Monday, March 30, 2015

Change of Plans

18 months of no blogging resulted in 6 journals. A girl's gotta write, right? These lil babies are the bees knees. Treasure chests full of memories. Sometimes the stories on their pages make me laugh; sometimes they make me cry. I love them.

On Day 1 post-mission, I was fine. Day 2? Okay. But by Day 6, I was dying on the inside. I was fighting back tears all day and I just felt, well, dammed. No progression. Oh, what an awful terrible feeling! I was reminded of a time I felt like that on the mission. So I flipped open Journal #5 and found this little gem:

When you're feeling dammed you have a couple of options. Swim around your little pool or break down the dam. I've found breaking down the dam usually leads to more happiness. Happiness and progression--the two are inseparably connected. So I broke the dam. I came up with a game plan. Apartments. Jobs. Plane tickets. And then I prayed. After receiving the heavenly stamp of approval, it was final: I'm moving back to Utah next month. 

...and the dam broke, and she swam happily ever after.

PS, Sorry T*Swift. I couldn't let you rule the timetable of my life. The pool was way to shallow to keep swimming here. I'm sure Mom will enjoy your concert for me.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Hardest Thing I've Ever Loved to Do

How exactly are you supposed to start your first blog post after the best 18 months? I've been excited for and dreading this post all week. It's overwhelming. There is so much I want to share with all of you. I want to tell you every detail of every story. I want you to fall in love with everyone I've fallen in love with in Oregon. But I have an inkling deep within my heart that that just might not be entirely possible. At least not in one post.

Oregon. That place is full of holy ground. Ordinary, everyday places became sacred, holy places as God touched my heart and changed me. It was in Oregon where I really learned to love.

 I learned to love God. I learned to love His children. I learned to love the scriptures. I learned to love His work. I learned to love the sacrament. I learned to love Sunday. I learned to love the temple. I learned to love obedience. I learned to love prayer. I learned to love covenant making. I learned to love covenant keeping. I learned to love the hymns. I learned to love leading music. I learned to love studying. I learned to love mornings. I learned to love vegetables. I learned to love (or at least not dread) exercise. I learned to love reading texts out loud (I seriously miss that one. I very strongly -considered screen-shotting and emailing all my texts from this week to Sister West, but then I figured she probably would just be mad that I took up all of her email time with a zillions "You're home! What now?" texts). I learned to LOVE being called "Sister" (Want to be my best friend? Just call me Sister. Seriously. I will love you forever.). I learned to love old people, young people, smelly people, scary people, nice people, stranger people, hippy people, sad people, happy people, rich people, poor people, clean people, dirty people, tall people, short people, fat people, skinny get the picture. 


...And then they made me come home. It is way more okay than I thought it would be. I still get intensely sad sometimes. Usually it's when I lay in bed at night and realize I don't get to be a full-time, name-badge wearing missionary the next day. Or when I'm getting dressed. Oh, getting dressed is the worst. If I'm going to wear pants that day (which is necessary when you go to a 2 and 4 year-old's birthday party at a bounce house place) it takes me a good 30 minutes just to convince myself wearing pants in public is okay. Plus nothing, nothing looks good when you're missing your very best accessory: the badge. But the sadness is okay. Nephi said "it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things." And the sadness is worth every ounce of happiness.

It was the best 18 months of my life. But this is going to be the best 18 months of my life, too. I figure as long as you are exactly where the Lord wants you to be, every 18 months can be the best. So here's to the next 18 months and whatever they might bring.