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Saturday, February 20, 2010

Everyone should have a George

A few weeks ago I had a dream. I was at some activity with my family and I met this guy, he wasn't too tall, kind of stocky, had light brown hair and thought he was funny. His name was George. Sounds like a nerd doesn't he? Even his name! But I remember when I woke up I laughed out loud and then I felt like, hey, he was cute. I have had dreams about boys or being married or something but I never see their faces and certainly never get a name. Now, don't misunderstand, this was not a vision of any sort but it did open my eyes to something...
Maybe I shouldn't confess this but I love family channel movies and hallmark. Totally dorky I know, but I love them! Once I watched one called "Everything You Want" about a girl who invents an imaginary friend as a child. By the time she is college he has evolved into her imaginary boyfriend. He is perfect, watches chick-flicks, is completely understanding, brings her flowers, etc. You know the whole "tall, dark and handsome" syndrome. Well, in real life she meets a boy in one of her classes...he is not the ideal. He challenges her, they fight, he is obnoxious but she finds herself attracted to him. Somehow she lets it slip out that she has a boyfriend (yes...he's fake) and it goes from there. My point? She is so busy spouting off the ideal and listing the qualities she wants that she cannot see how much she cares for the real boy and that while not a collection of all her ideals, he is "everything you want".

Isn't it funny that while we don't have imaginary boyfriends (at least I hope not!) we have an ideal in mind. We think we need tall, dark and handsome OR we need blonde hair, blue eyes and a California tan. Ha ha ha. Sometimes we let that list get in our way. We think those are the things we need when really they are just wants or ideals and then we miss out on some of the things we actually NEED and that can actually work.

So I woke up a week ago with George on my mind. A nerdy little George. I think everyone needs a George. Doesn't that name just make you laugh? hahaha. I am still laughing. In my dream he wasn't the ideal...in fact not even close to "my type". But what does that mean anyway? Just because I like blue eyes doesn't mean that the last boy I dated (who by the way had brown eyes) wasn't someone for me to love. I've got to get off of my list and into my life. There are people everywhere. It has been really funny, first of all asking basically everyone I know if they know a George (hahaha) just for fun. And then walking around campus looking for him! Really I've just been realizing we could love so many different people. Don't let us get it stuck in our heads that we have a 'type' or that we NEED certain things. Yes, we all have needs, but let them be spiritually based; treating you with kindness, respect, having a strong testimony, having understanding and love. Not physical needs of hair color or a height requirement.

A quote the same week as the dream got me thinking. Elder Bednar said, “As we visit with young adults all over the church they often will ask – what are the characteristics I should look for in a future spouse? – as though they have some checklist… And I rather forcefully say to them – you are so arrogant to think that you are some catch and that you want someone else who has these things for you! If you found somebody who had these characteristics that you’re looking for, what makes you think they’d want to marry you? The “list” is not for evaluating someone else – the list is for you and what you need to become. And so if there are three primary characteristics that you hope to find in an eternal companion, than those are the three things you ought to be working to become. Then you will be attractive to someone who has those things… you’re not on a shopping spree looking for the greatest value with a series of characteristics. You become what you hope your spouse will be and you’ll have a greater likelihood of finding that person.’”
So yes, now the list is gone... out the window. I wander around campus smiling, thinking about how many options there are and who it could be...because we have thousands of Georges all over! Okay, so far I haven't even met one person named George! Ha Ha. But the "ideal" isn't what I thought it was going to be. I've realized the list is for me and as I work on it then we'll just have to wait and see! No imaginary friends, no list of requirements, just George...whoever he is.

Yes, everyone should have a George.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Reminded of Mortality

So Wednesday of this week I was doing a favor for my friend, I hit one of those ditches in the middle of residential neighborhoods and scraped up the bottom of my car. Ouch. I didn't think any damage had been done until two hours later I came back out to my parked car after doing the favor and it wouldn't shift into reverse! Yeah, my poor little "Beauty" (long story). I laughed at the circumstances and called my roommate Tori for a ride home, but had I not had a boy in the car I think I probably would have just started crying. My car was dead.

Now I know to compare such a thing as a car to mortal beings is somewhat foolish. But that is where my mind wandered. I was reminded that anything can happen anytime. I guess more than anything I was reminded to be grateful. Yeah its a hassle I'll have to deal with getting a new car or figuring out how to get from point A to point B. But while I had my car I never recognized what a blessing it was. This doesn't just go for cars. This is for friends, for clothes and food. This is gratitude for all the things we take for granted, that we use everyday but barely acknowledge until or unless we don't have them anymore.

In January our house flooded and because of that we could hardly cook in the kitchen. Gosh, I missed cooking! We didn't have a couch (still don't) and I didn't realize how much I really loved our couch! haha. Its the little things. We get a short break at Christmas to spend with our families and then suddenly we're back at school without them. I miss them. I miss advice or jokes or games with them. Its all the little things that we need and love the most. Lets be grateful for them WHILE we have them, instead of only realizing our loss once it is gone

And so in comtemplating what to do with Beauty and figuring out life temporarily without a car I was reminded that gratitude is what counts. How happy you are now is dependent on how well you can see the hand of the Lord in your life and the great blessings He has ALREADY given to you. Remember that.

Friday, February 12, 2010

This ones for the girls

You know its Valentines week this week. Everything is red and pink and hearts. There are the girls who are giddy and excited and giggly as they clasp hands with their boyfriends and then there are the girls who are discouraged, emotional and lonely. I know thats an extremist view of the week but its what I see. And maybe it makes us emotional but that is what makes us feminine, its only part of our charm.

So this is for all the girls who have sat on their bedroom floor and cried. Tears rolling down their cheeks, thinking no one loves them or at least not the boy they thought did. It seems almost pathetic to cry about something like that, doesn't it? But you girls know who you are. If you want a song to cry to, right now Carrie Underwood has the perfect song, "Someday when I stop loving you".

The tears could be for anything. For the boy who dumped you, the one who hurt you or the boy who forgot about you. For the best friend who stopped being friends. The fight that was never really important and somehow cannot be forgotten. Or what about the boy who got scared or hurt by you, and couldn't let that go? The boy you watched walk away. The boy who decided it wasn't worth the effort, you weren't worth it. Or maybe he just shunned you. And so the tears fall.

Go ahead, cry it out.

The Lord hears the tears of His precious daughters, Jacob teaches us that the sobbings and cries of His "fair daughters...ascend into heaven". He hears us. We are tenderhearted and compassionate. It is part of our makeup, it is our nature. When we love, we love all the way. We don't pass out conversation hearts to everyone we meet, we wait until we can give our entire, full and complete heart. That is why we cry. For when it is over, when all is said and done, we hurt because our heart is no longer our own. Part of it is left behind, within the one that we loved. We who love strongest, love longest.
I'm not sure we ever really get over the love either. It continues. We still care and still hope for the best, even as we hurt. How could we hate? We may pretend to. Its easy after being hurt to become upset or bitter...but after we've loved, its nearly impossible to turn that strongest of all emotions around to the opposite feeling. It is the pure love of Christ isn't it?

And so we take a chance. Over and over again. A chance on love. We give all we've got and hope its enough. What if it isn't? We take the blame. Most of the time it likely isn't ours to take but thats part of love too. How could someone we love so much and so deeply be at fault or have hurt us on purpose? So we give them the benefit of the doubt, whether they deserve it or not.

I am not trying to imply in any way that the men are to blame. I love men. Ha. I think that is part of my problem. I know that they hurt too. That their emotions aren't quite as close to the surface but I know that they cry (deny it or not), and they love completely. But this Valentines day I am thinking of the women. The blondes and brunettes and redheads. The girls who are tall or short and thick or thin, those who play the piano and play sports, who cook with chocolate or only eat it. This one is for those who hurt because they love so much. The girls who lose their hearts by giving to another, only to receive it back later...a little damaged and a little bruised.
The Prophet Lehi teaches that there is opposition in all things. We could not appreciate the sweet fruit of the tree of life if we did not also taste the bitter. It is a necessary evil in our lives. How could we love fully and completly and compassionately as our Savior otherwise?
I declare that this Valentines day ought to be different. No tears. To feel nothing would be disaster, but to hurt is what results in greater love. I admit, I don't want to go through it, I don't want to hurt again. But I know that as we love and hurt in our relationships, they only become stronger with the next relationship. So when we want to give up we have to say like the country song, "I'd rather hurt, than feel nothing at all". And then do it. We can do this girls. Don't let it get you down. Its a great holiday to wear red and pink (although not together) and it is a wonderful time to remember what love truly is. It is unconditional, that is why we can't stop loving them. It is deep, and that is why it hurts. It is patient and kind and understanding, it is full of hope and light and strength. It is the Savior's influence within us and through us. It is what spices up life and makes it exciting. Girls, when we love, we love all the way. And that is only part of our charm.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Ask And Ye Shall Receive

I feel like the Lord waits for us to ask Him for help. Hmm...that doesn't seem very profound now that I typed it out. Ha. but its true, when He says "Ask and ye shall receive" He means it. President Packer said, "No message appears in scripture more times, in more ways than, "ask, and ye shall receive". No other message! Hmm...you think its mentioned so much because He means it? :) The past two or three weeks He has been trying to get in contact with me almost constantly! Sometimes I think I am too busy to "pick up" or I didn't want to talk about it or I was just plain too lazy. Luckily He kept trying. And Luckily sometimes I am listening.

I was driving up to my friends house and I had anxiety...for no reason. I kept feeling like I didn't want to go and that I wanted to just stay home. I thought maybe I was going to have an accident or something because the feeling came so strongly. Finally I turned off the radio a few minutes into my drive and said a quick prayer to feel peace. Ha. Then it happened, the Lord's voice was clear - He wanted those few minutes when I was driving up there to talk to me. Oh, I felt so special. HE wanted to talk to ME. So we did. It was a nice little chat. I got out a couple things I wanted Him to know about (even though He already knew) and in the end I felt better. He also said some nice things to me, things I needed to hear.

Or one night a few days later I had a dream...it was actually a pretty good dream, about something I've been praying and thinking a lot about. Its one of those things where I am just not quite sure what to do and can't quite seem to be confident one way or the other. Ha, ever been through that?! Well, I woke up that morning and laid in bed thinking about the dream. I wrote it down (as if somehow that would open my eyes to understanding) but there was only one way to gain inspiration and I knew that.

So I prayed.

It was like the words were dictated to me. The Lord was streaming thoughts and ideas into my mind. The Prophet said it is revelation when "you feel pure intelligence flowing into you, it may give you sudden strokes of ideas." He wanted me to know what it all meant as much as I did! He wasn't keeping secrets or trying to make it harder than it was. He was trying to reveal mysteries to me! And He did. I took notes, probably an entire pages worth. It was amazing.

So Why don't we ask more often?