Thursday, November 20, 2014

I'm feelin' good

It is times like these when I just need to remember to count my many blessings.

You know those times. Those days where your first class drags because the monotone speaker drones on and on and on about things that you can just look on a paper yourself. Those times where you forgot an important assignment, so you can't even be in class, because there is no point. Those times where you work most of your week, not being able to do homework until later, but then, being so exhausted, which already adds to the mental, and not to mention, physical exhaustion of just living.

There. That felt better. I needed to get that out.
I'm not perfect.
And I'm not great all the time.

I think that makes me secretly sad. I want to be great all the time. I want to feel the way that people view me to feel; spunky, lively, independent, adventurous, happy go-lucky. I want to be like my heroes. I want to always be smiling. I want to be positive.
But, more often than not, I'm just not.

I think, quite honestly, it's always been a struggle for me. Even when I was younger, I was not always the most positive. Mostly about myself. I always picked on myself.
But, I have this ability to "fake it till I make it." Which helps sometimes.

And then, I have days when I just want to crash and burn.
So, I do.
I crash and burn.

Sometimes, it comes in outbursts and angry words. Sometimes, it's holding in feelings of frustration when random people are annoying me with their constant prying into my life with questions while I am just trying to sell them some rolls. Sometimes, it's when I'm crying to my boyfriend about how sad my life is without them, and how I want to move on but I don't feel like I can.

So, I let myself feel those moments. I eat them up. Spit it out. Engulf in the moment.

And somehow, I always feel worse.
It's not necessarily a great way to live.

And so, I count blessings.
Here we go.
...

Today, I woke up in a bed.
Today, I have a car to drive.
Today, I am able to go to school.
I won't be going hungry today.
I have family.
I know what it is like to love.
I know what it is like to be loved.
I won't be alone for the holidays.
The gospel is true.
Families are forever.
I'm learning about something that I truly love to do.
I'm learning about things that I truly don't love to do, but I'm still learning, and that's what matters.
I have friends. Lots of them, that would do anything for me, and I for them.
I'm wearing clothes.
I have a phone.
I'm using talents to help people.
People are using talents to help me.
Music filled my ears today.
I don't have to work today, and I get to work to tomorrow.
Heck, I have a job.
I'm dating an amazing awesome guy.
I live with funny people who entertains me all the time.
I get to see my brother in 4 DAYS!!
We will be together during the holidays.
I can always start over.
I read scriptures this morning, and learned awesome things and got answers.
I'm warm.
It's Thanksgiving Break! HALLE-FREAKIN-LUJAH!
I survived school.
Heck, I'm living life!
I'm doing hard things that most people my age will never have to deal with, and I'm growing and developing from these things.
I have people who help me with these things.
God is patient, which is a blessing, because heaven knows he needs it with me.
Christ is patient, which is a blessing, because sometimes, I am a brat.
My body functions fairly well. Better than most.
I can run.
I can walk.
I can jump.
I can play.
Christmas is coming.
Outside is pretty.
I'm sealed to my family.
...

I did that just now, no pre thinking. Just sat and wrote for 5 minutes.
And now, the day doesn't seem so bad.
I really do have it good, don't I?
I'm feelin' good.

So, a cliche' (LOL, if you know me, you know how much I just LOOOOVE cliches'...) Thanksgiving challenge for you. Especially if you had a not so great morning like myself.

Set a timer. 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, I don't care. But set it, and start writing. Write all the blessings you can think of. Temporal or spiritual. Today or yesterday's. Whatever you feel.

See how much the Lord really does.
You'll be amazed.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Realization

December 25, 2013 was the last time I saw them.

It was via Skype, for which I am eternally grateful. I remember being so excited to talk to them and see their faces. Keegs hair was out of control long and curly. Liam looked not so little anymore.

They wanted to talk to me the most. They wanted to hear all about the mission. I told them all that I could. I showed them their sign names.

I talked to Mom and Dad next. I told them about my mission. I updated them on things that they asked about.

But, I didn't tell them too much.
Because I knew I'd see them just a few short months later.

"Man, I can't wait to serve a mission." Words spoken by Keegan Parrish.

I realized something today.
Unless you have served a mission, it is more difficult to listen to the missionary stories. Maybe not hard, but I've come to realize that the people who have served missions are the ones that really connect to your stories. They know what you've gone through. They understand your "missionary vocabulary." They get it when you talk about the struggles. They really understand your joy when even just one person comes to church.
I don't know, they just understand.

And that was something that I was super excited to talk about with them.
Especially Dad. Because he would have understood.
Keegan and Liam were planning on being able to understand when they turned 18.
Dad and Mom were planning on being able to understand when the time was right.

It hit me today, how badly I had wanted to share those experiences with them. How badly I wanted to reminisce and remember and reflect with them. How much I wanted to tell the boys, and get them excited about their own missions. It was going to be so cool! We would have all served.

I wish I could have known that that was going to be the last time I would see them. I wish I could have known that it was my last chance to verbally tell them.

Patience is such a virtue. The unknown may frighten us. The possibilities keep us on our toes. And the yearning within us causes us to wonder. And sometimes hurt.
Patience is definitely a virtue I have yet to achieve.

I like this description of patience:

Patience is the capacity to endure delay, trouble, opposition, or suffering without becoming angry, frustrated, or anxious. It is the ability to do God's will and accept his timing, When you are patient, you hold up under pressure and are able to face adversity calmly and hopefully. Patience is related to hope and faith- you must wait for the Lord's promised blessings to be fulfilled. (Preach my Gospel, page 120)

So, I'll wait.
And one day, I'll be able to tell them everything. And one day, they will be able to tell me about their missions.
Because that is what they are doing. They are doing missionary work.
That's what it's all about.
It's all about the work, and learning, and growing, and developing. It's a constant, strait path.

No, not straight.
Strait.
It's a one way road, and so narrow, and requires our absolute best. Not perfection. That's impossible. But our best.
And our best is always possible.

I can't wait to have that time again.

I can't wait when we are all sitting together, and we can share everything that we learned from our missions.

"And now my beloved brethren, I would exhort you to have patience, and that ye bear with all manner of afflictions... But that ye have patience, and bear with those afflictions, with a firm hope that ye shall one day rest from all your afflictions." Alma 34:40-41 

The longer the wait, the sweeter the reunion.