Friday, February 21, 2014

Positive Updates

I am learning more to decide things on my own. I followed after James and bought a nice big whiteboard, yet I am crafting my future on it. Today I was able to make clear categories for goals: short, medium, long, and then an extra column for what to pack. 

I am in the progression stages, and I am changing my perspective. The Bible Dictionary defines repentance as "a change of mind, a fresh view about God, about oneself, and about the world." It seems I am in the process of repentance. 

My prayers are changing, too. There is less telling the Lord what I want and more communing with Him. This is very helpful in allowing me to learn more of how He works and establishing independent communication with Him which I can trust. This will be invaluable as I soon will make many significant decisions to shape my future.

I am thankful for where I am at. Without James to push me into frustration, I wouldn't have taken this kind of responsibility for my growth. Without those special experiences, I wouldn't have wondered if there was something more to discover and live. And yes, thank you to the many Reddit posts I have passed time in front of. They are specific and unattainable and unrelatable enough to make me experiment on my own. 

Thank you to the people who recognize they shouldn't solve my problems. Thank you to the people who inspire me to act for myself. I am doing it.

. . . I am doing it.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Inspirational Quotes

Sidewalk Prophets, "Keep Making Me"

Make me broken so I can be healed..
I want to run to You with heart wide open
Make me broken

Make empty so I can be filled
‘Cause I’m still holding onto my will...

Make me lonely so I can be Yours
‘Til I want no one more than You, Lord
‘Cause in the darkness I know You will hold me
Make me lonely

‘Til You are my one desire
‘Til You are my one true love
‘Til You are my breath, my everything
Lord, please keep making me


Our Greatest Fear

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.
We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?
You are a child of God.
Your playing small does not serve the world.
There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other
people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.
And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
our presence automatically liberates others.

—Marianne Williamson


I've been fascinated with the word "jihad."

Before you start thinking of Islamic extremists blowing up things, jihad can be translated directly as "struggle" or "striving." It can be violent or non-violent internal or external. There's a well-known phrase that goes, "striving in the way of God."

I feel like that's where I am. I am striving. There is an internal struggle I have, and I'm trying to have it just involve me and the Lord.

Food for thought...

Sunday, February 9, 2014

los padres

Tonight I told my parents about my decision to go to Peru.

Four of my other relatives had come over in the afternoon to spend time with us. We went on a hike and then came back to the house for dinner. I had told my sister that I would probably tell them tonight. She urged me not to tell everyone at once. I thought that was a good idea. Our DVR of the Olympics was caught up, so after everyone else left and my parents sat down on the couch, I took advantage of the next commercial break to tell them. My mother had known about my Skype interview, yet she didn't know what it was for. I decided to start with that: "So, I had a Skype interview, and I heard back from them recently... I have bought a plane ticket for May 13th to Peru." I went into all the details from there, trying to go in chronological order. My mother stopped me a little way in and went to get a piece of paper to write it all down so she could adequately tell others what my plans would be. My sister had speculated what their reaction would be, and I was a little anxious to hear it once I was done covering all the bases of my trip. My mother--surprisingly--said she thought it was a good thing, but they both agreed I should take a self-defense class and possibly carry a weapon, like mace. I don't know about the weapon, especially with the TSA, but I am willing to take a self-defense class. I took one in college, and it wouldn't hurt to do another one. After all, I would prefer not to get raped or assaulted.

As I was driving home, I wanted to text or call someone to tell them, but I have been more reserved as of late, so I will just tell you. Regardless, I did feel the quite Spirit letting me know that I am still on the right path. That felt reassuring. Thank you, Lord, for guiding me on this journey.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

A Weakness of Mine

"Learning by faith and from experience are two of the central features of the Father’s plan of happiness." - Elder Holland

I learned last night that I depend too much on others to help me solve my problems. I latch on to one or two people where I am and expect them to do the work for me, in a sense. I can't remember it not being that way. In Flagstaff, I had two people. I had my good friend in San Diego, and now I've tried to use James to help me discover my purpose. While he has been helpful, he cannot do the work for me. Even on the mission, I would get to a breaking point and then call the assistants or my zone leaders, looking for a way out. No one can solve my problems. They are mine, and when I lean on those people more than I'm supposed to, they probably feel the burden. They have their own things to work through. They don't want to carry my weight when I'm not working and doing my part.

What, then, are friends for? How do we help each other while still respecting our individual responsibilities to progress? What purpose are we supposed to play in each other's lives? Where is the balance between helpfulness in our trials and usurpation of the load? What does being a friend look like to you? If I don't help other people in their trials, then there seems to be a distance between me and them; how do we connect while still leaving God as our focus?

There must be a way to draw everything back to Heavenly Father. I need help, sometimes He sends it to me in the form of someone else. But I am not supposed to put my trust in that person. The Lord was working through them. They reflect the light; they are not the Light.

Don't lean on anyone else. Lean on Him.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Feeling the Spirit

I feel my Heavenly Father at random times of the day, like a couple of days ago when I was contemplating buying a wireless keyboard or today at work just doing my regular thing.

It's comforting, yet puzzling. What is He trying to tell me? My best guess is that He's trying to tell me that He's close. But I hope I can discern more specifically what His counsel is.

Dearest children, God is near you,
Watching o’er you day and night,
And delights to own and bless you,
If you strive to do what’s right.
He will bless you, He will bless you,
If you put your trust in him.

Children, God delights to teach you
By his Holy Spirit’s voice.
Quickly heed its holy promptings.
Day by day you’ll then rejoice.
Oh, prove faithful, Oh, prove faithful
To your God and Zion’s cause.

The Wall (not a Pink Floyd song)

I feel close to a wall. Things have been building up, and they're not going to let up as long as I am moving forward and am not apathetic about my position on this journey. It keeps nagging me to do better, to keep pushing. I'm feeling the resistance.

There was a program called Turning Point, and one episode was of a professional kayaker who started an organization that takes people with cancer out on outdoor excursions. They do kayaking, rock climbing, rappelling, and other things. His aunt has cancer, and she was the inspiration for the company. In the show, it's her first time rock climbing. There was a pretty good grade on the rock, not too difficult, but she tried it and couldn't get very high because she was afraid. She came back down and it seemed she wouldn't try again. But as she saw others ascending, she wanted to try again. She eventually reached the top, and then the founder was talking at the sametime; he said "We want people to get to that breaking point, because that's the only way to break through."

I was talking with James the other night, when I was hitting the wall (I will probably hit it many more times before breaking through) and he told me that when people summit Mount Everest, they do it in steps, like that workout warmup where you touch one line, then go back, then touch a farther line, then go back, and so on. People don't just hang out on Everest. They have to work up to it. If all the work was to just hang out, then it wouldn't be as worth it.

This journey is going to be a struggle, with short respites, but I should take comfort in the fact that resistance means I am striving for something better.

James sad I was close. I hope so.