Sunday, August 30, 2015

God is aware...

So I don't think that it's any surprise to anyone when I say that the last year has been REALLY difficult for me. I had a plan for my life, and as time moved forward I felt more and more confident that my plan was going to happen, and I would live happily ever after. Then, feelings were shared, feelings were hurt, bitterness arose, and even when hope would rise again, feelings that continued to be shared always gave way to more disappointment, more realization that my plan was not going to go as planned, and eventually that my plan would never even come close to unfolding. And that's where my summer of depression and pain began.

I have spent the last 3 months living my life a little bit more "in the moment" than normal, which I believe has been good for me, for the most part. In order to counteract the pain and loneliness that I felt when I was alone, I was able to spend a lot of time with new friends and family, getting to know people that I probably never would've gotten to know otherwise. I have had MANY fun adventures, doing activities that I never would've experienced otherwise, I have met some amazing people, and gotten to know many different life stories that I wouldn't have known otherwise.

However, in between all of these experiences, the pain continued whenever I was alone, and I found myself becoming so bitter that I couldn't even walk into specific stores without wanting to vomit, or see specific groups of people without feeling instant hate toward them. This probably doesn't sound like me... But it's true. I was having serious issues and finally realized that I needed to find forgiveness in order to truly move forward and find a new kind of happiness, similar to the one that I had known previously. In talking with a mentor, I realized that forgiveness was not going to happen overnight, but that little by little, it WOULD come if I prayed to have it, and put my faith in God, Christ, and the atonement. And sure enough, as I've recommitted myself to studying the Book of Mormon and praying to receive that forgiveness, it has slowly started to make itself manifest in my life.

It is in this state of mind that I was reading in Mosiah today, and stumbled across the last verse of chapter 7, "But if ye will turn to The Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage." This verse jumped out at me because, quite literally, it was a simple scripture that described exactly how my experience this summer has gone. I am seeing more and more God's hand in my life, the people that He placed here to help support and motivate me through these struggles... The kind words of assurance, the hugs and encouragement... And many of those came from people that aren't necessarily within my "inner circle", if you will. 

I know God has been keeping an eye on me. I know that He has been with me through this last year of nearly unbearable struggles. I don't know the purpose of those struggles, or why I needed to go through them, but I know that because of them I will be stronger and find a happiness so much greater than what I thought I wanted that I won't even be able to express my appreciation for these struggles. I have been blessed so much... Particularly through what I believe is my calling in life: to be there for the young people with which I interact with nearly daily. There are few things that could pull me away from them, but this early spring I was willing to do it if it meant I got what I thought I wanted... But now spending time with those kids again these last several weeks, I understand more and more that THIS is where I am supposed to be, and that is why I didn't get what I thought I wanted. I have a life full of purpose... I have a life full of meaning... I have a life full of people that I love and adore, and who love and adore me in return. I will get where I want to be soon enough... But for now, I am putting my trust in The Lord and allowing Him to mold me into whatever it is He needs right now. I have turned to Him, and in so doing, I know He is helping me out of my current bondage. I could not be more grateful for such a kind and loving Father in Heaven. I am truly blessed :)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Smiles? Or hidden tears....

It has been a really rough year for me. By far the most difficult, heart-wrenching time that I have ever had to experience. But the hardest part has been trying to stay positive and moving forward with my life, particularly the last 2 or so months. I put a smile on my face when I leave my bedroom and try to keep it there as much as possible so no one will know the real pain that I'm experiencing. I don't know how else to deal with it... Because the more I think about the pain, the worse my sadness and depression gets. 

I was recently over in the UK for my summer vacation, and so of course we had to take TONS of pictures of EVERYTHING. and, although there were certainly times when I really was happy in those pictures, there were several nights that I found myself looking through those pictures and calling myself a fake. Here I was, posting pictures on all of my social media to LOOK like I was just so, so happy... But in reality, my heart was crushing itself inside of me. 

I hate crying, mostly because I don't like people to know that I actually have feelings like that, but I cry all the time now when I'm by myself... ALL THE TIME. It doesn't matter where I am, if I'm by myself the lonelines, heartache, and regret settle in as all of the memories that once brought me so much joy run through my head. When school is going on, my mind is distracted, I have plenty of things to occupy my mind and keep myself positive, but this whole summer thing is KILLING me... The time I have to THINK is more than I can handle. Think think think... That's all I do. Which means that crying usually follows. 

What can I do to overcome this? I'm trying to keep myself as busy as possible, but there's just so much time... And finding someone new hasn't exactly been working out for me. I have so many questions for God... Questions that I've asked, and I know he's going to answer when he's ready... But I'm starting to wonder if I'm going to be able to be patient enough as I wait for those answers. I just want to love and feel loved again. It's happened once, it can happen again... But when?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Decisions Determine Destiny

Well, the decision has been made, and I now feel like I am being forced to find a new route for my life on my own. It's not the direction I wanted to go, but it's the direction I felt I was being pushed from many different angles towards, so here I am.

Words cannot describe the sadness, hopelessness, desperation, and loneliness I have felt over the last several months. I have searched and searched for internal peace, but even now, after making what seemed like the necessary decision, I have a hard time finding it. I know God has a plan for me, and I am becoming more and more open to that plan with every passing day, but it has been VERY difficult to do without the constant peace that usually comes to me after making a right decision.

However, what I do know is that I have righteous desires in my heart for what I want in my life, and I have lived, and will continue to live, worthy to receive those blessings. I know God will see fit to give me what He thinks is best in His own due time, and that I just need to be patient and get rid of the time table that I had set for myself 2 1/2 years ago.

I also have a better understanding of what I need in an eligible husband - Someone who will love and cherish me, while still balancing the other activities going on in his life. I need someone who will be there for me, and let me be there for him when he needs it. I need someone who will let me be included in his service opportunities so that we can grow stronger TOGETHER in our love for the Savior. I need someone who will want to go to the temple, read scriptures, and pray with me. And I will need someone who will see past all of my faults, and see the person that I am trying to become. But the number one thing is that he will WANT to spend quality time with me every chance he gets.

If nothing else, these have been eye-opening experiences for me, and I'm just so grateful for all of the friends and family who have tried so hard to be there for me, as a listening ear or just support for me to lean on during these times of trial. I hope I can be there for you during your difficult times as well.

Now, to end all of this talk and move forward in my life, I have my new favorite song that I know describes how the next several months of my life will be - Because 3 years is a long time to move forward from... But I'm sure it can happen :)

But to end on a happier note, this is what I look forward to having in the future! :)

So, to my future husband, I'm excited to meet and get to know you! Hopefully sooner than later :)

Friday, January 9, 2015

A New Beginning...

Next week will be a new beginning for me. It could be a new beginning in one of 2 directions - With the man I love and adore, or on my own, finding a new direction to my life.

I have been waiting for this day for 2 1/2 years now, and am excited, and a little nervous, about what this new beginning will bring to my life. For most of that time I had hoped that it would be the beginning of my life with someone who I knew cared very deeply about me and I for him. Unfortunately, the past several months we have each had doubts at times, and because of those doubts, and time apart of course, we are definitely not the same 2 people that we were 2 years ago. So we shall see what happens with us...

If nothing else, at least our relationship ended up helping a lot of other people, and gave both of us life lessons that we will never forget :)

Here's to a new beginning!

"Happiness is a journey, not a destination; happiness is to be found along the way not at the end of the road, for then the journey is over and it's too late. The time for happiness is today not tomorrow." ~ Quoted by Paul H Dunn

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Ponderings at the Close of the Year...

Today is a big day - It's the last day of school of my 2nd year teaching, and 1st year at Davis High. It's been an interesting year (or 2), and although I'm THRILLED that it's over (sorry, it's been a bit of a stressful year, between teaching, getting my Masters, and constantly coaching basketball), our faculty luncheon today has got me thinking...

At the end of year faculty luncheons, we do our goodbyes to those who are retiring or moving on. Because it is Davis' Centennial year, there are several "teaching giants" that have finally decided to "ring their bell." The interesting thing about this process is that these teachers are not just co-workers, or people that I have seen in the halls over the past year. They are people whose classrooms I sat in during high school, and almost more importantly, heard my friends talk about. Pam Coburn was a teacher that I was told I ABSOLUTELY HAD to take AP Psychology from. So I did, and her coffee breath right in my face has stayed with me all these years - But so has her passion and love for the subject she taught. Although psychology was never my favorite subject, I learned enough to earn a 4 on the AP test, and more importantly, I learned how a great teacher teaches - With passion and love for the students.

The tributes and words spoken by others today about Gary Taylor, Dave Miller, along with the others, have left me thinking - What am I bringing my own students? These "giants" are all AP teachers, and have years and years of statistics that tell them what great teachers they are. I, however, am on the low end of the totem pole, which I prefer, and as I thought about what my students say about me, I wondered... When they talk about how hard I am, is that a bad thing? Then I had a thought enter my head, which I looked up online but couldn't find so I guess I'll take it as my own... It was, "I don't have high expectations because I want to see you fail. I have high expectations because I want to see you soar." I don't know that there is anything that could describe how I feel about my students better than this.

It has been a struggle of a year, especially the last month or so, but I'm so grateful for all of the many wonderful blessings that my Heavenly Father has given me. My students are often at the forefront of my mind, as I constantly am wondering what I can do better to help get them more engaged or understanding a concept better. I know I can always do better, but I hope they know how much I care about their success - And how INCREDIBLY thrilled I get when I get to watch them succeed at the level that they want to.

Not only did I have students and TAs come in to have me sign their yearbooks today, but my basketball players came in and we got to enjoy a couple of minutes together. I cannot describe how much love I have for these girls. I love and have high expectations for my students, but my basketball girls, past and present, are literally the ones who have gotten me through almost all of my trials in life, without even knowing it. I know I can be a hard coach, saying things to them that they don't like to hear, but it's because I want to see them come together as the team that I know they have the potential for. I want to see them soar! And there is nothing that makes me happier than seeing those improvements and confidence boosts that raise them a little higher to that soaring level.

So, will I ever have AP test scores and thousands of kids proclaiming their love for math because of me like those retiring today? Most likely not. But I hope I will touch at least a couple of lives for the better, the way that others in the education and basketball industries have touched my own.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Random Thoughts

So I don't really write on here much (obviously), but I'm having a bit of a moment, so here are my thoughts ...

God has a plan for me. Has this plan fulfilled my expectations? Ha, nope, not at all. But I know that it's right. Even on nights like tonight, where I just wish my man was here to put his arms around me, squeeze me tight, make me smile so wide that I felt like my face couldn't handle it, and tell me that everything is going to be just fine. But then I remember that I am a woman... A STRONG woman. A strong woman with God and my Savior at my side. And I don't NEED Mark here to do all of those temporal things because we do not have a temporal relationship. We have a spiritual relationship with God above us, and through Him and my Savior's atoning sacrifice, all the hurt and pain and bitter loneliness that I feel will be wiped free. Mark and I will be together again in just ten more months... Time has flown, and it will continue to fly, as we keep God at the center of our relationship. 

Never give in to the awful temptations of the adversary. Do NOT become his. Always LOOK UP instead :)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Grateful This Christmas Season

It's Christmas today, and there are many things to be grateful for... It's the celebration of Christ's birth, I don't have to teach for 10 days, I don't have any Master's homework for 2 weeks, there's a tiny break in basketball that gives me a few days to literally do WHATEVER I WANT!!! I'm together with my family, I get to think of fun presents to give to my family members (my mom's present is my favorite... I can't wait for her to open it!!!), my extended family is loud and so much fun... It's definitely a fun time of year. But this year there is even more...

My youngest brother has been on a mission in Uruguay for the last 2 years, and he's coming home this Saturday. I put up a rough front about waiting for him, but we'll be celebrating Christmas next Monday after he's come home and we've had a chance to get through his homecoming and such. I'm extremely grateful for him to finally be coming home... It feels like he's been gone for FOREVER!!! It will be fun to have the family all together again.

However, this holiday season is also another mark (haha, no pun intended) for a special missionary in my life... Mark has been gone for almost a year (January 16...)!!!!!! It's funny... I get in the swing of life, and everything just goes "normally" - thinking about Mark at night, and sometimes during the day, but just kinda trying to stay on top of everything else throughout the rest of the day keeps me preoccupied. THEN there are days like today (well, there's really just 2 times a year like today, but ya know what I mean...) - I got to see Mark, I got to hear his voice, I got to tell him that I love him and hear him say it to me. I got to watch his mom cry because of how proud she is, and was actually quite surprised by my lack of emotion. And then I left the house.

It's funny how things change when you're by yourself and you can think and feel without anyone else around to make you feel "judged" or self conscious. Not that anyone in Mark's family would've made me feel that way (well, maybe Bret, but I really don't care that much what he thinks :P), it's just my built-in being... It's who I am. I DO NOT show the crying kind of emotion around anyone - I save that for when I'm by myself. And today was no exception.

I drove away, and instantly the loneliness set in. The feelings of inadequacy, the fear of getting hurt or being the one to cause hurt - It's all incredibly real when the person you love the most in this world is away from you for long enough, even when he's telling you that you mean the world to him in his weekly emails. Sometimes I hate being a girl, and it's times like these that I REALLY do. I drove to a special place where we liked to go to be alone and talk, and just listened over and over to my new favorite "Mark" song, Katy Perry's "Unconditionally" - It's great for anyone needing a love song :) I was feeling very picked on and "poor me" as I headed to a family party. Luckily, where family is and where there is time to not be alone, there also can help for stupid feelings be found. And I found it.

Between arriving and driving home, I realized what I had figured out this last spring... That I'm going to be a lot happier if I do something nice for someone else every time I start to feel sorry for myself. I came home and went to work. I still miss Mark - That will NEVER change, I swear - but what happens and is the great thing is that, at least for a few hours, I stop feeling sorry for myself. And I feel like that's what service is all about... Getting over yourself. Because guess what, it's not always about me, or you, or any of the crappiness that's going on in our lives. It's about figuring out how we can help those around us. I'm the first to admit that I'm not the greatest at this special gift from God, but I'm trying to be better, and Mark serving his mission only forces me to work harder at this gift.

So as I said... There are many things to be thankful for this holiday season, and although I am sincerely grateful for all of them, I am most grateful for Mark and what this time apart is teaching me. I've always figured I'm a pretty patient person, but God keeps showing me that I'm not. But alas, Mark is just about 2 1/2 minutes down, 2 1/2 minutes to go. I can do it, with God and Christ and a lot of family at my side!

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!