Sunday, December 31, 2017

Take the New Year and make yourself into someone better than you've ever been.

Happy New Year's Eve! Can you believe it's the end of the year?! What a crazy year it has been! It's been a really stressful year that has stretched me in ways I couldn't even imagine being stretched in. But it's been a good year for me. I've grown and learned a lot. I've learned a lot about me and things that I want, and things that I need, and I have grown closer to my Savior in so many wonderful and beautiful ways. I am looking forward to continue to grow closer to Him, and to hopefully grow stronger and become more confident in several additional aspects of my life. I am hoping to change a lot of things this year, with the help of my Savior. I am not going to be able to do all the things I am planning to do without Him, so it is a good thing I can turn to Him. I am excited for this New Year and can't wait to see where it takes me!

This year has been really full of a lot of changes, and distressing times, and a lot of decisions that I needed to make, but I realized that:
1) I need to finish school. Whatever happens, I need to get a degree. Last semester was the worst one yet, and I really wanted to quit, but I need to finish. I am literally so close.
2) I am going to be okay by myself.
3) I am who I am, and that is okay. But sometimes I need to take a breather and slow down, and calm down.
4) Sometimes I will not know what I am doing. Sometimes I will not know where I am going. Sometimes I will just not know. And that is completely fine.

Because of the things I've learned this year, I have several ideas for my New Year's Resolutions:
-To be confident and patient/to have confidence and patience (in myself, in friendships, in dating, etc.)
-To be stronger (in my testimony, in my determination to do what's right)
-To be less me (focus more on others)
-To be more studious (in school, in scripture study. I also want to study The Living Christ this year)
-To be more grateful (I want to focus more on what I have)
-To go to the temple more (I want to make a goal to go to the temple for baptisms/confirmations at least once a month, but to go to the temple grounds at least two times a month)

When making New Year's Resolutions, here are some things to keep in mind:
-Start now
-Keep an eternal perspective
-Find what works for YOU
-Accept that you will fail (maybe not all the time, but you will fail)
-Remember that no matter how many times you fail, Heavenly Father is proud of you for trying and will always love you!

Last year, one of my New Year's Resolutions was to focus on my Savior every week. I am not going to lie, I don't think I 100% followed that resolution. But I think it was because I was looking at it the wrong way. I think that because of what I've learned in the last year, and the resolutions I have this year, that I will be able to focus more on my Savior this year.
I think what I should have done last year was what I did this year: make more mini-goals to add up to my big goal(s). Another thing that I should have done was keep a special journal to track my progress in my goals. I also just saw an idea that I loved that I want to adapt and try: the idea was to, at the end of the week, write something good that happened that week and put it in a mason jar. I want to try and write at the end of the day something good that happened that day. And if I can't think of something, I'll write something about the day that I'm grateful for. I think that this will help me be more positive, and be able to focus on things, and ground myself when I'm having tough or dark days. If I can just find one bright thing about my day, even when it's been horrible, I know that I will be able to get through it.

It's been a good year! Long, and full of many adventures, misadventures, and learning, but it was a good year. I hope that I can take this New Year and make not only it and my life into something good, but I hope that I can take it and make me into someone better than I've ever been before. I hope that you can work on your resolutions throughout the whole year. Don't be discouraged if you fail a time or two--if you never fail, you never succeed.


Sunday, December 24, 2017

Everything He did, He did for us.

I love going home. I am so thankful for the Christmas season. I love my Savior and am so grateful for His birth, life, and sacrifice. I would no be where I am today without Him. I have been given so much help and strength from Him, and He has sent me people I've needed–they've either been friends I've needed, lessons I needed to learn, or they've been a source of love, help, and strength. Sometimes they've been all three. I am so grateful for them though. No matter what I learned or gained, they were what I needed at the time. I wish I could understand...I wish we could all understand why we all have to go through hard and painful things, because sometimes it feels like they will never end and that there aren't lessons to learn from them, but I know that there is a lesson. Someday, you will know the answer. I know that you are learning things from each and every experience you got through. And you are becoming a better, stronger person for it.

Merry Christmas Eve! I hope you are able to remember the reason for the season. Christmas is a time to remember the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for His sacrifice and His willingness to come to Earth to be born to save us all. He was born to save us, He lived to save us, and He died to save us. Everything He did, He did it for us. I am so thankful for Him. I do not know where I would be without Him, and I do not want to find out.

I am grateful for His mother, and for her willingness to give birth to Him, and to teach Him how to be kind, and considerate, and compassionate, and loving. I am so thankful for Joseph, and for his willingness to teach Him hard work, and diligence, and strength. Because through these lessons to Him, I have learned how to be this way.

I hope you have a safe and warm and happy Christmas! God bless you!


Sunday, December 17, 2017

The answers will come in time.

Finals week is finally here and I could not do it without my Savior. This week has been really difficult mentally and I am so grateful I am not alone. I got my first two finals DONE! And although I am nervous for the remaining three, I feel like I will be able to focus and study more this week.
I am so thankful for friends willing to talk and listen. It has been so helpful this week. Finals week is always hard, but for some reason this semester's finals have seemed to be so impossible. I think it might be because of a lot of things, but I am slowly working through it with the help of my Savior. He has made this insanely difficult semester bearable, and He has blessed me with amazing roommates and friends that I can talk to. I can never thank Him–or them–enough for being willing to be there, and for being there for me on my darkest, most lonely, most depressing, most unmotivated days. There are some things, I've come to realize, I have to live with, and some of those things I can't deal with alone. So I am beyond blessed to have a loving Heavenly Father who sent His Son to die for me so that I don't have to go through it alone. I can always turn to Him and He will always be there for me. 
I had a wonderful day today, and I did a lot of thinking. I've done a lot of thinking these past few weeks.

College is so difficult.

Dating is so difficult.

Life is hard. You have to deal with lots and lots of people with many different personalities. You have to figure out how to deal with their emotions, and how to treat them properly. You have to go to work, and go to school.

It's hard to maintain an eternal perspective in life sometimes.  But God will bless you with people. He will bless you with experiences. He will bless you with exactly what you need to remind you of your divine potential. He will bless with you with exactly what you need to keep an eternal perspective.

You have to keep your head up.

You might be going through some crazy tough times, and it might have been happening for a long time, or for a short period of time. You might not understand WHY these things are happening to you. You might not be able to see HOW these trials will help you in the future.

But I promise you...the answers WILL come in time. God will not leave you alone, without answers or peace. He will bless you. He loves you and wants what is best for you.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Christmas Musical Fireside!!

Oh my goodness gracious, guys, the Fireside was SO AMAZING!!!!! AH!!! I really could feel the Spirit so strong and all of the musical numbers were wonderful and amazing! I am so thankful that this month-long project of mine turned out really well!! It has been such a blessing in my life to work on, and even though it has been very stressful, all of the hard work that everyone has put into it paid off!! There was so much passion, and humbleness, and spiritualness in each and every piece–it was beautiful, and magical, and I am so, so, so, thankful!!!  💜💜💜💜💜💜

Allow yourself to be forgiven.

Well, today's the day of all the musics!! I was thinking a lot about it during the sacrament today.
I am so thankful for my Savior. It has been a crazy and stressful week, what with finalizing the Fireside tonight, writing papers, and preparing to sing my solo in sacrament meeting. I was able to get everything done but am now absolutely termed something is going to go horribly wrong. Also, I'm nervous, so that doesn't exactly help haha. It honestly is going to be so amazing but my anxiety kicked in this week/weekend and I've been struggling to kick it out. Luckily I have been praying for peace and calm assurance, so I'm feeling slightly better. I don't know where I'd be without my Savior's help and love. I need i each and every day. So thankful that He is always there!  💜
Well, first music of the day was me singing "Oh Holy Night" in sacrament meeting. And of course I was the first number right after the sacrament. So the whole time the sacrament was going on I was trying to be so, so calm, but I was honestly absolutely terrified (as you can see from my thoughts during the sacrament today). Afterwards, I was like, "I feel like I am simultaneously getting better and more confident at performing, but also more nervous each and every time." I don't know how that works haha but that's how it is.

In Gospel Principles, we talked about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and we talked about it in an amazing new light that I loved. Some of the things that we talked about today were things that I needed to hear. One thing that we talked about was that forgiveness is you repenting of having hard feelings for them, and forgiving the debt that you feel they owe you. It isn't possible for them to pay that debt. Only Jesus Christ can do that. Another thing we talked about was that part of turning to God and Christ is allowing ourselves to be forgiven. If He says we're forgiven, we're forgiven.

(One thing I was thinking about, too, is that we need to allow ourselves to feel. Feel love, feel patience, feel forgiven, etc.)

I loved church today! It was so amazing and I received several answers, which is always the best! :)

Now, I am so nervous and excited for the fireside tonight!! We had choir practice at 2:30p today and we TOTALLY NAILED the song that has been the most tricky, so I am so excited!! It is going to be so fun! And so full of music and messages of the birth of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for this opportunity, but it has been very stressful. I am so thankful for my friend (and choir pianist) Julia for all of her help. ALSO! I have always been very grateful towards those in charge of putting on concerts and firesides and things, and now I am 1000% more grateful and I totally understand all the things that they go through now. Like, I had an idea, but honestly, I had NO IDEA.

So grateful for this Christmas season! I'm grateful for #LightTheWorld and the opportunities for love and service that I have to share my love and to serve those around me. Hope you have a non-stressful and very pleasant week! I'll post how the Fireside goes later in a new post! Happy Sunday!


Sunday, December 3, 2017

Rejoice in the times you've done right.

Happy December!! I am so excited for this holiday season!!

It's been quite a stressful week for me. But it's been a pretty good weekend, so that's been great. I am so thankful for friends who are always willing to listen and lend a helping hand. I'm thankful for my Savior, who's helped me know the things I can/cannot/should not do this past week. I learned a lot about what I want and need to do this week, and in the weeks to come. And I think I am ready. Last night, I couldn't figure out how to say what I was feeling. So instead, I took 10-20-ish minutes or so and just drew. I had 3 different ideas and only 2 of them I was able to finish, but I think they capture how I've been feeling lately. And now that I've 'vocalized' them, I feel a lot better. I guess I just needed to get those feelings out (which makes sense when I think about who I am as a person, but I digress). I am so grateful for the talents that I have ben given that help me express my feelings in a myriad of ways when the other ones don't work out. I'm grateful for my Savior, and for His life and example. I'm grateful for opportunities that I have to serve those around me, and for the love that I feel from my friend  on my darkest days. Sometimes I don't think I can make it though, but then I remember specific friends who have blessed my life in countless ways, and I feel their love and support, and I know that I can make it.

I wanted to share my favorite thoughts that were shared today:
-Everyone has something that is persistent and needs persistence to overcome, and sometimes we just want to give up. Whatever tunnel you're going through, however long it is...we can be tempted to throw in the towel...but the light of Christ is and will be with you.
-The Savior can deliver us from hard times. He is ALWAYS there. Even if we can't see Him.
-Put Jesus Christ first (and everything will fall into place).
-There is no place you cannot go that He has not been before. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Or is the light walking beside us?
-Rejoice in the times you've done right.
-You have the right to be made completely whole through the Atonement.

We talked about dating in Relief Society today, which isn't always my favorite topic. But today was good. The main thing that was talked about was to be yourself, be patient, be honest, etc...All things that I've heard all the time. But one thing that I wrote down was, "Be who you want to be married to." I loved that. I think it's not really cool if you expect certain things of the person you want to be married to and you're not that way. Like, I personally am looking for someone who is kind and loves to serve other people. Luckily I am already that way, but if I wasn't kind or loved serving other people, it wouldn't be right if I expected my future husband to be that way when I wasn't.

Never forget who you are. You are a wonderful individual who deserves peace and love. You are a wonderful daughter or son of God, who loves you and wants you to be happy.

I am so excited for the #LightTheWorld initiate that the Church has put out this year. I wanted to share today's video. I hope this link works! I am so excited for this year's 25 days of service. I hope you will check it out.

I am so excited for my ward's Christmas Musical Fireside next week!! It is going to be amazing! I can't wait!! I have put so much into this project this semester and honestly it has been such a blessing! It's been wonderful to have a positive activity to focus my energy on amidst all the struggles of this semester. It's been hard, and I've sometimes focused on the negative aspects of the semester, but I know that as I've rejoiced in the things that I have done right, and as I have given myself credit for the things that I have gotten done, and given myself some slack for different things that didn't go according to plan, life has had a more positive outlook. I can't always control things, and I need to recognize that. I have been working on it and it is getting better. :)

I hope you have a wonderful week! :)