Sunday, February 26, 2012

Choosing Happiness

So I've discovered lately that happiness is something you choose, not something you find. A lot of the time life is somewhat out of your control. There are somethings you can change, but there are also a lot of things that you can't, so instead you have to choose to change your attitude about them. You can decide to be frustrated and miserable because life isn't just how you want it or you can choose to happy in spite of it.

What has made a big difference for me lately is not allowing other people's actions to dictate my emotions or my self worth. I'm coming to a point where I am happy with myself and so I don't feel such a need others' approval or validation. In the past I think I allowed too much of my self esteem come from how other people treated me. I wanted everyone to like me and think highly of me. However, that is a dangerous place to rest your self worth. You really can't control what other people think about you or how they treat you. You can try to be the best person you can be, but ultimately there will still be people who may misjudge you or just plain not like you. I mean, think about Christ, the one perfect person to ever walk the earth. Not everyone liked or approved of Him. People misjudged and mistreated Him. No matter how good you are you can't make everyone like you. Even people who do like you (friends, family, spouses etc.) may not always treat you the way you wish they would. But if you're not relying on the approval and actions of other people to make you happy and feel of worth then it will be ok. You need to learn to love yourself and to glean self esteem from your relationship with your Heavenly Father and how He feels about you. This is one of the most liberating things I have come to realize! I'm not perfect at it, but I'm improving. People only have as much power over our emotions as we give them. It's your life- choose to make it a happy one!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Confessions of a total Blogging Slacker

So apparently I can add blogging to the ever growing list of things I'm not so good at in life.

My current ward calling is as the activities chair person. Granted, the church kinda did away with the activities committee, but as a singles ward our bishop feels that activities are pretty vital so we have a monthly activity that I'm in charge of. The ward has an annual formal dinner and dance which is kind of a big deal I guess. Luckily the Relief Society President volunteered to be in charge of the decorations and we had it catered so that left me with not too much to do (besides help with the decorations- which took a long time but was actually pretty fun).

Also a couple of things I've come to realize lately:

1. The Lord answers prayers in the most surprising of ways. Sometimes what I have thought was a terrible thing actually ends up being a total blessing. God has a much better perspective than I do, so the next time I think to complain about something I think I will take a step back and realize that maybe it actually a tender mercy (as a lot of my trials have turned out to be lately).

2. The whole point of our time here on earth is to grow and become better, and trials are a necessary part of that. So when faced with difficulties I am trying to look at it as an opportunity to learn something and become better instead of asking "why me?" or wondering why life can't just constantly be a picnic.

3. Life is full of highs and lows of all kinds. Spiritually speaking I was on a high a few weeks ago and now I feel like I've been in a bit of a low. I think in my life this sometimes happens when I try to turn to something, anything, other than the gospel to make me happy or fill a void in my life. I think that's usually the reason we sin- we believe that somehow it will make us happy. Over and over again we learn that "wickedness never was happiness".

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mercies in Disguise

This is one of my very favorite songs at the moment. Seriously, you should listen to it. (I'm not so blog savvy that I can figure out how to put the youtube video right on my blog. You're going to have to do some old fashioned copy and paste). I think the message is really pertinent to everyone at one point or another.
I definitely believe that God loves us and that trials can even be evidence of that love. Elder Cook's talk at General Conference was very insightful. He said:

"While we do not know all the answers, we do know important principles that allow us to face tragedies with faith and confidence that there is a bright future planned for each of us. Some of the most important principles are:

First, we have a Father in Heaven, who knows and loves us personally and understands our suffering perfectly.

Second, His Son, Jesus Christ, is our Savior and Redeemer, whose Atonement not only provides for salvation and exaltation but also will compensate for all the unfairness of life.

Third, the Father’s plan of happiness for His children includes not only a premortal and mortal life but also an eternal life as well, including a great and glorious reunion with those we have lost. All wrongs will be righted, and we will see with perfect clarity and faultless perspective and understanding.

...There are many kinds of challenges. Some give us necessary experiences. Adverse results in this mortal life are not evidence of lack of faith or of an imperfection in our Father in Heaven’s overall plan. The refiner’s fire is real, and qualities of character and righteousness that are forged in the furnace of affliction perfect and purify us and prepare us to meet God."

Trials and challenges are the whole point of this mortal existence, but we don't have to go through them alone!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


I think fear is one of our biggest enemies in life. A lot of people, myself included at times, let fear paralyze them. It holds us back from so many great experiences and opportunities.
Some examples to illustrate my point:

When I was little I loved doing gymnastics and finally convinced my mom to enroll me in a class. I think I was enjoying it pretty well until they announced we were going to start training for a competition. For some reason being judged and competing scares me. It's probably a pride thing. Anyways, after they started preparing routines for competition I promptly dropped out. That's right- I'm a gymnastic class drop out. Do I regret it? Definitely. Who knows, maybe I could have been a really great gymnast (except for the fact that I'm tall and like eating more than just egg whites).

Next example: In middle school I lived in England. My school didn't really have any organized sports team (although I did run cross country, but that's another story- although related to fear!). When I moved back to the states it seemed everyone was already really good at whatever sports they had chosen, and I, never having really played on a sports team (except little league) felt too afraid to try to learn when everyone else already seemed so good. So I went through high school thinking I wasn't very athletic or good at sports, when the truth was I had just never tried it because I was afraid I wouldn't be good at it. At BYU a lot of social life revolves around intramural sports, so I missed out. However, once I moved to Idaho I found myself surrounded by people who aren't great at sports either. Despite that, the ward put together a softball team so I decided I would join. As it turns out I'm not terrible at sports, well at least not at softball. Maybe all those seasons of little league are just paying off. In our first game I caught a pop fly, and a grounder to get someone out at second (I play short stop). Granted, I was significantly less impressive in our second game, but hey. I realized I shouldn't have let fear of being bad at something stop me from doing it.

Example #3 is a positive example. Going on a mission was scary. I definitely thought it would have been a lot easier to just stay at BYU and get married (although it's more likely I would have stayed at BYU and remained single :). But going on a mission, although it was scary and I often found myself out of my comfort zone, was the best thing I have ever done! I would have missed out on so much if I had let fear stop me!
And finally, I would be lying if I said moving out of Utah while still single wasn't scary. A year ago the idea of that terrified me. In a way I had kind of felt sad for the girls that graduated from BYU and moved to some remote location alone. I thought "Good for them" but I never saw myself being that girl. Luckily as time went on it became less and less scary. Hopefully facing this fear will pay off too!

One thing's for sure though- I won't let fear dictate my life.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Lucky One

I've been putting off writing the first post of my new blog for awhile now. There's a lot of pressure that comes with your very first post- like it will define the whole rest of your blog. What if it's totally lame and boring? Well, I'm just biting the bullet and going for it- don't judge too harshly.

Lately I've been feeling very lucky. Maybe "blessed" would be a better word actually. I don't really believe in luck. I will admit that graduating from BYU single and working full time in some random town in Idaho was not really where I saw myself at this point in my life. However, all things considered things are amazingly good!

Blessing #1
I have a great job that I really, really enjoy. Sometimes when I was in school I wondered if all my hard work was really paying off (besides in scholarship money) and now that I landed this job I feel like it did! It's a great feeling. I enjoy going to work every day. It's challenging and exciting. I get along really well with the people I work with. It occurs to me that some of you may not know what I do for work. I work for a company called Glanbia Nutritionals and basically I formulate (or "invent") protein bars and other snacks containing protein, flax etc. Now, that may not sound like fun to some of you, but I really enjoy it.

Blessing #2
I live relatively close to my family. If I had to move out of state for work, Idaho was one of the ideal locations because it's only about a 4 hour car ride from my parents' house. I can go home for the weekend if I want. And I have the most awesome family in the entire world, which is definitely one of my biggest blessings.

Blessing #3
An awesome apartment! I have this cute little one bedroom in this really nice complex that has a pool, hot tub, fitness room etc. This is the first time I've ever really lived alone (not counting last summer when I lived in a hotel during my internship- I spent most of my time with my cousins the Hershey Hesses anyway). My guess is that not a whole lot of people have lived alone. I wasn't sure how I would like it, but it turns out it's pretty awesome!

Some of the perks:
1. the apartment can be as messy or clean as you want it (I like it clean)
2. the bathroom is always free
3. when I ordered pizza today I got to put exactly what I wanted on it- no compromises
4. you don't have to worry about annoying your roommates/spouse etc. when you hear a new song you like and want to listen to it over and over
5. you don't have to work around anyone else's schedule- if I want to stay up late I can. If I want to go to bed early, I can. If I want to watch a movie, I can. I can pretty much do whatever I want, whenever I want. That was not always possible with roommates.

Don't get me wrong, there are some down sides to living alone. For example, you have to make an effort if you want to socialize. You have to go out and plan something or go somewhere instead of just coming home and chatting with your roommates. But overall, for me the pros outweigh the cons right now. I do look forward to getting married someday and having a permanent roommate, but for now I'm just going to enjoy the freedom.

I guess the other thing I should mention is that since this is also my first time in an unfurnished apartment furniture is kinda sparse. I have the necessities, but not much else. I figure I'll accumulate things little by little.

I could go on, but I better save some things for future blog posts. Just know that I am one lucky girl!