strengths, and He knows my heart. He knows that I long to do good. I may not be perfect, but He loves me, and my best is good enough for Him. What a comfort it is to know that!

Sometimes I forget the simple fact that God loves me. I get so caught up in trying to be perfect that I think I have to earn my Heavenly Father's love and do everything on my own. When I finally slow down long enough to listen to the Lord's still, small voice, the message is always the same: "I know you. I love you. I am pleased with you. You are enough. Rely on me." 

Jesus had some messiness in His life too, messiness that left Him with a scarred and imperfect body. He chooses to keep those imperfections as a reminder of what He endured that enables us to transcend our messiness and become perfect, glorified beings.

I guess my messiness and imperfections make it possible for the glory of God to be manifest in me. In the end, my weaknesses help me learn to rely on the Atonement of Christ and can be a testimony to others of the power of the Atonement. 

And that is quite the reason to be grateful for the messy version. 

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” - Pablo Picasso

As frustrating as Education Week can be, with the crowds and Utah hair and indecisiveness when it comes to ordering Jamba Juice, I love it. I love going to the classes and learning new things, I love watching sweet families interact, and I especially love the LDS art show and the opportunity to meet the artists. 

This morning I went to a class taught by Rita Wright who works at the campus museum. She talked about the upcoming Carl Heinrich Bloch exhibition and I am so excited. Denmark is lending us a bunch of Bloch's altarpieces and other genre paintings. The LDS community loves to use them in prints, but seeing them in person is an entirely different experience. Some of the pieces coming to the museum are "The Doubting Thomas", "Woman at the Well", and one of my favorites, "Gethsemane".

Carl Heinrich Bloch, "Gethsemane (Altarpiece)"

It's going to be a breathtaking exhibition, and if you live in Utah you should attend! It runs from November 12th to May 7th.

And as if that wasn't enough, this afternoon I happened to wander in the bookstore just as all the big LDS artists were unveiling their new works! There were some breathtaking pieces, but this one is my favorite.

Emily Pugmire is a young artist and not as well known as some of the other big shots there. I found her booth just as she was sitting down and got to meet her, her husband, and new baby. I bought a print of this piece and she signed it for me. How I wish I could have bought a full-sized framed one! But for now my little 5x7 will do and remind me of this special day, as well as my Savior who has "graven [me] upon the palms of [his] hands" (see Isaiah 49:16).

Friday, August 13, 2010

It's the climb.

Image found here.

I'm packing up my clothes, boxing up odds and ends, taking pictures off the walls - and it's suddenly becoming real. For weeks I've been dreading the prospect of leaving all the kind, selfless, amazing people in this apartment complex and the 104th ward, and now it's hit me. It's finally here. 

It's another one of the shoving matches in my heart. I don't want to leave my sweet roommates. Push. I'm excited to live with my best friend Courtney. Shove. I'm just settling into a comfortable social dynamic in this ward. Push. There will probably be fantastic people in my new ward. Nudge. I long to stay with what is familiar. Pull. I know I need to have faith in the future. God has taken care of me in the past, and I know He will do so again. 

Miley Cyrus' "The Climb" comes up on my playlist. And even though it's silly, frothy, ridiculous Miley Cyrus, the lyrics seem to fit exactly what I'm going through. 

There's always gonna be another mountain
Always gonna want to make it move
Always gonna be an uphill battle 
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose
Ain't about how fast I get there
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

Life's a climb, but the view is great. If I stop at this point, I'll never get to see what other scenes the Lord has planned for me. Even though my heart is heavy, I'll just have to keep moving forward with the knowledge that God never forsakes and that through the Atonement we can be with the ones we love for eternity. 

And I'm going to enjoy this climb.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A manger and a chicken.

We had an art history association brunch Tuesday morning. I'd forgotten how much fun it is to be around fellow art-lovers. 

We played art history Pictionary/charades and had a blast. Some of the works selected were the Merode Altarpiece, Michelangelo's David, the Arnolofini Portrait, the Jolly Toper, Duchamp's "Fountain", and the Coronation of Napoleon. Boy, did we have some fun with those!  

This dialog was one of my favorites:
"It looks like a manger."
"Is it a chicken?"
"I like that this same drawing can be mistaken for both a manger and a chicken..."
Turns out, it was this:
The Seated Scribe, 2620-2500 BCE

Not a manger OR a chicken. A person. With crossed legs.

Oh, how I love my life and everything in it!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Favorites from the Weekend

*Elementary school style Truth or Dare with my roommates at 1 am ("Have you ever fallen out of bed? gasp!" and "What's the lamest outfit you've ever worn?" "Well, this Justin Bieber T-shirt might be it!")
*Sammy's pie shakes
*Haiku on the roof of Sammy's
(Pie shakes on the roof. Good friends and conversation. Ahhh, this is the life.)
*Running through sprinklers
*Working with my favorite people and making them laugh
*Battle of the Pseudo-bands (we played "Livin' on a Prayer")

*Continuation of Haiku week (including this double haiku, inspired by Brandon's 7 year old niece Adri)

*Catwoman photoshoot sighting in downtown Provo (yeah, I know.)
*Dr. Horrible's sing along blog (when the sketchy parts are muted)
*This song (especially this cover by an adorable English duo!)  
*This amazing kid
*Testimony meeting that was 20 minutes too long
*Cafe Rio style break the fast
*Singing at a rest home with friends from the ward
*Getting NINE sunshine notes!
*An awesome sunset
*Playing pass the pigs with my haiku crew
*Barely doing any homework :]

What did you enjoy about your weekend?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

We must be willing to let go.

Quote by E.M. Forester
Image found here.

I'm something of a hoarder. I get anxious about losing things, letting them go. Part of me fears that the joy will never return. 

I had trouble at the beginning of the semester, and I'm having trouble now that it's nearing the end. 

I was terrified to move into this ward. I knew absolutely no one and felt certain that I would struggle with roommates and spend many nights in my room feeling lonely. My dad gave me a priesthood blessing that promised that I would make friends and not be lonely. I had no idea just how happy I would be here. I feel like I've just settled in, and now it's almost time to uproot and leave again. 

I'm trying to remember all the good things that fall semester will bring - living closer to campus with my best friend, having my little sister in town, fun classes like modern dance and art studio, singing in University Choral, old friends returning to town, getting back into art history, Men's Chorus concerts, new opportunities, fall leaves, bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils. But the life I'm living right now is so rich and abundant that I'm having trouble doing anything but grieve. 

I ran across this video yesterday that seemed to deal with exactly what I'm going through. "You have to see your future," the choreographer, Mia Michaels, remarks. "You can't just sit in what's comfortable; you have to go on and keep challenging yourself."

I hope that my future holds such light. 

Robert Browning wrote:
Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith, “A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!”

What do you do when you don't want to let go, when changes approach that you aren't ready to face? How do you accept the Lord's will and go forward with faith?
For now, I'm turning to one of my favorite talks and giving myself some sweet ol' time, knowing that eventually I will see the whole God has planned for me.