Sunday, June 21, 2015

Letting Me Learn

One of the most frightening thing about getting better at something is that you have to start to do it on your own.... So it was with mountain biking this weekend. As I scaled over hard rock terrain. The help I used to have seemed to be absent. 

We had time to go to Moab this weekend and ride a few trails. One of the trails I had ridden just under a year ago, sense then I have learned a lot about biking and have become good at staying on the bike for most of the obstacles. Hence I had little help as I biked.... or so I thought. 
Just 8 months ago I had a personal guide who would tell me nearly every bump "walk this one" he would say or "stay to the right" would come the advice from just ahead. but this time was different my guide (my daddy) rode ahead, often out of site. When an obstacle would appear I was forced to more forward alone. examine the section and choose for myself the best line. Often I felt a bit frightened and alone as I was unused to finding a path for myself. Yet at all the really tough spots that  could have resulted in harm I would find my father quietly stopped and watching. sometimes when I completed the section he would simply smile and keep riding, and at other times he would congratulate me and tell me I was doing great. Only a few times did I hear the sweet counsel that I was used to. At very hard parts he would say stop and look before you go, and once he very firmly stated "stay to the left" but at all other times he simply watched and hoped for my success. 

Again I thought of my Heavenly Father as I rode. I remembered the times of childhood that I seemed to have more counsel and direction... then of the times lately when it has felt as though I have been left to choose for myself. Or so I thought. I smiled as I realized that just like my father God never truly leaves us alone. Instead He lets us find the lines for ourselves, then He stops and often silently watches, hoping that we will make it safely. and what I joy it is to Him when we do, He smiles or congratulates us and on we move to the next section of hard terrain. When we are truly trusted by our Father only a few times will we hear distinctly direct counsel "go there, stay, do this." instead He stands and watches us grow. letting us learn on our own. To think know and love that we can live and make it safely with Him always closely watching.  

This I have come to love. I am ever grateful for a Heavenly Father who loves and trusts me, yet who watches closely as I choose my life. I too am grateful each day for an earthly father who has taught me as a child, and now waits patiently as I learn on my own. I will always be amazed at how I learn so much about my Heavenly Father from my daddy. 
Thank you daddy for your example and all you teach me in life!!! 
I love you daddy!!!

Friday, May 15, 2015

His Plan Instead

In that moment all I wanted in life changed, I could feel it, but it took me a while to understand it.

                Everyone who knows me knows that from the time I was young I wanted to go into the medical field. And I was for sure that I would attend Brigham Young University. But that all changed my junior year of high school. My teacher had invited the president of Southern Virginia University to come talk to us about the school. As he talked I knew I needed to go to SVU. The moment I got home I told my parents and plans started.
                A few short months after graduation I was on a plan and found myself in the middle of a tiny town in Virginia. Up until this point I had trusted the spirit and knew that this is where I belonged, but now that it was all happening I was unsure. Scared and homesick I spent much of my free time in the scriptures and on my knees. I would often go for walks while listening to talks to calm my fears.
                The day I meet my sweet fiancĂ© was like any other, I had a hard day trying to adjust still, so I went for a walk with a conference talk playing in my ears. As I left my apartment he sat on a bench and said hi, I nodded back slightly and walked past. While I walked I found peace and solace while I listened to the words of the prophet, all was finally peaceful.    
                Finally upon my return to apartment I passed by Jeff sitting on the bench again. This time he said nothing as I walked past. I went inside and then felt as though I should return to say hello back to him, this I did and we began to talk. Weeks past and we would periodically see each other and talk. Soon we became friends; we were in two classes together. One of which being institute and we would walk back together and talk about the gospel. A great friendship build as we spoke of the great love we felt from the Lord.
                And then somewhere along the way we started to like each other. He eventually asked me on a date, and another, and another. We talked about that we liked each other but that we had other plans for life. After all we both wanted to serve missions and we lived on opposite sides of the country (as he is from Boston) so we did our best to stay friends and leave with my real attachment.
                He went home and on a mission, I followed in the same pattern. The mission was a great experience and we were blessed to keep in contact and share our stories with one another, all the time both still liking each other but staying as just friends. Upon returning home he decided to attend Brigham Young Idaho and I Brigham Young Provo.
                This meant that we were only four hours apart. He came down one weekend to visit some friends and asked if I would go on a date, to which I said yes! Both of us remembered how much we enjoyed being with one another as we spent an evening together.
                After that night time passed and we talked on and off. A few weeks letter we decided to date more, so he came down again to go on a date…. Here is where things get a bit unique. At this point we both new and understood that we loved each other. But once again I was placed where I hadn’t planned, this wasn’t all in the plans to fall in love now and change my schooling.  So for a time we took a brake as I continued to study the scriptures and pray. This was one of the greatest times of my life as I spent time communing with my Father in Heaven and feeling His trust for me and I growing in my faith and trust in Him.
                Once I had grown sufficiently to once again change what I had planned Jeff and I become boyfriend and girlfriend. He and I both find it fitting that this happened on Easter Sunday, as I had finally begun to truly trust my Savior and my Father, allowing the completeness of the atonement to work in all aspects of my life.
                Just one short month later her purposed as we walked around the Draper temple in the rain, talking about the beauty of the temple and the joy of the gospel. I am excited and grateful to have Jeff as my fiancĂ© and to look forward with faith to whatever comes our way.

                Yes I tell this story to share my love for Jeff and to answer all who have asked… but I also share this story to invite all to think of their own lives. Let’s face it, we have and plan for our lives…. Yet too often it’s different then Gods plan. I hope that as you have read this story you have seen that Gods plan for my life has been perfect and amazing for me! I want you to know that Gods plan for you is perfect for you. Where ever you are at in that plan trust Him and if you don’t trust Him yet, as I didn’t at points, then turn to Him pray, study, listen to His word and find complete beauty in what He has prepared for you! I am grateful for all who have taught me to see and trust in the unseen and for the patience of love of a Father who has it all planned for me, I am excited to see what more he has in store for each of our lives. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Bikes and Home

                I stood up from the ground as pain shot through my body. My dad kept saying “I’m sorry honey!” I just stood up and laughed “You warned me!”
                Earlier that evening I stood in full gear excited to try a new mountain bike trail. This trail is known as the downhill trail and has a few technical spots. I had ridden the bottom half of the trail a time of two, but had not yet tried the top. As I stood excited and ready to get on my bike I listened carefully to my dad’s words as he explained the most difficult parts of the trail one of them being a 5 foot drop off and the other a gravel pit that you are best to stay on the side of. The last caution to me was, if something goes wrong don’t panic and cram on the brakes, instead focus and you will be just fine. He went right in front of me and talked to me as we started. In just a few minutes he said okay here comes the hard part, just roll it and don’t panic. Down the drop off I went I giggled at my success and the feeling of dropping that far.
                The very next thing was the gravel pit; I stayed to the edge as directed. I also watched my dad to see the best line to take. My wheel wiggled and before I knew it I was smack in the middle of rocks. I held on tight and focused confident that I would be okay. Dad’s words were in my head, don’t panic don’t cream on the brakes I thought to myself. So I gently pulsed my back brake and shifted my weight further back. I was almost to the end when all of the sudden, either I grabbed the brake too hard or hit a rock wrong, I plummeted over the handle bars and into the half hard dirt half gravel ground.
                This is when my dad came running apologizing and making sure I was okay. My immediate answer of “you warned me” has taught me much over the past day as I have thought on this experience. Can you imagine what it must have been like to stand with your Heavenly Father as He gave you last final instructions I am almost certain that He warned us about some of the hardest times we would face in life. I can see Him saying “no matter what happens and what comes don’t panic, don’t stop. Look to Me and to Christ and you will be fine” But then we forgot that great instruction, He continues to remind us through the scriptures and words of others when things become challenging.
                The first lesson from this experience is too not panic and to always trust God when times are hard. Still somehow we forget and we hit the brakes too hard or a big rock gets in the way and off we go into the ground. I have learned that we have one of two choices when we come to such a painful screeching halt in our lives. One we can get upset and give up saying “why did you put me on this trail, it is too hard! I am not going to do it anymore.” From there you can sit or take an easier trail, which still could get you face down in the dirt. The second option is to simply stand up and say “you warned me! I’m okay let’s keep going. Will you keep telling me what is coming?”
                The choice is up to each of us. Yet one thing that we must remember is God will always come running, just as my dad did. He is anxiously guiding and watching us hoping that we will stay safe as we travel our own journeys in life. No matter what comes to you, He stands with you wanting to help. Trust His hand and His council on the trail, even if you fall. He loves you, He watches out for you.

                I am forever grateful for the times in my life when I have looked up from my falls to see my earthly and Heavenly Father standing there to help me back up.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Not Too Typical

Having just spent 18 Months in North Carolina for a mission I learned very quickly what others thought of 'Utah Mormons.' When anyone hears I'm from Utah and Mormon I get the same reaction 'your one of those people'. While I do fit the Mormon mold by the way I choice to live, I also have some unique characteristics.
Shall we begin? Let's start with the mold that I fit. I was born and raised in Utah and as a member of The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. As a result I love spending weekends on temple square simply wondering around or attending the temple. Evenings are best spent wrapped up in The Book of Mormon. However one of the greatest perks to my Utah Mormon world is that I can find many clothes that have sleeves!
Fashion of course is a must have in our home. My mother married young and reminds us every once and awhile that she gave up a fashion internship in Paris to be our mother. Which she claims to love now, on most days. Mom has four children including me, meaning that I have 3 siblings. All of my siblings are boys making me the only girl and keeper of my daddy's heart. With two brothers older then me however I now have many female additions to my family. Including two sister in-laws with three nieces and a baby on the way.
Brothers could have been what made my life a bit more interesting or maybe
I was born crazy. In any case I now venture to tell you about my life that may not fit the Utah mold that most think of. Following in my brothers footsteps was my favorite; what they loved I did too. At a young age I convinced my dad to buy me a motorcycle, by proving that I could ride a two wheeled peddle bike without training wheels. Ever since that day I have engaged in numerous biking outings. One of the most exciting being
weekends spent racing our dirt bikes as a family in what is called Works racing. The desert wasteland of Utah is a perfect place to spend countless hours tearing up the dirt. However when I don't feel like motor biking I'll head up to the mountains with my traditional peddle operated bike. Utah has some of the most exquisite views you can find hidden with in the trees upon the mountain tops. I have found both biking experiences riveting and peaceful all in one moment.
While I enjoy the use of my feet on peddles I also have come to acquire a seemingly intrinsic attachment to the ocean. This started when I was little I wanted to always be in the ocean. After a few trips to the west coast beach's I decided to spend more time in the ocean by learning to surf. Sense then I have been addicted to the sport. Taking any chance I get to spend a morning in the ocean with my board, watching the sun rise and dolphins play, waiting for a wave. Those mornings I feel close to my Father in heaven and grateful for His kindness, which allows me to find peace in this world.
Yes I have a strong respect for my Heavenly Father, His son and The Holy Ghost. Which has grown deeper over the years. You can defiantly classify me with the rest of the members of my church who have come to have an instant acceptance for the gospel and it's doctrine. Yet I have struggled in my life to use those gifts to my advantage. Doesn't it always seem like something becomes more important or let me be honest more enjoyable then fully and deeply living the gospel? For me it too often does. Thankfully I have had many great examples in my life that have taught me to set aside the world and the things I so deeply love. I've come to understand that in all reality nothing is more important then spending time coming to greater understand my Fathers love and care for me. How can it not be? Look at what He's done for me.