Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Opportunity

3 months = 1/4 of a year = X amount of a lifetime.
Time is weird.

Why is it that when we want Time to go fast, he tends to slow down? Almost like he's saying, "Look, I can only do so much, and I can't please everyone!"
But then, when we want him to slow down, he overworks, overtime, much too fast? Yet, it's all the same. 24 hours. 1,440 minutes. 86,400 seconds everyday. It's a weird concept to me. Just plain weird.

On Memorial Day, Time hit me hard. He reminded me how much I need to do. And he forced my mind recall how much time I possibly have before I will see them again. And looking down at each of their designated spot in the ground, I could almost feel him say, "Life is shorter than you will ever realize."

Yesterday, Time hit me hard. I have an unknown amount of it.

He likes to tease me.

...

(It's no fun realizing that when you want to visit your family, you have to go to the cemetery...)

I realized that I was secretly angry. Angry that Time continued to go his merry way, expecting me to keep up with his time schedule. And everyone else was going along with it.

But I don't want to move. I want the world to stop.

"Why are you still moving?? How can the world possibly go on, when mine has completely fallen apart? Time, just stop, for 5 minutes! Please!"

Or maybe it wasn't such a secret...

But, Time can't stop. That's not his fault. Which leaves only one option.

I have to move on.

And I realized that. Looking at the graves. No headstones yet.

I have to go on. I need to catch up. It can't stop.

I can't stop.
............

If there's anything that I learned from my mission, it's that the gospel is a verb, more so than a noun. It looks forward. It works. It's something you do.

It's a lifestyle.

It's not something that's stagnant. It's not something that waits. It's more than just hope. It's more than just a belief.

"The gospel is another word for opportunity." -Ephraim's Rescue

THE opportunity to change. THE opportunity to change yourself to become who you are MEANT to become.

Yesterday was hard, but today doesn't have to be, because of the gospel. Because Heavenly Father loves me so much, I have the knowledge that I'm going to see my family again. You have the hope that you will see your loved ones again. That is stemmed because of the Atonement of Christ, who suffered not only the penalty of our sins, but also, the pains that we feel EVERY DAY. So that is covered, when we CHOOSE to accept it. +

So, why would I not move forward? Why would I just stand here, when I could be moving, doing everything I can to make that happen?

Why wouldn't I live my life, knowing that it is short, and precious, and sweet, and I only get one mortal life? How am I going to exemplify my life?

When you think about it, you will realize that the greatest people who ever walked on this earth, never stopped. They were not stagnant, and they didn't let the situation get the better of them. Not only did they keep up with Time, they looked past it. Forward and onward.

I realized that, yes, this is the biggest trial of my faith thus far in my life. We are all guaranteed at least one of those sometime in this life. But, with this trial, I have received some of the greatest blessings. I have been given so many opportunities that I wouldn't have had otherwise. I have the ability to look past this, and understand that there is a far more infinite meaning for it all.

Our trials are given to us to give us the opportunity to shine.

Why would I not be happy? I have the choice.

Everyday, we have a choice. (Another gift from the gospel.) We have choices. We have the choice to break down, or rise up. We can be sad, or we can be happy. We cannot choose our consequences, but we can choose our outlook.

We can choose to fall and be alone, or we can choose to rely on the Lord.

Which is a much better choice.

Life isn't so bad with the Savior near.

 So. I choose to be happy. I choose to be hopeful. I choose to try to find blessings everyday.

Sometimes, days are harder and more stressful. I choose to be sad, and grumpy. I choose to fall short. And those days aren't happy days.

Those are minutes wasted. That's Time being wasted.

.......

This week, I have a lot to do. And it might be stressful.

But that's ok, because I am moving along. I can't be stagnant.

They wouldn't want that.

I don't want that.

I'm trying. I'm DOING.

I'm seizing this opportunity.




Sunday, May 18, 2014

Look and See

The rusty redness of the canyons stood so magnificently. The wind blew through the trees, giving me enough coolness to balance the burning sun that was bathing my skin. And the trail became steeper and steeper with each step that I took.

But I wanted to reach the top of that mountain.

"Don't look down..."

I'm not afraid of heights. Just of falling.

But my love for accomplishing an adventure will tend to exceed my fear of falling. So, I continued up. And up.

And up...

We had reached midpoint of the trail that lead to the Hidden Canyon. It was shady, so we rested a little bit. I took a moment to look around.

"Zion is beautiful..."

As I looked out, awestruck at the amazingness of the wilderness that we were camping in, they came into my head again.

They are always there.

I don't think they mean to come. I'm sure, really, that they would rather not. I know they would want me to enjoy my time and be with my friends and love the week.

But, unconsciously, my mind seem to enjoy them there, to trap them inside. Keep them there. Not allowing me to forget.

"I wish they were here with me."

And that's when it came. A thought. One sentence.

"I will be on your right hand and on your left."

Randomly.

I looked to my right. I looked to my left. There were mountains. There were trees. Beneath me, there was the canyon. Above me, birds soaring through the sky.

"I will be on your right hand and on your left..."

And it was true. The mountains, the sky, the ground, the birds flying, the bugs buzzing, the clouds rolling... were all His.

I was surrounded by Him. Encompassed by His work created by His hands. I was not alone. Nor am I ever.

What a wonderful world! What a beautiful place! This fan-dandy, colorful, 3-D planet that we live in, was made for us!

"Thank you, for making this place so beautiful. Thank you for caring. Thank you for being there."

God is there. He is with us.

We just have to be willing to look around and see Him.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sometimes, it's New.

It's everywhere.

"Buy the best jewelry that she deserves for Mother's Day."
"My mom is the BEST! #bestfriend #mothersday #bestmomeva!"
"Happy Mother's Day, Mom! You are the best! Don't know where I'd be without you!
"Happy Mother's Day!"

...

Happy Mother's Day, Mom...

**A conversation between a cashier girl and an customer**
Cashier girl: "Happy Mother's Day!"
Customer: "Are you a mother yourself?"
Cashier girl: "Nope, not yet. Someday, maybe."
Customer: "Oh well, then you make sure to enjoy your mother tomorrow. She'd love it!"
 
...
 
I knew that this month would be hard. Never really realized how hard HARD is. I never really knew what a real broken heart is.
 
It's like a mountain. A mountain of feelings and emotions, that have been eroded by the conditions of constant questions such as "How are you doing?" and "What are your plans?" and "Are you taken car of?" and thrown about situations. It's built upon a foundation, which, thankfully, is firm due to a year of nourishment and preparedness, but it still has it's slides. It keeps getting built upon. Smashed upon. Heavier and heavier.  
 
 
Take a trip with me.
 

Sometimes, you fake a smile, like when you're the cute little cashier girl that is not suppose to get upset at the customer, even when that customer is blaming you for not making their favorite soup that day, or you forgot the mustard on their sandwich, and now, that whole order is ruined. Oh, how you want to caustically bite back and say, "At least your kid still alive! You don't even have to worry about them without you in his life!" Refrain.
 
Sometimes, you listen to the recording of your dad's voice on the fire alarm. (Being hard of hearing has it's pros and cons I suppose.) You listen to him say, "There's a fire. Go out the window. Wake up. There's a fire. Go out your window." Why, oh why, could you not have an alarm for the poisonous gas the slowly, quietly, almost politely, took away your last breath, just hours before email day? Let the tears out. You've been holding them all day anyways.
 
Sometimes, you're totally fine. Nothing goes wrong. Things are ok. The sun is shining. Wear shorts. Cut your hair. Change is good. Put it up. Customers are very sweet today, even the sympathetic ones that recognize you, regardless of your new bangs and slightly straighter hair. They ask the famous question... "How are you doing?" And you can't help but laugh inside, because you know that interpretative dancing would be a whole heck of a lot funnier than answering with the lie, "I'm good." Or sometimes, you just flat out tell the truth. "Meh, it's one of those days."... "That's a bad day to ask that question." ... *Stare*
 
Yes. Sometimes those days happen. That's normal.
 
Then, sometimes, you have those special days that remind you an extra bunch.
 
Days like Mother's Day. 
 
And there is no pretense. Everything is multiplied by some.
 
The happy is creepy. The anger is extreme. The sadness is depressing. The numbness almost hurts.
 
And the questions.
So many.
Most particularly, the "Whys."
 
So. You pray. A lot. Sometimes, you don't even realize it, but you are as you are driving to work. Sometimes, you're with your friends and family, and you can't handle the chaos, and you pray in your mind. Sometimes, it's even out loud, and people look at you like you're crazy. Ignore them.
 
Because what it comes down to, is that it doesn't matter what other people think. It doesn't matter if they feel that you broke a promise for not going back out on your mission. It doesn't matter if people don't understand why you aren't the same as you were. It doesn't matter how many times they say, "I feel ya." It doesn't matter if they think one way. They aren't you. They don't know.
 
So, you talk to the one person who does. You listen to his promptings. You do what he says. Even when it doesn't seem like the norm. 
 
Since when has He done "The Norm" anyways?  
 
Your normal is different. Your normal has changed. Your normal is new.
 
So, this Mother's day will be different. And Father's day. As will all the Christmases and New Years.
 
But the doesn't mean it's bad. Or terrible. Just new.
 
So, Mom, I say, Happy Mother's Day!
My mom is the best! #bestfriend #mothersday #bestmomeva!
Happy Mother's Day. You are the best...
 
And I don't know who I'd be without you.
 
Happy Mother's Day.
 
  


Friday, May 2, 2014

Sha-Bam #1

A little Drop of Awesome for you.

YOU ARE A CHILD OF GOD. 

Think on that for a minute. Ponder it. What does that mean?

Well, we could think about it from a more biological perspective. We inherit earthly physical traits from our earthly physical parents. We have their eyes, nose, face, skin... We even develop very similar personality traits from them as well. Sometimes, it's being stubborn. Sometimes, it's patience. Sometimes, it's the ability to look on the bright side of life. You know the drill.

So... if we develop traits from our earthly parents... why would we not inherit spiritual traits from our Heavenly Father? Who is, by the way, the FATHER of ALL families, and the ETERNAL FATHER of our heavenly family, which includes ALL OF US?

Let's go a little deeper. So, not only is he our Heavenly Father, and our Eternal Father, but just to add on to that, he is our LOVING Heavenly Eternal Father. WHICH MEANS! He will do literally ANYTHING for us. And that also means... that we can do ANYTHING with his help.

HOW COOL IS THAT??? 

DID YOU KNOW...

-That he knows you by name?
-He knows what's going on in your life? And what will happen in your life?
-He wants you to be a part of your life?
-He listens to you?
-He laughs with you?
-He cries with you?
-He will give you anything that you stand in need of, and He won't give you anything that you cannot handle, nor would He take advantage of you in any way?
-He LOVES you?

Just think on that.

One of my favorite primary songs...

I am a child of God, and He has sent me here.
Has given me an earthly home with parents kind and dear.

I am a child of God, and so my needs are great.
Help me to understand his words before it grows to late.

I am a child of God. Rich blessings are in store.
If I but learn to do His will, I'll live with Him once more.

I am a child of God. His promises are sure.
Celestial glory can be mine if I can but endure.

Lead me, guide me, walk besides me.
Help me find the way.
Teach me all that I must do to live with Him someday. 


Have you ever realized how much eternal truths are in there, and how many promises are in there? Yes, you are a child of God. Which means...

1. He has given you this earth and your body, with parents who love you. Or, if you're like me, and you're parents are not here on earth at the moment, you have Heavenly Parents, who love you, and are kind and dear.

2. His gospel will answer EVERY need that we have and every question that we have.

3. When we do his will and keep his commandments, we will live with him.

4. He always fulfills his promises.

5. If we endure, we will have eternal life. And we will be happy. With our families.

How AWESOME is that?
That YOU are a part of that promise?
YOU are a part of that love?

Never doubt your divine potential. Never doubt your worth. Never put aside the gifts that you have.

Because they are inherited by someone far more astonishing and amazing that we can understand.

The Search Engine

Curiosity got the better of me.
Type. Type. Click. Click. Search engine. Click.

**What comes up when you Google search Parrish Family Pocatello**
-Siblings speak out after family dies from carbon monoxide
-4 family members likely died from carbon monoxide
-Two LDS missionaries heading home after family dies from...
-Dr. William "Bill" Bart Parrish/ Colonial Home

**What comes up when you Google image search Parrish Family Pocatello**
-My house
-Liam's 2013 school picture
-Keegan's 2013 school picture
-2012 family photo, taken right before Ian left for his mission. This would also be the picture that would be the most publicized.
-A portrait of Mom
-A portrait of Dad
-Ian and me during our interview
-The candlelight viewing

**In short**
Exposure.



The search engine reminded me of everything that I hold near and dear. It reminded of the truth. 

They're gone.

And you still have something to do here. 

I think that's the hardest part. Knowing that there is something still that I am called to fulfill in this life. And not knowing what that something is. 

Life is a cycle. Everything will always relate to one thing or another. Again, I am reminded to live, and not just exist. Remember that I have a legacy to live up to.

But it's not just my family legacy that I am to make a part of my life.

A picture stands out at me. Me and Ian sitting, in the process of being interviewed. At the time, both still set apart. Both still in proselyting attire. Both still wearing two names on the right side of our shirts. 

Both of us will be known as the Missionaries who lost our families. Both of us will be known as the two young adults, whose faith got them through this time of their young life. 

It's kind of crazy... 

As I type this, a scripture comes to my head. One of my favorites, actually. I can't believe it didn't come to me before... Mosiah 24:13-14:

"And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them of out bondage.
And I will also EASE THE BURDENS which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions."

Interesting. It doesn't say he's going to take trials away...

Why not? Why can he not just take away all the pain and heartache? Why can't he make everything better the way that WE want to? 

Maybe, perhaps, it's because he knows better. 

Maybe you're not like me, maybe I'm the only person in the world who thinks this way. I try to find the inner meaning.

"There is something happening on the other side of the veil, and he needed all four of them."... "This is the trial of my faith."... "This is suppose to prepare me for some great eventful blessing in my life."...

... 

Or maybe, he just knows better than I. 

And maybe, I just need to have faith. And just go and do. 

And maybe, you do too. 

Maybe we will never know why things happened the way that they happened. Maybe we won't ever understand why people have to leave us sooner than later. 

It comes to, He just knows us better. And he has something going on. And we are a part of that. 

We are a part of His awesome plan that is happening. And it never goes wrong. Our part is to be a witness of Him, always. And He gives us strength, more than we realize.

I heard a quote once. "You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only thing you can be." 

Maybe it should really read, "You never know how much strength you can receive until relying on Him is the only thing you can do." 

Because, let's be real.

The search engine pulled up all those pictures. And the badge reminds me.

We have so much to do. We are called to do it. Our burdens will be made light. Perhaps not all the way lifted. Not yet. But that's how life is. We keep going. We are refined in the process. Created into something far greater than we ever expected. Even when we don't understand. 

But, maybe that's part of the refining process. Not knowing everything that will happen. Going on, even just hoping that things get better eventually. We become immovable and steadfast. 

We become a witness.