Sunday, January 29, 2012

Miracle of Miracles!

Today has been a miracle in itself! I can't tell you how many experiences I had that testified to me that God lives and is very much a part of our lives. One thing I'd like to touch on quickly is something that happened to someone very near and dear to me. The only reason this person is still alive right now and unharmed is because "...he had divine intervention. He had to have angels protecting him!" (That is how my mom described it and I completely agree.) This person obviously has more he has to do on this earth because he is still with us.

I hope there is never a day that goes by where you don't see God's hand in your life. He is all around us if you'll just open your eyes and see.

(Oh, and thinking about miracles I now have the song from Fiddler on the Roof "wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles.." stuck in my head. Sweet :) )

Friday, January 27, 2012

Media and Body Images

I have always recognized that the media portrayed beauty in such a way that it can damage and corrupt a lot of young women and men. On the cover of every magazine in the grocery store line talks about tips on how to make your skin clearer, 15 ways to get thin quick, "new" diet that will help you drop 15 lbs., and the new spring fashion that will make you look more gorgeous than last years spring trend. Honestly, I think its all ridiculous. Don't get me wrong, I think that people should take care of their bodies and look presentable, but I believe the media goes to the extreme.

Recently I have been taking an English class focused on arguments and how to create a good argument and so on. One of the essays that our teacher had us read and analyze was one written about how Utah had an incorrect view on nude art. At the end of the essay the writer brought up that classic nude art portrays beauty in a different way than the media does now and if girls were to be educated on classic nude art then they would have a healthier view of what beauty truly is. Now, I'm not saying that I agree with this writer entirely, but she had a good point, a lot of young girls are going to extremes to look "beautiful" in the eyes of the media. This paper got me thinking though on what I personally thought beauty or what a beautiful woman looked like. The first thing I thought of was a quote I read by Audrey Hepburn the other day, "happy girls are the prettiest." (Now I'm honestly embarrassed that something Gospel related didn't first pop in my head, but we're getting there.) So now I thought, what makes a girl, or anyone, happy? My answer was clear, having a close relationship with our Father in Heaven. This of course requires us to do a number of things like attending church, praying, continually repenting, etc but another thing I thought of was the Word of Wisdom.

In past centuries beauty was seen in curves and sometimes fat was better than being thin and now in the 21st century the world wants girls (and guys) to be thin and 6-pack abs. I'll confess, guys do look nicer in a swimsuit when they have some muscle, but that doesn't make them "beautiful". I believe beauty goes beyond the physical. I've met and been friends with a lot of beautiful people of all different shapes and sizes but the one thing they all had in common was that they were happy because they were close to Heavenly Father and followed His commandments. One of the commandments we have been given is to take care of our bodies and I know that to be true. I have never been "heavy" but I can say that even if I am as thin as a pick if I'm not eating MOSTLY healthy and being active (that doesn't mean 10 minute ab workout, running 2 hours a day, and lifting weights for another hour) then I don't feel good about myself, my life, and I am certainly not as close to the Lord as I could be. So I guess what I'm saying is that no amount of exercise, diets, expensive clothes, and extensive makeup can make a woman (or anyone) beautiful because that is only on the surface, you have to be beautiful inside.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

In a land up north

 Okay, I live south of Logan, but we'll get to that in a second.

A few weeks ago I went home to visit my family for the holidays. Over Christmas I started investigating digital cameras. Well it turned out that even with all of the awesome holiday sales I couldn't get the one I wanted. I know, its a digital camera, but I take pictures all of the time and my other one was accidentally broken by a friend of mine. So I made a bargain with my mom and I got an early birthday present (very early!). Jake, the romantic that he is, asked if he and his friend, Whitney, could be in the first picture I took with my camera. As you can see in the image to the right, wish was granted. Cute huh?
 Also, over the break I went to a friends wedding reception in Payson. I went with two dear friends, Em&Em and Apey Grapey. It was so much fun! And my newly wedded friend looked as happy as  can be!
 This was just a gorgeous sunset that I witnessed on my drive to work one night. It literally looked like there was a fire behind the mountains.
I also went on a date over the break. I had never been on a date to temple square, I am aware that those kinds of dates are usually done between people that are dating and about to be engaged, but it was still fun. We also went ice skating which was fun, but I probably made a complete fool of myself which is fine because I was having a good time.

Now about the land up north...

Most people will tell you that their favorite place is home. There isn't anything wrong with that and I totally have to agree, but my VERY favorite place on earth is another home; my home up north.

As many of you know, my grandpa was a rancher and owned some property in Idaho. I haven't been to Basin Creek Ranch in over three years. Do you know what that feels like?! No bueno. I was lucky enough to get a ride up to the ranch with my uncle and cousins who live up there. It was an awesome way to finish my break. I read, watched movies, went horseback riding, walked up to my grandpa's memorial, took pictures, helped watch John and Elise's two adorable kids, and I had no interruptions. Well no interruptions unless I wanted one. Phone reception wasn't the best. I literally had to go out of my way sometimes to send a text and sometimes I just turned it off. Love it! I mostly had a perfect opportunity to reflect on my life and where I wanted to go and what I wanted to change about my life. Perfect for the new year right?

This is my little piece of heaven, in a land up north.

Slow Motion Life

I am only taking 10 credits and I only work 12 hours a week. Today it occurred to me that life feels like it is going in slow motion. So far I have been alright at finding things to use up my time, but I'm only at day 4 of the semester. I don't mean to be a Debby Downer, but to put things in perspective my currently closest girl friend has a boyfriend and will be getting married soon, and the friends I spent most of my time with last semester either moved or I decided they weren't the best to hang out with. In other words, I need to make new friends. But on the other hand, I have a wonderful Relief Society Presidency that I absolutely love, this is giving me a perfect opportunity to serve the girls in my ward (and the boys too, I guess, if I wasn't a chicken), also it gives me time to investigate and hopefully decide on a major, and last hopefully have time to have a second job if I succeed in finding one. That's my current mission; find a job!