Sunday, August 28, 2011

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Back from California!

Wow, I feel like it's been forever since I blogged! We visited my family in San Diego last week, and are now back in Provo getting ready for the school year. It's hard to believe that it is my last one, and I will be graduating around April! 

Usually when we go to San Diego, we try to get a lot of sightseeing in. But on this trip, I was too tired to do much. I was a little worried that my slower pace would take some of the fun out of our vacation, but I think it actually made the trip better. Instead of focusing on things to do, we focused on being with one another. Some of my favorite memories from the trip are doing puzzles with my dad, having heart-to-hearts with my mom and sister, and the way James would crawl into bed with us for some morning snuggles. I feel so blessed to be part of a family that is so kind and loving. 

Doing origami with friends while camping

We made rockets for Phineas and Ferb Friday!

We love doing crafts after dinner, but this one made me a little frustrated...

The temple is way more gorgeous in person

Jumping over the waves!

Snuggle time!

With our cute friends, the Mitchells

Our wonderful family at Lake Gregory

I'm so grateful that my family is eternal!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Overheard at the Moons': Jump in the Shower

Brandon: "Okay, I'm going to go jump in the shower."
Me: "Honey, you don't have to jump. You can just walk."
Brandon: "No, it's really much better if I jump."

He then proceeds to hop all the way to the bathroom and into the shower.

This is why I absolutely adore that man.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Something Old, Something New

3 years ago today, I started working at Jamba Juice. In four days, I will work my last shift and start a new era in my life. 

I know it's time to do something different. With my illness I can't keep up with the demands of this fast-paced job. I find myself getting more irritated with customers; let's face it, being asked "What's good?" for three years gets pretty old. The truth is, I am burnt out. And there are many other people who can do this job better than I can. It's time for them to get a chance.

But at the same time, it's bittersweet. 

Jamba Juice has been a part of my life for the past three years of my life. My co-workers have been comforts, supports, comic relief, a source of joy, and my best friends. I have grown up in this job. And in fact, it is through my friends at Jamba that I met my sweet husband. Working at Jamba has changed my life. 

It's funny how something that was wrong for me a year ago can be right now. 

In the fall, I will start working as a TA in the art history department. I am excited to have a less-demanding job in my field, to develop new skills and make new friends. But I am also nervous, for I am leaving something that I know and love to step into the unknown. 

I will miss the good food. I will miss dancing around to fun music after closing.  I will miss training sweet little freshmen. I will miss our wild Jamba parties. And most of all, I will miss all of my sweet, wonderful co-workers who make me laugh every time I work. 

I am grateful for this experience and all that it has taught me. But I have to move forward. 

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Miracle of Forgiveness

Brian Kershisnik, But Ruth Clave Unto Her, 2006, Found here

It's been a rough week. As I wrote earlier, I've been struggling with forgiving someone who has rejected my efforts of kindness and hurt me badly. Ephesians 6:12 kept popping into my mind, for I have been wrestling with the forces of darkness.

I spent several days engulfed in these dark feelings, nursing my wounds at the bottom of that pit and fighting to let go of my pain. I felt justified in my anger, and wanted everyone to know how I had been wronged. But at the same time, I knew that revenge would only continue the cycle of unkindness; it would not make anything better. I also knew that I wanted to escape from these angry feelings and feel the peace of God again.

I found hope in Corrie Ten Boom's The Hiding Place, an account of her experiences helping Jews in World War II and, as a result, being sent to a concentration camp. She also discusses the way God helped her to forgive and show love during that cold, dark time. My favorite story in the book occurs after the war when Corrie was speaking of her experiences across Europe. At one event, she was approached by a guard she had known in the concentration camp; he recognized her and asked for her forgiveness. She writes,
I tried to smile, I struggled to raise my hand. I could not. I felt nothing, not the slightest spark of warmth or charity. And so again I breathed a silent prayer. Jesus, I cannot forgive him. Give Your forgiveness.

As I took his hand the most incredible thing happpened. From my shoulder along my arm and through my hand, a current seemed to pass from me to him, while into my heart sprang a love for this stranger that almost overwhelmed me.

And so I discovered that it is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world's healing hinges, but on His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself.
So many times I have uttered that same prayer - Lord, I can't forgive this person. Give me Your forgiveness. And like Corrie, I have been aided by my Father in Heaven. The more I feel His compassion for my offender, the more my heart softens and is able to love. But it is His charity and forgiveness, not mine, that has made the difference.

My husband has been a great help as well. He has listened to me rant and complain and cry. He has even sympathized with the person who hurt me and helped me to understand their point of view. He has helped me connect to God when I was too hurt to reach Him on my own.

"You have tried so hard honey," Brandon said as he stroked my hair. "You did nothing wrong." It was at that moment that I began to sob because that was what I had wanted to hear all along - that someone acknowledged my sorrow and my efforts to do the right thing.

It was at that moment that I began to heal. God surely knew what He was doing when He asked us to "mourn with those that mourn." (See Mosiah 18:8-10)

We often speak of "the miracle of forgiveness" in the context of the Atonement, of Christ forgiving us for the vilest of our transgressions. After my struggle to forgive one person of a small offense, I am amazed at the Savior's ability to forgive me so readily, and even more so at the fact that I can someday become like Him.

But this experience has also taught me about another miracle of forgiveness - the freedom and healing we receive as we let go of our anger and let Jesus teach us how to forgive. I was in bondage, and none could deliver me but the Lord my God. (See Mosiah 24:21) He has made my burden light.

I still feel hurt when I think of what my offender did, and I suspect that the pain will always be there. I know that my journey is not over, for forgiveness is not a single event but a lifelong decision. But I know I have the help of my Father in Heaven, and that with Him, I can be victorious. 
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?...Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." -Romans 8:35, 37-39

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Annie Henrie, Streams of Mercy, 2010, Found here

I am learning a lesson in forgiveness right now, a lesson that is oh, so hard. As a child, I thought I had mastered this skill because I could easily get over playground drama and childish arguments. But when you've given your best to someone and they don't even try to see past your shortcomings - that is when forgiveness becomes so much harder.

This journey feels like a roller coaster. I descend as I worry and stew and grow angry over the wrongs that have been done to me. At rock bottom, I realize that I need to do better, and ask for God's help. I've been amazed at how He helps me, lifts me higher, fills my heart with His understanding and His love.

But inevitably, I grow angry again. I used to think forgiveness was a one-time thing, but now I am discovering that it is a long and tiring struggle.

In those moments when I am down and weary, here are three things I turn to for the inspiration to turn my heart to God and try again to forgive.

1. This video

2. Rudyard Kipling's "If"
"If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools"
3. The words of Corrie Ten Boom
"It is not on our forgiveness any more than on our goodness that the world's healing hinges, but His. When He tells us to love our enemies, He gives, along with the command, the love itself."

 I hope that these can help you on your journeys of forgiveness as well as mine.