Friday, October 29, 2010

Your Dash

I went to a funeral this afternoon, which was a bunch of mixed emotions. If you know me, you have probably heard me say that I'm excited to die, not that I am suicidal, but that I'm excited for the next part of life, after this one.   A roommate of mine shared a book with me that she has, and it had this poem in it. It's not the first time I've heard it. It was read at a funeral for a friend of mine that passed away in high school. I'm glad that I was able to reacquaint myself with it. It makes you reevaluate your life, and what your doing. Is it worth the while? Can you really put off today for tomorrow? Are you going to live for yourself, or for others?

The Dash 
by Linda Ellis
I read of a man who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end

He noted that first came the date of her birth
And spoke the following date with tears,
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years

For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not how much we own;
The cars, the house, the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left,
That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough
To consider what’s true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being read
With your life’s actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
About how you spent your dash?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Every day we are Survivors.

Endure. And Endure well as President Eyring has stated many times. 
To hold out against; sustain without impairment or yielding; undergo: to bear without resistance or with patience; tolerate

to support adverse force or influence of any kind; suffer without yielding; suffer patiently:

As I have been reading in my 10 minutes here and 30 minutes there of free time that I get, I have been reading Thomas S Monson's new biography, and fell in love with a reoccurring theme.
"Heavenly Father works through us to accomplish an objective in the life of another to help make someone whole." 
So for whatever reason you feel the need to bake cookies for someone, or go stop by and visit, or share an experience with a friend, for all you know it will help answer there own prayers, and there own questions, and thoughts they have had themselves. I know that this has happened to me many of times in the past when I was thinking about going on a mission for church. And it seemed to be the stories of others, and the principles that I needed to be reminded of helped me to find the path that I needed to go down.

I have found myself turning to the scriptures a lot more than usual these days, and finding answers to my prayers, and words of wisdom through the words of the prophets of old. Such as patience, cleanliness, purity, knowledge, language, faith in all things, hope, charity, and trials. It's a great comfort to  know that I can rely on the truthfulness of scripture power to direct me in the things that I need to do. 

Something I have been studying more in the scriptures is the Spirit of Elijah. Heavenly Father send him to clarify confusion, and doubt for our generation, and to restore truths to the earth. With his blessing, wife and husband are bound closer, and children are turned to their father and mothers. What also goes along with the spirit of Elijah is that there is strength in truth, and testimony. Confusion and doubt are not among you as you are righteous, and allow the spirit of Elijah to be present in your life. It's something that will apply more to me in my future years, but at the same time is something that I look forward to greatly.

As far as the rest of life goes. It's great. School is awesome. I love learning and I love school, so I find myself bored sometimes in my classes because it's stuff I already know, and so I go into deeper information with the internet and going to the library. I guess I am the epitome of a nerd when it comes down to it. My grades are up, and I'm ready for the semester to be over. If school is harder next semester I dont think I will be able to have two jobs, tutor at the elem school, student gov, and church responsibilities. But I find myself saying that in my head now, and I'm doing better than normal. Tutoring at the elementary school is great. I seriously love those kids, I'll get a picture up next week or soon hopefully. There are a couple of kids that I love and cant wait to see when I go in on Monday and Thursday. 

It's really incredible, that when I put the Lord first in everything that I do how I'm not stressed with life. I may be tired, but I still get everything done and more. Maybe that's just part of who I am, but I know I couldnt do it all without the Lord right beside me.

Still seem to be suffering from homesickness as well. Few things I miss..the people. crazy old drivers, and the fast ones too, the beach obviously, my mom, my friends that I miss like crazy, the weather, the lifestyle.I could go on. But I know I'm suppose to be here right now.


My last name
it comes with many definitions.
comes from england, there are about 20 Straws in the United States
: a natural or artificial heavy fiber used for weaving, plaiting, or braiding
: something of small worth or significance
a tube (as of paper, plastic, or glass) for sucking up a beverage

: a slight fact that is an indication of a coming event 
But here is what my grandpa lives up to.
Strong as an ox, faithful, stubborn, strong willed, serious, story teller, educated, goal oriented, charitable, giving, hard working, knows everything about the gospel, humbled and kind. 
I hope one day I can live up to that of my grandpa. He truly is someone that I want to be like in every way.

Everyday is a second chance to be better.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Keeping it real cool

So since the last time I wrote, quite a bit has happened. First of all I've had some awesome experiences this past week. It's been really crazy with school, tutoring at the elementary school, student government and work.

Luke 12:1  In the mean time, when there were gathered together an innumerable multitude of people, insomuch that they trode one upon another, he began to say unto his disciples first of all, Beware ye of the Leaven of the Pharisees, Which is hypocrisy.

We talked about the word leaven in my institute class. And what it means, and when relating it to ourselves we decided that a leaven is what we allow to grow within ourselves. Good of bad. And so I thought about some of the things that I need to "fertilize" out of my life, and get out. And grow within myself more good things. 

I observed at an elementary school this week, and it helped me find where I think I will work best in teaching. I'm pretty sure that I will want to teach 1st or 4th grade. I know that a majority of the time you don't get to pick what you want to teach at a school, but I can have a focus, and goal for myself. When all is said and done though, I love kids and I love to teach. No matter what grade I teach I can make some kind of a difference. 

Something else that happened this week was a Stake Relief Society Activity. I was asked to share my thoughts on visiting teaching, and share my testimony. Along with 4 other girls. We all made different points, good ones at that. And when Sister Boyce the RS President got up she was in tears, and expressed that what the four of us has said was what she had prepared on four pages to talk on that night.  It was incredible to see that we all got asked to speak on one subject, hit different areas, but listened to the spirit on what to tell the girls. It was just another testament that the Lord does truly work through us to send a message to others that is important to hear more than once or twice. 

I got my midterm grades for 18 credits I am proud and relieved to say that I have 4 A's and 2 B's!! =] I am excited to get done with everything in the spring. I will apply for the education program then, and cross my fingers that I get in! 

Last night I felt like Cameran Diaz in The Holiday
Start it at 5:15

Reason being..I haven't cried since May. I even try to cry and tears don't come It's kind of annoying because for once I actually want to cry, things get overwhelming sometimes, and its okay to cry twice a year, at least a good cry. I keep saying one more thing happen and I will cry, but one more thing does happen, and do I cry? NOPE!! I don't get it. It's like I don't have tear glads!

But. I lost two people this week that were close to me. One was a neighbor of my grandparents that I would go play with when I was younger, and play with there cat, and in their backyard with some of my friends, and another was Brian's aunt, who was a hoot to be around. Both died for health reasons, lived successful lives, and I know that they are much happier now. 

For the first time since Spring Break of my senior I am getting sick. You should have seen me when I went to the store to get medicine! It was funny. I got everything in the books. I can't get sick. I have too much to do and get done all the time. But maybe it's time I slow down a little bit. Sometimes people will ask me how I do everything..and to be honest I have no idea. I just do. I really cant just sit and do nothing. If I am sitting I'm probably reading, or writing emails to people. That's a way I relax. My mom does that too. 

On that note. I am home sick for the first time in a very long time. My best friends from back home who are at FSU sent me a birthday card that I got yesterday that just made me miss everything about home and friends and stuff. I love it out here, but I miss my friends and my mom a lot. I miss the beach, the sand, the sun, the rainy days, the crazy drivers, because here they drive so freakin slow! I miss the mall. Because the mall here has like 10 stores no joke. I miss the old people that make me frustrated too! And the lifestyle of the people back home. Laid back. Sometimes I wish people here would just take a chill pill on life, and relax a little on the things that they take so seriously. 

Perspective. It's all about perspective. 

All in all things are going great. School is awesome I just have to keep it up for 6 more weeks! Hopefully end the semester with 5 A's and 1 B. And work is awesome, I got a little promotion at the box office, they are letting me work by myself now! And then my second job at the Pasta factory restaurant is going great too! I love the people that I work with they are funny and pretty chill. It's fun to go in, and the time goes by really fast. And I get tips too, so that's kind of what I spend in the week and can save everything else that I earn now to go to Belize and Guatemala next summer! Tutoring at the elementary school is great too. Those kids make my week that much better, and cheer me up. And student government is really slow now that the major stuff is over with. The church is true. 

Monday, October 11, 2010

Be not weary in well doing

First of all. We watched this in one of my education classes, and it amazes me what Jessica can do. I hope you can be inspired by this, and remember not to judge others as you pass people who are different from you.

So there are a few things I have to write about. This past week was awesome. It was homecoming week, and for student government, it seemed like the madness never ended. Unfortunately, I couldn't do the one thing that keeps me sane. Tutor at the elementary school. I love those kids so much, and today I finally get to see the little munchkins again! So on to bigger and better things.

Homecoming week was great! I was pooped by Sunday though. Between work school I was exhausted.

I went and met with the National Advisory Council on Thursday morning. And the NAC is kind of a big deal, they help give our school money, and support things that we want to have happen in the future at our school. And I was encouraged to go and talk with them, and I was a bit cynical and just didn't want to go down, but I did because I was forced into it, and I'm so glad that I did. I ended up talking with a man named David Jepson, and his wife. Who, come to find out live a few houses down from my grandparents! It's a small world when you're Mormon. I love it. But we got to talking about education and life and such more than we did about Dixie, but I learned so much in the hour that I talked with him. His wife has 2 masters degrees, one in Nursing, and another in Education, and she hasnt worked a day in her life. I love hearing that. I'd rather here that someone has two degrees and never worked then no degree and struggling to get by. Some may say that it's a waste of money and time. I have to completely disagree the most valuable thing in this life is your education it's what gets your through, and help you to understand the bigger things in life. David Jepson said that his wife was a better mother because of the schooling that she had, and that there children value education that much more now. It was inspiring to me to be honest. But I'm the type of person who absolutely loves school, and that's one reason why I want to be a teacher. David Jepson said that, I am my grandpa in a young body. That meant a lot to me, just because My grandpa is someone who I look up to with a lot of respect, and has everything that I want in my future spouse..whenever he comes along.

Side note--With that said about education, I've thought a lot about getting my phD. Just a thought though.

Something else that happened this week was my Papa got an Angiogram, and if you don't know what this is, it basically is a report on what your heart is up to. And my Papa was concerned about a lot of things, which made me a little worried. But come to find out, he got a blessing, and the results of the angiogram came back with all good things. It was seriously a miracle. He just needs to tone it down a notch on how much he does. He just doesnt ask for help..It's family thing. None of us ever ask for help. Stubborn nature is all. Pride. We need to work on that.



My Aunt and I are trying to figure out where to go next summer for our trip. And it's pretty much come down to Belize, Guatamala, or Peru. We want to dive, but I want to speak spanish too. I'm going to try and make a decision by the end of the week, and talk to my mom and see if she wants to come, because that would be awesome. Another girls trip. And maybe this time, the natives wont mistake my spanish for english.

I managed to get myself a second job! I'll be working as a hostess now at Pasta factory. My friend Bryn's dad owns a few of them, and needed someone fast. I wont say no to a stable job in this economy. So now I have one more thing to add to my plate, but I'm not complaining, it keeps my grades up, and keeps me out of trouble, and then men far away, which seems to be the case wether I am busy or not.


The dance on Saturday night was fun. Here's a quick little summary. Curled hair looked awesome. Made new memories in an old dress. Dead battery. Forgot camera. Outback dinner. True Rebel. Sweat. Ran through the fountain. Freezing cold water. Sweat pants. Ironman 2. Falling asleep. That sums it up in a nut shell basically.

Something that was said at church yesterday has stuck with me for a while. It's
 2 Thessalonians 3:13. 
Be not weary in Well doing.
I feel like I can never do enough to help people. Even though I know I am doing enough at the same time. My grandpa lives up to this in every aspect, and is something that I want to being to live by to. You can't decline an opportunity to serve others. If it's for a good cause and helps others, why would you decline it? It's selfish really to be honest. Serving is something that blesses your life, sometimes directly, most other times indirectly. I know that to be true in my life.

Each week I find myself saying, "I'm not going to be as busy this week." Courtney kindly reminded me, and said, "Yeah right, you always say that." But I promise this week wont be as busy. Ha. Only until Wednesday. Then it's fall break and I can just work and wont have school to worry about! Woohoo! 

I'm excited for the next couple of weeks. Fall break. Connies Family comes the 22, then it's halloween, then it's November, and Elder Begg comes home, and then I go home for thanksgiving! =]

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Party Time!

My 20th Birthday!
A New Decade

Today was awesome. More than I could ask for. I wasn't prepared for such an awesome day. It all started last night with the famous Cakebites from Sweet Toothfairy and dancing. Falling asleep with Connie at about 2 in the morning talking about everything. 

Us roommates get along great with our apartment managers. Seriously we love them. While Jay was at Priesthood Session, Nicole made us dinner! It was delicious, and we ended up talking a ton about the church and finally left at 11:30 at night. Seriously we couldn't have asked for better apartment managers.


I basically woke up to a wonderful phone call. It was Elder Michael Begg!  It was quite the surprise to say the least. Perked right up after that! 
As part of tradition Shalisa made STICKY BUNS!! You could say that they rose a ton! But regardless they were delicious!

We watched Conference today and it was incredible. Thomas S Monson even sang a happy birthday song just for me! Just kidding. But It was funny that my birthday just happened to be today. I learned a ton today and yesterday with Conference. Pretty much my own personal summary of it is this. Listen to the promptings of the spirit. Pray for guidance. Use your agency to do good. Listen to the Prophets. Be patient, have faith, and serve. Pretty simple.


My Delicious Birthday Cake! 

My Wonderful Nana recovering from Knee Surgery! We went to visit her with a cake, and opened presents. She was so cute. It's a blessing to have my grandparents here. They help me out with everything. I missed my mom and aunt a lot today though. My family is small and close knit. I wouldnt have it any other way. I'm not going to lie I thought that there could have been a small possibility of my mom popping out somewhere. Unrealistic I know, but you never know! I can't wait to go home and see her. I've been lucky to have a mom like I do. She's the best supporter, comforted, and knows me better than anyone else on the earth. I can't wait to just give her a big hug when I get off the plane in November. I've never been away from my mom for this long before. And I realize how much more I love her when I miss her. Or the days I go without talking on the phone or texting her. She's the only mom for me. And I love her. 

Family & Friends.
I couldn't ask for anything better

We had an awesome time with my grandparents. We all had a blast. My mom got me a card that had a sexy cowboy on it and you should have seen my face. Nana snatched it right out of my arms.  Then we came back to the apartment and had a few more people come over for left over cake. Only my best friends that I have made in the past year. I have been blessed with the most uplifting, talented, and fun friends. I'm so grateful for everything I have in my life at this time.

I have discovered that I am a person of small and simple things. It's always the little things that make my day. Like yesterday I got two letters from missionaries wishing me a happy birthday and it made my day. Or like Brayden my roommates brother made me cookies a day early which was really funny at the same time, but something that just makes me happy is the little things that people do. The thoughtful things mean the most to me. Like a phone call from friends I havent talked to in a while, and homemade cards. Or a plate with cinnamon rolls on it with candles in it. Maybe I'm just silly, but thats all i need in life.  Just the little things.
The best roommate in the world. Love her to death. She's the best ever. 
Then this perfect day ended with the last slice of cake eaten by Kody, who managed to slip away without getting into a picture tonight. And my best friend David Lee Biliter calling me to wish me a  happy birthday. It was perfect

With it being my Birthday I just want to write the 20 things I am Most grateful for 

1. The Gospel of Christ
2. A Testimony 
3. My Mother
4. The perfect family that I have been blessed with
5. My Friends that help me to be better
6. The struggles and trials that help me to grow
7. A desire to learn
8. Eyes to see the sunset and shooting stars
9. Ears to hear the sound of music 
10. A healthy body- two legs that walk and run. Two arms, a beating heart, two eyes, two ears all working
11. My weaknesses, so that I can turn to the Lord to make me stronger
12. The Scriptures so that I am able to come closer to my Savior
13. Happiness & Laughter
14. Prayer
15. Temples to keep my eternal perspective
16. Rainy days to cuddle up and watch old movies
17. My Patriarchal Blessing
18. Nail Polish my toes are always painted.
19. A future
20. Love