Sunday, November 4, 2012

Testimony for Fast Sunday

Church today was inspiring!  It seemed people stood up in droves to fill the stand in order to bear their testimony.  I was particularly inspired today after a brother in our Ward, Parker, stood up and bore his. I had walked to the front of the congregation, but found that there was not enough time for me to bear my testimony as I would like today.  But, I am able to share it here and now! And I don’t feel awkward taking pauses to think and ponder!

This is a remarkable church! There are remarkable people!  I am grateful for those who are willing to share their testimony and the personal things which have made an impact in their lives.  The things people mentioned made an impact on me today.  They made me more grateful for the blessings I have, and I was also inspired to be better in all I do. What I share I do in hopes that it may also help some other person.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Taking the Road Less Traveled

The path was to the right of the stadium through the trees.

I biked to campus this evening- like I usually do.  Biking is much cooler than driving—not just because I usually do it, but you can use that as a reason.  Also, the speed one goes is directly proportional to the coolness factor.  Biking this afternoon I ran into difficulty as so many people were walking around the stadium.  I decided to take my secret shortcut on the higher road and cut through a dirt trail a little higher than the stadium parking lot.  It was a good idea- but when I got on it I realized the majority of it had been torn up and was now mostly loose dirt/sand/no trail.  It was bumpitybumpitybumpitybumpity.  As I got on I thought wow, I did not know I was coordinated to ride my bike across this without going falling over!  On sand/loose dirt, if you go to slow the bike does funny things and it is easy fall to the side, or nearly impossible to get going.  This evening I found I could ride over it for an extended period of time!  I learned sometimes I don’t really know what I am able to do, until I suddenly find myself in the middle of doing it.

I was not able to ride my bike to campus when I first started this semester.  This past summer I had both knees and a hip replaced.  The joints have been a little reluctant to start working for me again, but they have slowly been coming back.  The main therapy I have been doing on them has been biking as mentioned and recently I added swimming again.  I had earlier had my other hip replaced, so this summer made it so I had a complete set- both knees and both hips.  I did not know I could handle this and still be a happy person.  But hey- I’m doing it!  Going over the muddy sand at first I was a little shocked, but the momentum of the bike carried me until I could get going.  With these surgeries I have also been carried as I learn to deal with them.  I found that being carried on my bike is a wonderful analogy for how we are lifted through the struggles we have in life.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Nil Sine Numine

Colorado State Motto: Nil Sine Numine=  “Nothing without the Deity”

Do you ever go out to do something righteous—but then find as soon as you start that the Lord had a different plan for you all along?  The weather this evening has been beautiful.  In an effort to take advantage of it, I went to the hammock in the backyard to read my scriptures.  I wasn’t sure where I was going to read, but I had said a prayer that the Lord would help me find the right verses to give me the guidance I needed.  After my prayer, it was very hard to concentrate—two Robins had gone absolutely berserk.  They were squeaking like I didn’t know a Robin could and acting very strange.  They kept teasing our dog Chester (a beagle)—landing right next to him and then hopping away, almost but not quite getting caught.  I had not realized those birds could be such dare devils!  Eventually the birds succeeded in navigating Chester to the other end of our yard and they stopped.  I was glad it was over, but after almost a whole 2 seconds Chester came running back over to investigate something under a tree in the back corner of our yard, and the whole ordeal started over again.

But I caught on this time, I walked over to where Chester was looking (both him and the birds were distracting each other) and I found a young bird frozen on the ground.  It was not a baby, but was definitely younger.  I put the dogs inside, and then came back out with some gloves to rescue the bird.  When I came back, all the birds were gone.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Faithfully Ignorant?

                A single old lantern hung from a hook above the stall.  Will anxiously watched his father as he worked with the animal in the dim light.  The young calf was not doing well; she had suffered a traumatic birth and now seemed to have stopped breathing.  In his mind Will offered a silent prayer- “God, please help our cow to live, help her to be ok.”  At that moment, the cow began to move- something had changed and she was breathing again.  Although the night passed long, she did continue to recover and became a very healthy cow.

                Many years later history repeated itself.  Will was down working with another sick cow, and his little boy stood watching him full of anxiety and worry.  Will wondered if his boy was praying as he had done so long ago.  Will also wondered why he was not praying himself.  He could see the calf really was not breathing, he could tell the heart had stopped and she was now dead.  Why was it easier to pray and ask God for these things when he knew so much less about the cows and caring for them?  Can ignorance help faith, is ignorance bliss?

                So, the story might not be the most interesting (I have heard similar, but this one I made up), but I like the question it brought up.  It is something I had wondered about before- specifically “Can ignorance help one’s faith?” 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Great Achievements- From Great Gifts

Family and Friends in Rocky Mountain National Park
It seems to me every day that the future is coming faster and faster- “time flies on wings of lightening.”  I never would have guessed I would end up where I am now- it is far better than anything I could have imagined! :)  The future seems to be clicking into place.  I have decided on classes and a major I love, the Lord continues to give me great gifts to help me continue with excitement and faith to the future.  I am so glad I am able to come home for this summer!  The idea was to save some money and get some surgeries done, but I have found I have not realized fully what other great gifts have come with this.

1.       I have the gift of a great family!  

I love my family; my Mom has been spoiling me now that I am home.  I no longer have to cook the majority of my meals- and other people actually help with the dishes on a regular basis (WOW!!- that is amazing).  My Mom is patient with me in shopping (I hate clothes shopping- it is hard enough trying to decide what clothes to wear every morning).  My Dad has gone biking with me in the morning- it is much more fun to have someone to go with (over 50, and still waiting on me).  My sister Beth represents an epitome of fun!  I love spending time with her- we have a lot of fun together!  I have an amazing brother still living in Provo.  Chad has been a great example to me of hard work and planning for the future!  My sister Tara is a superstar!  She is a wonderful example of concern and dedication to the work she is in.  I know we are all on to great things!

2.       I have the gift of great opportunities! 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

It's a Sure Bet!

Wow! It has been a fantastic weekend!  It has been a little like Christmas, but without all the stress!  Did you watch general conference?  I hope you will take the chance to enjoy it if not.  Once again it has been a testimony for me that those men are called of God.  Although, recently I have been thinking about how it must be for someone on the outside looking in.  Is it obvious for them as it is for me that this church is true?  What is it that makes me so sure- and am I really so sure?  Some things I know absolutely are true from experience I have had.  Other things I just know, however it is the things coupled with the experiences I find I am able to glean the largest support.  I want to share my thoughts with you today about the sure way I know these things- and how you can know them as well.

I believe I have shared this story before, but that is ok as I am sure I will share it a little differently now.  I remember when I was little thinking about those some questions I mentioned above.  One evening pondering these things I had the question come to me about how much I would be willing to bet if the church was true.  I thought 1000$ would do . . . a little more thinking and I was up to 2000$ . . . soon up to 3000$ . . . and so forth continuing to climb.  After a time I realized there was a problem in trying to settle on any number to bet.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Solid Defense: Grass Forts, Guns, and More

I always find trouble trying to start these posts . . . but I guess the best way to get better at writing is to keep at it!  It seems again that the only connections I can make for this blog are those which relate to my faith . . . but that is fine with me as I feel it creates a solid theme for my posts.  But, before I get into any of that I have adventures to share.

Much like Calvin, my parents found ample opportunities for me to build character as I grew up; today I speak specifically of digging trenches.

Don’t misunderstand, not those kinds of trenches in the pictures, we never had any WWI or anything like that in Fort Collins where I grew up.  The trouble we had was with pirates, castles, and wild animals, specifically cheetahs.  Don’t believe me?  The internet never lies: American Cheetahs.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My Not Leading

E. McMullin on far left, next to me

I loved meeting the new referral center missionaries!  At the beginning I was not as grateful for every missionary who came to join us, but that was later remedied.  One missionary I remember in particular was Elder McMullin.  He joined the referral center just shortly after I did.  I of course knew just about everything there was to know being in the referral center a whole two weeks earlier.   If Elder McMullin was anything like the rest of us, he was not too thrilled about joining, and probably wasn’t really sure what he was getting into.  While I now see I should have been full of gratitude for every missionary who came to help, to use a metaphor, at the time I was a little more focused on the paint of the ship.  What I mean is that I was concerned about how one might see us rather than what was actually happening.  Similar to the other missionaries at the time, we met Elder McMullin at the front desk.

Elder McMullin liked doing things his way, and liked having freedom and independence.  I remember my first sentence being something like “hello,” and “we don’t roll our sleeves up here.”  Now, as I think of it, I am very surprised he did unroll his sleeves.  Although it did not last long.  If I was him I think I would have sat on me.  Thinking back at it now, I see it was not my best leadership; in fact, it was not leading at all.  Rather, it was a way to show what a prick I was and annoy what turned out to be a great blessing for our mission.  Every missionary we had was a valuable contribution and helped to make the referral center what it was.  I know God played a special hand and we saw great miracles with every missionary who came to join us.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


At this time in my life I feel very much that I am standing betwixt paths as I have talked about before.  There are paths of schooling and careers, paths of relationships, paths of hobbies and talents, and many others.  The trouble for me is not in knowing which are good, but which are best. 
I had mentioned before how I had recently gotten a new knee brace.  But this past week my joy of knee braces multiplied by 4!  I actually got four knee braces unexpectedly in the mail.  I had one already for my right knee, so now all I need is three more legs to go with them!

Ok, so I am not planning on growing legs, just as I did not plan on getting four braces in the mail.  I actually only wanted one brace, that fitted.  During the Christmas break I had a meeting  with Dr. Heare, MaryAnne, and some of the others who work at the Orthopedic center at the Children’s hospital in Denver, CO.    Dr. Heare was the one who did the hip replacement I had, and also the other reconstructive surgeries on my hips and knees.  The staff up there is phenomenal.  The reason I had met with him over Christmas was not just to get the brace, but mostly to ask about advice on when I should get my knees and other hip replaced.  Predictably, the advice was the same as the last time I asked—

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The (Horrible?) Unknown!

This has really just been an amazing week for me!  I don’t think I would have guessed when this week started that I would be where I am now.  We all probably have times where we are surprised by the way life goes, and I have been surprised by the this past week has gone and the direction I am heading in now. 

After finishing my mission I was pretty worried about my schedule and what classes I should take.  I wanted to take classes I would enjoy, and at the same time I wanted it to be something which the Lord could use the talents I have and help me to develop others.  I feel strongly earning my undergraduate in Neuroscience is something which will help me in the future.  I have been specifically looking at going into education.   I am not decided what level I want to work at yet (higher education or something else), but I was thinking a technical background of sorts would be helpful with so much being done online these days.  This semester I had signed up for an IT class, and was looking at doing an IT minor.  However, after being in the class a few days, I realized IT was not where I needed to be.  Monday started, I knew I needed to choose a minor.  I felt strongly I should be in the class starting a minor this semester, but I had no idea where or which class I should be in.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

An Almost Perfect Miss

I was able to take this wonderful picture on my way home from my appointment at the Huntsman this past Friday.  Seeing as I did not crash into anyone, the cool lighting effects, and I did not drop the phone out the window I am pretty proud.  At first glance I thought the picture was pretty much perfect.  Upon looking closer I noticed that the coolest part of the car, the front, was blocked partially by my rearview mirror.  It seemed to have set a pattern for me this week.  Things seem to be going perfect, and then I realize the best thing I might have missed out on.

Serving as a missionary online, I was not able to meet in person most of the people I was able to teach.  Today I did have the opportunity to meet one person, and I almost blew it!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Strap it On!

I recently was able to get a new knee brace while I was home for the holidays.  It isn’t a pair of P.F. Flyers, but I feel I am running faster and jumping higher.  Interestingly, I found while wearing it, the value it has seems unnoticeable.  While I have it on my leg feels fine and feels it doesn’t need any support.  But that changes when I take the brace off.  My knee feels unstable, and walking down stairs again becomes a scary prospective.  It occurred to me this morning how the brace acts as a living analogy in my life.  It is easy to overlook the value of something used often in our lives.

Just before the break I was able to take a walk up around the Temple here in Provo.  While crossing the street near the temple I noticed a car coming to the intersection.  I was talking with my sister Beth on the phone, and jokingly asked her if she thought the car was going to stop.  At that moment, the thought came to me that no, the car was not going to stop. 
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