I'm Just Saying

Things To Remember

I have been blogging for a little over five years now. Which is crazy to me. And if I’ve done the math right, which would honestly be quite amazing, I have averaged about one post per week in the last five years. Which isn’t really an accurate description since there have been times when I blogged every day and times when I didn’t even look at my blog for weeks and weeks on end. Maybe that’s why my views are so sporadic these days…and why all of my followers seem to have vanished.

Well, that’s unfair.

I’m convinced that I have about three faithful followers these days. One from Sri Lanka who pops in occasionally to give me support. One from India who comes a little more frequently. And one very avid American admirer who comes rather often. By my calculations. Again, math isn’t where my head goes EVER so calculations aren’t in my skill set. But this is the case according to my statistics page. So, a heartfelt thank you to Sri Lanka, India, and America.

For the people who come across my blog, whether semi-regularly or by accident, I often wonder what they see. How they view me. What they gather about me as they scroll through a few posts. What they are looking for each time they visit. It would be interesting to know, though if I’m being entirely honest I don’t think I want to know what you all think of me. Unless it’s good. If it’s good, keep it coming.

I used to have a policy where I didn’t talk about bad or sad or dark things on my blog. That was a very, very long time ago. It was part of a healing process I was going through where I was just so incredibly tired of living in the dark. So I chose to live in the light instead, and that did wonders for my healing.

It’s not super my policy anymore, just because we all go through hard times, and it isn’t realistic to live in the light always.

If I’m being blatantly honest: the last week has been so, so hard.

Okay, to be BLATANTLY obvious I’d have to extend that time frame a little, but the last week especially. Everything in my life seemed to mount up all at once and attack me, and then something happened in my family as well, and I found myself standing in the middle of a proverbial field in a torrential downpour begging God, “Please. just let the sun shine.”

There is something about my character that bothers me. And I’m going to tell you what it is. Here it is: I hate hate hate it that I will always always always do the right thing.

Please allow me to explain before you draw the conclusion that I am highly conceited. I do not always do the right thing. I’ve got a sharp tongue and a hot temper that’s gotten me into trouble more times than I’d care to admit, and that is just one of my many flaws. But overall, I believe in doing the right thing.

I know what the truth is, and I know that no matter what happens on this earth the truth will never change. And I know that true joy is on a completely different side of the spectrum than earthly happiness and that it only comes from God. I know that His plan for us is the one we should follow always. No matter what. Because everything about us is so much bigger than this mortal life. And because I know all of these things, I tend to hold myself to a very strict standard when it comes to my patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting.

But today I got very, very angry at God.

So.

So.

So.

ANGRY.

It has been a very long time since I felt that much anger towards my Father in Heaven. Something happened today that made me snap just a little. Really not bad, honestly, but just a little. Enough to let out all that anger.

Have you ever been so angry that you cried?

It’s the worst kind of crying. Now, if you know me you’ll know that I cry rather often. It isn’t anything new about me. But all the same, I don’t cry about just anything. When I cry it’s because I’m genuinely feeling just too much.

So, I angry cried today.

I was angry that my faith never seems to be enough. I was angry that Heavenly Father seems like a liar. I was angry that hard things keep happening to my family. I was angry about a lot of things.

And what was perhaps the hardest about the entire moment is that I understood, even in the midst of all of that emotion, just how wrong I was. I know that none of that is true. No matter how I am feeling, I know what the truth is. And it was none of those things going through my head.

Sometimes that’s the most important thing in those moments. Even if you truly believe and feel all of that darkness that’s running through your heart and your head, remember what’s actually true.

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I'm Just Saying

James Dean Daydream

I’m just going to come right out and say it: this post is about a Taylor Swift song, and all the prophetic, deeply profound, and real truth that I believe it contains.

The song “Style” was released on Taylor’s fifth studio album 1989. An inspired, incredibly beautiful, and all around spiritual experience. “Style” was a very popular single, and in my opinion, one of the Holy Trinity songs on the album. (“Style”, “Wildest Dreams”, and “Out of the Woods”.) I loved it from the very first time I heard it.

And then I watched the interview.

The journalist/host/personality was honestly being kind of the worst, and Taylor took it like a champ. But she was talking about “Style” and what it meant for her. She said it was about a kind of love that never, ever leaves your heart. The kind of love and connection you really only ever have with one person. Her words were something along the lines of: the person that you think might interrupt your wedding someday, and you’d go with them.

She said she thinks we all have that one person.

That person we never stop loving whether it’s been 6 months, 1 year, or 20 years. That one person who holds your soul in a way that no other person does. That one person who will always belong to you, and you to them, in some way. That person who holds the potential for a wildly happy, perfect, insane life if all the pieces just suddenly fell into place.

She was talking about how that love never really leaves. It never goes out of style.

I'm Just Saying

In The Region Of The Summer Stars

I need to write tonight. I need to let go of what’s been swarming around in my head today. But not in the way you’re thinking. Not in the way that I usually do.

I need to write about the stars.

I love the stars. I love the night sky. I have written about this on my blog at least 854 times, and I am in no way ashamed to write about it again. There is something about looking up at the stars that makes me feel so incredibly close to God. It makes me feel so near Him, so loved by Him. I look at that massive sky filled with all of that beauty, and I know that He isn’t that far away.

Some of the most special moments that have ever occurred between me and God have happened while I was looking at the stars. It’s almost like a special secret language that we have. Just Him and me.

It always happens with a shooting star.

Without fail, I always, always, always see a shooting star at the exact moment I need it. And every time I always hear a small voice in my heart saying very simple words such as, “I know.” Or, “I love you.” Or, “Don’t give up.” Sometimes the shooting stars I see are just a reminder of the answers He’s given me before. A little bolstering as I continue on the right path.

Since it is winter, and the sky has been hiding, stars have been pretty far away for a while. I can’t even begin to explain how hard winter is on me, everyone. I’m serious. If I go too long without seeing the sun and the clear sky, bad things happen in my brain. But something very beautiful happened to me last night. Heavenly Father sent me a gift.

I had a dream that I was watching a meteor shower.

In my dream, I was standing on the balcony of a home and looking up at the sky, and it was filled with dozens and dozens of shooting stars. They streaked across the sky quickly or slowly, bright and vivid. Absolutely beautiful. It was so special to me. It was Heavenly Father’s way of sending me a message in our secret language even when I couldn’t see the actual sky. It was everything I needed this week. It was everything I needed to just remind me that He is there.

Today was an interesting day. I got to have a really great worship experience, and spend some quality time in a place that is very sacred and special to me. A place where evil can never reach me, and I am so close to heaven. And as I sat there surrounded by the Spirit and just praying in my heart, I felt a warmth and connection to the Lord that I have been aching to feel for several weeks now. It was spectacular. And I picked up the scriptures and flipped open to some verses that reminded me that Heavenly Father has already given me so many beautiful answers about my life and that I shouldn’t doubt them. And scriptures that told me not to fear.

And that got me thinking about my dream again. And the stars.

I never feel small or insignificant looking at the stars. I feel amazing and powerful. Like I could do anything. And completely astonished by their beauty.

Then later today I was speaking with my mom, and she told me that she’d gotten me a gift. It is my absolute favorite picture of Jesus Christ. I had told her in passing some weeks ago that it was my favorite picture of Him for personal reasons, and I had no idea starsshe’d get it for me. So my little sister brought it to me tonight.

It is a picture of the Savior standing in a boat and looking up at a night sky full of stars.

So I had these three incredible moments today. Moments that reminded me of this special connection I have with my Father in Heaven. Moments that spoke to me personally because of my feelings. Perhaps all of these experiences to do with the stars wouldn’t have meant as much to somebody else, but they meant the entire world to me. I can’t even describe how much. And to somebody else Heavenly Father would give experiences that would mean that much.

I just find it incredible. And I am so grateful for it. I am grateful for a Father in Heaven who really and truly knows me. For a Father in Heaven who never gives up on me. Who understands me in every way. Who is there for every high and every low. Who has given me beautiful moments and solid faith. A Father in Heaven who has never hesitated to give me astonishingly vivid answers about my life, and always been there to help me if the path got hard. Because the right path will always be hard. A Father in Heaven who arranged a day like today: one that helped me remember all of these things.

That is how much He really knows us.

I'm Just Saying

Strong & Clean

I feel like I have started my last several blog posts talking about how I have a lot on my mind. And then I proceed to spill everything in the world into the post and hope that it changes something. It usually doesn’t, but for a while, I feel a little bit better. And the views on my stats bar fluctuate a little. And then everything goes quiet once again, and then I wait until it’s time for me to write the exact same thing that I write every single time I blog.

At the beginning of this year, I wrote about how I felt clean. I wrote about how I chose the word “clean” to describe how I felt at the beginning of the year, and as a word I wanted to encompass the rest of my year.

I thought that I would give all of you an update on how that is going.

In general, it has been very good. I have made so many exciting plans for this year. There are a lot of unknowns before me as well, but even those are exciting. There are many things that have happened in my life in the last several months, some of them fantastic and some of them hard. My newest nephew, for example, is the most amazing thing in the world. When I hold him I feel like I am holding the entire world, and all of the wisdom in it.

I also get to visit London in May. I couldn’t be more excited. I’m going with my best friend and her mother and sister. We’ll be there for one week. It will be filled with visits to all of the places that I love, and so many experiences I have been longing for. I’m finally going back home. I’m absolutely thrilled. I also finished my application to King’s College London recently, for the Medieval Studies graduate program. Should I be blessed enough to be accepted, I’ll also be touring the campus while I’m there in May. There are so many exciting and beautiful things!

But there have been a few hards things, too.

And if I’m being honest, that has been really, really frustrating for me. Not that hard things have happened really, because hard things are going to happen no matter where life takes us. But that I haven’t been as strong as I would’ve preferred. There have been a few personal struggles that I’ve been juggling, and some family struggles as well. Like I said, I understand that there is always going to be something. And honestly, strength comes in many different forms. Remember that.

Another interesting thing that I’ve been experiencing is where my spirituality is at. I have always had a very close relationship with my Father in Heaven. And the present is no exception. It’s always been interesting to me because even if I am struggling reading my scriptures all the time, or saying official prayers regularly, or even attending church as often as I should, I always have a connection with heaven. I can always feel the Spirit with me no matter what. My connection with heaven is always there.

Like I said, now is no exception.

But something is different. I usually have a very clear picture of the future in my head. A clear idea of what God has planned for me and what is coming. And in many ways I still do, but it’s hard to explain. I also feel as though I am surrounded a bit by fog. Mist. Like I can’t see any further than one step ahead of me. As I have prayed about this, I have gotten this sense that everything is okay and that I am where I am supposed to be. I have also gotten the sense that there is something wonderful waiting on the other side of that mist, but that right now all I need to do is focus on one step at a time. I have to trust God and trust His plan.

So that’s what I’m trying to do. Even though it isn’t easy.

I hope that your 2019 is going well. I hope that you are following the path God has planned for you, and aligning your will with His. I promise that that is what makes the difference between fleeting earthly happiness and true eternal joy. I hope that you still feel strongly about the word that you chose and that it is still serving you. I hope that you never stop trying, especially when trying is the most important.

I'm Just Saying

Sweet Creature

To The Person I Was On February 19, 2017,

Today is going to be one of the best days of your entire life. Today you’re going to learn a lot of things that don’t seem real. They are. You’re going to learn that dreams do come true. You’re going to learn that love is real. You’re going to learn that you’re worth it. You’re going to learn that you can look in somebody’s eyes and know you have found the home you have always dreamed of finding. You’re going to learn that Heavenly Father doesn’t lie. That He is constant and true. And He will not give you answers that will lead you to nowhere.

In the next seven weeks, you will experience happiness you never even knew existed. You will know the feeling of having found that one person who wants you for time and all eternity. My advice is very simple:

Don’t you dare look back. It’s going to be scary. And there will be so many unknowns. If you have a concern or a thought, please don’t hold it back. Share it. Try and work things out if they get hard. But jump. Okay? Don’t be scared. Beautiful, incredible, even sacred moments are about to occur in your life. And I want you to be truly present for all of them.

Heavenly Father has given you so many answers. And He will continue to do so. And I’m here to tell you now that a lot of them aren’t going to make any sense. But please follow them anyway. Please don’t give up.

Today you are going to learn that God has a plan. And that His plan will always come to pass. Today you are going to learn that what is meant to be will always always always find a way. And there will be plenty of times in the next two years, even today as I’m writing this, that you are going to think about this concept and spit at it. But I promise you that God is more powerful than anything you know. He is more powerful than any dark moment. More powerful than any earthly weakness or temptation. And His work is not frustrated. That’s not the way it works.

Today is going to be one of the best days of your life. I beg of you to please cherish every single second. And all the seconds to come. Jump. And don’t look back.

I love you.

I'm Just Saying

Brave & Strong

One of my best friends in the entire world, Adele, just had a baby a little over a month ago. The most beautiful baby girl that you’ve ever seen in your life. Her name is Scarlette. This last weekend, my friend Haley and I got the chance to go to L.A and visit Adele, her husband Tanner, and to meet little Scarlette.

I am so in love with this baby.

She is absolutely perfect in every way. She’s so tiny. At 7 weeks, she still fits perfectly in one of your arms. Her little legs still curl up. She has loads of dark hair that sticks up a little bit in the back. Her eyes have a blue tinge right now, but they’ll probably be very dark. She’s gorgeous now, and she’ll be gorgeous when she’s older.

I got to spend a lot of time with Scarlette. Just holding her. Just being with her. Talking. She really loves me. I could quiet her down instantly any time she got fussy. She really is the most beautiful baby. I told her how much I love her. How I’ll always be there for her. How brave and strong she is. It was wonderful.

And being with my friends was wonderful.

What’s funny is that I have two different groups of friends, and in both groups, there are three of us. But both are very different. There is a different dynamic in both and we talk about things so much differently depending on which group I’m with at the time. With this group, Haley and Adele, I get to talk about spiritual things a lot more.

I get to delve deep into the really deep stuff in life. I get to confess things to them I have a hard time telling anybody else. Because they understand all the different layers that go into it. With me, and with a lot of us, there is always more to what we say than the actual words. And Haley and Adele always know everything I’m trying to say without me having to explain it much. I love that about them. It was so refreshing to be with them and to just have fun.

What was interesting about the weekend was that it wasn’t free of trouble. I went away for five days to a beautiful place that was nice and warm. I basked in the sunlight endlessly, held a beautiful baby, laughed with my friends, went to fancy dinners, got dolled up, and did all the things we never get to do unless we’re together. But even though we did all of these wonderful things, I didn’t leave all of my troubles behind me in the ice and snow.

I think it’s because I was with my close friends, and I could let go of some of the things that I’ve been avoiding. So there were moments that were hard when I felt sad or upset about things. But it never lasted long because I was with them. I consider them my sisters. And we always know how to be there for each other.

Our last full day there, we went to the mall. We bought a few new things for Scarlette and a dress for Haley. Early on in this shopping trip Adele went to the restroom to change and feed Scarlette and Haley went browsing, and I got a text from my sister. And the conversation that followed was not an easy one.

I got some news about my family that was really hard to hear. That hurt me a lot. And shocked me. I was far away from home, hearing this family news much later than everybody else, and I felt so, so alone. If I’m being honest, I went into a kind of shock. I couldn’t really think straight for probably an hour or so, and then for the rest of the trip I just kind of put it out of my mind. With great effort.

But that moment was so hard. That space of time when I wandered around the mall with my friends just in shock. So in shock, in fact, that a not-so-old habit kicked in, and I pulled out my phone to call somebody. I went to my frequently contacted list, where their name still lives, and was about to press their name before I remembered that I couldn’t call them.

That was so hard.

The shock had stuck me in that moment, and right before my thumb hit their name I remembered that there are consequences to actions. And that even if that moment turned out great, even if their voice put everything back in place the way it always has, there is a reason I don’t hear it every day anymore. And that isn’t my fault. Lots of other things are my fault, but not that. Like how I dream about that voice. How I pray for it. How, in the middle of the night, when I’m all by myself and alone with my deepest self, I dream of hearing it again. Always accompanied by this understanding that everything looks different in the light of day. That’s why I save those thoughts for midnights.

Anyway, so I didn’t call them.

I told my friends, accepted their hugs and love, and helped Haley find a dress. And that was enough. It helped. Being with them healed me just enough until I could talk to my mom on the way home from L.A.

Adele hugged me tightly, with this new mom energy she possesses, and rubbed my back. Haley hugged me, too, and made me laugh. I hope that all of you have friends like them. Friends that can fix things just like that. All three of us had a moment during the weekend when we were our most vulnerable with one another, and the other two got to be there to be the strength. Or the happiness. Or whatever was needed. And it was beautiful.

I'm Just Saying

If You Leave The Light On

It has been about a week since I’ve blogged, and I have a lot on my mind tonight. Surprise, surprise. If I’m being honest, that actually happens to me a lot. I get on my blog pretty much every day, just to check and see how everything is and to peak at the blogs I follow. And sometimes I look at my blog and think, “All is well. I am pleased.” And then I continue on with my day. And after doing this for a few days, I’ll suddenly come on my blog and it’s as if my brain explodes with all these thoughts, feelings, and ideas that I absolutely have to get out and it’s as if the creator in me screams, “How have you been waiting around with all of this in your brain for eternity?! Write something, you fool!”

So here I am, writing something.

Like I said, I have a lot on my mind tonight. And if I’m being honest not a lot of it is positive. I have been having a great 2019. That is no lie. Wonderful, amazing things have happened to me so far this year and it’s only February. And there are so many more incredible things to come. But that doesn’t mean I haven’t had my off days. It does mean, however, that when I do have my off days I get frustrated. I just say to myself, “Um, self. What the devil? You’re actually doing super great so … get it together.”

Today is not, in fact, an off day. But I have had a few in the last week or so. And they haven’t been bad days. Just off days. Days when negativity comes seeping into my head and I can’t figure out why it just won’t leave me alone. Days when the people closest to me have felt like they were falling apart and I had to help hold them together. Those kinds of days.

I think it was last November, I was having a really, really, really bad day. I felt so alone and lost. I couldn’t figure out what to do with everything that was happening in my life. I was trying to hold everything together. So late one night I got in my car – wearing the classiest outfit I’ve ever put together mind you: Christmas pj’s, a sweater, socks, and flats. Class, class, class. – and I just started driving. I went to a very peaceful spot and called one of my good friends. She helped a lot. And then I started driving again. And I drove and drove and drove. All around my town and to my old town and around my old high school. And the entire time I listened to “Home” by One Direction on repeat. And somehow that helped.

Truthfully, every single time I am having a hard moment, no matter where on the scale of hard moments that it falls, I always come back to the same conclusion: trust God. He has a plan. Everything is going to be okay.

Several weeks later I went and spoke to one of my very trusted spiritual advisors and told him some of the things that were going on in my life. I had some pretty heavy issues I needed to discuss with him, and I was scared. But it was an incredible meeting. And I wish I could say that he said all of these wonderful, groundbreaking things and introduced all this truth I’d never thought of before, but he didn’t. In fact, he let me tell him some very hard things from my past, and a few things in my present, he let me shed a few tears, and then he said, “Did you know that Heavenly Father is in charge?”

And for whatever reason, it hit me right in the heart. And I couldn’t stop smiling.

I just started beaming from ear to ear. I couldn’t have stopped smiling if I’d tried. It is something that I have always known. It is something that I take for granted, actually. But for whatever reason, the truth of that sunk deep into my soul at that moment and it was exactly what I needed. He continued on telling me about how everybody’s life story is different and rarely does life ever go the way that we think it will. But God is God. His truth is unchanging. He cannot lie. He will not tell you something that isn’t true. He will not lead you down a wrong path.

A few days ago, my little sister Josie, who is one of my best friends on this earth (pretty sure I’ve blogged about that a million times), sent me a Youtube link. She does this often: sends me videos and pictures and all the things. And since I have this habit of not actually viewing them they are usually accompanied by a passive-aggressive, “Please watch this.” Well, the link she sent me the other day was accompanied by:

“Please listen to this song. I freaking love it. It might make you cry.”

I couldn’t decide if I was happy that she knew me this well or frustrated that she knew me and my life this well, but I did indeed listen to the song and it was beautiful. It did not, in fact, make me cry, but I responded, “I am not crying. But I feel like she spied on me.” You know those songs?

Anyway, it was very sweet. And I promise that there was definitely a point in telling you all of these very random and seemingly unrelated stories. But at this precise moment, I can’t remember what it was. But they do relate, and they are all very important to me. And they show that we aren’t alone, ever. And they show that life takes twists and turns but that what’s meant to be will always find a way.

Because God is always in charge.