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When Grief becomes Scattered

There are no clouds. The leaves twirl a little dance with the breeze, and the sun relaxes. Summer is long over, but the sun still has some warmth to share with us.
Jake and I drive down the street, on our way to a family gathering, minding our own business. Suddenly, Jake notices something. He pulls the truck over to the side. I'm confused, and look out the window.
A man in work clothes is running. He's in a hurry to get somewhere, so Jake rolls down the window and says, "Hey, do you need a ride somewhere?" The man gratefully smiles, and says, "Yes, thanks man! I'm just down the road!"
"Well, that's where we're headed, so hop on in!" Jake smiles. I move over, allowing the man to sit in the truck.

Jake introduces himself, "I'm Jacob. And this is my wife, Jensen."
The man introduces himself (forgive me sir, I forgot your name) and looks at me and says, "Sorry, what's your name again?"
"It's Jensen,&qu…

A message from a Daddy

I need to find it.

The back room/guest room/storage room's bookcase is filled with books from friends and dvds from my parents' house. At the bottom of the bookshelf, I see them: binders full of letters from my mission. Every letter that was ever written to me, most of the emails ever sent, are stuffed in those binders.

I pull them out. Where do I begin?

I flip page after page, letter after letter, until I realize that the words spoken at my setting apart, the words my mom had typed out for me to read, the words I am looking for, would most likely be in an envelope, and if it's in an envelope, it would be in one of the binders' pockets. So I start looking.

Flip flip... pull pull... "Not that one..."
Next binder.
Flip flip... pull pull... "No..." 
Last binder.
Flip... 

Something catches my eye. Not an envelope. An email that has been printed.

On it says, "How is my precious girl?"

It's an email from Dad.
I can't help myself.
I sit down…

Total Eclipse- The 1% Difference

To others, the land would be nothing less of desolate. Sage brush infest the ground, growing up to a man's knee, as far as the eye can see. When the wind blows, the dust of the ground lifts up, sometimes circling in the air, a cloud on the ground that one can walk through. Surrounding this land, mountains stand majestically, protecting anything from coming out, and even more importantly, keeping anything from coming in.

Arco, Idaho. Little Loss River. The land of desolate, a place where not many would come. And it is perfect for us.

The sun bares down on us as we look up, eyes covered by our solar glasses, all of us excited. We are about to experience a natural phenomenon- a solar eclipse. The kids are excited, exclaiming, "Look! Can you see! WHOA!" To the naked eye, it appears to be just the sun, yet with the glasses, we see the reality- the moon slowly but surely covering the sun. To me, it's a juxtaposition-the lesser light covering the greater.

We sit, anticipati…

When Life gives you Lemons: A lesson from a glass of Lemonade

My heart stopped pounding and mellowed out at the words, "Please know that we are indeed grateful for your work, but we have no positions open at the moment." This was it: the moment of truth. The truth was, I didn't make it. The truth was, even though I had worked hard and done what I could, in the end, this job wasn't in the plan.

The tears didn't come initially. In fact, my first thought was honestly, "Ok. Well, that didn't work out. Just gotta think of a new plan! Hopefully, Jake will get his position, and that will work out better anyways." No, those tears didn't come until about an hour or so later, when the negativity started to fill my head.
You aren't good enough. You suck.  All those hours of preparation, and this is what you get? You failed.
Those thoughts filled my head for the rest of the day into the next, while I was preparing to go to work for a job that in the end, I wouldn't have in about a month. Those words seemed to gnaw…

"Dear Students..."

Dear seminary students,

I get it.

I know that it's hard having the new student teacher. I've been there. I remember being a freshman and being moved from one of the best teachers to the "new guy." He was weird and awkward. My desire to go to seminary dramatically decreased. Going to class felt like having 2 cement blocks for feet, and dragging myself into the classroom felt like a chore. I dreaded it, but I knew he was trying. I remember I tried to help him out by answering questions, but there was only so much I could do before it became too much. He needed other students to answer, and nobody wanted to do it.
He didn't get hired.

So, I promise I get it. Really, I'm not that much older than you. Heck, I'm young enough to be your older sister!

But, I want to thank you. Thank you for showing up to class everyday. You are here because whether or not you want to be here, you made the choice to do so.

Dear students,

I get it.

Life is insane right now, and hig…