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How to live

Mom and Dad and Keegs and Lemur left behind a lot of stuff. Trophies from basketball and football tournaments, home decor, a new kitchen aide that Dad just got Mom for Christmas, clothes, movies, cars, books...

Just lots of, now, pointless stuff. Sitting around, waiting to be held, worn, used, loved. Waiting to feel that sense of belonging. Years of memories, almost mocking me each time I enter my home, which, regardless of the fullness of it, is completely empty.

It's funny. When I went there today, I called out as a habit, "Hello! Anyone home?"


"oh..... right...."

As humans, we exist.

That's inevitable. Obvious. Clear. I hope that's not a surprise.

As humans, we naturally have a routine of some sort. Most of them may be something like this: wake up, get dress, eat, work, school, home, dinner, sleep. We do this all the time. We survive. We exist.

Existence is interesting, if you really think about it. We can all do it. Every single one of us. Easy enough. We can do what we need to survive. We can get the best job. Provide for ourselves and our families, as well as we very well should.  We can get the fanciest car, or the nicest clothes, lots of decor, and lots of... just stuff.


As humans, we should live.

LIVING, in my eyes, is NOT the same as EXISTING. It is to give something more. It is to give the world a bit of YOU. To MAKE YOUR MARK.

I was bored just now, so I decided to look up the word "live." Check this out.

                         LIVE: to continue in operation, existence, memory; to remain ALIVE.

Death can do interesting things. It opens your eyes a lot more at how you're living your life. It's been a little bit of time. I've been doing a lot of thinking about this. Don't ask me why. Just happens.

My parents and brothers LIVED their lives. They made every moment count. They told the people that they loved that, well, they loved them! They were there for their family. Family was always first. They served with all their might, mind, and strength, not only those around them, but also in their callings in the church. They shared the gospel with their friends. They invited.

They were prepared when they were called home...

(Now, I may be a little biased, but I think all 2,000+ people that attended their funeral would agree with me on that...)

Here's the interesting thing, though. They didn't take ANY of that pointless stuff. It was left behind. The only few things that they took with them were the following:

*Their memories
*Their service rendered
*Their developed character
*The knowledge that they learned, both temporally and spiritually
*Their testimonies of the gospel

... Am I prepared?? 

What am I doing now to prepare me for that time? Am I LIVING or am I just EXISTING? Do I tell the people that I love that I, well, love them? Do I serve? Do I put in all my time and effort to make a difference?

Well, maybe not to the FULLEST... not as much as I would like.

I think that when a trial happens, Heavenly Father understands that we are heartbroken. I think that when a trial happens, he understand that we will struggle. I think that when a trial happens, he's going to allow us to hurt and cry and question.

I also think that when a trial happens, Heavenly Father does NOT expect us to crumble completely. I don't think he wants us to shut up, shut down.

In fact, I have a firm testimony that he expects the opposite. He expects us to lift each other up. He expects us to look for the blessings, no matter how hard. He expects us to look at our lives just a little bit differently...

He wants us to live.

Life is all about the little daily things that makes us FEEL. It's not just about the happy times, it's also about the angry times. It's about the sad times. It's about the confusing times.

And we feel the most, when we LIVE.

So, here are some things I am going to do to live.

Take a picture of moments in your day. Laugh when something is funny. Tell someone that you love them. Tell someone when you're upset. Help someone. Serve someone. Go on an adventure! Dream big, and go for it! Shoot for the moon, because even if you don't land there, you will land in the stars! Develop your talents. Find something beautiful. Admire someone for their attributes. Be grateful for your own attributes. Allow someone into your life. Allow yourself to feel love. Allow yourself to love. Make a friend. Be a friend. Learn something new. Exercise. Admire the beautiful world that you live in. Testify of something that you know to be true. Teach something. Let your personality shine.

"Life isn't about seeking out who you are. It's about seeking out who you want to become." - Bill Parrish 

In the end, that's what it's all about.

Today is precious. Live it.                                                    


  1. Amen! Jensen you are a bright shining star in this world and you always have been!! Love you! Jan Hatt

  2. Jensen, you lift us all up!! I love you!! Linda Donaldson

  3. Jensen, you are a true inspiration to everyone around you. Thank you for being an amazing example and showing true strength.

  4. Hello,
    I too lost a family member unexpectedly. Your words resonate deeply and you express what I couldn't at that time. Thank you for that. I may not know you, but you are impacting others more than you may ever know. Thank you for that.

  5. I just came across this because it was posted on another person's facebook page. I don't know you. I HAVE heard of your family tragedy. I am impressed that you are trying to make the best of it. May God continue to be with you as you recover and react to your new existence.

  6. my daughter died almost 9 years ago. in those 9 years i went from having a strong (albeit desperate to see her again) faith, to now practically losing my faith completely. grief is hard. thank you for your words. they're inspiring.


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